IT MUST BE ONE OF the greatest preaching adventures of all time.
An elderly mendicant in complete obscurity struggles relentlessly to carry out the order of his guru. He tries to establish the Krsna consciousness movement in India and abroad, he cries out for help in his task, but he receives practically none, even from his own spiritual brothers. But Prabhupada, as he himself once said, is "not a man to be disappointed." He soldiers on, taking tiny indications as great opportunities. He is prepared to expend enormous amounts of energy for Krsna to fight like Arjuna up to the last breath.
Somehow he makes it to America. He walks New York's wintry streets and rides the buses just to see where they will end up. He talks to a man on a park bench "There are temples and books, they are existing, they are there, but the time is separating us from them."
Eventually he attracts a small band of young people, and to their amazement he forms the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. And soon his little group grows into an influential worldwide movement.
Later he would write, "When I was alone in New York I was thinking, 'Who will listen to me in this horrible, sinful place? All right, I shall stay a little longer. At least I can distribute a few of my books. That is something.' But Krsna was all along preparing something I could not see, and He brought you to me one by one sincere American boys and girls to be trained up for doing the work of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Now I can see that it is a miracle. Otherwise, your city of New York, one single old man, with only a few books to sell for hardly getting eatables how can he survive, what to speak of introducing a God consciousness movement for saving humankind? This is Krsna's miracle. Now I can see it."
Rohininandana Dasa lives in southern England with his wife and their three children. Write to him in care of Back to Godhead.