Letters by Srila Prabhupada

I have been reading through some of the many letters written by Srila Prabhupada to his disciples. It is interesting to me how he deals with every disciple in such a personal and intimate way. How he gently instructs on behavior, while at the same time presenting the philosophy of Krishna consciousness,in such a clear, and matter of fact way.

Letter to Hamsaduta

February 09, 1969

My Dear Hamsaduta,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter of January 30, 1969, and I have noted the contents carefully. I am pleased to note that you are seeing into obtaining a dictaphone for helping me in preparing so many Krishna Consciousness literatures. The maker of my present dictaphone is Grundig, and it is an Embassy de Jur, Sterorette. This model was purchased by Hayagriva in New York for $190 by cash payment, but it can be had by installment payment at a higher price. So you may do the needful in this matter.

Regarding the Panca-tattva picture, it is simply a pose of Lord Caitanya and some of His associates receiving service from Their devotees and chanting Hare Krishna. Panca-tattva is described as Krishna in five expansions, namely Krishna Himself in the role of a devotee; His Incarnation in the role of a devotee; His energy in the role of a devotee; His expansion in the role of a devotee; and His two energies (internal and marginal) in the role of devotees. So the external energy is not there. Therefore the whole manifestation is transcendental. There are three energies, namely internal, external, and marginal. Although all of the energies are connected with Krishna, the external energy is differentiated. Just like darkness is another part of light, and therefore darkness can not stand before the light, but it stands somewhere by the side of the light. Without light, there is no existence of darkness, but darkness cannot be found in the light. Similarly, there is no darkness or activities of the external energy in the Pastimes of Lord Caitanya.

So far as Acyutananda and Jaya Govinda are concerned, I am not displeased with any of my disciples. A father can not be displeased with his sons, but sometimes the sons create disturbances, and the father has to tolerate. Constitutionally, the father is always affectionate and pleased with the sons. But it is up to the sons to obey the father and keep the relationship natural. The little disturbances created by Acyutananda and Jaya Govinda were temporary. Now again they have come to their real consciousness.

Regarding your question about Subhadra and Durga, they are not at all the same. Durga’s other name is Bhadra, not Subhadra, and Durga’s activities are within the material world. Subhadra does not work as Durga. Subhadra is internal energy, and Durga is external energy. As energy, they have a relationship as much as we are energies of Krishna, but the energies are working in different capacities. Although originally the energy is one, by their expansion, the accents of the energies are different, and as we are not impersonalists, this variegatedness of actions are essential for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as much as the government is one but there are multi-departments for management of the government. The education department and the criminal department are all departments of the government. The government is connected with all parts and departments, but the education activities are different from the criminal activities. This is the philosophy of inconceivably simultaneously one and different manifestations of the Absolute Truth.

I have received one nice letter from Ivan Levine, and I would like to know your opinion whether or not he should take initiation without his wife doing the same. I have no objection to initiate him alone, but will he be able to thereby follow the rules and regulations? If you recommend it, I shall initiate him. Of course, the best thing will be to initiate husband and wife together. If the wife is interested, why does she not agree to be initiated with her husband? What is the difficulty. On hearing from you in this matter, I will do the needful. Also, I understand that Mrs. Levine has not been feeling well due to her pregnancy. Please convey my request to her that she rest as much as possible and not too much exert her energies in any way. Upon hearing from you, I will inform Mr. Levine as to what is to be done.

I shall be very happy to know what is happening to the second issue of our French edition of Back To Godhead. I was very pleased with the first issue, and I hope the new issue will be ready very soon. Please inform me what is the problem in this important matter.

Kindly convey my blessings to the other devotees in your temple. I am awaiting your replies to the above questions. I hope this will meet you in very good health.

Your ever well-wisher,

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami