Prabhupada in New York City — Enlightenment on Skid Row

The Biography of a Pure Devotee
by Srila Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
excerpted from Back To Godhead Magazine August 1979

…Now that Srila Prabhupada had left Seventy-second Street and had moved downtown, it wasn’t long before new people were coming to see him. ‘After a few minutes … the sound of the cymbals and the incense . . . we weren’t in the Bowery any longer. We started chanting Hare Krsna.. . . I remember it was relaxing and very interesting to be able to chant, and I found Swamiji very fascinating. . . .”

One of the first women to take an interest in Srila Prabhupada was twenty-year-old Carol Bekar. She came from an immigrant Catholic background, and she immediately associated Catholicism with the philosophy of bhakti-yoga. She was divorced and was now living with the brother of Carl Yeargens.

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The Welfare of Others

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The following verse from the Srimad-Bhagavatam describes the qualities of a Vaiṣṇava, devotee of the Lord

May there be good fortune throughout the universe, and may all envious persons be pacified. May all living entities become calm by practicing bhakti-yoga, for by accepting devotional service they will think of each other’s welfare. Therefore let us all engage in the service of the supreme transcendence, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and always remain absorbed in thought of Him. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.18.9)

…Just like a desire tree, a Vaiṣṇava can fulfill all the desires of anyone who takes shelter of his lotus feet… he prays not for himself, but for all living entities—the gentle, the envious and the mischievous…This is the attitude of a Vaiṣṇava, who always thinks of the welfare of the entire universe.

…If the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement spreads all over the world, and if by the grace of Kṛṣṇa everyone accepts it, the thinking of envious people will change. Everyone will think of the welfare of others. (from purport)

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