Prabhupāda: So blessings of Dr. O.B.L. Kapoor. He is a Vaiṣṇava. Although by age he is my younger brother, we are Godbrothers, and for the last forty years perhaps, since he was a student at Allahabad and I was doing some business there, we are known to each other. So his association is a great blessing for us. But this reception is actually not my reception. It is the reception of my foreign students. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted that His message should be broadcast all over the world, in every village and every town, and my Guru Mahārāja attempted. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura distributed his literature. I think, in 1896, he sent his first book, Teachings of Lord Caitanya, and I saw in McGill University that book. And I do not know. That was the year of my birth also, 1896. So somehow or other, later on, I came in contact with Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja in 1922, and he immediately asked me that "Why don't you go to the foreign countries and preach Caitanya Mahāprabhu's blessings." So I was little surprised. Especially at that time, I was very young man and I was newly married. I got one son also. So it was my mistake that I did not take up the words of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja immediately. I thought that "I am now married. Let me settle down." Perhaps if I would have joined from 1922, by the blessings of Guru Mahārāja, I could do more preaching work. Anyway, it is better late than never. After my retirement, I was living in the Keśī-ghāṭa, Nāthagrāma(?) Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Temple. But this Gosāijī, Gauracanda Gosāijī, he asked me, "Why don't you come here?" So I left that place. I came here. And with some arrangement, I took this room. But I was always thinking that "Guru Mahārāja asked me, and he asked also some of my other God-brothers, but up till now, nothing has been done. So let me try, at least, at the fag end of my life." So I left Vṛndāvana in 1970 and went to New York. Uh, not. 1965. At the age of 70 years. But for one year I had no place to live. I took some of my books, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, printed here, up to three parts, First Canto. And I was personally selling these books to the book sellers and to the persons any way. With great difficulty I was pulling on. And New York is a very expensive city, a great city, a great forest. (laughs) And I am poor man. So then it is a long history. Then I began chanting in the Tompkinson Square, and I think, in the first day this boy, Acyutānanda Mahārāja now, he and another boy, Brahmānanda Mahārāja, he is also preaching in Africa, these two boys danced, and this photograph was published in the New York Times with great details. That was the first encouragement. And after chanting in the park, many young men and girls used to come to my apartment and my meeting place. In this way I started, first in New York, then in San Francisco, then Montreal, then Boston. In this way, now we have got about one hundred branches all over the world, forty branches in America. Big, big cities, Australia, I mean to say, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Boston. What is that? Other cities? San Francisco.
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Fag end of my life
Conversations and Morning Walks
1972 Conversations and Morning Walks
Regarding your question whether husband and wife should live together in the temple, according to temple rules they should not live together in the temple. It does not give a good impression for brahmacaris and sannyasis. It is better if the grhasthas have a separate asrama, just like in Los Angeles the married disciples rent rooms together in one apartment house near the temple and live there separately, and in this way no one is disturbed, neither the brahmacaris are disturbed by householder life, nor the grhasthas are disturbed by brahmacaris. This is the best system, and if you and your good husband require to live together to advance nicely in Krishna Consciousness, that is very good proposal, but you should try to model the arrangement after the Los Angeles temple, and you should live separately, men and women, if you live in the temple itself.
It is a very important question, and I am glad that you have asked me, but I think from now on the GBC men may be consulted in all such matters of temple management and affairs. I have given them everything, so they shall be able to answer all questions, and if they cannot answer from their experience, then I have given answer in my books—and still if they cannot answer, they may ask me. But now we are expanding very rapidly with so many centers throughout the world, and every day I am receiving not less than ten to fifteen important letters. I am always very much encouraged to hear from my disciples and to reply them, but now I am old man and I have inclination for philosophy and translating, and if all day and night I am reading and answering and signing letters then I cannot utilize this, the fag end of my life, to give you so many nice literatures like the Vedas, Upanisads, Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and other books in our own Gaudiya line, like Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, Visvanatha Cakravarti and others. So if the GBC which I have appointed for this task will kindly now assist me in this way, by handling very expertly and with all good consideration all matters of managing, I shall devote my full time to giving you further nice books.
As you know, I am very eager to devote my full attention to writing my books when I return to Los Angeles. Therefore I am keeping Pradyumna with me and training him personally in Sanskrit work. I wish also that you join me when I return to Los Angeles so that the editing work may go on very efficiently. With both Pradyumna and yourself at my side then the work will go on very speedily. It is my serious desire to devote the fag end of my life to translating Srimad Bhagavatam and so many other Vaisnava literatures so by assisting me in this regards you will be performing the highest service to Krsna. I am anxious to hear from you concerning this proposal so you may send your reply care of our Hawaii branch and I shall receive it there.
I am very, very happy to hear from you all the good news about New York centre. Yes, from the very beginning I went to New York because I thought that Krishna Consciousness is the most important idea in the world, so let me go to that place, New York, which is the most important city in the world, and if I am able to do anything for Krishna and my Spiritual Master, even I am at the fag-end of my life, at least let me try for it there. So my dreams have all come true, and all of you nice boys and girls are getting the credit. When I was alone in your New York, I was thinking, who will listen to me in this horrible, sinful place? All right, I shall stay little longer, at least I can distribute a few of my books, that is something. But Krishna was all along preparing something I could not see, and He brought you to me one by one, sincere American boys and girls, to be trained-up for doing the work of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Now I can see that it is a miracle. Otherwise, your city of New York, one single old man, with only a few books to sell for barely getting eatables, how he can survive, what to speak of introducing God-consciousness movement for saving the humankind? That is Krishna's miracle. Now I can see it.
You have written to say you are 79 years old. I am also 78. You are such a learned medical man, if you preach Krsna consciousness to people it will be well received.
- yad yad acarati sresthas tad tad evetaro janah
- sa yat pramanam kurute lokas tad anuvartate
- (BG 3.21)
I wish that in the fag end of life if you and I together can preach Krsna Consciousness all over the world, people will be benefited and all problems of the world will be solved. That is my conviction. I take the opportunity of sending this letter with your cousin-brother Mr. Zazumdar. He is a nice gentleman, almost of our age. I talked with him and felt great pleasure. Sometimes I think of going to Allahabad. So whenever I shall get the opportunity I may go, as I like the place. I am obliged to you for your remembering me even after so many years passed when we were together in Prayag Pharmacy.