Letter to: Swami B. S. Bhagavata Maharaja , Los Angeles , 1969-08-21
His Holiness Swami B.S. Bhagavata Maharaja
Revered Sripada Bhagavata Maharaja,
Kindly accept my humble obeisances. I beg to thank you very much for your letter dated 8th July, 1969, postmarked the 8th of August, 1969. I see this letter was addressed to me in New Vrindaban, and from there it was redirected to Los Angeles. I understand that you addressed another letter to me dated 6th June, 1969 addressed to my New Vrindaban address, but I did not receive that letter. Probably it is missing. I was expecting your reply of my letter dated May 23rd, 1969, and I am so glad to receive your letter in hand. I have also gone through the Memorandum of Articles of Association of your Mission and particularly seen the specific portion referred to in your letter in reply. I see it is in order, but similarly, we have also incorporated our International Society for Krishna Consciousness pursuant to the religious corporation laws of the state of New York.
The main purposes of this institution are as follows amongst others: 1) To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all peoples in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values in life and to achieve real unity and peace in the world. 2) To propagate a consciousness of Krishna as it is revealed in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. 3) To bring the members of the Society together with each other and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, and thus develop the idea, within the members and humanity at large that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of Godhead (Krishna). 4) To teach and encourage the Sankirtana movement, congregational chanting of the holy name of God as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
So practically there is no difference of opinion in our missionary activities, especially because we all are deriving inspiration from His Divine Grace Prabhupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja. I think all of our Godbrothers are doing the same missionary activities without a doubt, but still the regrettable fact is we are doing all separately, not in conjunction. I have also read specifically your articles on the matter of acaryas, wherein on the 14th Paragraph I see the acharya shall be entitled to nominate in writing his successive acharya. But we do not find any record where our Srila Prabhupada nominated any acharya after Him. Different persons have interpreted on this point, and every one of our Godbrothers are acting as acharya, so this is a controversial point which I do not wish to enter into while we are proposing for cooperation. I think now we should cooperate fully for preaching the Mission of Srila Prabhupada. He very eagerly desired that the message of Lord Caitanya should be preached all over the world. About 40 years before, Sripada Bon Maharaja, guided by our senior old Tirtha Maharaja were sent to London, and perhaps Gaudiya Mission was established at that time. Since then, activities in foreign countries was practically stopped altogether. Although I was intimately connected with the Gaudiya Math institution, I was a householder. But when I first met His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, He instructed me to preach in the foreign countries, but I could not do anything tangible on account of my family attachment. So after taking sannyasa in 1959 I prepared myself for coming to the foreign countries. As soon as three books were ready, Srimad-Bhagavatam, I started for New York in 1965. This was out of my inspiration in receipt from Srila Prabhupada, and it appears that my attempt in the foreign countries has become successful to a great extent. By my personal attempt I have established preaching centers numbering about two dozen, beginning from Hamburg to Tokyo. I think if my Godbrothers would have attempted similarly, preaching centers would have been established all over the world by this time. Therefore, I wish that Gaudiya Mission should send their preachers and establish different centers in different parts of the world. That will fulfill the Mission of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja.
I know there is some difficulty in the matter of getting the passport and visa for preaching in foreign countries at the present moment, but if the Gaudiya Mission decides to send their representatives in all other parts of the world, I can help them in this matter. Similarly, I would also expect cooperation from all our Godbrothers in the matters where I require their help. This mutual cooperation can be established immediately. Apart from the point of the acharya question, I think everyone is working in his individual capacity. That may not be disturbed at the present moment, but if we concentrate our energies for spreading the message of Lord Caitanya all over the world, that will be right missionary activities on behalf of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.
I thank you very much for inviting me to your head office in Calcutta for heart-to-heart talk and discussion. I shall be always glad to abide by this suggestion, but the thing is if I go to India, it will cost me at least Rs. 25,000 to go and come back. In this old age, wherever I go I take with me one personal assistant. This means if I go to India, I will have to take my secretary, and that means two return tickets also, as well as other expenses. But if something is tangibly understood on the line of cooperation, it will be not difficult for me to go and see the acharya of the Mission for the final decision.
I am going to Germany the day after tomorrow via New York, and therefore my next address will be c/o Internationale Gesellschaft fur Krishna Bewusstein, 2 Hamburg 19, Eppendorfer Weg 11, West Germany. In the meantime I shall request you to cooperate with my missionary activities to supply me 10 mrdangas (kholes), first class and 50 pairs of karatalas, Navadvipa made, first class, every month to our different centers like New York, Los Angeles, London, Hamburg and Tokyo. Also I would request you to arrange for supplying Radha-Krishna Deities made in Vrindaban or Calcutta, 24" high, for our different centers. We can also cooperate in selling your books in our different centers, and similarly you can cooperate by selling our books in your different centers. So there is ample opportunity of cooperation in good will, and if we continue like that, in the near future it may be possible that we completely amalgamate both our institutions. I hope you will give your due consideration to my proposals and shall be glad to hear from you at your earliest convenience. Also please let me know if personally I can become a member of your society under Clause 3 on page 19 of the Memorandum.
Please offer my humble obeisances to His Divine Grace Sripada B.K. Audulomi Maharaja and other Vaisnavas of the Math.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
enclosures: copies of news cuttings of our Rathayatra Festival, which we held in San Francisco, London, Boston, Ohio, and Hamburg.