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Memories (#123)
Your invitation to visit Mexico sounds very nice

"My program is now to go to Mexico City and S. America on invitation from Hrdayananda Goswami. I will probably be stopping over in London on the way. I should arrive in Mexico City a little after mid-Jan.”

(Srila Prabhupada letter, Bombay, 27 December, 1974)

Srila Prabhupada remained in Vrndavana, but soon fell sick. August and September 1974 became a period of serious illness for Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada’s ill-health had persisted for some time now -- an imbalance of pitta and vayu (bile and air), he said.

Of course, Srila Prabhupada’s preaching spirit could not be dampened and he would go on taking risks -- accepting more disciples, travelling widely despite his advanced years, and vigorously preaching wherever he went. But this crisis reminded his disciples that they had to avoid acting in ways that would disturb his health.

His Divine Grace authorized a letter to be sent to all temples informing them to perform 24-hour kirtana to pray for his recovery. “Kirtana,” Prabhupada had said, “is what actually gives us life”. And so for the latter half of August 1974, devotees all over the world in the temples performed prayerful kirtana vigils throughout the day and night.

The mood was sombre and intense. Some devotees wondered if they would ever see Srila Prabhupada again. After two full weeks, news came that the immediate crisis was over. Prabhupada’s fever had broken, and his health was improving. The emergency kirtanas could now stop, and work could proceed as usual.

Correspondence with his secretary for Mexico

Srila Prabhupada’s extensive preaching directly after his life-threatening illness demonstrated that he was totally transcendental to the state of his health.

He soon took up active correspondence with the newly appointed secretary for Mexico, H.H. Hrdayananda das Goswami. His Divine Grace started getting ready for his second trip to Mexico City. His Divine Grace wrote:

“Your invitation to visit Mexico and Caracas sounds very nice, and I shall be very pleased to come there. I shall be going to Hawaii sometime in December, and than I can come wherever you like.”

(Srila Prabhupada letter, Bombay, 31 October, 1974)

From Honolulu I can go directly to Mexico City

Srila Prabhupada was working very hard to make true his promise to Sri Sri Radha-Rasa Vihari in Bombay to make a temple for their Lordships after his illness. Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj wrote Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Antya-lila 18.15:

Bhakter prembikar dekhi Krishna chamatkar
Krishna jar na pay anta, keba chhar ar

“The Supreme Lord Krishna Himself becomes charmed by beholding the transports of Divine Love of a loving devotee. Such Love is unfathomable even to Krishna, not to speak of the petty creatures of the world.”

Srila Prabhupada was trying to get the permit in Bombay to build the temple for Sri Sri Rasa Vihari and at the same time was making plans to preach around the world, with a stop in Mexico City. His Divine Grace was planning his second visit to the Mexico City Hare Krishna Temple. He wrote the following to his secretary:

“Regarding my coming to Mexico City and Caracas, yes I want to come there very much. Now we are in Bombay trying to get permission from the government to build our temple. And it appears that we will possibly be getting the permission next week. If this works out then I will immediately be going to Honolulu and from Honolulu I can go directly to Mexico City, then Caracas, and then to Australia by the end of Jan.”

But if this does not work

“If the Bombay situation is not settled up I may have to stay till mid-Jan. or so and then in mid or end of Jan. I will be going to Australia to stay for one month. After Australia we had planned to go to S. Africa for two weeks, but if this does not work out then I could come to Mexico City and Caracas at that time. Anyway I will let you know as soon as our plan becomes definite.”

(Srila Prabhupada letter, Bombay, 21 December, 1974)

I can come immediately

Srila Prabhupada's local GBC secretary wrote a letter explaining to His Divine Grace the preaching programs that he was putting together for him, to attract his interest to visit Mexico City temple. Srila Prabhupada answered:

“As far as my coming there is concerned, I can come immediately. And the programs that you mention in your letter would be very nice. Try to arrange many such programs with all different kinds of respectable gentlemen, philosophers, scholars, educationalists, etc. We will be coming by way of London where we will probably stop for a few days. Also we will be stopping in Bermuda on the way from London to Mexico City for one or two days to have a program there if it can be arranged. In this connection we have contacted Rupanuga das.”

If you can arrange nice programs in Brazil

Srila Prabhupada wanted to fulfill the desire of the previous acharyas and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by spreading the holy name everywhere as far as possible. His Divine Grace's preaching was like a big wave that was reaching the shores of far S. America Brazil. His Divine Grace wrote:

“One telegram has already been sent to you to inform you of this and to request tickets immediately. If you have not sent the tickets as of yet please send them without delay. The tickets should be sent to the Quantas office in Bombay... If you can arrange nice programs in Brazil then I will also be very pleased to go there. It sounds as though the people there are very eager for Krsna Consciousness. So let us have a program there also.”

(Srila Prabhupada letter, Bombay, 27 December, 1974)


Getting ready, His Divine Grace wrote to one of his zonal secretaries:

“My program is now to go to Mexico City and S. America on invitation from Hrdayananda Goswami. I will probably be stopping over in London on the way. I should arrive in Mexico City a little after mid-Jan.”

(Srila Prabhupada letter, Bombay, 27 December, 1974)

H.H. Hridayananda Maharaja: I was in Mexico City when I started to get various telegrams. One of them said that Srila Prabhupada would come by the Atlantic and gave a date. A few days after, I got another one saying that he would come by the Pacific Ocean, and after that I got three or four telegrams giving different dates and flights.

In 1973 the devotees in Mexico City temple were ready for Srila Prabhpada's visit. Everything was nicely fixed up in the temple, the devotees got a nice car, preaching programs... like that. So the morning that Srila Prabhupada was supposed to arrive a call from Los Angeles temple came, canceling Srila Prabhupada's visit.

H.H. Hridayananda Maharaja: I really didn''t know what was going on. I found out that Srila Prabhupada was going to Hawaii, so I went to Hawaii to travel with His Divine Grace to Latin America. I was afraid that some other leaders may convince His Divine Grace to go someplace else.

H.H. Hridayananda Maharaja: In that time Srila Prabhupada was a bit offset with the Los Angeles temple, because of the slamming of doors under his quarters, which was disturbing. Even though he has telling them to stop, they did not stop making those disturbing noises.

Therefore Srila Prabhupada asked if it was possible to go direct from Honolulu to Mexico City, bypassing Los Angeles. We found out that was not possible. So I went to Los Angeles and after a short time I flew with His Divine Grace to Mexico.

In January 1975, Srila Prabhupada embarked on an extensive world tour starting in Bombay that would take him to twelve major cities within 50 days. Not only would his journey completely traverse the planet -- from Bombay to Hong Kong; then from Hong Kong to Tokyo, Japan; from Tokyo to Honolulu; Honolulu to Mexico City, Caracas Venezuela and Atlanta Georgia -- it would also be the eighth such world tour in the ten years since Srila Prabhupada had first gone to America from India in 1965. Visiting seven different countries, Prabhupada would travel over 50,000 km.

Srila Prabhupada's Second visit to Mexico City, Hare Krishna Temple
February, 1975
Thus ends
"Your invitation to visit Mexico sounds very nice"
R.G. Tridandi Swami Bhakti Prapanna Parvata Maharaja
(Rama Govinda das from Guadalajara)
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