When I First Came to America
(The East Village Other, October 1966)

"When I first went to U.S.A., the theory was 'God is dead.' But when I began to speak, they realized, 'No, God is not dead. God is with Swamiji.' They wrote. They wrote articles."

(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Bombay, March 31, 1974)

"I came to the U.S.A. just to try to give a chance to as many people as possible to take to Krishna Consciousness, because it is the only hope for humanity in this increasingly demoniac, godless age."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 26, 1974)

"So when I was seventy years old I decided, 'Now I must do and execute the order of my Guru Mahārāja.' And thus this movement was started in 1965 from New York. And I was not very much hopeful, because it is very difficult task, just opposite the European and Western culture. I came... When I first came, I had no money. So I got a free passage through some Indian steam navigation company. So I came by ship. So when I was on the ship at Boston port, Commonwealth port, I was thinking that I have come here. I do not know what is the purpose, because how the people will accept this movement? They are differently educated, and as soon as I'll say, 'So, my dear sir, you have to give up meat-eating and illicit sex and no intoxication and gambling,' they will say, 'Please go home.' " (laughter)

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Atlanta, March 2, 1975)

"Anyone who is Kṛṣṇa conscious, it is the duty to distribute it. It is his duty. You may... When I came here, I never came here because American boys or people wanted me. They did not feel any need of my presence. But I came here, because it is my duty. My Guru Mahārāja ordered me. So one may think there is need or no need—it is the duty of Kṛṣṇa conscious persons to spread it. Just like the example I have already given. The cloud..., the mountain does not want rain, the sea does not want, but the cloud throws water everywhere."

(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, New Vrindavan, June 22, 1976)

Prabhupāda: So far I am concerned, I have not come here to cheat you nor to gain. I've come to execute the order of my Guru Mahārāja.

Devotee: Jaya. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: I have no business to cheat you neither to get something from you.

(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, New York, July 11, 1976)

"Since I have come to America in the last year (September 1965) I have travelled many parts of the country and some of the local papers have published articles on me and they have designated me as the Ambassador of Bhaktiyoga."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 28, 1966)

"The potency of spreading Krsna Consciousness is everywhere the same. That was experimented by me in your country, where I came alone without any support; and Krsna is so kind that He has sent me so many boys and girls like you. Lord Caitanya said that every village and town on the surface of the world will know the message of the Sankirtana movement. This very statement affirms that in every village and town all over the world there are many candidates who are awaiting this message."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 17, 1970)

"What is this alone? Vaisnava is never alone. When I first came to the United States I was seemingly alone for one year. But I never felt alone. I always felt the presence of my Guru Maharaja. Myself, I was cooking, I was printing books, I was selling books, everything seemingly alone. But I did not lose my determination. Actually you should know this, you are never alone."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 27, 1974)

"When I came to your country first, I had no center, I had no... But who has provided all these hundred temples, big, big palaces, temples? Yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham (BG 9.22). To remain under the protection of Kṛṣṇa you get so much facility. Why not be grateful to Kṛṣṇa? Practically I was loitering on the street, and He has given me so many sons, so many houses, so many protection. Shall I not feel grateful? Is it not my duty? What is this nonsense? Kṛṣṇa gives everything, and 'No, no, I don't believe in God. God is dead.' All rascals. All rascals. Nonsense rascals. Who denies God, he is a nonsense rascal, immediately."

(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Honolulu, May 30, 1976)

"When I first came to your country I had no idea how much the American people would cooperate with my Krsna Consciousness mission. But now good boys like yourself and all my other spiritual sons and daughters all around the world have been giving me great hope that I may be able to successfully fulfill my Guru Maharaja's plan."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 4, 1970)

"When I first came to America I never imagined that this movement would spread so far and wide. I thought that my Guru Maharaja has ordered me to try to spread his teachings in the English language, so let me try. In a country where everyone is trained from childhood to indulge in sinful activities who will accept these restrictions, no meat fish and eggs, no intoxicants, no gambling, no illicit sex life. These things are the life and soul of western people, and I never imagined that even one person would accept. But by the mercy of my spiritual master and Krishna the thing has taken shape. I am so much indebted to you nice boys and girls who are helping me in this mission that I always pray to Krishna for your advancement in going back to Godhead more and more. Thank you."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 7, 1975)

"There is a proveb in Sanskrit literature that enthusiastic persons achieve the favor of the Goddess of Fortune. In the Western part of the world there is tangible example of this slogan. People in this part of the world are very much enthusiastic in material advancement and they have got it. Similarly, according to the instructions of Srila Rupa Goswami, if we become enthusiastic in spiritual matters, then we also get success in that way. Take for example, I came to your country in ripe old age, but I had one asset: enthusiasm and faith in my Spiritual Master. I think these assets only are giving me some lights of hope, whatever I have achieved so far with your cooperation."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 15, 1969)

"Good things do not come so easily; you know the difficulties that I encountered in my first year in your country. Sometimes I did not even know where I was to live, neither when I came did I have any friends. But I was always determined that somehow I would do everything possible to fulfill the desire of my Guru Maharaja, and despite all difficulties I always remained enthusiastic."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 5, 1972)

Prabhupāda: I did not go to your country taking Vṛndāvana with me. I had to stay in places where in the refrigerator there is meat. And I was cooking. When opened it I saw, "Here is meat. All right, what can be done? Hare Kṛṣṇa." That's all.

Devotee: But actually you did take Vṛndāvana with you.

Prabhupāda: So if I would have stuck to Vṛndāvana, "No, no, I cannot go anywhere, leaving Vṛndāvana..." No, we can go to hell if there is Kṛṣṇa's service.

(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Vrindavan, September 5, 1976)

"I came to your country completely in helpless condition and Krsna is so kind that He has picked up some serious students like you; and my only hope is that even if I die these missionary activities will go on."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 18, 1970)

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