660120 - Letter to Bon Maharaja written from New York
January 20, 1966
My dear Sripad Bon Maharaj,
Please accept my humble dandabats. I beg to thank you for your kind letter of the 14th instant. I am very glad to learn that your first part of Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu is now out and shall be glad if you send me one copy so that I can show to persons who are interested in my Srimad Bhagwatam. I am also glad to learn that you are now thinking of New York on receipt of my letter and it may be that you have to come here again if there is the Radha Krishna Temple as contemplated. The money is there, the Deities are there, the house is there, the men are there but the sanction is not there. Your residence was somewhere near the Columbia University I think.
Temple idea is prompted in me because I feel that Srila Prabhupada wanted to open some temples in the foreign countries. Personally I have no aptitude to open temples neither I have done it in India although there were many great opportunities. But here see there is necessity even from the point of Hindu cultural view. There is not a single Hindu temple here at least in New York or all the places so far I have traveled in this country. Regarding management of the temple is concerned for the present I have called for one of my disciples from Delhi. If other persons from our so many camps want to come here I shall welcome and I think after the temple is started some men even from America may be available as I see there are in the Ramakrishna Mission as well as in so many Yoga societies.
So I am trying to open a temple here because Srila Prabhupada wanted it. Kindly therefore help me in this direction as far as you can. I am thankful to you for taking so much trouble in taking the estimate of deities. But before having the Deities there is great stumbling block of Exchange difficulty. My money in India is ready but I must have the exchange, by special sanction of the Government of India. I was so hopeful to get it because Lal Bahadur Shastri was known to me and he was to visit America. I arranged an interview with him during his visit in America through the Embassy here but his sudden death has put me into great difficulty. As soon as the temple is started, I am sure to get help locally but to start the temple I must have Indian money first. I am therefore asking your co-operation and help in this connection. I am requesting you to see Dr. Radhakrishnan and get me the sanction for Indian exchange for this cultural mission. This is not an ordinary temple of worship but it is an international institution for God consciousness based on the Srimad Bhagwatam. This is standard Indian good will mission. "Lokasya ajanato vidwans chakre stwata samhita" The Government of India has its own department of culture and goodwill mission which is utilised for dancing parties to make show in the foreign countries. Here is the real culture and I am not asking any money from the Government but I am simply asking permission to transfer my money here for this great cultural mission of Srila Vyasdeva the Father of Vedic wisdom which is real Indian culture. When Dr. Radhakrishnan was vice president of India I had lots of personal correspondence and meetings with him and at that time he promised me help in this connection. I hope he will remember all these and I am requesting him through your good office to help me now to get the requisite exchange from India for this great and noble work. He is more or less acquainted with the activities of the Goudiya Math preachers like your holiness, Srila Teertha Maharaj and he knows me also in this connection. We are all sincere workers for respiritualising the whole world situation and Dr. Radhakrishnan being man in the line and being in the highest position of the Indian Government, he must help us in this critical moment. It is not personal but for the welfare of the entire humanity and considering all these he may be kind enough to sanction this exchange immediately so that I may start it without delay.
the late Prime Minister
I strongly wish that I may take possession of the house for the temple on the day of Srila Prabhupada's Abhirva Teethi and if your holiness will at once see Dr. Radhakrishnan and take the sanction, I think my desire to take possession of the house on the above mentioned date will be possible. As I am out of India it is not possible to see him personally and therefore I am requesting you to see him. Besides that the matter being concerned directly with service of Srila Prabhupada both you and I are equally interested and I hope most sincerely that you will do this act very promptly and seriously. If need be you can show this letter to Dr. Radhakrishna in order to convince him and offer him my good wishes and respects for him.
Thanking you in anticipation and awaiting your early reply.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami.