September 1 marks the day of Radhastami, celebrating the advent of Srimati Radharani, Lord Krishna’s eternal consort.
You might be interested in reading an article I wrote for the occasion back in 1974: “Who Is that Girl with Krishna?”
Here’s a story that goes with it.
That article was among several I wrote that year for Back to Godhead magazine.
Some time after the article came out, my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, came to New York City. A greeting party–perhaps sixty or a hundred of us or more–set off to welcome him at the Trans World Airlines terminal at Kennedy Airport. Back in those days–I’m still not sure how we got away with it–we used to receive him tumultuously, chanting, playing drums and cymbals, blowing conches, and strewing rose petals before him as he walked, all right there in the terminal.
Well, once the plane landed and the passengers started to emerge from the arrivals area, we began our uproarious reception. But I soon saw our temple leaders conferring among themselves. What was up?
Srila Prabhupada’s name was not on the passenger manifest. Somehow, it seemed, he wasn’t on the flight. We would have little alternative but to wrap up our chanting party, pack up our stuff, and head back home.
Just then, Srila Prabhupada appeared. The TWA terminal had red-carpeted stucco-clad tubular corridors that led from the gates to the hub where we awaited him, and we watched as he aristocratically strode through a corridor towards us, the few moments seeming as though stretched into a long, grand flourish by some mysterious artistry of time.
I’d been chosen for the privilege of offering Srila Prabhupada a sumptuously large garland of fragrant gardenias, and as he entered our midst, thronged by chanting devotees, I stood ready, a few feet away, with the garland in my hands.
Finally he reached where I stood, and I leaned forward and placed the garland around his neck and upon his shoulders, so that it decorated his chest and flowed towards his knees. Some devotees later told me he embraced me, but I don’t remember. I just remember facing him, his face smiling amidst the sea of chanting devotees.
And then he said to me, “I read your article.”
I was blank. Article? Article? “I read your article.” My article? What article?
Then he said, “ ‘Who Is that Girl with Krishna?’ It was very nice.”
So here it is again: “Who Is that Girl with Krishna?”