700604 - Letter to Yamuna written from Los Angeles
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
International Society for Krishna Consciousness
CENTER: 3764 Watseka Avenue
Los Angeles, Cal. 90034
My Dear Yamuna devi, and Gurudas
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 23rd April, 1970, with enclosed pictures of Lord Caitanya's Birthday procession as well as the Calcutta magazine section. I have immediately asked our magazine editors to publish the London pictures. This letter was mailed by ordinary surface mail, so it reached here just after one month. So in future send by aerogram or air mail.
It is very, very encouraging to learn that London temple is receiving so many inquiries from the different European countries. So open branches there. When there is inquiry, the people are receptive. It is now already experimented that wherever we may open a center, Hare Krsna mantra will be chanted with great delight. Our Japanese center is doing very well. They have got very many television engagements. Brahmananda has gone there, and he says that in those parts of the world there is very good chance of spreading Krsna consciousness. Most probably Brahmananda will open a branch in Hong Kong. One Indian gentleman has taken very active interest, and he is paying $50 per month. So if there is possibility of opening centers in the places from where you have got inquiries, do it as far as possible.
I am so glad to read the line wherein you write to say that there is no room for nonsense. That we want. We don't want to give any chance for Maya to enter in our business. That should be our motto, and we should be very much vigilant.
In the meantime, while writing this letter, I have received your letter dated 1st June, 1970, and I am glad to know that the program for Rathayatra is well under way.
Regarding your first question, the bathing ceremony of Lord Jagannatha is observed by His Lordship standing in a bathing tank while each of the devotees in turn offers prayers and obeisances, then pours water to bathe the Lord, then offers obeisances and the next devotee follows the same procedure. All the other devotees are holding kirtan throughout the bathing ceremony which takes place on June 19th.
Regarding your second question, after being bathed, Lord Jagannath catches fever and at that time you may carry Him along with Balaramaji and Subhadra to my room for recovering. During this time, up to Rathayatra, any repairs may be made. In Jagannath Puri during this recuperation period the Deities are completely repainted. But that is especially in Jagannath Puri that this is done so. Then Lord Jagannath reappears on the day of Rathayatra festival. During His convalescence Bhoga is offered as usual, but no visitors are allowed to see the Lord.
I am so pleased with the continuing expansion of London center's opulence for Deity worship, and that is the mercy of Lord Krsna for attracting so many visitors who will become devotees.
Hope this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Sriman Gurudas Adhikary
Srimati Yamunadevi Dasi
7 Bury Place
London, W.C. 1