In the beginning of the movement, in the beginning of Bhakti-Tirtha coming to Krishna consciousness, I visited his house. Then he came and did sankirtana in Harlem, when I had my temple there. He mentioned to me, that he wanted to do this whole program there. I told him to not do this program because I am not fixed up enough for this kind of association.
He asked me where should I go.
“You should go to Satsvarupa Maharaja, he is the best devotee I can recommend right now for association.”
And look what he did. He learned from him, and he did this library party fantastically. Much more important than what he would have done with me, plopping around here and there. I could have been selfish and said yes, stick with me. But I never did that. And now they turn around and take over my program and think that they can engage me. His idea is that I will engage you somehow.
“Wait a minute. Let’s get realistic. You are not going to engage me. I do not care who you are, Prabhupada has told me to do this program, and all you guys think, I that am blooped, fallen and everything else. That is your business to think like that. I do not care what your think.”
But I know something. I mean I could not believe it. That when I explained to him what Prabhupada instructed me. Then Bhakti-Tirtha said that he will not do this kind of program; and that I should. On top of that, he claimed that there is really not much you do. What do you do?
Krishna Book paperbacks, and mass Prasadam; that is not much. Then I said, I should bring batches of black devotees to the Mayapura the festival.
24-hour kirtana, mass Prasadam distribution, and Krishna Book paperbacks.; that is it. Do it and see what happens. That is it, do it and then see how it revolutionizes the whole consciousness of these black people in America and Africa.
When he said that to you, was he specifying America or just black people?
Srila Prabhupada did not make that distinction. These ISKCON authorities make that distinction. I do not make that distinction. As far as I am concerned, these are Africans.
Srila Prabhupada wrote in my letter, every time I would mention black people, he wrote Africans. I would say black; and he would write Africans in response.
Or he would write black Africans; but did not refer to them as black. Once he referred to them as African/Americans because I was just trying to write the latest thing. At that time, everybody was so uptight about what they are called. But he always wrote back African. They are Africans. What do you think they are, what are you? When they ask you what you are; do you say American? No, you say you are Irish, German, Jewish, Polish, Scandinavian, Swedish, or Danish. They are Africans. That is what they are. What is the big deal? Just because they are here, they are not Africana anymore? The devotees do not think they are.