Srila Prabhupada in Tompkins Square Park 1966 (B&W)

July 12, 2016 in Hasti Gopala Dasa by Laksman dasa

Submitted by: Hasti Gopala Dasa

Reporter: Have you ever had people come to you who had previously been involved with a fake guru?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, there are many.

Reporter: Were their spiritual lives in any way spoiled by the fake gurus?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No, they were genuinely seeking something spiritual, and that was their qualification. God is within everyone’s heart, and as soon as someone genuinely seeks Him, He helps that person find a genuine guru.

Reporter: Have the real gurus like yourself ever tried to put a stop to the false gurus—that is, put pressure on them to put them out of business, so to speak?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No, that is not my purpose. I started my movement simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. I chanted in New York in a place called Tompkins Square Park, and soon people began to come to me. In this way, the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement gradually developed. Many accepted, and many did not accept. Those who are fortunate have accepted.
Books : The Science of Self Realization : SSR 2: Choosing a Spiritual Master : What Is a Guru? :

Srila Prabhupada: I then rented one store-front and an apartment at 26 Second Avenue for $200 per month, but without any source of income. I started my classes and sometimes, on Sundays, I used to chant Hare Krishna Mantra in Tomkins Square Park from three to 5 P.M. During this time, all the young boys and girls used to gather around me, sometimes poet Ginsberg would come to see me, and sometimes a reporter from the New York Times came to see me. In this way, the Hare Krishna Mantra chanting became very popular on the Lower East Side.
Srila Prabhupada’s letter to Hanuman Prasad Poddar

Srila Prabhupada: –  I am very glad to learn from your letter dated 2nd July that both yourself and Acyutananda went to Babu Ghat for chanting Hare Krsna. I am very glad to learn it. The same process I adopted in your country when I started my Sankirtana in Tompkins Square, New York. Krsna was so kind to send to me all these boys and girls who are helping me now.– Los Angeles 10 July, 1970