Letter thirty-six

śrī śrī guru-gaurāṅgau jayataḥ

Śrī Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha,
Tegharipara, Navadvīpa (Nadīyā) 31/3/1965

My dear ——,

I was very saddened to read your letter dated 22/3/65. Poor ethics are rampant in the world under the influence of Kali. In a society where wicked policies prevail, saintly behaviour is not praised. This reminds me of a story.
Once, in a village where everyone smoked cannabis, a child was born to a prominent pro-cannabis family. But as he grew up and started going to school, he never participated in taking cannabis. His cannabis-addicted parents were very disappointed in him and tried, with force, to get him to smoke. When they failed in their attempts, they summoned the village “gāñjā doctor” for a consultation. The parents reasoned that if their child did not consume cannabis and did not want to, then surely something was wrong with him and he needed treatment. When examples of such behaviour in this kingdom of Kali can be found so easily, then you know without a doubt that you are going to have to undergo hardships.
I witnessed another similar instance. A newborn, after seven or eight days, was still not crying, so the parents and caregivers approached a doctor with their concerns. Why was this baby not crying at all? And they asked the doctor to give the infant some sort of medicine to make him cry. This example is just like the previous one. Ridding the Earth of the adversity gripping it is the only duty of those of upstanding character. Of all the altruistic pursuits seen in this world in this human form of life, helping others to cultivate a spiritual way of life is by far the best. Hence, should an educated, worthy individual such as you vow to help others in this highest way, you will benefit your hometown, your whole country and all of your countrymen.
Your elder brother is an alcoholic, and so he believes it is best not to chant the holy name of Hari; and if one absolutely must, then he figures it is better to drink and chant. You are an educated person, so I cannot resist sharing a song written by the playwright D.L. Roy: “Āhā kibā māniyeche re, mader saṅge harināma – Oh, how utterly wonderful it is, to drink and chant the holy names of Hari.” Teach your brother this song by D.L. Roy when he is sober.
Though Kali’s influence is formidable, you need not fall prey to wrongdoing. Bhagavān is there. He always protects His servants. Battle the corrupt with the strongest ferocity by philosophical debate and by your personal conduct and behaviour. Nṛsiṁhadeva will infuse you with potency and grant you immense strength. Never accept defeat under any circumstance. These days, Congress has advertised a motto in Sanskrit everywhere: “Satyam eva jayati – only the truth prevails.” The victory of truth is inevitable.
When Kaṁsa defied the demigods with his atrocities, the demigods prayed to Kṛṣṇa to subdue and rectify him. Kṛṣṇa instructed them to hide themselves and bide their time. He told them, “Very soon I will advent in the womb of Devakī to protect you. Preserve your lives somehow or other until My birth.” Accordingly, the demigods concealed themselves in the forests, jungles, mountains, caves and far-away lands, to save themselves from the demons’ clutches and preserve their religion and lives. If you find yourself severely inconvenienced, you may adopt their example and find accommodation elsewhere.
Only profound conviction in devotion to Bhagavān can protect the sādhaka in his life’s journey. Śrī Bhagavān presents such situations in order to test and further the depth of the sādhaka’s conviction. No matter how difficult the questions are on a test, the student who has studied perfectly will never fail. I have faith that you will surely be able to progress due to this test that Bhagavān has orchestrated. Adversity is the main foundation of success. A weak-hearted person sees difficulty as unfortunate and tries to prevent it or be liberated from it. A strong person confronted with adversity sees it as a cause of auspiciousness and embraces it. So, knowing adversity to be your good fortune, embrace it firmly, and you will be victorious.
In this earthly realm, common sense teaches us that if we are soft, then those of wicked disposition will display increased formidability; therefore, they are never to be shown softness. If they make one argument, you should counter it with ten, with great ferocity. If necessary, there is nothing stopping you from seeking the assistance of the state police and other such organizations. Preserving your religious principles supersedes even the preservation of your life. Always remember this. In our nation, there is no scarcity of examples of those who gave their life to preserve the principles of religion. What more can I say? I am quite worried for you.
I have not been able to reply in a timely fashion, due to being rather busy here with various tasks related to the constitution [of the Samiti]. Do not think anything of it. Let me know what the current situation is and send word to me in Navadvīpa. Vanamālī Prabhu, you and Urukrama Prabhu should sit together in one place every day to recite scriptures and perform kīrtana with great determination, and they should strive to subdue those who oppose the truth. Though the demons may display great prowess by the influence of tamo-guṇa, the servants of viśuddha-sattva (pure spiritual existence) are not intimidated and continue to fearlessly follow the instructions of Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas with particular conviction. You should never deviate. I conclude here.

Your eternal well-wisher,



Śrī Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava
Gauḍīya-patrikā, Year 17 Issue 2

Kṛti-ratna: Jewel Among Guru-sevakas
Image/Art made possible by Pixabay.com

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