700417 - Letter to Jayapataka written from Los Angeles
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
International Society for Krishna Consciousness
CENTER: 3764 Watseka Avenue
Los Angeles, Cal. 90034
My Dear Jaya Pataka,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 10th April, 1970, and I am glad to learn that you have been provided sufficient funds for your travelling. You should take a long visa and Achyutananda will arrange for that, so you write to him and arrange for it and then go. Don't take the short period visa, it is simply botheration.
Everything should be done in dollars. Indian rupees the government will not allow to come out of the country. Besides that, you make arrangements that you can remain not for some months, but for some years. We have got a great deal of work there. So first make everything clear by correspondence with Achyutananda, and then start.
Looking on women is not an impediment to spiritual progress, but looking on women with a view of sense gratification is detrimental. The actual fact is that attachment for sense gratification is not at all congenial for spiritual progress. In this country intermingling with women is very easy, and sometimes our mind becomes agitated. Therefore we have to take little precaution and the best precaution is to raise oneself in Krsna Consciousness. Lord Caitanya said that His mind becomes agitated even by seeing a wooden model. By seeing women, if one's mind is agitated, that is quite natural. If you take the words of Lord Caitanya that His mind is agitated by seeing a wooden model, then what to speak of us by seeing actual women.
The real fact is therefore that we have to check ourself by advancement of Krishna Consciousness. But if it becomes too difficult for us, then one should get himself married and thus check his sex disturbance, and peacefully prosecute Krishna Consciousness. But if one can avoid sex life and the attachment is overturned for Krishna Consciousness, his position is very laudable. So there is no need of becoming hypocritical; better one can get himself married and be peaceful.
To make noise in front of the Deity means talking nonsense or indulging in useless topics of conversation. Chanting of Hare Krsna mantra is never prohibited. In the Nectar of Devotion you will find all these prohibitions and try to follow them.
Yes, if you live in India it will be better facility that you have some preliminary knowledge of the local language. This was recommended even for big British officers who used to go to India either for business or for political purposes. I was a student in the Scottish Churches College and 90% of our professors were Europeans. All of them learned Bengali just to understand the local language. Although all of them were speaking with us in English, still they could understand Bengali nicely. Achyutananda has already learned Bengali, so I think for preliminary knowledge in Bengali there will be no difficulty for you.
Whatever the Spiritual Master gives in His own hand, it should be accepted immediately as His grace. In the beginning in New York I was cooking myself and was distributing at least one or two chapaties to all my disciples, at that time not less than a dozen. Gradually, Kirtanananda Maharaj took charge of the cooking and learned the art very nicely from me, and he educated all others how to make our present Prasadam. So in the beginning I was cooking, so there is no objection to take from the Spiritual Master. It is a question of love that sometimes I cook, you eat and sometimes you cook, I eat. Our Krishna Consciousness movement is based on complete fellow feeling and love, but there is a word maryada which means respect which should always be offered to the Spiritual Master and elderly members.
Yes, Srivas Acarya is incarnation of Narada Muni and Haridas Thakur is incarnation of Lord Brahma, therefore sometimes Haridas Thakur is called Brahma Haridas.
Regarding the Hindu centers in the foreign countries, none of them are bonafide. There is a similar hodge podge center in London. Actually Hindus and non-Hindus everyone is at the present moment out of touch of the real science of spiritual knowledge. Everyone is going under some religious badge only, so it is very difficult to deal with them unless they are very much serious to understand the science of God. Everyone of the Hindu community in the Western world has got some very good feeling for me because superficially they are seeing that I am spreading Hindu religion, but factually this Krishna Consciousness movement is neither Hindu religion nor any other religion. It is the function of the soul. So even though the Indian Hindus are very much inclined in my favor, so far I have experience it is very difficult to turn them into pure devotees. The difficulty has become more acute on account of Ramakrishna Mission's preaching that any opinion about religion is alright. But our philosophy is different, we do not accept any opinion which is not advised by Krishna. So unless one is very fortunate, never mind whether he is Hindu or non-Hindu, one cannot take to the Krishna Consciousness movement and accept its bonafide principles.
Regarding the proper dress, Achyutananda has advised Nanda Kumar to embark the plane wearing western clothes but to be sure to disembark wearing a dhoti.
Regarding our books, yes, they are being printed in our press and they will come out very shortly. The books are being written specifically for my students and I am so glad to learn that you read them so carefully. The words are ambrosial because they are not my personal words, they are instructions of my predecessors and I am just trying to administer them to my best knowledge. That is the way of Parampara system. We have nothing to manufacture, but simply carry the message as a faithful peon. That will be effective. One should be very sincere to his Spiritual Master and Krsna simultaneously. Then everything comes out successful. That is the verdict of the Vedas and Lord Caitanya.
Hope this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Sriman Jaya Pataka Das Brahmacary
40 Beverly Street