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Year of the Guru

Hayagriva Dasa: "Radha Damodar Temple, sahib," the ricksha boy announces as we stop before the modest archway of one of Vrindaban's holiest shrines. It was here that Srila Prabhupada resided and wrote his first three volumes of Srimad Bhagavatam from 1962 until his voyage to America in 1965.

It was with full faith and surrender that seventy-year-old Prabhupada took up the challenge of his guru, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, to venture forth alone on a freighter to New York. Nearly thirty years after Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's death, Prabhupada landed in the Brooklyn dockyards with only seven dollars, a pair of cymbals, and a crate of books. The following year, he started preaching Lord Krishna's message—Bhagavad Gita—in a little storefront on Manhattan's Lower East Side. For us, that was the apocalyptic year, 1966, the Year of the Guru, the year that changed our lives forever.

Now, after six years of nonstop preaching, Prabhupada is back at Radha Damodar, where he lived and studied for so long. Now he is working on Vedic home ground, perhaps the most difficult terrain of all. "A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country," Jesus Christ warned.

Reference: Vrindaban Days : Memories of an Indian Holy Town by Hayagriva Dasa