Article by Upendranath Dasa
“REACH IN ENGLISH”: Base on Srila Prabhupada’s Lecture on Srila Bhakti-siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada’s Appearance Day, Los Angeles February 7, 1969
Srila Prabhupada Establishes His Business Headquarters at Allahabad.
Anyway, then, 1923, I left Calcutta on my business, and I established my headquarter at Allahabad. So, all the days I was thinking of this,
“Oh, I saw a very nice saintly person. But I am now off from Calcutta.”
So, I was thinking like that. Practically he initiated me because I was thinking of…, always.
Then, in 1928, there was a big fair which is called Kumbamela. At that time, I was doing business in Allahabad. My business was very flourishing. It was well-known drug shop. So, the persons who went to organize our Gaudiya Matha’s camp in that fair, somebody has told that,
“Here is a Bengali gentleman’s business. You can go, and he is very religious man. He will help.”
So, all the disciples of Guru Maharaja, they approached my shop, my store, drug store. And because I was thinking of them, so I thought,
“Oh, here is the men.”
You, see? You, see? I was very glad— “So they have come again”—because I was separated from them in 1923, and again I saw them in 1928, after five years, and I was thinking of Guru Maharaja simply in this way,
“Oh, I met a very nice saintly person. Very nice saintly person. If I can see him again?”
Like that. So, in this way, with my help, the Allahabad center of Gaudiya Matha was established. Then I was initiated in 1933. In 1933. And in 1936 I was, at that time, in Bombay, and Guru Maharaja was very much indisposed, and he was at Puri, Jagannatha Puri. We have got our temple there. Guru Maharaja established sixty-four temples, small and big. Just like I am increasing, he increased.
So, most of the temples were in Bengal. In Bengal there were about fifty out of sixty-four. And one temple was at Allahabad, one was in Madras. In this way, outside Bengal, about three, four, one Benares. And he sent Bon Maharaja also in 1933 to London for preaching, but unfortunately, some way or other, he could not do anything, so Guru Maharaja called him back in 1934. He was not satisfied, and sent another Godbrother, gosvami.
In 1936, just on the 13th, December, I wrote him one letter. Not 13th.
I think by the beginning of December, 1936, I wrote one letter to Guru Maharaja. I knew he was little kind upon me, so I wrote that,
“Guru Maharaja, you have got many disciples. I am also one of them. But they are doing direct service to you. Some of them are brahmacaris, some of them sannyasis, but I am a householder. I cannot…”
Of course, I was giving sometimes some monetary help, but I could not give any direct service, so I asked him that,
‘If there is any particular service, I can do for you?’
So that letter was replied in 13th December, dated 13th December, from Puri.
And he passed away on the 31st December. Just a fortnight before. So, the reply was the same as he wanted me to do this preaching work in 1922, when I first met him that,
“You try to preach whatever you have learned from me, to the English-knowing people in English. That will do good to you, and to the people to whom you shall preach. That is my instruction.”
So, I took up, direction. And then he passed away in 1936, 31st December.”
So, I consulted some of my Godbrothers, senior Godbrothers,
“Guru Maharaja has told me like this. What can I do?”
So, you have heard the name of Professor Sanyal, and there were other Godbrothers. They asked me to write on the Vaisnava-siddhanta in English. So perhaps in 1935 I wrote one poetry. The part of it, somebody, you have got. He was very pleased. Since then, he was insisting me that,
“You write on, preach on in English.”
At that time, I was thinking,
“What can I do?”