Bhakta dasa — November 20, 1971

My dear Bhakta das, 

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter of October 24, 1971, and have noted the contents carefully. Due to our always moving about I have not had opportunity to answer until now. Please forgive me. 

I am very encouraged to hear how San Diego center is flourishing under your supervision. The test is that so many new devotees are coming. That is a very good sign. Now you must take care to train them very nicely. They are voluntarily giving their lives to Krishna, so as president you must see that they are always happy and satisfied in Krishna Consciousness. Then they will not go away. Your proposals for teaching them our philosophy are very good. But if we try artificially to explain sastra in our own words, there is every danger of interpretation and speculation. First the student must be able to repeat exactly the words of the guru and then after some time he may be qualified to apply the principles he has learned word-for-word to personal situations. It is not that we are a dry philosophy of dogmas and slogans. No. The language of Krishna Consciousness is ever-fresh and we can explain everything by it, just like my Guru Maharaja once lectured for three months on one verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam. But every precaution must be taken to preserve our basic guiding principles as they are and not change them because we want to hear something new. 

It is very nice that you are holding festivals in San Diego center. We are finding these festivals very successful for attracting the citizens to our activities. More and more these festivals may be held, at least very large festival in a year, simply for glorifying Krishna in public places. It is not that a specific holiday or theme has to be chosen. We are simply calling our Indian programs “A Hare Krishna Festival.” But if there are some holidays you specifically like, you plan them together with Karandhara by adjusting to the local taste. 

I am very pleased that your literature sales are increasing. I want this especially, that my books be sold everywhere, as many as possible. Kindly do this and I shall be very pleased. 

As per your recommendations, I am sending under separate parcel the initiation beads for Lynne Stowers, duly chanted on. Her name shall be Srila Dasi. I am pleased that she has become my disciple, now let her very seriously take up this process and she can know it for certain that there will be no more coming back to this place of miseries. 

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