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Rupanuga's Empowered Preaching.

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I lived in the temple and attended classes during the final semester of my senior year at the University of Buffalo. Every evening after studying in the university library, I would go home to the temple and be greeted by Rupanuga, his wife, their five-year-old son, and the other students or friends who had joined. Prasadam, especially the hot dal, always tasted incredible after a day at school. Later, we would all gather around the big gas stove outside the temple room and savor "banana nectar" -- milk with mashed bananas, spiced with cinnamon, cloves, coriander, and vanilla beans sizzled in ghee before being added. We brahmacaris would then carry our sleeping bags into the temple room, crawl in, and fall asleep.

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Rupanuga's Buffalo preaching success was unique and outstanding. Our La Salle St. temple was lively, with university students dropping by for morning Srimad-Bhagavatam classes, thrice-weekly evening Bhagavad-Gita classes, and our Sunday feast. (It was my service to telephone all the people listed in our guestbook and invite them to the feast.) On Tuesdays and Thursdays we held a Bhakti-Yoga Class at the student union.

Rupanuga continued his program for years. By the time I left Buffalo, Trivikrama, Jagadisa, and Prahladananda had joined. Rupanuga's accredited course on the Bhagavad Gita attracted Bhagavan and Krsna Bhamini dasi to join. Gunagrahi and Kusakratha soon followed, and Romapada had already received his first BTG. Ayodhyapati, Laksmimoni dasi, Narottamananda, Nityananda, Tejiyas, Madira dasi, Satyavrata, Muktakesa, Lokavarnottama, and many others joined the Buffalo temple after I left. In addition, two other successful temples -- Detroit and Toronto -- were the direct result of Rupanuga's Buffalo preaching success.

The mood in Buffalo, and throughout the movement at this time, was to follow Prabhupada's fearless preaching spirit. Prabhupada had directly inspired us by his example and words. He wrote to Brahmananda in 1967; Srila Prabhupada said:

I have read your statements regarding opening centres. I am not in agreement with Mr Altman that we are expanding very thinly. In my opinion, a single sincere soul can maintain a centre. You know I started the centre at 26 Second Avenue alone. I took the risk of 200.00 dollars per month for the rent. At that time there were no assistants. Mukunda was at that time a friend, but there was no responsibility for him for maintaining the centre. Gradually Kirtanananda and Hayagriva joined, but they did not take any responsibility. Still I was maintaining the establishment simply depending on Krishna and then Krishna sent me everything -- men and money. Similarly, if a sincere soul goes out and opens a centre in any part of the world, Krishna will help him in all respects. Without being empowered by Krishna, nobody can preach Krishna consciousness. It is not academic qualification or financial strength that helps in these matters, but it is sincerity of purpose which helps us always. Therefore, I wish that you will remain in charge of New York, let Satsvarupa be in charge of Boston, let Mukunda be in charge of San Francisco, let Janardana be in charge of Montreal. Let Nandarani and Dayananda be in charge of Los Angeles, and let Subala das be in charge of Santa Fe. In this way you will follow my example as I did in the beginning at 26 Second Ave. That is preaching, cooking, writing, talking, chanting, everything one man's show. I never thought about the audience. I was prepared to chant if there was no man to hear me. The principle of chanting is to glorify the Lord and not to attract a crowd. If Krishna hears nicely then He will ask some sincere devotees to gather in such place. Therefore, be advised that thousands of centres may be started if we find out a sincere soul for each and every centre. We do not require more men to start. If there is one sincere soul that is sufficient to start a new centre. Let us remain sincere to Krishna and His bona fide representative and we are sure to carry out our mission successfully. Hope you are well.

Your ever well-wisher,

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Biographies and Glorifications of Srila Prabhupada-My Glorious Master-Buffalo to Chapel Hill, 1968-1969-Bhurijana dasa

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