May I first offer my obeisances to the lotus feet of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada, then to the feet of my dearest godbrothers and godsisters. I beg your blessings and forgiveness for the years of offences that have been commited at your feet.
The details of Srila Prabhupada's arrival at San Francisco airport are more clear today, as I read Sriman Ranjit's rendition. I must add however some very intrinsic details I'm sure my godbrother did not leave out intentionally.
As Srila Prabhupada's plane arrived, "Bhakta Bob" and myself were not able to get so close to see the arrival of His Divine Grace and as I recall we were stuck quite some distance from where it was expected to arrive. We were standing on the back of the airport chairs looking out the window just as the plane pulled up to the dock. Srila Prabhupada was sitting in a window seat looking toward the terminal. It appeared to my limited perceptions that he could see two newly saffron-robed brahmacaris with their faces glued to the window staring back at Him. The feeling of Srila Prabhupada's glance is truly indescribable in words. It was something I'm sure many devotees will have experienced themselves.
I recall thinking how fortunate for those devotees that were able to be near the front as Srila Prabhupada disembarked, as always my envious reptilian mind immediately lamented nothing in life is fair. At that instant a side door adjacent to where Bhakta Bob and I stood on the back of those chairs exploded outward and there I could not believe was our dearmost effulgently glowing Srila Prabhupada. Needless to say I think we were both stunned at our most prodigious good fortune. We literally dove off the chairs landing prostrate at the beautiful lotus like feet of His Divine Grace, us mumbling our obeisances. This was perfectional mercy. I only recall these details due to the bump that arose on my forehead from taking the face dive to the floor. The next instant unfolded rather quickly as we jumped to our feet to catch up to the entourage that was whisking by. I remember looking up from the floor and watching in slow motion time the feet of Srila Prabhupada as he walked regally with his cane tapping cadence while the rest of the devotees ran to keep up.
I will never in my life forget this instance where the mercy of jagat-guru was given to a couple of wild crazed Jagai-Madais. That is the mercy so freely distributed. The incident described by Ranjit Prabhu of going to where our Srila Prabhupada was staying is missing one detail. That is the services we were given by the temple president collecting tree branches with a chainsaw for the festival site, as well as doing some last minute painting touch-ups at His Grace's quarters. Standing in the hallway behind me I heard footsteps, only to turn around to see Srila Prabhupada's smiling face. He looked around the hallway, then looked at me and said, "Very nice." I will always remember the sweetness of His voice and I pray at the time of death that I am able to simply remember this one thing that Srila Prabhupada said: "Very nice."
I hope that all of Prabhupada's disciples have the opportunity to continue to serve His feet, and for the generations that come today and tomorrow, I pray you take this mercy and make it your only life's goal. There is nothing in this world of any value than to serve caitya-guru and His devotees. This is the only perspicacious path in life -- humility and surrender in loving service to one another. Our co-operation with each other is what Srila Prabhupada told us would be the success of Lord Caitanya's moon as it is rising.