There are two ways of association-by vāṇī and by vapuḥ. Vāṇī means words, and vapuḥ means physical presence. Physical presence is sometimes appreciable and sometimes not, but vāṇī continues to exist eternally. Therefore we must take advantage of the vāṇī, not the physical presence. The Bhagavad-gītā, for example, is the vāṇī of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Although Kṛṣṇa was personally present five thousand years ago and is no longer physically present from the materialistic point of view, the Bhagavad-gītā continues.
In this connection we may call to memory the time when I was fortunate enough to meet His Divine Grace Śrīla Prabhupāda, sometime in the year 1922. Śrīla Prabhupāda had come to Calcutta from Śrīdhāma Māyāpur to start the missionary activities of the Gauḍīya Maṭha. He was sitting in a house at Ulta Danga when through the inducement of an intimate friend, the late Śrīmān Narendranath Mullik, I had the opportunity to meet His Divine Grace for the first time. I do not remember the actual date of the meeting, but at that time I was one of the managers of Dr. Bose's laboratory in Calcutta. I was a newly married young man, addicted to Gandhi's movement and dressed in khadi. Fortunately, even at our first meeting His Divine Grace advised me to preach the cult of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in English in the Western countries. Because at that time I was a complete nationalist, a follower of Mahatma Gandhi's, I submitted to His Divine Grace that unless our country were freed from foreign subjugation, no one would hear the message of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu seriously.