1. Srila Prabhupada quotes his own poem about preaching in America

    In my poetry, on the strength of sastra, I said that rajas tamo gune era sabai acchanna, vasudeva-katha ruci nahe se prasanna [Markine Bhagavata-dharma]. “Most of the population here is covered by the material modes of ignorance and passion. Absorbed in material life, they think themselves very happy and satisfied; therefore they have no taste for the transcendental message of Vasudeva. So I do not know how they will be able to understand it.” Actually that is the fact. Everyone, so many svamis and yogis, come in this country. So they advertise in India that they went to America for preaching Vedanta. But being influenced, what Vedanta they learned? When they returned to India, they have learned how to entice women and how to eat meat. This is their Vedanta. Because karanam guna-sango ‘sya.

    If you are not strong enough, then association will induce or influence. If you are not a Vaisnava, then if you go in a brothel or a liquor house, then you will be influenced by the drunkards and prostitute-hunters. But if you are strong enough, then you will… The effect, you will give your effect of association; they will be Vaisnavas. That is the difference.

    So this, my song… I was thinking on board the ship that rajas tamo gune era sabai acchanna, vasudeva-katha ruci nahe se prasanna. Nobody is interested. At the present moment, everyone is covered by the rajas-tamah, the base qualities, ignorance and passion, so they have no interest in Krsna consciousness. That is not possible. One has to purify himself. Tada rajas-tamo-bhavah kama-lobhadayas… [SB 1.2.19]. When we kill the rajas-tamo-bhavah, ceta etair anaviddham… When our heart is no more contaminated by the rajas-tamo-bhavah, ceta etair anaviddham sthitam sattve prasidati. There are three gunas. If you make minus these two gunas, rajas-tamo-guna, then the remaining — only sattva-guna. So these rajas-tamo-guna can be counteracted simply by hearing about Krsna. Srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah. So therefore I wrote, tabe jadi tava krpa hay ahaituki, sakala sambhava hay tumi se kautiki [Markine Bhagavata-dharma], that “God is all-powerful, Krsna is all-powerful. He can do everything impossible, possible.” So whatever is being done in our Krsna consciousness movement, don’t think that it is my influence of my… It is Krsna’s. Krsna can do everything. He can change sattva-guna into tamo-guna, tamo-guna into rajo-guna, rajo-guna into sattva-guna.

    From Srila Prabhupada’s lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.44 — June 10, 1976, Los Angeles