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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

Most Worshipable Srila Prabhupada, Please, accept my most humble obeisances. It has been more than two months since Janmastami, and I am still cherishing the vision of your lotus face while seeing you off at Pittsburgh Airport. After hearing you for six days and seeing you every day, my ears and eyes have become lusty. The ears do not want to hear anything but your transcendental voice, and the eyes do not want to see anything but your lotus face. I have been living in the Chicago temple since Janmastami. Every day I keep looking at your picture on the vyasasana, thinking that some day you will speak. It hasn’t happened yet, and having become impatient, I decided to write to you so that you can hear me more distinctly.

All my desires to work as an engineer seem to have dwindled by seeing your lotus face in New Vrndavana. I am enjoying the nectar of devotion more and more every day. I have been going onsainkirtana every day for an average of six to eight hours (sometimes even fifteen) ever since I have been in this temple. I love to go out on sankirtana and distribute your books, and Krsna is rewarding me with unexpected pleasure.

Every day I am realizing more and more the magnanimity and potency of your sankirtana movement, which is giving me the strength to resist the attack of this dense forest of the material world with its wild animals, the karmis (materialists). The people in general are taking one major step every day towards degradation. I cannot understand their royal march towards hell, even though I would have been one of them had you not picked me up from this holocaust. This is more true with Indians than anybody else, especially those present in this country. They do not know anything about Vedic philosophy. They do not have any religion but Carvaka’s “eat, drink and be merry.” Varnasrama-dharma is existing only in a skeleton form. Thebrahmana class has become almost extinct. The society is a headless body. How can there be any peace and prosperity when they do not know what peace and prosperity mean? How can there be brotherhood when they do not know who their father is? How can there be Rama-rajya [the kingdom of God] without Rama [God] ?

Amidst all the hypocrisy, quarrel, chaos and disarray, you have come forward with this nectar of Bhagavata-dharma the function of soul. Only very fortunate people those who are picked up by the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Himself can taste this nectar, as confirmed in the Gita:

bahunam janmanam ante
jnanavan mam prapadyate
vasudevah sarvam iti
sa mahatma sudurlabhah

“After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” (Bg. 7.19) This sankirtana yajna is undoubtedly the highest of all yajnas [sacrifices], and anybody, whether a brahmana or sudra or even worse, pure or impure, can take part and get the highest benediction bhakti unto Adhoksaja, Sri Krsna. Out of causeless mercy, you have planted these seeds in our hearts and chosen us to go all over the whole world and plant the seeds of devotion in everyone’s heart. Only through your transcendental mercy can one approach Ajita, Krsna. Krsna has given you all powers to purify anybody. The Bhagavatamconfirms this:

yat pada-samsrayah suta
munayah prasamayanah
sadyah punanty upasprstah
svar-dhunyapo ‘nusevaya

“O Suta, those great sages who have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord can at once sanctify those who come in touch with them, whereas the waters of the Ganges can sanctify only after prolonged use.” (Bhag. 1.1.15)

One of the most important and attractive things about you is that you started this movement after being on the brahma-bhuta [self-realized] platform, on which one does not have to perform any duties and has already realized the Absolute Truth. Every word inBhagavad-gita As It Is and the Bhagavatam volumes is a proof of this fact. Only a fool can read Bhagavad-gita As It Is and not understand that you are an absolutely realized soul. (A nice Indian friend of mine has already read your Gita twenty-five times.) Your purports in Bhagavatam are so powerful and honest that sometimes I simply cannot take so much mercy and cry in ecstasy.Bhagavatam, the most ripened fruit of the Vedic tree, is naturally very beautiful and is made sweeter by Suka, its speaker. Your final touch in the form of purports has made it unbearably beautiful.

I was so stupid and dumb. Although born in a pious brahmanafamily and brought up nicely, I went off the track and was living like advija-bandhu [degraded brahmana]. Somehow or other Krsna gave me the intelligence to realize that Your Divine Grace is my only hope, and I surrendered to you wholeheartedly. Ever since then, there is always bliss in my life. The emptiness and vacant mood that I was feeling before have been replaced by enthusiasm and satisfaction. In you I have seen a wonderful lake with cool water in the midst of a plain desert. You have given me both jnana[knowledge] and vijnana [realization]. You have given me the vision that vasudevah sarvam iti [Krsna is everything], knowing which I do not have to know anything else. I have no qualifications whatsoever, but because I have accepted you as my master and guide, and whatever I know comes from you, I am sure of success, even with al I my imperfections and defects.

api ced asi papebhyah
sarvebhyah papa-krttamah
sarvam jnana-plavenaiva
vrjinam santarisyasi

“Even if you are considered to be the most sinful of all sinners, when you are situated in the boat of transcendental knowledge, you will be able to cross over the ocean of miseries.” (Bg. 4.36)

My attachment for you is not at all sentimental. Until now, my definition of love was in terms of superficial material relationships with parents, family and friends. Now, since I have developed feelings for you, I am beginning to realize what love is like and how perfect and blissful a loving relationship can be. From time immemorial I have been rotting in this hell, and of trillions and trillions of living entities, how fortunate I am to be born at the same time that you have appeared and to be accepted by you as your spiritual son. You are not an ordinary saint or sage. You can very easily be considered as influential as Christ, Mohammed or Sankaracarya, and yet they did not preach the complete transcendental truth orBhagavata-dharma. Like the twelve mahajanas, you are a maha-bhagavata [fully realized devotee] who has influenced this whole age. All Vaisnavas for all time must pay you their obeisances. Oh, Prabhupada, may I lose my legs, may my hands be cut off, may I lose the sight of my eyes and my ability to speak, but may I never lose the shelter of your lotus feet. I do not know if I can develop love for Krsna in this life, but if I can develop love for you, that will be enough.

Anyone who comes in contact with you directly or indirectly will be benefited. The best way one can come in contact with you is through your books. If the degraded and misguided Indians can read your books, they may understand the real purpose of Bhagavataminstead of being brainwashed by professional reciters. There are hundreds of misleading Gita commentaries. The foolish impersonalists and dangerous cheaters have turned people to near atheism. There is no systematic teaching of Bhagavad-gitanowadays. My teachers taught me about the French revolution and American revolution, but they never mentioned Bhagavad-gita in school. Hence I very sincerely believe that they should read your books. I am wondering if I can translate your books into Gujarati. Gujaratis seem to me to be comparatively a little more God conscious than others, and materially they are happier too. If they can read your books, they may become fortunate enough to recognize you. I would very much like to know your opinion about this and would like to be advised as to how I can start it, if you approve it. I am not an expert linguist, but I was a good language student in high school, and your language is fairly simple and straightforward. Hence it would not be difficult to translate them. Also, I was a very good Sanskrit student in high school, although I later gave up Sanskrit to become an engineer. I can understand more than half the meaning of the verses even now. I am wondering if I should continue this and learn the language well, which should not take a long time.

I did not expect to make this so tedious and long a letter. But I do not know how to write nicely and briefly. However, if you read my broken language, then the goddess Sarasvati will be pleased with me, and I will be able to write better in the future.

yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
prakasante mahatmanah

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” (Svet. Up. 6.23)

It is true that you are present in your books, but as I read your books more and more, I feel your separation more and more, and my desire to see you becomes more and more intensified. I am looking forward to seeing you when you visit Chicago next spring. Please accept again my prostrated obeisances.

Eternally at your lotus feet,

Yasomatinandana dasa Brahmacari

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

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