Letters of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda
17 July, 1973
Please accept my blessings. I beg acknowledge receipt of your undated letter and I have carefully considered the contents.
I can understand that you wish to remain as householders living outside the temple, and that you have bought your own cottage in Argyll, Scotland. That is perfectly all right. Narottama dasa thakur has sung that it does not matter whether one is sannyasi or householder, simply that one should be always in Krsna Consciousness chanting the holy name. So you describe that you have set up an altar in your home and you are offering prasadam, and this is all approved by me. One thing, however, is that living as a householder you cannot go into the streets and hold sankirtana and sell our books as a means of maintenance. Such sankirtana activity can be done with the devotees of our temple in Scotland, but cannot be done independently. If you wish to live separately you have to earn your livelihood by business, by taking some employment to maintain your home and family. But not by chanting in the street; this is not a good idea for householders. For example, here at Bhaktivedanta Manor the boys and girls go out every day, including householders who are living in householder quarters within the Manor, and they go door to door and take some collection in exchange for books, and in this way we maintain the establishment. All over the world we maintain our centers by such begging, or selling our books. But this is not allowed independent of our established ISKCON centers, so please do not do it; that is my request. As far as opening another center in Argyll, where devotees can come and live and where regular kirtanas may be held for guests, that prospect you can take up with Shayamasundar who is GBC for Great Britain.
For the present go on with your decision to live as householders apart, but concentrate on chanting and reading our books and always offering foodstuff to Krsna by prayers. Live blissfully and peacefully as husband and wife, and if you go on chanting 16 rounds daily, Krishna Who is within our hearts, will direct you further as to best way to advance more and more in progressive Krsna Consciousness. We must never forget that this present life is temporary and may end at any moment. So the purpose of our existence should be to become fully Krsna Conscious and go back to Home, back to Godhead at the end of this present lifetime. I will be glad to hear of your further progress.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami