690330 - Letter to Satyabhama written from Hawaii
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Acharya: International Society For Krishna Consciousness
CAMP: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
ISKCON HAWAII; P.O. Box 506
Kaaawa, Oahu Hawaii 96730
DATED March 30, 1969
My Dear Satyabhama,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated Feb. 22, along with the Deities dress, and it was received by me just yesterday. I think due to my change of address it was delayed. Anyway, everyone here has very much appreciated the beautiful dresses you have sent for the Deity and today we are changing the dress by putting on your dress on the transcendental Body of the Deity.
I think I have replied your former letter also, which I hope you have received by this time, and I am so glad to learn that you are feeling very happy in New Vrindaban. The basic principle of our life in Vrindaban will be cow keeping. If we can keep cows sufficiently and grow our necessary foodstuffs, then we shall show a new way of life to your countrymen . . . completely spiritual life in healthy atmosphere in divine consciousness. And you will have ample opportunity to educate children and write books for them because there is sufficient matter for publishing such books from the Puranas, Mahabharat, Srimad Bhagavatam, and many other allied literatures. There are thousands of ideal historical events, which if we can put with suitable pictures, it will be a great idea and people will like to have such literature. I have got many ideas for developing the new Vrindaban scheme and if Krishna gives me opportunity I may be able to show something very wonderful in your country. Unfortunately I have no money neither the richer section of your countrymen have taken any serious view of our movement. Otherwise there is more than sufficient money and if one or two men of your country gives a little attention, with this we can develop many New Vrindabans. We are not very much expensive; simply if we get the necessary money, we can play wonderful. Our only hope is books and literature. So we have to start press, and for that purpose, and publish varieties of books and literature for getting some financial help as well as propagating our mission. So as soon as I come to your place I shall give you all nice ideas you have asked for in your letter under reply. And I thank you very much for giving me all these ideas for our future activities. Please convey my blessings to all your God-brothers and God-sisters there, and especially our Syama dasi, I hope she is doing well.
So far keeping Deity in your separate house, I think there is no need for this. Because if you keep Him there, you have to take proper care, with aratis and attention, and thus divert attention from the Deity in the temple, and from chanting and so many other forms of service, like your writing and sewing, etc. So I think it best if everyone centers his attention on the Deity in the temple, and in that way the temple worship will pull on nicely. Of course, if the temple is unapproachable, or too far, or something like that, that is different thing, but if the temple is easily accessible then this is the best program—for all to go there and attend arati and kirtan etc.
No, I do not think you should give Jagannath to small children because they will not take proper care and make offenses. In this country their parents do not give them proper example of worshiping the Deity with all respects. Just like in my childhood, I was seeing my father bowing down and offering respects to the Deity and I did the same on seeing him. But this is not done here, so it is better to take some care in giving Jagannath out.
I hope you are all well,
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami