July 17, 1976
My dear Dhrstaketu dasa,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated July 11, 1976, and I have noted the contents with care.
You can use the nickname Krishna-dasa, or Caitanya-dasa, etc., etc. when needed if you require some more simply name is distributing books. Everyone is Krishna-dasa, or Gurudasa, like that.
Unless absolutely necessary, one should keep head shaven and not allow the hair to grow long. If absolutely necessary, one can dress like an American gentleman, with short hair, but long hair is prohibited. The reason that one with long hair is not my disciple is because he is against the principle. Unless absolutely necessary one should keep hair short, and if necessary one can dress like an American gentleman with short hair. It is not expected that everyone will join. For that reason we can't compromise. The tendency is there to be hippy. When the acaryas are seen with beard, that is during Caturmasya, July-September. If observed strictly there is not simply a beard. There are so many rules and regulations. One can't eat a variety of foods. Only kitri prepared and poured on the floor, and then licked up. There are so many other rules also. That is not always that they kept beard.
Concerning the Vedic statements, if you do not know, what can I do? You have to know it otherwise why do you speak something about what you do not know. If you have heard from the Bhagavatam or other Vedic literatures, what do you want to know more? Have you seen the different inhabitants on the different planets? We have to hear from the authoritative scriptures and accept it. That's all.
I hope that this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami