Letter to: Ramesvara

November 26

Dear Ramesvara Maharaja, 

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. The following is an extract from a morning class on S.B. 5/6/3, delivered on 25/11/76. Srila Prabhupada has requested that it be sent to all temples and G.B.C. 

“If you pat your subordinates it will increase their faulty habits and if you chastise them, they will improve. Therefore it is advised that either your son or disciple, you should always chastise them, never give them leniency. So a little leniency, immediately so many faults will grow. Now for our practical life we are known all over the world as shaven headed, is it not? Now we are becoming hair-headed, we are forgetting shaving. Because there is a little leniency, immediately faulty things are creeping in. So we should be known as shaven-headed, not hair-headed. This is discrepancy. At least once in a month you must be clearly shaven-headed. On the bright fortnight, on the day of purnima, four days after ekadasi. Once in a month, in the bright fortnight we must be shaven-headed. It is not desirable that in grown up age also, you be chastised. that is not desirable-that is also difficult because when the disciple or son is grown up, if he is chastised, then he breaks. So before being chastised we should be conscious that this is our rules and regulations, we must observe. Therefore it is advised by Canakya Pandit [Sanskrit] After the 16th year of the disciple or son, he should be treated as friend because if you chastise when he is grown up then he will break up- that is also another risk. So our request is that instead of chastising, with folded hands I request you, don’t you become hippies again by growing hair. Keep your head cleansed at least once in a month. That is my request. Neither I can chastise you, I am an old man and you are young men.” 

And in the room after the lecture: 

S.P.: “At least once in a month you must be shaven-headed.” 

Dev.: “Actually we usually shave more than once a month-every two weeks because even after two weeks it looks a little dirty. 

Dev.: “You can get good wigs.” 

S.P.: “No. There is no need. That is also mental concoction. Nowadays you can go with coat, pant and shaven head, no one will criticize. It has become fashion. Russians, they use, Krushchev, I have seen, shaven head. 

Dev.: “They don’t have a sikha. That’s all.” 

S.P.: “It is practice only” 

And also there was some discussion regarding the new G.A.P. record: “A Change of Heart”. In your recent BBT newsletter you quoted Srila Prabhupada as saying: “Why not in the temple.” When he was asked whether it could be played in the temple. However, I was under the impression that he had said “Not in the temple.” Therefore, to clarify matters Jagadisa prabhu again inquired from His Divine Grace. Please bear in mind that Srila Prabhupada has heard one full side of the album. His Divine Grace’s comments were as follows: 

HSd.: Srila Prabhupada, when you were in L.A., you heard that new record by Krsna Kanti… 

HSd.: …this pop music, you know, the tape you just got. The western style music 

HSd.: In the new BBT newsletter which just came yesterday, there is a statement by Ramesvara that you were asked whether this record could be played in the temples and you replied: “Why not in the temples” Hari Sauri thought you said, “not in the temples,” but Ramesvara,.. 

S.P.: No, not in the temple. If the wordings are alright, if there is no mistake in the set up of the wording, the change of musical tune, that is not harmful. Hare Krsna, this vibration you can make in different tune, we are already doing that. 

HSd: But we are talking about these songs they are writing, philosophy songs, like this “caterpillar had a change of heart” 

S.P.: Therefore we see the wording. 

D: If the words are alright, can they be played in the temple? 

GKd: Because no one can hear the words, it’s the pop music that people hear. 

Ak Sw: The words are just like modern pop songs, you can’t really tell what it means. I suggested to these people: “Why don’t you put music to Prabhupada’s books. Take the words straight from prabhupada’s books… 

HSd: No, Prabhupada has approved this method for attracting karmis, but the thing is, when you become a devotee,.. 

S.P.: Yes. 

Ak Sw: That kind of music reminds us of past bad sinful activities,.. 

HSd: The question is whether it should be played in the temple or not? 

S.P.: Temple it may not be played. What is the use of playing in the temple? 

GKd: I know from practical experience Srila Prabhupada, I just played the record, it is all current pop music with English philosophy wording and the brahmacaris were so agitated. They came to listen to it and they were taking fun of it like the pop songs. 

Ak Sw: Because that style of music reminds us of the night club. 

S.P.: Therefore I said it is better not to make these records. 

GKd: Just your records and parampara records should be played I think. There are so many tapes of your records. 

HSd: Yes, but this style they are doing now they explain that they wanted it because then that way they will be able to get them played on the radio; otherwise, they won’t play bhajans or anything on the radio. But there’s a distinction between that kind of music and pure Krishna Consciousness music. Even though the words indicate Krishna Consciousness, most of the songs are written in such a way that it’s like, indirect. It’s not directly Krsna. It’s indirect. 

S.P.: Yes, indirect. 

HSd: Like they give this thing: “A caterpillar changed his mind,” like that. It provokes some speculation. 

S.P.: No. Indirect (it’s) for gross outsiders. not for us. Therefore it should not be played in the temple. Gross outsiders only. 

Kindly send a copy to each of our centers as soon as is conveniently possible. His Divine Grace specially requests that the system of shaving on the fourth day (the head) after Ekadasi, on Purnima, be introduced immediately in all centers. 

Hoping this meets you in good health and Krsna Consciousness. 

Your eternally worthless servant,
Hari Sauri Das, personal servant 

Approved: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami.