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December 17, 1970 : Surat

Satsvarupa: It was like a dream come true. Thousands lined the street for many blocks, while the devotees, playing karatalas and mrdangas and chanting Hare Krishna, made their way along. Spectators stood on rooftops or clustered at windows and doorways, while others joined the procession. The police had stopped traffic at the intersections, allowing only the kirtana procession to pass. The earthen road, freshly swept and sprinkled with water, had been decorated with rice flour designs of auspicious Vedic symbols. While more than twenty of Prabhupada's disciples led the daily procession, thousands of Indians chanted, cheered, and clamoured to see, and women threw flower petals from the rooftops.

Often the procession would have to stop as families came forward to garland the devotees. Sometimes the devotees would receive so many garlands that their blissful faces would be scarcely visible, and they would distribute the garlands to the people in the crowd. The devotees felt tired and blissful as they returned to Mr. Jariwala's home, and Prabhupada was waiting for them. As soon as they saw him, they all bowed down.

The devotees were not alone, however, as they returned to Mr. Jariwala's home, for hundreds of Indians thronged behind them, eager to see Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada, his disciples, and a clamouring crowd of Surat devotees squeezed tightly into Prabhupada's room. While Prabhupada continued to answer questions inside, the crowd outside grew larger and more restless. By their good fortune, they had realized Prabhupada's greatness, and they wanted to be with him. As their desire became stronger, their eagerness more intense, Prabhupada got up from his seat and walked out to the balcony. The crowd roared, "Hare Krishna!" their arms upraised.

When Prabhupada returned inside, the crowd remained unsatisfied, and he asked some of his disciples to try and pacify them. Several devotees went out to the people, answering their questions and telling them Prabhupada would come out to see them again.


Reference: Satsvarupa: It was like a dream come true. Thousands lined the street for many blocks, while the devotees, playing