Letter to: Badarinarayana , Delhi , 1971-11-18
My Dear Badrinarayana das,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated November 7, 1971 and have noted the contents carefully. Regarding your proposal to accommodate more indoor engagements for Sankirtana, and thus to avoid the severe cold of wintertime, is a nice proposal, and I am encouraged to hear that you are always thinking of how to improve the program of your St. Louis temple. We should always be thinking of how to spread this Sankirtana Movement by applying our basic principles according to time and place, and I especially want that my students enter into the schools and colleges and present our Krishna philosophy and sell our books. So you may do this in consultation with Brhaspati das and other temple officers, and whenever such questions arise in future, do not hesitate to refer all matters of temple management to your GBC Zonal Secretary, Bhagavan das, for his help. I have appointed this GBC body to relieve me from the burden of administration, so I may concentrate on my writing and translation of books.
Regarding your second point, I am pleased to hear that you are concerned for the development of your neophyte godbrothers and godsisters. So just try to help them by giving them Krishna Consciousness and the best way to do this is to set the example by being very enthusiastic to do anything and everything to please Krishna, even we may have to make sacrifice. Follow the regulative principles very strictly, and be ready to tolerate all kind of setbacks and disappointments. The difference between a devotee and a nondevotee is this, just like the bee and the fly: the bee always is attracted by the honey and flies go to the open sores. So the devotee is only attracted by the good qualities in other people and does not see their faults. He is friend to everyone and in this way he finds his life sublime. Of course we are not ourselves perfect, so sometimes there may be something, and we may lose our enthusiasm to do something—but these things come and go and you should not bother very much with them. Just be attached to Krishna and try always to think how to please Him, and He will personally rescue His devotee from all kinds of unfavorable situations. Even we may not like to do the work, if we work very hard for Krishna soon we lose our attachment and become satisfied just to be serving Krishna, and as long as at least 16 offenseless rounds daily are being chanted, know it for certain that our anxieties will disappear very soon.
Regarding deity worship, the standard of deity worship must be kept very high in all our ISKCON centers. There should be no question of decrease, only how to increase in the quality and opulence of our arcana offerings. To supervise this essential Krishna Conscious activity requires a very fastidious person, one who can remember everything and be very conscientious to prepare everything nicely, be timely, like that. If you are very much attracted to pujari work then you should be given opportunity in some one of our ISKCON Temples to practice it very nicely. For that you consult with the officers and GBC.
You have been my student for some time, and I consider that you are one of the big men who are assisting me in this vast work, so I am naturally concerned for your well-being. I want that you should give up this idea of outside living and working and regard it only as a temporary trick of Maya. I need such strong men as yourself to stick with me and together we shall go back to Home, back to Godhead. If you have no other engagement, I would be greatly pleased if you could take up this work of selling my books and literatures everywhere, as many as possible.
I hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami