We were so happy then. Each and every time you saw another devotee you were flat on the ground offering your obeisances and then you jumped up and hugged your godbrother whom you truly loved. Also in the early days you were always chanting 24 hours a day practically. If you were not doing something else that required you to talk about your service or some verse in the Bhagavad Gita or some pastime about Krsna that you had just read, you were chanting like a madman.
Your eyes were closed tight and you had your finger of your other hand in your ear so that you could hear your own voice better (try in, it works). If you were standing in the prasadam line waiting, you never talked about who married who, or whatever–you chanted. You knew that Maya was waiting very attentively for you to let your guard down for a moment and as soon as you were slack, she would rush in and fill in the void that was left when you stopped chanting and began to fill your mind with all kinds of disturbances that were due to your very recently having left a life of only material activities.
You knew that Krsna was like a light and Maya was like darkness. As soon as the light of Krsna was turned off (you stopped chanting) then the darkness rushed in. Try it tonight. Go in the bathroom and turn on the light and then turn it off again and watch how quickly darkness will rush in. It was the same with Krsna and Maya. So you kept chanting.
Also, there was reading. I was particularly attached to reading Srila Prabhupada’s books. I was so hungry for real knowledge, that every day I would hide somewhere or sneak off to the park so that I could read for hours. Then at night, Bhagavan Das and I would fight about the philosophy. So many doubts would come up in my mind and I would use poor Bhagavan Das to challenge the philosophy when those doubts would arise.
I was thankful that he was such a qualified devotee and had a will and determination like iron, so that he would each time dispel my doubts and each time I would dive back into devotional service with renewed determination.