Deity Worship

Srila Prabhupada with Radha Krishna

Deity Worship is so important to our preaching mission and the development of our Krsna consciousness, and there are so many letters written by Srila Prabhupada to his disciples explaining its importance. I have only posted just a very few letters here.

…Proper Deity worship, with all attention to cleanliness, is of the utmost importance. If you can please the Deity by your sincere service, then your temple will flourish. To be able to personally serve the Deity is a great privilege and such a person is very fortunate indeed. So you continue in this way and Krishna will surely bless you. (Letter to Hladini, Dec. 29, 1970)

I am very glad to learn that Harivilasa has given you a Pair of Radha Krishna Murtis, so it appears that Radha Krishna is very kind on you, because you went to Vrindaban, to live there but circumstantially, you could not live there, and you left. Krishna has given you New Vrindaban, as well as He has, out of His good will, He has come to you. It is very surprising. So please welcome the Deity and install Him in a nice throne. I think Vamanadeva will be able to prepare a nice throne, and you have seen the New York Deities’ dress and process of worship, so you can do in that way. There is nothing to be added new. The same principle should be followed, and the Deities should always be well-dressed in clothing and some ornaments and flowers and incense. The Deities should always be attractive. And the more we are engaged in decorating the Deities, washing the room, the more we are engaged in Deity worship, the more we become purified. That is practical. Brahmananda is also taking care of my Deity in New York, and he is practically experiencing and doing it. So if necessary you can take some information from him also. (Letter to Kirtananda, Sept 22, 1968)

…Actually, although Radha-Krishna is worshiped in Vrindaban which is like a simple village, but we worship Laksmi-Narayana, and the worship is accepted by the Radha-Krishna Deity. Actually, in our present status, we can not worship Radha-Krishna. But as all the Visnu Murtis are situated in Krishna, therefore, our Radha-Krishna worship is transferred to Visnu, Lord Narayana. Visnu worship is the regulative devotional principles, and Radha-Krishna worship is spontaneous service of eternal feelings. Therefore, as Laksmi-Narayana is the Deity of great opulences, similarly our Radha-Krishna Murtis also should be worshiped with great pomp and dignity. Krishna will give you the proper intelligence to do this very nicely. (Letter to Satsvarupa, Feb. 12, 1969)

… Our Deity worship is not heathenism. If we keep Forms of the Lord without worshiping the Deity under regulative principles, it will gradually turn into idol worship, which is an offense. The Deity of the Lord and the Lord Himself are identical. Krishna can act through the Deity perfectly. As I have given several times the example, the mailbox can act perfectly as the post office because it is authorized. Similarly, when the Deity is installed under authorized regulative principles, the Deity is as good as Krishna Himself. (Letter to Syamasundara, July 15, 1969)

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The Main Activity Will Be Cow Protection

Sharma-107

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The above image is very timely as this morning I was sitting out on our back deck reading the Krsna Book as the sun was rising. The sun rays appeared and at the same time it started to rain. It was an early morning sun shower. Then I saw this image, and attached it to this brief post…

I am making a pasture available for some new bull calves that have been born here at New Vrindavan to be trained as Oxen, so I have been thinking very much about the cows and bulls, and how important they are to our movement, which is evident in following letter.

The following is a letter written by Srila Prabhupada back in 1968 to All Devotees at the New Vrindavan Farm Community, stressing the importance of Cow Protection.

…Prabhupada has requested that 7 temples be established there. Its main activity will be cow protection and to show the world that simply by living with cows and land and chanting HARE KRISHNA a perfect society will prevail.

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Hare Krishna Mantra

Sri Sri Radha Madhava

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“Our prayer of the Hare Krishna Mantra means addressing Radha and Krishna for being engaged in Their service. Hare Krishna means “Oh Hare, Oh Radharani! Oh Krishna! Please engage me in Your service so that I can get relief from the service of Maya.” (Letter to Subala das July 8, 1969)

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Fathers Day

Rocking chair clapping

Here in the West people are celebrating Fathers day. So today we honor our our Father with some quotes on Father.

…To accept Kṛṣṇa as father means “My father is there. I have no anxiety.” (Morning Walk — April 26, 1976, Melbourne)

…I am your Spiritual Father, and Krishna is your Spiritual Husband. A girl can never forget either her father or her husband.
(Letter to Jadurani — Stinson Beach, Calif 8 July, 1967)

…The Lord is very kind to the living entities because they are His sons. Lord Kṛṣṇa declares in Bhagavad-gītā, “sarva-yoniṣu…ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā.” “I am the father of all.”

You are the father of this complete cosmic manifestation, the worshipable chief, the spiritual master. No one is equal to You, nor can anyone be one with You. Within the three worlds, You are immeasurable.

You are the Supreme Lord, to be worshiped by every living being. Thus I fall down to offer You my respects and ask Your mercy. Please tolerate the wrongs that I may have done to You and bear with me as a father with his son, or a friend with his friend, or a lover with his beloved. (Bg 11. 43-44)

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The Sankirtan Movement

Lord Caitanya Kirtan

I love reading all these letter written by Srila Prabhupada to his aspiring disciples, and the following letter written to Susan Beckman is very sweet.

…Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation of Godhead in this age has delivered the medicine for all problems of the world by his introducing the Sankirtan movement. Sankirtan means to chant that Holy names of the Lord and to give up all other engagements. The chanting is a process of purification. Just like we use soap to cleanse the body, this is material, but the chanting is spiritual cleansing.

…The conclusion is that one should learn the art of chanting the Holy name of Krishna 24 hours a day and that alone is the remedy for all problems of material existence. How is it possible to chant 24 hours a day? Lord Chaitanya gave the hint, “One can chant the holy name of God in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street, more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all kinds of sense of false prestige, and always ready to offer all respects to others. In such a humble state of mind one can chant the Holy name of God constantly.” So I cannot give you any better advice for your problem, simply chant Hare Krishna and everything will be all right. (Letter to Susan Beckman)

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My Dear Sons and Daughters

prabhupadawriting

I was reading some of the letters that Srila Prabhupada had written addressed to “My Dear Sons and Daughters”, and was moved by how affectionate and personal these letters are. So I put together this post of some of these letters. How fortunate are all the devotees who in Srila Prabhupada’s words; “So you have now got the golden opportunity of this human form of life, and it is not by chance that you have met your spiritual master…” We are meeting him again each day through his vani, his words.

My Dear Sons and Daughters,

…I can understand that you are all very eligible candidates for going back to Home, back to Godhead. And the process is simple. Simply follow the regulative principles with determination, and you will become free from all attachment to maya, by Krishna’s Grace. The example is when the sun is in the sky, there is no question of darkness. Similarly, when Hare Krishna Mantra is vibrating on your tongue and you are hearing attentively, then your consciousness becomes clear or Krishna Consciousness, and there is no question of maya or hazy consciousness. Just as when the light and the darkness come together, the darkness cannot stand before the light, so maya cannot remain in the presence of Krishna. Always remember therefore to chant Hare Krishna, and that will save you in all circumstances without any doubt.
Hoping this will meet you all in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

…Now my request to you all is that you very seriously stick to the principles of devotional service, observing strictly the four basic restrictions, and without fail always chant at least 16 rounds on your beads daily, and be happy.

If you practice these basic principles successfully, not forgetting your duty even for a moment, automatically your love for Krishna will come out and you will keep yourselves always enthusiastic to serve Krishna. So you have now got the golden opportunity of this human form of life, and it is not by chance that you have met your spiritual master, so if you are intelligent you will conclude that, whatever else I may do, I must accomplish the supreme goal of my life in this very lifetime and go back to home, back to Godhead…

Hoping this meets you all in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

