680714 - Letter to Hayagriva 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 Hayagriva,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your two letters dated July 6 and 8, 1968, respectively, along with one letter from Kirtanananda Swami. My first request to you is that as you are getting a job again, in the Ohio State University, you must accept it without hesitation. In the Bhagavad Gita you have read that one should fully utilize one's talent for the service of the Lord. Arjuna was a military man and he utilized his talent fully for executing the purpose of Lord Sri Krishna. So, by the Grace of Krishna, you have got some educational talent, and wherever there is opportunity to get some money, you must accept it, but spend the money for Krishna. As you are projecting to develop New Vrindaban, you will require money and I would advise you to purchase land there instead of taking on lease. If you want to take on lease, then it must be on long period, say 99 years; but first hand lease is better, that is from the government. I do not understand what is the position of Mr. Rose there, but I shall advise you not to make any big plans on the land of others. There is a Bengali proverb that if one is a poor man, he can go to some friends' house and accept food and then come back, but one should never accept residence in other's house. That is very inconvenient. Of course, for a Sannyasin like us, we can live anywhere and everywhere, rather we should not have our own place. But for the New Vrindaban project, I would advise you to purchase land as much as you can because it appears that the atmosphere and situation is very nice there. Another thing, I shall not advise you to purchase horses for conveyance. It will be a botheration for you, because now you have not got sufficient assistance. If you keep horses you have to take care for them and for a little convenience of transportation, you have to take so much botheration to keep the horse fit.
I am so pleased to learn that you have got a Deity Room and you are performing jointly Kirtan, assisted by a new comer, Harold Olmstead. He may be called Hrishikesh, there is no objection, but generally a Holy Name after Lord Krishna is offered to a devotee after his initiation. Anyway, you can call him Hrshikesh, and the same name will be continued after his initiation also. In the meantime, let him be trained up in our line of activities to observe the rules and regulations and chant Hare Krishna jointly with you.
In your letter of the 8th instant you write to say, "but it would be difficult to spread the Mahamantra to the inhabitants here." Our principal aim is to preach the importance of chanting the Holy Names of God. And if there is no such opportunity then the place will be specifically meant for persons who want to retire from activities. To retire from activities is not very good idea for the conditioned soul. I have got very good experience, not only in our country but also in your country, that this tendency of retiring from activities pushes one down to the platform of laziness, and gradually to the ideas of the hippies. One should always remain active in Krishna's service, otherwise the strong maya will catch him and engage him in her service. Our constitutional position being rendering service, we cannot stop activity. So the New Vrindaban may not be turned into a place of retirement, but some sort of activities must go on there. If there is good prospective land, we should produce some grains, flours, and fruits, and keep cows, so that the inmates may have sufficient work and facility for advancing in Krishna Consciousness. In India actually the Vrindaban has now become a place of the unemployed, and beggars. Kirtanananda has already seen it; and so there is always a tendency of such degradation if there is no sufficient work for service of Krishna. Another suggestion is that if you can attract some retired men to live there peacefully and at the same time, make oneself advanced in Krishna Consciousness, that will be very nice. But I am afraid that retired men from this country cannot give up their old habits, generally, intoxication, keeping a dog, smoking, etc., and it will be difficult for them to give up such habits even they are invited to live with us in Vrindaban.
Regarding Easy Journey to Other Planets: You can inquire from Mukunda das if he is going to print it or not. If not, then you can do it because you have now some money and spend for its publication. And regarding editorial work, I shall send you some manuscripts very soon.
Regarding visa: I am not prohibited like that, that I cannot enter USA, but the permanent visa was denied only on some technical ground. There is no impediment about my bonafides. But they have raised an objection because I submitted my application just after a fortnight of my arrival, and they say that I entered USA not as a bonafide non-immigrant. But I submitted my application, after consulting the Indian Embassy, as well as the American Embassy in Calcutta, but I see a different decision at the end. It is very difficult to take the words of government servants straightly. Chanakya Pandit has advised not to trust a politician and a woman, so practically I consulted all these politicians and they have given a different decision. I do not know what is their intention, but for the time being I have not gotten the visa.
My present visa for Canada is up to the end of August. Actually it is up to the third of September, but if I like to stay here, I can extend it, it is not difficult. But I am intending to go to London, and it may be in the meantime I may go to Vancouver.
I am very much anxious about your health. Is it due to the place that you are having hay fever? It sometimes so happens that moist places causes such disturbances. Are there many mosquitoes? The best thing I can suggest that you try to keep your bowels cleared, and take more fruits and milk. That will keep you healthy. I hope you will soon feel better,