681204 - Letter to Sivananda written from Los Angeles
December 04, 1968
My Dear Sivananda,
Please accept my blessings. I have received your most recent letter (undated) and have noted the contents. I am so happy that by next week you will move into our new temple site and that you and Krishna das shall both be working so there will be no difficulty in financing. It is all Krishna's Grace.
So far as Acyutananda and Jaya Govinda, yes one of you may write to invite them to your temple in Hamburg. In this connection I have already dispatched one letter to them and I am still awaiting their reply.
Regarding your first question, is it offensive to think of Krishna's Pastimes while chanting, I think you should know that it is not offensive, but rather it is required. One must try for the point when he simply hears Krishna and immediately all of Krishna, His Pastimes, His Form, His Quality, are in his thoughts. So to always be immersed in thoughts of Krishna this is our process. When we are full in Krishna then where there can be any chance for maya in us? So this is our duty to remember Krishna's Pastimes. One who cannot remember Krishna, let him always hear Hare Krishna and then when he has perfected this art, then always he will remember Krishna, His Activities, His Qualities, etc.
The answer to your second question is that when one becomes accustomed to inoffensive chanting, then his fruit is that he is promoted to the stage of pure Love of Godhead, or prema. This prema is the perfectional stage of consciousness and the most blissful by very far.
So far as singing of the Christian hymns, if others sing this we have no objection, it is very nice, but in these hymns they have no definite idea of what is God. We are directly approaching and praying to Krishna for the highest benediction of eternal devotional service so we do not require to repeat the Christian hymns. Our point is to always follow the example of the acaryas and this will bring us to the perfectional stages with no doubt. For the Christian hymn you describe, the example may be given of where one person is appreciating that water is very nice and another is tasting water. So when we taste water the appreciation automatically is there and when we have taste for chanting, automatically the appreciation is there for God.
I hope that you are well along with Krishna Das and Uttama Sloka. Please keep me informed of progress with our Hamburg center.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
NB: You may write to Jaya Govinda at
Indraprastha Gaudiya Math
Dina Ka Talab,
Also Acyutananda at Radha Damodara temple Seba-Kunja, P.O. Vrindaban Dist: Mathura India.