760608 - Conversation A - Los Angeles
Prabhupāda: Hitler one side, fought with the Britishers, smashed them. This is one cause. Another cause: Hitler helped Subhas Chandra Bose to organize I.N.A. Two causes, the Britishers to go away. Otherwise, Gandhi's noncooperation movement was started in 1917, and we got our independence in 1947.
Indian man: Thirty years.
Prabhupāda: Thirty years he could not do anything. And Subhas Chandra Bose in 1940 or '42, he went out of India and organized this I.N.A with the help of Hitler, and the Britishers were obliged to leave India. What do you think? That is my estimation.
Indian man: Yes, I think so too. Yes, and he is also . . .
Prabhupāda: And Hitler not only helped Subhas Chandra Bose to organize this I.N.A. organization, but by fighting with the Britishers, he smashed . . . the British lion was bandaged. There was a cartoon picture. I've seen in that way. The lion is lying down and bandaged, (makes some gestures) here and here and here, there, patched, British lion. (laughter) That's a fact.
Indian man: Subhas Chandra Bose, he was in, I think he was . . .
Prabhupāda: He was my college friend. We studied in the same college.
Indian man: Is that right?
Prabhupāda: He was one year senior to me. He appeared from the year 1919, I appeared in 1920.
Indian man: Yes. And then he was in a plane crash? Or . . .?
Prabhupāda: There is a great history.
Indian man: Yes. I don't know if it is true. (break) . . . he has taken sannyāsa, and just gone out somewhere.
Prabhupāda: So anyway, although you have got independence, India, oh, what is the profit?
Hari-śauri: The independence is just about to come, Śrīla Prabhupāda, when you start preaching there. (Trivikrama enters and pays obeisances)
Prabhupāda: The real sva-raja is go back to home, back to Godhead.
Trivikrama: Śrīla Prabhupāda, today I made arrangements for my tickets. I'll be leaving Saturday. So you're leaving Friday, so it's just nice.
Prabhupāda: You're going to . . .?
Trivikrama: Hong Kong first, make sure Dai Nippon gets printed nicely.
Prabhupāda: They have got a press in Hong Kong?
Trivikrama: Yes. At least an office. I'm not . . . Tamāla Kṛṣṇa said there was a press, but I'm not sure.
Prabhupāda: (Hari-śauri is looking at something) What is this?
Hari-śauri: It says here that this is possibly the very first newspaper article of your arrival in the West. This is, er, this was written at the time that you . . . the very first month you were there.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Butler.
Trivikrama: It says you may stay for one month. (laughs)
Hari-śauri: It says you have come for one month as a commissioner to preach bhakti-yoga in the West.
Prabhupāda: Called me "Ambassador." It is a very old article. Where you got it?
Trivikrama: From one . . . Candanācārya had a copy.
Prabhupāda: Oh. It was in Butler in 19 . . .
Devotee: You were staying in the YMCA.
Prabhupāda: Yes. (break) So I did not say anything seriously, but perhaps he took it very seriously, Gopal's father. So he might have written to Gopal that, "Swami Bhaktivedanta wants to go to America. If you sponsor, then he can go." So whatever the correspondence was there between the father and son, I did not know. I simply asked him, "Why don't you ask your son Gopal to sponsor so that I can go there? I want to preach there." So after some months, three, four months, the No-Objection Certificate from the Indian embassy in New York, Gopal sent to me, yes, that he had already sponsored my arrival there for one month. So all of a sudden I got the paper, No-Objection Certificate, by the Indian embassy. After so much inquiry, I learned that so much inquiry was done and so on, so on. Then I tried to take a passport and paper process. So I got the passport. Then I approached that Sumati Morarji. She once gave me five hundred rupees in exchange of my Bhāgavata book, so I approached her that, "Give me one ticket." They have got their shipping company, Scindia Navigation. So she said: "Swāmījī, you are so old, you are taking this so responsibility. Do you think it is right?" "No, it is all right." (laughs) At that time, I was seventy years old. So all the secretary, they thought that, "Swāmījī is going to die there." Anyway, they gave me the ticket, one return free ticket by their ship. Then arrangement was going on. So there is another process to get a P-form. You know.
Indian man: P-form.
Prabhupāda: P-form sanctioned by the state government, yes, state government. So it was applied for. It was . . . no sanction was coming. Then I went to the State Bank of India, the officer Mr. Bhattacari. So he told me: "Swāmījī, you are sponsored by private man, so we cannot accept it. If you are invited by some institution, then we could consider, but you are invited by a private man for one month, and, after one month, if you are in difficulty, and there will be so much obstacles and so on." "Well, I have already prepared everything to go." So I said that, "You . . . what you have done?" "No, I have decided not to sanction your P-form." "No, no, don't do this. You better send to your superior. It should not be done like that." So he took my request, and he sent the file to Chief Officer of Foreign Exchange, something like that. Anyway, he is the supreme man in the State Bank of India. So I went to see him. So I asked his secretary that, "You have got such file? You kindly put to Mr . . ."—his name was Mr. Rao—"I want to see him." So the secretary agreed, and he put the file and put my slip that I wanted to see him. I was waiting. So Mr. Rao came personally. He said: "Swāmījī, I have passed your case. Don't worry." (laughs) In this way.
Hari-śauri: He knew you from before, or . . .?
Prabhupāda: No. He did not know me. So somebody saw him in Bombay, so he reminded that, "I know Swāmījī when he went to USA." Somebody was telling me.
Hari-śauri: He remembered.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. The name is there, he remembered. After all, he is officer. He knows so many things. So it is a great history. (laughs) There was two days I was attacked in heart on the ship. So hardship.
Trivikrama: Then you had a dream?
Hari-śauri: What was that, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: That is . . . (laughs) The dream was I must come here.
Hari-śauri: It was some instruction that you got?
Prabhupāda: The dream was that Kṛṣṇa in His many forms was bowing the row . . . what is called?
Hari-śauri: Rowing the boat.
Prabhupāda: And when I arrived in Boston I wrote that poetry.
Hari-śauri: If you were only sponsored for one month, how is it that you were able to extend your visa all the time?
Prabhupāda: I was extending. The immigration officer came in Boston in my boat. He inquired about this. So he asked me, "Sir, Swāmījī, how long you want to stay?" So I thought that I have no shelter, I have no money, but I have got the return ticket. So I did not know how long I . . . (laughs) He asked me, "How long you want to stay?" So I thought, "In these circumstances, I can stay at most two months, because I have no means where to stay, how to eat, and where shall I go. So I may struggle for two months." So I told him, "I may stay at most two months." He immediately, two months, sanctioned immediately. I could not think that I shall be able to . . . (laughs) That one month were there, sponsoring. So I thought, "Another one month, that's all," that "This gentleman has sponsored for one month. So that is guaranteed. Then I can stay another one month. That's all." So after that, so I was staying here and there without any fixity. So I was extending the visa. Each time, I was paying ten dollars. Another three months, another three months, like that. And when one year was finished, they refused: "No extension."
Hari-śauri: But by that time you had some kind of . . .
Hari-śauri: . . . organization going?
Prabhupāda: Yes, hmm, at that time I was at Second Avenue. So then Raya Rāma took the help of a lawyer. He took the case, that he'll give me permanent residence. So he was extending only, and each time he was taking hundred and fifty dollars. So in this way, I entered in 1965, September, up to July—no, up to May—and in the May, month of May, there was heart stroke.
Hari-śauri: That was when, '67?
Prabhupāda: Sixty-six. Yes. '66. Yes, after one and a half year.
Hari-śauri: No. That was '67 then.
Prabhupāda: Because the time was taken, extension. Then, 1967, in July, I thought, "Now the health is broken." I was very sick after heart stroke. So I thought, "Now I shall not exist. So let me go to Vṛndāvana and die there." So I came back in July 1967. So this Brahmānanda and others, they were crying when I got on the boat. Hmm? The heart was so weak . . .
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: You went back to India by boat?
Prabhupāda: No, by plane. I think . . .
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: From San Francisco.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. At that time, I got some money. Five thousand was given by Jayānanda. He gave me five thousand, and Brahmānanda also gave me. So I spent some money for acquiring some . . . I had about six thousand. So then I purchased ticket coming back with Kīrtanānanda. In this way, came back to India.
Hari-śauri: You were just saying . . .
Prabhupāda: And again I paid five thousand rupees to Kīrtanānanda to come back. (aside) What is that?
Rādhā-vallabha: Kirtirāja Prabhu bought this for your rocking chair.
Rādhā-vallabha: Should I put it on?
Prabhupāda: Rock and roll. (laughter)
Hari-śauri: So when did you come back again?
Prabhupāda: I came back in 1968, no, '67, December.
Hari-śauri: Oh, you weren't gone long then.
Trivikrama: Six months.
Prabhupāda: Yes, July to December.
Trivikrama: And your health was better?
Prabhupāda: Not very good. So many troubles. When I came back there's always a bad sound going on, gong-gong-gong, in my brain. Very disturbing, in this Los Angeles. I was staying in some . . . I forgot.
Trivikrama: La Cienega?
Prabhupāda: Yes, huh?
Trivikrama: In La Cienega?
Prabhupāda: No, no, La Cienega, later on. I was staying near Pico. Is that Pico? There was a . . . I think Washington Boulevard? Near there. I forgot that quarter. It is black quarter. And this boy—who is he now? Aniruddha? What is his name?
Prabhupāda: No, no. Aniruddha.
Prabhupāda: No, no. Aniruddha.
Devotee: Oh, Aniruddha.
Prabhupāda: Yes, he was taking care of me here in Los Angeles. And they used to come from San Francisco. First of all I came to San Francisco from India. Then I came to Los Angeles, to start a center here. I think Dayānanda took charge of this center.
Devotee: I was at the Press building, and I saw a devotee had some stationery. Dayānanda was the . . . (indistinct) . . . and Gargamuni was the secretary.
Hari-śauri: So Los Angeles center was opened on your arrival back from India. And up to that time there was New York and . . .?
Prabhupāda: San Francisco.
Devotee: And Montreal?
Prabhupāda: No, Montreal later. I think, maybe, Montreal first. (end)