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740101 - Letter to Madhavananda written from Los Angeles
A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI
International Society For Krishna Consciousness
CENTER: LOS ANGELES
January 1, 1974
My dear Madhavananda,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of December 19th, 1973. I can understand that you are seriously absorbed in trying to push on our movement in England. Regarding your point about the tax returns from donations made to our Society, this can be a good opportunity for us so please go ahead and try to make our status like the churches in England who are receiving 40% tax refund from donations. There should be no difficulty since we are a registered group in getting this status. So please do it in cooperation with Bhaktipremode who is an experienced businessman and understands how to do it. You also work with the accountant, Mr. Amin, and manage the affair. Since one Center has to be our leading Center in London, you may make it the Bhaktivedanta Manor for the legal purpose of registration. You say that one person must be in charge of the accounting so you are getting experience with your friends Mr. Amin and Bhaktipremode so you become the responsible person for this affair. Take instruction from them and do the needful. The very hopeful program, I want to construct very big Temples in England so please take care and do it nicely and expertly.
Regarding expanding the various programs such as Samkirtan in England, if you work combinedly you can do it. Hamsadutta may also come and assist you. He has good experience in Sankirtan. As for sending devotees to India, I may have said to send 14 men, but if you have 2 or 3 experienced men who are ready to go now, send them immediately. You should not send devotees who do not intend to stay there and work there. That is simply a waste of money. The English boys are able to stay 3 years in India because they are citizens of the Commonwealth so we should take advantage of this. Hence they should go as soon as possible, especially those who are fixed up and steady.
The main difficulty there seems to be lack of full cooperation. I have written to you to become responsible and to manage things. However, at the Bhaktivedanta Manor, as anywhere, the local president is in charge. That is Mukunda. The reason why there is difficulty and competitive spirit is that everyone wants to be supreme. That is the difficulty. You have experience in the standard of our Krsna Consciousness Temples so you have to work together with Mukunda and combinedly raise the standard of the English Temples to our Krsna Conscious standard. Everyone should follow the rules and regulations. This is very important. There is a standard of behavior for devotees living in the Temple and everyone who lives in the Temple must follow that standard, or else we will automatically fall down. We have been given such a nice big facility at Bhaktivedanta Manor so it is not for our eating and sleeping. Rather, on receiving such a nice place from Krsna we should take it as an indication that we must now work harder. So I know that all the boys and girls there are enthusiastic to follow, so you leaders see that the Krsna Conscious standards in regard to initiation, cleanliness, dress and activities of the devotees, the restriction of association between men and women, all be strictly followed. Devotional service cannot be done whimsically.
In regard to security, yes there should be security. There should be 1 or 2 men who are in charge of the Deity room. I have written a letter to Mukunda in this connection and I hope you will together see that this is done. I am asking you to take a new heart and try to cooperate with each other there. There is always some difference because we are not impersonalists, we are personalists and everyone is different. However we have our standard so everything must be conducted on the basis of Krsna Consciousness as I have taught it. You and your wife are there and you are both experienced members so why not take advantage and try to improve the situation there rather than think of moving? If we have to constantly move until we find the situation where there is no personal difficulty in relationships then we may never get down to our real work. Just put our differences aside and work for the greater cause to organize a nice Temple there. I will be glad to hear from you on these points.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami