740112 - Letter to Mukunda written from Los Angeles

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Los Angeles

January 12, 1974

Dear Mukunda,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated December 27, 1974 and I have carefully examined the contents.

Regarding your proposal newsletter to all-ISKCON branches for recruiting men for agricultural work at Bhaktivedanta Manor. This is not a practical plan. No one from a foreign country will go to London for agricultural work. If you cannot find local men, how can expect men from other countries to come and work? I have experienced that even men of this country do not go to New Vrindaban. You know, Sruta Kirti who was my personal servant. He has now become married and Kirtanananda Maharaj asked him to go to New Vrindaban but he said he doesn't like farm life. People are now accustomed to live in the city and if all of a sudden he is transferred to the village then certainly he feels difficulty. Especially in the western countries, gradually even farmers are leaving their professional business and going to the city to enjoy facilities there. If you get local men to work at this agricultural attempt that will be better. Otherwise, don't spend time and money in distributing this newsletter.

You are thinking of many plans but without consulting me do not enact anything. I have received your telegram that you have stopped release of the Gokula Vrindaban literature, per my telegram. There was a picture of a cow's head and you have painted it according to your own idea. It was a cow's head with t-lock and no body of the cow. How did you think like that? A cow's head is an advertisement for the slaughterhouse or for a beef shop, and you have painted one with t-lock. I think your thinking is not always to the standard. Don't spoil much time in that kind of thinking. Try to read our books. You are the president there so you must be very conversant with our philosophy. The other picture was objectionable because the photo of our temple is advertised as Gokula Vrindaban. It has, however, already been advertised as Bhaktivedanta Manor, Headquarters of European ISKCON. I am pleased that you stopped issuing the literature. But people will not be induced to come by issuing some literature. In the temple there must be activities which will attract people to come.

Our activities are arotik, kirtan, classes, just as we do here in Los Angeles. Everything is done in conformity to a regular standard. For example, all the temple members, without exception must rise by 4:AM and attend mangala arotik. Everyone living in the temple must agree to the standard by proper understanding of the philosophy of tapasya. We cannot expect our guests to follow all our principles, but whoever lives in the temple must follow. That means all must sit down together and hear the Bhagavatam class just as I held it day after day when I was at the Manor. There should be a regular daily schedule of events and it should be followed closely. After the class and breakfast everyone should go to their respective duties, deity worship, sankirtan, clean-up and so throughout the day this atmosphere of constant engagement will produce the truly happy result of transcendental life. So you should set the example and also see that the others are following. Our buildings are not for our sleeping in and eating like hotels, but whoever wants to join us should understand the philosophy of regulated devotional service. Here in L.A. they have elaborate Sunday festivals and erect a tent on the front lawn. There are hours of kirtan, a philosophic lecture and lots of sumptuous prasadam distribution. Another thing is, here they have a 24 hour security guard, with pistol and holster who is in the temple at all times. So you should do this like this.

From your letter I can understand that you are always working hard and trying to improve things there. I am very much obliged to you for this and please go on in this spirit more and more improving the temple atmosphere.

Your ever well-wisher,


A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami


Bhaktivedanta Manor
Letchmore Heath, Herts. England