(*Click on photo to see a large image of Srila Prabhupada.)
At the time I was a new devotee, had been a devotee about four months. Of course, I had been hearing Prabhupada’s lectures and reading his books and listening to some of the recordings, and there was a lot of anticipation about Rathayatra in general. But the airport, when we went to the airport to greet him, there were so many devotees there and we were having this huge kirtan waiting for Prabhupada to come.
We were waiting for the plane to come in, and Prabhupada was coming off the plane and he was walking up. It seemed like to me he was by himself. Maybe there were some devotees in the background, but the image I have is Prabhupada was walking up this plank and he had this very innocent expression. I had never really seen a person exemplify that kind of humility before because he was walking up and he had this expression as if to turn around and see who everyone had come to meet.
His eyes were very penetrating, something about his eyes. It seems like Krishna bhakti comes from his eyes or something, but just for a second feeling his glance and just feeling the depth of that glance. And the intensity of emotion that everyone felt, we were just caught up. Everyone around me and myself, tears were just coming from our eyes and just seeing a person who had characteristics that I had never experienced before and feeling the intensity of the kirtan, it was very moving to this day.