(Click to enlarge painting of Srila Prabhupada meeting Srila Bhaktisiddhanta for the first time, 1922)
"So my Guru Mahārāja ordered me long, long ago, when I was twenty-five years old, my Guru Mahārāja ordered me to go to the foreign countries and preach Lord Caitanya's message. But somehow or other I could not assimilate his order until I was seventy years old.
But it was better late than never. So also I was trying how to make a successful tour for preaching Caitanya Mahāprabhu's message. So by the grace of my Guru Mahārāja and by your blessings, I went to the Western countries and had a very good response. Very good response.
I went there empty-handed, with forty rupees in my pocket and free ticket, return ticket, by the Scindia Steam Navigation Company. And for one year I had no place to live, I had no money to eat; still, I was going here and there. Then in 1966... I went in America in 1965.
After struggling for one year, in 1966 I incorporated this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, International Society for Krishna Consciousness. So some of our friends suggested, 'Why not make God Consciousness Society?' and 'No. Krishna Consciousness. If I make God Consciousness, that will be a vague task.' Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam... Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇah (Bs. 5.1). Therefore distinctly should be the Society for Krishna consciousness.
So these boys, when I started my class, 26 Second Avenue, some of these students were coming, and then I started my kīrtana at the Tompkinson Square Park, sitting on the ground, floor. These boys and the girls were coming. That was the first publicity, made in the New York Times, about my kīrtana, and gradually it developed."
(Srila Prabhupada Arrival Lecture, New Delhi, November 10, 1971)