680920 - Letter to Upendra dasa written from San Francisco

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Go-previous.pngLetters by Date, 1968
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


September 20, 1968


UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON 98105
Department of Asian Languages and Literature
Mr. Wayne Phillip Gunderson
(Upendradas Brahmachari)
Secretary, ISKCON
5516 Roosevelt Avenue N.E.
Seattle, Washington 98105

Śrīḥ

gurupādān namaskṛtya prācīnavidyāsaṁsthādhyakṣeṇa Taylor nāmnā vijñāpyate:

Tatrabhavatāṁ hārdaṁ pattraṁ katipayadinebhyaḥ prāg labdham. ayaṁ tūttaravitaraṇavilambhaḥ kṛpayā kṣamyatām asya janasya karyāntare atyantāsaktatvāt. Bhaktivedāntasvāminaṁ vārtāṁ dharmodyogaṁ ca bhavadanugraheṇa niśamya teṣām khalu pariśramaphalaprāptim āśāsmahe. bhavatpattre tu samayanirdeśābhāvā asmākaṁ tais saha sahakārāvakāśo na pratibhāti. Washintondeśīyarājāṅgānusārena yasya kasyāpi dharmasya protsāhanaṁ visvavidyālayādhikāriṣu nyaṣedhīti sujñam.

sāvanāmaḥ

George E. Taylor
Director
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[What follows is written in Śrīla Prabhupāda's handwriting:]

Translation

Dear Sir,

I the undersigned Mr. George E. Taylor professor of oriental languages after offering obeisances to the lotus feet of Guru beg to acknowledge receipt of your kind letter which I received a few days ago. I beg your pardon because I am delayed in replying your letter on account of my being engaged in some other business. I hope all success to Bhaktivedanta swami for his great endeavour in preaching religious activities which I come to learn by your kindness. In your letter you have asked for some time to see us but there is no such opportunity to meet you. The authorities of the Washington University does not encourage anyone's religious activities and it is well known that there is specific stricture.

yours faithfully

George E. Taylor - Director

Reply

Dear Mr. Taylor,

While thanking you for your letter dated 20th September, 1968 I beg to inform you that our spiritual master Om Viṣnupāda Bhaktivedānta Svāmi Mahārāja is not preaching a type of faith which you have described as yasya kasyapi dharmasya protsāhanaṁ. He is preaching svarupa dharma. He is preaching the svarupa dharma of all living entities. As a great Sanskṛt scholar you must have come across the following famous Sanskṛt passages like sa vai pumsām paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje, dharman tu sākṣāt bhagavat praṇitaṁ dharmena hīna pasubhiḥ samānāḥ (SB 1.2.6). We practice and preach svabhāva dharma but not that dharma which is taken as a matter of faith. The svabhāva dharma of every living creature is to become a servant. Even a great scholar like yourself is also a servant of Washingtondesiya rajya. Similarly everyone is servant of somebody superior. This servitorship is constitutional position of all living beings. But in conditional state everyone is serving his senses. This is called virupa dharma. The svarupa dharma is to serve the master of the senses namely hṛṣikesha. This hṛṣikesha servitorship is liberation of the conditioned soul. Without this, namely hṛṣikena hṛṣikesha sevanam bhaktir ucyate. Harāv ābhaktasya kuto mahat gunāḥ manorathena asato dhāvato vahiḥ, a man is pasubhisamānāh. According to Asian sanskṛt scholars vidya bhāgavatabadhi. I wish therefore to request you to introduce in your department of Asian language and literature the study of Srimad Bhāgavatam, the summit of Sanskṛt literature as accepted by great Sanskṛt scholars like Sridharsvami, Virraghavacharya, Jiva Gosvami, Visvanāth Chakravarty and above all Lord Chaitanya who was known as Nimāi Pandit the greatest sanskrit scholar in the 15th century. As you are teacher in a great visvavidyalaya you may introduce the study of Srimad Bhagavatam in your department because it is said in the Bhāgavatam koumāra acaret prājno dharmān bhāgavatāniha dūrlabham mānusam janma tadapyadhruvamarthadam. I am sorry I cannot reply in Sanskṛt because our process of study is not academic but by sruti.

yours sincerely,