So my idea of preaching in the foreign countries means that they are rather fed up with material advancement of knowledge. They are seeking the message guidance of the Vedanta Sutra or for the matter of the Bhagavad-gita in an authorized way. And I am sure that India will again go back to the Vedantic life when the principle is accepted by the Europeans, Americans etc because the Indian people are now in the habit of begging, after neglecting their own property. That was my view point. But all the same we must take only the opportunity of service without any limitation of time and space. More when we meet.
European (Letters 1958 - 1970)
1947 to 1965 Correspondence
It is understood that you have come back from your American & European Tour on the mission of philosophy and religion.
At present I am at Vrindaban. Last time (Feb. 9th 1963) when I met your Excellency to present my Srimad-Bhagavatam, you promised to read it to see what is there in it.
As Srimad-Bhagavatam is combination of philosophy and religion it is a great need of the day. It is a fact that at the present moment only philosophy and religion can bring about a __ of humanity. I think you must have ___ the required ideal.
Your suggestion for opening a center in Russia is welcomed as the Europeans were very enterprising in the Middle-historical period for colonization. Similarly we should be enthusiastic to open different branches in different parts of the world other than India. In India they are opening many such branches, but our responsibility is to open branches outside India. So it will be a great endeavour if you four go to Russia to open a center there.
I'm in due receipt of your letter of Nov. 30, and I duly appreciate your program for European tour, as well as coming to India for doing business. Actually we are experiencing Indian business dealing as not very prompt. The best thing is therefore to purchase goods ourselves from the firm, pack and book it all ourselves. SS Brijbasi has taken so much time for nothing, they do not even reply letters, but on the other hand they have promptly delivered Mukunda's order, this means that business managing is not regular. You can send the copy of the letter to Acyutananda in which they have acknowledged payment. Acyutananda and Ramanuja will return to Vrindaban next week and I am starting for Japan on Sun or Mon positively. I shall try to get some Friends there and also try to meet Prof Rudolf Stein in Hawaii.
I've also noted down your program for European tour. I am very glad that you are preparing the ground work for starting our centers in London, Amsterdam and Berlin. It may be that we can add another in Tokyo. Yes, we must have hundreds of such branches for preaching Krishna Consciousness all over the world. I have already made arrangements for supply of Saris, incense, musical instruments, mrdangams, karatalas, spices, etc. I am also arranging to print 2 volumes of Srimad-Bhagavatam in Delhi. Acyutananda and Ramanuja are going back to Vrindaban on the 15th after sending me off for San Francisco.
Regarding other books printed by, published by, or distributed by some European firm is very welcome. You have got also the full power of attorney in this connection. Krishna has sent you to me to help me in my mission. As you are my sincere spiritual son, Krishna will dictate to you what to do in this connection. So I have full faith in you and you can determine as Krishna speaks within your heart.
If there is less sales propaganda then the outlet of the books will be bottlenecked, and smooth printing work will stop. You have not only to print, but you have to sell them. So please consult Mr. Kallman how to do it. In your previous letter it was informed that some firm, European, is going to take the sole selling responsibility for Europe. What happened to that proposal? We must find out some selling agent.
I thank you very much for your letter dated March 2, 1968. So far the temple is concerned, do what is easier, without too much implicating yourself. The Indians there do not sound to be very reliable; that is my opinion also. So concentrate more on the Canadians and Europeans. Generally, the Indians who come to this country are for material gain only; they have not got very much serious interest in anything spiritual. So when I come there, I shall try to turn the Indians there to become sympathetic to our temple, but most of them being non-Vaisnavas, they may not take to our strict Vaisnava principles. Therefore, they are hopeless to the 80%. If you can sublet the present house, it is better, because that way we can occupy later on if need be. I would like to maintain a Krishna Consciousness boarding house there someday if it is at all possible.
Perhaps you have heard that my application for permanent visa has been denied on the ground that I filed my application while I came as a visitor. So I am leaving for Montreal on the 3rd of June, and second chapter for trying for visa there will begin. I do not know what is the result in future, but this time I have desired that I may go to London, and try to establish a center there for European activities.
I think it is Krishna's desire and blessings; as a Sannyasin, I should not fix up at a certain place and take your service comfortably. It is not the desire of Krishna. He wants me travelling throughout the whole Western part of the world and therefore I think it is Krishna's desire that now I shall shift my activities at least for some time in the European countries. So it is almost certain that I'm going to London by the month of August. And if you all wish to come there, then you can prepare for the trip. So far I remember that you know German language as well as Dutch language, so after we have started our London branch, you shall have to go to Germany and I think Hamsaduta can help you there, because he also knows some broken German.
The whole idea is that if we can organize a nice Kirtana party which Mukunda can do, because he is music master, and if we travel in the European countries with this Kirtana party, supported by our books and literature, I am sure it will be a great successful missionary work. I know both you and your wife are very sincere servitors of the Lord, and if Malati delivers her baby during the Rathayatra festival, then she can take one month's rest in July, and may be able to accompany you with her newly born Krishna Consciousness baby. For the time being, finish your work in the hands, and side by side try to chalk out a program how we shall propagate Krishna Consciousness in the European countries. Your letter under reply has very much encouraged me and I thank you once more for this nice sentiments.
As you have liked the place Hrsikesa, why not try to establish yourself there and organize a center for our ISKCON there. I know that many European and American students go in that part of India to search out real spiritual enlightenment, but unfortunately they fall in the trap of so-called yogis and are misled. If you can draw such searching students to this real platform, spiritual platform of Krishna Consciousness, it will be a great service to the western students, as well as to Lord Krishna.
The harmonium should be practiced just to follow the song; not simply for tuning. I think you can very well organize this Sankirtana party, and if we have a successful Sankirtana party, with me, backed by our books and literature, we can make a nice propaganda of this sublime movement in all the European cities. And if we are successful in Europe then we may go to other countries also in Asia. In India also if we go with this Sankirtana party we shall be very much welcome and there is great possibility of cooperation of the richer section of India. So I am thinking of organizing this nice Sankirtana party very seriously and you may also think in that way.
Similarly, if actually you have selected a nice place, that place itself will act as advertisement for popularizing our Krishna Consciousness.
For the time being Devananda must stay with you; he should not come here for the present. When we shall form a Sankirtana party for European tour, I shall call him. Please show him this part of my letter and I hope he will understand. He is very good nice sober boy, and he will be a good help to your activities. In meantime I have received one letter from James. I am enclosing his letter. I do not know what does he want to know from me. This boy is a new boy, and he might have so many ideas within his brain and if you can train him for your purpose he will be a great service.
So, if you seriously want to convert this new spot as New Vrindaban, I shall advise you not to make it very much modernized. But as you are American boys, you must make it just suitable to your minimum needs. Not to make it too much luxurious as generally Europeans and Americans are accustomed. Better to live there without modern amenities. But to live a natural healthy life for executing Krishna Consciousness. It may be an ideal village where the residents will have plain living and high thinking. For plain living we must have sufficient land for raising crops and pasturing grounds for the cows. If there is sufficient grains and production of milk, then the whole economic problem is solved. You do not require any machines, cinema, hotels, slaughterhouses, brothels, nightclubs—all these modern amenities. People in the spell of maya are trying to squeeze out gross pleasure from the senses, which is not possible to derive to our heart's content.
You'll be very glad to know that by the Grace of Srila Prabhupada, the duty which was entrusted upon me is being discharged as faithfully as possible, and by the Mercy of His Divine Grace, I have got here many American boys and girls, who are sincerely assisting me. I have got 8 branches in U.S.A. and one in Canada, and probably my next move will be in European countries, beginning from London. As you are Prabhupada's old disciple and you have served His Divine Grace so nicely, I would request you that you can make some attempt to open a branch of this International Society for Krishna Consciousness in Bombay. And if you agree to this, then I can send some of my American disciples to join you. Your children and these American boys under your guidance may do very good service to the cause of Srila Prabhupada in spreading this Sankirtana movement.
And I have established 8 centers of Krishna consciousness temples in the USA and Canada. In the month of September, 1968, I am scheduled to go to London on this mission, and maybe I can visit other cities of European countries.
My mission is in the line of Lord Caitanya, Who is Personified Love of Godhead, and Who advented Himself 482 years ago in India, and preached God consciousness all over the country. His mission is to revive God consciousness all over the world, on the basis of Srimad-Bhagavatam (Science of God). The principle of Srimad-Bhagavatam is that any religious faith which helps a man to develop Love of God, without any motive, and without being hampered by any material condition, is transcendental religion. And the best process or the easiest process, in this age especially, is to chant the Holy name of God.
One boy from here, Sivananda, he has already gone to Europe, probably Krishna has desired that we should introduce this movement in Europe also, maybe we may require many hands, devotees who are being trained in USA, to go to all other parts of European countries. Your appreciation for the service of your God-brothers is very much laudable. This is actually a devotee's business that everyone should appreciate the value of other devotees. Nobody should criticize anyone. Because everyone is engaged in the service of the Lord, according to one's capacity, and the thing is, Krishna wants to see how much one is sincere in rendering Him service. Materially we may think that his service is greater than his, that is our material vision. Actually on the spiritual platform, the service rendered by a calf to Krishna and service rendered by Radharani and Her Associates, to Krishna, there is no difference.
I am trying to inject in him the basic ideals of Krishna Consciousness philosophy and this morning we had one nice discussion. So the Berlin temple will be one of the most important centers in Europe, and I hope that in the future we will be able to train many Germans who are very intelligent personalities in the European countries. You know that I have got already one German God-brother, and he has influenced another German scholar, Vamana dasa, who has written a very nice book on Lord Caitanya, in German. So in that great country, people are very much interested with India's original spiritual and cultural life, and Krishna Consciousness is the most perfect order of such cultural understanding in India.
As such, you cannot expect any cultural contribution. So you will tactfully deal with them, and whenever possible, vehemently protest against their foolish ideas. But you should try to support your statements on the strength of Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita. Best thing will be to avoid them as far as possible. I am concerned to preach this gospel amongst the Europeans and Americans, and I am not at all interested to preach amongst the Indians, because they have now become hodge-podge, due to so many years of subjugation by foreigners, and having lost their own culture.
Devanagari means the cities of the demigods. This language is spoken there. And so far, AUM is concerned, actually, the AU, the alphabet A, is the basic principle of all languages. And Krishna says, Aksaranan Akarasmi the A amongst all alphabets, is Krishna. Because A is the beginning of all language. A or Au. So your representation that Sanskrit is the origin of Indo-European languages, is quite right, but our main concern is how we can impress people about the importance of Krishna Consciousness, and your scholarly presentation of the Anglo-Saxon language is very much pleasing to me; I hope in future you have to move amongst the scholars, representing our Krishna Consciousness movement, so I am glad that you are thinking in that way for our future program.
Here in Seattle, things are going very nicely. Last night, there was one radio program for two hours, and the Kirtana party sang so many songs and prayers very nicely. As I have no indication from European side for my going there at present, I am thinking of going to Los Angeles. But I am very much anxious to go to your newly opened center in Germany.
The symptoms appear to be as above mentioned. Please therefore utilize the opportunity of service diligently and it will be a great spiritual achievement for you and a great service to your country and community.
My program for European tour is not yet fixed and as such I shall be glad to go to Columbus as soon as you call me. I wish to see also New Vrindaban very soon. I hope you have received my letter previous to this.
The London branch and the Berlin branch are doing very substantial work, and most probably I shall be going there from America to the European countries.
Regarding your good suggestion about permanent organization. This institution is already incorporated in New York State, and we are opening different branches under different states. So I shall be glad if our Indian friends in San Francisco, also come in the management of the local organization; I welcome it.
I am very glad to learn that you are endeavoring to make Hamburg as our central place for European activities. Although London was formerly very important place in Europe, I think at present it is not so. So if we try to centralize our European activities in Hamburg, it will be very nice. I am asking also Acyutananda and Jaya Govinda to come and join with you immediately, and if Syamasundara. also comes, you can all learn German language very nicely with the help of Syamasundara and Uttama Sloka, and preach vigorously this Krishna Consciousness movement in Germany. Our Bhagavad-gita as it is, is now published, and I have got copies of it here. It will sell very nicely, and it is very attractive.
It is understood from your letter that Mr. George Harrison has a little sympathy for our movement and if Krishna is actually satisfied on him surely he will be able to join with us in pushing on the Sankirtana Movement throughout the world. Somehow or other the Beatles have become the cynosure of the neighboring European countries and America also. He is attracted by our Sankirtana Party and if Mr. George Harrison takes the leading part in organizing a huge Sankirtana Party consisting of the Beatles and our Iskcon Boys surely we shall change the face of the world so much politically harassed by the maneuvers of the politicians. The people in general are in need of such movement. If Mr. George Harrison wants to benefit himself, his country and the people of the world I think that he must join this Krishna Consciousness movement with no hesitation.
Please accept my humble dandabats. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your rubber-stamped circular letter of January 29, 1969 regarding the Golden Jubilee Festival of Sri Caitanya Math. Previous to this I heard about it from Sripada Sraman Maharaja and Sripada Y. Jagannatham, and expecting your invitation, I expressed my desire that during the ceremony a special home for the EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN BRAHMACARIS MAY BE ESTABLISHED AT MAYAPUR. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura and Srila Prabhupada desired that such American and European devotees may live at Mayapur for studies of Sri Caitanya philosophy, and now the time is ripe when many American, European, and Japanese students working as my disciples are ready to go there for this purpose. In 1967, when I went to India, five American disciples were with me.
"On hearing the news of Golden Jubilee of Caitanya Math, many people are coming daily to see the place. We can imagine even now how much big crowd will assemble when the actual fair will take place. Although we are constructing many temporary sheds under the circumstances, I do not think we will be able to give accommodations to your American and European students. Even after the ceremony I do not think it will be advisable to call for the American and European students here in Mayapur. Even though we make special arrangements for them, that will not be for many days. Even though you make payment for your students, the other students will feel inferiority complex. You know very well our standard of living, and therefore it will not be possible for us to accommodate your European and American students here in Mayapur.
This is most discouraging and against the will of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura and Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. I therefore request you to give me a plot of land within the precincts of Sri Caitanya Math to construct a suitable building for my European and American students who are loitering in Vrindaban chased by Bon Maharaja, and who may go in numbers to visit the site of the Birth place of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. I can take the responsibility of constructing such building at Sri Caitanya Math and bear all expenses for the boarding and lodging of such students who will go there. Sraman Maharaja says that Sri Caitanya Math is not in a position to meet their standard of living. But that does not matter. If you simply give me a plot of land, I shall arrange everything at my responsibility.
The summary is that you may kindly give me a plot of land in the Sri Caitanya Math for the proposed building. If you want to lay down the foundation stone for this building during the Jubilee celebration, I am prepared to send you the required money for this special purpose. Or else, on your approval of this scheme, I may at once go to India along with some of my American and European disciples to do the needful. As a bona fide disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja, and because I am trying my best to fulfill His holy desire in the matter of preaching work in this part of the world, I have got the right to ask from you a plot of land for this purpose. Now it is up to you to cooperate with me.
You have written to say that Tirtha Maharaja will give me all facilities to present before the audience during the Golden Jubilee function a picture of my "marvelous work that is being done in the USA and East European countries," but I do not think he has any intention to give me such facility because he has in his pamphlet presented one picture of Bon Maharaja's preaching work which is defunct for the last 40 years, but he has purposefully not mentioned even a single line about the preaching work now going on in Europe, Canada, and America under my direction. You will read a copy of my reply which will speak for itself.
That is your work for the time being. And now as you have Deity in the temple you can rise very early in the morning for Mangala arati. I hope you are following all the Deity worship rulings. That is necessary.
I am happy to hear that you are all appreciating the new record album "Govinda", and I have good hopes of it selling nicely to so many American and European people.
I hope you are feeling stronger day by day, and please convey my blessings to all your God-brothers and God-sisters there with you.
Poet Allan Ginsberg was there with me for chanting, and all the students were responsive immediately. Therefore I advise you that we are working on a different platform. We are working neither on the sensual platform, nor on the mental platform, nor on the intellectual platform. We are working completely on the spiritual platform. The concept of European, American, or Indian is based on the bodily platform. So long one is under the impression that he is this body, he cannot make much progress in this movement. Lord Caitanya says that factually all living entities are the servants of Krishna. This servitorship cannot be rendered from the material platform, because Krishna is not matter. He is Sat-Cit-Ananda Vigraha. Anyone trying to serve Krishna from the material platform of body, mind and intelligence cannot appreciate this fact.
Until then, one is not a pure devotee. In the Narada Pancaratra it is clearly stated that one has to become free from all material designations. So long as one is under the cover of material designations, he cannot serve Krishna. Therefore, we have to transcend this position by cleansing our hearts from such rubbish concept of life that I am American, I am European, I am Indian, I am this or that. Anyone keeping himself under such impression, but at the same time trying to get into Krishna Consciousness is called neophyte devotee, or prakrta. Lord Caitanya has given us a very nice method of chanting Hare Krishna, and if we execute this without any offense, we can transcend this prakrta platform and come to the spiritual platform of serving Krishna. And unless we serve Krishna there is no possibility of getting His Grace, and without His Grace it is not possible to preach Krishna Consciousness. Therefore, we should more depend to receive His Grace then to depend on mental or intellectual activities.
The workers there are very sincere, and upon your joining them, they will be very much encouraged. I am also glad to learn that you are enjoying reading the book, Teachings of Lord Caitanya, and now both you and your husband have to preach these teachings of Lord Caitanya in the European countries. So please read our books very carefully, and as soon as there is some question you can ask me. In the future I hope that Mandali Bhadra will translate this book into the German language.
So there is no need of playing hide-and-seek. If you continue learning the jeweler's trade, he will not be displeased. Besides that, some of our men must work, otherwise it is difficult to maintain all the expenses in the European countries.
Regarding Sivananda's plan to go to Paris, it may be suspended till I request him to do so. In the meantime I have received information from London that they have secured a nice house at the cost of $400 per month, so they want me to go there by the end of July. In the meantime, if you think my presence in Hamburg will help your organization, I can go there for a few days.
In some previous letter, Mukunda wrote that he would send tickets for both me and Purusottama. So if in the meantime he sends ticket for Purusottama, then he can also go with me. I think the best arrangement would have been if by mutual consultation you make the transportation arrangements for my European journey. I do not know when Mukunda is going to send me those tickets, so you can consult with him. In the meantime, if you are able only to send one ticket for me, Purusottama may go later on. But anyway, I heard that after the 4th of August there will be a concession in the fare from America to Europe, so you can inquire about it. I shall be in San Francisco by the 25th of July, so you can let me know your decision at the San Francisco address or the Los Angeles address, which ever is more convenient for you.
I am going there on the 26th of July. I hope you will send me the pictures of your world famous parade in London. Send all detailed pictures to Brahmananda for publication in BTG. If possible, invite some Indian press representatives to report to the Indian papers how the Vedic culture is being accepted by Americans and Europeans.
I have prepared a nice book, Krishna, and I want to print it in a deluxe edition. If some of your friends finance this publication, it will be a unique presentation to the world. This will contain Krishna's life from the beginning of His Appearance to His Disappearance from this mortal world. It will contain all of His activities throughout. It is full of philosophy, instructions, transcendental pastimes and artistic pictures.
So please try to follow this policy and publish in BTG only pure Krishna Conscious articles.
Regarding press starting, I have already given you necessary instructions, and again I say that you complete it as soon as possible. I wish to see the press is started when I go back to USA after my European tour, probably in the beginning of November. I received a note from one girl, Gita Rajput, and I am enclosing it herewith for your reference. If she comes to decorate in the temple, encourage her because a little service to Lord Krishna will protect one from the greatest calamity. That is the version of Bhagavad-gita.
I beg to thank you very much for your letter dated September 3rd 1969 and your Vyasa Puja gift of 50 dollars. On Vyasa Puja day we had a very nice ceremony in the temple where the Vyasa Puja booklet was read aloud by Hayagriva, who is travelling with me during this European tour. On the morning of the same day there was an initiation ceremony held and two German brahmacaris, one English brahmacari and one German householder couple was initiated into this Krishna Consciousness Movement. This Thursday morning we shall be going to London, and they have arranged nice living quarters on the estate of John Lennon. After our business in London is finished, most probably I shall be returning to the USA via either New York or Boston. I hope that everything is coming along nicely in setting up the press in Boston, and please keep me informed as to your progress in this connection.
You write to say that the Japanese students inquire very intelligently, more so than the American boys. Yes, it is a fact that the Japanese people are actually very intelligent, perhaps more than the Europeans and Americans. That is admitted by one German scholar, my Godbrother. So if you can satisfy them intellectually and answer all their questions, that will be your success. All the answers are there in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and Teachings of Lord Caitanya. You will simply have to study these books to find out the answers. Anyway, I think Japan will be good field in future for spreading our Krishna Consciousness Movement. You are tested devotees; please handle the matter carefully, and Krishna will give you all help.
I could not understand what you mean by a cart from India. The Japanese are good carpenters, so is it not possible to get such cart made locally? I do not know if Acyutananda will be able to help you in this connection. Here in England the Sankirtana Movement is getting very popular, and the Party here is getting numerous calls, even from European cities. So we are very much hopeful here also. I am anxious to know how you are eating, whether you have got the facilities for cooking nice Prasadam. Japanese rice is very cheap, so if you take nice rice, dal, capatis, vegetable, and little milk, that will keep your health nice. Bali Mardan, you have asked how the Sankirtana activities become more relishable every day. It is due to Lord Caitanya's benediction. All Glories to Sri Krishna Sankirtana!!
The project is to establish there a nice Iskcon library to attract the richer class of men in that area. I do not know how far we shall be successful in this attempt, but if we are successful in purchasing a property there, it will be a great stride for our propaganda work. It is understood that the most selected persons of the Western world, both Europeans and Americans, they live in that quarter of Los Angeles. So why not a center there? That is the contemplation.
Regarding MacMillan, I think the matter is already settled up and we have all decided to get Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto, published by them. So do the needful. Whatever you will decide together, that is my decision, and I have already informed you in this connection.
So at present moment we have got temples in six important countries: USA, England, France, Germany, Japan and Canada. All together there are 22 branches. Recently in our Detroit branch the son and daughter-in-law of Sriman J. Dalmia, one of the big industrialists of India, visited, and the daughter-in-law presented many saris to the devotees there. So the American and European boys and girls are taking to this cultural life more and more, and perhaps this will make history in the future how
In Japan Sudama and his wife are doing very nicely, and I have got encouraging letter that Bali Mardan is desiring to go to Australia to open a temple. Also, Suridas and his wife, Jotilla, with others have gone to Paris. As formerly the Europeans made colonization in different parts of the world, it is the same thing; colonization of Sankirtana in Krishna Consciousness.
Here you can talk with Mukunda and others about the World Sankirtana Party. There is good possibility. Simply it requires some good organization. Therefore you are called.
So far as I am concerned, as I already told you, after this European tour I am going to retire from active work and retire for writing books. So any place suitable I shall stay and give you directions. I am now confident that at least one dozen of you have understood the philosophy and the matters by which it can be handled. So from the background if I give you some inspiration, the whole society shall run on nicely. We shall talk of these things when you come. So try to go to New York as soon as you are able, and the ticket will be duly sent there.
It is very, very respectable quarters, and we have invited many hundreds of people, both Indians and Europeans, in this ceremony which will continue from the 14th till the 21st of December, 1969. I am submitting herewith our humble invitation for your blessings.
Another point I beg to inform you is that His Holiness Yayabar Maharaja has got land in Ishodyan and he wants Rs. 10,000 for it. He says that he wanted to construct some Math, but for want of sufficient resources he could not do that, so now he wants to dispose of it. I have requested him to donate this land to our institution because the land was meant for some service to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Since he could not utilize it by constructing a temple or building there, I am prepared to do it for the service of the Lord and in pursuance of the desire of Bhaktivinode Thakura. If he donates that land to our institution, we can immediately invest Rs. 200,000 minimum for constructing a temple and home for the European and American students. I know Sripada Yayabar Maharaja always abides by your good advices. So if you think it is proper, you can advise him in the above manner so that we can fulfill the desire of Srila Prabhupada by mutual cooperation in the matter of discharging His Mission. I hope you will kindly understand me right and do the needful. Thanking you in anticipation.
Tamala is there in London, and I have advised him to go occasionally to the German center and see things are very nicely managed. Now the Krishna Consciousness Movement is given to you, some selected European and American boys and girls. Please try to maintain it heart and soul with faith in Krishna, and your life will be successful. I am an old man and I may shift away from the scene at any moment; but I am very much hopeful of my disciples who are so sincerely helping me. This movement is greatly needed for the human society, so we are not working like any political party, but we are trying to execute the Will of the Supreme Lord.
It is pleasing to hear that young boys and girls are coming from different parts of European countries. I am so much enthused to know that we can open our centers in Amsterdam. Stockholm, Munich, Rome and other adjoining cities. Mr. Appa Pant, the high-commissioner of India, is already impressed with my activities. He assured me that he will render all kinds of help from the background but not as a politician. So without taking his official position, he can render service to us in various ways. So try to contact him intelligently.
So under this formula the whole European and American people who are so intelligent and materially advanced can be converted into pure Vedic Brahmanas, and thus their mission of human life becomes successful, and the whole world becomes a garden of blooming flowers.
Take all these words very seriously and try to propagate Krishna Consciousness with all serenity. It will be a great gift to the human society. You are a learned and intelligent and young man; think over the formula and try to execute to the best of your capacity. That is my request.
Regarding Mayapur land, practically my jurisdiction of preaching work is covered mostly in these Western countries; and because Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura wanted it that the American and European devotees should come to Mayapur, therefore I am trying for it. If you kindly help in this connection it will be a great assistance. I have already written to Acyutananda in this connection and whichever plot of land you altogether select, I will accept it. I have already written one letter to Sripada Yayabar Maharaja, but until now I have received no reply from him. Sripada Paramahamsa Maharaja has promised to help me in this connection. So I am awaiting their decision.
Regarding our London Math at 7 Bury Place, it was very successfully opened and the seva puja operations are going on very, very nicely under the care of Srimati Yamuna Devi. It is always full with devotees since its opening and all kinds of people Indian and European are participating in the daily functions. You will be glad to learn that one Mohammedan boy in London became my disciple under proper initiation besides a few Indian Hindus also.
There are many Indians like Mr. B. K. Birla who can help in this connection, but neither I have got any acquaintance with them, nor I am getting any help from India's side in this great propaganda work of Krishna Consciousness Movement which is actually felt by the local people as a major spiritual revolutionary movement. Nobody, either European or India, expected ever that the European and American boys and girls would strictly follow the regulative principles; namely, not to indulge in illicit sex-life, no taking of intoxicants up to the point of not taking tea or cigarettes, no meat eating and no gambling. Not only that, the boys in clean-shaven head and saffron dress will go on the streets and chant Hare Krishna Mantra so jubilantly.
So I am getting good reports from all our centers. Now I will be very much pleased to have our own center in Paris as soon as possible. I am so much thankful to you for your sincere endeavor to spread Krishna Consciousness in the European countries.
Preaching in Hindi may be accepted by mutual consultation, but the point is that our Radha Krishna Temple in London is specifically meant for English knowing persons and I think the Indians know sufficient English. If you speak in Hindi and sing in Hindi, the English speaking Europeans and Americans may not derive the benefit out of it because none of them understand Hindi; but if you speak in English, every one will derive benefit from it. Therefore, I think English speaking should be encouraged.
Everyone comes to the Temple for some spiritual enlightenment, so why should a section of the audience be denied the benediction? The same thing applies for Hindi songs also. Hare Krishna Mantra is understood both by Hindi knowing and English knowing persons; other Hindi songs may not be understood by the Europeans. I have no objection for Mirabai's songs, but I think Hare Krishna is the greatest common factor understandable by all people all over the world. The chanting is transcendental and quickly effective.
In our Temple all Europeans, Indians, Mohammedans, Christians, everyone is welcome. And our presentation is so nice that everyone will be attracted to accept it because we are preaching love of God. Love of God is the prime function of all living entities, without any sectarian understanding.
I have not received any letter from you in several weeks. Gargamuni also has not received any letter from you. Of course, I am hearing indirectly that everything is going well in our London and European centers. Still I would like to know from you what is the situation. I am expecting a report from you on all new developments in the activities of the centers there.
In London there are many Indians, especially Gujaratis and Punjabis. All of them were astonished to see how American boys and girls were preaching Hare Krishna Mantra. They were invited to many centers both by the Indians and Europeans, but it was very difficult to find out a suitable house there in the midst of the city. My Guru Maharaja liked to start centers in the busiest part of a city. So, forty years ago, my Guru Maharaja attempted to start a Temple there, but someway or other it was not possible. Still, I cherished a strong desire to start a Temple in the heart of the city, and by Lord Krishna's grace these boys and girls rented a five storied house in the busiest quarter of central London, at 7 Bury Place, which is near to the British Museum, London University, Great Russell Street, and Bloomsbury Square.
I do not know why in India the young men are not so much inquisitive—maybe they are very much embarrassed to solve economic problems. Recently one Indian boy, he is a PhD at St. Louis University, has joined our St. Louis center, and the copies of his inquiries and answers by me are sent herewith for your perusal. So far European and American young boys and girls are concerned, they also send me many inquiries by letter and I answer them in the same way, generally giving reference from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. These students are very nicely combating elements opposing Bhakti school. There are hundreds of letters from them; and if you are serious to make some agitation among Indian young men, then on hearing from you, I can some of the letters for publication.
They are maintained by the outside grhasthas. But so far as our London Temple is concerned, it is not yet self-supported, although the expenditure is very high. I think you are also one of the important members of our London Temple, so you can suggest to the directors how the expenditures can be minimized. In the meantime, the householders, either Indian or European community, support the temple expenditures. The inmates of the temple may not take any collections from the street, so that will be great relief for them. We have no idea to go against the law of England, where begging is prohibited, neither are we beggars. You know very well that the six married couples whom I sent from America are all respectable, educated, cultured American boys and girls, and how with great difficulty they maintained themselves in London and at the same time preached the sankirtana movement which was certainly very effective.
Our general plan is always the same—chanting, dancing and distributing Prasadam. This program can be reduced or enhanced according to one's financial equipment. If George is actually prepared to spend 50% of his income, and thus become a typical example to other European householders, then I shall be able to give him a plan for organizing this asrama so much so that it will be very, very attractive to everyone.
And so far selling in Europe by yourself, we can discount the price up to 40% and you can sell in your own way. But how it will be possible that the price is printed $8.00 here and $6.00 in Europe? That will be very much contradictory. Another process is to paste a small label for the European equivalent of $6.00 over the printed price of $8.00.
I know that all my spiritual children are doing very nicely as Grhasthas, and similarly I hope you shall be doing better after your marriage.
Organization of the European centers and the World Sankirtana Party later on—for these two reasons I called you in London. Now Mukunda, Hamsaduta, yourself, Krsna das, Umapati, Janardana, Suridas, etc., all of you are tested devotees, now do everything nicely in full cooperation. Always remain engaged in Krsna's service, then there will be no misunderstanding.
There are many big schemes about our European preaching work, specifically advancing the Sankirtana movement and publishing our literatures, but nothing has yet taken a practical shape. Under the circumstances, whatever you are doing is for the good. So until something practical is taking place in Paris, you continue to do this work—that is a great service to the Lord. I am very much pleased with your endeavor.
Now everything is there and you are also experienced, therefore go on opening branches as many as possible and preach Sankirtana movement to your best capacity. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura entrusted the responsibility to my Guru Maharaja, and He also in His turn empowered us to do the work. Similarly, I am requesting you, all my European and American students, to spread this movement city to city and village to village and make all people of the world happy. Actually they are missing the central point—Krsna, therefore they are unhappy. Let us inform them about this missing point, and certainly they will be happy.
And that is practically experienced during the last three or four years. There are thousands of my disciples, European and American; their background is not Hindu culture, and still they are accepting this Krishna Consciousness philosophy. Some of my students are from the Mohammedan sect also; but all of them conjointly are chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, dancing in ecstasy, honoring Krishna Prasadam, and happily living on Vedic principles; namely as Brahmacari, Grhastha, Vanaprastha, or Sannyasa, not to mention their personal dealings in the matter of four kinds of prohibitive regulations; namely no illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat eating, and no gambling.
Yes, because the transcendental sound vibration directly appeals to the soul, therefore everyone will take it if the vibration is made by a pure devotee. We should therefore try to fix up our mind to remain in our spiritual position by chanting and following the regulative principles. Both in our American and European centers things are improving, and I hope you shall also do the needful.
Mukunda, Tamala, yourself, Syamasundara, Gurudasa, and if possible, George, as well as Hamsaduta and all your better halves just make a very rigid plan for opening centers in every nook and corner of the European countries. I am arranging with Indian sympathizers to get some nice Deities like those in London. So try to install Deities and centers as many as possible.
Mukunda, yourself, Syamasundara, Gurudasa, and if possible, along with George, as well as Hamsaduta and all your better halves just make a very rigid plan for opening centers in every nook and corner of the European countries. I am arranging with Indian sympathizers to get nice Deities like those in London. So try to install Deities and centers as many as possible.
I take it for granted that you are one of the selected devotees of Lord Caitanya, and therefore from within your heart He has inspired you to go to such a distant place, leaving your parents and home, just to satisfy Krsna. This is a great transcendental adventure. Try your best, and I am sure you will be successful. Formerly your forefathers, many European and American gentlemen, were courageous to go outside their country for colonization, and Australia is vivid example of such adventures. Now, by the grace of Krsna, yourself and Upendra, the descendants of your adventurous forefathers, have gone there with a great mission, and try to execute it to your best capacity.
By the grace of Srila Prabhupada the preaching work is going on nicely and the most important factor is that I have got a number of youthful American and European disciples who are helping me very seriously. As you know the western boys and girls are educated and trained up in practical life.. They are spreading this movement better that any Indian could do. So whatever success is there, it is due to them; I am simply instrumental in giving them direction. They are very kind upon me and offer me the best facilities of comfort. So things are very satisfactory here.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not give much importance to the Vedic system of varnasrama which is very important for mundane people because Krishna Consciousness is above everything. So any suitable position in the order of our life is good if it is utilized for Krsna's service. You thought that with a wife you will be more enthusiastic, so Krsna has given you a nice wife, now you move in the European countries and try to promote centers as many as possible.
