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1966 Journal - Excerpts
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Recollections by Śrīla Prabhupāda of the times and events described in his 1966 Journal
The following 19 excerpts from Srila Prabhupada's lectures, conversations and letters give further insights into the events described in his 1966 journal.
Excerpt from a letter to Sally Agarwal dated November 6, 1965
My dear daughter Sally,
I am so glad to receive your very affectionate letter of the 3rd instant and have noted the contents carefully. Yes I have got this nice typewriter by the Grace of the Lord and I am very much satisfied with it working. Before receiving your letter under reply I have sent two letters both to you and Gopala. I understand that you have received them. In one of them I have requested Gopala to dispatch 25 sets of books to Paragon Book Gallery and I am anxious to know if the books are already dispatched.
Regarding your reminder for my good cooking, I am very much thankful to you and next time when I shall go to your home, I must serve you with good lunches without fail. Now I am far away from you otherwise I would have at once gone to you and entertained you with such lunches. I am anxious to learn about the health of you all specially of your little children. How is your naughty daughter Kamla. Please offer them my love and blessings and so also accept both of you. Please write to me occasionally and as Gopala is not accustomed to reply promptly I shall henceforward write to you. Did you meet your good father and mother in the meantime? If you meet them please offer them my respectful regards. Both your father and mother are good souls and therefore you are a good daughter of your parents. I remember all of you always.
Please offer my good wishes to your friends who still remember me. I shall meet them again when I go to Butler. I like Butler more than New York and specially the quarters in which your home is situated. Had I had the means to rent a house independantly I would have gone back again to Butler and hold my Bhagavatam discourses daily with good friends.
So far I have studied the American minds they are eager and apt to receive Bhakti Cult of Srimad-Bhagavatam because the Christian religion is based on the same principle. My mission is not turn any one from the affiliation of a particular religion but I want to let them know more knowledge about God and devotion.
Dr. Rammurti Mishra is also very kind gentleman and I am living very comfortably at his care. He is keen after looking my all kinds of comforts. I am negotiating with some booksellers and publishers and I hope I shall be able to settle something before I leave for the next station. I shall be New York still for a few days more and I shall let you know when I leave the station. I am so grateful to your kindness and surely I shall ask you if I need anything. I have left my hearth and home in India but here by the Grace of the Lord I have got good sons and daughter like you. So I do not feel any foreign complexion.
Excerpt from a lecture on Bhagavad-gītā Chapter 2 Text 11 given on March 4, 1966 when Śrīla Prabhupāda was living at the yoga studio of Dr. Mishra.
Prabhupāda: Just like at Vṛndāvana, at Vṛndāvana... That is practical. Now here I am sitting, New York, a very great, the world's greatest city, so magnificent city, but my heart is always hankering after that Vṛndāvana.
Prabhupāda: Yes. I am not happy here.
Woman: Yes, I know.
Prabhupāda: I shall be very happy to return to my Vṛndāvana, that sacred place. "But then why you are...?" Now, because it is my duty. I have brought some message for you people. Because I am ordered by superior, my spiritual master, that "Whatever you have learned, you should go to the Western countries, and you must distribute this knowledge." So in spite of all my difficulties, all my inconveniences, I am here because I am in duty. I, I... That is my personal convenience, if I go and sit down at Vṛndāvana, I shall be very comfortable there. And I'll be, I'll have no anxiety, nothing of the sort. You see? But I have taken all the risk in the old age because I am in duty-bound. I am in duty-bound. So I have to execute my duty in spite of all my inconveniences. That is the idea.
So this is the whole thing, the whole basic principle of spiritual advancement of knowledge. One should first be convinced that he is not this body. He is not this body. Then other spiritual knowledge will begin. This is the basic principle. You'll find it. You'll find it in the Bhagavad-gītā that this situation of spiritual life is called brahma-bhūtaḥ. Brahman. So
- brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
- na śocati na kāṅkṣati
- samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
- mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
So the, unless one understands himself, he also cannot understand God also. In his, in his misunderstanding position... Now, what Dr. Mishra is teaching is very nice because he is teaching that "Just first of all you know 'What I am, what I...' " That's very good. But that "what I am" can be known from the Bhagavad-gītā also, that "I am not this body. I am not this body." That knowledge, at least theoretically, one must accept, that "I am not this body."
Excerpt from a letter to Mangalniloy Brahmacari dated June 11, 1966.
Regarding the construction of the Temple here in New York and in other places, I have now decided to struggle for it to the end of my life and I am glad that you have decided to follow my instruction in this connection. I think I shall be able to finish this job even if the Government of India does not allow me any exchange. I am now trying to incorporate one corporation of the local friends and admirers under the name INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS INC Negotiation is going on with the Lawyer to formulate the scheme and as soon as this is incorporated I shall submit application for sponsoring you in this country.
There is enough money in this country and for temple we may not require to get exchange from India. The only thing is the people of this country must know that this is very important work and by such conviction enough money could be raised from the local people. I hope when you will come I shall get your full cooperation in this connection. Henceforward write in English language. Here English language is very much essential so try to have it practised fluently. You are educated and it will not be difficult for you.
There is another impediment for my staying here. My publication work is suspended. You know I have already published three volumes of my Srimad-Bhagavatam and further copies are ready for printing. Please let me know if your establishment can take charge of publishing these books or can manage the publication in my absence. Due to my absence from India the publication is stopped and therefore it disturbs my mind. This publication work is my main function. So at any rate I cannot stop it. I can stop my foreign activities but I cannot stop my publication work. Please let me know if there is any possibility of your institution to look after these affairs during my absence.
You have asked me to write something about Mr Paul. He is a young man of twenty three years old. He was attending my class at 72nd St. along with others and when there was theft case in my room he invited me to his residence. So I am with him and training him. He has good prospect because he has already given up all so called bad habits. In these country illicit connection with women, smoking, drinking and eating of meats are common affairs besides that other habits like using toilet papers after evacuating etc. But by my request he has given up 90% of his old habits and he is chanting Mahamantra regularly. So I am giving him the chance and I think he is improving. Tomorrow I have arranged for some Prasad distribution and he has gone to purchase some things from the market in the car of a friend. I shall inform him about you when he comes back. Here we have got a big hall and my classes are going on thrice in a week. The rent is $100.00 per month. I think when you come here we shall be able to organize the things more nicely. Please be in regular correspondence with me and offer my respects to Sripada Madhava Maharaja and if possible let me know if there is any possibility of our cooperation in this attempt of foreign propaganda. If so kindly let me know your opinion in this connection.
Excerpt from a letter to Mādhava Mahārāja dated August 1, 1966.
I have therefore very recently incorporated one organization very recently (within a fortnight past) under the name of INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS (Incorporated in U.S.A.) The Trustees of this organization are all American gentlemen headed by one of the leading lawyers of New York Mr. Steven J. Goldsmith B.Sc. M.A.B.L. who comes regularly in my weekly classes and chants the Mahamantra very devoutly.
Now the chance for preaching the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the western countries like America and Europe is practically established and if the organization is properly managed I am sure there will be no dearth of financial facilities from the American citizens. But still I think this organization should have cooperation from all countries of the world specially of India and more specially from the Gaudiya Vaisnavas who are pledged to take the responsibility of preaching Caitanya cult in every village and town of the world. I am therefore inviting the first cooperation from my Godbrothers in this great adventure. I am very much hopeful of success of the attempt and I am seeking your good consultation if it is possible to have full sympathetic cooperation of my Godbrothers in India in this adventure. Sriman Brahmacari Mangalaniloy has already agreed to come here to assist me fully but I wish that each and every one of the different Gaudiya Math organizations may kindly send one person respectively to work under my direction in these foreign countries and thus become individually a member of the international organization abovementioned. The qualification of such intending candidates must be that he must be able to speak in English or be well versed in playing khol or singing. If one is qualified with all the above qualifications it is very good otherwise he must be qualified at least one of them. So far their coming here I shall take all the responsibility for passage and maintenance. Would kindly consider this proposal immediately and let me know your decision per return of post?
(TEXT MISSING) ...for this cooperation programme. Srila Prabhupada wanted us to do everything in complete cooperation and thus I am inclined to have full cooperation in this great attempt of preaching in the foreign countries. All the camps of our various camps may at least cooperate in the matter of special activities and I may be able to provide any number of men who may be now inclined to come here and work under my direction. There is great possibility of Lord Caitanya's cult being preached amongst the younger section of the Americans and some of them are hearing me very seriously to accept the philosophy. Our men in the ideal line of activities chalked out by Srila Prabhupada will be great help to me and the persons who are now seriously attending my classes.
Awaiting to hear from you as early as possible with the list names of the persons who will come here from different camps.
I am asking people here to practice Krishna consciousness through music dance philosophy science religion and distribution of Prasadam. I am asking them to become freed from all sorts of anxieties by practicing the transcendental sound vibration of Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare etc and I am asking them to join the International Society for Krishna Consciousness Inc. My classes are being held thrice a week in the evening between 7:00 to 9:00 P.M. Hope you are well
Excerpt from an address to an Indian society in Columbus, Ohio on May 11, 1969.
Prabhupada: So this saṅkīrtana movement was inaugurated in Bengal in India and in Navadvīpa. So in this sense the Bengalis are very fortunate that in their country this movement was inaugurated by Lord Caitanya, and He predicted that... Those who are Bengalis here present, they will understand.
- pṛthivīte āche yata nagaradi grāma
- sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma
- (CB Antya-khaṇḍa 4.126)
He predicted that "As many villages and towns there are all over the world, everywhere this saṅkīrtana movement will be preached." That is His future prediction. So by the grace of Lord Caitanya, this movement is already introduced in the Western countries, beginning from New York. Our first movement, the saṅkīrtana movement, was introduced in New York. I came in New York first, and I began to chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra in the Tompkinson Park. Is that Tompkinson Park or Square?
Devotee: Tompkins Square.
Prabhupāda: Tompkins Square. So I was chanting there for three hours with a little small mṛdaṅga, and these boys, American boys, they assembled, and gradually they joined. And it is increasing. First of all it was started in New York in a storefront, 26 Second Avenue. Then we started our branch in San Francisco, in Los Angeles, in Santa Fe, in Buffalo, then here. We have got now twenty branches, including one in London and one in Hamburg. And in London, the boys-they are all American boys, American boys and girls-they are preaching. They are not sannyāsī, neither they are Vedāntist, neither they are Hindus, neither they are Indian. But they have taken this movement very seriously. Here one lady from London, she has come. She was very much praising about their movement. And in London Times there was an article. They said that "Kṛṣṇa Chanting Startles London." So we have got many followers now. All my disciples till now, at least in this country, they are all Americans and Europeans. They are chanting, dancing. They are issuing paper, Back to Godhead. Now we have published so many books, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, Teachings of Lord Caitanya.
