720505 - Letter to Niranjana written from Honolulu
May 05, 1972
My dear Niranjan,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated April 21, 1972 and I have noted the contents. I am glad to know that your confusion has been cleared up, and you have understood the reasons for my scolding you. This is the duty of the father or spiritual master, to simply chastise. By this chastisement, the disciple can realize his mistakes, and become strong and fixed up in devotional service.
In the verse that you refer to, Krishna says to Arjuna, "Give up all varieties of religiousness, and just surrender unto Me; and in return I shall protect you from all sinful reactions. Therefore, you have nothing to fear." This verse is actually the essence of the whole Bhagavad Gita. Throughout the Gita, Krishna describes the different processes of spiritual realization to Arjuna - karma yoga, jnana yoga, samkhya yoga - but at the end He says to give up all the different religious systems and just surrender to Him. This is the topmost yoga system, and is the goal of all the others. So this is our process. We don't perform any ritualistic ceremonies for some material gain or economic development, nor do we waste our time in mental speculation to try to find out the Lord with our tiny brain, nor do we perform so many difficult penances and austerities or gymnastic exercises for becoming one with God. We simply surrender to Krishna and His representative, and serve Him with the consciousness that "My Lod, I am Yours. Please always keep me engaged in Your service and protect me from maya." This is real religion, and is the natural position of the living being. I hope this will answer your questions.
Hoping this will meet you in good health and happy mood.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Sriman Niranjan das Brahmacary
174 Morvi Hostel B.H.U.