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(Cover of Time magazine)

"Yes there was all darkness in New York on the 10th instant and it was not a happy incident. I learn that many people remained in the elevators and in the subway trains for more than seven to eight hours in darkness. I do not read newspapers but there must have been some mishaps also which we may not know. That is the way of material civilization too much depending on machine. At any time the whole thing may collapse and therefore we may not be self complacent depending so much on artificial life. The modern life of civilization depends wholly on electricity and petrol and both of them are artificial for man. You will be surprised to know that I had to take help of the old crude method of lightening by burning some vegetable oil and use the small bowl as lamp to save myself from the extreme darkness. I could not procure any candle from the shop but by the Grace of Krishna one friend Mr. Bill happened to come and he arranged for some fruits and candle. Yes in India we such experience failure of electricity but I was surprised to see the same thing in America. In India the village people say that in Europe (Vilait) also there is ass. And I saw it practically that it is true. Even in such an advanced country there may be possibility such failure but failure in America is more dangerous than that in India. In India they are not so much dependent on electricity but in America the whole activity is dependent on electricity and I think on that night it was a great deal of loss to the American nation."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Sally Agarwal, November 13, 1965)

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(New York skyline during the Great Northeast Blackout of 1965—click to enlarge)
(Front page headlines, November 10, 1965—click to enlarge)