Yes, if you live in India it will be better facility that you have some preliminary knowledge of the local language. This was recommended even for big British officers who used to go to India either for business or for political purposes. I was a student in the Scottish Churches College and 90% of our professors were Europeans. All of them learned Bengali just to understand the local language. Although all of them were speaking with us in English, still they could understand Bengali nicely. Acyutananda has already learned Bengali, so I think for preliminary knowledge in Bengali there will be no difficulty for you.
All my best students are now in Europe, in pairs. Yourself, Mukunda, Jaya Govinda, Syamasundara, Gurudasa, Tamala, etc., you are all advanced and selected, now your program will be to recruit many sincere souls from European countries, and open branches. Your desire for opening a center in Copenhagen may be suspended for the time being unless we recruit some members from Europe because all the best students have already gone there, so it will be difficult to send men from America at the present moment. In America also we have to open so many branches, so I think you should not expect any more members from America for organizing European centers.
So for European activities, I have sent you there, and for its nice organization I am counting upon you very much. You have so kindly written to say, "Please order me in any way Your Grace desires, everything I have including myself belongs to You, and Your Grace may do with me as You wish." So it is my desire that in Europe you will kindly occasionally visit the three countries—England, France, and Germany—and see that the things are going very nicely.
Besides that, many of my students are eager to go to India, but I have no place of my own in India to accommodate them. If suitable place can be obtained, at least 40 American and European students may immediately go to India and preach this cult in colleges, schools and universities, and other public meeting places. I will be glad to know if you can help me in this matter.
By separate air mail I am sending several news articles, out of which my talks with Dr. J.F. Staal, Professor of Philosophy and of South Asian Languages, University of California, Berkeley, will be very much interesting to you. So we are gradually being appreciated by all classes of men. The above picture is our newly purchased building as I informed you before.
Regarding your proposed agreed upon program to send each householder couple to a different European city to open a center there, and then having the center firmly established, join the World Sankirtana Party is very good. This program is approved that first we establish some more centers. My missionary activities are especially meant for the Western countries. To go to India is a secondary question, the primary thing is that we establish our institution firmly in the Western countries. So when we are sound in our preaching work in the Western countries, that news automatically goes to India as it is already publicized.
This means that the Indians, or the rigid followers of Vedic principles, are doubtful about my American and European students about their sticking to all these principles. So it is a God sent warning for us so that we may not deviate from the above mentioned two lines of action and thus become subject to criticism by the opposing elements.
I have immediately asked our magazine editors to publish the London pictures. This letter was mailed by ordinary surface mail, so it reached here just after one month. So in future send by aerogram or air mail.
It is very, very encouraging to learn that London temple is receiving so many inquiries form the different European countries. So open branches there. When there is inquiry, the people are receptive. It is now already experimented that wherever we may open a center, Hare Krsna mantra will be chanted with great delight. Our Japanese center is doing very well. They have got very many television engagements. Brahmananda has gone there, and he says that in those parts of the world there is very good chance of spreading Krsna consciousness.
So it is very good news that your centers are doing well. And the program for opening several more new centers is most encouraging to me. In the meantime, I am eagerly awaiting to see the French and German editions of our BTG printed, so please send me copies as soon as they are printed. Hamsaduta has also just written to me in this connection of acquiring our own European printing press. But I think that for the present there is not enough capital to advance for this purpose. Also, unless we have very good press equipment it is not very practical to print our literatures ourselves. But in future if the opportunity is there, then we shall consider further.
I have heard that the Ratha is almost completed in London and it is expected that the Rathayatra Festival will be very, very magnificent. So as you have suggested, this will also be the best opportunity for the several programs to be established by mutual consultation amongst yourselves, yourself, Gurudasa, Syamasundara, Hamsaduta, Mukunda, etc. So please manage everything very nicely and Krsna will provide all opportunities for expanding His movement throughout the European countries. So see that everything is done cooperatively. Then it will be very nice.
There are many dilapidated big temples of our late native princes and if one of them suitable for our purpose is available either on rent or for purchase we can accept it.
As you know the standard of living of Americans and Europeans is different from our standard, it is better if we can accommodate them little comfortably. In that sense commode will be convenient for them. Otherwise, my students are so nicely trained that they can even lie down on the street. But it is my duty to see to their comforts as far as possible. So please let me know if such house is available. It does not matter where it is situated.
The next point is whether the principal temples in Vrndavana, say for example Radharamanaji's Temple where you are staying, will have any objection to admit these Europeans and Americans for darsana and kirtana. From sastric point of view there cannot be any objection because they are now pure Vaisnavas following rigidly the rules and regulations. As you already have seen in the "Kalyana" magazine, April 1970, they are taking twice daily bath, having kuntis, chanting Hare Krsna on the beads, decorating the body with twelve tilaka marks and following the four regulative principles 1) no eating of meat, fish or eggs, 2) no illicit sex, 3) to taking of any kind of intoxicants, including coffee, tea, and cigarettes, and 4) no gambling, strictly.
Regarding our prospective Indian tour in February of 1971, we must now settle up the things during the Rathayatra festival because all important European devotees will collect together in London. The program is to go to India with forty heads, male and female. One local Indian chemist, Dr. Ravidra Pratap Rao, is here and most probably he is going to be our disciple. He is ready to receive our party at Gorakhpur and arrange for our visiting different important places. So the best thing will be to purchase our ticket up to Lucknow if it is possible and then from Lucknow they will receive us by train to Gorakhpur. This is the idea here. Now you should consider what is to be done. So on hearing from you definitely I shall ask Dr. Rao for our proper reception in India. The itinerary is not yet fixed up, but on hearing from you definitely I shall send you.
Regarding your questions: Hindu means the culture of the Indians. India happens to be situated on the other side of the Indus River which is now in Pakistan which is spelled Indus—in Sanskrit it is called Sindhu. The sindhu was misspelled by the Europeans as Indus, and from Indus the word "Indian" has come. Similarly the Arabians used to pronounce sindus as Hindus. This Hindus is spoken as Hindus. It is neither a Sanskrit word nor is it found in the Vedic literatures. But the culture of the Indians or the Hindus is Vedic and beginning with the four varnas and four asramas. So these four varnas and four asramas are meant for really civilized human race. Therefore the conclusion is actually when a human being is civilized in the true sense of the term he follows the system of varna and asrama and then he can be called a "Hindu." Our Krsna Consciousness Movement is preaching these four varnas and four asramas, so naturally it has got some relationship with the Hindus.
Brahmananda has arranged to send you 2500 copies of KRSNA in London. Please try to sell them quickly and send the money so I can print the second part which is already prepared. In the first volume the pictures are so attractive that in San Francisco during the car festival 22 copies were sold immediately. I hope you will have very good market for this book in European English speaking places.
Regarding George Harrison, I think you have sufficiently helped him. He has also rendered service to Krsna, undoubtedly, so gradually, surely he will improve in Krsna consciousness—there is no doubt about it. In my previous letter I inquired if George requires some copies of KRSNA for free distribution to his friends. In that case you can give him 50-100 copies as he desires.
So let us meet by Sankirtana. I also do not feel separation from my Guru Maharaja. When I am engaged in His service His pictures give me sufficient strength. To serve the Spiritual Master's word is more important than to serve him physically. Please try to open as many branches as possible in European countries.
Regarding your program for the grammar schools, Yogesvara wants to write some books for children. So let him write and introduce them in the schools. If nice pictures are inserted the books will become very popular. I have already said; again I repeat, go from village to village and get them interested in Krsna.
If you have enough business now in Europe as Syamasundara proposes, then first of all we should finish this program. I have got good report from Amsterdam also. So if you have got immediate engagements in England and neighboring European countries, then we shall take up the African program later on. The principle is that whatever is handy we shall first of all take into consideration.
So far Mayapur is concerned, if the land is there, there will be no difficulty in raising funds even from India. But we have no land as yet.
I have received a letter from Jaya Hari and replied it.
Holland is full of cows, so that would be the best place for a European New Vrndavana scheme. But it is not immediately possible. If we get some suitable land opportunity. But we have already got New Vrndavana that is yet to be developed. So that scheme is not yet feasible. In future we shall see to that.
Vidhi marg and raga marg are already explained in the TLC. Neophyte devotees who are trained under rules and regulations is called vidhi marg. When by execution of the vidhi marg one comes to spontaneous service of the Lord that is called raga marg.
I am so glad that you are at last happily married. Now utilize this nice opportunity of working combinedly in the service of the Lord. You both have all my blessings for working on in spreading Krsna consciousness movement to the German people and elsewhere in European countries. I think your wife will be of great assistance because she is a fluent linguist. I have given her the spiritual name of Indrani devi Dasi.
It is good news that you are so quickly successful in your Sankirtana and distribution of literatures in Berlin. I am sure that this so large city will prove a very important center for European ISKCON activities. Thank you for your keeping to our regulated program of chanting, study and Sankirtana, etc. If you simply stick to this program which I have given you in so many ways, you will come out successful in your mission, of this there is no doubt. So do it very seriously and enthusiastically and receive the blessings of Lord Krsna for your sincere efforts to spread His Holy Name.
In this connection I may inform you that although there is no law by which the Temples can bar anyone's entry in India, still sometimes practically I have felt the difficulty in respect of my American and European disciples. Last time when I was in India one of my students, Harivilasa Brahmacari, felt the same difficulty when he was in the Temple of Jagannatha Puri. Similarly one disciple was refused entry in the Ranganatha Temple in Vrndavana.
I understand that Syamasundara and Gurudasa are appointed to oversee the European centers in the absence of Tamala Krsna, so ask them to send reports once in a fortnight. I am very anxious to see our "Back to Godhead" printed in French and German languages just like our English language edition.
I have received the news clippings sent by you. These articles are very nice. I have seen and I am showing everyone who comes to me.
I can show you how we are giving publicity to the Birthsite of Lord Caitanya. Perhaps you know that I begged from His Holiness Sripada Tirtha Maharaja a little piece of land at Mayapur for constructing a home for my Western disciples, but he refused the proposal. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura wanted that the American and European devotees would come to Mayapur and the prophecy is now fulfilled. Unfortunately they are loitering in the streets of Calcutta without having a suitable place at Mayapur. Do you think it is alright?
In the meantime Gargamuni and Visnujana can work together for establishing a nice temple in Coconut Grove, near Miami, Florida, and that will please me very much. Please go on opening thousands of centers all over the world.
I have received reports from my European centers that there has been some disturbance. I think that London is the most important center in Europe and the leadership must be very strong there, so I am asking Gurudasa and his wife Yamuna to return there. They are now in Delhi with some brahmacaris and, since they have come so far, they may remain in India for some time, but in time they will return to the London Temple. I have received one letter from Bali Mardan Das Brahmacari and he has expressed enthusiasm for his GBC post, so he shall continue in that capacity.
So far printing is concerned, if you are able to print books why not do it? I am prepared to give up dealing with Dai Nippon if ISKCON Press can print my books. What is being done with the manuscript of the unabridged Bhagavad-gita As It Is? It should be printed as soon as possible.
My European disciples have written that there are no books available in Europe. I want that each and every one of my centers should be fully stocked with all of my books, never mind if they can pay or not. The principle is that every center must pay for whatever books they order, but if for some financial difficulty a center is not able to pay for books still we should supply them whatever they need.
You also follow the regulative principles, chant 16 rounds, and keep yourself engaged in the service of the Lord. Also keep me informed occasionally about your activities.
Here in Bombay we are getting good response. Our expenditure is very heavy because Bombay is like a European or American city. But Krishna is providing us with all facilities. It requires a little intelligence how to keep pace with Krishna and the world simultaneously.