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690201 - Letter to Upendra written from Los Angeles

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

February 01, 1969

My Dear Upendra,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter of January 27, 1969, and I have carefully noted the contents. I am pleased by your wish to remain as brahmacari, and if you stick to your decision you will be able to go back to Godhead, back to Home, in this very life without waiting for another birth. Please try in every way to stick to this principle, and simply engage yourself in Krishna's service. That will protect you from any attack of maya. Maya can take Krishna's place in our heart as soon as there is a slackness on our part. Otherwise, if Krishna's seated always, maya has no opportunity to occupy the seat. Try to follow this method and you will surely be successful.

Regarding your worries about natural disasters in Los Angeles, thank you for your cares for me. But Krishna is always giving protection and there is no cause of concern. There was a slight storm at night for two or three days, but that was not very much of a disturbance for me. I am glad to note that you are making improvements in the temple's paraphernalia. That should be your primary engagement. Please also take good care of this boy Charles. He is new, and you must help him so that he will not be poisoned by the influence of maya.

If you will have some time it will be nice if you can come to Los Angeles for a few days. I shall also be very glad to see you. Also you will get ideas from how the Los Angeles devotees are working for their temple.

As much as possible you should try to introduce to the colleges our Bhagavad-gita. In every college there is a religion department, and most of them have interest in the Bhagavad-gita. So you can show to the chief man of this department that this is a real presentation of Vaisnava philosophy. I have received a statement from Dr. Haridasa Chaudhuri of the California Institute of Asian Studies that ours is the best presentation of the teachings of Lord Krishna to the Western public. So if they are actually serious to receive instructions from Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita, they absolutely must read this publication of Bhagavad-gita As It Is. If they want some nonsense upon the plea of reading Bhagavad-gita then there is nothing we can do to help them. Everyone is free to act according to his inclination.

Regarding your question, maya comes from Krishna. Everything comes from Krishna, but when something is found in Krishna it is just as good as anything can be. Just like Krishna has the stealing propensity. As such He is called the Butter Thief, and he is worshiped as the Butter Thief. He is worshiped by His devotees all over the world with love and affection, while the same propensities in us would result in our being handed over to the police. That is the difference between Krishna and ourselves. He being Absolute, everything in Him is also Absolute. In the relative prospective it is very difficult to understand what is the Absolute. From the material point of view, one cannot understand that one plus one equals one, and one minus one equals one. It requires a little time to understand this axiomatic truth. But in time such truths will become revealed to you without any mental speculation.

Please convey my blessings to the others who are so nicely helping you in Seattle. I hope this will meet you all in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami