700421 - Letter to Satsvarupa written from Los Angeles
764 Watseka Avenue
Los Angeles, Cal. 90034
21st April 70
My Dear Satsvarupa,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 17th instant.
I am glad to know that you are about to enlarge your altar and throne to accommodate the new Deities. However, you should not put the Vyasasana in the rear as they are doing in L.A. has got a different arrangement than you have got in Boston temple. So you can put the Vyasasana along the side of the Temple room and that will be nice. I also think that you cannot make the same arrangement as L.A. for separate doors for each of the three altars, so simply expand your present altars to fit the new Deities on the basis of the old style.
Regarding organization of the artists, there is no need of wasting time for learning the art from study of texts. We should always remember that our time is very short. I think our artists should be satisfied with whatever they have learned already, that is sufficient. They should be simply be engaged in painting pictures always, and that will teach them the art sufficiently.
In the beginning I was seriously corresponding with Indian friends to get some good mridanga players, but when I found it too difficult to get a man from India some of my students were given the rudimentary lessons in playing and simply by practice they are putting on Samkirtan Party everywhere. My Guru Maharaj used to say that in a foreign land where you cannot speak the language with the natives very nicely, what do you do when there is a fire in your house just to get their help? In such emergency one has to express himself somehow or other to his foreign friends and get their help to extinguish the fire. But if he wants to learn the language first and then talk with the foreign friends to get help, then everything in the meantime would be finished. Similarly if we have to learn and then paint, it will be a long-term affair. But immediately we want so many pictures for all of our books, so all the artists may always be engaged in painting works and that painting itself will gradually teach them how to make things nice.
Regarding how the art department should be organized, that is to be managed amongst themselves. I do not know the technical details, I want only that they may be always engaged. Now it is up to them how to manage these things. As you have suggested, you may make any suitable arrangement and that is approved by me however you make it fit. The only thing is the artists must be always engaged fulltime in their painting work.
You may inform Devahuti and the others that I am always satisfied with their work. I am satisfied only to see that everyone of us is always engaged in his respective duties. As the teacher wants to see that the students are engaged in their handwriting work. Who is writing good hand, that is a secondary question. The teacher's duty is to see that everyone is engaged in handwriting work. So if all the artists are always engaged in painting, that will satisfy me, and that will gradually make them experienced for making good paintings.
Hope this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Sriman Satsvarupa Das Adhikary
38 North Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02134