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ISKCON 50 Meditations: October 12, 2015

By: for ISKCON News on Oct. 12, 2015

Prabhupada, you did not come to America to sleep at a YMCA and spend your days at the apartment of middle class Americans where your main association was a friendly housewife. But you patiently and humbly accepted your situation at Butler Pennsylvania as a first testing ground. Your stay there was helpful. You got firsthand experience of American life and gained confidence that your health was strong and your message was communicable. You were glad to see that America had the necessary ingredients for your vegetarian diet and that the people could understand your English. Your sponsor in Butler was for one month, and in Boston the immigration official stamped your passport with an expected stay in America of only two months. Initially, you did not have great expectations. 

Prabhupada spent his autumn weeks peacefully and actively in Butler. He gave a number of one-time lectures in colleges and institutions and spoke every evening with guests at the Agarwal home. In the afternoon and the early hours of the morning, he continued working at his herculean task of translating and writing purports to the entire Srimad-Bhagavatam (twelve cantos), now on the Second Canto. He had no apparent plans on how to finance the printing of his books and arrange for their wide distribution, but he was “blindly” following the order of his spiritual master to print books in English for the people of the West. When one surrenders to following the instructions of the spiritual master, he becomes empowered by Krishna and Lord Caitanya and by Their will anything was possible.  

The students at the college seemed interested in what he had to say, but the occasional one-time lectures gave no opportunity for follow-up or development of personal relationships. Nor did any of the students seem interested in seeking out a spiritual master. The guests at the Agarwal home saw him mostly as a curiosity, and the Agarwals presented him as visiting America only to promote his books and not interested in followers. So the situation was limited, but Prabhupada saw it as Krishna’s arrangement. As he had written in “Markine Bhagavata Dharma” when he had just landed at the Boston Pier, “My dear Lord Krishna, You are so kind to this useless soul, but I do not know why You have brought me here. Now You can do with me as You like ... O Lord! I am just like a puppet in Your hands. So if You have brought me here to dance, then make me dance, make me dance, O Lord make me dance as You like.” 

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