From Shyamasundar das,
15 February 1994
Dear Bhima Prabhu:
All glories to Srila Prabhupada! All glories to Srila Hansadutta!
I received your letter dated 15 November 1993 with the magazine, Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You. And also the letter of Hansadutta to the readers with it, Srila Prabhupada’s centennial note, on the 12th of February, 1994. I just wonder why it took so long to reach here.
Anyway, it is so nice of you to send it to me, cause it gives me a new realization about this guru business, which is causing much chaos for the devotees (not all, of course). Especially these fanatic devotees
which are so proud of their so-called survivor guru.
But anyway, as devotees of Krishna, our real aim is to go back to Him, back to Godhead, through this Krishna consciousness movement, which was introduced in the beginning by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada by chanting this maha-mantra, Hare Krishna, Hare Rama, and following the four regs of spiritual life and reading his books. So this is it. This is all we have inherited from Srila Prabhupada, “the one spiritual master for this age.” So why bother about it. Anyway, as I see it, it’s just an influence of Kali.
So now that Srila Hansadutta has presented it clearly to all, the truth behind many speculations about this guru thing in ISKCON and outside as well, it’s up for grabs for everyone who is sincere to Srila Prabhupada.
I just hope that when Srila Prabhupada’s centennial comes, two years from now in 1996, all devotees would realize this bold and clear presentation of Srila Hansadutta Maharaja, that Prabhupada wants them to act as rittvik representatives and after some time, by following the order of Guru Acharya, they become fit to be guru!
Your most unworthy god-brother,
P.S. I’ll try to find out about Radhanath and share this to him. We haven’t seen each other for quite a long time. I’m also reaping so much bad karma nowadays (family trouble). Anyway, (BG 2.14) matra sparshas tu kaunteya:
blockquote>O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.
From Damodar das of Portland, Oregon
21 February 1994
Dear Hansadutta Prabhu:
Please accept my obeisances. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!
Thank you very much for responding so promptly to my last letter.
It’s great to get a bundle of engaging reading material. I have read through everything twice, and I must say I concur completely with your conclusions. I think your presentation is the most direct and logical approach to date.
I was somewhat dismayed that I couldn’t find my name on your list of initiated disciples, which led me to think that perhaps you may have me confused with one of the other Damodars on the list, which I can completely understand, considering that I don’t think that we ever really associated much, and the little that we did was about 14 years ago. … I have been struggling so long with this issue of where do I stand in relation to Prabhupada? you? ISKCON, etc. that I finally feel that the truth has emerged, and I want to be a part of it, and I suppose part of that for me is a recognition from you of my initiation. I also have an audio cassette of the entire ceremony, if that helps…
I had been searching for some association and spiritual guidance. What I got was a bunch of egocentricity, fanaticism and manipulation (and more debt). So I have just recently moved back to Portland and plan to think long and hard about any future moves, being aware that association is of paramount importance for any devotee, I just cannot afford another ill-planned decision. I would, however, like to drive down sometime and check out your program there in Cloverdale. If you could tell me a good time and give me directions, perhaps I could visit this spring sometime?
Meanwhile I sure would appreciate any other reading material that you might have. I have enclosed a small contribution herein. Again, thank you for everything. Hoping this meets you in the best of health.
Your insignificant servant,
From Sachisuta das,
Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
7 March 1994
Dear Hansadutta Prabhu:
Hare Krishna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.
Thank you for your thoughtful and personal letter (February 25, 1994) in reply to mine of February 13, 1994, received March 3, 1994. Much appreciate your latest thoughts and realizations, etc., included in “Letters” and Excommunicated, Uncommunicated, Incommunicado.
Our Sunday program at Birmingham University is only small. None of us expert in kirtan, etc., so are struggling to maintain this at the moment, hoping to get our own place eventually.
In regards to the Manor closing, to date, as far as we are aware, the order at council, etc. is restricting visitors only, so perhaps will continue for some time, as not sure how the Indian community will react, so if financial support dries up, will be little difficult to continue on same capacity as during large festivals and Sunday programs, etc.
I was telling you in last letter that Birmingham ISKCON temple president (now Govinda Bhakta, through Gour Govinda Maharaja) had formulated 22 page arguments against rittvik, before going to India, asking us to meet with him on his return to discuss. I received a message that he phoned Birmingham from India to let me know of “important events” at Mayapur and that he is sending me personal letter in this regard. If I receive before posting this, I will enclose photocopy for you. I still have “friendly” relationship with him, not sure how long will last, though, especially as this is third time “lucky” for him (Jayatirtha, Bhagavan, Gour Govinda Maharaja). Hope reconciliation possible, yet you seem doubtful, as do we all here. Especially after reading Sulochan’s book, your strong opinions, my own personal encounters, etc. (Have you read Sulochan’s book? What did you think of it?)
In my first letter I hinted that ISKCON GBC may rue the day they didn’t grab you back in their “camp,” had not realized how determined you are to fight for our beloved Srila Prabhupada and his movement. Now the giant has re-awakened, so I think somebody had better watch out, although as you say, you would like to move forward positively, I detect you are relishing the upcoming struggles??
So Prabhu, it seems that you may soon be considered a leader again as rittvik is firmly established as Srila Prabhupada’s order. Perhaps you may or may not accept this leadership position? Although sure you won’t shirk any opportunity to establish Srila Prabhupada and the Sampradaya Acharya above all.
May I please bring in a note of caution? For as this contentious issue is resolved, the pratisthayou have mentioned could reappear, couldn’t it? Who knows what Mayadevi has up her sleeve, eh Prabhu? So although I am convinced that your humility, attained through the direct experience (your words) is genuine, as good management and strength of character will again be necessary, it’s possible the same or similar tendencies may arise (no one more aware of this than you, perhaps, Prabhu?). In this regard, may I please urge you to be constantly vigilant, there is hope now, small light at the end of a dark tunnel. I hope this is not offensive, yet you and those like you have great responsibility. The horrendous events of the last 16+ years must never be repeated, else we are all finished. Sure you agree and are aware of this, however. Not sure of your Nama Hatta associates or your married situation, etc., so would you please convey my obeisances and best wishes to all? Thank you. Jai Hari bol. Hare Krishna.
P.S. So Prabhu, am sending this of 3/12/94. No sign of letter from India. Thanks once again for last letter and the literature. Of course, would be most pleased to hear from you again with advice and suggestions how to proceed, yet please don’t feel obliged, as you have much more important things to do. We are relying on you as strong support. Hope that is okay. Jai hari bol. Srila Prabhupada ki jai.