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760120 - Letter to Jayatirtha written from Mayapur
- Tridandi Goswami
- A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
- Founder Acharya:
- International Society for Krishna Conciousness
- Mayapur Candradoya Mandir
- P.0. Sridham Mayapur
- Dist. Nadia, West Bengal
January 20, 1976
My Dear Jayatirtha;
Please accept my blessings. Regarding the ISKCON Gurukula presently situated in Dallas—The Gurukula must be based on the principle of renunciation; vairagya vidya nija bhakti yogam (CC Madhya 6.254). Bhakti is based on the principle of the renunciation of material desires beginning from the earliest age; kaumaram acaret prajna dharman bhagavatan iha (SB 7.6.1). From the very beginning, a boy must be trained to perform devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and not to be attached as the fruitive workers, the karmis, to the so-called fallible soldiers; dehapatya kalatradisu atma-sainyesu asatsv api tesam prammato nidhanam pasyanapi na pasyati (SB 2.1.4). The karmis are attached too much to their bodies, children and wives, who are like fallible fighting soldiers who must ultimately be destroyed. Although they are sufficiently experienced, they still cannot see this.
Therefore our young men must be trained at the earliest age to not be attached to so many things like the home, family, friendship, society, and nation. To train the innocent boy to be a sense gratifier at the early age when the child is actually happy in any circumstance is the greatest violence. Therefore; brahmacari gurukulae vasan danto guror hitam (SB 7.12.1). The brahmacari lives at the place of the spiritual master and works for the benefit of the spiritual master by begging for his maintenance, by cleaning, learning the principles of Krsna consciousness, and engaging in the process of bhagavata dharma, whereby his life will have a firm, sane foundation with which he can overcome the forces of maya by strong training in the beginning.
The karmis cannot accept this because they are too much attached to their bodies and cannot tolerate any austerities. Since they are too attached to their children they are even more insistent that the child be drowned in bodily consciousness so that he may avoid all types of austerities and enjoy life to the fullest, thereby going to hell at the earliest age; mahat sevam dvares ahur vimuktes tamo-dvaram yosita sangisangam (SB 5.5.2). Those who associate with the mahatmas through service to them become eligible for liberation whereas those who are associating with woman or those who are too attached to woman are paving their way to hell. Therefore the school systems require so many codes and regulations so the children will not feel any inconvenience. The training is geared to producing cats and dogs who will feel quite at home in a society of sense gratification.
Therefore how can they accept our school system which teaches that the young men must undergo tapasya to become purified? Tapo divyam putraka yena sattvam suddhyed yasmad brahma saukhyam tv anantam (SB 5.5.1). They will never accept that one must undergo austerities to break the influence of the modes of material nature upon the living entity in order that he may experience the transcendental bliss on the platform of pure goodness. Therefore they see our school as a threat and a cruel punishment to the children. If we were to run our school as it was actually to be run, they would close it down, and factually they will place more and more codes and restrictions as the school develops to water down the process until it becomes unrecognizable and useless.
We cannot be forced to follow the standards of the mlecchas and yavanas. One may build so many buildings to follow this and that code, but the basic principle of such codes is sense gratification which we are against. There are so many thousands of buildings in the west which are filled with illegalities, but how is it that we must come to a perfect standard or be closed down? This is not the standard of law, but prosecution. If in illusion we think that we must spend money to come to that standard what guarantee is there that they will not simply find another standard for us to follow which will cause so much more trouble and cost so much more money and ultimately they will pass some law making the gurukula illegal.
Therefore the school should be moved to India, specifically to our new gurukula project in Vrindaban, where the facility will be just to our needs and the needs of the brahmacari to develop spiritually because it is based on authentic scripture. To live in Vrindaban is the highest perfection and to grow up in Vrindaban the greatest fortune. Who can compare Vrindaban to the nasty western culture? Even to live in Mathura-mandala for a fortnight guarantees one liberation. In Vrindaban no one will place restrictions on the school and it will be encouraged by the government. The people will see such a school and the example will encourage thousands to send their children there to be trained as human beings and devotees. The cost for maintaining such a place is minimal and when compared with the exchange rate in dollars, a very substantial savings. Some have objected to the cost of transport to India for the child, but children ride at a very reduced rate and require no visa. The one way fare can be arranged at a very small cost which will be made up in no time. For the child it costs $100 per month in the USA, but in India the cost will be a fraction of that amount. The average Indian makes about Rs. 400 per month ($50) and supports an entire family nicely. The savings will more than compensate for the ticket and maintenance, and once in a year, during the hot season of April, May and June, the child may return to the parents. Certainly the government will give cheap rates on a return ticket once they find out about the program. This is much cheaper than altering the present building or building a new one to meet the so-called codes.
The atmosphere in Vrindaban is beyond compare and the teachers are far more experienced as we have many men willing to work there who are retired and qualified professors, what to speak of our own scholars who are living in Vrindaban and starting this gurukula project. Many people will contribute to expand this program and the Krishna-Balarama Mandir is the finest in the world. All the devotees in Vrindaban, especially the children are in fine health and their needs are being guaranteed by the members. They can even beg from door to door and collect enough to feed themselves nicely. This is the system. This is the required training. But if this is done in America, they will accuse us of child cruelty although this is actually the saving grace of the child and he becomes very blissful. Therefore in all ways it is obvious that the best place to have this gurukula is in Vrindaban and this should be done before the US Government starts to cause a disturbance which will harm us, and before we have to waste large sums of money on a risky endeavor which may turn out to be a complete failure.
I hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami