Letter to: Swami Bhaktivedanta , Hawaii , 1969-03-14
[LETTER TO ALL TEMPLES]
SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM
801 1 Street
Sacramento, California 95814
International Society for Krishna Consciousness
c/o A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
450 1/2 N. Hayworth Avenue
Los Angeles, Calif. 90048
Attention: Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Dear Swami Bhaktivedanta:
This office is charged with the responsibility of making an administrative determination concerning the status of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness as a religion within the meaning of the Military Selective Service Act of 1967. This question is and will be of importance to your organization and to many of its members. We therefore request that you advise us specifically concerning tenants and principles of your religion and specifying the body of scripture or teachings upon which your organization relies as authority.
If your sect is successful in establishing a "religion" qualification, then it will be necessary for us to determine what constitutes a "minister" and a "ministerial student" within your religion. Since we already have one application for that classification, we would appreciate receiving from you information concerning the following:
1. The names and locations of all seminaries of the church.
2. The names and addresses of all heads of your religious schools.
3. Copies of your offered curriculums.
4. A statement as to the requirements for particular diplomas certifications, or titles, indicating courses to be mastered and the time involved for each diploma, certification and title.
5. A statement as to the rules of conduct and personal standards required by your religion of its ministerial students.
6. If your church has affiliation with any other organized religious body this information should be given.
7. If your church or school has been recognized by any public or institutional accreditation, by whom, and where.
8. Please let us know what your requirements are for a ministerial student in your school in the two following categories: (a) full time and (b) part time.
9. Please state the date your ministerial school began operating, as such, the number of students presently enrolled in each of the categories specified in question 8 above, and the number of students in each particular year or level of advancement.
10. If your ministerial school is co-educational, we would like to know the present number of students of each sex.
11. Please send a roster of your school faculty and indicate the degrees and academic or religious accomplishments possessed by each instructor.
We trust you will understand the nature of this inquiry and will appreciate that such information is essential if we are to accord to your members, that have dealings with this agency, their just rights under the law.
FOR THE STATE DIRECTOR
MALCOLM F. MILLER Lt. Colonel, USAF (ret.)
This is my idea of the general plan for the questionnaire: You can work it out more elaborately as may be required.
Q. 1. The names of all seminaries and their locations, as follows:
Q. 2. Heads of religious schools (presidents of temples) and addresses.
Q. 3. Curriculums: Study of Bhagavad-gita As It Is; Srimad-Bhagavatam; (3 vol.); Nectar of Devotion; Teachings of Lord Caitanya; Vedanta Sutra. (In this way, arrange the curriculum program around these our books, and the professors, those who have been with us ample time, such as Brahmananda, Hayagriva, Kirtanananda, and have also academic qualifications). This is the complete course requiring to study 7 years. When the first exam is given the student making passing grade is given the title of Bhakti-sastri, second exam, Bhaktivaibhava, 3rd exam, Bhaktivedanta.
Q. 4. (answered above)
Q. 5. Personal conduct: Our four principles of restriction, no illicit sex, no gambling, no intoxication, no meat eating.
Q. 6. Yes, Gaudiya Vaisnava Society in India. 60 missions. Hqtrs. P.O. Mayapur, Dist. Nadia; West Bengal, India.
Q. 7. ?
Q. 8. Requirements are as follows: They should attend class in the mornings from 7 to 8 a.m., then during lunch hold kirtana, then from 12 to 4 sankirtana party, evening arati, and MWF evening classes.
Q. 9. July 1966;/?. Registration of the society in New York under the religious act of the state and the copy was submitted to your officer who came to inquire in Los Angeles, and here is the copy of the letter wherein it is admitted that the certificate of incorporation is seen by Mr. R. E. Davis, LTC, AGC, Assistant Area Coordinator.
Q. 10. Yes coed. List to be submitted. (list all members of all temples to be sent by all temples, as you request.)
Q. 11. Faculty and degrees and academic or religious accomplishments: (list all names of members who have such, as Brahmananda, Hayagriva, Satyabhama, Kirtanananda, Lilavati, etc. who have academic background qualifications).
Our religious principle is as old as 5000 years and the whole thing is explained in our recent publication of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, published by MacMillan, of New York and London. If required, a copy of this book may be secured and the whole idea may be grasped. And this is a missionary society for enlightening the people about God-consciousness, which we are preaching as Krishna Consciousness. Our main principles are as follows:
God is the Supreme Lord. The living entities are qualitatively one with God, or in other words, living entities and God are one in quality, but by quantity, God is great. As such the living entities are eternal servitors and subordinate of God maintained by the Supreme Lord. This relationship is eternal, therefore time is also eternal. There are two kinds of natures, the spiritual nature and the material nature. Material nature is temporary and spiritual nature is permanent; Material nature is simply temporary manifestation within the jurisdiction of spiritual nature. The living entities somehow or other being entrapped by material nature are meeting all kinds of material conditions. His birth, death, old age, and diseases are due to his contact with this material nature. The living entity is evolving different kinds of material body numbering 8,400,000 different forms. The human form is a great opportunity for the living entity to understand God, the living entity, time, nature, and different activities. The material activities are temporary, therefore if the living entities are trained to transform his activities from material to spiritual he regains his original spiritual nature. And after such achievements he is promoted to the spiritual world, which is far beyond this visible material sky. All these understandings are based on authentic Vedic knowledge. The Krishna Consciousness movement is for enlightenment of all human beings without any sectarian understanding of faith. Our principle is that the human being has to awaken his dormant love of God. Any religion or faith which teaches this development of dormant love of God is considered as first class religion. There are various types of religious faiths in the world but they are imparted according to the students, or followers, time, place, circumstances, etc. The principle religions of the world are Hinduism, Christianity, Mohammedanism, and Buddhism. Every religion as a matter of principle accepts authority, God being the supreme authority, and His representative also as authority. So we have no quarrel with any type of religion but we simply teach that awaken your dormant love of God which is technically called God consciousness or Krishna Consciousness. We think the whole world or the entire human society is dwindling their faith in God so much so that some of them are declaring God is dead, and some of them are in frustration, manufacturing different kinds of isms, under different names. This state of affairs in the world is not very satisfactory at least for the advanced and civilized human society. It is essential therefore that scientific God consciousness which we are preaching under the name of Krishna Consciousness, should be broadcast very widely. I came to this country with this mission, because I know that America, although richest nation in the world, still there are so many frustrated youngsters both boys and girls. I started this movement in 1966, single-handedly, but by the Grace of God, I have now hundreds of intelligent young student disciples, who have taken up this movement seriously. They are executing the rules and regulations as described in statement 5. And they are feeling happy. Many of them have taken to household life and they are living very peacefully with wife and children, and some of the married couples have gone to England and they have been preaching Krishna Consciousness movement very creditably. So this movement is very precious missionary activities for the present society. I request the government should very scrutinizingly and wisely study this movement without being biased to some stereotyped ideas. It will be good for this country, and for the whole world at large if this movement is seriously taken up and broadcast all over the world by the American people, joined by the English as well. I think my idea and plan is coming to be true very soon because I have many intelligent and sympathetic disciples, both from America and England.