Nanda : The first time that I saw Srila Prabhupada was in Mexico. I was immediately struck with how short he was because every time we saw pictures of Srila Prabhupada, he was always grandly sitting on his asana and he was such a huge person in our lives. I was amazed that he was not as tall as I had imagined. While he sat on the vyasasana before giving class, I had my first eye contact with him that I could physically feel. Just like when the sun comes out from behind a dark cloud, you can physically feel the rays of the sun. Similarly, I could feel Srila Prabhupada’s glance. It was as if time had stopped and I felt a connection from back in eternal time so much so that tears gushed from my eyes. I was ecstatic, sad, surprised, ashamed, unashamed, everything all at once when that connection was made.
Just before he began class, the cook came bursting out declaring that she wanted to hear Prabhupada’s class and would therefore not cook the offering because in those days there were no speakers in the kitchen. I surrendered to the moment and gave up my seat in the temple room and cooked the breakfast offering myself with much chagrin. After the class, Prabhupada went up to his room and straight away asked to taste the offering. The next day Srutakirti said, “Prabhupada liked the offering. He thought it was very nice.” So what I first thought was bad luck that I couldn’t hear Prabhupada’s class, became a blessing that I could cook for Krishna and Prabhupada directly and get satisfaction that he was satisfied. I’ve realized from that that you can’t always understand why certain things happen to you in the moment.