Srila Prabhupada was much more than the spiritual master of a few thousand disciples. He was truly a spiritual teacher for the millennium, because he revealed the pure spiritual path that humanity can follow for thousands of years to come.
Just hearing that Swamiji was coming back to New York, the devotees, having felt separation from their Spiritual Master, were filled now with so much bliss. Their joyful shouts of “Haribol!” filled the temple at Kirtan.
With Krsna consciousness flourishing on New York’s Lower East Side, Srila Prabhupada felt he could entrust the New York center to his followers and expand the movement west.
In 1952 Srila Prabhupada began preaching Krsna consciousness in Jhansi. With the support of local doctors and businessmen, he began an organization—the League of Devotees—dedicated to spreading Krsna consciousness in India and abroad.
With World War II raging in Europe and the Far East, Srila Prabhupada launches BACK TO GODHEAD magazine and addresses the issues of the day from a Krsna conscious viewpoint.
Absolute is sentient, Thou hast proved, Impersonal calamity Thou hast removed. This gives us a life Anew and fresh. Worship Thy feet, Your Divine Grace.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati was dedicated to using the printing press as the best medium for large-scale distribution of Krsna consciousness. He thought of the printing press as a brhat mrdanga, a big mrdanga.
Abhay wanted to have his own cart and to perform his own Ratha-yatra, and naturally he turned to his father for help. Gour Mohan agreed, but there were difficulties. When he took his son to several carpenter shops, he found that he could not afford to have a cart made.
At our first meeting I started arguing with him, sometimes foolishly, sometimes methodically and logically. The first epithet I received from him was “You are a mudha, a big fool.”
Srila Prabhupada (then known as Abhay Charan De) was skeptical: he had seen too many “holymen” at his father’s house—professional beggars, ganja smokers, and the like. But this person was different . . .
The temple at 26 2nd Ave was thriving, but now it was time to break new ground. The most fertile field was San Francisco’s Haight-Ashhurv, where the cultural revolution that had begun on the Lower East Side was about to explode with a mass migration of searching, frustrated young people.
In darkness have I traveled, In nescience was I born. For eons had I journeyed In existence forlorn, My knowledge had been covered, Forgetful. and blind, In different planes I’d hovered, But soon I lost my mind.
Since he started the public chanting of Hare Krsna in Washington Square Park, in the heart of Greenwich Village, Srila Prabhupada had been sending out small “parades” of devotees, chanting and playing hand cymbals through the streets of the Lower East Side.
Srila Prabhupada had come to San Francisco as the hippie movement was reaching its height. He found his small temple on Frederick Street, in the heart of the Haight-Ashbury district was becoming a spiritual haven for troubled, searching, and sometimes desperate young people.
San Francisco, 1967. Prabhupada’s temple had become an integral part of the youth scene in the Haight-Ashbury district. Now, unexpectedly, the Lord of the universe came to the temple through the agency of a local import store.
Srila Prabhupada had planted the seed of Krsna consciousness in the fertile ground of New York’s Lower East Side and seen it take root and flourish. But when he came to San Francisco, his International Society for Krishna Consciousness truly began to blossom.
An astrologer did a horoscope for the child, and the family was made jubilant by the auspicious reading. The astrologer made a specific prediction: When this child reached the age of seventy, he would cross the ocean, become a great exponent of religion, and open 108 temples.
Though some of the New York disciples had objected, Srila Prabhupada was still scheduled for the Mantra-Rock Dance at the Avalon Ballroom. It wasn’t proper, they had said, for the devotees out in San Francisco to ask their spiritual master to go to such a place.
During the two months spent at 26 Second Avenue, Srila Prabhupada had achieved what had formerly been only a dream. He now had a temple, a duly registered society, full freedom to preach, and a band of initiated disciples.
On a small press Srila Prabhupada’s disciples printed the first BACK TO GODHEAD magazine, one hundred copies, and then distributed them by bicycle.