691102 - Letter to Hansadutta written from Tittenhurst, UK
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Ascot Berkshire, ENGLAND
My Dear Hansadutta,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated October 4, 1969, and there are three important subject matters of which you have tried to get my opinion. I may inform you that they are all very nice proposals. So far as the building is concerned, if you can manage for the money, immediately try to purchase it as Satsvarupa has done in Boston. Similarly, regarding the land, it is also a very attractive proposal. If the land is not rocky and there is sufficient open space for pasturing ground so that we may keep cows all the year round, then it is a very nice proposal. Tamal Krishna told me about such land, and he is very hopeful about getting our men in that quarter (California). So you can try for it, and if possible please let me know what is the actual situation of the land. Regarding my accepting a teaching position in Berkeley University, which is said to be the finest University in the United States, this is also a nice proposal. Actually, I want to have such position for some time in order to attract the University students. But one thing must be noted that I will not be free to take the class between 11 am and 5 pm. If that is possible, you can negotiate for such post. If actually I get such post, naturally I will have to live in Berkeley. And as you say the climate is nice there, there will be no difficulty.
Regarding your question about Lord Jesus Christ, we accept him as shaktyavesha avatar. Lord Buddha is in the same category also. Lord Buddha is mentioned specifically in Srimad Bhagavatam as incarnation of Godhead, and yet Vaishnavas do not accept his philosophy, which is classified as atheism. Similarly, even if we accept Lord Jesus Christ as shaktyavesha avatar., it doesn't mean that we have to accept his philosophy. But we have all respects for him without fail. Regarding books like Aquarian Gospel or even the Testiments, we cannot accept them as authorities because sometimes it is learnt that the words are not actually spoken by Christ, but they are so set up by the devotees. For example, in the Ten Commandments it is clearly stated "Thou shalt not kill", but some Bishop in Boston has changed it to "Thou shalt do no murder". This means the Bishop wants to keep hold for animal slaughter. So don't bother about all these literatures. We have all respect for these great preachers, but we do not require to study books save and accept for some reference. We must push on our philosophy how to love God. Our process is simple. We have got volumes of books also, so it is better for us to mind our own business than to divert our attention in the studies of other books. This was definitely forbidden by Lord Chaitanya.
After all, Krishna Consciousness philosophy is as old as 120 million years at the least. So nothing can be compared with our philosophy either in the matter of antiquity, philosophy, ethics, science, morality, etc., all in correct vision and approved by great stalwart acharyas. So far others are concerned, they cannot be compared even. For example, if Lord Jesus Christ said "Thou shalt not kill", or "Thou shalt do no murder" to the people, it does not reflect very good social structure of the audience. Our philosophy is above all these things. Just like we prescribe to our students no illicit sex-life, no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling, but they are not ends in themselves. The real end is how to serve Krishna and sacrifice everything for Him. And to learn this transcendental art we have got so many volumes of books. So the summary is that instead of diverting our attention to read such unauthorized books, better pay our attention to more authorized Vaishnava literature. These scriptures of the Buddhists and the Christians may be the words of God, but still the are not always applicable to us. It is just like a king may give some rules and regulations for some criminals in prison; but for the good citizens out of the prison these rules are not necessarily applicable. So these Christian and Buddhist scriptures were delivered for a different class of men, and we needn't spend our time in studying their doctrines. You should read our own books over and over again and as far as possible do not try to enter into controversy. We do not concern ourselves with any other religion. Our religion is to become the servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna (CC Madhya 13.80).
You have sent me one plan for constructing a dais for the Deities in which you have placed Radha-Krishna under Lord Jagannath. Instead of putting it like this, you put Lord Chaitanya's Samkirtan picture underneath Lord Jagannath, and make a separate throne for Radha-Krishna exactly on the pattern of Los Angeles temple. Regarding Melvani, I am glad that he has come to you from Montreal, but his photo shows he is not in the standard dress; and the tilok is not correctly made. Anyway, you welcome him. He is a very nice gentleman. But try to convince him to follow all of our principles. That will be very nice. Please offer my obeisances to your good wife, Himavati. I hope this will meet you both in good health.
P.S. You will soon have Radha-Krishna Murtis. More pairs of them will reach L.A. very soon & one of them for you. [handwritten]