(Srila Prabhupada holding a copy of his original Srimad-Bhagavatam in the Butler Eagle)
Prabhupada wasted no time. After more than 30 days at sea, Srila Prabhupada began his preaching work almost immediately by lecturing at the YMCA in Butler, Pennsylvania. The local newspaper, the Butler Eagle, published an article along with the above photo on September 22, 1965, only five days after Prabhupada arrived in Boston and wrote his famous poem, "Markine Bhagavata-Dharma."
Prabhupāda: ...because as soon as the ship stopped, Commonwealth Pier, Boston, the Immigration Department came and took their papers. So I entered America in Boston. There was no checking in New York. The ship stopped in Boston. The official entrance was done there. Then when I came to New York, it is just like one day's travel.
Devotee: No, that's not very far. And then you went to Pennsylvania.
Devotee: And then you went directly to Pennsylvania?
Devotee: By bus?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Then one agent appointed by my host, Gopal Agarwal... He was in Butler. So he arranged with some professional, what is called, host.
Devotee: Travel agent?
Prabhupāda: Maybe travel agent. He came to see me, that "I am sent by Gopal Agarwal, so I'll arrange for your dispatch. You come with me."
Devotee (2): Dr. Agarwal was your sponsor?
Prabhupāda: Yes, sponsor. His father came to see me sometime in Agra.
Devotee (2): In India.
Prabhupāda: Agra. His father, mother came.
Devotee (2): And then they suggested that he be your sponsor.
Prabhupāda: It was all by chance. I was for a few days guest at his father's place in Agra. I did not know that his son is in America. So he was talking about his family. He was little sorry that his eldest son went to America to study electric engineering, and he was entrapped by an English girl there, and he married and settled there and did not come back. In this way... So I took the opportunity, that "Why don't you ask your son to sponsor me?" I wanted to go to America. So I did not know how seriously he took it. But I simply told him that "Why don't you ask your son to sponsor me at least for one month? So I am thinking of going to America." Then that was talking, beginning and end, that's all. I did not know that he took it very seriously. Then after two, three months, some documents came. I was receiving my letters in a postbox. So when I left Delhi I used to keep my key of postbox with some nice bookseller, Atmaram, he was manager. So he opened that, he got that documents. That is No-Objection Certificate, sponsor, and everything. I was out of Delhi. Then when I came back I took it. So everything was there, that sheet taken from the Indian Consulate, No-Objection Certificate and everything. Then I applied for a passport. In this way I had to go there. So Gopal was unknown to me, but his father was..., his father was known to me, mother was known to me. Then his agent got me on the bus. So on the bus went to Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania?
Devotee (2): That's a long drive.
Prabhupāda: Yes, nine hours on the bus. And I took a little chipped rice, (laughs) and whatever I had with me. So I got down from the ship about one o'clock. Then I had to wait for the bus till five o'clock. Then at five o'clock the bus started. About two o'clock, three o'clock in the morning, I went to Pennsylvania, and just in front of the bus Gopal was standing with his car, that... What is called? Van car?
Prabhupāda: Stationwagon. So he took my luggage, and from there thirty miles off, the Butler County. So I went there. Then at night he took my bedding and... The next day, he had no many rooms in his apartment, he arranged for my stay in the YMCA nearby them.
Devotee (2): You never actually stayed with him, then.
Prabhupāda: I was going. I was taking my meals there.
Devotee (2): Oh. And just keeping a room at the YMCA.
Prabhupāda: Because he had no room, so I was staying there.
Devotee (2): And then he arranged programs, speaking programs, or...?
Prabhupāda: His wife, Sally. His wife, Sally, she was arranging. A very intelligent girl. They were of the same age, about thirty. Gopal was more than thirty and she was about thirty.... I saw that she was feeding her child, one boy, meat powder.
Devotee: Beef bouillion?
Prabhupāda: I do know what is the name. But I asked. She said, "It is meat powder." That is the system?
Devotee (2): Yeah. When they're very young and they can't eat solids.
Prabhupāda: With hot water.
Devotee (2): Yes, they have instant meals for children. All different kinds of things.
Prabhupāda: So Gopal was very much pleased that he could get some Indian cāpāṭis, like this.
Devotee (2): So he had you cook for him. You took your cooker with you? Is that the same one?
Devotee (2): A different one then.
Prabhupāda: So I lived with him for twenty-one days. Then I came to New York.
Devotee (2): Yes, that picture in the Butler Eagle, it's in the Vyāsa-Pūjā book this year.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. Butler County, it is good county. There were many churches. That pleased me, that people have got so many churches; they're religious. (break) ...some time, that one piece of wire lying in one place, one piece of bamboo was lying in another place, and one dry shell of a squash was lying there. So one intelligent man collected this. So this dry shell became the tambura's... What is called?
Devotee (2): I don't know. Like sound chamber. What do you call it? Like on a tambura.
Prabhupāda: Sound chamber maybe called. So with that dry squash he made the sound chamber. The bamboo he fixed up, and the wire upon it, and then it became a "tin-tin-tin-tin..." (laughs) Our organization is like that. I was loitering in the street. Somebody was over there, somebody was there, not combined together. International Society String Band. Yes. Separately we are all useless. Eh?
Devotee (2): No, we were useless. You were never useless.
Prabhupāda: No, your assistance was required. How you can be useless? We're all useless. But combined together, now we have become a stringed instrument. This is very good example. Separately... Just like the same logic, andha-khañja. Separately, andha is useless, and khañja is useless. Blind and lame. They cannot do anything. But combined together, they become useful.
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Vrindavan, Sept. 9, 1976)