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741213 - Letter to Dr. Channa Reddy written from Bombay
December 13, 1974
Governor of Uttar Pradesh
Raj Bhavan, Lucknow
BY REGISTERED POST
Hare Krishna Land,
Gandhi Gram Road
Juhu, Bombay 400 054
My Dear Shri Reddyji:
I thank you very much for your kind acceptance of invitation, and I have read your letter dated November 19, 1974 with great interest. Your acceptance of the authority of the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam through the blessing of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has given me so much transcendental bliss that my ecstasy knows no bounds. Very rarely do we find such an ideal devotee like you in the political field. Actually speaking, according to the Vedic conception of life, every head of the state should all become rajarsi, which means a king or governor or ruling chief should be as ideal as a great saint or rishi. Therefore formally saintly kings were many in the field of history of the world. The Mahabharata means greater bharata. So we find saintly kings like Maharaj Yudhistira, Maharaj Parikshit, Maharaj Bharata, and so on, what to speak of King Lord Ramachandra. The whole history of the battle of Kurukshetra is based on this principle of finding out a rajarsi on the throne of the kingdom. Lord Krishna Himself took part in this battle of Kurukshetra to install Maharaj Yudhistira on the throne of the world empire and to pluck out the usurper king like Duryodhana from the seat of the ruling power. Bhagavad-gita, the essence of all Vedic literature, was firstly being taught to the rajarsis or the saintly kings. That is recorded in the Bhagavad-gita Fourth Chapter: imam vivasvate yogam, proktavan aham avyayam/ vivasvan manave praha, manur iksvakave ‘bravit. (BG 4.1)
So at the present moment there is great need of rajarsis on the head of the ruling government. So I am glad to see you on the throne of Uttar Pradesh as Governor, and I expect your administration should be as ideal as the former rajarsis. At least I expect that you should try to give an example of an ideal Governor from the holy place of Uttar Pradesh where is situated such holy places as Ayodhaya, Varanasi, Prayag, Mathra, Vrindaban, Hardwar, etc. In Bhagavad-gita it is stated : yad yad acarati sresthas, tat tad evetaro janah/ sa yat pramanam kurute, lokas tad anuvartate. “Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men will follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by his exemplary acts, all the world pursues.”
I wish that your tenure of office may be an exemplary administration with reference to the principles of the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam. I thank you once more for your becoming our chief guest on the day of Sri Ram Navami, the inauguration ceremony of our temple in Vrindaban. I wish that you may come there one day before the ceremony and remain there at least 24-30 hours in Vrindaban, and by the grace of Krishna Balaram I may arrange for your comfortable stay in our ashram house which is completing construction. I want this opportunity so that we may talk a little bit on the principles of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam in the matter of political, social, philosophical, religious, and cultural development of the human society.
I am pushing on this Hare Krishna Movement all over the world with an idea of uniting the human society on the principles of Bhagavad-gita As It Is. I have already established many, many temples all over the world. One of the temples you have already seen is our Vrindaban construction, and similarly I want to establish a great center in Bombay because Bombay is the most important city in India. Many foreigners come the Bombay to enjoy the Juhu Beach atmosphere, and there are already many foreign hotels like Sun ‘n Sand, Horizon, Holiday Inn, and so on. So in order to attract the foreigners I purchased land in Juhu 20,000 sq. yards just one block after the sea beach, and I am trying to get sanction for constructing the temple, but it is being hampered by the dilatory method of the Municipality and the Police Commissioner.
Just after purchasing the land we submitted our plans to the Municipality, and the Municipality wanted the Police Commissioner’s sanction, and thus we submitted our application to the Police Commissioner on November 15, 1973. As advised by the Municipality we submitted our plans to the Police Commissioner as we received the reply as follows:
B No. 5622 of 19673
Adm. Office of the Commissioner of Police,
Bombay, November 17, 1973
From the Commissioner of Police, Bombay
To Shri Mohananandas Das Adhikari
International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Hare Krishna Land, Gandhi Gram Road
Subject: Permission for digging of a plot for Construction
Reference your letter dated November 19th 1973 on the subject noted above.
2. There is no objection to your digging the allotted space for the temple structure at Hare Krishna Land, Bombay 54.
3. You are advised to approach this office a-fresh for a “No Objection Certificate” when you decide to construct a permanent structure at this site in question, after plans have been approved by the Municipal Commissioner.
For Commissioner of Police, Gr. Bombay
As advised in this letter our engineer and architects applied for the final sanction by the Police Commissioner and we received a surprising letter as follows:
B No. 1033 of 1974
Office of the Commissioner of Police
Bombay 6th March, 1974
From the Commissioner of Police, Bombay
Shri Motilal Khanna
Consulting Engineers and Architects
Motilal Khanna and Associates
3rd Floor, Khanna Mansion
Opp. G.P.O., Fort
Bombay- 400 001
Subject: -“No Objection Certificate” for the construction of a Temple for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Hare Krishna Land, Gandhi Gram Road, Juhu, Bombay 54
Reference to your letter No. 7274/BMC/1731 dated the November 21st, 1973, on the subject noted above.
2. It is regretted that your request for the grant of “No Objection Certificate” to the construction of a temple on Hare Krishna Land, Gandhi Gram Road, Bombay-54, cannot be granted on the following grounds-
The construction of a temple may lead to more traffic congestion on Juhu Tara Road.
The bhajan singing which had been complained about in the past, is likely to be a nuisance in future as well.
for Commissioner of Police
The matter is since then suspended, and later on we proved there is no nuisance, neither is there any difficulty to the traffic. It was properly enquired by the Traffic Police, and we gave over land for extending the road, and the Municipality has accepted the proposal in their letter as follows:
MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF GREATER BOMBAY
K Ward Offices
Tata Compound, Near Andheri Fire Station
S.V. Road, Andheri West
Bombay Postal Index 400 056
To: Shri B.N. Sharma
Plot No. 92 Jaiprakash Nagar
Road No. 5, Goregaon, Bombay- 400 063
Sub: Handing over setback land S. No. 2A, H No. 4 &5 along Juhu Gavthan Road, Juhu, Property of Hare Krishna Land International Consciousness
Ref: IOD No. CE/5128/BS II/AK/16.5.74
You are requested to advise your client to hand over the set back land a [indistinct] has been prolonged since November, 1973 and no final decision has been made either by the Municipality or the Police Commissioner. Recently we reminded the police commissioner, the copy of which is enclosed herewith, but still have not received any final decision. According to the permission for digging letter and according to the Municipality advice, we have expanded the internal road to 30 feet, sacrificing many trees cut down and have dug the ground in many places, and taken out the barbed wire fences. In this way we have spent Rs. 25,000/-, and yet have not gotten the permission for the construction for the temple on some plea or other, for the past more than one year. So I am very much perplexed in this connection. Yesterday our men went to see the Police Commissioner. Now he says that not in writing but verbally, [indistinct] months, but on account of this situation I have postponed my [indistinct] of my preaching activities, and at last I am taking your shelter. If you kindly help me as a Life Member of our Society, because you [indistinct] We do not belong to any political party or any sectarian religious conception of life. We are just spreading the philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam, and we had no difficulty in constructing temples in every part of the world, except here in Bombay where we have been choked up.
[indistinct], bowing down before Me, these great sould perpetually worship Me with devotion.” So temple means worshipping the Deity, performing the Sankirtan, and the Police Commissioner remarks most obnoxiously that it is a nuisance.
So in this way the matter[indistinct] has been prolonged since November, 1973 and no final decision has been made either by the Municipality or by the Police Commissioner. Recently we reminded the police commissioner, the copy of which is enclosed herewith, but still have not received any final decision. According to the permission for digging letter and according to the Municipality advice, we have expanded the internal road to 30 feet, sacrificing many trees cut down and have dug the ground in many places, and taken out the barbed wire fences. In this way we have spent Rs. 25,000/-, and yet have not gotten the permission for the construction for the temple on some plea or other, for the past more than one year.
So I am very much perplexed in this connection. Yesterday our men went to see the Police Commissioner. Now he says that not in writing but verbally, that it requires Government permission. I therefore request you to help me in this great perplexing situation. I was to go to the foreign countries, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Honolulu, Fiji, Australia, and South Africa for two to three months, but on account of this situation I have postponed my touring at the cost of my preaching activities, and at last I am taking your shelter. If you kindly help me as a Life Member of our Society, because you know everything about us. We do not belong to any political party or any sectarian religious conception of life. We are just spreading the philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam, and we had no difficulty in constructing temples in every part of the world, except here in Bombay where we have been choked up.
As you know from the above facts there is no cause for obstructing us. If the temple is a nuisance, there is another temple just in front of us already there. Our temple has never been accused of the so-called nuisance, and I do not know why the Police Commissioner has raised this question.
Anyway I have dared to take shelter of Your Excellency just to request you to contact the Governor of Bombay and request him to do justice to us, by personally seeing the records and files called for from the Police Commissioner of Bombay. Please recommend our case for constructing the temple as we are innocent in the matter of so-called intrigues and politics. By this act of your generosity I wish Krishna will bless you, and I shall also pray to Krishna for your long and prosperous life as you will save us from this great unnecessary anxiety.
I hope this will meet you in good health, and with my good wishes and regards I beg to remain,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami