Letters of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda
1 May, 1974
My Dear Mahatma das,
Please accept my blessing. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of April 20, 1974 and I have noted the contents.
Regarding your wanting to give up household life for vanaprastha, you may do it and spend your time positively by going on traveling sankirtana, provided it is recommended by the temple president and there is facility for taking such a party. Taking of sannyasa order is in one sense only a formality. I was preaching and writing for eight or nine years as Vanaprastha and then in 1959 I took sannyasa. So if after a few years as Vanaprastha your behavior is ideal sannyasa can be considered.
If you actually are serious about taking out a travelling party, your main activity should be to distribute books. By this most powerful preaching we are becoming very influential in your country and people are seriously reading the books and considering the importance of Krishna Consciousness. It does not require that you be sannyasi to take a travelling sankirtana party, nor do you have to be vanaprastha for that matter. There are travelling parties led by all orders of life going out in your country.
Lord Caitanya taught that we do not very much care whether one is sannyasa, grhastha or whatever, so long he is fully serving Krsna. So do not act independently, but if there is facility, you can stay out and distribute books and travel with the sankirtana party, as you already have experience.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami