720616 - Letter to Bob written from Los Angeles
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Los Angeles, ISKCON
My Dear Bob,
Please accept my blessings. I thank you very much for your letter dated June 12, 1972, and I have noted the sentiments expressed therein with great pleasure. I am very much glad to hear that you are associating with us, and I know that you are a very good boy, very intelligent and your behavior is gentle, so I have all confidence that very quickly Krishna will bestow His all blessings upon you and you will feel yourself becoming perfectly happy in Krishna Consciousness. One makes his advancement in Krishna Consciousness by giving up voluntarily his attachment to material nature or maya and such renunciation is called tapasya. But we are not very willing to perform austerities without good reason, therefore any man with scientific and philosophical good brain such as your good self, must appreciate first what is the transcendental knowledge. If you get knowledge, automatically tapasya will follow, and then you make your advancement in spiritual life. So to get knowledge is the first item for anyone who is hoping to find his perfection of life. Therefore, I advise you to daily read our books as far as possible and try to understand the subject matter from different angles of vision by discussing frequently with the devotees at New York Temple. In this way you will become gradually convinced, and by your sincere attitude and devotional service you will make progress.
Yes, by having some faith in me and in this Krishna Consciousness process, that is the first and only requirement for getting actual wisdom. If there is faith, understanding will follow. And as your understanding increases, so will your disgust with the spell of illusory energy and when you voluntarily give up your entanglements in the material world, then the progress is assured.
I think we are just now typing up the tapes of those conversations we held in Mayapur, and we shall be publishing them into a book very soon. It will be called "Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers". I shall be sending you one copy as soon as they are ready for distributing. Meanwhile, I shall be stopping in New York for two or three days on my way to London for the Rathayatra Festival there. I am not certain yet when I shall be arriving in New York, but it shall be some time in the early part of July, and you may keep in regular [handwritten] contact with Bali Mardan regarding the arrival date, and I shall be very much engladened to meet with you in New York once again. Again we shall discuss if you have got any questions.
Hoping this will meet you in good health and happy mood,
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Bob Cohen, 76 Briar Hills Circle, Springfield, New Jersey, 07081