700401 - Letter to Himavati written from Los Angeles
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
International Society For Krishna Consciousness Inc.
CENTER:1975 So La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, Cal. 90034
My Dear Himavati,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated 25th March, 1970. Yes, the same things are going on. I am trying to change diets and sometimes fasting. But after all, it is old body, so dizziness is not unnatural. Regarding herb teas for colds and sore throat, up to now I have no such complaint, so they are not necessary.
I am very, very glad that you are taking care of the Deities with great attention and enthusiasm. Regarding your questions: the Deities should be polished before Their morning bath. Make a thin paste of fuller's earth and lime juice and rub this mixture on Their bodies and then bathe them and then dry and buff Them with a small towel for the purpose. You can make one very nice bed and place it to the backside of the throne, and you can make night clothes. So after the last Aratrik at night, you can change to Their night clothes for taking rest. Because They are small Deities, They may be lain on the bed with some pillows (because the base may raise Their feet up); if this can be arranged it will be nice.
Yes, Their crowns and jewelry should be removed both at night and while resting at noon, but wigs may stay on and Krsna should always hold His flute. It is nice if you can provide some heating arrangement for cold weather. Also different weight clothes for warmer or colder weather is good. Your idea for a thin curtain around the throne is very good. Regarding Radharani's smiling, that is not imagination--so she must smile. Let this be an impetus to your increased service.
Radha Krsna topics are for both liberated and conditioned souls, but conditioned souls should not much discuss about the loving affairs between Radha and Krsna because sometimes they misunderstand Radha and Krsna as ordinary boy and girl. So this should be discussed with advanced students, not with ordinary men. Yes, you make the throne very plush and comfortable and gorgeous like a bedroom. You are welcome for these questions, since you are engaged in Their service, you must know everything thoroughly.
I am very glad to learn of you eagerness to help open new centers in Munich, Amsterdam, and Berlin. But unless some responsible devotee takes charge of the Deities, you should remain in Hamburg. Hansadutta may alone go for preaching work with the others. I think there are enough brahmins there, so if one cannot be engaged full time, they should divide the duties amongst themselves--one takes the morning, another one at noon, and another in the evening, or like that. So unless they are trained up, you should not go. Deity worship is for old and experienced students; it is not good for new students to be given sacred thread. This Deity worship is exclusively for advanced students.
Regarding taking Lord Jagannatha to your next center, that will not be very good because you already do not have enough devotees to engage in Arcan. Unless there is a Deity worshipper available, we may worship Panchatattwa and Guru. That can be done by all initiated students whether they are once or twice initiated. Before an altar with pictures of Lord Caitanya, Panca-tattwa and Acaryas, everyone can offer Aratrik and Bhoga.
Yes, it is nice that you are worshipping Lord Caitanya along with Radha Krsna. That is alright. Lord Caitanya should be placed to the right side of Krsna. There is nothing special for His worship, but you may continue as you are doing now. The order of worshiping is first Spiritual Master, and then Lord Caitanya, then Radha Krsna (as in the mantras or Bunde aham prayer).
Your confidence to do whatever you are instructed by the Spiritual Master is very encouraging. Yes, this is the method of the Vedic injunction, staunch faith in Spiritual Master and Krsna makes one perfect in spiritual understanding.
Hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Srimati Himavatidevi dasi
2 Hamburg 6