My Dear Rayarama,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated Nov. 15, 1968, and noted the contents. I have already sent news to Mr. Barkley and Gehring to see me here. It appears that they want to start some magazine on religion. So I asked them to see me here. And I shall talk with them and see what is their idea. Regarding Press: I have already written to Brahmananda how the press should be started. The following principles should be followed strictly in our press: All the works of the press, including binding, and everything should be done by our men. We shall not accept any outside job for maintaining of this press. We will print simply our books and magazines, etc. And the boys and their families should be maintained by the sales proceeds of books and magazines. Brahmananda told me that binding in N.Y. is very expensive, and he is thinking of sending the papers to Holland for binding. These proposals are not at all practical. You write to say that Purusottama is desperate to come here, and stay with me for a while, so let him come, and if need be he will go back again.
Regarding your prediction of cataclysmic earthquakes in this side of your country, your fear of my life is certainly natural. I was pet child of my father whom I lost in 1930, and since then nobody was taking care of me as affectionate son. But Krishna has sent me so many fathers to take care of me in a far distant place in USA. So I am fortunate enough that you are all so anxious, but we must always depend on Krishna. Rest assured that this nonsense idea of cataclysmic earthquakes will never take place. And even if it takes place, why should we be afraid of it? As soon as there is sign of such earthquake, we shall sit down together and chant Hare Krishna. So it will be a great opportunity of meeting death while chanting Hare Krishna. If one dies on sound condition of body and mind chanting Hare Krishna, he is the most fortunate man. There is a proverb in which it is said, "My dear royal prince, please do not die. My dear Brahmacari, you die immediately. My dear saintly person, you die or live it is all the same. My dear butcher, you do not die and do not live." So we are neither butcher nor royal prince, some of us are Brahmacaris, and some of us are supposed to be saintly persons, so if the Brahmacaris die, he immediately goes to Vaikuntha, and if the saintly person dies, he is all the same—he is engaged here in Krishna's work, and he will be engaged in Krishna's work there also. So don't bother about this earthquake business. Chant Hare Krishna peacefully and do your duty nicely. Of course, if there is such danger, I must take care like others. It is not good however unnecessarily risk my life, but I think the predictions given by so many astrologers are not very sound. I take your advice that as soon as there are series of minor tremors I must leave for your shelter.
Regarding propaganda against animal slaughter in BTG. Please do not print any picture showing how a cow is being murdered in our BTG. This will pollute the whole atmosphere. We are not meant for moving anyone's sentiment against animal slaughter, we are neither Buddhists or Jains, whose main propaganda is against animal slaughter. Even the so-called vegetarians who do not take Krishna prasadam are as much sinful as the non-vegetarians. Our propaganda is different, to make people Krishna Conscious, which automatically makes them sympathetic against any kind of animal slaughter. According to Srimad-Bhagavatam, one living entity subsists on the life of other living entities, either vegetarian or non-vegetarian. But we are neither of them. We are not vegetarian nor non-vegetarian. We are transcendental. We are concerned with Krishna Prasadam. Try to popularize Krishna Prasadam as you have already done. People will naturally become vegetarian without any ghastly propaganda. The pictures of a mahajana or similar pictures for propagating the Bhagavata conclusion should be our objective. Other pictures, there are so many subject matters, just like we follow 4 principles, say for example, illicit sex life, we can publish so many pictures of illicit sex life, but that will not advance our cause. Similarly we may make propaganda against animal slaughter, but that will not advance our real cause. KC is based on pure understanding, not by any sentimental provocation. People must be intelligent enough to catch up this KC movement without being carried away by any sentimental wave. We should always remember that we do not belong to any group like the karmis, jnanis, or yogis. We belong to pure devotional service group, following the footprints of great mahajanas. Our purpose should be that we are in one side and all others they are on the other side. We deprecate everyone, even one who is against animal slaughter. In the Caitanya-caritamrta, it is clearly said that there are two classes of activities. Pious and impious. We do not favor any one of them. Neither we favor any philosophical speculation, we simply stick to Krishna, and wish to render loving transcendental service unto Him. That should be our main objective, and the policy of BTG must be pursued on this line of action. I hope you will understand me rightly. Everyone who is not a KC person is a butcher. Even the so-called pious man, who is not in KC, he is also a butcher. Because he is killing his own self. So in our view, everyone is butcher, and everyone is thief also, because he is enjoying Krishna's property. So how we can discriminate who is honest and dishonest and butcher and not butcher? Our only test is how one is taking to KC: Even a so-called butcher comes we welcome to chant Hare Krishna.
Hoping you are well.
Your ever well wisher,
- A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami