So Lord Caitanya preached this Kṛṣṇa saṅkīrtana, and He ordered every Indian. It is the duty of every Indian. We should be very much proud of becoming Indian to take our birth on the holy land of India. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya-janma haila yāra (CC Adi 9.41): "Anyone who has taken birth in this holy land of Bharata-varṣa," janma sārthaka kari', "just make your life perfect and distribute the knowledge all over the world.
Janma sārthaka kari kara para-upakāra. Para-upakāra. India is meant for doing welfare activities to the world, but we have forgotten that. We are trying to imitate the Western country and technology, and we have thrown out our Vedic treasure house, our transcendental knowledge treasure house.
So my Guru Mahārāja ordered me long, long ago, when I was twenty-five years old, my Guru Mahārāja ordered me to go to the foreign countries and preach Lord Caitanya's message. But somehow or other I could not assimilate his order until I was seventy years old.
But it was better late than never. So also I was trying how to make a successful tour for preaching Caitanya Mahāprabhu's message. So by the grace of my Guru Mahārāja and by your blessings, I went to the Western countries and had a very good response. Very good response.
I went there empty-handed, with forty rupees in my pocket and a free ticket, return ticket, by the Scindia Steam Navigation Company. And for one year I had no place to live, I had no money to eat, still, I was going here and there. Then in 1966 . . . I went in America in 1965.
After struggling for one year, in 1966 I incorporated this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, International Society for Krishna Consciousness. So some of our friends suggested, "Why not make 'God Consciousness Society'?" and "No. 'Krishna Consciousness.' If I make 'God Consciousness,' that will be a vague task." Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28).Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇah (Bs. 5.1). Therefore distinctly should be the Society for Krishna consciousness.
So these boys, when I started my class, 26 Second Avenue, some of these students were coming, and then I started my kīrtana at the Tompkinson Square Park, sitting on the ground, floor. These boys and the girls were coming. That was the first publicity, made in the New York Times, about my kīrtana, and gradually it developed. Next branch was opened at San Francisco, then at Montreal, then at Boston, Buffalo. In this way now we have sixty-five branches all over the world, and each branch there are maximum two hundred devotees like these, and minimum twenty-five devotees at least.