From Dinadayadri dasi,
15 March 1994
Dear Hansadutta Prabhu:
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!
I’m not sure if you received my letter of February 14, 1994, so I’m writing again to request more copies of Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You. My friend Karunika told me she was so deeply touched by this book that she and her husband, Dean, phoned you after they read it to offer you their support. These are very good people and enthusiastic preachers who unfortunately have suffered much mistreatment within ISKCON and have distanced themselves from the association of devotees, like so many of us have had to do to protect our sanity. So when people like us read your heart-piercing presentation of the inner truths about Srila Prabhupada’s movement, we are moved to tears and we become filled with hope instead of despair. I am so encouraged by Karunika’s reaction to your book (I have been trying to discuss the same issues with her for years but could not get through, I supposed because of my own impurity) that I would like to distribute more copies to other friends and see if we can get something good going here in the Detroit area. There are many other good devotees around here with resources and enthusiasm who have simply been languishing in materialistic life-styles for years because there is no pure force to draw them together (i.e. Srila Prabhupada is covered up and not very much manifest at the local ISKCON temple).
So please, Prabhu, let me know as soon as possible or have someone else let me know how I can obtain more copies of Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You. If they are out of print, perhaps we could help get more copies published. One of the people I want to send a copy to is Naranarayana; I know he is going to love it and feel proud to be your friend.
If more copies are not immediately available, may I have permission to make a few photocopies to distribute? I pray this meets you in good health and transcendental bliss! Hare Krishna!
From Dinadayadri dasi,
2 May 1994
Dear Hansadutta Prabhu:
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.
Thank you very much for the generous shipment of books you recently sent me (ten each of Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You and Excommunicated, Uncommunicated, Incommunicado plus two copies of Every Town & Village, Vol. 7, No. 4). Although you did not send an invoice or ask for payment, please find enclosed my donation of $101 for your Nama Hatta World Sankirtan Party.
I would very much like to develop a Nama Hatta style community of devotees in this area and have been intensely desiring this for the past several years. Therefore I feel that your very potent books have been sent by Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna to help me fulfill this desire. Since trying to come back to Krishna consciousness in 1991, after eight years of foolishly trying to forget spiritual life by indulging in material sense gratification (I left ISKCON in 1983, because I couldn’t cope with the pain of seeing Srila Prabhupada minimized within his own movement), I have found it very difficult to find like-minded devotees to associate with who aren’t too much distracted by various mundane pursuits. Most devotees around here are quite apathetic about spiritual life, so I am hoping that together we can rediscover the fire Srila Prabhupada originally ignited in our hearts for serving the mission of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. I am no better off than anyone else and recognize my dire need for Vaishnava association to help me overcome the bad habits I have picked up in the past ten years. Regrettably, I just can’t seem to find the strength at this point to once again take up practicing Krishna consciousness purely all by myself; hence my plan is to try to create some good association for myself with the help of your books to get started.
One issue I would request you to address when you get the Inside Nama Hatta newsletter going is the tampering with Srila Prabhupada’s books by ISKCON that I have seen mentioned in your Every Town & Village and elsewhere (VVR and PADA). I would like to know if it is possible to document these changes by printing the original passages alongside the changed ones with comments about any philosophical ramifications of the changes. Even if the changes made so far aren’t that significant and don’t change the original meaning, I’m sure you would agree that this is a very dangerous precedent, and a great affront to Srila Prabhupada’s divine vani. I very strongly feel that this policy of changing Srila Prabhupada’s books must be stopped and that all changes should be returned to their original form.
Thanks again for all your help and inspiration, Hansadutta Prabhu. I pray that your endeavors to re-establish Srila Prabhupada as our true Sampradaya Acharya meet with all success, for the sake of us all.
P.S. If ISKCON is reluctant to give specific information regarding changes made to Srila Prabhupada’s books, do you think legal channels should be investigated to force them? I find the thought of legal recourse very distasteful—it reminds me of the Gaudiya Math’s crooked path, which Srila Prabhupada was so critical of.
From Hansadutta das,
2 May 1994
Dear Bhakta das:
Please accept my most humble obeisances. Thank you for your letter and check for $108.00 donation. Today I received the letters and article you sent to Das in Singapore. Please forgive me for not replying you sooner. Veda Prabhu had donated the cost of a computer and printer, and I am just now using it to type my first letter to you. Needless to say, this computer technology boggles my mind. Anyway, I will give it my best shot.
May 20, 21 and 22nd we will have our first festival here. It would be nice to have a week-long festival every year here at the campground, or even two weeks. Devotees could come and go at their leisure, like Kumba Mehla at Prayag, India.
Since three weeks now we are going Friday night to Santa Rosa for sankirtan in the park at downtown Fourth Street. At 6:00 pm we take everyone to a rented space above a popular book store and conduct a standard program of kirtan, lecture and prasadam. The first week, about 15 punks, freaks, misfits and varnasankara type young people attended our program. The second week, the attendance doubled. Chitsukananda’s son (23 years old now) showed up, beaming from ear to ear that some devotees had finally appeared in his neighborhood. Gauridas and his wife Sacimata have moved to our place, and because of him I was inspired to move my miserable, lazy body into sankirtan gear. I have become too lazy and lethargic, but Krishna is so kind upon me, He has sent someone to help me get going.
As for trying to bring the ISKCON hard-liners to their senses, it is as impractical as trying to convert a typewriter into a computer. IMPOSSIBLE!
The future is in simply going out to the street or door to door, chanting the holy name and inviting people to participate in Bhagavad-gita classes and prasadam distribution. All these sophisticated plans and dreams of big preaching are really only products of our aversion to doing the simple task of presenting ourselves as the servant of Srila Prabhupada and the Holy Name. I was very enlivened to be in my element again, like in the old days. This is what we were trained to do, and this is what Krishna and Srila Prabhupada want us to do, and this is what the young, misguided generation of punks and misfits need to see and hear. It was good for us, it is good for them. It was what Lord Chaitanya did personally as an example, so we must do this. This is what Prabhupada also did for us, so we can continue the tradition in his name, to recruit.
I was thinking there is no need to open any centers, but new devotees should be kept in the consciousness of being traveling mendicants for as long as possible, as we were in the early days. I am convinced that there is a whole new generation of young people out there, starving for Krishna consciousness. It is up to us to appear on the scene and vibrate the Holy Name and the message of Srila Prabhupada. These youngsters see us like father and mother. We are not young anymore. We are old. That has a certain gravity, which we did not have before. Also, so many of our immature kinks have faded away. I feel a new wave, a renaissance coming on. What do you think?
We must abandon thinking and lamenting over the past. We must not expect anything from the god-brothers. Only Srila Prabhupada can help us. No one else can help us. No one has ever helped us, except Srila Prabhupada.
I hope that you are well, and that we will be able to see you soon here in USA. Also, I will practice the computer communication skills and be more in touch with you. Obeisances, and glories to Srila Prabhupada. My obeisances to Guru Kripa Maharaja.
Your humble servant,