Our Unconventional Approach (06/25/06)
Dear Śrīpāda B______ Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Śrī Śrī Guru and Gaurāṅga.
Thank you for sending me a copy of your email to Śrīpāda V____ Mahārāja. G__ Mahārāja has been keeping me informed of what has been happening and I have been observing the rising tempo. V_____ Mahārāja is expert in keeping the peace and I might add, just in time, because the cannons were coming out of the closet. But now G__ Mahārāja can be peaceful.
No offence taken on our part, rest assured. We hope you have the same sentiment.
As V____ Mahārāja pointed out in his email, we have a different training under Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda when it comes to combating māyā. Our Guru Mahārāja had many brahmacārī and sannyāsa disciples who daily went out into the world after changing their sannyāsa-veśa and putting on wigs (false hair pieces) to distribute books and collect money (Lakṣmī). Actually it was myself and V____ Mahārāja in our brahmacārī days in 1972 who were the first disciples of Prabhupāda to put on wigs for the purpose of deceiving the New York police. We went out to collect money for Śrīla Prabhupada so he could build his Iskcon temple in Bombay. A wonderful project.
So, when my sannyāsī disciple M_____Mahārāja is directing businesses that we have for the purpose of raising funds to serve our Deities, the Vaiṣṇavas, print books and other important services, I have no problem with that. Please excuse us if some of our unconventional approaches are not in harmony with those of your maṭha. We have many such activities and we see all property as belonging to Kṛṣṇa and worthy of being managed by sannyāsīs to assure that all of the collection goes to serve Kṛṣṇa and the Vaiṣṇavas.
One incident involving myself and your Guru Mahārāja in this regard you may find amusing is as follows. In New York we had accompanied Śrīpāda X___ Mahārāja to 26 Second Avenue and Tompkins Square Park. At 26 Second Avenue Śrīpāda X___ Mahārāja mentioned in his lecture that he had not come to America for money, but that he had come to visit and show respect to the places of Śrīla Swami Mahārāja’s pastimes (indeed a most beautiful sentiment). When everyone was getting into their cars to leave I turned to Śrīpāda X___Mahārāja and said, “Mahārāja, you have not come to America for money, but I am different. I have come here from India only for money. We are collecting $10,000 daily in Washington DC by selling T-shirts to build our āśrama in South India and so I must return to my service now.”
At that moment Śrīpāda X___ Mahārāja reached out with two hands and clasp my right hand. His blue eyes perked up with enthusiasm and looking me straight in the eyes he said with full energy, “Yes, we must do it!”
As for meeting in Badger that isn’t possible for me because I haven’t been to the USA in several years. Europe or Vṛndāvana might be a better idea. Let us see what Kṛṣṇa arranges.
Swami B.G. Narasingha