Pusta Krishna das: Srila Prabhupad established the temple in San Francisco 42 years ago. Many wonderful devotees, too numerous to list but including Jayananda, Tamal Krishna, Gurudas Shyamasundara, Malati, and so on, came to Krishna consciousness from the San Francisco Temple. Rathayatra in the West was inaugurated there in 1967.
San Francisco is an important city which is very agreeable to Asian people, religion, and philosophical thought. Many, many people have been exposed to Eastern spiritual concepts and yoga. It is the perfect place to establish a center for Krishna consciousness, even today. This is a call out to devotees in the San Francisco Bay Area to unite in a call to “Krishna conscious” action.
With the passage of time, so many bhaktas have become “suspicious” of one another, and unfortunately, this has really led to a “suspension” of their devotional service. This acts as a brake on moving progressively forward to our destination of love of God. We need to begin the process of reacquainting ourselves with each other in order to service Srila Prabhupad and Lord Chaitanya with joy and proper hope. I have grown to appreciate some of the programs that have come to be which appeal both to seekers and to the general public.
When I was with Srila Prabhupad in Geneva in about 1972-3, he asked me to write one letter on his behalf which was distributed then. It expressed his understanding that “not everyone will come to live in the temples” and we need to reach them with the cultural message… ie restaurants serving prasadam, and a store to sell devotional paraphernalia and the like. To a large extent, both the Los Angeles Temple and the Tucson, Arizona temple amongst others has done this, and the model is financially self-sustaining. A center in the Haight- Ashbury area, close to the Golden Gate Park would potentially reach both the spiritually curious and the seekers, as well as satisfy the cultural needs of others, giving people the chance for offering service and the like. What do you think? I live in Santa Cruz, California, about 90 minutes by car to San Francisco.
I know that there are thousands of devotees around the Bay Area who think about Krishna but have no avenue for service to Srila Prabhupad. I hope that we can overcome the inertia of suspicion so that we can engage each other in re-awakening active devotional service in ourselves, while at the same time we develop a very nice program of Krishna consciousness to offer to the Lotus Feet of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga. We are all eternally related through Krishna. Srila Prabhupad often used the example that there is so much strength in association, but potential weakness when we are alone.
The example he gave is that one thin branch can easily be broken, but if you bind many such twigs together, they are unbreakable. Sankirtan!
Please contact me at my email: PustaKrishna@comcast.net Lets begin the process of planning and executing the plan for a new revitalized and enlightened center for Krishna consciousness in San Francisco. Hare Krishna.