690213 - Letter to Sivananda written from Los Angeles
February 13, 1969
My Dear Sivananda,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated February 4, 1969, and I have noted the contents carefully. I am so glad to learn that you are again accepting work to improve the condition of the temple. This is very nice. Practically, it was you who took the initiative for starting the London and German centers. In London, the boys and girls are doing very nicely, and similarly, you are already three, and Jaya Govinda is coming soon. So you also try your best to startle Germany with the chanting of Hare Krishna.
Regarding the draft, I think if you place yourself as my student for becoming a future Ordained Minister of Religion, there will be no draft problem. We are printing so many books, already we have got four or five, so if the government is convinced that you are studying these theistic literatures under my guidance, because I am admitted as Ordained Minister of Religion, then you can be classified in the 4-D section, qualifying you to be a student of religious ministership, and there will be no problem from the draft board. So in the future, when your services are called for in New Vrndavana I think I will be able to give you all protection. But for the time being you have got great responsibility to organize the Hamburg center as far as possible. I think you should make the board of management for your center as follows: President; Sivananda das Brahmacari, Treasurer and Secretary; Krishna das Brahmacari, Editor of German BTG; Uttama Sloka, Superintendent of press; Jaya Govinda das Brahmacari.
Regarding your questions about various names of God, we have nothing to do with Jehova, Allah, Jesus, etc. If somebody else wants to chant in this way it is all right, but nobody is chanting Jesus etc. If they like, let them do that but as far as we are concerned, we should be satisfied with the Hare Krishna Mantra and nothing more. We have registered our association particularly under the name of Krishna. God has millions of names undoubtedly, but we are especially concerned with the name of Krishna because we are in the disciplic succession of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu Who chanted this Holy Name, Krishna. Everyone should be particular to his particular disciplic succession or sampradaya's regulative principles. This is required, as much as there are many different political parties, although every one is meant to serve the country.
So far as you not completing your chanting, I think this should not be a regular practice. If by chance you miss to finish in one day, that is a different thing. But as far as possible we must try to complete the prescribed number of beads. You should try to chant at least 2 or 3 hours every day. We have got 24 hours at our disposal, so for chanting we can find 2 or 3 hours without any difficulty. Simply we have to adjust things in the right way.
Regarding utilizing intelligence in devotional service, intelligence should be confirmed by the Spiritual Master. Therefore we accept the Spiritual Master for guidance. You should not depend on your own intelligence. Just like a child requires a parent to tell him the correct thing to do, similarly, a strict disciple should always use his intelligence in conformity with the instructions of the Spiritual Master.
Regarding your dealings with impersonalists, any one who teaches of the impersonal nature should be avoided. If we hear them, it will hamper our progress. That will be the result—no progress. Therefore, rigidly we will try to avoid the impersonal teachings. Generally, it only produces bad effects.
As for your question about the ecstasy of chanting and working for Krishna, the ecstasy which is automatically manifest is very welcome, but we should not try to come to the ecstatic status by any artificial practice. You should give more stress on the importance of chanting. Working for Krishna is not different from chanting, but such work would be done under the direction of the Spiritual Master.
Please convey my blessings to Uttama Sloka. I hope this will meet you all in very good health and cheerful mood.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami