691207 - Letter to Hansadutta written from London
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
International Society for Krishna Consciousness
CENTER: 7, Bury Place
London, WC 1
My Dear Hansadutta,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated November 28, 1969. I could not check my laughing when you have said so many things in bereavement for asking me to serve in the university. There is no question of bereavement. A child sometimes commits mistakes, and the father says "Don't do like this." So there is no question of being very seriously bereaved. There is a story that one man was very hungry, and he went to an unknown friend and asked him to give him some food. The man supplied him a little foodstuff, but he was not satisfied. His hunger was still there. So he asked the man for more food, and the man said there wasn't any. Then the hungry man inquired from the other man, "Which caste do you belong to?" The other man said, "I am Mohammedan." Then the hungry man said, "Oh, I have lost my caste, and still my belly is not satisfied." The idea is that if we have to accept some service, there must be proper remuneration. Otherwise, our free service is open in the temple. Anyone can come and take advantage. Generally in the universities they pay the teachers from $800 to $2,000 per month, so at least they must pay via media not less than $1,000 per month. Anyway, don't bother about it. Go on with your business. But I thought that I required some money for my Book Fund, so I could gather some money in this way. But this will not satisfy my hunger, so forget this incident.
Now I am so pleased to learn that your Berkeley center is improving day by day under the good care of yourself and your good wife, Himavati. Please go on improving the condition of this important center until you have made it as good as Los Angeles center. Regarding the building, how much money do you have for a down payment? If you have at least $3,000, then I can ask some other centers to give you a loan for the balance so you can attempt to purchase the house. You say that it is a nice house, so if it is ours, we can decorate it very nicely for a good temple. Otherwise, we do not mind to stay in a rented house. When Krishna will give us opportunity, we shall purchase. Here in London temple we are going to install very big Deities on December 14th. The Deities are 42" high, made of first class marble imported from Jaipur, India by some devotee at the cost of about $400. He has donated it to our temple.
Please go on with the school course. That is a very nice program. In Hawaii also they are doing that, and also in Seattle, Los Angeles, etc. this program is going on. So it is a good opportunity. Sankirtan Party on the streets, selling our literature, taking some opportunity for teaching students, and giving them nice Prasadam: This program should be followed very rigidly and things will come out very successful without fail.
Regarding Chitsukhananda, he needn't bother at present to translate into Spanish. Unless we have got branches in some country where the Spanish language is important, he should not divert his attention. Regarding the little boy named Jimmy and his mother, the mother may do work; just like sweeping, cleansing the temple, collecting flowers, making garlands, washing dishes, etc. The boy should be trained to be a nice brahmachary, but it is risky to keep a boy of this age away from the public schools. In your country the law is very strict to send such minor children to school. The best thing will be to send him to New Vrindaban to be taken taken care of by Kirtanananda, Ranadhir, Satyabhama, Shama Dasi and Paramananda. They are already taking care of some young boys who are there. They are trying to develop a school of our ideal in that place. So after sometime, if the mother sticks to our principles, the child may be sent to New Vrindaban and she can remain in the temple and gradually be initiated. In the meantime, encourage her to read our literature and books, and be engaged in some service as above mentioned.
Please offer my blessings to all of the other devotees in your Berkeley center. I hope this will meet all of you in good health.