690616 - Letter to Arundhati written from New Vrindaban, USA
A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI
International Society For Krishna Consciousness
Moundsville, West Virginia
June 16, 1969
My Dear Arundhati,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated June 11, 1969, and I have noted the contents carefully. Regarding your question about offering Prasadam, whatever is offered to the Deity actually it goes through the Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master offers to Lord Chaitanya, and Lord Chaitanya offers it to Krishna. Then Radha Krishna eats, or Jagannath eats, then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu eats, then the Spiritual Master eats, and it becomes Mahaprasadam. So when you offer something, you think like that and chant the Gayatri mantra, and then everything is complete. At last, ring the bell, take out the plate and wipe the place where the plate was kept.
Regarding your second question about greeting karmis, if a karmi is a friend, you just greet him Hare Krishna, and with folded hands touch your forehead. If the karmi is a superior relative, then chant Hare Krishna and bow down down to him on the ground. That should be the etiquette in our society transactions. Whenever you have questions, you ask your husband or ask me. You should always be very sound in knowledge about Krishna Consciousness. But as you are very much attached to chanting, there will be no difficulty for you.
Regarding your last question about the ecstatic symptoms of chanting Hare Krishna, you should know that the Hare Krishna Mantra has an equal effect upon all devotees. Just like the sunshine has an equal effect on everyone, but when it is covered, the sunshine has a different effect. Similarly, the influence of the Hare Krishna Mantra becomes manifest when one is no longer covered by the ten offenses to chanting. The more we become free from the ten offenses, the more the effect of chanting becomes manifested through us. Everyone can become a great devotee, being freed from the offenses 100%, simply by one's determination and effort.
When the Composer machine is purchased, you will be engaged from eleven till three PM, and from seven till ten PM. That means seven hours in a day. When you are typing, you should know that it is as good as chanting, because the work is also on the matter of Krishna. Chanting on the beads and chanting on the typewriter Composer machine are both transcendental sounds of Krishna. Krishna's Name, His Fame, His Qualities—all of them are on the absolute platform, and therefore there is no difference between one and another. So do not be misled that you are typing and not chanting. Our books should be on the standard sample of Teachings of Lord Chaitanya. Your husband will guide you, and Hayagriva will guide you, so do it nicely.
Please convey my blessings to Jaya Gopala and the others. I hope this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami