My Dear Himavati,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your nice long letter of March 17, 1969, and I thank you very much for it. Your feelings of appreciation are too much kind, and I can see you are making good advancement with your humble attitude of service to the Lord and His devotees. This is very nice. Yes that is the way—Krishna wants to be approached through His devotee. Just like the prayers we sing—yasya prasadat bhagavata prasada.
Keep Narottama das very nicely. He is a very good boy, sometimes he is attracted by maya but this is not very unusual thing. So kindly try to protect this boy as much as possible, and when you come to N.Y. he may also come so that I may see him again.
Yes I received the package of clothing, and they are too much beautiful, but still must be a little longer. The first set which you made for Them was the perfect fit. So I am sending them to you, so that you can measure from this first set of clothes and make more in the same size. I think this will solve the fitting problem.
Regarding your question about Lord Siva and Thakura Haridasa, and their different response to sex agitation: This does not mean that Lord Siva has become degraded from the devotional platform. A devotee even if he is sometimes found that he is attracted by sex life, that does not mean he is degraded. That is by chance. Because Lord Siva is Grhastha, so by his past habits if he appeared to have been attracted by sex life, that does not mean he has been degraded from his position. You should never think of any devotee like that. There are many other stories also, but such apparent falling is without any influence to very very advanced devotees. A neophyte should always be careful. One should not discuss about such great devotees' apparent fall-down. Just like one should not discuss about the sun who evaporates urine from the earth; it is possible for the sun to do it, and still remain the sun, but for ordinary man if he lives in a filthy place he will be infected. So Lord Siva or Lord Brahma, they are highly elevated devotees, and we should not try to criticize about their behavior even though it appears against the rules. These things are very nicely explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam in course of discussion between Maharaja Pariksit and Sukadeva Goswami, in the 10th canto.
Your next question: In regard to Kardama Muni, how can a pure devotee become passionate for any amount of agitation? That is not passion. One should not be impotent also. One should have full potency, to beget children, but such sex life should be under his full control. Passion is a different thing. Passion makes one blind. And a devotee is full controller; that is the difference. The example is given of the tortoise; as soon as he likes he discloses his senses, and when he likes he pulls them within. That is the position of a pure devotee. He can wind up the senses, whenever he likes and he can exhibit the senses whenever he likes. On the whole, the senses are under his control. He is not under the control of the senses as are the ordinary persons. That is the meaning of Goswami. A Goswamin does not mean he is to become impotent; and can have no children; but he can use it when he likes. They are never the victim of passion.
Sense gratification means unlawful sex life. Sex life is not sense gratification . . . unlawful sex life is sense gratification. If there is no need of sex life and one uses sex life anyway, that is sense gratification. But when there is need of sex life, that is not sense gratification. Never think that the devotee is impotent and is obliged to become free from sex life. If required they can take to sex life 1000 times. Otherwise, if there is no need for it, they have no use for it. Kardama Muni married a wife. Why he shall not give her children? The wife begged that she must have some children. So he must satisfy the wife and give her some children, that is the duty of husband. But he left his wife as soon as the son was grown up. Not that he used to live with the wife for all the days.
So far Lord Brahma and his attraction for his daughter; this illustration should be taken by conditioned souls, that even a person like Brahma is sometimes victimized, how much careful we should be. Not that even Brahma was enticed, so we shall become enticed more and more. This is an example set for us by great devotees.
To become agitated is not very unusual thing, but to control it, that is the real thing.
I hope this meets you in very good health, and I shall be anxiously awaiting our meeting together with your husband and yourself in New York.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami