So, ladies and gentlemen, this is my spiritual master's appearance anniversary day. So as Dr. Kapoor has explained to you that Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura changed his life, similarly my life was also changed by this great saintly person. I was inclined to nationalist movement, follower of Mahatma Gandhi. So in 1922, at that time I was manager in Dr. Bose's Laboratory. I was young man, and just three or four years before, I was married, and I got a son also. But one my friend, Mr. Mullik—he's no more existing—he informed me that "One sādhu has come to Calcutta, Gauḍīya Maṭha sādhu. So would you like to see him?" At that time I was nationalist, and I had no very good experience, so I denied: "Oh, I have seen so many swamis. What is the use of going there, wasting time?" But he insisted and took me to Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. And immediately after seeing us, he changed my life. He immediately said that “You are all educated young men. Why don’t you preach the cult of Caitanya Mahāprabhu in the Western world?” I said, "Who will hear your cult of Caitanya Mahāprabhu? You are dependent nation, and who will hear? First of all you must have independence." Because I was inclined to independence movement. I left my educational career in 1920, joined this movement. So he argued, and he defeated me, and there was long talk. Then after coming down on the street, my friend Mr. Mullik asked me, "What do you think of this sādhu?" So I appreciated. I said, “Yes, now Caitanya Mahāprabhu's cult is in the hands of an able personality. Now it will be spread all over the world, I think.”
Then I was transferred from Calcutta to Allahabad for business concern, but I was always thinking of this sādhu—I am giving a short history—but my life was changed. Of course, I was born in a Vaiṣṇava family, Caitanya cult was my life and soul, but due to education and bad association, or the modern association, I was declined. Now this Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura again revived my consciousness. In this way, in 1933, I became regularly a disciple of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. And then in 1936, before his passing away, I wrote one letter to my Guru Mahārāja, that "You have got many disciples. They are giving you direct service—they are very fortunate. But I am a gṛhastha, so I could not do anything for you. So if you kindly order me something to do, then I can try for it." So again he said the same thing, that "Whatever you have learned from us, try to preach in English."
Then I started this Back to Godhead magazine in 1944, on this very birthday of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, and I was looking forward for the opportunity how to implement this order of my Guru Mahārāja. Then in 1965—before that I was translating Bhāgavatam—and when three books were published, then I prepared myself to go to America, singlehanded. Not for getting any material reputation, but simply to try, because I knew my Guru Mahārāja was very, very anxious to preach this cult. So when I saw that there were other, my big Godbrothers—I cannot say that they could not do anything; at least there was no any tangible result—then at the age of seventy years, I thought, "Let me try if I can do something." So I left India in 1965 and went to New York, thinking, "What shall I do? I do not know what for Kṛṣṇa has brought me in this place without any friend, without any money." I had only forty rupees with me, and a return ticket in the Scindia Navigation Companies. So for two, three months, six months, there was no response. I was simply maintaining myself by selling my books. But these young boys, American boys, gradually they joined me in 1966. I was chanting in a park—what is that, Tompkinson (sic) Square?