700423 - Letter to Sri Birlaji written from Los Angeles
3764 Watseka Avenue
Los Angeles, Cal. 90034
23rd April 70
My Dear Sri Birla ji,
Please accept my greetings and blessings of Lord Krishna. I thank you very much for your kind letter dated 17th April, 1970. You have rightly pointed out that people are becoming more materialistic in this age on account of their forgetfulness of Krishna Consciousness.
Actually there is nothing like materialism. Materialism means forgetfulness of Krishna or God. We are preaching therefore Krishna Consciousness. In the Srimad Bhagavatam it is said that the first-class religion is that which teaches love of Godhead. At the present moment, one professes a type of religion, but does not develop real purpose of religion, namely love of Godhead--that is materialism.
Materialism does not mean that one has to possess so many things, the actual fact is one may be a perfect transcendentalist of spiritual man by possessing the whole world, and one may be a gross materialist without possessing a farthing. So this distinction can be made on the basis of consciousness. When one is Krishna Conscious possessing everything in the world, he is perfect spiritualist, and one may have renounced everything in the world, but lacking in Krishna Consciousness he is a gross materialist. In my recent publication of Isopanisad I have tried to explain this fact on Vedic authorities, and I am sending by separate Air Parcel one copy of Isopanisad and I hope you will read this book conveniently with interest.
Regarding London temple, I can appreciate very much that your goodness is anxious to have an imposing temple in London, so in my next opportunity I shall take up this matter more seriously and I shall let you know in due course.
Regarding the two pairs of marble murtis, I do not know where you have ordered them. I hope you must have ordered them from Jaipur because in that city there are many good artisans for manufacturing such murties. But kindly see that the facial expressions be as nice as the bust I have sent you of our London Deities.
In this connection, I may inform you that I have some correspondence with a Jaipur marble dealer, and they have agreed to supply the murties less 20% off their catalog price. Their catalog price for 40 inches high marble murties is Rs. 2300 per pair, and they have agreed to give us 20% discount, so I am sending a copy of the letter. If you think it is favorable, you can do the needful.
I am very glad to know that you have sent some copies of Bhagavad Gita in Hindi and English, and I shall see to it as soon as they are received here.
With my best wishes, I beg to remain
Yours in the service of the Lord,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Sri R. D. Birla
159 Churchgate Reclamation