June 06, 1976
My dear Giriraj dasa,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated May 26, 1976, which was delivered to me by hand, and I have noted the contents with care.
I have received one reply from Mr. Bajaj of the Gita Pratisthan dated May 25, 1976, and it is not feasible for me to attend this meeting so if appears wise you can go as my disciples on my behalf, both yourself and Gopala Krishna. This is the line that you should adopt: We are already propagating Gita, but "As It Is," without changing. This should be the method. Krishna is not going to flatter the politicians and learned scholars, rather Krishna is teaching them how to flatter Krishna. Na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah, etc (BG 7.15). If one is not prepared to surrender to Krishna, then what is the meaning of preaching Gita. If one has got their own philosophy, then let them preach their own philosophy, but do not do it in the name of the Gita. This is our protest to all of the interpreters of the Bhagavad-gita. If they do not believe in God, Krishna, and they don't want to surrender to Him, then let him preach atheism. Everyone has got the right to do this, but why through the Gita. This is like a man who wants to smoke ganga, but he does not want to be caught. So he takes a friends' hand and smokes it in his hand, and then when the authorities come, he says, "Oh, I have not smoked ganga, see, my hands are clean!" The idea is that if one wants to preach the Gita, then he must preach it as it is, otherwise, don't go through the Gita. So as my students, you can speak very tactfully.
One thing, if they are serious, we are prepared to preach, so together your men, and our men, let us preach. If the Gita is seen as important preaching work, then the Government should help, they should give all facilities. The government can help in the following ways for instance: 1). Our members want to stay and preach but the immigration department is giving us trouble. They are driving us away. So few Indians are coming, but the Americans and the European are coming. Indian educated boys, they are after some service to get income, they are not joining. This must be tackled tactfully. Our mission is to preach Gita. The best thing is that if we can conjointly preach, we can benefit the whole of India, and the whole of the world. Vinobaji is very respected and they can do a great deal to help our preaching mission.
Secondly, just like we require vehicles, we can bring vehicles and men, but they should be allowed to stay without the immigration gagging that we should go out, go out. Unnecessarily we have to spend so much money. So do it very nicely and tactfully.
Concerning the Bhetnama, you can follow the plan of Tirupathi, that guests cannot stay more than 2 months, 60 days, like that. But, there must be space left vacant for receiving foreign guests. Guests must register like dharmasala, where they come and can spend 3 days, otherwise they create trouble. So for ordinary guests, they can stay for 3 days, the ordinary life members. And for those who have paid for constructing one room, they can stay for up to 2 months per year. In Bombay, apartments are very expensive, 2 lakhs, so everyone would purchase an apartment for Rs. 50,000/ if they knew that they could remain permanently. So we cannot have them as permanent residents, only 2 months per year. Precaution must be taken that people don't take advantage like Mr. Badruka who is occupying 3 rooms, it has caused us so much inconvenience. Be careful. Make it clearly understood when they give the donations towards the rooms that they cannot stay more than 2 months per year, otherwise they may cause trouble.
I am anxious to know when my quarters will be ready. In your last letter you gave me an attractive idea of my quarters, so I am anxious for it. Please keep me informed. From Los Angeles, I will go to Detroit, from June 11-16, then Toronto June 16-21, then New Vrindaban June 21-July 2, then Washington, D.C. July 2-July 9, then New York July 9-July 20, then London July 20-26, then Paris farm and Rome July 26-August 10; Then Tehran from August 10-13, expecting to arrive approximately in Bombay August 14.
I hope that this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami