Prabhupāda: ...Caitanya Mahāprabhu, paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam: "All glories to the chanting of the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa." This is the verdict of Vedic literature also. When Parīkṣit Mahārāja was talking with Śukadeva Goswāmī, he described the varieties of follies in this age of Kali-yuga. But he pointed out that there is one great benediction in this age. Kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ [SB 12.3.51].
The faulty Kali-yuga is just like an ocean of miserable condition, but there is one great opportunity. What is that? Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet [SB 12.3.51]: simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa one becomes liberated, and he is elevated to the highest perfection of life. Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet.
So Lord Caitanya preached this Kṛṣṇa saṅkīrtana, and He ordered every Indian. It is the duty of every Indian. We should be very much proud of becoming Indian to take our birth on the holy land of India. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya-janma haila yāra [Cc. Ādi 9.41]: "Anyone who has taken birth in this holy land of Bharata-varṣa," janma sārthaka kari', "just make your life perfect and distribute the knowledge all over the world.
Janma sārthaka kari kara para-upakāra. Para-upakāra. India is meant for doing welfare activities to the world, but we have forgotten that. We are trying to imitate the Western country and technology, and we have thrown out our Vedic treasure house, our transcendental knowledge treasure house.
So my Guru Mahārāja ordered me long, long ago, when I was twenty-five years old, my Guru Mahārāja ordered me to go to the foreign countries and preach Lord Caitanya's message. But somehow or other I could not assimilate his order until I was seventy years old.
But it was better late than never. So also I was trying how to make a successful tour for preaching Caitanya Mahāprabhu's message. So by the grace of my Guru Mahārāja and by your blessings, I went to the Western countries and had a very good response. Very good response.
I went there empty-handed, with forty rupees in my pocket and free ticket, return ticket, by the Scindia Steam Navigation Company. And for one year I had no place to live, I had no money to eat; still, I was going here and there. Then in 1966... I went in America in 1965.
After struggling for one year, in 1966 I incorporated this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, International Society for Krishna Consciousness. So some of our friends suggested, "Why not make 'God Consciousness Society'?'' and "No. 'Krishna Consciousness.' If I make 'God Consciousness,' that will be a vague task.'' Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28]. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇah [Bs. 5.1]. Therefore distinctly should be the Society for Krishna consciousness.
So these boys, when I started my class, 26 Second Avenue, some of these students were coming, and then I started my kīrtana at the Tompkinson Square Park, sitting on the ground, floor. These boys and the girls were coming. That was the first publicity, made in the New York Times, about my kīrtana, and gradually it developed. Next branch was opened at San Francisco, then at Montreal, then at Boston, Buffalo. In this way now we have sixty-five branches all over the world, and each branch there are maximum two hundred devotees like these, and minimum twenty-five devotees at least.
And each branch... At Los Angeles we are spending $20,000 per month, which is in Indian exchange two lakhs of rupees. Similarly, we are spending $10,000 in New York. In this way we have to spend seven lakhs of rupees per month for maintaining all these men, and we have got big, big publication like this.
When I went to the Western country I brought only three volumes of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the temple of our Shri Kṛṣṇa Sharma. He gave me shelter there, and I was publishing these books, and actually Lalaji also contributed something for my publication. So in this way I went there with three books. Now we have got over three dozen books, all beautifully published. We have given enough literature to understand Kṛṣṇa.
Kṛṣṇa can be understood by the grace of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu very easily, simply by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Simply by chanting. Paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. But if you want to understand Kṛṣṇa through philosophy and science, we have got three dozen books. So we can convince you both ways. If you are illiterate, if you have no knowledge, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and you will get your life back.
And if you think that you want to understand through science and philosophy, we have got three dozen books. Anyway, you come. That is our appeal. Don't take this movement very, I mean to say, neglectfully. It is very serious movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and it is the duty of all Indians, as Caitanya Mahāprabhu predicted:
bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya-janma haila yāra
janma sārthaka kari' kara para-upakāra
[Cc. Ādi 9.41]
There is a great need for this movement. We want hundreds and thousands of preachers to go outside India and preach this cult. And there are customers ready. Wherever we are opening our branches, it appears as if they are awaiting our arrival. Immediately they take up. So there is very great opportunity.
You cannot compete with the Western countries by your technology, however you may make some sewing machine or cycle or Ambassador car. They are hundred years ahead. You cannot make any competition by machine. If you can give them anything and glorify your country, then this is this movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then they will admit that you have something.
Wherever I go, they inquire, "Oh, India is poverty-stricken. Oh, you have come from that part.'' India is advertised as poverty. Yes, in comparison to Western country it is simply poverty-stricken. We have not enough food, nor enough, I mean to say, house, and above all you have no milk. India, the land where we hear from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that, that the..., by the cows' milk in Vṛndāvana there was muddy ground. And in that India now there is powdered milk.
So my request is that young men, as young men from America, Europe, Canada... Now I am coming via Africa. I was in Nairobi, Mombasa. And the black men, they are also dancing. And they are asking the Indian people there, "Why did you not give us this sublime message so long?'' Because there are many Indians in Nairobi and Mombasa. Unfortunately, our svāmīs go there, make some collection, and preach that "I am God, you are God. Why you are searching God? Gods are loitering in the street,'' and "Make this gymnastic and you will become God in six months.'' These things are going on. But nobody was interested.
Bhagavad-gītā was taught in Europe and America for the last one thousand years, many big, big English edition. But never Kṛṣṇa was presented as He is. But as soon it was presented, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, the people are accepting. Immediately they are accepting. They [indistinct]. Otherwise, if you interpret Bhagavad-gītā in your own way, concocted way... Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā mano-rathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ [SB 5.18.12]. By mental concoction, you have to come back to this asat.
So I will not take much of your time. My appeal to you, to Lalaji especially, and with the help of his people, my request to you, all ladies and gentlemen, [indistinct] please try to understand the potency of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and make your country... Because Kṛṣṇa consciousness is in India, it is surprising that India is not serious about Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
I have read in one government paper, Kṛṣṇa is represented as something black aborigine. And people are [indistinct] to worship Him. Such article has been published by the government. An aborigine can give Bhagavad-gītā as it is—just see our intelligence, and they are in the government service[?].
So it is very unfortunate that we are not taking care of our own treasure house of knowledge, and we are trying to get knowledge from technology and be happy. This..., there is no question of peace unless you understand Kṛṣṇa. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
That is the process of śāntim, and it is actually help... [end]