731124 - Letter to Minister in charge of Immigration written from Bhaktivedanta Manor, UK
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
Watford WD 2 8EP.
Minister in charge of Immigration,
Government of Kenya,
24th November, 1973
I beg to inform you that it was so arranged that on my way to America via Europe I was to stop at Nairobi on the occasion of holding a festival known as Hare Krsna Festival, and wide arrangement was made on this account and I was invited to attend the ceremony from India. As such, I arrived on the airport of Nairobi on the 23rd November, 1973. I had my regular visas, health certificate and all necessary things for entering, but after passing through the health examination department, as soon as I entered the arena, some of the officers of the immigration department immediately took out the passports of my men as well as that of myself, and they asked my men to wait. So I had to wait for two hours, namely from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., but there was no definite decision by the immigration department, and whenever I sent my man to inquire, the man in charge simply replied "Please wait". Later on one gentleman came to inform my men that I was refused entrance in Nairobi from higher authorities. As such, he did not inform me what was the reason of my being refused to enter Nairobi, neither there was any written order from the department on me particularly to stop my entrance in Nairobi. Anyway, when I could understand there was no profit asking them the reason of my being refused, I immediately arranged for coming to London where also I have got two branches. Now from London, I wish to bring the matter for your consideration why I was refused entrance into your city without giving any written or verbal reason.
According to our Vedic civilization, even if one enemy comes at somebody's door, he should be received like a friend for the time being. The enmity should be forgotten, and even though the enemy guest is there, he should be treated so nicely that both of them for the time being forget that they are enemies. I was therefore surprised that I am a sannyasi, head of a group of cultural movement, namely the Hare Krsna Movement, and I was not allowed to enter without giving any reason for this purpose. I think I am not enemy of your country. I am preaching Krsna Consciousness, or God consciousness, all over the world, therefore I have opened a regular branch at Nairobi. My society is regularly registered in Nairobi as a cultural and religious society, and we have go our own house, and before this I had been in Nairobi twice and there was no objection. Last time, there was another Hare Krsna Festival. One of the ministers of your government, most probably the education minister, was invited, and he very much appreciated our activities.
Our principle is, preach God Consciousness all over the world. I think we believe rightly that for want of God consciousness, there is very much confusion all over the world, simply fighting between individual to individual, man to man, nation to nation. Nobody believes anyone. Any sober man will admit the present for unifying the whole human society without any consideration of bodily identification so that there may be peace and prosperity on the platform of spiritual identification. Perhaps you have heard the very good name of Bhagavad-gita. Our preaching is on the basis of Bhagavad-gita As It Is. In this Bhagavad-gita it is stated that God is the Supreme Being, and He is the proprietor of all planets and actually He is the enjoyer of all benefits. Anyone who will understand these three principles of life will be automatically peaceful. So, if every individual is peaceful, naturally there will be peace and prosperity in the community, society, and nation of all over the world. This is our principle. We are trying to broadcast this message on the authority of Vedic knowledge. Everywhere we are very much peaceful, trying to reform the character of the modern man. We teach our students to follow the following regulative principles, namely no illicit sex life, no meat eating, no intoxication, and no gambling. These are the negative principles, and the positive principle is to chant always the Holy Name of God. By the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we have become successful everywhere, in all parts of the world. We have no principle striction that one is Indian, one is America, one is African, or one is Hindu, one is Christian, one is Mohammedan. We invite everyone to understand the philosophy and reform the activities of life. This is our mission. I do not know why I was refused to enter into your country without giving me any proper explanation. I am therefore very much grieved by the treatment of your airport officials that they stopped me to enter into your city and make so many people disappointed for breaking usual procedure of the Movement, I wish, therefore, that you kindly let me know what is the reason that I was refused to enter without giving me proper notice, or to my men. Kindly reply me this letter at my Nairobi headquarters as written above, or as I am proceeding to Los Angeles, you can reply me this letter to my Los Angeles address as follows:
3764 Watseka Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90034
Thanking you in anticipation for an early reply,
Yours very sincerely in the service of the Lord,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami,
Founder-Acarya of the
International Society for Krsna Consciousness,
Branches all over the world, numbering 108.
cc: His Holiness Brahmananda Swami, Governing Board Commissioner, Africa.