740123 - Letter to Sahadeva written from Honolulu
P.O. Box 2668
January 23 74
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated January 11, 1974.
Regarding second initiations, I have become very concerned lately, that some of our older students who have been given the second initiation, have not been strictly following the rules and regulations. So from now on I want our presidents to be very sure about the devotees they are recommending to me for second initiation. I think sometimes in the past devotees have been recommended chiefly because some more helpers were required in maintaining the deity work. Of course, necessity is there. It is just like in government, the government has need for a number of men to fill important posts, but first the persons must be qualified before they can award the post. Even though there may be a pressing demand, first the man must be qualified. Our system is that after one year from the first initiation, if the devotee is strictly following our principles without deviation, and if he will sign a statement in seriousness, that he will not deviate from the chanting and regulative principles, then, on your mature consideration you can recommend him to me. It is not that we are stopping second initiation, but I want to be sure it does not become a farce and names be sent to me without proper qualification. We are criticizing the caste brahmanas for saying that the Americans and Europeans cannot be awarded brahmana initiation, because according to Vedic sastra, anyone who is properly trained up under a bonafide spiritual master, can become twice born. But if our brahmanas do not take their second initiation seriously, then we will be deserving of criticism. So on this basis, if you think the men you have recommended are still eligible, you can resubmit their names to me and I will accept them.
You have also submitted two names for first initiation. With this first initiation, we can more readily give them a chance. Provided they are enthusiastic and you observe they are following the devotional practices then you can submit their names. I have accepted the names submitted by you and their names are as follows:
You may hold a fire yajna for them and instruct them in avoiding the ten offenses to chanting Hare Krsna Mantra. So I am counting on your own example in these matters as the most effective method of instruction for all the devotees in your care in the Houston temple.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
ISKCON 707 Hawthorne St.