Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated January 9, 1969. Krishna is pleased upon you so that He is responding to your sincere service. In the Bhagavad-gita the Lord says that He responds proportionately along with the degree of surrender to Him by the devotee. So the spiritual progress that you are making now is duly being responded to by Krishna. Of course it is the duty of the teacher to instruct his pupil rightly, but to pass the examination with a degree and merit depends upon the student himself. But the teacher is always happy when he sees one of his students has surpassed the capacity of the teacher also. That is an occasion of great jubilation. Please therefore prosecute your Hare Krishna vibrations along with your good wife, and certainly Krishna will see that all of your attempts will be successful.
I am very glad to note when you write to say that both you and Himavati miss your sleep and go to bed late. By Krishna's grace, Himavati is not only beautiful externally, but she is beautiful within also. Otherwise how she can say that you may have the license for sense gratification but what will you do with this license? A brahmacari is good for living a life of celibacy, but a person who can live a life of celibacy in the presence of a beautiful and obliging wife is more than a brahmacari. Of course anyone who is stuck up with only one wife is also called brahmacari. You will set a very good example if both of you agree not to have sense gratification anymore and still you remain as husband and wife together. This is possible, however, only if both of you are fixed up in Krishna Consciousness activities. I thank you very much for your sincere endeavor to do this activity.
Concerning the house, if it is possible to rent it with an option to purchase that will be very nice. My Guru Maharaja instructed us, especially to me, that it is better to remain in a rented house than to purchase our own place, but actually He had constructed many temples during His lifetime. The idea is that if things can be done without any extra endeavor, that is all right. If purchasing a house becomes cause of our extra anxiety, we should avoid it. But if by the grace of Krishna it can be easily done, there is no harm of having our own house. Anyway, if this house is suitable for a temple and for prasada distribution, we must have it at any cost. You may do as it is best by consulting Krishna.
Regarding the examination, you are already a passed student so don't be afraid of it. When the examination will be held, you will find the questions so easy that within a few minutes you shall be able to answer them all. I wish to introduce this examination system so that in the future our students may not remained unconcerned with these books we are publishing. These books are not material knowledge. To a sincere student, all of the contents of these books become revealed from within, even if he has not thoroughly studied them all.
Regarding your question, the deity shall be put to rest in time, and if people are still eating prasadam, the arati cannot be performed. It is better if after offering prasadam to the deity you perform arati, close the curtains and then distribute prasadam to the devotees. Please do not accept from Gopala Krishna 6 inch murti. He has promised to donate one pair of 24 inch murtis. Besides that, when you are engaged in the worshipment of the temple deities, you may not install separately deities at your home.
Tears come down from the eyes of a person who is already elevated in ecstatic love of Krishna. So these are very good signs. I am explaining all of these matters in my next book, Nectar of Devotion. I pray to Krishna for your further and further progress in this connection. I am pleased to note that you are now accepting outside engagements for kirtana activities. This is an important attempt. Please convey my blessings to Kulasekhara also. I am very glad to note that he is back at the temple and painting nicely. I hope this finds you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
P.S. I have duly replied separately Mrs. & Mr. Levine and hope they have received my letter by this time. I have agreed to initiate them & you can do the needful.