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681231 - Letter to Sivananda written from Los Angeles

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

December 31, 1968

My Dear Sivananda,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your very long letter dated December 23, 1968 which explains the whole situation that you are undergoing. First of all, I must inform you that Vamanadeva's advice that first you should make a move and then consult your spiritual master is most unauthorized. A disciple should not do anything without asking first his Spiritual Master. It is said in Srimad-Bhagavatam that a brahmacari should beg and collect things and then deliver them to his Spiritual Master, and when the Spiritual Master will ask him to come and take prasadam he will do so. If one day the Spiritual Master forgets to call a brahmacari to participate in the lunch, he should rather fast that day than take food out of his own accord. Of course I do not mean to impose upon you such strictures, but the purport is that a brahmacari should not do anything without being directed by the Spiritual Master. I know that you are sincere devotee and a faithful brahmacari, but still you should not do anything without consenting me. If Vamanadeva gave such unauthorized counsel, he did not do right. Anyway, I have carefully read the contents of your letter and I can understand your mental situation. Your scheme is all right, your mother has some financial strength and you want to be in her confidence to get the money engaged in the Krishna Consciousness Movement. That's a good scheme, but unfortunately we do not get financial help by our schemes, but should always depend upon the Causeless Mercy of Lord Krishna.

Under the present circumstance you are the only elder member of the Hamburg center, and if you leave, even for the fulfillment of some __ scheme, it will not be nice. The New Vrindaban scheme is very nice, but even though you take it very seriously, you cannot do anything there at the present winter season. In the winter, the activities there are almost suspended. As such, I advise you to stay in Hamburg at least for three months longer. In the meantime I am trying to get Jaya Govinda to Germany, and when he goes it will be all right for you to arrange for leaving for New Vrindaban. Regarding the draft situation, I can send to you a letter and certificate verifying that you are our student. But anywhere you will be staying, you will be a student of the Bhagavad-gita, and as I have issued a certificate to some students here, I will also issue one certificate unto you. There will be no trouble. So __ is that for the time being, you should not leave Hamburg leaving the younger boys perplexed. Simply continue to lecture, chant Hare Krishna, read Bhagavad-gita carefully. Perhaps you know by now that our Bhagavad-gita As It Is is already published and you can get copies by writing to New York center. So try to stabilize the Hamburg center first and then think of your New Vrindaban scheme which will be taken very seriously for next spring or summer. Don't be disturbed in mind. Whatever irregularities you have and with chanting your rounds or with Gayatri Mantra, that you __ to now and Krishna will forgive you. I am praying to Krishna for steadiness of your mind. I am very encouraged by your work in the Hamburg streets which you sent me a photograph of. This picture was reprinted here and I have shown your example to many friends and temples here. I am sure that if you keep to that spirit you will be a great preacher in the future.

So far as your mother's money, Krishna will arrange to deliver it in due time. But don't be deviated in any way from your present chance for Krishna Consciousness. I have received letters from Uttama Sloka and Krishna das and I will reply to both very soon. I hope this finds you in very good health.

Your ever well wisher,

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami