711120 - Letter to Sri Galim written from Delhi
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Date: November 20, 1971
Camp: 7-D Kamala Nagar
My Dear Galim das,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated November 7, 1971, and I am encouraged to note that things are going on nicely at Austin center under your supervision. I have seen the photo-slides sent by Hayden Larson and William Walsh and they are first-class. Please give them all facilities to finish this work nicely. If Bill Prabhu holds a university post, then that is a very important position for spreading Krishna Consciousness and he should try to keep it as long as it will be beneficial in that way. My Guru Maharaj used to say that anything material, if it is used in the service of Krishna, it is a mistake to give it up.
I am pleased also to learn that you are teaching university course in Krishna Consciousness. Try to make this program very stimulating for all the students at the university by challenging anyone and everyone to try to defeat our Krishna philosophy with their philosophy. If such discussions can be held they will be very lively and the student body may take note and enroll in increased numbers. Philosophy is the highest knowledge, but even higher than philosophy is the practice of philosophy. So if your students can be enticed to practice Krishna philosophy, they will feel the practical benefit and become convinced, that is Lord Chaitanya's process. As more students become involved in our philosophical discussions, you will be able to sell them our books. I want that my books and literatures should be very widely distributed, as many as possible.
I have received the letter from Hayden and Bill Prabhus of October 14, 1971 but there is no mention of initiation. I don't think I have received any other letter from them. However, because you have recommended them, as soon as I shall receive any letter from them requesting to become my disciples, I shall gladly accept them.
Regarding your proposed festival, yes, that is a good idea. Please do it very nicely. These public festivals have proven very effective in spreading knowledge about Krishna Consciousness to all the citizens. In fact, I have directed the GBC to organize such festivals and travelling sankirtan throughout their zones. The festival we are holding at present in Delhi has been extremely successful, and by Krishna's grace everyone is appreciating this Movement by seeing the beautiful deity worship, by hearing the melodious kirtan, and by seeing the bright faces of my students.
It is not so important that you have no temple building just now. The main thing is that somehow or other preaching work goes on and literature is distributed. We are prepared to sleep under a tree, so what is there need for a fancy house? Only people must have some place to go, so as soon as possible try to get some place where the public can come and sit down comfortably and chant Hare Krishna.
To answer your last point, one who teaches can be treated as Spiritual Master. It is not that after we become initiated we become perfect. No. It requires teaching. So if we take instruction from them, all senior godbrothers may be treated as guru, there is no harm. Actually, you have only one Spiritual Master, who initiates you, just as you have only one father. But every Vaisnava should be treated as prabhu, master, higher than me, and in this sense, if I learn from him, he may be regarded as guru. It is not that I disobey my real Spiritual Master and call someone else as Spiritual Master. That is wrong. It is only that I can call Spiritual Master someone who is teaching me purely what my initiating Spiritual Master has taught. Do you get the sense?
I hope this finds you well and cheerful,
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami