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750112 - Letter to Kirtiraja written from Bombay
January 12, 1975
My dear Kirtiraja das,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated Dec. 31, 1974 and have noted the contents. Any householder devotee who is working full-time (with his wife) as a sankirtana book distributer, of temple managerial duties, artist, cook, etc. shall be provided food, shelter, and other bare minimum necessities by the temple itself. They should not cook their own meals separate from the temple meals. If they have children, then some minimal allowance may be given according to the number of children. If they want anything extra or over and above what the temple president sees as absolute necessity, then they should work outside—the temple cannot pay for anything beyond the bare necessities. And definitely, the BBT cannot pay any salary to anybody. Our philosophy is "simple living and high thinking" — not sense gratification. The temple presidents and leaders (elder students) must show this by example. Temple or asrama means for renunciation and renounced persons. If one is engaged in self-realization process, then his material necessities become almost nil. Persons who do not like this can work outside.
Regarding food-stamps and welfare, if we have to fabricate some lie, that is not good. It can be done only if it is completely honest.
I hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami