The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, appeared in India 5,000 years ago in the town of Vrndavana. He came down from the spiritual sky with His eternal associates, pastimes and paraphernalia and He brought His eternal abode with Him. There is no difference between the Vrndavana on this earth and the Vrndavana in the spiritual sky, for when Krsna comes He brings His eternal abode with Him. As recorded in the scripture Srimad-Bhagavatam, for 125 years Lord Sri Krsna displayed His loving pastimes in the natural setting of Vrndavana with His cowherd girl friends, His consort Srimati Radharani, His cowherd boy friends and other associates. These pastimes are described in the Krsna Books by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
The land of Vrndavana is still existing in India, and 500 years ago Lord Caitanya sent His intimate disciples the Gosvamis to identify the places where Krsna performed His pastimes, such as the River Yamuna where He fought the demon Kaliya, the forest where He danced with the gopis, and the famous Goverdhana Hill which He lifted to protect the residents of Vrndavana. Vrndavana, however, remained little known to the people of the rest of the world.
Before coming to the United States in 1965 on the order of his spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada stayed in the Radha-Damodara Temple established in Vrndavana by the Gosvami followers of Lord Caitanya and there worked on his translations of Vedic literature. Now, since 1965, he has been traveling, especially in the western part of the world. In the last two years, devotees of ISKCON, led by Srila Prabhupada, have gone to India to establish centers, and recently Srila Prabhupada went with a group of devotees to visit Vrndavana and show them through the eyes of a pure devotee the place of Krsna's pastimes.
The residents of present-day Vrndavana greeted Srila Prabhupada with great pride. Srila Prabhupada wrote in a letter, "The officials and residents of Vrndavana have greeted us very nicely, and they are simply astounded to see our sankirtana party chanting with great jubilation through the city streets. Before I went to the Western countries, no one there knew about Vrndavana. Now hundreds of visitors from the U.S. come here to see Krsna's place."
In his purports to Caitanya-caritamrta, Srila Prabhupada has written: "In Vrndavana, all the inhabitants are Vaisnavas [devotees of Krsna] . They are all auspicious because somehow or other they always chant the holy name of Krsna. Even though some of them do not strictly follow the rules and regulations of devotional service, on the whole they are devoted to Krsna and chant His name, directly or indirectly. Purposely or without purpose, even when they are passing on the street they are fortunate enough to exchange greetings by saying the name of Radha or Krsna. So directly or indirectly they are auspicious. The inhabitants of Vrndavana do not know anything but the worship of Radha and Krsna."
The addresses of welcome printed on this and the following pages were offered to Srila Prabhupada by the prominent residents of Vrndavana when His Divine Grace visited the city during his tour of November 1971.