680712 - Letter to Cidananda written from Montreal
AC Bhaktivedanta Swami
Acharya: International Society For Krishna Consciousness
CAMP: ISKCON RADHA KRISHNA TEMPLE
3720 Park Avenue
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
My Dear Cidananda,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated July 8, 1968, and in the meantime, Uddhava das, and Krishna das Brahmacharies have also come here via New York. Since I wrote you about the stop payment instruction, I have received payment of both the checks and money order. So you need not worry about it. When you go to Australia, you must take with you one mridanga and at least 4 pairs of cymbals to begin Kirtan immediately there. When I came to your country in 1965, I brought with me only one pair of cymbals, and it has increased to so many pairs, at least 50 times. And I came here without mridanga. So when you go to Australia, you have to similarly increase the number of cymbals proportionately, namely, 50 times 4. That should be your mission, and I am confident that you can do it because you are a sincere soul. If you can introduce this Krishna Consciousness movement in such a distant place, Lord Chaitanya will pour His incessant blessings upon you, and your life will be glorious. In this connection, I may give you the example of the boy, Subal, who was struggling in Santa Fe. Although he is not very much qualified from the worldly point of view, still his struggle for existence in Krishna Consciousness is advancing him more and more in spiritual realization. So far I know about you, you are intelligent, qualified, and willing worker for Krishna Consciousness, and I hope if you try to establish a center of our society in Sydney or any one of the important cities, of Australia, it will be a record in the history of Lord Chaitanya's movement. I hope with this seriousness, you will go there, and always pray Lord Chaitanya to help you. He is very kind, and He is always ready to help a willing worker. And as soon as you establish one center, it may be that I may go there for some time and try to help you in your organization. But before starting you should make an estimate of the procedure of your working there, as well as you must be assured of getting a job there. Here in America you are working and you are getting some money, but in Australia if you do not get immediately some occupation, it will be risky. So you must consider all these pros and cons intelligently and then, depending on the Grace of Krishna, you can go there, chanting all the ways, Hare Krishna.
Regarding some of your questions: Your question was, "I understand that we are not this body, mind, intelligence or ego, but are pure consciousness or pure spirit soul. This consciousness has been polluted by association with matter. By association with Krishna this consciousness will be purified. This consciousness is all throughout our body giving us the power to think, will, and feel, but how is consciousness interrelated with matter? Is consciousness like mist that hangs around a mountain? How do matter and spirit connect and how do they work together? I hope you understand my question. And what exactly takes place when consciousness is becoming purified?" A living entity has constitutionally mind, intelligence, and ego, but they are contaminated in contact with matter. At the present moment, our ego is working under some designation. Somebody is thinking that he is an American or Indian, and other is thinking that he is Brahmachary or Householder. This sort of ego is material but when one is firmly convinced that he does not belong to any material designation, but, his pure identification is eternal servitorship of Krishna--in Vedic language it is called, Aham Brahma asmi. That means I am spirit soul. The Mayavada philosophers on account of their negligence to serve Krishna, may sometimes come to this understanding of Aham Brahma asmi, but they again fall down to the material platform on account of such negligence. Therefore, this chanting process is being constantly in Krishna Consciousness, there is no such fear of falling down of the devotees. Your statement "By association with Krishna this consciousness will be purified" is right. Consciousness is not related with matter. Just like the air is always pure, but when there is a mixture of dust in the air, it appears to be a cloud. The cloud and air are different substances. Similarly consciousness is pure spiritual, but when the consciousness desires to enjoy matter, it becomes cloudy and dusty, or contaminated. And then at that time, thinking, feeling, and willing everything becomes polluted. The same example as I have given several times that the proprietor of a car and the car are different identities, but when the proprietor thinks that this car is for his enjoyment, he becomes absorbed in such thought, and as soon as there is some loss or accident to the car, he thinks that he is hurt. This consciousness is false, but one suffers the consequences on account of false identification. Consciousness is not like mist, but when it is materially contaminated, it looks like that. Another example, that water from the sky falling down on the ground looks muddy, but water is not muddy, it is clear. When the water is again filtered, and muddy things are precipitated, the water comes to its original lustre, crystal clear. So our Krishna Consciousness movement is that we have to clear our consciousness by the transcendental addition of Krishna chemical. Then everything will be nice and clear, and we shall be able to see our identification without any designation. I think your questions are answered up to the last part, when you inquired "what exactly takes place when consciousness is becoming purified?'"
Please keep me informed about your plans and program for Australia, and I hope you are all well.