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760504 - Letter to Giriraja written from Honolulu
May 04, 1976
My dear Giriraj das,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated April 28, 1976, and I have noted the contents with care. Seeing the success of the BBT Library Party, I am therefore stressing so much on the book distribution. Let the higher section accept these books, it will be a great triumph. Then the nonsense remark that "kirtana is nuisance" will be stopped.
Regarding the Taparia land in Vrindaban, take it! Aksayananda Swami sent me a telegram to say that the place is too secluded, with no road and thieves. Never mind, despite all inconveniences, take the land and when I return I shall see the situation and decide how to use the property. Some of our men can go and live there without difficulty, and begin making the necessary repair work.
With regards to the farmland you mentioned; we can not purchase any land for this purpose. If the land is donated, either by this party or that party, we can make use of the land, but we cannot purchase such land.
With regards to the question of our devotees being permitted to remain in India, this point should be discussed in Parliament. The point should be raised why our devotees who are coming from foreign lands should not be permitted to remain indefinitely in the Holy Places? We have nothing to do with politics and our cultural and religious movement is being spread throughout the world. When they become actually devotees, it is the instruction of the sastra to live in such Holy Places as Vrindaban, Mathura, and Dvaraka. The references are there in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu.
Other sects also have their holy places of sanctuary. Even the Buddhists' sect have a place in India, Gaya. Our Vaisnava injunction is there in the sastra, that devotees should dwell in the Holy Dhamas; many hundreds and thousands of devotees live in places like Vrindaban, Haridwar, and many other such places. Similarly, foreigners who have accepted this sect and religious process, they should be allowed on our recommendation to stay in India. So if some Parliament members debate on this question on the basis of cultural platform, it is a glory for India that our Krishna Consciousness Movement is being accepted all over the world, why the government of India should not accept?
Even taking into consideration the economic point of view that India has already got overpopulation, that is not a very sound ground. Even it is accepted, these foreign devotees are ready not to take a grain of India's production. They can bring their own food sufficiently for taking prasada themselves, as well as for distribution to others. There is no question of economic problem. Why these cultural and religious facilities should not be given to the foreigners who have accepted them as their life and soul. Our students from India go to foreign countries for learning higher technology, why the foreigners should be be denied to learn the higher transcendental science in India. In addition, we have already published over 56 books which are highly appreciated by foreign and Indian scholars and the educated section. So it is a great science of God consciousness. The government should take it very seriously and help spread this Krishna Consciousness Movement all over the world.
At least visa should not be limited to three months, six months, like that. The devotees should be accepted as permanent residents on our recommendation. If it is a question of economics, then they can bring food, and cloth from abroad sufficient for themselves and others. Neither they are going to occupy big, big tracts of land for residential purposes. No, they are trained up to lay down on the floor for taking rest. Whatever is required we shall do, but let them stay. The government allows Christian missionaries to stay, and the foreigners come to learn Indian religion, they are not allowed to stay? This is not a very good policy.
I hope that this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
n.b. enclosed you will find another letter addressed to the BBT in Bombay. Please see that it reaches Gopala Krishna and any other people involved in this matter.