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751110 - Letter to Hrdayananda from Brahmananda

From Vanisource


10 November 1975

From: Brahmananda
His Holiness Hrdayananda das Gosvami
ISKCON
Ecuador 473
Buenos Aires, Argentina

My dear Hrdayananda das Gosvami,

Please accept my humble obeisances. I am writing to you as the named GBC representative referred to in your letter dated October 13, 1975 in whose zone Srila Prabhupada has traveled for one month which has caused you much disturbance. I am glad that you want to “go on the record as one GBC representative who is ready to strictly respect the desire of Srila Prabhupada”, but one thing I would like to mention to you is that regarding Srila Prabhupada’s trip to South America this past summer, that it was you who was writing letters to Srila Prabhupada asking him to go. You not only asked him to go to San Palo and also to the farm located outside the city which was a little difficult to go to, but you also asked Srila Prabhupada to go on to Buenos Aires since he was already going to Brazil. I myself consulted with the travel agent to make an itinerary for the South American tour. The difficulty was that there was such poor air service and Prabhupada would have to undergo long flights with stops. So we are trying to make as many stop-overs as possible. It was on your invitation that Prabhupada agreed to go to South America and the trip was cancelled, however, by Srila Prabhupada himself when after having applied for all the visas, we were informed that Venezuela would not grant a visa to Srila Prabhupada due to a government decree.

Anyway, we must remember that the spiritual master is perfect and absolute. We cannot calculate or estimate what he does. Do you think that he was forced to go to Africa? He goes where he wants to go and writes according to his own sweet will. How Srila Prabhupada decided to go to Africa was like this: Srila Prabhupada dictated a letter one morning to Pusta Krsna Swami saying that he did not want to come to South Africa because he was fearing that there would be a repeat of the 1972 incident when Prabhupada was refused entry to Kenya. Pusta Krsna Swami had been trying to get a special visa for Srila Prabhupada for three years and he was finally successful and that visa was running out at the end of October. So I went out to type up the letter, but then Srila Prabhupada called me in again and informed me: “Now I have decided to go to Africa. Inform them.” An itinerary was then made and that was that. I do not know what is in Srila Prabhupada’s mind, but one thing is that Srila Prabhupada had never visited South Africa and Srila Prabhupada had not been to Nairobi in three years. The men in these centers are working in order to please Srila Prabhupada so I do not think that it is so good for us as distant GBC men to decide arbitrarily whether Srila Prabhupada should visit one of the centers or not.

Regarding Srila Prabhupada’s writing, you say that, you want to take “a very hard line on this issue” at Mayapur. But I might caution you that Srila Prabhupada does not like to be pushed in this matter. He recently chastised Harikesa who was pushing (at Ramesvara’s insistence) and also he has objected to Nitai’s calculations as to how long it will take him to write the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Prabhupada said that he is not a machine, that simply dictates the material. It is something that he writes from feeling, transcendental feeling. Of course we can encourage Srila Prabhupada to spend more time on his writing, but it’s not something that will come about simply by some proposal by the GBC.

While in Johannesburg Prabhupada was regularly dictating tapes of 200 digits and even on Sundays he was doing it, and one tape was 340 digits. This is more work than Srila Prabhupada has done for the last five months since he left Hawaii. In Vrndavana before going to Africa Srila Prabhupada was doing tapes ranging from 15 to 85 digits which also may have been due to the difficult nature of the subject matter. And in the U.S.A. this summer, Srila Prabhupada was doing utmost 100 and often less and mostly none at all. So by your reasoning, Srila Prabhupada should then spend all of his time in Johannesburg. The only way Srila Prabhupada will translate more is if all the GBC’s learn how to intelligently solve their problems and especially to stop fighting amongst themselves. Prabhupada wrote to Ramesvara that what is the value of his retiring to some city here in India where we have no temple in order to be relieved of management problems as was suggested by myself and Gopal Krsna when Tamal Krsna Gosvami will fly 10,000 miles simply to lodge some complaints against Jayatirtha. And now there is fighting in Europe. So when there is fighting between GBC’s, Srila Prabhupada becomes very anxious. He has implicit faith in all the GBC’s so if they accuse one another, what can Srila Prabhupada do except to interrupt his work and worry that things may collapse after so much hard endeavor. The scheme that Srila Prabhupada wants is that we decide in Mayapur what we shall do for the oncoming year and stick to that and not propose anything new in the middle of the year because this is what taxes Srila Prabhupada’s brain. So it is this policy that you should take a hard line on at Mayapur.

I am glad that you are inviting other GBC’s to help you manage in your zone, but one thing is that you should write reports of what is happening in your zone. The last report you wrote to Srila Prabhupada was five months ago, dated June 9th.

I am also glad to inform you that here in Bombay Srila Prabhupada has resumed his dictating, averaging tapes of 200 to 250 digits, which he was doing before the accident in Mauritius.

I hope this meets you in good health.

I am sending a copy of this letter to all GBC because you sent yours.

Your servant,

Brahmananda Swami

BS/mdd

c.c. All GBC’s

N.B. Madhudvisa Swami has written to Prabhupada offering for Prabhupada not to come to Australian Ratha Yatra if it will be difficult. Prabhupada says that any air flight longer than three hours is considered to be long and exhausting. Flights for three hours or less do not tire Prabhupada. When I explained that starting in January, 1976 the Concorde will fly New York-Paris in 3 ½ hours, Prabhupada said yes, but this plane will probably not service all cities, but only a few selected ones, so there is no benefit.