Prabhupada’s mission was really not yet underway. He was confined to a windowless chamber in a hatha yoga studio and was not allowed to preach to Dr. Mishra’s students. He knew he needed a place of his own, but he had no money. So far his only plan was to write to wealthy patrons in India. He had located a building on 72nd Street which he thought was suitable and was relatively inexpensive considering Manhattan real estate – even in 1965 the price was one hundred thousand dollars with a twenty thousand dollar cash down payment. Prabhupada thought that if he could get the twenty thousand dollars from India, he could move in, open the doors, start regular programs of kirtana, lecturing and prasadam distribution and the Americans would come forward and donate enough to pay the monthly mortgage payments. It was a little far-fetched to think he would immediately have enough funds to provide immediate ample prasadam distribution and quickly develop a supporting congregation to pay the mortgage. So far he had not found any supporters in America, but then he had not yet been able to preach to them and show the worth of his mission. The proceeds from the sales of the Srimad-Bhagavatam in the book stores he had placed them in were negligible. Although he had not yet received any favorable responses from the correspondence he had sent to patrons in India – it was hard enough to get any response from them – he cancelled his plan to return immediately to India and went ahead and extended his visa to stay in America.
Externally his prospects were not good, but he was depending on the will of guru and Krishna. Even when he was at sea on the Jaladuta and had nothing at all and had just survived two heart attacks, he had optimistic views of his mission, as he had expressed in an intimate poem.
“Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, who is very dear to Lord Gauranga, the son of Mother Saci, is unparalleled in his service to the Supreme Lord Krishna. He is that great saintly spiritual master who bestows intense devotion to Krishna at different places throughout the world.
“By his strong desire, the Holy Name of Lord Gauranga will spread throughout all the countries of the western world. In all the cities, towns and villages on earth, the oceans, seas, rivers and streams, everyone will chant the Holy Name of Krishna.
“As the vast mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu conquers all directions, a flood of transcendental ecstasy will certainly cover the land. When all the sinful, miserable living entities become happy, the Vaisnava’s desire is then fulfilled.
“Although my Guru Maharaj ordered me to accomplish this mission, I am not worthy or fit to do it. I am very fallen and insignificant; therefore, O Lord, now I am begging for Your mercy that I may become worthy, for You are the wisest and most experienced of all.”
Judged by outward appearances, his situation looked somewhat hopeless, but seeing in the light of the mission that drove him, he maintained strong hopes.[ meditations ]