711206 - Letter to Srivatsa written from Delhi
December 6, 1971
Camp: 7-E Kamala Nagar, Delhi-7, India
My dear Srivatsa,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge your letter of 25th November, 1971, and I am very pleased to note that you have been appointed by Hansadutta to be president of Berlin Temple. You may know that this is Krishna’s special Mercy upon you, because now you must become so responsible and serious as the chief officer, and this will force you to advance in Krishna Consciousness. Now your duty shall be to manage all temple affairs, to see that all departments are running on smoothly. Not that you have to do everything yourself, no, but you must make sure that others are doing their work properly according to the standard. You shall see that routine work such as chanting 16 rounds, rising early, cleanliness, scripture classes, kirtan, prasadam cooking and distribution, Sankirtan—all these matters of routine work should go on smoothly under your direction. This routine work is the backbone of our Krishna Consciousness, and if it is unstable or neglected, then all other temple programs will also fail. Besides these things, you must make sure that deity worship remains at a very high standard, if or when you have deities, and also that good accounts are kept of all money received and paid out. You are the example of everything the other devotees in your temple should be, so you must always remember this and act on the highest level of Krishna Consciousness. One test of how well you are managing things is that if all the devotees are satisfied, then you are conducting things nicely. And if more devotees come to live with us, that is also a good sign. Actually, preaching is more important than management. Not that we can eliminate management, no, the two must both be there, but if your preaching work is strong, your management will automatically become strong. So always remember that our mission is to spread the philosophy of Krishna all over the world, to practically save everyone from the dangerous condition of material existence. So now become very serious and enthusiastic to perform this great mission on behalf of Lord Chaitanya, and in this way I promise you that very soon you shall go back to Home, back to Godhead.
I am encouraged to note that you are trying in various ways to improve the temple decoration, the cooking, and the finances. I want that my books and literatures should also be widely distributed in German language, so if you can assist me in this way by selling as many books and magazines as possible in Berlin area, I shall thank you very much. These books are the key to our preaching success. When the citizens see that we have real substantial philosophy, then they become convinced. They must see that we have solid authority for what we preach. Especially I noted when I was in Germany in 1969 that the German people are very intelligent and interested in philosophy. So you can approach this class and show them our books and challenge their mundane philosophies and try to convince them. This will be your success. So kindly assist Hansadutta to translate and produce so many German translations and books, and then distribute them widely. This will be most pleasing to me.
I am glad to initiate, upon your recommendation, Joachin and Gabi. I am sending their beads duly chanted by separate post. Their spiritual names shall be:
AKRURA & KHANDABASI
Now you train them up nicely and give them all facility and guidance for advancing in Krishna Consciousness, and always assure them under every circumstance that by following this simple process of chanting Hare Krishna and surrendering everything to Krishna in a spirit of loving service, their lives will become perfect and joyful.
If they are not willing to give us that big church, what can be done?
I hope this will meet you in good health and cheerful mood,
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
ACBS/sda n.b. I have just received your letter of 9th October. It is not advisable to worship any deities without gayatri mantra. If Shivananda or Hansadutta recommend, I may give you gayatri.