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740212 - Letter to Ravendra Gupta written from Vrndavana
Krishna Balaram Temple
Raman Reti, Vrindaban
Mathura, U.P. INDIA
February 12, 1974
Dear Ravendra Gupta,
Please accept my blessings. I have only recently received your letter of February 6, 1974, due to travelling.
I am very glad to hear you are following my instructions by chanting 16 rounds daily. In order to chant offenselessly, so that the chanting will have the greatest effect, one must avoid the four sinful activities. You have asked "How serious would it be for me if I should miss the golden opportunity to become your initiated disciple?" You should know that the value of accepting a bonafide spiritual master is more than we can calculate. It is not a mere formality. Of course everyone is encouraged to chant Hare Krishna, but until one gives up sinful activities and becomes determined to serve Krishna through His representative then the firm fixing up of devotional service will not take hold, and there is every chance that one will fall prey to all sorts of material desires and have to come back again in the next life—and one cannot guarantee that he will be born in the form of life he may desire.
I know you have been attending our temple in Boston sometimes, and that you wish to be a sincere devotee of Krishna. So go on faithfully with you chanting and pray to Krishna to give you strength for advancing in His service. It is a fact, however that we must become free of all material desire before going back to Godhead, and this can only be achieved by following the instructions of a bonafide spiritual master.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Cambridge, Mass., 02138