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Crossing the Atlantic during hurricane season

Gargamuni Dasa: He was then going to introduce something new. How would he do that at the age of seventy! Practically you'd have to say such a person would be crazy.

Sumati Morarjee gave Prabhupada the ticket on the Jaladuta, which means 'messenger of the sea.' Prabhupada was also or is also a messenger. But he's bringing the message of Krishna across the sea. So the name of the boat is very important because it shows the name of the person who was on the boat also bringing a message. These are not coincidences. These are arrangements by higher authorities. We just have to have the understanding of that.

So Prabhupada got all the paperwork. He got the ticket but Sumati Morarjee was refusing the ticket at first. She said, "Are you crazy Swami?" There's a video of her where she said, "Are you crazy? You're going at this... Who will take care of you? Who will take care of you on this ship? It's forty days." Plus they didn't know that they were crossing the Atlantic at the worst time of year. Why? The worst time of year to cross the Atlantic is the hurricane season. 

Prabhupada's coming on a cargo ship, loaded with cargo, in the middle of hurricane season, and he did get a heart attack. But it wasn't in the Atlantic. It was in the Mediterranean. He got two heart attacks in the Mediterranean and that's this picture here, which I had a Russian draw. Me and Brahmananda gave the Russian the particulars of this lila and we told him to make a sketch out of pencil which he did. We finally came out with this oil painting and it shows the Jaladuta with Prabhupada on it with his heart attack. Maybe you can scan the picture if you can. Okay and there you see the Jaladuta, Prabhupada's laying on the bed and Prabhupada said, "The only cure," he told us later in New York when he got his stroke, "the only cure for heart attack is massage." So we did 24-hour massages in the hospital. We all got a chance to massage Prabhupada and that's what saved him he said.

So who is gonna massage Prabhupada on the ship? There's nobody. There's nobody there. Who did? Krishna came to massage Prabhupada's heart. Prabhupada said that, "Krishna came to massage my heart." And there you'll see the captain, he stated to Prabhupada when Prabhupada got on the Atlantic, they were expecting rough seas. The captain had 35 years experience of sailing. The Scindia Steamship Lines had about 70 ships. It was the largest Indian-owned steamship company in the world, owned by Sumati Morarjee.

The Jaladuta was a fairly new ship. It was about five or six years old when it was commissioned. Prabhupada had a very good first class compartment. He was comfortable. But still due to the effects of sailing, the waves were only three or four feet, he got a heart attack. And with the anxiety of going across the oceans, who knows who would meet him on the other side? The arrangements were made, but who knows? Sometimes they don't come about, and Prabhupada... Where is he gonna stay? Where is he gonna eat? I mean, all these things are on somebody's mind. But Prabhupada wasn't thinking of these material things. He was thinking of the spiritual things.

That's where he wrote, in the harbor in Boston, the poem, the Jaladuta poem. He wasn't thinking about his eating, where he's gonna sleep. He was thinking about spreading the mission of Lord Caitanya. So this takes a great spiritual entity - to be on this level - shaktyavesa-avatara. I would be thinking of my body. I'm sure everybody out there would be thinking of their bodies, not of their mission. But Prabhupada was thinking of his mission and you can see that in the poem. So when they got in the Atlantic, an amazing thing happened. The captain told Prabhupada, in his 35 years of sailing he's never seen the Atlantic like glass. There are no waves. Sumati Morarjee predicted that Prabhupada would die in the Atlantic. She predicted it. That's why she didn't give the ticket at first because she didn't want to be responsible for that activity. But, finally, Prabhupada was persistent, Prabhupada doesn't give up. He takes all risks.

Reference: SPF Interviews