We shall entertain Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, or whoever may come: We shall have no restriction

Letters of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda



Los Angeles

3 March, 1968





Sri Harikrishnadas Aggarwal

Gupta Hills Estate






My Dear Seth Harikrishnadasji,

I am so glad to receive your letter No. 02481, dated Feb. 20, 1968, posted late, as on Feb. 27, 1968. I thank you once more for your appreciating my mission of one God, Sri Krishna; one scripture, Bhagavad-gita; and one mantra, Hare Krishna. This idea is not manufactured by me, but it is authoritative statement in the Gita Mahatmya, Skanda Purana. You have asked me to let you know about the concrete plan for Bombay and I beg to submit as follows.

Back to Godhead - Volume 01, Number 62 - 1974

The Hare Krishna Community in Los Angeles

Some years before, when I was staying in your Prem Kutir you expressed your desire to organize a SANKIRTAN party, and I wish that it may be done now to help me in my mission. If you have got opportunity to purchase one copy of Life Magazine, published Feb. 9, 1968, you will find there on page 56, how nicely the American boys and girls are dancing and chanting the Holy Name of the Lord. A Sankirtana party as they can be organized in India is not possible here. Here the boys and girls, they are very serious about chanting, but they are not trained singers, or singers in the tune we chant in India. Therefore, I wish that if you organize a Sankirtana party there, completely trained in spiritual ways, and the American students combine with them, I think a very nice Sankirtana party can be organized to travel all over the world. I have tested it definitely that melodious vibration of Sankirtana, if they are performed by serious devotees, can attract people from the very spiritual platform, and it at once makes the spiritual background very smooth, when a spiritual instruction from the Bhagavad-gita can be implemented very nicely. So my first concrete program is that if you agree to organize such a Sankirtana party, a batch of American students may join, and I can combine these American and Indian devotees together under discipline. The American boys are being trained up strictly on spiritual line, which I have already explained to you in my last letter. Similarly, the Indian boys or girls must be spiritually trained; it is only by spiritually trained vibration can implement spiritual seeds in the heart of the audience, not otherwise. So, if you agree to cooperate with me in this direction, then I wish to go with a batch of American students to your care and stay in Bombay for some time, and try to open a branch in Bombay of our society. Here we have got six temples already, and they are nicely being managed by the American Vaisnavas under strict discipline, without their being born in any Hindu family. Similarly, in Bombay, we are inviting all classes of men to join us; we have no distinction of caste, creed, color or religiousity. Anyone can join us, never mind whatever he is. (We shall entertain Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, or whoever may come. We shall have no restriction. In that Temple, everyone will be welcome. In other words, in our secular state and international feelings of God-consciousness will be introduced, where no one will be restricted.) And I am glad to inform you that this principle is accepted by everyone working under me. So, the sum and substance of the concrete program is to organize a nice Sankirtana party in combination of Indian and American students. I want your cooperation in this adventure.

Regarding Vedanta and Bhagavad-gita. There is no doubt about it that Bhagavad-gita is real Vedanta philosophy. Lord Krishna says in the 15th chapter that He is the Compiler of Vedanta philosophy, and He is the Knower of Vedanta Philosophy. Lord Krishna says this, and who can be a better Knower of Vedanta philosophy than Krishna? In another place of the 13rd chapter, Lord Krishna had accepted the authority of Brahma Sutra, which is also Vedanta philosophy. So the question is only how one explains Vedanta philosophy or Bhagavad-gita. We are trying to explain Bhagavad-gita as it is, without any interpretation. And you will be glad to know that we are publishing one English edition of Bhagavad-gita, about 400 pages, through Messrs. MacMillan and Company. Another thing you have written to say, “If you keep the gates of names and forms open to ultimately realize the formless, would be entitling in a larger number of persons to your mission.”

HK-bus-1972 Travelling Sankirtan Party TSKP

The Hare Krishna Travelling Sankirtan Party (circa 1972)

My point is one God. Ultimately you want to merge in the formless, or you want some material facilities, or you want to serve Krishna as His personal associate. Never mind, whatever you want, you worship one God, Krishna, and not bothering with the ultimate gain. The ultimate gain can be achieved as one desires. Krishna is all powerful, so if somebody wants material gain from Krishna, it is not difficult for Him to award such benediction. Similarly, if anyone wants to merge in the Impersonal Brahman effulgence, formless, He can also award the facility. In the same way, if anyone wants to associate with Krishna in five transcendental relationships, he can award also that facility. So, my point is, that whatever you want at the end, that doesn’t matter, but you worship Krishna, and He will award whatever you desire. One God, Krishna, means that let everyone come to one God, Krishna, and be engaged in Krishna Consciousness, and the award will be as the devotee desires. This is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita; “catur vidha bhajante mam”. Also, it is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, as follows:

akāma sarva kāmo vā moksa kāma udāradhih

tivrena bhakti yogena yajeta paramam purusa

Akāma means the devotees, sarvakāma means the fruitive workers or Karmis, and Moksakāma means the salvationist who wants to merge in the formless Brahman. So there are three classes of men and all are recommended to worship the Supreme Person Krishna with great energy of devotional service. So we invite everyone to join this movement, accepting Krishna as the tangible God for all practical purposes, and the worship of God is made easy by chanting the Mantra Hare Krishna, which is accepted even in far Western countries. You will be pleased to know that Hare Krishna Mantra is being chanted not only in America, but also in Europe by my record albums, and followers. I have got already invitations from many parts of Europe and they are appreciating my movement. Nobody feels reluctance in joining the chanting of Hare Krishna Mantra. Your good self also believes in the Mantra and certainly in Krishna as God. I have seen it that Swami Akhandananda worships Krishna in his apartment in Bombay. So we request everyone to worship Krishna and chant the Mantra, irrespectively, never mind whether one is a devotee, a fruitive worker, or a salvationist at the ultimate goal. We don’t disagree with anyone, namely the Karmis, Jnanis, Yogis, etc, although we are devotees. We simply request everyone to worship Krishna as the Supreme Lord and join with us in this great movement of Krishna Consciousness!

Please therefore accept this concrete proposal for common platform of transcendence and spread this movement by all means. Bombay is the most important city in India. There are many advanced gentlemen in Bombay interested in transcendental elevation. Why not join this movement which does not discriminate between human being to human being, and thus everyone, either Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs, or anyone also, all can join in this melodious Sankirtana movement and accept Lord Krishna Prasadam in Temple with great relish. I have begun this movement in this country America, and I think I am successful. I have many hundreds of Krishna Bhaktas in this country, and they are increasing in number daily. And why not in India and in Pakistan? We are trying to get admission in the U.N. as non-governmental organization. And when successful, we shall introduce this cultural movement in all countries, including Russia and China.

So, those who are aspirant of merging into the formless effulgence of Krishna, they also can worship Krishna. That is recommended in all Vedic literature. But Krishna is the Supreme Lord. He has decidedly said in Srimad-Bhagavatam, “Krishnas Tu Bhagavan Svayam”. So, if the Indian transcendentalists, those who are very serious about spreading this message of Bhagavad-gita may join this movement, backed by the Sankirtana movement as enunciated by Lord Caitanya, it will be great success. And there is every possibility of oneness all over the world, without any communal differences.

Hope you are well, and awaiting your further reply.

Yours sincerely,

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

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