Excerpt from a letter to Hanuman Prasad Poddar, dated February 5, 1970.
I feel very much obliged to Gopala and his wife Sally for their nice treatment and reception. I was with them for three weeks in Butler, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and then I came to New York. I was getting some money by selling my Srimad-Bhagavatam, thus I was maintaining myself in New York. After some time, I rented one apartment at number 100 71st Street West, but after a few months, all my things—typewriter, tape recorder, books—were stolen. Then for some time one of my students gave me shelter at Bowery Street.
I then rented one store-front and an apartment at 26 Second Avenue for $200 per month, but without any source of income. I started my classes and sometimes, on Sundays, I used to chant Hare Krishna Mantra in Tompkins Square Park from three to 5 P.M. During this time, all the young boys and girls used to gather around me, sometimes poet Ginsberg would come to see me, and sometimes a reporter from the New York Times came to see me. In this way, the Hare Krishna Mantra chanting became very popular on the Lower East Side.
In this way, the younger generation became attracted, and gradually many branches were opened one after another. After New York, the next branch was opened in San Francisco, then in Montreal, then in Boston, and in Los Angeles. We have now the following centers in the States, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia.
Excerpt from a letter to Jayapataka Swami dated July 10, 1970.
I am very glad to learn from your letter dated 2nd July that both yourself and Acyutananda went to Babu Ghat for chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. I am very glad to learn it. The same process I adopted in your country when I started my Saṅkīrtana in Tompkins Square, New York. Kṛṣṇa was so kind to send to me all these boys and girls who are helping me now. Babu Ghat is a very nice place. Similarly, in front of Babu Ghat there is the Eden Garden that is also a very nice place. After all it is not the question of the place, but it is the person who chants which is important. A sincere soul like you, so much devoted to Spiritual Master and Kṛṣṇa is sure to be successful anywhere. So you adopt the same principle as we are doing here.
Excerpt from a lecture by His Divine Grace given in Gorakhpur on February 15, 1971.
Prabhupāda: So after publishing three parts of readings(?), then automatically, Guru Mahārāja gave me indication that "Now you can start for America." So some way or other, in 1965 I went to America, with great difficulty. But I took about two hundred sets of books. The customs clearance was done, I told them that "Oh, I am taking these books for distribution. Not for sale." Anyway, they passed, and with these books I reached America. And I was maintaining myself by selling these books for one year. There was no friend, and I was living in apartment with great difficulty. Still, the whole, I mean to say, stock, and my typewriter, my tape recorder-everything was stolen. In this way, I became very much depressed, and I was going to the shipping company, "When the next ship is going for, going to India?" So they gave me such and such date. Then I thought, "Let me wait for some time more. Then I shall return back." I had return ticket, of course. There was no difficulty.
In this way, 1966, by selling these books, I had only $200, and I dared to take one apartment and storefront. Storefront one $125 per month, and apartment $75. So I had only $200 dollars. So I advanced him $200. I did not know how to pay next month's rent. So I started in 1966, lecturing in a storefront and living in that apartment in 26 Second Avenue. Then gradually, these boys, American boys and girls, began to come. And then I started my kīrtana in (sic) Tompkinson Square. More and more, these younger Americans, they came to me, and things were organized. Then I registered this Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Society under religious act of New York in 1966, and gradually people took interest. People means the younger section. All the boys and girls, they were from sixteen... Not all sixteen, but there were sixteen. Kṛṣṇa dāsa was at that time sixteen years old. And... Between twenty to thirty. Only, I think, Keith-now Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja-he was at that time twenty-nine. Hayagrīva was, I think, twenty-nine. So in this way... This Hayagrīva, I met him on the street. After renting the apartment and storefront, when I was returning, this Hayagrīva, Professor Howard Wheeler, he was philosophically minded. So he asked me, "Swamijī, are you coming from India?" So I told, "Yes, I am coming from India." So, "Are you interested in Indian philosophy?" "Yes, sir." "So why don't you come? I have taken one storefront and apartment." So I came back. I showed him, "Here is my storefront and apartment. You come in the evening." So... (Hindi) So the Hayagrīva and Kīrtanānanda, Keith, and some other boys, I think, Satsvarūpa...
Prabhupāda: Ravīndra, yes, yes, he was there.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Mukunda.
Prabhupāda: Mukunda. In this way, five or six students used to come. Gradually, it developed. Then we started next branch in San Francisco, next branch in Montreal, next branch in Buffalo, Boston. In this way... Now we have got forty-five branches. So practically, we began work from 1968. '66 I started, but... And '67 I became very much sick. So I came back to India, and again I went there in 1968. Practically, this propaganda work began vigorously from 1968. So from 1968, '69, '70, and this, '71. So three, four years, all these branches have grown up, and now practically, throughout the whole continent, Europe and America, they know what is Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Due it to our propaganda. Just like these boys. You have seen they are chanting and dancing. We send street saṅkīrtana even the most busiest quarter of New York, Fifth Avenue. And they go. The American boys, they are very daring. Sometimes police arrest them. And police is not harassing. The public and police, both, they are now sympathetic, that "Here is a movement which is actually genuine and very beneficial to our people." They are sympathetic. And even some of the Christian priests, they are also very sympathetic. They say that "These boys, American boys, they are our boys. They're so nice that they're mad after God, but we could not give them. Swamijī has given them." So they appreciate. Actually, these boys, they come from Christian family, Jewish family. There are many churches in America. I was surprised. When I first went to Butler, that's a small county, but I saw there about dozen of churches. So I thought the American people are very religiously-minded. And actually so. The history of the American people, mostly they came from England for this religious purpose. So they migrated in America for being religiously advanced.
So American people, I very much appreciate them. They are religious. They have got very good potency for understanding God consciousness. That is my opinion. And I do not know why I was inclined to go to America. It was also Kṛṣṇa's desire. Because I thought that "If this movement, Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement... " Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that
- pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi-grāma
- sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma
- (CB Antya-khaṇḍa 4.126)
That is His prediction, that "As many towns and villages are there on the surface of the globe, everywhere, this message of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and Lord Caitanya's name will be there." So I thought that "I should go to America. If the American people take it seriously, then other people will take it." So actually, that is happening. These boys are so enthusiastic in preaching that on my word, they are going any part of the world. Any part of the world. They are prepared to go any part of the world. And just now I received one letter from my disciple Śrīmān Upendra dāsa. He does not know Hindi, and in the Fiji Island there are many Indians, but still, he is making propaganda. He's simply chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra door to door. They are also husband and wife. And people are very much appreciating.
So my Guru Mahārāja's desire and Caitanya Mahāprabhu's prediction is now being fulfilled. At least, it has begun to be fulfilled. So it is a genuine movement, authorized movement, and India's original culture. So our appeal to the Indian people, that "You should take seriously about this movement and try to cooperate with us." That will be glorification for Indian culture. At the present moment, India is known as very poor, poverty-stricken country. People are under impression that "They are beggars. They have got nothing to give. They simply come here to beg." Actually, our ministers go there and, for some begging purpose: "Give us rice, give us wheat, give us money, give us soldiers." That is their business. But this movement, for the first time, India is giving something to them. It is not a begging propaganda; it is giving propaganda. Because they are hankering after this substance, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They have enjoyed enough of this material consciousness. The material consciousness means to enjoy sex life and drink and have sufficient money. These three items, they have got sufficient, immense. There are... So far material comforts, oh, there is no conception in India how they are materially comfortable. Their roads, their cars, their machines... You cannot imagine how American roads are there. There are freeways. In America, there are freeways: without any stoppage you can run your car in seventy mile speed, and four cars going up and four cars going down. And road just like velvet. (laughter) Our roads... So there is no comparison of their materially advancement. So I always... When I run in some freeway... These boys run our cars. And you'll be very pleased that in each and every temple we have got at least four cars, nice. Especially one car for me and two cars for carrying them for saṅkīrtana movement. Very good arrangement. Better than any temple in India. If you go sometimes... I request you to go. But one condition: that you have to become Life Member. (laughter) But if you go, will be very much pleased in our temples. And this Dr. Rao... Perhaps you know, he is a professor in your Gorakhpur University. He was a research scholar, atomic research scholar. His wife is sitting here. So he's still. So he was very much captivated with the temple worship, and there he became my disciple.
Excerpt from morning walk conversation on January 21, 1974 in Hawaii.
Prabhupāda: Oh. (break) ...distributed big books, from the very beginning.
Bali Mardana: And samosās.*
Prabhupāda: And samosās, yes. (laughs)
Bali Mardana: One bookseller in New York.
Prabhupāda: Yes, Paradise. Paradise?
Bali Mardana: Yes, I think that is it. The woman was telling us.
Prabhupāda: Yes. She was very friendly. Mrs. Max Linder. Her husband is the proprietor, and she would call her husband, "Max, why don't you take these books," like this. She was friendly. And that Mr. Max was first-class businessman. He will extract as much profit as... (laughs) Hare Kṛṣṇa. It was sold. Practically, in the beginning, they were selling. I was getting some money. There was no other income. Another bookseller, Oriental.
Bali Mardana: Yes, Oriental.
Prabhupāda: Orientalia, yes. That lady was secretary of Dr. Mishra.
Excerpt from a morning walk conversation with His Divine Grace in Los Angeles on June 25, 1975.
Dr. Judah: ...devotees, I think a long time, haven't you?
Jayatīrtha: Yes, Brahmānanda was one of the original...
Dr. Judah: I've seen his picture so often times in the Back to Godhead magazine playing the mṛdaṅga drum.
Jayatīrtha: What is it, ten years, Brahmānanda? Or nine years?
Brahmānanda: Well, '66. August '66.
Dr. Judah: August '66. You are one of the very earliest.
Prabhupāda: Actually, I began this movement from July '66. I came in '65 but I could not do anything. I was loitering here and there. Actually, I began my preaching work from '66, June, July, I think,yes.
Dr. Judah: You must have been one of the hippies he converted there in Tompkins Park then.
Brahmānanda: Well, I wasn't quite a hippie. (laughter) There weren't hippies at that time. It was just beginning. So I had been to the university. I graduated NYU. But I'd been to India.
Dr. Judah: You had been to India?
Brahmānanda: Yes. I was planning on going back also. I wanted to take a further degree. I was applying for a Fulbright.
Dr. Judah: I see. (break)
Excerpt from a morning walk with His Divine Grace in Denver on July 1, 1975.
Brahmānanda: He has dedicated his book, "To the parents and to the devotees."
Prabhupāda: He has tried to pacify the parents.
Brahmānanda: Yes. Another parent is coming to see you today.
Prabhupāda: Oh, to accuse me? (laughter)
Brahmānanda: No, her son said she is very favorable. She's the mother of Parīkṣit.
Prabhupāda: Your mother was very angry upon us. (laughter) You know that? When she came to see me, I told, "Mrs. Bruce, can you give me some money?" (laughing) (Imitating angry woman's voice:) "I have given you two sons!" (laughter) She was very angry. "Still you want money?" (laughter) "And that's all right."
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You asked them to bow down to her?
Prabhupāda: No, I asked him to bow down to your mother.
Brahmānanda: Yes, at initiation.
Prabhupāda: After initiation.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Did she like...
Prabhupāda: I gave her proper respect. Mother, after all, she is. She is fortunate mother. She has produced such nice sons. And I offered her respect, yes. Any of your mother and father, they are all very fortunate. And you are doing... giving the best service to your family. Our Nitāi's mother came. She looked very nice lady, yes. I think you are the first child.
Prabhupāda: Therefore she looks young, not very old. Within forty?
Nitāi: Over forty, I think. Within fifty.
Prabhupāda: Oh. But she looks younger. And your grandmother?
Nitāi: She is eighty.
Excerpt from conversation in car in New Vrindavan on June 21, 1976
Prabhupāda: You have all got this experience. This is the only way. I started this movement on this determination, that they have nothing to give, simply by propaganda they are exacting so many people and befooling them. And I'll give them prasāda, nice chanting, and they will not come? They must come. This was my determination. And I began with this. So this is the only way. Give them chance "No talk, please come. Chant and dance with us and take kṛṣṇa-prasāda and go home."
Kīrtanānanda: I think it was just ten years ago when I first met you.
Prabhupāda: Yes. I never said that "You have to give up this, you have to do this." Never said. Then gradually ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. When the heart becomes cleansed, then little. There is no hopelessness. So many people have come, and they are coming. Both black, white, everyone is coming. There is no question of (indistinct). But you cannot expect that cent percent people will come; that is not possible. But even, even one-fourth percent people come to this, then it will be successful. Compared to the American population, what percentage we have got? Still they have made some impression, the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement. Literatures are selling, they are appreciating, learned circle. Takes some time, but if we stick to our principles and do not make any compromise and push on-in this way, I have given you instruction, it will never stop; it will go on. It will never stop. At least for ten thousand years it will go on. That is your... (indistinct) And this movement is meant for these fourth-class, fifth-class, tenth-class men. Not this movement is fourth class, fifth class. They are so fallen that they cannot be counted even third class, fourth class-tenth-class of men. Deliver them. Patita-pāvana-hetu tava avatāra. Caitanya Mahāprabhu's incarnation is for delivering these classes of men. Caitanya Mahāprabhu never meant to start this movement for high-class brāhmaṇas, sages, saintly persons-no. This class of men. For the all fallen. Don't be disappointed, go on, go on. Stick to the principles. When there was no response, I did not know where to live, where to eat. Sometimes at Dr. Mishra's, sometimes with some friend somewhere. Where to live. And I was going to inquire the shipping company when the next ship returning to India. Still I was renewing my visa: "Let us hope. Let us hope." In this way, we started Second Avenue in month of July, I think?
Kīrtanānanda: June or July.
Prabhupāda: Yes, June or July, yes, June. Then Hayagrīva and Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja, they came first. Before that, Mukunda came.
Hari-śauri: He's the oldest devotee? Mukunda? He's the oldest devotee?
Prabhupāda: Yes. There were others, they have left. That Mr. Green.
Kīrtanānanda: Jagannātha dāsa. I think you named him Jagannātha.
Prabhupāda: And Ravīndra-svarūpa.
Kīrtanānanda: Carl, Carl.
Prabhupāda: Carl, yes. He has left.
Excerpt from a morning walk conversation with His Divine Grace in New York on July 12, 1976.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: This is Seventy-second Street, Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: Yes, I know.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You were going to show us that building.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just on the corner of Amsterdam and Seventy-second.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That means next street.
Rāmeśvara: They say when you go to the spiritual kingdom, you keep your same wife and your same children. That is their idea of marriage.
Prabhupāda: This is Amsterdam?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, Columbus Avenue. Next is Amsterdam.
Devotee (1): You walked here, śrīla Prabhupāda?
Rāmeśvara: Right here is number one hundred.
Prabhupāda: Here is.
Devotee (1): There is one hundred.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That's the building, Prabhupāda?
Devotee (1): It says "Watergate." Watergate Hotel.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Which floor did you live on?
Prabhupāda: And I was trying to purchase one house here.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Which floor did you live on, Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: I think third floor. And there was an electrician, he was my friend, one Jewish gentleman.
Devotee (1): You would walk on this street?
Prabhupāda: Yes. There is one building with temperature, a gauge? Here it is. This is Broadway. I was taking bath here in a station. Sometimes I was taking the station(?)... I think this building is new. I was going to Dr. Mishra's apartment for cooking.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What street did he live on?
Prabhupāda: He... Seventy-eighth. The Riverside corner. Yes, I was purchasing my goods from this store.
Devotee (1): Westend Superette.
Prabhupāda: They were charging, a little chili powder, twenty-five cents. In India it may be one anna.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You were purchasing here.
Prabhupāda: Yes, because I was going to cook my food there, so whatever I needed, I used to...
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: How come you didn't cook your food where you were living?
Prabhupāda: Huh? There was no place.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What was it like there?
Prabhupāda: It was an office room. That building is meant for office, not for residences.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You rented a room there?
Prabhupāda: Yes, I was paying seventy-two dollars a month.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: And where did you sleep? Was there a bed?
Prabhupāda: No, there was bed. There is toilet and water, but no bath and no cooking.
Devotee (1): Did you have to go there to bathe also?
Prabhupāda: Yes, I was taking bathing there.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Where did you... Did you sleep on the floor?
Prabhupāda: Yes, I had little platform. So on that platform...
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You are the most bold person in the whole world, Prabhupāda.
Devotee (1): We will never be able to do what you have done.
Prabhupāda: Alone I was doing that. And then gradually one or two boys began to come.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Did any of them come up here who are still with you now?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Only when you went downtown did the permanent men come. No one was visiting you up here? Hayagrīva?
Prabhupāda: No, they came there, Second Avenue.
Prabhupāda: All of them.
Rūpānuga: That's amazing. How long were you there, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: Here? About six months. Then when my things were stolen, then one boy was coming, his name was Paul Murray, he invited me that "You come to my loft." He took me to Bowery Street.
Devotee (1): I met that boy in Amherst. He has a boutique; he sells clothing.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You must have felt very bad when your things were stolen.
Prabhupāda: Yes, I felt little disappointed. But some friends, they offered me, "Never mind, you take my typewriter," somebody, "You take my tape recorder."
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh. Things were very easy here.
Hari-śauri: Not easy.
Rādhāvallabha: Kṛṣṇa always provides facilities.
Prabhupāda: So there was no difficulty. I got from other friends.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So when you moved down to the loft...
Prabhupāda: That boy, I gave him, Haridāsa, who was in San Francisco?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes.
Prabhupāda: So this Paul Murray... Haridāsa left New York, he went to San Francisco. His name was something else. What is this?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It's a steel factory. This is near the Ratha-yātrā carts.
Prabhupāda: Oh. Steel factory, but very good house?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes.
Hari-śauri: Paul Murray, he was the boy that went crazy?
Prabhupāda: Yes, he was LSD man.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: LSD man. He tried to attack you.
Prabhupāda: Not attack, but he showed some ferocious mood. I thought...
Devotee (1): Very dangerous.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So you thought to leave right away.
Prabhupāda: Yes, immediately.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You took all your things and went away.
Prabhupāda: Yes, I kept with Mukunda.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: And that boy was keeping meat in his refrigerator?
Prabhupāda: No, that is another boy, Yeargen.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: John Yeargens?
Prabhupāda: He's black.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You were staying with him?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Wow. Your Godbrothers could never believe this. (laughter)
Devotee (1): So at that time you did not think that anyone would accept your philosophy.
Prabhupāda: That I was certain. At the beginning I was...
Rāmeśvara: Prabhupāda was certain that they would accept.
Excerpt from and interview with Newsday Newspaper in New York on July 14, 1976.
Prabhupāda: Give him chair. They... Give...
Rāmeśvara: These gentlemen are a reporter and a photographer from a very large newspaper in Long Island called Newsday. This is Mr. Kevin Layhart...
Prabhupāda: So they require chair?
Rāmeśvara: He's asking if you'd like a chair.
Interviewer: No, this is all right.
Rāmeśvara: This is Mr. Bill Semm. He's a photographer from their newspaper.
Prabhupāda: Thank you. Sit down. You have seen our books?
Interviewer: Yes, I have. You translated all of those. (pause) (break) ...I wonder if you could tell me how you came to founding the movement here in the United States.
Prabhupāda: I was ordered by my spiritual master to do this work, so on his order I came in 1965. That is the beginning of this. I came alone with no help, no money. Somehow or other (laughs) I started.
Interviewer: How did you attract people? You landed in New York...
Prabhupāda: My attraction is this chanting. That's all.
Interviewer: Did you stand on street corners and chant?
Prabhupāda: Yes, I had no magic. Just like others. They say some..., show some magic. I never showed any magic.
Interviewer: No, I understand that.
Bali-mardana: Tompkins Park.
Prabhupāda: By Tompkins Park I was chanting, and these boys gradually came. First picture was published by the New York Times. Then we started branches in San Francisco, in Montreal, Boston. And then Los Angeles. In this way...
Interviewer: So you just chanted in Tompkins Park, and people came?
Prabhupāda: Yes, I was underneath a tree. I think that picture was published by that Voice, very big article, published.
Interviewer: What did you have to offer then. If you were chanting in the park and I said "What are you doing? Why are you chanting? What's your thing here?"
Bali-mardana: He said what did you have to offer.
Rāmeśvara: He said, "If someone had come up to you while you were chanting and said, 'Why are you doing this? What are you offering?' How would you have replied."
Prabhupāda: They came... Naturally they came and joined me and began to dance, that's all. That is the beginning.
Rāmeśvara: But what if they asked you, "What is this all about?"
Prabhupāda: No, this is for spiritual realization. If you chant, then, gradually, you realize yourself that you are a spiritual being; you are not this body. Then his spiritual life begins. Actually human life is meant for spiritual realization, and if one does not spiritually realize his identity, then he remains an animal. That is the difference between animal and man. Man is supposed to be spiritually realized.
Excerpt from an evening darśana with His Divine Grace in Tehran on August 10, 1976.
Prabhupāda: No, we have no attachment. We can sit down, in this nice building, we can sit down anywhere. We are not attached to this building; we are attached to push on Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is our business. And unconditionally we can push on Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Ahaituky apratihatā. It is not that if we don't get a nice building as Atreya ‰ṣi has supplied, then we cannot push on. No. That is not Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Just like I began this movement underneath a tree in New York, (sic) Tompkinson Square, what is that?
Devotees: Tompkins Square Park.
Prabhupāda: I used to sit down there. There was no mṛdaṅga. A small dundubi. And I was chanting three hours-Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa. And people used to come.
Nava-yauvana: In a very bad neighborhood. Very low-class neighborhood.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Low-class, high-class, we don't mind. We chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, that's all. That 26 Second Avenue also not very good neighborhood.
Jñānagamya: It's the worst place in the country. (laughter)
Prabhupāda: But I did not know. Mukunda suggested this is good place, all right, live here. And actually happened to be good place. Gradually, all my disciples came. So I had no disturbance. I was living in the Bowery Street, and on my door these bums were lying with urine and wine bottles and everything. Still, they were so respectful. When I'll come, "Yes, you can enter. Please." (laughter) I had no quarrel with them. They were very kind. They welcomed me, they opened the door, "Please go." They also knew that "He's a harmless..." So, platform, if you remain on the spiritual platform, this material condition cannot hamper you. Ahaituky apratihatā. Then yenātmā suprasīdati, in that condition you can execute. First of all, we have to ascertain on which platform we shall stand. And if you want to stand on the spiritual platform, nothing can check it. That is not conditioned. So why not stand directly to the spiritual platform and make you life successful? That is our preaching. People in general, they do not know the importance of the spiritual platform. Therefore they prefer to stay in the material platform. They have no sufficient education.
Excerpt from a room conversation with His Divine Grace in Vṛndāvana on September 4, 1976.
Prabhupāda: So we shall follow strictly. Here is God. Take. Because if you are serious after God, here is God, take Kṛṣṇa. This is our philosophy. Hm? What is the answer? If he's serious about God. I think this paper wrote that, that Village? "We thought God is dead."
Hari-śauri: Greenwich Village.
Prabhupāda: East Village? That paper? Long ago.
Harikeśa: Village Voice. The Village Voice.
Prabhupāda: Aha, yes. They told first, that "We thought God is dead." And actually they were dancing in the name of God. Acyutānanda and Brahmānanda. You have seen the picture showing?
Hari-śauri: In this French Back To Godhead.
Harikeśa: Oh, that's Acyutānanda too! Oh!
Prabhupāda: They were the first candidates to dance with my kīrtana.
Harikeśa: I didn't know that was Acyutānanda. I recognize Hayagrīva but...
Hari-śauri: That's not Hayagrīva, it's Brahmānanda.
Harikeśa: That's not Hayagrīva?
Prabhupāda: No. Hayagrīva...
Hari-śauri: It's a picture of Brahmānanda and Acyutānanda dancing, and Prabhupāda's playing on tabla, and Kīrtanānanda sat down on the corner.
Harikeśa: Boy, was he skinny in those days! This is Brahmānanda? And this is Kīrtanānanda Swami sitting down?
Prabhupāda: Just Brahmānanda, Kīrtanānanda standing together.
Prabhupāda: Oh, Acyutānanda.
Harikeśa: Acyutānanda. And Kīrtanānanda's sitting down.
Prabhupāda: Kīrtanānanda's sitting there?
Hari-śauri: Yes. He sat next to you. He's shaved up.
Harikeśa: They're so skinny.
Prabhupāda: This was published in New York Times.
Harikeśa: New York Times?
Prabhupāda: With picture. The other picture was published in Voice, Village Voice, yes. Yes. Big picture. One page. They felt something; otherwise, why they should publish? Appealed to them, that here is God.
Harikeśa: This is really a historic picture.
Prabhupāda: Underneath a tree I was sitting and speaking. That's all. And when I would come back from the park to my apartment, at least two dozen people will come with me.
Hari-śauri: Like a Pied Piper.
Hari-śauri: There's a story in the West about a man called the Pied Piper. He went to one place and played the flute and all the children followed him away from the village. You're like the Pied Piper who went to the West, took all the children.
Prabhupāda: If you know French language you can read it.
Harikeśa: He knows French.
Prabhupāda: Ah, you know. What is written there?
Hari-śauri: The article is by Hayagrīva, and the heading, it says, "Are you from India?" That was when he met you on the street.
Prabhupāda: Yes, he first of all met me on the street and asked me this question. And I brought him, "Yes, I have taken one apartment here. You come here with me." Then I came back to show him the apartment. And from the next day they began to come, Kīrtanānanda and Hayagrīva.
Hari-śauri: Second Avenue apartment?
Prabhupāda: Yes. And this Umāpati. Then Satsvarūpa. They began to come regularly.
Harikeśa: Mukunda, you were already...
Prabhupāda: Yes, Mukunda was before that.
Hari-śauri: When was this, then, when Acyutānanda and Brahmānanda came. That was after...
Prabhupāda: This was in the park, Tompkins Square.
Hari-śauri: That was after Hayagrīva and...
Prabhupāda: No, simultaneous.
Harikeśa: This was the fall of 1966. October maybe.
Prabhupāda: Yes. I was going in the park on Sunday and began from three. Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, that dundubhi. What is that, in the hand?
Harikeśa: A tom-tom.
Prabhupāda: Tom-tom. Yes.
Saurabha: He's explaining why you came to America and that in three years you spread the mantra all over the Western world.
Harikeśa: Yogeśvara has many pictures of this. I saw all of them once.
Prabhupāda: He is good collector.
Excerpt from a letter to Bhavānanda Dāsa written September 9, 1970
New York is very much attractive for me because New York is the starting place of my activities in your country and when I had no place of preaching, one Armenian gentleman offered me a two storied building in Brooklyn with a nice hall downstairs for only $125 per month, but at the time I was paying only $70 for my apartment and I could not bear at that time to pay 125 dollars. That situation continued for at least one year and then I was bold enough to accept an apartment for $200. In this way the Society extended with so many branches and now you are paying $1,450 per month, so it is very encouraging. I thank you very much that you have already allotted a nice apartment for me, an entire first floor, so if I had the wings of a dove I could fly immediately to Brooklyn and enter my apartment. Anyway, in future I wish to go there. For the time being keep it nicely. By the grace of Krsna, wherever I go you all my disciples give me a very nice place for residing and in Calcutta also Sriman Acyutananda and Sriman Jayapataka, who are going to be Sannyasis tomorrow, they have given me a very nice apartment. So I am now 75 years old. I never thought how far I shall be able to travel such a long distance. But as people say I am still younger, then maybe sooner or later I shall come back to New York again.
Excerpt from a room conversation with His Divine Grace in Vṛndavana on September 30, 1976
Prabhupāda: One boy, he was coming to me. In that hundred, about one hundred seventy-first street, all my things were stolen. My tape recorder, typewriter. Fortunately they did not touch my manuscript that I was typing, typing my books. So some money was stolen. Then one boy, he was coming to me, he told me, "Please come to my place." A loft. Bowery Street. I did not know the Bowery Street was not a good quarter. All bums and drunks. When I see there, one Jewish friend, he had electrical shop, he told me, "Swamiji, you have gone to Bowery Street? Oh, it is not your place." I did not know that it is full of drunkards. But they were lying down in front of my door, but they were very respectful. When I'd go, these drunkards comes and they respectfully give me ways. And they would lie down on urine and something like that, on water. Then the boy who took me there... He was Murray. His last title was Murray. And he was taking LSD. So since I went there he did not go to work. Otherwise, he was working and getting daily twenty-five dollars, in some dock he was working. Since I went, he stopped working, and I had to pay 125 dollars for the loft. One lady was the landlord. So I was going on. Some people were coming. That Mukunda began to come, his wife, and another black boy, half-black. Yeargen, Karlāpati. I gave him name, Karlāpati. He was coming. Then one day that boy Murray, he showed some crazy features. So I thought it is dangerous to live with him. So I approached Mukunda. Mukunda had no place, still I asked him. So I kept my goods at Mukunda's house and went to live with Yeargen. That is another loft. So in this way, with great hardship-sometimes here, sometimes there-in this way, I got two hundred dollars by selling books, and then I asked Mukunda to find out an apartment. He found this apartment, 26 Second Avenue. One storefront down and one living quarters up. So I found it very convenient. Down I would lecture and hold kīrtana. So he charged 75 dollars per month for the apartment, small apartment. I think in a space like this room or less than that, everything is there. There was kitchen, there was shower, and two rooms. I think less than this. Two-thirds of this room and everything there. So I shifted there. And there I remained up to May 1967, I think. Then I got heart attack. Then I went to Stinson Beach. Then I could not improve my health. No, first of all, I went to San Francisco. There also I could not sleep at night. There was throbbing in the heart. Kīrtanānanda, he was serving me. So many difficulties. Then I came back to India in 1967 July. Here also not very much improvement. Then again I went to Los Angeles. There also one symptom developed. Always some sound in the ear, gongongongongon. It was so disturbing. Almost half-mad. And then Los Angeles. Then I think I went to Seattle. In this way, in the beginning there were so many difficulties. Montreal. I took Canadian citizenship. America I could not get. So one gentleman in the immigration department, he said, "Swamiji, you go to Canada and from there you try. It will be easier." Actually, it acted. The Canadian consulate general was a black man, American black man. So in the consulate I applied for immigration, and he was sympathetic. He saw my Teachings of Lord Caitanya and he became attracted. So he settled up. "This gentleman must be allowed." So he expedited the matter within three months. And then I became immigrant in the U.S.A. Then again I came back in Los Angeles, and then we took that house, La Cienega.
Devotee: La Cienega Blvd.
Prabhupāda: That man also wanted to kick out after one year. Then we had no place. Then, by Kṛṣṇa's grace, we got this house present. At that time I got fifty thousand dollars. So I advanced them down payment. And it is 225 hundred, thousand. I think they are still paying two thousand. Twelve years. How many years passed?
Hari-śauri: That was in '69?
Prabhupāda: Yes. '68 I got immigration and '69. It is a long history, checkered history. So preaching is independant. If you have got desire, you can preach in any circumstances and Kṛṣṇa will help you. I have practically experienced. I went to your country without any help, without any money. Alone. And gradually things developed.
Excerpt from a room conversation with Ram Jethmalani, Member of Parliament, on April 16, 1977, Bombay
Prabhupāda: I was cooking in my hands. So for one man sitting I was cooking not less than for ten to fifteen men.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What was the idea?
Prabhupāda: The idea is everyone wanted some food prepared by me. They wanted my preparation. All right, do it.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: All the devotees in the early days.
Prabhupāda: No, not devot... When I was doing here and there. Like Dr. Mishra's place.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He was very fond of your cooking.
Prabhupāda: He got a good cook without paying. (laughs) And I had no other alternative. I liked it.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Was he paying for the foodstuffs?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. He was giving his place and foodstuff. I was preparing and eating and giving them. I will not pay him, no. Everything he was paying.