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Materialism (Letters)

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Correspondence

1947 to 1965 Correspondence

Letter to Jawaharlal Nehru -- Bombay 4 August, 1958:

The basic principle of Indian culture is spiritualism which defies the external attraction of phenomenal materialism. You are thinking of adjusting western ways of material adjustment with Indian culture of spiritualism and I beg to give you herewith the clue that materialism conducted with an aim of reaching spiritual perfection, is the right adjustment of human activity.

If the aim of spiritual realization is missed, the whole plan of materialism is sure to be frustrated and that is the law of Nature. The law of nature is so made by a superior authority and no body can surpass the intricacies of material nature simply by partial adjustment of material science. The history of the West beginning from the time of the Greeks and the Romans down to the modern age of atomic war—is a continuous chain of sense gratificatory materialism and the result is that the westerners were never in peace within the memory of 3000 years of historical records. Neither it will be possible for them at any time in future to live in peace till the message of spiritualism just suitable to the present age does not reach their heart.

Therefore India may not waste her time in imitating the western way of life. You have admitted it that the position of India's culture is of very high order. But at the same time you want to bring in material prosperity of India by scientific advancement of knowledge. And what is that scientific Knowledge? Spiritualism is also advanced scientific knowledge. Material advancement of scientific knowledge cannot give even the desired material prosperity to the people in general without spiritual help. Swaraj of Mahatma Gandhi was adjusted in spiritualism more than materialism. Do you think that horseless carriage or telephonic or radio communication or any other such ephemeral facilities of life, can bring in material prosperity? No it cannot. Material prosperity means that the people must have sufficient to eat or to maintain the body and soul together in sound health for further development in spiritual consciousness which is conspicuous by its absence in the sense gratificatory life of the animal. Do you think that your different plans have brought in that standard of material prosperity or that modern western civilization can bring in that ideal prosperity? Even they are given all the facilities of material need yet the unrest will continue to go on till there is spiritual satisfaction of life. That is the secret of peace.

Letter to Jawaharlal Nehru -- Bombay 4 August, 1958:

The basic principle of Indian culture is spiritualism which defies the external attraction of phenomenal materialism.

You are thinking of adjusting western ways of material adjustment with Indian culture of spiritualism and I beg to give you herewith the clue that materialism conducted with an aim of reaching spiritual perfection, is the right adjustment of human activity.

If the aim of spiritual realization is missed, the whole plan of materialism is sure to be frustrated and that is the law of Nature. The law of nature is so made by a superior authority and no body can surpass the intricacies of material nature simply by partial adjustment of material science. The history of the West beginning from the time of the Greeks and the Romans down to the modern age of atomic war—is a continuous chain of sense gratificatory materialism and the result is that the westerners were never in peace within the memory of 3000 years of historical records. Neither it will be possible for them at any time in future to live in peace till the message of spiritualism just suitable to the present age does not reach their heart.

Letter to Jawaharlal Nehru -- Bombay 4 August, 1958:

Therefore India may not waste her time in imitating the western way of life. You have admitted it that the position of India's culture is of very high order. But at the same time you want to bring in material prosperity of India by scientific advancement of knowledge. And what is that scientific Knowledge? Spiritualism is also advanced scientific knowledge. Material advancement of scientific knowledge cannot give even the desired material prosperity to the people in general without spiritual help. Swaraj of Mahatma Gandhi was adjusted in spiritualism more than materialism. Do you think that horseless carriage or telephonic or radio communication or any other such ephemeral facilities of life, can bring in material prosperity? No it cannot. Material prosperity means that the people must have sufficient to eat or to maintain the body and soul together in sound health for further development in spiritual consciousness which is conspicuous by its absence in the sense gratificatory life of the animal. Do you think that your different plans have brought in that standard of material prosperity or that modern western civilization can bring in that ideal prosperity? Even they are given all the facilities of material need yet the unrest will continue to go on till there is spiritual satisfaction of life. That is the secret of peace.

Letter to Doctor Radhakrishnan -- Delhi 29 March, 1961:

The Congress which is going to be held at Japan is on the matter of How One Should Cultivate Human Spirit. While the Indian leaders are giving more importance on the material construction of the human body, enlightened people of other countries are thinking of the Human Spirit. People of other countries who have already tested the bitterness of materialism, are now seeking something else other than matter.

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.

Letter to Sir -- Unknown Place May 1964:

You, gentlemen, of the Western Countries have seen much about material science and yet peace is not within your control. In most cases you may be feeling the want of peace although you have enough in the matter. This basic defect of materialism remains undetected by the misleaders of India and therefore they are not serious about going BACK TO GODHEAD the ultimate aim of life's journey.

1969 Correspondence

Letter to Rayarama -- Los Angeles 15 February, 1969:

On the whole, I wish to present Back To Godhead purely in the line of Krishna Consciousness throughout and criticism of too much materialism, as you have written many articles already.

Letter to Mr. Kair -- Los Angeles 8 July, 1969:

Your suggestion that this can only be solved by Lord Krishna, the Omnipotent, is also right. Therefore, if you want to do something for India, the only remedial measure that you can take is to spread Krishna Consciousness amongst the peoples. Otherwise, the next step is surely communism as you have already suggested. You say that there is a communist menace, and materialism is trying to dominate, but at the same time, religious faith is also progressing. Two things cannot go on simultaneously.

1970 Correspondence

Letter to Sri Birlaji -- Los Angeles 23 April, 1970:

You have rightly pointed out that people are becoming more materialistic in this age on account of their forgetfulness of Krishna Consciousness.

Actually there is nothing like materialism. Materialism means forgetfulness of Krishna or God. We are preaching therefore Krishna Consciousness. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said that the first-class religion is that which teaches love of Godhead. At the present moment, one professes a type of religion, but does not develop real purpose of religion, namely love of Godhead—that is materialism.

Materialism does not mean that one has to possess so many things, the actual fact is one may be a perfect transcendentalist of spiritual man by possessing the whole world, and one may be a gross materialist without possessing a farthing. So this distinction can be made on the basis of consciousness. When one is Krishna Conscious possessing everything in the world, he is perfect spiritualist, and one may have renounced everything in the world, but lacking in Krishna Consciousness he is a gross materialist. In my recent publication of Isopanisad I have tried to explain this fact on Vedic authorities, and I am sending by separate Air Parcel one copy of Isopanisad and I hope you will read this book conveniently with interest.

1971 Correspondence

Letter to Satsvarupa -- Allahabad 21 January, 1971:

I beg to thank you very much for the magazine interview. You have so rightly said, "It's a hellish life without Krsna." These words of yours have pleased me so much. Actually it is a fact and one who has become so disgusted with material life is actually advanced in Krsna Consciousness. This is first class propaganda and it will be a hammer-blow to the proponents of materialism and atheism. I am so glad that you are feeling and speaking like this and I thank you very much. The article appears to be in a nice magazine, so if you can get further articles and interviews published in the magazines, that will be a great boon to our Movement.

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