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720725 - Letter to Satsvarupa written from Paris
A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI
INTERNATIONALE SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
CENTER: ISKCON Paris
(reply ISKCON London)
July 23, 1972
My dear Satsvarupa,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated July 17, 1972, and I have noted the contents carefully. I am very happy to hear that the things are going on very nicely, especially at Gurukula. I have heard from Bhagavan dasa that you want to move the deities from Detroit. That is not a very good proposal. In general, deities are never removed from one place to another simply for show. Once the deity is installed in India, it can never be removed under any circumstances, even they must build the highway around it. But in our case we may sometimes have to change houses, so we may once have to move the deity from one house to another, but we shall not move them from one city to another just for our own convenience. We are always thinking these kind of changes, why is that? I simply want things to be developed which we have got, not to make so many big big plans and changing all the time, that is not very practical.
Regarding your questions about children at Gurukula, above ten years old they can be initiated first time, and after one year of perfectly chanting 16 rounds and observing the other regulative principles, they may receive second initiation. The Bhagawat class should go on, just as I have shown you, with everyone attending, including the children. Read the Sanskrit sloka all together, word meanings, translation, purport and give elucidation on all points. The children should be doing the same thing we are doing, plus giving them the playing facility, a little ABC, history, mathematics, geography, like that. They should not help in cooking, nor should they take part in any hard work, they must study. After initiation, then they can learn cooking. They should not be utilized for giving service to the elderly members, they should be given chance for reading and writing. So far marriage is concerned, they must be legally married.
Hoping this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Satsvarupa das Goswami
c/o ISKCON Detroit.