671014 - Letter to Brahmananda written from Calcutta
October 14, 1967
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 appurtenances 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