I was giving a lecture in a yoga club when someone said, "Prabhupada's just arrived in Paris and you're supposed to go right now." I said, "I'll finish my lecture.""No," he said, "we want to go right now. We don't want to miss it." I said, "We'll finish the lecture. Prabhupada would want us to finish the lecture. This is our duty." So I finished the lecture in 10 or 15 minutes and I said to the audience, "My spiritual master, a pure devotee of the Lord, has just arrived in Paris. If any of you want to, you can come with us and meet him. Can any of you come?" At the back a man in uniform raised his hand. He said, "Yes, my family and I will come. This is the first time we've been to a yoga center, but what you've said is interesting and I'd like to meet the person who explained this to you? your guru." I said, "Sir, who are you?" He said, "I'm an admiral in the French Navy." I said, "You're an admiral in the French Navy? All right." He said, "Don't worry, I'll get off duty." I said, "Well, we'll leave in about a half an hour." He said, "No problem," and made a few phone calls. He got off work, his wife packed a few belongings and got their two kids, and within a short time they were back. We jumped in our sankirtan van and went off for the 13-hour drive to Paris with the French admiral in tow behind us. When we got there Prabhupada was about to have darshan. After driving all night we were unshaved and unshowered, but we weren't going to miss one moment of Prabhupada's association. We came in the temple and I told the devotees, "An admiral came with us who would like to meet Srila Prabhupada." They said, "All right, come on up." Prabhupada had just started speaking when we walked in. I was so happy I could bring this person to my spiritual master. The etiquette is you bring your guru some dakshin, some flowers or fruits, and here we were bringing an admiral in the French Navy. I was bursting with pride to be the disciple of my guru and, "this is my alms, I've brought this person for you to preach to." Prabhupada saw the admiral, and "Ohhh," he beamed. I asked the admiral and his wife, "You sit down here in front of Srila Prabhupada." They were respectful. They sat down and I sat next to them and told Prabhupada, "Srila Prabhupada, we were doing a program in Corsica, and when we heard of your arrival, I asked if anyone wanted to come and this admiral..." Prabhupada said, "Oh, very nice," and began explaining how the Bhagavad-gita was spoken to Arjuna, who was a warrior. He described what brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaishyas, and sudras do and how everyone's focused on offering their service to Krishna. Prabhupada said, "Even though you are a warrior, you can also be a devotee of God. You can use your work to serve God." The admiral was drinking in every word of it, "Oh, yes." Then Prabhupada started speaking of reincarnation and karma, which was new to the admiral, but he listened carefully. Prabhupada preached to him for fortyfive minutes and in the end the admiral said, "What do I call you?" I said, "Call him Srila Prabhupada." He said, "Srila Prabhupada, this is very interesting for me. I don't know what's happened. My wife wanted to go to a yoga club and now I'm sitting here in front of you, a very special person. If I want to understand this philosophy, what should I read?" Prabhupada said, "Bhagavad-gita." One of the servants got a French Bhagavad-gita. Prabhupada said, "This is our French Gita. Read this." The admiral looked at it, it was a big book. He said, "I may not have time to read the whole book of all the chapters, which one should I concentrate on?" Prabhupada said, "Read the Ninth Chapter and then you'll understand everything about Krishna." The man took the Bhagavad-gita that he received from Prabhupada and left. We were so young in those days, I didn't get his address or telephone number and he was gone. I thought, "Boy, I wish I had gotten his contact information."
Years later I was distributing books near the mayor's office in Paris when there was a big function. The police cordoned off the area, police cars and lights were going, and I thought, "Wow, this is great, a big event with a lot of important people. I'll get in somehow and distribute books maybe I'll get a book to the mayor." I got in and the police threw me out, "Get out of here." Then I saw a group of Navy personnel who were part of the function and who saw how I'd been roughly thrown out. And who did I see? The admiral in his uniform. He went to the police and said, "Let this boy come." I thought, "Oh, this is a good opportunity." I said, "Admiral, it's good to see you again," and I gave a few books to the people around there. I actually didn't sell any books. The admiral said, "Yeah. Not a day goes by I don't remember your spiritual teacher. Not a week goes by I don't read the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita." I said, "Thank you very much," and we shook hands. Then the police said, "All right, that's enough! You have to go." I went out of the ropes and I thought, "Oh, my God, again I didn't get his name and address." But I thought it was Krishna's mercy that this man met a pure devotee and that he would have the opportunity to meet Prabhupada again.