1947 to 1965 Correspondence
Letter to Mr. Toshihiro Nakano -- Delhi 1 April, 1961:
My advance copy of speech, which I have already sent you, together with the pictographical explanation, may be formed into one book and the pictures may be drawn in colorful expressive tone by your good Japanese artist. Japan is famous for artistic work and India is famous for spiritual culture. We should now combine together for uplifting the unhappy human being from the muddy things of gross materialism.
The Book may be published under the auspices of your good foundation and if you like it we can publish many other books for cultivating Human spirit.
Letter to Jadurani -- Calcutta 12 December, 1967:
You have rightly remarked whether they are devotees. You are right. These people are professional singers. Krishna Kirtana is not for earning livelihood. Krishna Kirtana is not meant for entertaining the public for demonstration of arts. It is dynamic service to the Lord. We do not therefore mind so much about the artistic presentation of Krishna Kirtana but we want to see how much a devotee is satisfying the Supreme Will. The pictures of Lord Krishna and His expansions are particularly meant for giving chance to the neophytes for offering devotional service. It was very nice that Purna das offered respects to the Sankirtana painting. That will enlarge Krishna Consciousness. Your program for publishing pictures in details of great authorities like Bhisma and others is very much appreciated.
Letter to Jadurani -- San Francisco 16 March, 1968:
Please continue to help all the young girls, both in N.Y., and S.F. as well. If they take to following your example of sincere service, they will all be advanced in Krishna Consciousness very rapidly. Your example is very nice, using your artistic abilities to serve Krishna, and they may all follow in your footsteps. I think there is no need for coming to S.F., as most of the girls are there, and recently Anapurna dasi has left for Boston, also. She is very nice young girl, and with artistic abilities, so you please help her as she arrives there.
Letter to Jadurani -- San Francisco 8 April, 1968:
If the two girls, Ekayani and Sudarsana, want to be engaged in drawing for helping BTG, let them do so. The simple thing is they must be engaged in this artistic work. It is very nice that they want to occupy in every spare moment with their artwork, it is very laudable, and it means they are anxious to serve. So I am also awaiting to see them very eagerly, and see how nice they are.
Letter to Jadurani -- San Francisco 13 April, 1968:
And when he wanted still more food, the man refused, as the man could not supply. So the Hindu man said, "Sir, I have lost my caste, and still I am hungry!" Similarly, if artistic pictures as they are approved by the people in general in this country can be sold quickly, I have not any objection to present our pictures in such a way. But I know that pictures in this country are sold not on the merit of the picture, but on the reputation of the artist. That system is also current in India. But to come to the point of a reputed artist will require long duration of time. And our time is very short. We have to finish our Krishna Consciousness during our lifetime, and we should not waste a single moment for anything else.
Letter to Jadurani -- San Francisco 13 April, 1968:
According to Caitanya Caritamrta, a man is famous who is known as a great devotee of Krishna. So if there is not possibility of selling our pictures immediately on presentation, I do not think there is any necessity to improve our artistic craftsmanship. We should be satisfied with our pictures hanging in our different temples. But we may not sacrifice our valuable time for becoming famous artists so that pictures may be sold like hotcakes.
Letter to Jadurani -- San Francisco 13 April, 1968:
Therefore the idea was that we may sell some pictures but so far I understand that even if we follow the principles of modern artists, still our pictures like Narada Muni, Panca-tattva, etc., will not have immediate prospective market. If there is actually any prospect for selling our pictures put up in this modern artistic way, then I have no objection for putting pictures in this way for selling them. But if that is not possible, then I think we should not waste time in this way. Of course, I am not an artist, neither I have power to see from artistic viewpoint; I am a layman, so whichever picture appeals to me I say it is nice, and whichever picture does not appeal to me I say it is not nice. That is my common sense affair.
Letter to Jadurani -- San Francisco 13 April, 1968:
Therefore my remark has no value from artistic sense. Anyway, don't be depressed; you can go on with your work, and we shall talk more on this subject when we meet together. I have replied Yadunandana's letter, and I wish that you all should read that letter, because it contains some valuable information about our preaching method, and many intelligent questions by him have been replied in that letter. Hoping you are all well.
Letter to Upendra -- Allston, Mass 1 June, 1968:
I am going to Montreal on Monday, June 3rd, and if I find Montreal quite suitable, I shall call you and some other students to assemble there to practice Sankirtana in a systematic way. Of course, chanting Hare Krishna does not require any artificial artistic sense, but still, if the procedure is presented rhythmically, then the people may be attracted more by the transcendental music. So, Hamsaduta asked me about you and I have said that you will be able to come as soon as I call you, so first of all let me go there, then I shall let you know what to do.
