August 22, 1976 Governor Uttar Pradesh Raj Bhavan Lucknow, UP
Hare Krishna Land Nampally Station Rd., Hyderabad, A.P.
My Dear M. Channa Reddy,
Kindly accept my greetings and the blessings of Krishna and Balarama. I am in due receipt of your letter dated July 31, 1976. Thank you very much for so kindly taking the trouble of explaining the whole situation to me.
I am much obliged to you for your kind appreciation of how we are practically maintaining our temples. Kindly come see our new Hyderabad Temple the next time you visit your home. By the grace of Lord Krishna, we now have more than 100 centers all over the world. Each and every temple is maintained to the best possible standard and this is greatly appreciated by all visitors. Many Indians, who are life members of our Society, have visited our temples in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, etc., and they have highly appreciated the management there.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur states in this connection,
"The spiritual master is always engaged, along with his disciples, in the temple worship of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. They dress the Deities in beautiful clothes and ornaments, clean Their temple, and perform other similar worship of the Lord." The temple should be maintained as cleanly and beautifully as the Deity is worshiped. In the absolute sense there is no difference between the Deity and the temple, because the temple is an expansion of the Deity’s spiritual energies.
As we have lost our spiritual culture in India, the persons in charge of the temples treat the Deity as the source of their personal income. I am very glad to hear that the government is taking steps to counteract this. According to sastra, it is the duty of the king, or the government, to see that the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas, and sudras, are acting properly according to their enunciated positions. The temples are in charge of the brahmanas, and the brahmanas are supposed to maintain themselves by worshiping the Deity and training others how to worship. A brahmana should be a learned scholar in Vedic knowledge and train others to be scholars. A brahmana should live by begging alms from others and any excess should be immediately distributed in the form of bhagavat prasada. Therefore brahmana’s are exempted from government taxation.I am trying to introduce this Vedic culture all over the world. You may be pleased to know that although I am engaged in the management of my many world-wide temples in the daytime, at night I write books. At the present moment we have published about 80 books such as Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, Caitanya Caritamrta, and so on. These books are being well received by scholars all over the world, as a few of the enclosed reviews show.
By the grace of Lord Krishna, the sale of my books has exceeded my expectations. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, which I have founded, stands first in the world amongst all publishers of religious and philosophical literatures. You will be pleased to know that we are selling $60,000.00 worth of these books daily. Fifty per cent of the proceeds are utilized for reprinting new books, and fifty per cent is used for expanding temple construction.
I am writing these books by my own effort and they are being sold in huge quantities. If I bring this money, which was collected in the foreign countries, to India for investment, what is wrong with this? But there is a class of envious men who question how I am getting money from the foreign countries. They feel that I am being supported by the CIA and similar other accusations.
I do not know how to save myself from these envious persons. Srila Canakya Pandit says, "There are two kinds of envious entities, a snake and an envious person. Of the two, the envious person is more dangerous, because the snake can be brought under control by chanting some mantras or with herbs, while the envious person cannot be controlled by any means." I am therefore seeking your advice how I may be protected from the attacks of such envious persons. Since I have introduced a very successful Rathayatra Festival in New York this year, the venom of the envious persons has increased and they are making counter propaganda against my movement. Perhaps you have received information of this festival. The American authorities, especially the police department, appreciated that I am trying to make a common platform for the East and West to meet on.Since your Excellency is so very kind to me I am seeking your advice. I thank you once again for your affectionate letter and I hope this meets you well.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami