So anyway, my appeal to you, American people, that you are considered to be the leader of all nations of the world. You should take this Kṛṣṇa conscious movement very seriously. It is good for you. It is good for the whole world. It is individually, collectively, without any consideration of caste, creed, or color. Everyone can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, anyone and everyone, at home, on the street. There is no expenditure. Suppose while walking if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, there is no loss, there is no expenditure, but you see how much you are profited by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is practical. We don't say that "You come to our temple and give us some subscription. Become our member." That is a secondary question. Our primary movement is that everyone may take advantage of this movement and simply chant wherever possible, at home, at work, on the street, anywhere. There is no regulation where you have to chant and how you have to chant. It is spontaneous. Simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. There are only three words there: Hare, Kṛṣṇa, and Rāma, but they are adjusted in a different position. There are sixteen words. So it is not very difficult. You can make an experiment. The children also may take pleasure. We have got our records. If you play those records and chant with it, you will find a transcendental pleasure in you. These are facts. So our request to you, that you take this movement a little seriously, and you will be happy by grace of Kṛṣṇa.
Collaborate with us to invoke and fully manifest Śrīla Prabhupāda's presence
Members of our temple
Especially in this age of Kali, saṅkīrtana alone is sufficient. If the members of our temples in the different parts of the world simply continue saṅkīrtana before the Deity, especially before Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they will remain perfect. There is no need of any other performances. Nevertheless, to keep oneself clean in habits and mind, Deity worship and other regulative principles are required. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī says that although saṅkīrtana is sufficient for the perfection of life, the arcanā, or worship of the Deity in the temple, must continue in order that the devotees may stay clean and pure. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura therefore recommended that one follow both processes simultaneously. We strictly follow his principle of performing Deity worship and saṅkīrtana along parallel lines. This we should continue.
Prabhupāda: Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā: (BG 4.34) "One who knows, go and understand from them, from the guru." Don't make your interpretation, rascal. You shall remain always a rascal. Then what is the use of all these verses? If it is so easy to understand Kṛṣṇa then why Kṛṣṇa says, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevaya: "Then you will understand. Go to the right person who has seen."
Indian man: But the rascal philosophers, they have put in their book that you don't need to go to a spiritual master. Like one lady, she is staying in our temple now. She is a life member from, I think from Kanpur. So I was discussing with her yesterday. She said that "Your devotees, they are forcing me," that she should accept Śrīla Prabhupāda as spiritual master. She said, "No. I know Kṛṣṇa. I am reading Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam." And she told me that she has read in the book that one not need to go to spiritual master.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Any man who is reasonable, he'll come. If he's animal, he cannot come. That is the difference. The first charge is that anyone who is in bodily concept of life, he's animal. First of all, refute. If you are thinking that "I am this body," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am American," "I am this," "I am that," then you are animal. This is our first charge. What they will answer? What is the difference? If a dog is thinking "I am dog," and I am thinking "I am Indian" or "American," what is the difference? What is the difference between the dog and the man? That first charge should be answered. Then further questions can be...
Svarūpa Dāmodara: So it seems to be that we need some strong preaching in Calcutta, in Bengal. We want to attract some intellectuals.
Prabhupāda: No, there are many intellectuals. Not that...
Svarūpa Dāmodara: My concern here, staying here in Atlanta, there are many Bengali families, but they never come to the temple. There was our life member program, and so many prabhus are going to make life members, and these Bengalis, they don't even have some respect. That is why I was a little, seeing their moto(?) I was a little disappointed.
Prabhupāda: Because you will ask them not to eat meat, and that they cannot do. What are these? Crows?
Prabhupāda: Who is he?
Svarūpa Dāmodara: That's Darwin.
Prabhupāda: Oh. The nonsense. (laughter) Nāstika vana eka sab duniyā(?). (break)
Svarūpa Dāmodara: ...cover, with this Māyāpura background. The idea is that at the bottom is the molecules, and...
Prabhupāda: This will be a revolution, science and Bhagavad-gītā.
Gargamuni: He's our member. (break) ...three times to our temple in Calcutta.
Gargamuni: And through another member, Mr. Mahesvari, he became one of our members. (break)
Prabhupāda: Rich man, poor man, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, American, Ind..., sab combined. (Hindi) This is really United Nation, our organization.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: ...so how can they sublet? If you're not paying rent, you can't sublet.
Prabhupāda: And there is no much room, that's all, for sub... The place is still insufficient for...
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, I mean supposing they were to move out completely and let someone else move in?
Prabhupāda: Than that must be stopped. Sublet, they cannot.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Supposing, you know, they move out completely and someone pays them a thousand rupees a month? And with that thousand or more they get some other place?
Prabhupāda: Then they'll have to vacate.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: See, once they pay corporation taxes, they can claim tenancy. And a tenant... I can give you an example. In Calcutta, in Albert Road, where we currently have our temple, it was being rented by one member friend. Then he let Jayapatākā stay there, and then we took over. Of course, he was paying rent, but still, they can also be looked upon as a tenant because they'll be paying taxes.
Yesterday, Mukunda and Gurudasa were telling me that the man known as Asoka Fakir, now living in San Francisco, is advertising himself that the members of our temple are all his disciples. This man has written me letter also, from which I can understand that he is a hodge-podge man. He is not a pure devotee of Krishna, neither his behavior is quite up to the standard. Therefore you should warn all our devotees not to mix with this man very intimately.
Our movement is for preaching the sankirtana vibration, so while the brahmacaris and vanaprasthas or the sannyasis take to this preaching work, the grhasthas or householders can maintain the temple and institution. In India, you have said, the temples are richest because the grhasthas support them. In this country also the householders support the churches. So for the inmates of the temple, namely brahmacaris or the priests (even though they are grhasthas, householders), they do not work outside. They are maintained by the outside grhasthas. But so far as our London Temple is concerned, it is not yet self-supported, although the expenditure is very high. I think you are also one of the important members of our London Temple, so you can suggest to the directors how the expenditures can be minimized. In the meantime, the householders, either Indian or European community, support the temple expenditures. The inmates of the temple may not take any collections from the street, so that will be great relief for them. We have no idea to go against the law of England, where begging is prohibited, neither are we beggars.
You have written to say that they must also write to Madhava Maharaja. I cannot understand what do you mean by this. They are not known to Madhava Maharaja, so how they can write directly to Madhava Maharaja? Neither I wish to overburden Madhava Maharaja with further addition of my disciples in his temple. This is a very delicate point. Better you can ask Madhava Maharaja whether he is willing to receive further members of our camp in his temple.
My Dear Karandhara,
Please accept my blessings. Since a very long time I have not received any word from you. I hope everything is going on well with you in our Los Angeles World Headquarters.
Please send me a report of your general activities in Los Angeles Temple and also your Governing Body Commission activities.
Please offer my blessings to all the members of our Temples. How is the Deity worship being carried on?
Awaiting your reply.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
I have read over the GBC Memo and you make the following adjustment regarding membership charges. The comparison of India to that of U.S.A. is not the exchange value of rupees and dollars in the bank, but is according to purchasing power or manifest value, so practically one rupee is equal to one dollar by this calculation. Therefore, simply change the sign from Rs. to $$ and set the figure for Life Membership at $1,111, Donor Membership at $555. and Subscriber membership at $222. An Ordinary Member should pay only $5.00, which covers a one year susbscription to our magazine. Another thing is that we welcome life members to participate fully in our Temple programs anywhere they may travel and they may stay in the Temple where they are visiting.
I have met Mr. Gupta last evening and his idea was to advertise so that people may know that if they go travelling in foreign countries they may stay in Temples there. But we cannot advertise like that. When someone becomes a life member, we can inform him that he may stay at our foreign Temples as privilege of a life member, but we are not inviting anyone and everyone to stay as if we are in the hotel business.
I want that our temples in India supply me with two life-members daily, that's all. Then I shall take care of all other programs, you needn't worry about that. Just get me two life-members a day in all of India, the rest I shall decide.
I am encouraged to hear that you have recommended a total of ten devotees for first initiation from our St. Louis temple. Preaching means to increase our family members, so I can see that the preaching at ISKCON St. Louis is going on very sincerely, otherwise so many would not be interested in becoming devotees.
In India we have got a program of membership and patronship costing Rs. 1,111/- and 2,222/- respectively, and all of our members and patrons are receiving all of the books free of charges. So any member can come to our temples and live as long as he likes and take free prasadam. So if any Indians students come here as our member, we shall welcome him and give him a place as well as prasadam free of charge.