Memories associated with the photo.
Srila Prabhupada and his early band of disciples played an intrinsic part in the spiritual and cultural revolution of America in the 1960s. Both in the Lower East Side of New York in 1966 and in the Haight-Ashbury of San Francisco in 1967, preaching the sublime message of Krishna consciousness.
In fact, Srila Prabhupada put Hare Krishna on the map, both literally and figuratively. In the lower left diagram of Haight-Ashbury during the historic year of the "Summer of Love," the "Radha Krishna Temple" (in red) was established at 518 Frederick Street, nestled right next door to the Digger's Free Store. Also shown are other notable landmarks of the day:
- The Trip Without a Ticket
- The Straight Theater
- The I/Thou Coffee Shop
- The Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic
- Mnasidika (boutique)
- The Psychedelic Shop
- Grateful Dead House
In his book, "The Haight-Ashbury: A History," Charles Perry writes: "Dozens of hippies were quickly converted to Krishna with the aid of a testimonial from Allen Ginsberg, who said that the Hare Krishna mantra 'brings a state of ecstasy.'" By virtue of his complete faith in Krishna and His holy name, Srila Prabhupada rapidly established Krishna consciousness as the genuine "peace and love" movement which so many young people were earnestly seeking at the time. As a result, his movement spread like wildfire during the '60s and '70s with enthusiastic support from many of the countercultural heroes of the day.
Reference: The Prabhupada Connection
Someone broke into room 307 while Srila Prabhupada was out and stole his typewriter and tape recorder. Prabhupada had lost his spirit for living in room 307. What would prevent the janitor from stealing again? Harvey Cohen and Bill Epstein had advised him to relocate downtown and had assured him of a more interested following among the young people there. It had been an attractive proposal, and he began to reconsider it. Then Harvey offered Prabhupada his studio on the Bowery.
As Prabhupada was preparing to leave his Seventy-second Street address, an acquaintance, an electrician who worked in the building, came to warn him. The Bowery was no place for a gentleman, he protested. It was the most corrupt place in the world. Harvey Cohen's loft, on the top floor of 94 Bowery, was an open space almost a hundred feet long (from east to west) and twenty-five feet wide. Ninety-four Bowery was just two doors north of Hester Street. The corner was occupied by the spacious Half Moon Tavern, which was frequented mostly by neighborhood alcoholics. Above the tavern sat a four-story Bowery flophouse, marked by a neon sign - Palma House - which was covered by a protective metal cage and hung from the second floor on large chains. The hotel's entrance at 92 Bowery (which had no lobby but only a desolate hallway covered with dirty white tiles) was no more than six feet from the entrance to 94.
Reference: Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta Volume 2 - Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami
Brahmananda Dasa: This painting, which was done by Jadurani, is a painting of Vrindavan. It's the Madan-Mohan Temple. This is one of the first paintings that Jadurani did and it's Madan-Mohan, Madan-Mohan Temple that Sanatan Goswami erected for the first Deity in Lord Chaitanya's movement. Prabhupada would give her a picture, and she would copy that into a painting. Prabhupada...he hung it right above his head, he sat underneath this. So it's the first Western connection, you might say, with Vrindavan, and here's the personification of Vrindavan sitting there.
Reference: Following Srila Prabhupada - Yadubara Dasa
The next day was Vyasa-puja day, the celebration of Prabhupada's seventy-fourth birthday. That morning a package arrived from New York containing several copies of the Vyasa-puja booklet, a twenty-five-page paperback filled with homages from Prabhupada's disciples.
Months before, one of the devotees had discovered an old issue of a magazine published by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati; the magazine contained a Vyasa-puja homage Prabhupada had written commemorating the appearance day of his own spiritual master. When the article had been brought to Prabhupada's attention, he said that his disciples could also write their own appreciations, just as he had done forty years before. So the devotees in New York had gathered offerings from seventeen different temples and had printed them all in a Vyasa-puja booklet.
Prabhupada was very pleased to receive the little booklet, and he had one of the devotees read it aloud in the temple. When all the readings were finished, he explained how service and prayers were accepted by Krishna through the medium of the disciplic succession. Although outsiders might think that, "This man is becoming flattered in hearing his own eulogy," the real meaning of Vyasa-puja homage is that it is a test of how well the disciples were understanding Krishna consciousness and serving the spiritual master. Their praises were all going to the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the disciplic succession. And such praises were required training for the disciple, just as officers train soldiers in the military.
Reference: Prabhupada Lila – Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami
Riddha Dasa: Srila Prabhupada always intended to visit South Africa. Since the very beginning of the Hare Krishna movement in South Africa, seemingly insurmountable obstacles had blocked the path for his intended visit. The situation differed from that in the rest of the world because the whole country was politically isolated.
Nevertheless, by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, I could feel his presence quite strongly, regardless of his physical absence. When we knew that Srila Prabhupada was finalising his travel arrangements, the devotees shifted into top gear. Vishnudatta prepared the artwork for the posters announcing his arrival. Plans were made to take Srila Prabhupada on tour in South Africa. Everyone was very excited. The finished posters were beautiful. In a photograph chosen by Pushta Krishna Swami, Prabhupada had the look of one deep in trance. He seemed to be completely absorbed in love of Krishna.
Since there were no computer graphics in those days, Vishnudatta did the artwork manually using Letraset rub on typographic lettering, which was then sent for printing. However, as it turned out, Srila Prabhupada would not be setting foot on South African soil until several months later.
Reference: Mission in the service of His Divine Grace - Riddha Dasa Adhikari