In 1965, when Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishna Movement, made his now historic journey to the West on the steamer Jaladhuta, all he had with him was a crate of Srimad-Bhagavatams, a pair of hand cymbals and seven dollars.
He suffered from severe bouts of seasickness and cardiac trouble when the ship went through heavy storms for two consecutive nights. At age 69, Prabhupada knew these could prove fatal. But on the third night, he dreamt that the Blue Lord Himself was rowing the ship to America, urging him on, and offering him all protection.
The next day, the storms and palpitations subsided. When the ship docked in New York City, he wondered how he would make westerners understand the message of Krishna Consciousness. So he wrote a letter to the Lord from his cabin.
"...I'm very unfortunate, unqualified, and most fallen, Therefore, I am seeking Your benediction so I can convince them, for I am powerless to do so on my own." The rest, as they say, is history.
In the next 12 years, from his arrival in New York until his final days in 1977, Srila Prabhupada was to circle the globe 14 times on lecture tours that took him to six continents.
He founded the religious colony of New Vrindavan in West Virginia, and he watched his movement grow to a confederation of more than 108 temples, various institutes and farm communities and he also found time to write more than 80 books!
His message was seemingly simple: "Don't fight with adversity. Just practice Krishna Consciousness sincerely; all discords will disappear by themselves."