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680326 - Letter to Yadunandana written from San Francisco
A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI
Acharya: International Society For Krishna Consciousness
Camp: I.S.K.C.O.N. Radha Krishna Temple
518 Frederick Street
San Francisco. Cal. 94117
March 26, 1968
My Dear Jadunandan,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated March 21, 1968, and may inform you that the horrible scene in the hospital is certainly ghastly. But we should at the same time know that this ghastly scene is in the matter of bodily concept of life. This is Maya's illusion, and although the spirit soul has nothing to do with this horrible affairs, but due to absorption of one's consciousness in the body, one has to suffer the consequences of bodily identification. So far we are concerned, we shall neither be sympathetic or apathetic in the matter of such bodily concept of life. Of course, it is quite natural to become sympathetic when one's body is put into such horrible condition, but if you are firmly convinced that this body is separate from the soul, then we may not be distracted. That is not possible of course in the preliminary stage, but when we shall be in a transcendental position not to be disturbed ever by such a horrible scene, then our position is secure. The suffering of the man and the sympathy of the other man, both are centered on the body. But this we have to understand by knowledge. Then such horrible condition of body won't be disturbing to us. That is the position of liberation. It doesn't mean that we shall not be sympathetic with one who is suffering, but we should always remember that such sufferings are due to the bodily concept of life. As you stated, that you simply want to leave the material world and be with Krishna, that is the best solution, rather than taking account of how things happened that you came here. Like that our best occupation is to get out of the scene by constantly chanting Hare Krishna, and be engaged in the transcendental service of Lord Krishna.
I am very happy to learn that you are rendering a nice service to Krishna by cooking for him and distributing prasadam to others. The association of devotees is the only solace for our existence. New York might have been a little busier than Boston, but so long it is under the guidance of an experienced devotee, the affairs in both the cases are all right. The tendency for solitude is a kind of reaction on our past material activities, but solitude is not very good for a neophyte. Maya is always trying to attack us, and as soon as she finds some opportunity she tries to inflict her poisonous effects. The best thing is therefore not to seek solitude in the beginning but to remain in the midst of pure devotees so that even there is attack of Maya, their association will protect us. If you are, however, always busy in the matter of preaching work that is very nice. But to remain alone in a solitary place for a new man is not advisable.
Vrindaban is of course, very impressive for devotional service, but that also is not advisable to remain alone. I am trying to get a nice place at Vrindaban and when the place is there, I shall personally be present with some devotees, and appreciate the atmosphere of Vrindaban. So long we are engaged in devotional service with proper guidance certainly we are always in transcendental position, and transcendental position is unlimited, it doesn't matter whether you are in Vrindaban or U.S.A. But still, for everyone, Vrindaban's atmosphere is very sweet. But so long we have not completely freed our material attachment, even Vrindaban residence becomes uncongenial. Just like in the case of Kirtanananda, it was so happened. This seeking for solitude is simply a reaction on our past nonsense activities, or it is negation, voidism. Our sound position is always being engaged in service of Krishna, that is the positive standing.
Hope you are well.
Your ever well-wisher,
95 Glenville Avenue
Allston, Mass. 02134