Letter to: Mr. Robert Keene , Bombay , 1973-01-09

1529 Alton Drive,
Ohio 44313

My dear Mr. Robert Keene,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated December 20, 1972, and I have noted the contents with great concern. I do not know what are exactly the facts of the matter, but if there are any discrepancies as you say in the temples of ISKCON, they should be immediately rectified by conscientious officers. Of course, we cannot expect to find always any utopia in this material world, that is a fallacy, and it may appear to someone who is materialistically inclined that what we are doing is not only harmful to our materialistic condition, but also that we are not caring for our students and so many other things. But if you inquire from our students more carefully, you will come to understand that these superficial matters are not very serious in the long run, and that the students are becoming very happy by their acquiring spiritual knowledge and serving Krsna in so many ways. It is said that "one man's food is another man's poison." Because they have become disgusted with this material world, sometimes our devotees appear to have foolishly disregarded everything, that is seen to be something bad in their eyes, but we should not take these things very seriously. Main thing is that these boys and girls have understood what is austerity and the difference between spirit and matter, that is the highest knowledge of existence. Because they are engaged in serving Krsna in this way, you have nothing further to worry, their position in life is very secure and sound because they are going back to home, back to Godhead, without any doubt. Though they may be dressed in rags, still they are more exalted than kings.

Nevertheless, I do not know how serious is the actual situation at Boston Temple or at other temples, but I am sending copies of your letter to all ISKCON centers and I am requesting the officers in charge in those places to do the needful as you are suggesting. Yes, if there is anything cold weather, the students should be sufficiently dressed and they should not work under such conditions that they will fall ill. Everything should be managed in a nice way, so that no one is dissatisfied and everyone keeps their health and energy fit for serving Krsna 24 hours.

Thank you very much for your kind attention. I hope that everything is rectified to your satisfaction. You have got a daughter who is now become devotee of Krsna, therefore I can understand that you are also very nice persons, everyone related to any devotee of Krsna becomes also great in our estimation, therefore I beg your assistance in this matter by giving something donation towards our temples, or especially the Boston Temple, for purchasing cloth and medicine, and other things for the devotees there. If there is any further complaint, you may please address me at any time and I will try to rectify the matter.

Hoping this meets you in the best of health,

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