690205 - Letter to Brahmananda written from Los Angeles
February 05, 1969
My Dear Brahmananda,
Please accept my blessings. I thank you very much for your kind letter dated February 1, 1969, and, in the meantime, my letters to you dated January 30, 1969 and February 1, 1969 respectively might have crossed. Most of the answers of your letter under reply will be found in these two letters. Please let me know if you have received them by now. If not, I will send you the carbon copies. So far as your letters are concerned, each and every one of them will be particularly answered, so there is no question of passing over your inquiries. Feelings of love are reciprocal, especially on the spiritual platform. I know what is your feelings about me, and in the same way I am always dependent on your kind affection.
Regarding printing at Dai Nippon, we have got to print so many books for which manuscripts are ready. So, pending the decision of starting our own press or having MacMillan print the Srimad-Bhagavatam, immediately we may begin printing of our books from Dai Nippon. If they agree to print 5,000 copies of 400 pages at their agreed rate of $5,000 that is good. So far the sample of print, the binding, and the size of the book is concerned, that is now all settled. The only thing is they must give us a definite date of delivery of printed books, and they must agree to the formerly stipulated price. If there is no question of delay we can immediately hand over the manuscript either of the second canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam or Nectar of Devotion. If MacMillan Company is interested in Srimad-Bhagavatam, then negotiate the transaction, and by the 15th of March we can deliver them the complete revised version of the 1st canto. So far as I understand, they will print the first canto to see the result. In case they agree to continue printing of Srimad-Bhagavatam, then we shall stop printing at Dai Nippon, and MacMillan will be handed over the charge for all other cantos. If their experiment on the 1st canto does not become successful, then let us go on printing all other cantos as usual. This is my decision, and you can arrange accordingly.
So far as Back To Godhead is concerned, Purusottama has appointed one selling agent in Los Angeles who has agreed to take 400 copies per month. There are at least 300 big cities in your country, and if we can appoint one selling agent only in each city, consuming an average of 100 copies only, the total quantity comes to 30,000 copies. This is not an Utopian idea. It is completely practical. Simply we have to arrange and organize. To distribute 100 copies in a big city like Los Angeles, New York, or San Francisco is not at all difficult. Simply it requires the talent of organization. So expecting on this calculation that in the near future we shall be able to distribute at least 30,000 copies of Back To Godhead, you can immediately take quotation from Dai Nippon for regular 20,000 copies minimum per month. If their quotation is suitable, we will immediately take the risk and print 20,000 copies per month.
Regarding advertisements in Back To Godhead, I am not at all in favor of it. I was obliged to suggest you take advertisements because the magazine was not coming regularly due to lack of funds, but practically I see the magazine is not improving by accepting these advertisements. So in the future, say after the next issue, we shall stop taking advertisements because it is not satisfactory. If we print, however, 20,000 copies, we can accept one page of advertisements, fixing up our rate at not less than $100 per page. And this advertisement also must be to our scrutinization. We cannot accept advertisement from anyone and everyone, rather it will be our motto to avoid advertisements. So far as I know, in India, the Kalyana Kalpataru paper edited by Hanuman Prasad Poddar, does not accept any advertisements. Nor do they review any nonsense book published by others, and they have got respectable position. Similarly we have to create a respectable position for our Back To Godhead. Actually, it is the only single paper of its nature, describing the science of God in full detail, published in the western world. Our Vaisnava religion is so vast that we can supply millions of pictures and hundreds and thousands of literary contributions in this paper. In Christian religion they have got pictures like the Crucifixion and a few similar others. In the Buddhist religion they have got the picture of the Lord Buddha. In Mohammedan religion they have got picture of Mecca Medina, and I do not know what is the picture in the Jewish religion. But so far as our Krishna Consciousness is concerned, we can supply millions of pictures of Krishna, Visnu, and Their multi-incarnations, as well as Their transcendental Pastimes. So we have to create a unique position for this paper, at least in the western world. Anyway, that will depend upon our future capacity, but for the time present we can immediately take quotation from Dai Nippon what they will charge us for 20,000 copies every month. Now I have given my definite opinion about printing my books at Dai Nippon and printing Back To Godhead, so you can do the needful.
Regarding my teaching in different universities, you will be pleased to know that recently I got one letter from Cultural Integration Fellowship President, Dr. Haridasa Chaudhuri. He has appreciated my book, and he remarks as follows: "The book is without doubt the best presentation so far to the western public of the teachings of Lord Krishna from the standpoint of Vaisnava tradition and devotional Hindu mysticism." So actually this is the correct position of our Krishna Consciousness movement. There are religious classes held in almost every university of your country, and they are eager also to study different kinds of religions. So far as Bhagavad-gita is concerned, there is no doubt about it that I am the only authority in your country in this matter. Nobody can speak on the Bhagavad-gita so authoritatively as I can do. That is a fact. So if the university wants to take advantage of this opportunity, even in this old age I can go from one university to another, and I am sure they can learn from me only the true teachings of the Bhagavad-gita; from me and from my students who are already trained up in this connection. So, if something can be done in this connection, it will help our missionary propaganda, and the students shall get new light from our book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
So, I am so much obliged to you that you are trying to get my books published somehow or other. I can simply pray to Krishna for your long life and valuable service to Krishna. Thanking you once more for your letter.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
P.S. I understand that you are anxious to get me in New York. So if you like I can go immediately as I have no serious engagement now in the western part of your country.