700405 - Letter to Pradyumna written from Los Angeles
3764 Watseka Avenue
Los Angeles, Cal. 90034
5th April 70
My Dear Pradyumna,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 31st March, 1970, and in the meantime I have received one small tape record. Your teaching of Sanskrit pronunciation has been very much successful. I was just thinking of teaching our students the pronunciation of the Sanskrit verses in the Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, etc. and by Krsna's will you have already begun this. It will be a great help for me if the students are taught to pronounce in Sanskrit vibration. It will be another effect of transcendental sound vibration.
But we should always remember that our aim is spiritual realization, so in such classes in the beginning there must be Kirtan and at the end also there must be Kirtan. And they should not only pronounce the verses, but they should also understand the meaning and purport of each verse, then it will be grand success.
If possible, you can make another complete tape for use in other centers. You should make several copies and perhaps Dinesh can help you in this connection. Then distribute these specimen tapes to all centers and they may be asked for the charges.
About word endings, when we speak about sabdharupa it is just like the sabdarupa is gunin or svamin, but when we actually articulate, we speak the nominative form. In the place of gunin we speak guni (nominative form). So the nominative part of speech is used when we articulate, not the pratipadika. That is usage. Similarly in the matter of atman, we should speak atma. So I do not know what the scholars in this place want to have. You can make your own discrimination.
Do you think you shall require all these books? Of course I have no objection if you keep these as reference books, but we should always remember that we have to give more stress on our spiritual side than the scholastic side. But at the same time, if our books are presented in a scholarly way, that will be very nice. So you use the best part of discretion and do the needful.
So far grammar is concerned, one has to learn Sanskrit grammar for at least 12 years, then he becomes an expert grammarian. In India, those who are Sanskrit scholars studied in the beginning, from 5 to 15 years--that is for ten years continually--and they study grammar thoroughly. When one is expert in grammatical rulings and formation--that is to say: sabda, dhatu, sandhi, samasa, prakaran, vidhan, pratyaya, adhikarana--after this they study nyaya. In this way, when one is expert in 10 to 12 years, that is by the age of the 17th year, a student becomes very much expert and any departmental knowledge he can master in 1 to 2 years. But you need not become such a scholar. You require simply to understand Sastras Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, etc. and chant Hare Krsna Mantra as much as possible. The thing is if you give more stress on scholarly line, other devotees will try to imitate you. Already your wife has express such intention, and as soon as we try to be scholars, our devotional line will be slackened. These points are to be kept in view always.
Yes, I was missing the two volumes of Srimad Bhagavatam of Cantos 3; 7, 8, 9. So keep them with you as reference, or conveniently send them here.
I think in the very near future you will be required to move from center to center to teach this verse vibration. So in each center, by hearing your tapes and by your personal presence they will become very expert in pronouncing the Sanskrit verses.
Regarding your last point that you shall try to learn the various literatures very carefully and present everywhere in classes and books, that is very good. This is a nice idea and if you can do it, it is great service and Krsna will bless you. I am sure you will be successful in this attempt, but don't forget to chant sixteen rounds regularly. then you will get spiritual strength more and more.
I do not know much about Mukundadasa, but I think Jiva Gosvami did commentation on Bhakti-rasamrita sindhu and that is accepted by my Guru Maharaj.
Hope this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Sriman Pradyumna Das Adhikary
38 North Beacon Street