Excerpt from a room conversation with His Divine Grace in Vrndavana on September 30, 1976
Prabhupada: One boy, he was coming to me. In that hundred, about one hundred seventy-first street, all my things were stolen. My tape recorder, typewriter. Fortunately they did not touch my manuscript that I was typing, typing my books. So some money was stolen. Then one boy, he was coming to me, he told me, "Please come to my place." A loft. Bowery Street. I did not know the Bowery Street was not a good quarter. All bums and drunks. When I see there, one Jewish friend, he had electrical shop, he told me, "Swamiji, you have gone to Bowery Street? Oh, it is not your place." I did not know that it is full of drunkards. But they were lying down in front of my door, but they were very respectful. When I'd go, these drunkards comes and they respectfully give me ways. And they would lie down on urine and something like that, on water. Then the boy who took me there... He was Murray. His last title was Murray. And he was taking LSD. So since I went there he did not go to work. Otherwise, he was working and getting daily twenty-five dollars, in some dock he was working. Since I went, he stopped working, and I had to pay 125 dollars for the loft. One lady was the landlord. So I was going on. Some people were coming. That Mukunda began to come, his wife, and another black boy, half-black. Yeargen, Karlapati. I gave him name, Karlapati. He was coming. Then one day that boy Murray, he showed some crazy features. So I thought it is dangerous to live with him. So I approached Mukunda. Mukunda had no place, still I asked him. So I kept my goods at Mukunda's house and went to live with Yeargen. That is another loft. So in this way, with great hardship-sometimes here, sometimes there-in this way, I got two hundred dollars by selling books, and then I asked Mukunda to find out an apartment. He found this apartment, 26 Second Avenue. One storefront down and one living quarters up. So I found it very convenient. Down I would lecture and hold kirtana. So he charged 75 dollars per month for the apartment, small apartment. I think in a space like this room or less than that, everything is there. There was kitchen, there was shower, and two rooms. I think less than this. Two-thirds of this room and everything there. So I shifted there. And there I remained up to May 1967, I think. Then I got heart attack. Then I went to Stinson Beach. Then I could not improve my health. No, first of all, I went to San Francisco. There also I could not sleep at night. There was throbbing in the heart. Kirtanananda, he was serving me. So many difficulties. Then I came back to India in 1967 July. Here also not very much improvement. Then again I went to Los Angeles. There also one symptom developed. Always some sound in the ear, gongongongongon. It was so disturbing. Almost half-mad. And then Los Angeles. Then I think I went to Seattle. In this way, in the beginning there were so many difficulties. Montreal. I took Canadian citizenship. America I could not get. So one gentleman in the immigration department, he said, "Swamiji, you go to Canada and from there you try. It will be easier." Actually, it acted. The Canadian consulate general was a black man, American black man. So in the consulate I applied for immigration, and he was sympathetic. He saw my Teachings of Lord Caitanya and he became attracted. So he settled up. "This gentleman must be allowed." So he expedited the matter within three months. And then I became immigrant in the U.S.A. Then again I came back in Los Angeles, and then we took that house, La Cienega.
Devotee: La Cienega Blvd.
Prabhupada: That man also wanted to kick out after one year. Then we had no place. Then, by Krsna's grace, we got this house present. At that time I got fifty thousand dollars. So I advanced them down payment. And it is 225 hundred, thousand. I think they are still paying two thousand. Twelve years. How many years passed?
Prabhupada: Yes. '68 I got immigration and '69. It is a long history, checkered history. So preaching is independant. If you have got desire, you can preach in any circumstances and Krsna will help you. I have practically experienced. I went to your country without any help, without any money. Alone. And gradually things developed.
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