721229 - Letter to Vaikunthanatha written from Bombay
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
International Society for Krishna Consciousness
CENTER: c/o Mahadevia
B-11 Sea Face Park
50 B. Desai Road
My dear Vaikunthanath,
Please accept my blessings. Your letter of December 23, 1972, is in hand and I can very well understand your dilemma, it is apparently a common feeling amongst the devotees from your country who come to India for some time. Of course you are educated and trained up in another way, so the style of living as it is found here in India may not be to your liking. That is natural. And if you are also at the same time little sickly, that will aggravate your disappointment. So I have no objection whatever. You may do as you think best. But that is a fact, many good men such as yourself are required here in India to complete the works that are started in various places such as Vrndavana, Mayapur, Hyderabad, Delhi, like that. But this is difficult work, and it will require very strong devotees, who are also healthy. There may not be always the facility for regulative practice of devotional principles as you have found them [handwritten] in your country, therefore since you are adjusted in that way, you have lost your enthusiasm due to irregular habits. Of course, in the more mature stage of Krsna consciousness one is not affected by such conditions of material nature, being always fixed in his idea and determined to push on on Krsna's behalf despite all kinds of unfavorable circumstances, but that stage of mature realization will come later. For the time being, you are having little difficulty, so I think you will require the regulated household life as you are suggesting. But unless the basic determination to become successful in Krsna consciousness is there, any type of occupation or any place where you are serving Krsna will similarly become a source of restlessness and troubling of your mind. Therefore, my advice to you is simply this: that you search out in yourself whether that basic determination and faith in our Krsna consciousness program is strong in you, and whether if, by going here or going there or doing this or doing that, this determination and faith will be enhanced. Sometimes Krsna may put us into some difficulty just to purify us and force us to advance in Krsna consciousness. The devotee should always see his difficulty in this light, that Krsna is so kind upon me for creating this condition of struggling, thus He is relieving me of so many billions of lifetime of sinful reactions by this very insignificant and temporary condition of suffering something. Or if our attachment for Krsna is not yet developed, and there is still attraction for the ordinary life of householder life, together with friends, family, children, working, like that, that is all right, by that process if one contributes something of his income to the preaching work and attends himself with family the temple for the class and kirtan, gradually he will get some enthusiasm and develop his attachment for Krsna. But that is the slow and troublesome way, and I know that you are so intelligent boy, along with your good wife Saradia, so you may do as you like, but it would please me very much if you will dedicate yourself and your wife completely to the preaching work. That is important. Running-on of factories, family, these are ordinary businesses and anyone may do them, any ordinary man, but you are not ordinary man, that I know. My best advice to you is that you do not bother yourself by so many speculative thoughts and thus only aggravate the situation further. But if you are unhealthy with liver infection, that is another thing. So first of all you must get back your healthy condition. For that, living in Europe or America may be better for you, that I do not know. But in any case, remember always that you have now got this golden opportunity of human form of life, and it is not by accident that you have met your spiritual master and have become involved in Krsna's work, therefore remember these things and try to utilize your best intelligence and energy to take advantage of the situation and without any further delay take yourself to the perfectional platform of your life. The activity most recommended by Krsna and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu for taking oneself to the perfectional stage in this age of Kali-yuga is this sankirtan or preaching mission. So if you will be able to form yourself into the first-class preacher, that will be best for you and for others also. Your wife may also assist you in your important activities of spreading Krsna consciousness. She is a very nice painter and artist, and she is very sincere and serious also, so you may together utilize your spot-life as preachers of Krsna consciousness, that will be the better occupation. There is no harm for having children, that is no impediment for preaching endeavor. But too much attachment for children, home and work will spoil your opportunity to get very quickly the mature benefit of Krsna consciousness or self-realization.
Hoping this meets you in good health.
Vaikunthanath das Adhikari