Kanchanbala: When I first started going to the temple I had just turned 16 and was still in high school. I was interested right away and wanted to know more and more about Swamiji (that's how we addressed Srila Prabhupada in those days). I also wanted to tell Srila Prabhupada everything I did. I told him that I was living at home (far from the temple) and that my mother wouldn't let me go to the temple. But I had an altar, and I offered prasadam and everything that I thought was beautiful to Krishna. I was into natural, earthy things, so I put cattails, moss, and bark on my altar. I wrote Srila Prabhupada a six-page letter telling him everything I was doing. I wanted to be totally honest, to lay it all out to him exactly: how I went out to school, did my homework, chanted on the subway, and so forth.
He wrote back accepting everything I was doing, saying, "My sincere blessings for you for your nice prosecution of Krishna consciousness. Whatever you are doing at the present moment is approved by me, and I think on account of your becoming a sincere soul, Krishna is dictating from within and you are doing things so nicely." It was so encouraging, especially as the years went by and I gradually realized the standard of devotional service and Deity worship in the temples Prabhupada established. I remember one devotee asked Srila Prabhupada, "Have you told us all the rules and regulations?" Prabhupada said, "If I told you everything, you'd faint." He clearly gave us much room to toddle along.