Letter to: Bhakta dasa

Bhakta dasa
January 26

San Diego 

Dear Bhakta das, 

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated January 22, 1974. 

Your report is a very good one and very pleasing to me. Your combining enthusiastic programs of both sankirtana and temple worship in San Diego, should be followed by all our centers. 

As for first initiations, I have accepted the devotees whose names you have recommended to me, and their spiritual names are as follows: 

Jeannie Pennera—Kamatavi devi dasi 

Ray Flores—Rudravapu dasa 

Mark Weldman—Natanga dasa 

Daniel Koenig—Dhanadhyaksa dasa 

Regarding Second initiation, I have been asking the presidents to reconsider the devotees they want to put forward for brahmana before asking me to accept them. The criteria is that they must be initiated for one year, and during that time they have to be following the prescribed chanting of at least 16 rounds, and all the regulative principles. I am also asking that they write a statement before you in all seriousness stating that they have not broken any of the promises of the first initiation, and that they will go on steadfastly chanting the prescribed rounds. In this way I am hoping to stop whimsical recommendations for second initiation. So please follow this rule. You can ask me freely to make devotees initiated for first initiation provided they are enthusiastic and following the rules, but be very cautious before awarding second initiation, even though you have a need for brahmanas in the temple. 

Regarding Rathayatra, I think there is no need for you to have a separate festival since you are so near San Francisco. But you may hold other festivals in San Diego, as you describe in your letter. That will be very pleasing for everyone. 

I shall be glad to see you and the devotees from San Diego at our grand meeting in Mayapur for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance Day. 

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami