Prabhupada Letters :: 1967
a.c. bhaktivedanta swami

17 Oct 2004
Tuesday, October 17, 1967  

Calcutta, India

My Dear Pradyumna,

Please accept my blessings. I've received your letters of Oct. 6&7.

Acyutananda is learning Hindi & when he is well versed in the language probably he will be able to translate all the Puranas available in Hindi into English. Brahma Samhita is the gist of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. In the Bhagavad gita as well as in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Krishna is accepted as Supreme Lord & everything about him is nicely described there, similarly in the Brahma-Samhita everything about Krishna is perfectly described. In the very beginning of the book, Krishna is accepted as the Supreme Lord existing eternally in his transcendental form and is the cause of all causes.

One who reads Brahma Samhita very carefully & scrutinizingly can understand everything of Krishna without any fault. I recommend, therefore that all my students read Brahma Samhita very carefully--especially because it was translated personally by my spiritual master Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja.

Regarding Kirtanananda, he is undoubtedly a good soul, but lately he has been attacked by maya; he thinks too much of himself--even at the risk of disobeying his spiritual master & talking nonsense about Krishna. As a man haunted by a ghost talks so much nonsense, so also when a man is overpowered by the illusory energy--maya, also talks all sorts of nonsense. The last attack of maya upon the conditioned souls is impersonalism.

There are 4 stages of attack of maya; viz.: 1 stage is that a man wants to be a protagonist of religion, 2 is that man neglects religiosity and tries to improve his economic development, 3) is to be protagonist of sense enjoyment & when a man is frustrated in all the above mentioned stages he comes to 4, which is impersonalism, and thinks himself one with the Supreme. This last attack is very serious and fatal.

Kirtanananda has very recently developed the 4th stage malady on account of his negligence & disobedience to his spiritual master. Sometimes a foolish patient when he is out of feverish attack by the grace of the physician, thinks that he is cured and does not take precaution against relapse. Kirtanananda's position is like that. Because he helped the society in starting the Montreal center I thought he is now able to start other branches & when he asked me to give him sannyasa I agreed taking the opportunity of his presence in Vrndavana.

Simply by his Sannyas dress he thought himself as cured of all material diseases & all mistakes but under the influence of maya, he thought himself a liberated patient, just as the foolish patient thinks himself cured from the disease. Under the spell of maya, he deliberately disobeyed me by not going to London & consequently his disease has relapsed. Now in N.Y. he has began to dictate nonsense in my name--such as giving up robes, flags etc.

Instead of opening new centers he has began to deliver his nonsense sermons amongst his God-brothers which are all against our principles. For the present he should simply chant Hare Krishna & cease to deliver lectures because he has not understood the whole philosophy very nicely.

Regarding the hippy religion; we must distinguish ourselves from the hippies. The hippies generally maintain long hair & beard & in order to distinguish ourselves from them we should be clean shaved. When our devotees go outside I have no objection if he dresses as nice American or Canadian gentleman.

Up to date gentlemen are all clean shaved so if we do not keep long hair & dress ourselves nicely with tilaka, flag & beads on the neck, apart from our devotional service, then certainly we shall be distinct from the Hippies. I think we should follow this principle rigidly & there is no question of giving up robes in the temple.

We do not wish to be estranged from the material world. That is another nonsense. We have to deal with persons in the society & perhaps we are the only community in the world which can render the best possible service to the society.

Ramacandra's victory celebration is observed in the last day of Durga Puja. Vaisnavas are not concerned with Durga Puja. Dipavali or Devali is observed as new years day by certain mercantile community. The Vaisnavas have nothing to do with this ceremony but just on the last day after Devali the Vaisnavas observe Annakuta ceremony.

This celebration is the day when Lord Krishna lifted the hill & Madhavendra Puri established the temple in Gopala.

Use brown or unrefined sugar if you can find it.

Hope you are well.

ACB

letters | 17.10.04 |

16 Oct 2004
Monday, October 16, 1967  

Calcutta, India

My Dear Kirtanananda,

Please accept my blessings. I've received your note along with Brahmananda's for first time since you left to N.Y.

You had no desire to stop in London. This is clear to me from Hayagriva's letter which indicated that you had already planned to go there even before you left India. Since you have returned to N.Y. you have falsely dictated that I do not want the robes or flags.

Why are you disturbing the whole situation in my absence. I never ordered you to speak like that. They must continue to have robes & tilak & flags & they must distinguish themselves from the hippies. I never objected to any of my students dressing like nice American gentleman, clean shaved; those who are my disciples must have flag, tilak & beads on neck without fail.

Anyway I never advised you to dictate on behalf, please therefore do not misrepresent me. You have been given sannyasa to follow my principles & not to disturb me. If you do not agree with my philosophy you can work independent and not with-in the walls of ISKCON.

You have not understood Krishna properly. The best thing will be to stop your talks my return & if you love me at all please do not talk in any meeting but chant in solitary place--anywhere you like.

Hope you are well.

Your ever well-wisher
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

letters | 16.10.04 |

October 16, 1967  

Calcutta, India

My Dear Brahmananda,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter (dated Oct. 10) & I've also received Kirtanananda's letter.

From different centers of our society the news of the activities of Kirtanananda is giving me too much pain. From Rayarama's letter it is clear that Kirtanananda has not rightly understood Krishna Consciousness philosophy & it appears that he does not know the difference between impersonal & personal features of Krishna.

The best thing will be to prohibit him to speak in any of our functions or meetings. It is clear that he has become crazy & he should once more be sent to Bellevue. He was in Bellevue before & with great difficulty & with the help of Mr. Ginsberg we got him out. But it appears that he has developed his madness again, therefore if he is not sent to Bellevue then at least he should be stopped from speaking such nonsense.

It is clear from his activities that he has been attacked by maya; he is a victim. We shall pray to Krishna for his recovery but we cannot allow him to speak on my behalf. I am trying to return as soon as possible & when I return everything will be all right.

Hope you are well.

Your ever well-wisher
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

letters | 16.10.04 |

October 16, 1967  

Calcutta, India

My Dear Rayarama,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter (Oct. 12). I've received copy of #14 BTG & it is very nice.

I do not wish to disturb you in your responsibilities with BTG & you can go to London at your convenience. I am glad that you have started correspondence with Mrs. D.C. Bowtell, & that will settle matters more directly. One of our girl devotees, Srimati Annapurna devi, who is in San Francisco has also facilities to visit London because she belongs to that place. So you can open correspondence with her also.

I have already requested Brahmananda to stop Kirtanananda's speaking at any of our functions till my arrival. If he wants to preach anything he can do it on his own in a different place. Krishna is certainly one and different, but his oneness is stressed by the impersonalists which is distinct from our philosophy.

Our philosophy of Krishna's oneness & difference is explained in the 9th ch, 4th verse of B.G. in which it is clearly stated that Krishna is one by distribution of his diverse energies. When Krishna controls his diverse energies he does not become impersonal.

If Kirtanananda believes in one-Self, why does he stress the vibration & not the words? Why does he find difference in vibration & words? If he believes in one there is no difference between vibration & words? And why shouldn't one be attached to the chanting? All this means that he has no clear idea & he is talking nonsense.

If Kirtanananda does not understand this philosophy then better he should stop speaking nonsense. I can understand his designs but I cannot help because I am far away from the place. I am leaving here with a note to Kirtanananda which you please show him & do the needful.

Hope you are well.

Your ever well-wisher
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

letters | 16.10.04 |

14 Oct 2004
Saturday, October 14, 1967  

Calcutta, India

My Dear Brahmananda,

Please accept my blessings. I thank you very much for sending me 2 copies of BTG stationery & envelopes. I have received a letter from Damodara (dated Oct. 9) in which he writes to say:

"Swami Kirtanananda has returned to the United States and is causing quite a stir among the devotees. Following his suggestions, we have stopped wearing robes and have cut off our flags. He said these appurtanences are too strange-looking to outsiders and only make it more difficult for them to consider chanting Hare Krishna. Swami Kirtanananda has said we must avoid appearing to be Orientalists if we are to have 108 centers in the US."

This is very much disturbing to me & has caused me much pain. Please therefore stop Kirtanananda from making his mental concoctions. Do not be misled by him. I have never advised him to act like that. If he is causing such disturbances he should not be allowed to indulge in such nonsensical activities. I have already written you to inform you that somehow or other he has become crazy; otherwise he would not have disobeyed me to go directly to N.Y. For the time being he has cut all link with me, therefore any instruction given by him is unauthorized & should at once be rejected.

He has no right to dictate as he has without my sanction. Whatever is to be done will be executed when I return. He is too much puffed-up nonsensically therefore you should copy this letter & forward to all centers that Kirtanananda has no right to dictate anything to the Society in this way. I am very sorry that he is exploiting his present position as a sannyasi.

I have no objection if members of the Society dress like nice American gentlemen; but in all circumstances a devotee cannot avoid tilak, flag on head, & beads on neck. These are essential features of a Vaisnava.

Hope you are well.

Your ever well-wisher
A. C. Bhaktivedanta, Swami

letters | 14.10.04 |

13 Oct 2004
Friday, October 13, 1967  

Calcutta, India

My Dear Jadurani,

Please accept my blessings. I am very glad to receive your letter (undated).

Yes I am feeling stronger. I always think of you because you are so nice in Krishna Consciousness. Several times I talk about your nice qualifications which you are employing amongst my visitors. Krishna Consciousness is always dormant in everyone's heart & it can be awakened simply by service attitude. You are already allotted a nice service & if you continue this reponsibility anywhere you live & at the same time chant at least 16 rounds a day you will do all right in any circumstances.

You have written to say that I am "as hard as the thunderbolt & softer than a rose" is quite right in the line of Krishna Consciousness. I am very sorry to inform you that Kirtanananda is playing the part of a foolish man after his return to N.Y. & it is necessary for me to play the part of a thunderbolt for his nonsense activities. He has unnecessarily instructed something to Damodara which is not sanctioned by me. Since he has developed this nonsensical attitude so much so that he is dictating something which is not sanctioned by me, all his instructions should be neglected. Please inform this to all centers.

Krishna can be present simultaneously everywhere. He lives in His abode Vaikuntha & still he is all pervading. Krishna is never limited by space & time, therefore he can manifest Himself in Casual Ocean as well as in Vaikuntha.

I do no follow why you should feel uneasy in my presence. The easiest thing for you & for all others is to follow my instructions wherever you may be or I may be.

When Rayarama returns tell him that I have seen a copy of BTG. and that I am very pleased with it. Tell him to increase the quality and quantity of BTG. Also ask him to send me as many copies of BTG (at least 3) to this address.

ACB

letters | 13.10.04 |

October 13, 1967  

Calcutta, India

My Dear Damodara,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter of Oct. 9. I am very sorry to hear that Kirtanananda is advising you to give up the robes and the flags on the head.

Please stop this nescience as I never instructed Kirtanananda to act like that. I am not at all satisfied with this action of Kirtanananda. Kirtanananda has no right to instruct you in that way, without consulting me. People are being attracted to the chanting of Hare Krishna & not to Kirtanananda's devices.

Kirtanananda suggested to me when he was here that the Americans do not like the robes & flag. I told him personally if you think that Americans in great numbers will follow you, simply for not having robes & flag, I therefore advised him to drop for a few days in London & test this theory. But he has gone directly to N.Y. & is now causing these disturbances without consulting me. I have not sanctioned these methods.

In my opinion, Clean shaved Bramacharies & Grhasthas in saffron robes look like angels from Baikunta. Translation of prayers into English is good & if somebody dresses like nice American gentleman without any robes, I have no objection; but every one of my disciples must have the flag & marks of tilak on forehead. This is essential. Besides that, nobody should do anything without my sanction.

I am very sorry to hear Kirtanananda, without doing anything practical, changes his ideas constantly. He was first man in our society to take the robes shave cleanly, & take flag & now he is changing his position. You have asked me to tell you whether you are right or carry one by the following the foolish advice of Kirtanananda, & I say straight that Kirtanananda is wrong and you are right when you say that the movement will come to nothing if I am not satisfied with your actions.

You have written to say that a devotee can do anything for Lord Krishna; this is right provided such action is sanctioned directly by Krishna or his Bonafide representative. The idea of film making is very good & any propaganda medium can be utilized for Krishna Consciousness. In future if you get opportunity we can produce many films of life of Lord Caitanya, scenes from Bhagavad-gita & Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Your plan to remain in Boston till March and then start for N.Y. for film opportunities is quite approved by me.

Thank you for your energetic enthusiasm. Hope you are well.

