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741223 - Letter to Sri Srinivasan written from Bombay
December 23, 1974
Tiruchy Junction 1
Dear Sri Srinivasan,
Please accept my greetings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 19-12-74 and have noted the contents. Your life will become perfect if you can engage yourself fully in the devotional service of Sri Krsna. As stated in your letter now you are retired from your job and your daughters are getting married. This means that your grhastha life is almost finished. Therefore, according to Varnasrama Dharma you should spend the rest of your life simply engaged in there devotional service of the Lord. It has been the ancient custom that the man in the later years of his life, usually after the age of 50, prepares to leave home and takes the order of vanaprastha, taking pilgrimages to different holy lands. Then eventually he may take sannyasa, the renounced order of life, with no connection with family whatsoever. This is actually necessary as it is recommended by Sri Krsna Himself. So you have asked my advise and I think the best thing is for you to either go to our Vrndavana center or our Mayapur center or our Bombay center and live there for the rest of your life, chanting Hare Krsna, feeling the bliss of being fully engaged in the service of Sri Krsna. By association of devotees and eating Krsna prasadam, constantly engaged in the service of the Lord you will become purified from all unwanted things and it will be very easy for you to absorb yourself in thoughts of the Supreme Lord only. Then when it comes time to leave your body at the end of life you will go to Krsna. You will not have to take another birth in this material world. But you will go to the spiritual world, the Vaikuntha world. I was also grhastha but now I am sannyasi. As grhastha I was thinking it would be very difficult to leave my householder life and take up preaching full time. But actually it has become very easy by the grace of Sri Krsna. Now there are no difficulties. So I recommend that you also take up this life. Now that your household duties are more or less finished I think this is your best alternative. All great previous personalities such as Arjuna and the Pandava brothers, Maharaja Rsabhadeva, King Bharata, so many great kings and great saintly persons all finished the last part of their lives living as mendicants, sannyasis. Therefore following in the footsteps of the authorities we should understand the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna. If there are any difficulties concerning my request to you to leave your home then if you like you can write me for further advise and it will be my duty to serve you in this way.
I hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami