(H H Kadamba Kanana Swami, 21st June 2012, Govinda’s, Prague, Czech Republic) Lecture: Free Talk
Srila Prabhupada was in New York and he gave a lecture. He was explaining that:
‘Yes I came to this hellish place.’
‘Why would I have done that? I left such a nice place, Vrindavan. It’s like everyone is worshiping Krishna, everywhere. Krishna has walked everywhere! Vrindavan is such a nice place! Why would I have left such a nice place to come to a hell like this?’
Prabhupada didn’t see New York as the most important place in the world. He saw Vrindavan as the most important place in the world, but when Prabhupada was in New York then that was the most important place in the world, because there in his presence in New York the devotees could perceive Vrindavan more than by travelling to India and going to that town that is known as Vrindavan.
‘nāhaṁ tiṣṭhāmi vaikuṇṭhe yogināṁ hṛdayeṣu vā
tatra tiṣṭhāmi nārada yatra gāyanti mad-bhaktāḥ,’ (Padma Purana).
‘So yes I’m not residing in Vaikuntha,’ Krishna says, ‘I’m not residing in the heart of the yogis. The place where I really reside Narada is where my devotees are chanting my glories!’
So therefore what I am saying is not just some idea that I came up with, but actually based on scripture, that when Prabhupada was in New York it was the most important place on the planet and really you can see that the International Society for Krishna Consciousness was like that. All the eyes were on wherever Prabhupada was, and everyone just wanted to go there. And anyone who wasn’t there was thinking:
‘Oh boy, we are not there.’
Because it is so that the pure devotees develop the qualities of Krishna. It’s logical and it’s certain to develop the qualities of the master, because what is important for the master is important for the servant. So logically the servant develops the qualities of the master! And the pure devotee begins to develop the qualities of Krishna and more and more he becomes the representative of Krishna.
One time Prabhupada was asked:
‘How many pure devotees are there on the planet?’ (One journalist was asking the question).
So Prabhupada was asking the devotees:
‘How many members do we have on this planet?’
They gave some number and Prabhupada said:
‘That’s how many pure devotees there are!’
So Prabhupada was also very generous!