(Srila Prabhupada with Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, Delhi 1964—click to enlarge)
"According to Indian way of thought, every one is advised to do good to others namely not only to the human society but also to living beings other than human being. The Indians are not cow worshippers as others wrongly interpret it, but the Indians are gratitudeful to the species of cow for supplying milk to the human babies and the sentiment is so fine that simply for supplying milk the cow is accepted as one of the seven mothers. That is called Indian cultural mission. We should learn to look upon every living being as our own brother and treat him in that love. Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy began from this philosophy of universal brotherhood which is not restricted to the human kind but to all the species of life. That is the sign of real intelligence. In the Bhagavad-gita it is stated that a learned man looks upon a well educated Brahmin who is well behaved by education and so also upon a candala who is accustomed to eat the dogs. And what is the purport of this equal vision? The purport is that we should look upon every one as the spark of the Supreme Brahman and we should not look upon the outer dress which every one has to give up one birth after another. I hope you will preach this Indian way of thinking every where in the foreign countries wherever you will have the opportunity. I think that people need this Indian message in this hour of necessity when the atomic bomb is hovering over the head of the human society."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Harbanslal, August 2, 1958)
"I wish that you may take up this idea of Bhagwatam preaching work a little more seriously. What I want that immediately a society for this purpose may be formed and that will be recognized by the Government for cultural activity. So many cultural missions come here from India at the expense of Government and they simply waste the money. But if there is a real cultural mission for preaching the Bhagwatam cult a great philanthropic work will be done for the human society at large. I am just giving you the idea and if you kindly think over the matter seriously and consult your beloved Lord Bala Krishna surely you will be further enlightened in the matter. There is scope and there is necessity also and it is the duty of every Indian specially the devotees of Lord Krishna to take up the matter."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Sumati Morarji, October 27, 1965)
"This is not an ordinary temple of worship but it is an international institution for God consciousness based on the Srimad Bhagwatam. This is standard Indian good will mission. 'Lokasya ajanato vidwans chakre stwata samhita.' The Government of India has its own department of culture and goodwill mission which is utilised for dancing parties to make show in the foreign countries. Here is the real culture and I am not asking any money from the Government but I am simply asking permission to transfer my money here for this great cultural mission of Srila Vyasdeva the Father of Vedic wisdom which is real Indian culture. When Dr. Radhakrishnan was vice president of India I had lots of personal correspondence and meetings with him and at that time he promised me help in this connection. I hope he will remember all these and I am requesting him through your good office to help me now to get the requisite exchange from India for this great and noble work."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Bon Maharaj, January 20, 1966)
"I beg to inform you that I am a Vaisnava Sannyasi in the line of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In pursuance of the cult of Love of Godhead as propounded by Lord Chaitanya 500 years before, I have come to America to preach the same cultural mission on the principles of the Bhagwat Geeta and the Srimad Bhagwatam. My translation of the Srimad Bhagwatam (published in three volume first canto) is recognized by the Government of India both central and the states. Here in America also the same publication is approved by the State Library of Congress in Washington, New York Public Library, the Philadalphia University and many other institutions. Arrangement is also being attempted to get an American Edition of this publication as well as editing my paper 'Back to Godhead.'
Since I have come to America in the last year (September 1965) I have travelled many parts of the country. Some of the local papers has published articles about me and they have designated me as the 'AMBASSADOR OF BHAKTIYOGA.'
At present I am staying in New York city at the above address and holding my classes on the culture of musical keertan as well as discourses on the cult of devotion (Bhakti) on every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays which are participated by the American Youths, Ladies and Gentlemen. They appreciate the musical mellow very much although they are no conversant with the language. And without understanding the language they give a aural reception to the keertan in a devout manner. So there is ample prospect for propagating this Indian culture in this country.
I want therefore to establish this cultural centre and for this I wish to get some exchange from India. The Government has also its cultural department and as such the Government of India spend a substantial amount in the foreign countries. Similarly I wish to preach this Bhagwati approve culture not only in America but also in other countries outside India. I have already made experiment in this matter and I think there is good prospect for propagating the particular culture of how to love God—all over the world specially in these days of forgetfulness.
As I want to open this cultural centre first in New York, I shall be very much obliged if you will kindly me know the procedure in this matter."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Reserve Bank of India, April 30, 1966)
"My cultural mission as I have tried to explain in my books Srimad Bhagwatam has been highly appreciated by all responsible quarters in India including the Late Prime Minister Lal Bhadur Shastri. The All India Congress Committee has reviewed my books in the following words:
'At a time when not only the people of India but those of the West need the chastening quality of Love and Truth in the corrupting atmosphere of hate and hypocrisy, a work like this will have corrective influence. What is God? He is truth, He is love. Even an atheist must accept the supremacy of those qualities and how much they are needed by the people of the world who have been taught to deny God and these qualities do not require much emphasis.
'The author has attempted a tremendous task... A perusal will give us in sample measure a knowledge of the original. The essence of Srimad Bhagawatam is the exposition of the Absolute Truth, for an understanding of Absolute Truth we would recommend this book.'
Mr. N.C. Chatterji M.P. and the late President of the Hindu Mahasabha writes 'You have done a first class work and you deserve the hearty commendation of every Indian and every Hindu. Your deep and penetrating study of the subject and your philosophic insight are reflected in this work.... You are doing a great service to the cause of humanity.'
So this is a cultural mission for enlightenment of the entire human society and New York is the best centre for distributing such cultural knowledge because it is the Head Quarter of the United Nations. We shall erect such a nice cultural Hall and Temple and everything is ready at this opportune moment. Kindly therefore give your sanction for this noble and sublime activities of Indian original culture still going strong.
His Excellency Dr. Radhakrishnan the President of India knows me personally and if need be you can take reference from him about me.
Kindly help me by your early sanction of release of Exchange and I shall await your favourable reply per return of post with interest."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Ministry of Finance [India], May 28, 1966)
"So the beginning is there. We are preaching all over the world, and you, my dear friends from Europe and America, you have taken this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Again I shall repeat the same logic: andha-paṅgu-nyāya. Andha-paṅgu-nyāya. Andha means blind, and paṅgu means lame. Both of them are useless... Andha can walk but cannot see, and the lame man can see but cannot walk. Now let them both combine together.
So the whole world is suffering for want of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or spiritual life. If American money and Indian culture mix together, the whole world will be benefited. That is my ambition. Take Indian culture and help with American money. The whole world will be happy."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Mayapur, February 8, 1977)