ISKCON 50 Meditations: April 26, 2016

How difficult it was becoming to preach in America among these crazy people!  He had written prophetically in his poem the day he had arrived in Boston Harbor, “My dear Lord, I do not know why You have brought me here.  Now You can do with me whatever You like.  But I guess You have some business here, otherwise why would You bring me to this terrible place?”  What about his scheduled classes?  What about David – should he go back and try to talk with the boy?  This had been David’s first fit of violence, but there had been other tense moments.  David had a habit of leaving the soap on the floor of the shower stall and Prabhupada had asked him not to because it was a hazard.  But David wouldn’t listen.  Prabhupada had continued to remind him, and one day David had gotten angry and shouted at him.  But there was no real enmity.  Even today’s incident had not been a matter of personal differences – the boy was a victim.

Prabhupada walked quickly.  He had free passage on the Scindia Line.  He could go home to Vrindavana.  But his spiritual master had ordered him to come here.  “By the strong desire of Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura,” he had written while crossing the Atlantic, “the holy name of Lord Gauranga will spread throughout the countries of the Western world.”  Before nightfall he would have to find some place to stay, a way to keep up the momentum of his preaching.  This is what it meant to be working without government sponsorship, without the support of any religious organization, without a patron.  It meant being vulnerable and insecure.  Prabhupada faced the crisis as a test from Krishna.  The instruction of  Bhagavad-gita was to depend on Krishna for protection: “In all activities just depend upon Me and work always under My protection.  In such devotional service be fully conscious of Me … You will pass over all the obstacles of conditional life by My grace.”

He decided to phone Carl Yeargens and ask him to help.  Hearing the Swami’s voice on the phone – it was an emergency! – Carl at once agreed that Prabhupada could move in with him and his wife, Eva.  Their place was close by, on Centre Street, five blocks west of Bowery near Chinatown.  Carl would be right over.

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