770712 - Letter to Adi Kesava, Tripurari, and Dhrstadyumna Maharajas from Tamal Krsna
13 July, 1977
My dear Adi Kesava Maharaja, Tripurari Maharaja, and Dhrstadyumna Maharaja,
Please accept my most humble obeisances at your feet. I am writing this letter to you as counsel because I can understand that a time has come when the direction of our group must be clearly understood.
How Krsna has brought us all together? Visnujan Maharaja came to India, and I thought to convince him to stay here. But I did not know the potency of Sri Sri Radha-Damodar. Because within a few months Their Lordships had myself and my assistant who at that time was known as Dhrstadyumna das Brahmacari, within a few months serving beneath Their lotus feet. Upon arriving in America, in Chicago we met with Tripurari Maharaja, and that was the beginning of our relationship. Then Visnujan Maharaja and myself took Radha and Damodara to Boston, and it was at this time that we were hosted by the President there, who at that time was known as Adi Kesava Brahmacari. We all know how everything developed from that point, and how Krsna brought us closer and closer together. By our cooperative efforts in trying to satisfy our Spiritual Master we were permitted to create the most powerful preaching force in our Society. Prabhupad explains in one of the purports of His books that if a devotee is very successful in his service, it is to be understood that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has especially blessed him. There is no doubt that our program has all along received the blessings of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who has been so kind to us on account of the pleasure of His pure devotee, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. Everything that we have touched has become successful by the grace of Guru and Krsna. Perhaps most amazingly of all four (five while Visnujan Maharaja was present with us) very determined personalities have been able to combine together with a single-minded purpose. What is that purpose? It is certainly not any selfish motivation because that would have separated us long ago into our own camps. I think we could say that purpose is to please and to carry out the orders of our Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupad. Prabhupad’s orders are very broad, for He has a plan to deliver the entire planet. He has stated that now the key is to introduce varnasrama into our Society, as well as the society at large. Simply this means that everyone must be engaged according to their propensity. This is corroborated by the Supreme Lord in the Bhagavad-gita:
- sve sve karmany abhiratah samsiddhim labhate narah
- svakarma-niratah siddhim yatha vindati tac chrnu
“By following his qualities of work, every man can become perfect. Now please hear from Me how this can be done.”
A mahatma is one who is broad-minded. He is not limited by narrow conceptions, but sees everything as an opportunity for serving Krsna. Perhaps this is the greatest fortune of associating with His Divine Grace, to be able to behold the vision of a pure devotee who sees everything, no matter who or what it may be, in relationship with Krsna. In our Society we can see the vision of our Spiritual Master demonstrated. How He has arranged such variegated programs for engaging all kinds of people in Lord Krsna’s service. Is this not the explanation for why ISKCON is now spreading throughout the world, and everywhere receiving high respect and acclaim? And now Prabhupad is depending upon us to continue preaching as He has done. In the directions of Management, Prabhupad states, “I have already awarded sannyasa or the renounced order of life to some of my students and they have also got very important duties to perform in this connection. The sannyasis will travel to our different centers for preaching purpose as well as enlightening the members of the center for spiritual advancement.” A servant is judged by how faithfully he carries out the order of his master. We shall be judged as disciples by how faithfully we maintain the principles and the orders of our Spiritual Master. Prabhupad has repeatedly said, “My one request to you all is that our Movement has attained such a prestigious position. Now maintain it and continue to expand it.”
Perhaps this time I may tell you that on numerous occasions when presenting the Sankirtana Newsletter or the monthly BBT Newsletter I would apologize to His Divine Grace that our parties showing was not up to the previous years standard. I would explain that due to the very high overhead of our New York center, we could not give as much as we would have liked to the Book Fund, although our collections far exceed those of previous years. To my surprise, Srila Prabhupad never in any way expressed even slight dissatisfaction. He would ask, “Our New York temple has many people coming?” I would say, “Yes on Sundays up to six or seven hundred people.” Prabhupad said, “It is Krsna’s desire that you (our Radha Damodara Party) saved N.Y. Our center there is so successful, I have personally seen with my own eyes.” Our desire is to please Krsna, but can any of us say that we know what pleases Krsna? We only know so far as our Spiritual Master is pleased. And I have personally seen that Prabhupad’s pleasure is as great when He thinks of our N.Y. center and its broad implications for preaching (love feasts, 5th Ave, Rathayatra, prasadam distribution, etc., etc.) as He is when He hears the results of our book distribution. His appreciation for our farm is at least equal. Whenever New Vrndavana is mentioned, Prabhupad switches the subject to New Varshana. This even happened when he was speaking with His Holiness Kirtanananda Swami. His love and appreciation for the abilities and Krsna consciousness of Paramananda Prabhu are truly great. And He has understood perfectly how valuable that farm is. Prabhupad knows that the other farms in our Society are not very productive, but He has seen in our farm an ideal, model community. The other day He said, “I am not well. Otherwise I would have gone there. (This was after hearing the beautiful report of Their Lordships Radha and Damodar coming to New Varshana from the Sankirtana Newsletter.)
The formula created by His Divine Grace is that money should be spent 50 percent for producing books and 50 percent for constructing and maintaining temples. It is with this formula that He has created ISKCON, and it is this formula which ideally we should strive for. Sometimes we have to adjust, just as we did last year when we had to spend so much money to set the N.Y. temple on its feet. Or, at other times our books distribution resembles a monsoon cloud supplying unlimited rains of mercy, as it did in December of 1975, when we distributed over 50,000 big books. Prabhupad does not see any difference in either case, as the entire activities was done solely for Krsna’s pleasure. Krsna will help us to expand our group more and more. Now the N.Y. temple standing tall on its own strength. Puerto Rico is developing more than ever before. Boston will do the same. Radha-Damodar Party not only has many buses but many preaching centers as well, and Gaura-Nitai has expanded many times over. Our farm, with the presence of Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha and Damodara will undoubtedly be unsurpassed spiritually as it is already productively. Our group has come a long way from two sannyasis and seven brahmacaris in one bus with Their Lordships. And I know without doubt as confirmed by His Divine Grace, that it is all Krsna’s desire. Otherwise we had no such plans. Either we accept the plan of the Lord, or we limit the plan by our prejudices and eventually come to a dead-end. The choice is ours. We embrace the many-variegated plan of our Spiritual Master or we go off in our own directions, fanatically sticking to our own conceptions. One day we will all have to be acaryas and give guidance and accommodations to all kinds of people, just as our Spiritual Master has done. Are we preparing our consciousness for this time to come, and do we have a program to meet everyone’s needs? And can we save the world alone, or the chances better if we work together? Where were each of us in the Spring of 1974, before we all came together, and how effective was our preaching? As effective as it is today? I vote that we stay together and combinedly maintain and continue to expand the variegated programs which have been given to us by Krsna. I vote that we do not renounce any one program at the expense of another, but give each its due attention as it proportionately deserves. I have learned from His Divine Grace that whatever Krsna sends should be accepted, not renounced. When Krsna gives you something and you accept it with responsibility, this pleases Krsna. That is real renunciation.
In light of the above, in regard to the letter received from Dhrstadyumna Maharaja dated 30th June, 1977, I cannot accept his third proposal, “that we let those men who want to be under Tripurari Swami’s management be a separate party.” Our Party are the family members of Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha and Damodar, and all of the properties, - buses, workshops, and all paraphernalias – belong to the Party. It is an organization, and not a private enterprise. It has become what it is on account of the cooperative efforts of four (and originally five) leaders, as well as hundreds of men. To make separate parties will be to destroy the estate of Their Lordships. No one has that right unless they are ordered to do so by Their Lordships. Furthermore with the greatest respect and admiration for my dear God-brother, Tripurari Maharaja is not an expert manager and such a separate party will not succeed. Neither is our method to allow men to decide for themselves whose direction to follow. This would destroy their respect for authority which has always characterized our Party. The third proposal is therefore not at all acceptable in any way conceivable. The second proposal, “that Radha-Damodara Traveling Sankirtana Party must give New Varshana a steady party of its own to collect for the farm,” is also not acceptable, at least at this time. As time goes on and our RDTSKP, our preaching centers, and New Varshana develop, we may find a very unique and wonderful relationship between all of these and not want to divide them. This will only be seen over a period of time, not yet. Or it may be, that we will prefer to separate New Varshana from RDTSKP, just as we did the N.Y. temple. At least by next Mayapur Festival time both will have developed further so that we will be in a better position to take such a decision, just as we were at this past Mayapur Festival time when we took the decision to divide the N.Y. temple from the rest of the Party. In any case whether the two remain tied together in the future or if we separate them, we will want His Holiness Dhrstadyumna Maharaja to continue on managing both.
The first proposal has to be accepted as most Krsna conscious, which is that “The New Varshana project and RDTSKP budget be one, not two separate projections. Not that if New Varshana doesn’t make its presently large projection, it simply goes into debt. But the budget should be one and the farm devotees should try their utmost to get out on sankirtana and make up as much as the laksmi needed as possible.” Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha and Damodara have forcibly come to the farm on time. I say on time because they were meant to come at this time, but unfortunately we have delayed the construction, not They. Shall we not serve Them? Shall we not immediately prepare Their home? Shall we not develop Their community? Anyone who answers no to any of these questions does not understand Deity worship. With such sankirtana stalwarts as Dhrstadyumna Maharaja and Ganapati Prabhu, no devotees at the farm will be allowed to slack. An adjustment should be made that the devotees at the farm distribute mostly Back to Godheads and some small and medium books. Proportionately the RDTSKP men should be given most of the allowance for books, with the farm devotees picking. This is proper since it is they who get to live on the farm, whereas the men of RDTSKP do not. Gour Hari promised to repay the loan in six months. The time is up. An immediate plan must be made that he either pay it all off immediately or minimum $1000 per month for the next six months – money to be used for farm construction. This is the method followed by His Divine Grace. A man’s words should be kept. After this if he requires we can give him a further loan because he will have shown that his credit is good. All of you should develop further programs for raising funds for the farm. How much these will be successful is questionable however if we look at the experience of New Vrndavana who ultimately have had to depend fully on sankirtana. Still other sources of income can be developed, and this should be done. New Varshana’s growth cannot be curtailed. The new building must be finished immediately. In addition five to ten small homes for householders should be built this year to be ready some by winter and others by the spring, five to ten in number. An ox barn must be ready for the winter of 1978. The coming months’ projections should include budgets for these necessary items. Care should be taken on the part of those making the projection that nothing excessive from the farm’s side is suggested, taking full consideration of the needs of the book distributors to distribute more books.
Please have faith in Krsna. Do you not think that if we serve Krsna with all sincerity that He will enable us to carry forward all of our programs and expand each one of them unlimitedly? Please have faith. Krsna owns the entire creation and it is nothing for Him to give us the whole U.S.A., providing we know how to utilize it properly. I would like very much to be with you at this time, but I like more to serve the desires of our Spiritual Master. By His mercy, my service is needed here with Him. I would have liked though, to say these things in person, and to discuss further with you. I am sure Krsna will give us that opportunity. My head at your feet, I pray that you accept this counsel.
Your servant eternally,
Tamal Krsan Goswami
GBC for RDTSKP, New Varshana, N.Y., etc.
N.B. If this counsel does not satisfy all of you and you cannot accept it then you can telephone me and if necessary I will come to the U.S. But that will be very disturbing to His Divine Grace who does not even want me to leave for going to [illegible].