…Now it is your duty that you always must keep yourselves fit in Krishna’s service. The formula is very simple and if you will follow undeviatingly then your rapid advancement in Krishna Consciousness is certain. All of you must chant at least 16 rounds of beads daily and without fail. That is first and foremost. And follow all the rules and regulations of devotional life rigidly. Read all our books, attend classes and aratis, go on street Sankirtana, and always be thinking of Krishna. That is the point. Somehow or other always be thinking of Krishna. Then you will be happy and your going back to home, back to Godhead will be certain…

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

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Freedom from Material Contamination

Srila Prabhupada speaking from Vyasasana

…I wish everyone of my devotees may purify himself from all material contamination and thus be eligible for entering into the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Material life means indulging in sense gratification which diverts our attention from spiritual importance and thus we remain captive under the bewilderment of Maya. This is the most dangerous of our condition of life. Intelligent persons therefore try to avoid it under the protection of Krsna and the Spiritual Master. (from a letter by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Aug.25 1970)

…A conditioned soul, entangled in material contamination, is sure to act in the material atmosphere, and yet he has to get out of such an environment. The process by which the conditioned soul can get out of the material atmosphere is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (purport Bg. 4.24)

…By acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness for the satisfaction of the senses of Kṛṣṇa, any action, whether of the body, mind, intelligence or even of the senses, is purified of material contamination. There are no material reactions resulting from the activities of a Kṛṣṇa conscious person. Therefore, purified activities, which are generally called sadācāra, can be easily performed by acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (purport Bg. 5.11)

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Letters by Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada letters

In this letter to Mukunda dasa, Srila Prabhupada answers many relevant questions about the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master.

My Dear Mukunda,

Please accept my blessings. I thank you very much for your letter of June 3, 1969, and I have noted the contents carefully.

…The answer to your Istagosthi questions are as follows: Unless one is a resident of Krishna Loka, one cannot be a Spiritual Master. That is the first proposition. A layman cannot be a Spiritual Master, and if he becomes so then he will simply create disturbance. And who is a liberated person? One who knows Krishna.

…Your next question, whether the Spiritual Master was formerly a conditioned soul, actually a bona fide Spiritual Master is never a conditioned soul. There are three kinds of liberated persons. They are called 1) sadhan siddha, 2) kripa siddha, and 3) nitya siddha. Sadhan siddha means one who has attained perfection by executing the regulative principles of devotional service. Kripa siddha means one who has attained perfection by the special mercy of Krishna and the Spiritual Master, and nitya siddha means one who was never contaminated. The symptoms of nitya siddha is that from the beginning of his life he is attached to Krishna, and he is never tired of rendering service to Krishna. So we have to know what is what by these symptoms.

…You are correct when you say that when the Spiritual Master speaks it should be taken that Krishna is speaking. That is a fact. A Spiritual Master must be liberated. It does not matter if he has come from Krishna Loka or he is liberated from here. But he must be liberated. The science of how one is liberated is explained above, but when one is liberated, there is no need of distinction whether he has come directly from Krishna Loka or from the material world. But in the broader sense everyone comes from Krishna Loka. When one forgets Krishna he is conditioned, when one remembers Krishna he is liberated. I hope this will clear up these points. I hope this will meet you in good health.

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Meaning of Yoga

yoga_beach-sunset

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When we think of Yoga, we used to think of some old bearded yogi standing on his head, or more recently of young beautiful men & women in athletic clothing posing serenely, or a class full of people stretching on yoga mats. But actually the meaning of yoga is far beyond any of the physical gymnastics we tend to associate with the word. There are many systems of yoga, namely; karma yoga, jnana yoga, dhayana yoga, hatha yoga, bhakti yoga, and so many patterns of yoga. But as we understand from the Bhagavad-gita:

…in the Bhagavad-gītā it is clearly stated that…yoga means to get into touch with the Supreme Lord. The process, however, includes several bodily features such as āsana, dhyāna, prāṇāyāma and meditation (from purport SB 1.2.28-29)

…The word yoga means “link.” Any system of yoga is an attempt to reconnect our broken relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are different types of yoga, of which bhakti-yoga is the best. In other yoga systems, one must undergo various processes before attaining perfection, but bhakti-yoga is direct. (from purport SB 10.2.6)

…The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jñāna-yoga. When jñāna-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him, it is called aṣṭāṅga-yoga. And, when one surpasses the aṣṭāṅga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, it is called bhakti-yoga, the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to analyze bhakti-yoga minutely one has to understand these other yogas. The yogī who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune. One who sticks to a particular point and does not make further progress is called by that particular name: karma-yogī, jñāna-yogī or dhyāna-yogī, rāja-yogī, haṭha-yogī, etc. If one is fortunate enough to come to the point of bhakti-yoga, it is to be understood that he has surpassed all the other yogas. Therefore, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious is the highest stage of yoga, just as, when we speak of Himalayan, we refer to the world’s highest mountains, of which the highest peak, Mount Everest, is considered to be the culmination.

It is by great fortune that one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness on the path of bhakti-yoga to become well situated according to the Vedic direction. The ideal yogī concentrates his attention on Kṛṣṇa, who is called Śyāmasundara, who is as beautifully colored as a cloud, whose lotus-like face is as effulgent as the sun, whose dress is brilliant with jewels and whose body is flower garlanded. Illuminating all sides is His gorgeous luster, which is called the brahmajyoti. He incarnates in different forms such as Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He descends like a human being, as the son of Mother Yaśodā, and He is known as Kṛṣṇa, Govinda and Vāsudeva. He is the perfect child, husband, friend and master, and He is full with all opulences and transcendental qualities. If one remains fully conscious of these features of the Lord, he is called the highest yogī. (Bhagavad-gita 6.47)

The very word yoga means connecting link with the supreme being. We accept Krishna as the supreme being, and nobody is equal to him or greater than him. (Letter to Sri Krishna C. Batra – Vrindaban 8 December, 1975)

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Mixing with the Babajis and Sahajiyas is to be Avoided

Mixing with the Babajis and Sahajiyas is to be Avoided

Letter to: Nitai
From A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
7 June, 1976

My dear Nitai das,

Please accept my blessings. I have received information that some of our devotees are mixing with the babajis in Vrindaban. This has produced so many problems amongst our men and women who visit Vrindaban. Here in Los Angeles, we have found that there is a group of about 40 devotees who privately meet to discuss the intimate pastimes artificially thinking that they can enter into the understanding of the gopis prematurely. This will create havoc in our society, and the result will be that if this is allowed to go on, our preaching work will be greatly hampered. This premature desire to understand the lila of Krishna is due to mundane sex-life desire as we have seen amongst many of the babajis and sahajiyas in Vrindaban. Our Jagannatha das came back from Vrindaban asking me that he had heard some babaji speaking about siddha-deha and he also was listening to these babajis. So I want this immediately stopped. If it continues, this mixing with the babajis, then it will mean spoiling. In many cases, these babajis keep 2 or 3 women. Asatsanga tyagi. Their association is to be avoided and prohibited amongst all of our devotees who visit Vrindaban.

I hope that this meets you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
ACBS/pks

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July 9th Letter/May 28th Conversation

July 9th Letter

This is the last written instruction we have on initiations. It is a very important letter that all members of ISKCON should be familiar with, regardless of your position. It was adressed to All G.B.C., and Temple Presidents. This is where the first eleven names originated, and how initiations were to be carried out. This letter was based on the equally important May 28th Conversation between the GBC and Srila Prabhupada, as regards to how initiations in the future, will go on, particularly at that time when Srila Prabhupada is no longer with us.

It is essential for devotees to understand that all ISKCON members are first and foremost followers of Srila Prabhupada and that it is by his blessings that we advance in Krishna consciousness. The eternal spiritual master is a resident of Vaikuntha and is our ever well-wisher. It is he who is preparing a place for us in the spiritual world.

Very important history!

The full text is as follows: More

Offering Food to the Lord

Srila Prabhupada taking prasadam

…For offering prasadam simply prayers to the Spiritual Master is sufficient. The process is that everything is offered to the Spiritual Master, and the Spiritual Master is supposed to offer the same foodstuff to the Lord. When a thing is offered to the Spiritual Master, he immediately offers to the Lord. That is the system, and as we come by parampara system, it is our duty to go through the right channel—namely, first the Spiritual Master, then Lord Caitanya, and then Krishna. So when we chant prayers, we do this, Vande ham Sri Guru . . . and gradually to the Goswamis, then to Lord Caitanya, and then to Radha Krishna. That is the praying system. But offering the prasadam to present everything before the Spiritual Master whose picture is also in the altar, means that the Spiritual Master will take care of offering the foodstuff to the Lord. Therefore simply by chanting the prayer to the Spiritual Master, everything will be complete. (Letter to Harer Nama May 28, 1968)

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The Best Advice

Jayananda das  Sankirtan

…Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation of Godhead in this age has delivered the medicine for all problems of the world by his introducing the Sankirtan movement. The chanting is a process of purification. Just like we use soap to cleanse the body, this is material, but the chanting is spiritual cleansing.

…one should learn the art of chanting the Holy name of Krishna 24 hours a day and that alone is the remedy for all problems of material existence. How is it possible to chant 24 hours a day? Lord Chaitanya gave the hint, “One can chant the holy name of God in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street, more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all kinds of sense of false prestige, and always ready to offer all respects to others. In such a humble state of mind one can chant the Holy name of God constantly.” So I cannot give you any better advice for your problem, simply chant Hare Krishna and everything will be all right. (Letter to Susan Bekman from Srila Prabhupada)

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The Parampara System

Srila Prabhupada

..Regarding parampara system: there is nothing to wonder for big gaps. Just like we belong to the Brahma Sampradaya, so we accept it from Krishna to Brahma, Brahma to Narada, Narada to Vyasadeva, Vyasadeva to Madhva, and between Vyasadeva and Madhva there is a big gap. But it is sometimes said that Vyasadeva is still living, and Madhva was fortunate enough to meet him directly. In a similar way, we find in the Bhagavad-gita that the Gita was taught to the sungod, some millions of years ago, but Krishna has mentioned only three names in this parampara system—namely, Vivasvan, Manu, and Iksvaku; and so these gaps do not hamper from understanding the parampara system. We have to pick up the prominent acaryas, and follow from him. There are many branches also from the parampara system, and it is not possible to record all the branches and sub-branches in the disciplic succession. We have to pick up from the authority of the acharya in whatever sampradaya we belong to. (from letter to Dayananda: April 12, 1968)

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Advancing in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness

Srila Prabhupada Letters

Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Eight

Advancing in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness

(an exchange of letters)

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Śrīla Prabhupāda vāṇī

Srila Prabhupada on the Bowery

Śrīla Prabhupāda vāṇī
Submitted by Vidura dasa

“When I was alone in your New York, I was thinking, who will listen to me in this horrible, sinful place? All right, I shall stay little longer, at least I can distribute a few of my books, that is something. But Krishna was all along preparing something I could not see, and He brought you to me one by one, sincere American boys and girls, to be trained-up for doing the work of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Now I can see that it is a miracle. Otherwise, your city of New York, one single old man, with only a few books to sell for barely getting eatables, how he can survive, what to speak of introducing God-consciousness movement for saving the humankind? That is Krishna’s miracle. Now I can see it.” (Letter to: Sudama — Bombay 23 December, 1972)

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Krishna & the Spiritual Master

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Letter by Srila Prabhupada

“Lately there has been some misunderstanding amongst our devotees about our Krishna Consciousness philosophy. Particularly there has been some confusion about the relationship between the Spiritual Master and Krishna.

The Vedas say that there is a Master Krishna. This Servant Krishna is the Spiritual Master and this is the conclusion. The Spiritual Master is the Mercy Representative of the Supreme Lord and as such He is given honor as good as Krishna, but He is never identical with Krishna.

Perhaps you know the picture of Madhvacarya, one of the great Acaryas in our line, who is holding two fingers up to indicate Krishna and jiva. The impersonalists hold up one finger because their idea is that everything is one. So if we make the Spiritual Master identical with Krishna, then we will also become impersonalists.

If we say that our Spiritual Master is Krishna, then the conclusion is that if we become Spiritual Master some day, then we will also become Krishna. Please try to understand how dangerous this kind of reasoning is.

In my books I have tried to explain clearly this simultaneously one and different philosophy acinta beda beda tattva propounded by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. But sometimes it happens that this philosophy is given a self-interested interpretation. As soon as personal motivation comes in it is not possible for one to understand our Krishna Consciousness philosophy.” (From Letter to Isana and Vibhavati, 21 September, 1970, Calcutta)

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Śrīla Prabhupāda vāṇī

Śrīla Prabhupāda vāṇī
From Letters, Lectures, and Conversations
Submitted by Vidura Prabhu

“They say that you are all my disciples. So the guru is not on the scene. He has fled away and nobody knows where he is, but the Krishna consciousness program is going on. That was also going on during the time of Lord Caitanya. In South India He used to travel, and in a village He would meet some man and induce him to chant, and the man would become a devotee, and Lord Caitanya would go away, but still the man would continue to chant. So, I am not personally present, but still things are going on, and it is increasing. So the books are selling and we are expanding. This book distribution is the brihat mrdangam. It is the greater preaching.” (Letter to: Sri Govinda: — Bombay 6 December, 1974)

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Letters

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Back to Godhead Magazine
Letters, Volume-01 Number-55, 1973

My dear Yasomatinandana,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter, and I am so much pleased to read it. Your letter is so nice that I am advising that it be published in Back to Godhead. In the meantime you can immediately begin translating all our books into the Gujarati language. All these translations will be published in series in our Gujarati BTG, and if you are serious about it, you can be the Editor. So immediately begin translating and regularly produce books in Gujarati, and it will be a great service for you. The more you render service, the more you will be enlightened by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thank you once more for understanding our philosophy very nicely.

Hoping this will meet you in good health,

Your ever well-wisher, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Full letter by Yasomatinandana dasa More

The Whole System of Human Civilization is to Guide the People to Become God Conscious

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…But this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so nice that even caṇḍālas can be also raised to the platform of brāhmaṇa. Even if a caṇḍāla is trained up as a devotee, he can be better than a qualified brāhmaṇa. These are the shastric injunctions. The yavanas’ names are there also. Yavana-mleccha means generally they are meat-eaters, especially cow meat, cow flesh eaters. They are called yavana-mlecchas. So the higher caste, they cannot become meat-eaters. Meat-eating is there. That is for the lower class, not for the higher class. If anyone gives up meat-eating or the bad habits of lower class, illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication, gambling, and if he’s trained how to become a qualified brāhmaṇa, then he can be accepted.

…So our this movement is not for the kṛpaṇas. It is meant for the brāhmaṇas. We want to become ourself brāhmaṇa, and we want to make others also brāhmaṇa. Because there is need of brāhmaṇa at the present moment. The whole human society is now running by the śūdras, all śūdras. Kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ. In this Kali-yuga, everyone is a śūdra. Maybe born of a brāhmaṇa family, but because he has no culture… The first culture is garbhādhāna-saṁskāra. If garbhādhāna-saṁskāra is not observed even in a brāhmaṇa family, he becomes immediately śūdra. This is the statement of the śāstra. So nobody is observing garbhādhāna-saṁskāra. Therefore, according to śāstra, everyone is a śūdra. Now because everyone is śūdra, therefore he cannot be trained up as brāhmaṇa? No. He can be trained up. Caṇḍālo ‘pi dvija-śreṣṭho hari-bhakti-parāyaṇaḥ. If that śūdra or caṇḍāla can be turned into a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, hari-bhakti-parāyaṇaḥ, then under training he can become better than brāhmaṇa.

Lecture by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Māyāpura, June 15, 1973 More

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