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ISKCON 50 Meditations: October 25, 2015

By: for ISKCON News on Oct. 25, 2015

Prabhupada wrote to his Godbrother Tirtha Maharaj, who had become president of the Gaudiya Math, to remind him that their spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, had a strong desire to open preaching centers in the Western countries.  Srila Bhaktisiddhanta had several times attempted to do this by sending sannyasis to England and other European countries, but Prabhupada noted, “without any tangible results.”

I have come to this country with the same purpose in view, and as far as I can see, here in America there is very good scope for preaching the cult of Lord Caitanya ...

Prabhupada pointed out that there were certain Mayavadi groups who had buildings, but were not attracting many followers.  But he had talked with Swami Nikhilananda of the Ramakrishna Mission, who had given the opinion that the Americans were suitable for bhakti-yoga

I am here and see a good field for work, but I am alone without men and money.  To start a center here, we must have our own building. 

If the leaders of the Gaudiya Math would consider opening their own branch in New York, Srila Prabhupada would be willing to manage it.  But without their own house, he reported, they could not conduct a mission in the City.  Srila Prabhupada wrote that they could open centers in many cities throughout the country if his Godbrothers would cooperate.  He repeatedly made the point that although other groups did not have the genuine spiritual philosophy of India, they were buying many buildings.  The Gaudiya Math, however, had nothing. 

If you agree to cooperate with me as I have suggested above, then I shall extend my visa period.  My present visa ends soon.  But if I receive your confirmation immediately, then I shall extend my visa period.  Otherwise, I shall return to India.

Prabhupada had always done much preaching by letter writing.  When he was alone as a householder in India he had written many letters to influential leaders, including a prophetic letter to Mahatma Gandhi asking him to quit politics and study Bhagavad-gita or die an inglorious death.  He had written to big businessmen and top politicians.  They were not mere formal letters asking for funds, but deeply personal, sincere appeals and filled with philosophical explanations of the need to take up the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita to solve all the social, political and economic problems of the present day.  Prabhupada did not get much favorable response from these letters, but he was undaunted in attempting them.  He was like a voice crying in the wilderness.  Now alone in New York City, penniless and practically homeless, he appealed directly for funds to purchase a building for a temple.  He wrote to Godbrothers in the Gaudiya Math and to pious, wealthy business persons.  

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