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750631 - Letter to Godbrothers from Satsvarupa

From Vanisource

June 31, 1975
Denver, Colorado
From: Satsvarupa

Dear Godbrothers,

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

In the course of his preaching and travelling in Los Angeles and Denver, Srila Prabhupada has asked his GBC assistants who are travelling with him, to issue a letter to all ISKCON centers, on the three following issues.

1. “Men who keep long hair like hippies cannot be considered disciples of His Divine Grace.” Srila Prabhupada’s ordering that this standard be broadcast to all centers, arose while Srila Prabhupada was being questioned in L.A. by two long haired boys who were once initiated but have now left the association of devotees and the strict following of the four regulative principles. They were criticizing the activities and leadership of ISKCON, so Srila Prabhupada told them that since they had left following our ways, therefore, it was not their business to discuss ISKCON leadership. The boys replied, “but we are your disciples.” “No,” Srila Prabhupada replied, “my disciples do not keep so many hairs.” The boys replied, “Many of your disciples do.” “No” Srila Prabhupada replied, “I don’t accept them. Issue one circular letter that those who are keeping big hairs are rejected from my disciples. Now I say that anyone who is keeping long hairs is no longer my disciple… I do not accept you because you have taken long hairs.”

The boys then complained that the wearing of long or short hair was external and could not determine whether one is actually Krsna Conscious. Srila Prabhupada said it is possible one may be a devotee regardless of long hair but if he desires to be a disciple of Srila Prabhupada then he must submit and obey the spiritual master. In other words, wearing long hair like a hippy obviously is in contradiction to Srila Prabhupada’s desire, so now he has asked us to clearly separate the disciples from the non-disciples. This is a great relief in that no longer can unsurrendered, blooped persons claim to be his disciples. THEY may be some kind of devotee of their own fashioning but disciples they are not.SO please be informed and preach and act according to this recent order of Srila Prabhupada.

2. In Denver, Srila Prabhupada heard that a number of his disciples have advocated special diets as substitute to the standard diet of prasadam offered to the deities in the temple. A GBC member reported to him that the special feature of those taking special diets is that they do not take the prasadam offered to the deity in the temple. His Divine Grace became very concerned and said that there was no reason that all devotees should not eat together the remnants of the prasadam offered to the Deity. “Dahl, rice, chapatees and vegetables—they are harmless foods. WHY they cannot take?” It was pointed out that the advocates of special diets claim that Srila Prabhupada has said, “grains are for animals.” Srila Prabhupada became astonished and said, “But I take grains. Am I an animal?” (Srila Prabhupada’s daily lunch consists of rice, dahl, vegetables and chapatees). He said this health fad food should stop! ONE GBC member said, “We feel it is lack of faith in Krsna. We would rather die eating prasadam then eat so called health substitutes not offered to the deity.” Srila Prabhupada agreed with this and said devotees are being influenced by reading mundane literature on what is healthy food and they should stop reading such books or listening to doctors advice which says not to eat the regular daily prasadam. He noted that such mental speculators even say milk is not good. Srila Prabhupada said that those who have special health problems, where they may have to eat only fruit, may do so, as long as the fruit is offered to the deity.)

Satsvarupa das Goswami, GBC

1400 Cherry Street, Denver, Colorado, 80220

(303) 333-5461