By Chaitanya Charana Dasa
“It’s an astonishing story. If someone told you a story like this, you wouldn’t believe it. Here’s this person, he’s seventy years old, he’s going to a country where he’s never been before, he doesn’t know anybody there, he has no money, has no contacts. He has none of the things, you would say, that make for success. He’s going to recruit people not on any systematic basis, but just picking up whomever he comes across and he’s going to give them responsibility for organizing a worldwide movement. You’d say, ‘What kind of program is that?’ There are precedents perhaps. Jesus of Nazareth went around saying, ‘Come follow me. Drop your nets, or leave your tax collecting, and come with me and be my disciple.’ But in his case, he wasn’t an old man in a strange society dealing with people whose backgrounds were totally different from his own. He was dealing with his own community. Bhaktivedanta Swami’s achievement, then, must be seen as unique.” – History of religion professor Thomas Hopkins in Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna: Five Distinguished Scholars on the Krishna Movement in the West.