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690213 - Letter to Krishna dasa written from Los Angeles
February 13, 1969
My Dear Krishna Das,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated 6 February, 1969, and I thank you very much for it. It is not surprising that it is taking a little time to begin your actual printing work. In the beginning of everything there is always some difficulty, but when you are accustomed to the process, there will be no difficulty. If no better grammarian is available, the translations of Uttama Sloka may be published. But I think that as many friends are coming to the temple, especially some Bengali Indians, they can help you in doing this translation work. When a person is willing to help with our mission, he is also a devotee, so there is no question of him being nondevotee. But they must translate as it is, they must not deviate. Anyway, our motto should be to somehow or other express the objectives of Krishna Consciousness to the German-speaking people. There is a verse in Srimad-Bhagavatam that a book or poetry in which the Holy Name of Krishna is depicted, such language is revolutionary in the matter of purifying the material atmosphere. Even though such literature is presented in broken language or grammatical inconsistency or rhetorical irregularity, still, those who are saintly persons adore such literature. They hear such literature, and chant it and adore it, simply because the Supreme Lord is being glorified in this literature. In other words, we are not meant for presenting any literary masterpieces, but we have to inform people that there is a fire of maya which is burning the very vitality of all living entities, and they should guard against the indefatigable onslaught of material existence. That should be our motto. So even if you do not get any assistance from friends, get it translated by Uttama Sloka, and publish. You can at least publish a 5-10 page edition of German Back To Godhead. That is my request.
In the Western World, people are simply interested more in politics because the problems here is materialistic. In the material way of life, people are embarrassed with the thoughts of how I shall sleep, how I shall eat, how I shall mate, and how I shall defend. That is the way of material life. In the spiritualistic life one knows that God has provided food for everyone, so we shall live on whatever things are contributed by the Grace of God. God has provided immense land on this globe, so so we have enough place to lie down. Mating is possible even in the bird's and beast's life, so that is not a problem, and defending is always incomplete. Nobody can defend himself with utmost precautionary methods unless one is protected by the Lord. Therefore, in all circumstances a devotee is cent per cent dependent on the mercy and protection of the Lord, as much as a child is cent per cent dependent on the mercy of the mother. Of course it is very difficult for the western people to understand this philosophy of being cent per cent dependent on the mercy of God. Therefore, the easiest method for us is to popularize the Sankirtana movement everywhere, and that will pave the path of spiritual understanding. You will be glad to know that in London they are doing very nicely, and a report was published in some San Francisco paper with the heading, KRISHNA CHANT STARTLES LONDON. So you shall also try to startle Germany with the Krishna chant. That should be our main program, and publishing of Back To Godhead is a bigger chanting process. With mrdanga you can chant within the boundary of your temple, but by publishing Back To Godhead you can chant throughout the German speaking land. So both mrdanga and Back To Godhead is our life and soul.
Your efforts to repeat the philosophy as it is will be successful by two things; the mercy of Krishna and the mercy of the Spiritual Master. These will keep us always fit in speaking the right thing. If the climate is suitable now in Germany, or as soon as it is so, I can immediately go to Germany. What is the temperature there now? How far are you from Switzerland? I am very much anxious to go to Europe to visit London, Germany and other places as soon as there is an opportunity. The only problem is it should not be too cold for me, an old man. So you let me know the maximum temperature at the present moment, or if in the month of March the climate will be all right. I can tolerate very nicely temperatures of 50-60 degrees.
Regarding Bhagavad-gita if you have not yet received them, just take the rate of air-cargo carrying from Germany to New York. If it is not prohibitive, then you can ask immediately Brahmananda to send by air-cargo. I think the present delay is on account of a dock strike in New York.
Regarding Jaya Govinda, the concessional rate of $200 suggested by you to Jaya Govinda is very nice. What is there if he comes from New Delhi to Moscow, it takes only 6 hours. So if he starts by plane some night, he can reach Moscow in the morning, and if he then leaves for Germany, by train he will arrive Hamburg the next morning. So to save $185 is a good proposal rather than to wait 3 months to send him the full amount. Instead of waiting 3 months, he can travel for three days, so there is no difficulty with this plan. Regarding the Raghu Pati Raghava song, we are not concerned with this song because it had a political motive; it is not pure devotional service. Gandhi was a great statesman in the garb of a saintly person, so that the Indian population would blindly follow him. But his motive was political and we are therefore not very interested with it. However, you can sing the first two lines, (Raghu Pati Raghava Raja Ram, Patita Pavana Sita Ram). I hope this will meet you in very good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami