Letter to: Syamasundara

April 8

Puri, India 

Dear Syamasundara Brahmacari, 

Please accept my greetings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 3/4/74. 

I have not visited Jagannatha Puri because my men are not allowed to see the deity. When you arrange that we can visit the temple with my disciples then I can come immediately. Now I am in India up until May 15 then I am going to Europe to visit in France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany etc., and then I will come back and remain until the end of August, and then go again to England, and the U.S. This is my program. I am still here until the 15th of May. I am going to Hyderabad on the 18th of April and then going to Tirupati. So from there I can go to Jagannatha Puri if arrangements can be made. 

It is very regrettable that these European and American boys who are purely Vaisnava and who follow all principles are not allowed by the rascals to enter the temple. As stated in the Padma Purāṇa: arcye visnau siladhir gurusu naramatir Vaisnave jati buddhir. 

I do not know what makes the management take this attitude. If you can remove this restriction you will do a great service to the Gaudiya Vaisnava community. According to sastra anyone who wears tilaka and sikha and kunti over and above the Vaisnava dress or Vaisnava sannyasi must be accepted especially while chanting Hare Krishna mantra with bead bags. Kindly convince them and induce them to allow these Vaisnavas to enter Jagannatha Temple. 

One friend in Orissa has offered to give us land in Bhuvaneśvara and I have a desire to construct a big Jagannatha temple there for our men if we are not allowed to enter Jagannatha temple in Puri. In Jagannatha temple people come from all the Indian states. Now when Jagannatha has expanded His jurisdiction over the whole world why the so called servants of Jagannatha should not allow them to see the Lord of the Universe? I don’t know their philosophy. 

We shall see that your copies of Back to Godhead are dispatched to you. 

In conclusion, I shall come to Jagannatha Puri as you have kindly insisted, but only when they allow entry to all my disciples. 

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