721222 - Letter to Karandhara written from Bombay
A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI
Founder - Acharya
INTERNATIONALE SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
CENTER: A-11 Sea Face Park,
50-B Desai Road,
December 22, 1972
My dear Karandhar,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your dated December 11, 1972, and I have noted the contents with care. Regarding your proposal to cash my bonds and take that house in New York, I have heard from Bali Mardan that the bid was refused and that he has made another bid, but it will be some time before it is decided. And Dhananjaya has telephoned to Bombay to request for keeping that down payment, because George is very keen to purchase one monastery and there is every chance they will get it before one week. At least let us see. So there is no immediate need to cash my bonds, nor take the money from London. Jayatirtha has informed that Bali Mardan has saved more than $100,000 in few months time only, so New York is very rich place for collecting, so why not he shall collect there for few more months to raise the whole price? Also, that place on 77th Street is not so much important as 5th Avenue and 40th Street. If we are taking such big place for big risk, why not in the important business district?
Now my plan for books in India is this: We shall pay MacMillan for 20,000 copies of Bhagavad-Gita at $1.25 each. Price may be settled as it is required, but not more than $30,000. I shall pay for 5,000 copies from my bonds, you pay for the balance 15,000 copies from Book Fund there. 5,000 Gitas may be sent immediately to India, the balance you distribute other places. In India we want to order a variety of books. So you may immediately order from Dai Nippon 5,000 copies each of KRSNA (Vol. II) (Hard-bound), TLC (soft-bound), NOD (soft-bound), KRSNA TRILOGY (soft-bound), Srimad-Bhagavatam (5,000 of each volume), plus you may send to India 10,000 each of each of the small books, like Easy Journey, Topmost Yoga, Beyond Birth and Death, Isopanisad, like that. So these books should be given at cost-price only, not wholesale price, and you may cash some of my bonds to pay the total cost-price of the above books to Dai Nippon and ISKCON Press. They shall pay me back here into one M-V Trust Fund Account at the rate of ten rupees per dollar, plus they shall give me some profit. So you may inform me what is the cost per book for each of the above, and the total cost you are having to deduct from my bonds. All books should be sent to India as quickly as possible.
Regarding the work of Pradyumna, now he is working very hard to finish those missing portions, and he will send you very soon. Actually, whatever else he may be doing, I very much appreciate Pradyumna's work. Everyday he gives me some solid work, at least something every day, so I am very much appreciating. I was in Ahmedabad preaching daily in the morning and evening for last two weeks, and at least ten thousand were coming to hear. From January 12th our second Hare Krishna Festival will go on in the Cross Maidan in Bombay, and Tamal Krishna and Shyamasundar are planning something very gorgeous just to push on the preaching work. Meanwhile I am little resting behind the scenes for few days, and one Kartikeya Mahadevia has been very kind to give us his place all to ourselves just by the seaside on Warden Road. Many big men of Bombay are coming to see me daily for confidential talks, and they are beginning to very much become inclined to our philosophy. I think in this place, it is very restful and there is no interruption, so I think I shall be able to increase my translations work.
Regarding your points about taxation, corporate status, etc., I have heard from Jayatirtha you want to make big plan for centralization of management, taxes, monies, corporate status, bookkeeping, credit, like that. I do not at all approve of such plan. Do not centralize anything. Each temple must remain independent and self-sufficient. That was my plan from the very beginning, why you are thinking otherwise? Once before you wanted to do something centralizing with your GBC meeting, and if I did not interfere the whole thing would have been killed. Do not think in this way of big corporation, big credits, centralization—these are all nonsense proposals. Only thing I wanted was that books printing and distribution should be centralized, therefore I appointed you and Bali Mardan to do it. Otherwise, management, everything, should be done locally by local men. Accounts must be kept, things must be in order and lawfully done, but that should be each temple's concern, not yours. Krishna Consciousness Movement is for training men to be independently thoughtful and competent in all types of departments of knowledge and action, not for making bureaucracy. Once there is bureaucracy the whole thing will be spoiled. There must be always individual striving and work and responsibility, competitive spirit, not that one shall dominate and distribute benefits to the others and they do nothing but beg from you and you provide. No. Never mind there may be botheration to register each centre, take tax certificate each, become separate corporations in each state. That will train men how to do these things, and they shall develop reliability and responsibility, that is the point. I am little observing now, especially in your country, that our men are losing their enthusiasm for spreading on our programmes of Krishna Consciousness movement. Otherwise, why so many letters of problems are coming, dissatisfied? That is not a very good sign. The whole problem is they are not following the regulative principles, that I can detect. Without this, enthusiasm will be lacking. Even mechanically following, and if he gets gradually understanding from the class, he will come to the point of spontaneous enthusiasm. This spontaneous loving devotional service is not so easy matter, but if one simply sticks strictly to the rules and regulations, like rising early, chanting 16 rounds, chanting gayatri, keeping always clean—then his enthusiasm will grow more and more, and if there is also patience and determination, one day he will come to the platform of spontaneous devotion, then his life will be perfect. All of this I have told you in Nectar of Devotion. So I do not think the leaders are themselves following, nor they are seeing the others are following strictly. That must be rectified at once. Each centre remain independent, that's all right, but the president and other officers must themselves follow and see the others are following the regulative principles carefully, and giving them good instruction so they may understand nicely why this tapasya is necessary. And GBC and Sannyasis will travel and see the officers are doing this, and if they observe anything lowering of the standard, they must reform and advise, or if there is some discrepancy I shall remove it. Of course, if new men are coming, they may not be expected immediately to take to our regulative principles cent per cent. Therefore we should not be so anxious to induce them to live in the temple. Anyone who lives in the temple must agree to follow the rules and regulations without fail. So if some new man moves in with us he may become discouraged if he is forced in this way. Therefore let them live outside and become gradually convinced in the class why they should accept some austerity, then they will live with us out of their own accord and follow nicely everything. It is very difficult to give up very quickly so many bad habits as you have got in your country, so educate them gradually, first with chanting, and do not be so much anxious to count up so many numbers of new devotees, if such devotees go away later being too early forced. I want to see a few sincere devotees, not many false devotees or pretenders.
So my point is that the regulative principles must be followed by everyone. Otherwise their enthusiasm dwindles and they again think of sex and become restless, and so many problems are there. There is some symptom of missing the point. The point is to be engaged in doing something for Krishna, never mind what is that job, but being so engaged in doing something very much satisfying to the devotee that he remains always enthusiastic. He will automatically follow the regulative principles because they are part of his occupational duty—by applying them practically as his occupational duty, he realizes the happy result of regulative principles. So the future of this Krishna Consciousness movement is very bright, so long the managers remain vigilant that 16 rounds are being chanted by everyone without fail, that they are all rising before four morning, attending mangal arotik—our leaders shall be careful not to kill the spirit of enthusiastic service, which is individual and spontaneous and voluntary. They should try always to generate some atmosphere of fresh challenge to the devotees, so that they will agree enthusiastically to rise and meet it. That is the art of management: to draw out spontaneous loving spirit of sacrificing some energy for Krishna. But where are so many expert managers? All of us should become expert managers and preachers. We should not be very much after comforts and become complacent or self-contented. There must be always some tapasya, strictly observing the regulative principles—Krishna Consciousness movement must be always a challenge, a great achievement to be gained by voluntary desire to do it, and that will keep it healthy. So you big managers now try to train up more and more some competent preachers and managers like yourselves. Forget this centralizing and bureaucracy.
Hoping this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Karandhar das Adhikary,
ISKCON Los Angeles