Please accept my greetings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated July 11, 1975. After long years it is pleasing and surprising to receive an affectionate letter from you. I think I met you sometimes in the year 1958. Since then in 1965 I came to America and started this missionary activity from New York in 1966. Now the Society has got about 100 branches all over the world. And, everywhere we have got Deity worship; Guru Gauranga, Radha Krishna, and Jagadisa.
Prasadam in this country means a full meal. From the very beginning even when I was alone, I was cooking myself for at least one dozen men, and I distributed full meals. According to Caitanya Mahaprabhu philosophy, prasadam should be taken up to the neck, akantha. In Jagannatha Puri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's only occupation was holding Sankirtana at least four hours every day and distributing prasadam to the devotees. It is stated in the Caitanya Caritamrta that the Lord was so liberal that He would give to every man prasadam quite sufficient for being eaten by two or three men. So we are trying to follow by distributing prasadam very liberally, and we invite everyone without any discrimination. Everywhere we have got temples we distribute prasadam especially to the poorer men. I am enclosing one issue of our "Back to Godhead" magazine which contains photos of our prasadam distribution starting on page 12. This prasadam distribution is going on all over the world.
Regarding the free distribution of books, there is no need in this country. They have sufficient money and sometimes they pay more than the price. Here in this country if literature is given free of charge, they throw it away. In most cases we offer our books and ask for a contribution. And, sometimes they pay three rimes or four times the requested price. So about money matters they are very liberal. Krishna has given them money, and they spend it very liberally.
You will be interested to know we are collecting about Dollars 250,000 per month. This means about Rs. 20 lakhs per month from book sales. I have written about 50 big books of 400 pages each and about a dozen small books, and all of them are being sold in the above mentioned figures. We spend also very liberally, and whatever we collect we spend it also. The first book was started with your foreword, Easy Journey to Other Planets. Now they are selling revised editions and perhaps it is the best selling item. Since I have come to this country, I might have sold this Easy Journey about one half million copies. My Krishna books are selling more than that. So by Krishna's grace our books are being appreciated by universities, libraries, and respectable professors, and some are being used as textbooks in the universities. I am enclosing herewith a copy of our book catalog which contains some of the comments of the professors. I hope you will enjoy it. Also I am enclosing a copy of one book, Scientific Basis of Krishna Consciousness, written by one of my Ph.D. students. You are also a scientist, and I hope you will enjoy it.
In India we have got a program of membership and patronship costing Rs. 1,111/- and 2,222/- respectively, and all of our members and patrons are receiving all of the books free of charges. So any member can come to our temples and live as long as he likes and take free prasadam. So if any Indians students come here as our member, we shall welcome him and give him a place as well as prasadam free of charge.
We have already organized the Ratha Yatra ceremony, and we hold a great Love Feast festival every Sunday in everyone of our branches. Now I advised to organize more festivals during Janmastami, Lord Ramacandra's Appearance Day, and Gaura Purnima, the Appearance of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
I am addressing this letter to your Indian address because I could not properly reply your letter earlier because your letter has been redirected to me from the many places I have been on tour. I am also sending a copy of this letter to your address in USA in care of your son. I am very anxious to meet you again. I am returning to India by October, and I am inviting you to come to our Vrindaban temple and live there for some time. I have got a very nice Guest House there, and I would suggest humbly that since you are already retired from service and your sons are well situated, that you may retire from your family life and live in Vrindaban in the vanaprastha order. Our Vrindaban temple is appreciated as the best in this quarter. The Governor of Uttar Pradesh stayed with me for two days recently, so at least for a few days you may come there and live with me.
Learned scholars like you are now needed to represent the cause of Krishna consciousness because without this consciousness the human society is doomed. So I require the help of respectable, learned scholars like you for spreading this movement more and more. According to the Vedic system this body is perishable and the ultimate form of this body is to become ash, stool, or earth. Therefore it is advised by the great pandita Canakya that the body should be sacrificed for a better cause. That is the idea inherent everywhere, especially in India. Everyone is advised to achieve the result of pious activities by engaging this body for such purposes. That is the greatest gain. According to the Vedic varna asrama it is compulsory that one retire from his family life and engage this body for Krishna's service at the end of his life. As it is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam:
- tat sadhu manye 'suravarya dehinam
- sada samudvigna dhiyam asad grahat
- hitvartma patam grham andha-kupam
- vannad gato yad harim asrayet
- (SB 7.5.5)
I hope you will try to understand my point of view and join this movement to make it more appreciable by the people in general all over the world.