Letter to: Joel Chalson , Los Angeles , 1969-07-22

My Dear Joel Chalson,

Please accept my blessings. I thank you very much for your contribution of $200. From your previous letter as well as this letter it appears that you are the right person to grasp the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness, and you have got good association of the devotees in New York. Also you are giving nice service so you have got very good opportunity. Please read our literatures carefully, and try to give service to Krishna as far as possible. Whenever you are in doubt you can ask me, and I am at your service. But one point you should not miss is that this life is very important to awaken our dormant Krishna Consciousness, and we should not miss this opportunity in any circumstance. That would be a great blunder. We must be very cautious to not fall prey to the clutches of Maya because in this material world Maya is very prominent although Krishna is everything. Maya and Krishna are just like the sunshine and darkness: the darkness has no independent existence without the sun. But still the darkness is existing in some corner of the sunlight. If we therefore always keep ourselves exposed to the open sunlight, there is no cause of being attacked by the darkness. If you keep yourself faced to the sunlight, you will never see the darkness, and as soon as you turn your back to the sun, then immediately you find in your front a huge shadow of your own body. This shadow is Maya, and if you turn to the sun, to Krishna, then there is no shadow. Therefore, Krishna should always be in the front of us, and Maya will disappear automatically without any separate attention. Yogis and jnanis artificially try to get rid of Maya, but in spite of their much endeavor for spiritual realization they are still in the Kingdom of Maya. The conclusion that God is impersonal or that everyone is God is the statement of a person who is in Maya. In other words, anything which is a setback to the realization of Krishna Consciousness is Maya. Anyone who is not in Krishna Consciousness is supposed to be in Maya, and anyone who is in full Krishna Consciousness is out of the clutches of Maya. This is the statements of the Vedic literatures, and we should try to understand and follow the principles.

I hope this will meet you in good health.

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