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690123 - Letter to Sivananda written from Los Angeles

Letter to Shivananda (Page 1 of 2) (Page 2 Missing)

January 23, 1969

My Dear Sivananda,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated January 14, 1969, and I have noted the contents. I am pleased to note that you enjoy going out into the streets chanting and preaching from Bhagavad Gita. This is a very good attitude and in accordance with the teachings of Lord Chaitanya that the process of Sankirtan should be presented to men all over the world. So as you are able you should continue to go into the streets to chant, and I am sure that the others at your temple will appreciate going with you as they are available. Surely this practice will attract many people there to take some interest in this Krishna Consciousness movement.

Regarding your request for cooking information, it is best if you will consult Yamuna Dasi in London. She is very expert cook, and will be able to answer any questions you have regarding prasadam preparations. I understand that Yamuna has written a recipe book which they are trying to have printed in London soon, so this also will be available to help you in this connection.

Regarding serving your godbrothers, this is a very good practice. The Spiritual Master is never without His followers, so to serve the Spiritual Master also means to be the servant of His disciples. When you want to serve the king, you must also serve his minister, secretary, and everyone who serves him. And to serve his servants may please him more than to serve the king personally. So the Spiritual Master is not alone. He is always with His entourage. We are not impersonalists. We take care of every part of the whole, as much as one should take care of his hat as well as his shoes. Both are equally important for the upkeep of the body. I hope that you will understand this rightly.

It is important that we preach the message of Krishna Consciousness exactly as we have heard it from our Spiritual Master. The same philosophy and spirit must be there exactly. Just like we preach in this country exactly as we have heard from our Spiritual Master, but there are changes due to the time, circumstances, and the trainees. The spirit of the disciplic succession may not be changed, but there may be adjustments made to suit the special circumstances.

Regarding your last question about the importance of chanting; this chanting process is the only way of attaining full Krishna Consciousness in this age of kali yuga. Lord Chaitanya stressed upon this point, and we may take it from His authority that no other method will prove to be successful in this matter.

So continue to push on our Hamburg center as far as possible. You have gone to Germany, not even knowing how to speak their language, and you are trying to give to them the rarest jewel, Krishna Consciousness. I know that Krishna is very pleased with all of your efforts there, and surely He will give you all facilities to come out successful in your efforts. I hope this will meet you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

P.S. His Holiness Swami Sadananda, my German god-brother may come to see you. When he comes offer your respect by bowing down as you do unto me. ACB