Connecting Devotees Worldwide - In Service Of Srila Prabhupada
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By Sahadeva Dasa
Here is our Video offering on the historical occasion of the 52nd anniversary of Srila Prabhupada’s departure for America by Jaladuta ship……
This is not only Srila Prabhupada’s journey, this is also your, mine and everybody else’s journey. Imagine if Srila Prabhupada would not have gone on this perilous voyage, where would I, you and many others be today!
There is a need for ISKCON members to be aware of this song as this profoundly presents the mood of our beloved founder Acharya. The extraordinary mood of surrender, presented herein, forms the basis of our institution. This might be one of the most underrated songs in ISKCON. Let us try not to loose the connection with our roots. The force of time is overwhelmingly powerful and let it not cover up these beautiful memories. At least once in his/her life time, an ISKCON member needs to put him/herself in Srila Prabhupada’s lotus shoes and see what it means to travel all the way to America, at a ripe old age, in a cargo ship with frail health and only 40 rupees. This song is meant to inspire us to never lose hope, to fight on till the last breath, to dedicate everything, even our dear life, to preach the message of Krishna consciousness.
This 52nd anniversary presents us a rare opportunity to once again remind us of this important part of our history.
Every person in this world need to come in contact with his/her “Ever Well-wisher”. Unless people understand Srila Prabhupada “in truth”, they will not be able to understand Krishna. They have to read SP Lilamrita even before they might understand Bhagavad-gita. Srila Prabhupada is a walking Bhagavatam.
This increasingly violent and a fast disintegrating world needs Srila Prabhupada and his books more than ever before.
This transcendental journey of Srila Prabhupada 52 years ago is meant to take the whole humanity, nay all the living entities, across the ocean of nescience.
Setting And The Lyrics:
It was a Friday, August 13th, 1965. At 9 in the morning, a lonely, elderly gentleman, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami boards a ship at Calcutta Port sailing to New York. The black cargo ship, small and weathered, was anchored at dockside. Sailors curiously saw the elderly saffron dressed sadhu as he spoke last words to his companion in the taxi and walked determinedly towards the boat. He had only a suitcase, an umbrella and a supply of dry cereals as hand baggage. There was no one on the shore to bid him goodbye, no friends, no supporters, no disciples.
He was going to America to preach Krishna Bhakti which had been known only in India. What follows is a remarkable tale of faith and determination beyond anyone’s expectation. He carried with him forty rupees. He had no institutional backing, no support awaited him. He was going on the order of his Spiritual Master to teach Krishna Consciousness to the English speaking world. He was carrying the almost forgotten spiritual culture of Vedic India to plant it in the heart of America’s cultural turmoil of 1960’s.
But such a voyage was not an easy one for someone aged 70. The ensuing journey presented considerable hardships. On board the ship Srila Prabhupada wrote of sea sickness, dizziness, vomiting, heavy rains in the Bay of Bengal.
On the thirteenth day of the voyage during the passage through the Arabian Sea, he suffered a massive heart attack. All alone helpless and without medical assistance, in his uneasy sleep that night, he had a dream, a vision. Lord Krishna appeared and took charge of the ship
along with his other incarnations. Krishna was smiling at Srila Prabhupada and was pulling the ship all the way to America.
After crossing the Mediterranean Sea, the ship came into the Atlantic Ocean, but the ocean became like a placid lake. The captain said that never in his career had he seen such a calm Atlantic crossing. The captain’s wife asked Srila Prabhupada to come back with them so that they might have another such sailing. Srila Prabhupada wrote in his dairy, “If the Atlantic would have shown its usual face, I would have died, but Lord Krishna has taken charge of the ship.”
After a total of thirty eight days the ship at last arrived at New York where Srila Prabhupada disembarked onto a lonely Brooklyn pier to begin his mission in the West, not knowing whether to turn left or right.
Srila Prabhupada’s voyage on the Jaladuta marked the beginning of a spiritual revival and the twelve years after his arrival in America saw the Hare Krishna movement spread to major cities worldwide. For thousands of years the Vedic tradition had been confined to the boundaries of India. To a world immersed in materialistic ethos, Srila Prabhupada revealed the wisdom of this timeless philosophy.
The poem Markine Bhagavat-dharma: preaching Bhagavat dharma in America was written after his arrival in Boston at Commonwealth pier on September 17th 1965. Seeing the Boston skyline and the rampant materialism prevalent in the lives of the people there, Srila Prabhupada realised the difficulties in his mission. He saw the hellish city life, people dedicated to the illusion of material happiness. He felt weak, lonely and unable to help them on his own. He was penniless. He had barely survived two heart attacks at sea. He spoke a different language. He dressed strangely according to American standards and he had come to tell people to give up sinful habits which were inseparable part of their lives. He had come to teach Americans worship of Lord Krishna who to them was a mythical Hindu God. What would he be able to accomplish? Helplessly he spoke his heart to Lord Krishna……
boro-kṛpā kaile kṛṣṇa adhamer prati
ki lāgiyānile hethā koro ebe gati
āche kichu kārja taba ei anumāne
nahe keno āniben ei ugra-sthāne
rajas tamo guṇe erā sabāi ācchanna
bāsudeb-kathā ruci nahe se prasanna
tabe jadi taba kṛpā hoy ahaitukī
sakal-i sambhava hoy tumi se kautukī
ki bhāve bujhāle tārā bujhe sei rasa
eta kṛpā koro prabhu kori nija-baśa
tomāra icchāya saba hoy māyā-baśa
tomāra icchāya nāśa māyār paraśa
taba icchā hoy jadi tādera uddhār
bujhibe niścai tabe kathā se tomār
bhāgavater kathā se taba avatār
dhīra haiyā śune jadi kāne bār bār
hare krishna hare krishna, krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare
Please google up “bore Kripa Koile Krishna” to view the COMPLETE Song.
1) 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.
2) But I guess You have some business here, otherwise why would You bring me to this terrible place?
3) Most of the population here is covered by the material modes of ignorance and passion. Absorbed in material life, they think themselves very happy and satisfied, and therefore they have no taste for the transcendental message of Vasudeva. I do not know how they will be able to understand it.
4) But I know Your causeless mercy can make everything possible because You are the most expert mystic.
5) How will they understand the mellows of devotional service? O Lord, I am simply praying for Your mercy so that I will be able to convince them about Your message.
6) All living entities have become under the control of the illusory energy by Your will, and therefore, if You like, by Your will they can also be released from the clutches of illusion.
7) I wish that You may deliver them. Therefore if You so desire their deliverance, then only will they be able to understand Your message.
8) The words of Srimad-Bhagavatam are Your incarnation, and if a sober person repeatedly receives it with submissive aural reception, then he will be able to understand Your message.
For video...click here