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ISKCON 50 Meditations: October 17, 2015

By: for ISKCON News on Oct. 17, 2015

Prabhupada knew no one in New York City, but he had a contact: Dr. Ramamurti Mishra.  He had written Dr. Mishra from Butler and included a letter of introduction that had been given to him by a respectable gentleman in Bombay, Paramananda Mehra.  He had also phoned Dr. Mishra, who welcomed Prabhupada to join him in New York.  As a sannyasi, Prabhupada was used to picking up and leaving one place for another.  As a mendicant preacher, he had no remorse about leaving behind the quiet life of the Butler YMCA, and he had no attachment for the domestic habitat where he could cook and talk with Sally about vacuum cleaners, frozen foods and American ways.  But why had he gone to Butler? 

And why was he going to New York?  He saw it as Krishna’s grace.  As a pure devotee of Krishna, he wanted to be an instrument in distributing Krishna consciousness.  Mrs. Agarwal was sorry to see him go.  “After a month, I really loved the Swami.”  (Sally Agarwal has become something of a celebrity in ISKCON.  She attended the 2015 Festival of Inspiration in New Vrindavan and spoke to the assembled devotees about her relationship with Prabhupada.  She proudly announced that it was she who had signed the sponsorship papers for the Swami to come to America, since Gopal was not a U.S. citizen.  After her talk, the devotees gathered around her and asked her more questions about Prabhupada in Butler.)

Sally said she felt “sick” to see Prabhupada go.  She stayed up until two in the morning before he had to leave with Gopal to catch the bus to Pittsburgh.  Before going to New York he was going to Philadelphia, where he had arranged a lecture at the University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Norman Brown, a professor of Sanskrit.  Before leaving, Gopal gave Prabhupada a handful of change in a sock and told him how to use the shower at the bus station and how to use the automat restaurants in New York City – “and that’s all he left us with.”

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