Srila Prabhupada moved to the holy city of Vrindavan in 1956, where he initially stayed in a room at the Vamsi Gopala Mandir near Keshi Ghat. In July 1959, he moved to the famous Radha Damodara Mandir. Moving to Radha Damodara Mandir was a major turning point in Srila Prabhupada’s life and it was here where he began his life mission of fulfilling his spiritual master’s order to spread the teachings of Lord Chaitanya and the sankirtana movement to the western world.
In 1965, Srila Prabhupada left Vrindavan to teach Krishna consciousness in America and around the world. Despite physically separated from Vrindavan, Srila Prabhupada would always remember Vrindavan and internally serving the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Damodara.
When Srila Prabhupada began preaching in New York City in 1966, he would often introduce himself as “coming from Vrindavan”. He said, “When Krishna descended on the earth, He appeared in Vrindavan. Although I am presently living in America, my residence is in Vrindavan, because I am always thinking of Krishna. Although I may be in a New York apartment, my consciousness is there, and this is as good as living there.”
To broadcast the glories of Vrindavan, Srila Prabhupada had left Vrindavan, but he was intensely attached to Krishna’s transcendental abode. He was very much attracted to Radha Kund and Govardhan Hill.
Throughout his life, Srila Prabhupada was always thinking of Vrindavan. Out of compassion for the people of Kali-yuga, he tirelessly wrote books about the eternally joyful, spiritual relationships experienced by liberated souls residing in Vrindavan. He established an ashram, gurukul, restaurant, and guest house in Vrindavan to provide modern, clean and comfortable facilities for western people to taste the peace and pleasure of devotional life.
With Srila Prabhupada, Vrindavan was an ever present reality wherein he acted as Krishna’s loving servant. To deliver the message of Krishna consciousness, He sacrificed everything – including the benefit of residing in Vrindavan.