Hari Sauri: In August of 1976, Srila Prabhupada's arrival in Hyderabad was certainly eventful. A group of portly South Indian brahmanas surrounded him, eager to receive him with veda-goshthi, the chanting of Vedic mantras, and rose garlands.
Carrying the traditional purna-kumbhas, filled water pots, and sprinkling flowers over Srila Prabhupada's head and on the ground as he walked, they formed a colorful escort for His Divine Grace as we moved across the bitumen into the terminal.
The vibrations of transcendental hymns, the wail of the shenai, the rhythmic beat of the nandisvaram, and the cries of our own men, led by Yasodanandana and Mahamsa Swamis, joyfully cheering "Jaya Prabhupada!" all filled the night air as Srila Prabhupada walked gracefully into the lounge and took a seat.
A large crowd gathered to watch these archetypal traditional panditas as they chanted with harmonic cadence and gathered around Srila Prabhupada to make auspicious presentations to him.
They were portly, balding, middle-aged fellows, their bare chests decorated with pavitras (multicolored loops of plaited cotton strands), necklaces of tulasi beads and silver, and their ears pierced with glinting diamonds, their torsos draped in colorful silken dhotis from the lower rib cage down.
It was wonderful to see His Divine Grace received so respectfully, with such pomp and honor.