The Prabhupada Story–Part 4
With great difficulty I got out of India. Some way or other by Krishna’s grace I got out so that I could spread the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world. I wanted to start a movement in India, but I was not encouraged.
Srila Prabhupada Gets a Passage From India
Srila Prabhupada tried for over thirty years to inspire Indians to take up the message of Gita and Bhagavatam seriously and start a movement to spread Krishna consciousness worldwide. He met with practically no success.
Then he planned to go outside India.
“With great difficulty I got out of India. Some way or other by Krishna’s grace I got out so that I could spread the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world. I wanted to start a movement in India, but I was not encouraged.”
|Srila Prabhupada got a free passage to America from the Scindia Steamship Navigation Company, whose owner, Srimati Moroi, was a devotee of Lord Krishna.|
|With very few personal possessions and a trunk full of his newly-published Srimad Bhagavatam books, Srila Prabhupada set off from Calcutta to New York
Cover jacket of Srimad Bhagavatam book he carried
Srila Prabhupada’s passport in 1965.
|“When he left Calcutta harbour for New York there was no one on the shore to bid him goodbye. He was alone. A lone fighter. No friends, no supporter, no disciple, nobody. Even if you call me, I was not a disciple of his. I was a disciple of somebody else. So I was not his follower. But due to shared love, I had very much respect for him. So, I was the only person standing on the shore to say him good-bye. No one was with me. I could not know that it was such an important thing”. – Mr. Sisir Bhattacharya, an acquintance of Srila Prabhupada in Calcutta.|
|On Friday the 13th of August 1965, the Jaladuta set sail.
“Today the ship is plying very smoothly. I feel today better. But I am feeling separation from Sri Vrindaban and my Lords: Sri Govinda, Gopinath, Radha Damodar. My only solace is Sri Chaitanya, Lord Chaitany’s lila.
“I have left Bharatabhumi just to execute the order of Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, in pursuance of Lord Chaitanya’s order. I have no qualification, but have taken up the risk just to carry out the order of his Divine Grace. I depend fully on Their mercy, so far away from Vrindaban”. -Jaladuta Diary September 10, 1965.
Although Captain Arun Pandia said that never in the entire career had he seen such a calm Atlantic crossing, Srila Prabhupada suffered two heart attacks in two days on the journey. Srila Prabhupada had a dream. Lord Krishna in His many forms was rowing a boat and He told Prabhupada that he should not fear but come along. After this his health improved much.
He Arrives in America
At 5.30 a.m. on September 17, 1965, the Jaladuta briefly stopped at Boston Commonwealth Fier before proceeding to New York harbour.
The route taken by Jaladuta from Calcutta to New York
The dates indicate the places where the ship docked during the journey.
|In Boston Srila Prabhupada passed through Immigration, and wrote a Bengali poem, some of which translates as follows:
My dear Lord Krishna You are so kind upon this useless soul, but I do not know why You have brought me here. Now You can do whatever You like with me But I guess You have some business here, otherwise why would You bring me to this terrible place?
How will I make them understand this message of Krishna consciousness? I am very unfortunate, unqualified, and the most fallen. Therefore I am seeking Your benediction so that I can convince them, for I am powerless to do so on my own. 0 spiritual master of all the worlds! I can simply repeat Your message. So if You like, You can make my power of speaking suitable for their understanding.
0 Lord, I am just like a puppet in Your hands. So if You have brought me here to dance, then make me dance, make me dance, 0 Lord, make me dance as You like.
I have no devotion, nor do I have any knowledge, but I have strong faith in the holy name of Krishna. I have been designated as Bhaktivedanta, and now, if You like, You can fulfill the real purport of Bhaktivedanta.
Signed – the most unfortunate, insignificant beggar,
AC. Bhaktivedanta Swami, on board the ship Jaladuta, Commonwealth Pier, Boston, Massachusetts, USA