Letters of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda
18 April, 1961
Dear Mr. Nakano,
I am in due receipt of your letter of the 9th instant and I am grateful to you for all that you have said for me. I am a humble creature and I am just trying to do my bit in this connection because I was so ordered by my Spiritual Master Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja.
As desired by you I have, immediately on receipt of your letter, sent two letters by air mail to the two respective Mayors of your country. The copy of the letter is also enclosed herewith as you desired me to do.
While I am feeling too much ecstasy for the reception arrangement you are doing for me, I beg to inform you that my passage expenses which is near about Rs 3500/- not yet settled.
I submitted one application to the Govt. of India for help and the copy of my application is also sent herewith. I also wrote a private letter to Dr. S. Radhakrishnan in this connection and the reply which I have received is also enclosed herewith.
All these are not very encouraging for me. I therefore saw the Vice President to day personally but he says the same thing as he has written in his letter. Although the matter is not yet hopeless altogether I am disturbed in my mind thinking what shall I do in case the Govt. denies to help. I am therefore seeking your good advice in this connection. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan said to me that you had also invited him to attend your congress and he opines that the passage expenses might have been paid by you.
The hope and expectation of the Congress is undoubtedly very great and I wish that I may fully utilize this opportunity for general welfare of the entire human society. I have fully explained my views authoritatively in my statements already sent to you for publication and the gist idea is expressed in the letter of the Mayors the copy of which is also enclosed.
As a Sannyasi I have no personal purse for expenditure. Under the circumstances if the Government denies to help for the passage then I will have to ask for the same from you otherwise my going to the congress will end in dream only. I have very little faith in the dealings of the politicians and specially of the Indian politicians.
From the conversation of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan it appeared to me that the Govt. does not approve of such congress as are organized by private persons and as such they do not participate in such congress. I shall wait for their final decision for one week more when the matter will be clear, yes or no.
You have requested to send you my photograph and personal history and thank you for this. I am sending herewith some cuttings of photograph (Present) which appeared in the press. If these are not suitable for your purpose, then you can get a fresh promo-copy from the original negative which also is being sent herewith. Regarding my personal history I beg to state it shortly as follows: I was born 1st September 1896 in Calcutta as the third son of my father Late Gaura Mohon Dev and mother late Rajani Devi in the family of one of very respectable Gold merchant aristocracy of Calcutta. I was educated in the Scottish Churches College (B.A. 1920) and Netaji Subhas Candra was my college mate. I left education influenced by Mahatma Gandhi in 1921 and joined for some time in the national liberation and other social service movements. I was secretary of the Social Union movement of which Late Mr. J. Choudhury Bar-at-law was the president. In this movement there was a great stir for intercaste marriage in favor of Patel’s (Vithalbhai) bill. I was married during my student life in 1918 with Radharani Devi and she is in Calcutta with her sons and daughters five children and a few grand children also. After my education I was appointed (1921) as the Asst. Manager of Dr. Bose’s Laboratory Ltd of Calcutta and then engaged myself in my personal business in the chemical line. I was a research student in chemical and medicinal composition and for the first time in India, I introduced Gadine preparation in the medical profession. I met my spiritual master Late Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami in 1922 and he desired me to preach in the foreign countries the spiritual movement started by Lord Caitanya for enlightenment of all materialistic men all over the world. He gradually turned my mind from matter to spirit and I was accepted as his disciple in 1933 after full association of ten years. He left this world in 1936 and insisted to explain the mission in English. I started my paper Back to Godhead in 1944 and left home for good entirely to execute the order of my spiritual master in 1954. Since then my H.Q. is at Vrindaban and devote in literary work.
[Further pages of the letter are missing]
Editor’s Note: This letter was written in connection with an invitation that Srila Prabhupada had received from the “Congress for Cultivating the Human Spirit”, a world conference which was scheduled to be held in Japan. Here Prabhupada is apprising one of the organizers, Mr, Nakano, about the passage expenditure of Rs.3500/- required to attend the conference in Japan. Unfortunately, Prabhupada could not attend the conference for want of passage expenditure. Srila Prabhupada had prepared a detailed paper for presentation during the conference. It was named “Light of Bhagavata”, which is a unique presentations of the Bhagavatam. It has now been released as a book by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and is available at all Hare Krishna Centers. To read the soft copy follow this link.
Those who are interested in knowing more about Srila Prabhupada’s life may read His Divine Grace’s biography, “Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta”.