Letter to Krsna Devi -- Montreal 21 August, 1968:
The first thing is about your husband's endeavor to produce films of our activities. I very much appreciate this attempt and try to help your husband as much as possible in this matter. When you have no other engagement, at that time you can attempt to paint pictures if you have got taste for such artistic work.
I understand that you are sending $100.00 per month to Santa Fe, and I shall be glad to know for how many months, or how many installments you have sent there. Because I wanted you to send $100.00 say, for three months; I do not want that a branch should be continually maintained by other branches. Every branch should be self-dependent.
Letter to Acyutananda, Jayagovinda -- Seattle 13 October, 1968:
Jaya Govinda, your article "Hrshikesa" is published in Back To Godhead. It has come out very nice. If you send such articles of different pilgrimages, that will be also a great service. You have got artistic idea, so please take courage and act enthusiastically. Do not depend on somebody, and become confined there. So on receipt of your reply of this letter I shall give you my final decision about your returning back.
Letter to Joy Fulcher -- Los Angeles 21 November, 1968:
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your nice letter with some poems, as well as a nice picture of Radha and Krishna, by separate mail. Unfortunately, in transit the glass is broken into pieces, but still I have kept your picture in my working room, and everyone praises your artistic sense. It is very nice. I am very glad to learn also that you are attempting to paint similar pictures in larger size, that is very good idea. You have got some poetic sense also, and all these talents, the artistic sense and poetic sense, can be engaged in the service of Krishna.
Letter to Kirtanananda -- Los Angeles 30 November, 1968:
I hope you are all well there, and convey my blessings to Ranadhira, Hrsikesa, and Pradyumna and any others; there also I think Mahavisnu das and Rama devi are also, and please convey my blessings to them along with their little son, Haridasa. I very much appreciated also the nice cartoon-advertisements for your OSU Yoga society, and I think Ranadhira must have done them so nicely. Please thank him and encourage him to do much more such nice artistic work.
Letter to Rukmini -- Los Angeles 19 December, 1968:
I am happy to learn that you are painting a portrait of my Guru Maharaja and that it is coming along nicely. As our movement continues to spread around the world we will be requiring so many of such paintings so that so many devotees and friends may engage their eyes in seeing Krishna and His devotees. So please try to improve your artistic abilities as far as possible. I am sure that Jadurani will always be a help to you in this matter.
So far as offering to Krishna apple cider, this can be done only if it is prepared by devotees. These food manufacturers do not take proper precautions in cleanliness nor do they have devotion to Krishna in their labors so it is not very acceptable offering. If you can make this preparation yourself then it will be alright.
Letter to Ekayani -- Los Angeles 1 February, 1969:
If Jadurani likes, you can finish up these pictures for the Krishna book. Picture painting is one of our important departments, so please try to become very expert. You should be at least as expert as Jadurani, and that will be a great pleasure for me. Rukmini is also becoming very much expert in her artistic works.
Regarding your question about the Goswamis, all of them are eternal associates of Lord Caitanya. I do not know where you have read differently. Sri Rupamanjari is one of the eight Gopis, but which one you will learn later on. Study the Bhagavad-gita more carefully. There will be an examination and everyone will have to appear to take this examination next January, 1969.
Letter to Indira -- Los Angeles 25 February, 1969:
I thank you very much for this and I am always very pleased with your sincere efforts to serve Krishna.
For the Krishna book we will require paintings, so we will not need any etching and woodcut. So you can send me some samples of your paintings and then I'll give you some suggestions. But anyway, you continue to improve your very good artistic talents and it will soon come to the perfectional stage. Regarding your question about artist materials, you may use any materials which will be useful in producing nice paintings.
Letter to Rayarama -- Hawaii 6 March, 1969:
So you know that the majority of the verses in the back portion of the book were not given purports. Therefore in our next publication we shall give purport for all the verses.* So you should keep one copy with you before you send the manuscript to Janardana.
That Rohini Kumara is assisting you in artistic abilities is very gratifying. So you are preparing for the Japanese issues. In fact, from the number when we begin our Japanese issue we shall stop advertisement altogether . . . either hippies or dhippies.
Letter to Bharadraja -- New Vrindaban 2 June, 1969:
If it is necessary for you to work part time to earn money for artist supplies then you should do it, or else if Isana das can continue to help you in this connection, that will be better. Both you and your wife, Rukmini, are very nice artists, so please tell me what ideas you have so that you may get as much artistic work done as possible.
Letter to Syamasundara -- Los Angeles 15 July, 1969:
I have prepared a nice book, Krishna, and I want to print it in a deluxe edition. If some of your friends finance this publication, it will be a unique presentation to the world. This will contain Krishna's life from the beginning of His Appearance to His Disappearance from this mortal world. It will contain all of His activities throughout. It is full of philosophy, instructions, transcendental pastimes and artistic pictures.
Letter to Krsna dasa -- Los Angeles 28 July, 1969:
There are many instances in Mahabharata wherein we find that Krishna declined to accept the invitation of Dhuryodhana, who was then the emperor of the world, but He accepted the invitation of Vidura, who was famous as a poor man. It is said "Vidura's particles of grain." So our business is to offer our sincere service, and it is accepted by Krishna. From the artistic point of view I do not find anything wrong in this picture, so he should be encouraged to draw many pictures for decorating the temple. Jadurani was not in the beginning a very good painter, but trying to serve Krishna she has become a very good painter. We have got two nice painters in Los Angeles also; Muralidhara and Devahuti. They have drawn two very big pictures for the Los Angeles temple, and they are very beautiful and perfect.
Letter to Brahmananda -- Hamburg 9 September, 1969:
We shall fully utilize the press facilities in various ways. My suggestion to meet the business men is to convince responsible men of your country to understand the importance of this Krishna Consciousness Movement and how we are molding the character of younger generation by giving them peaceful home, philosophy of life, artistic sense, musical entertainment, nutritious foods: and above all these, we are giving them spiritual enlightenment, which is never to be found elsewhere throughout the whole world. Every gentleman in your country is anxious about their children, and gradually if the richer section of the people or the government cooperates with us, we can expand this movement for total welfare of the younger generation.
Letter to Syama -- Los Angeles 23 February, 1970:
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 19 February, 1970, with your embroidery work on my Guru Maharaja's picture.
Women are by nature endowed with many artistic tendencies, and from the Vedic age we find that high grade women and girls were highly qualified in sixty-four arts. Srimati Radharani was fully qualified in those arts, and therefore, by Her super-excellent transcendental qualities, she could charm Krsna who is the charmer of the three worlds. One of the Principle Gopis was Syama dasi, and you are supposed to follow the footsteps of Syama dasi.
Letter to Joanne, Connie -- Los Angeles 4 June, 1970:
In continuation of my last letter, upon opening further the box sent by you along with your letters to me I have found the necklaces and handkerchief made by you for Sri Sri Radha and Krsna, and they are so wonderful. I have immediately got them on the Deities, and They are looking very gorgeous with Their new ornaments. So I beg to thank you very much for these nice gifts of your artistic talents.
In the meantime, I have received one letter from Sriman Jananivasa requesting your initiations from me. So on his good recommendation you may send me your beads for chanting and I will be very happy to initiate you both. Please always chant Hare Krsna mantra and be happy.
Letter to Madhusudana -- London 18 August, 1971:
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 13rd August, 1971 and have noted the contents carefully. So far your choice of artwork for BTG, I do not know the artistic sense. I am a layman and do not know the techniques. But the picture you have enclosed appeals to me, so it may be used. I have no objection.
The point is that these drawings should be realistic. Not that you make Krishna a cartoon character and therefore laughing stock. And hippy ideas shouldn't be used either. Whatever technique is there, make it realistic. That will be nice.
Letter to Jadurani -- Bombay 31 December, 1971:
Colors of sunshine only become manifest when there is a tinge of clouds. So in the Brahmajoti there is no possibility of material tinge. So how it can be rainbow colored? In the dazzling light there is no possibility of colors. Considering all these points, Muralidhara should paint maintaining the artistic sense as well.
The Mahattattva may be shown underneath the lotus if it is required for design purposes.
Letter to Vasudeva -- Los Angeles May 31, 1972:
This Krsna Consciousness Movement is the only thing that will save them. So you yourself become very convinced of this fact and be very bold in preaching Krsna Consciousness there in Berlin. I enjoy very much your artistic work, so you can combine your presidential duties with sometimes painting, but the main thing is to always remain engaged fully in the enthusiastic service of the Supreme Lord, nevermind this activity or that activity, so long as the mind is fully absorbed at Krsna's Lotus Feet. So I am very glad to hear that you are a capable manager, you are a very very intelligent boy and gifted by Krsna in many ways, so now Krsna has given you the opportunity to make advancement by becoming also very responsible. So kindly take this responsibility to heart and be always jolly and determined. Now you must be the perfect example for others to follow.
Letter to Dhananjaya -- Bombay 31 December, 1972:
So far painting of the deity, it will not be necessary to bring Muralidhara from New York just for that purpose. We should not be so hasty to make such drastic programs. Radha and Krsna are transcendental to such artistic work, they do not depend upon our painting of them for their beauty. But they should be painted as nicely as possible if there is at present some deterioration of the painting. But I think someone is there, either in London or some other place in Europe, who can do the work perfectly well.
Letter to Madhudvisa -- Los Angeles 8 December, 1973:
I am in receipt of the painting you have sent. This is not a good style of painting. It is an artistic style for sense gratification only. I cannot encourage this style—it should be stopped immediately. Paintings should be like the Deities, formal and worshipful. This type of painting is sentimental and not authorized. Paintings should be as our artists in New York are doing. Do not introduce any new styles.
Letter to Govinda -- Bombay 30 April, 1974:
Visnupriya is the incarnation of the Goddess of Fortune but to teach us how much austerity and penance she underwent, I think you should follow the footsteps of Srimati Visnupriya. You have good writing capacity, and good artistic ability. Now devote your life to chanting Hare Krsna and if possible write articles on Krsna Consciousness, as many as possible with your own paintings and send it for publication to BTG. Forget this nonsense Gaurasundara. These are all material relationships and have nothing to do with spiritual advancement.
Letter to Jayatirtha -- Vrindaban 14 September, 1974:
At the upcoming GBC meeting we shall discuss it further. He can be made the official secretary for the time being. I have already informed this to Bali Mardan.
So you act as GBC and see things are going nicely. Now Bharadraja and his wife have become expert doll makers. So give him all facilities. Let all those with artistic talent assist him. I want very extensive doll exhibits in every center. My guru maharaj used to spend lots of money on doll exhibitions on Srimad-Bhagavatam. So I am sure that if we make doll exhibitions very prominent many tourists and visitors will throng in our temples. Bharadraja and his wife have made here some dolls superexcellent successful. So utilize their talent and get others to assist them.
Letter to Bunke Behari -- Berkeley 20 July, 1975:
I wish to thank you very much for ivory carving gift which you have kindly presented to me. You have made it very nicely. I can see that it required skill to make it so artistically. You have made Radha and Krishna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu very attractively.
Letter to Dr. Wolf -- Mayapur 29 January, 1976:
Actually, if some literature doesn't carry any real knowledge, what is the use of ornamental language? We are not interested in presenting ornamental language.
In India the system is that people go to see the Jagannatha Deity. The Deity is not very beautiful from the artistic point of view, but still people attend by the thousands. That sentiment is required. Similarly with our kirtana we are only using drums and karatalas, but people come to the point of ecstasy. It is not the ornamentation, it is the ecstasy. This ecstasy is awakened by sravanam kirtanam by devotees. I hope this makes everything clear.
Letter to Dr. Bishnu Prasad Mukherjee -- Los Angeles 4 June, 1976:
I am in due receipt of your letter dated May 27, 1976, with enclosed brochure, and I have noted the contents carefully.
Our Krishna Consciousness Movement is not a Bharatiya artistic one. It is a program to solve all the problems of all the world. We are getting good response, so your cooperation will be welcome, but we are not interested in Bharatiya as there are already so many organizations of this nature. Our workers are all dedicated souls and they are engaging in activities on the spiritual platform. If sometimes you could find the time, perhaps we could meet together and we can talk.
Letter to Abhirama -- Los Angeles 7 June, 1976:
Take it from the beauty side. What is the harm? Suppose that a statue is in a museum, does it mean sectarian? It will glorify Vedic culture, so why the corporation will not agree with our plan? (Of course, the Deity must be there). It will be open to the public and we will invite tourists from all over the world. It shall be an artistic exhibition. And we shall spend any amount of money to make it an attractive spot for world tourists.
So try for the sanctioning by all means. Somehow or other, by flattery or whatever, get it sanctioned. It is very important. Convince them it is beautifying the park. And we shall please the corporation, the municipality, in every respect. It is a cultural presentation, not a temple, and it will attract many visitors. Convince them on this point.
Letter to unknown 2 -- 28 September, 1976:
Everywhere the Deity of Radha and Krishna is being worshiped. From India a large number of renowned persons frequently visit these temples throughout the world and they have made remarks to the effect that in each and every temple arrangements for daily worship and functions relating thereto are remarkably done smoothly and methodically. The artistic way of make up in all respects are exceptionally good and for all these a lot of expenses made towards everything are unparallel. The devotees attached to these temples out of natural devotion frequently visit to have a glance of the holy birthplace of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Mayapur, Navadvipa, and that of Shri Krishna at Mathura and His lila-ksetra at Vrndavana, and that they do so in thousands.