Your ever well-wisher
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

letters | 13.10.04 |

October 13, 1967  

Calcutta, India

My Dear Hamsaduta,

Please accept my blessings. I have received your letter of Oct. 5.

"Money is the honey" goes so far as it is employed for Krishna consciousness. The body is undoubtedly a material vehicle but when it acts for Krishna Consciousness it becomes spiritualized. By the grace of Krishna material energy can be transformed to spiritual energy & spiritual energy is never deteriorated. To be in Krishna Consciousness means to be in Spiritual energy. More in my next.

Hope you are well.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

letters | 13.10.04 |

11 Oct 2004
Tuesday, October 11, 1967  

Calcutta, India

My Dear Brahmananda,

Please accept my blessings. On my arrival in Calcutta I have duly received your two letters dated __ & 5th instant.

Regarding change of dress, I beg to inform you that every Krishna conscious person must be clean shaved, must have Tilakas on the forehead and other eleven places and must have the Sikha on the top of the head besides beads on the neck as usual. Rarely one can continue to keep beard but it is better not to keep it to distinguish oneself from the Hippies.

We must let the public know that we are not Hippies. Do not try to follow the unauthorized advice of Kirtanananda. Nobody cares for the dress; every sane man follows the philosophy and practical talks. Let Kirtanananda Swami do something practically. Let him do whatever he likes and let us see that thousands of American are following him. Unless he does so do not accept his principle.

I think all of you except a Sannyasi may dress yourself just like a fine up to date American gentleman but one must have the Tilakas etc as I have mentioned above. Kirtanananda is the first man in our society who cleanly shaved and kept the Sikha on the top of the head and now he has begun to keep beard again. This is not good. Whatever he is doing nowadays has no sanction from me. And he has deliberately disobeyed me by not going to London.

Now he appears to be out of my control and therefore I advise you not to follow his principles unless he shows practically something wonderful. I gave him a chance to do this in the matter of opening a Branch in London but he has failed to do it. Now let him show first of all that by seeing his newly grown beard he has been successful to have many Americans following him and our financial condition has improved, then try to follow his instruction.

Otherwise reject all idle talks. A Krishna conscious person must be seen by ears and not by the eyes or in other words one should try to know the depth of realisation by Krishna conscious person and not see the beard which has become the practice of the Hippies.

You should have immediately utilized Mr. Nehru to give me a certificate. Lord Caitanya's movement is genuine and I am the bonafide representative in your country for this movement. Now if Mr. Nehru certifies this, then where is the difficulty to obtain the permanent Visa either from there or from here. Please see therefore immediately Mr. Hejmadi and obtain the certificate as abovementioned. I think Mr. Nehru must have already spoken to Mr. Hejmadi about this.

As advised by you I am writing separately to Hayagriva about the manuscript of Gitopanisad. For typing, Satsvarupa is always ready and therefore there is no need of employing a paid man.

Regarding other problems, depend on Krishna and try to find out a suitable place if Mr. Judy has a tendency to exploit us. I think Kirtanananda may do this practical service to the Society first if you are certain that Macmillan Co. is not going to take to our publication, then you must keep aside the $5,500. for this purpose. We must have our books printed, we have wasted much time in the matter of editing and finding out a suitable publisher.

When I was alone there were three volumes published but during the last two years I could not publish a single volume more. It is a great defeat. If I have one or two sincere souls like you and if we can make more publications, then our mission will be a great success. I am prepared to sit down underneath a tree with one sincere soul and in such activity I shall be free from all diseases.

I know that you are very much anxious to see me in good health and by the Grace of Krishna I am getting well day by day. The only thing is that this time I wish to return on permanent Visa or immigration Visa and before I go I wish to begin the printing of Gitopanisad.

ACB

letters | 11.10.04 |

October 11, 1967  

Calcutta, India

My Dear Rayarama,

I am in due receipt of your letter. Yes you try to make successful BTG as you have recently planned and then you may proceed to London. And because you are so engaged I asked Kirtanananda to go to London on his way back but he did not like the idea and has gone back to New York directly without any reason.

Please send me some stationery and copies of Back to Godhead to my Calcutta address by Air mail immediately.

Please offer blessings to all the boys and girls and Madhusudana may be informed that I have duly received his letter.

Yours ever well wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

letters | 11.10.04 |
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