671230 - Letter to Madhusudana written from San Francisco
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS, INC.
518 Frederick Street, San Francisco. Calif 94117 Telephone:564-6670
ACHARYA:SWAMI A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA
My Dear Madhusudan,
Please accept my blessings. I am so happy to read your letter dated Dec. 28, 1967. And I am very concerned that due to your sincerity and service mood you have improved in Krishna Consciousness excellently. Whatever allocation of duty there may be, if we try to execute such specific duty sincerely, that alone can make us much more advanced in Krishna Consciousness. In the Bhagavad Gita, it is stated that for the fixed up devotee there is one duty. This duty is understood through the transparent medium via media of the Spiritual Master. It is better service to Krishna and Spiritual Master in a feeling of separation; sometimes there is risk in the matter of direct service. For example, Kirtanananda was giving me direct service by massaging, cooking for me, and so many other things; but later on by dictation of Maya, he became puffed up, so much so that he thought his Spiritual Master a common man, and was existing only on account of his service. This mentality at once pushed him down. Of course, those who are sincere devotee, they take direct service as an opportunity, but the illusory energy is so strong that it acts on this doctrine of familiarity breeds contempt. Kirtanananda was thinking I was existing on his service, instead of realizing I was giving him opportunity to do me some service.
My advice to you is to continue your good attitude that you are keeping now and this alone will help you in advancing your cause of Krishna Consciousness. I am pleased that you are very diligently assisting Rayrama. Rayrama is a sincere worker and by assisting him you will be benefited. You are doing your best and I shall advise you to continue this attitude.
Regarding smearing on the Body of Lord Jagganath: You should always know that the Body of Lord Jagganath is spiritual. We are given the chance of serving the Spiritual Body and according to Revealed Scriptures, we should serve the Transcendental Body of the Deity just as we try to serve our worshipable personalities. To continue a sense of devotion, it is better to wash the Body of Lord Jagannath with hot water so that we may have the feeling that Lord Jagannath is more comfortable. We should offer foodstuffs to the Deity and allow enough time to eat them. These are all transcendental sentiments. At Vrindaban, the Deities are offered foodstuffs and time is allowed as in the case of others. Yes, before offering anything to the Deity you must be satisfied that it is a first class offering and there is no objection if you taste it by smelling. But you should not smell for other purposes. The whole idea is that devotional service should always be immune from sense gratification.
I am very glad that you are prepared to go to Vrindaban. Many students, boys and girls, are also prepared here to go to Vrindaban. I am just in negotiation for a good place for you and as soon as it is fixed up, we shall go to Vrindaban, at least one dozen students. Achutananda and Ramanuja had very good reception and they are planning to preach Krishna Consciousness and to open a branch there, and I have encouraged them in that idea. My dream is that at least one dozen students shall remain in Vrindaban and trained up nicely, and sent for preaching work all over the world.