January 14, 1970 Executive Senior Editor
Los Angeles Times
Times Mirror Sq.
Los Angeles, Cal.
With reference to your article in the Los Angeles Times dated Sunday 11th January, 1970 under the heading "Krishna Chant," I beg to point out that Hindu religion is perfectly based on Personal conception of God or Visnu. Impersonal conception of God is a side issue or one of the three features of God. The Absolute Truth is ultimately the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Paramatma conception is localized aspect of His omnipresence and the impersonal conception is the aspect of His greatness and eternity. But all combined together makes the Complete Whole. Dr. J.F. Staal's statement that Krishna cult is a combination of Christian and Hindu religion—as if something manufactured by concoction—is not correct. If Christian, Mohammedan or Buddhist religions are personal that is quite welcome. But Krishna religion is personal from a time long, long ago when Christian, Mohammedan and Buddhist religions had not yet come into existence. According to the Vedic conception, religion is basically made by the Personal God as His laws. Religion cannot be manufactured by man or anyone superior to man. Religion is the law of God only.
Unfortunately all the Swamis who came before me in this country stressed the impersonal aspect of God without sufficient knowledge of Personal aspect of God. In the Bhagavad-gita, therefore it is said that only less intelligent persons consider that God is originally impersonal but when He incarnates He assumes a Form. But Krishna philosophy based on the authority of the Vedas is that originally the Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. His plenary expansion is present in everyone's heart in His localized aspect and the impersonal Brahman effulgence is the transcendental light and heat distributed everywhere. In the Bhagavad-gita it is clearly said that the aim of Vedic way of searching out the Absolute Truth is to find out the Personal God. If one is satisfied only with the other aspects of the Absolute Truth namely the Paramatma feature or the Brahma feature—such person is to be considered as one possessed of poor fund of knowledge. Recently we have published our "Isopanisad" a Vedic literature and in this small booklet we have thoroughly discussed this point.
So far Hindu religion is concerned, there are millions of Krishna Temples in India and there is not a single Hindu who does not worship Krishna. Therefore, this Krishna Consciousness movement is not a concocted idea. We invite all scholars, philosophers, religionists or members of the general public to understand this movement by critical study. And if one does so seriously, one will understand the sublime position of this great movement. The chanting process is also authorized. Professor Stahl's feeling of disgust in the matter of constant chanting of the holy Name of Krishna is a definite proof of his lack of knowledge in this authorized movement of Krishna Consciousness. Instead of turning down the request to give Kary's course credit, he along with all other learned professors of the U.C. Berkeley should patiently hear about the truth of this authorized movement so much needed at present in Godless society. This is the only movement which can save the confused frustrated younger generation. I invite all responsible guardians of this country to understand this transcendental movement and then give us all honest facilities to spread it for everyone's benefit.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
cc: to J.F. Staal
Professor of philosophy and Near Eastern Languages
University of California