I am writing to you as someone who appreciates your personality. I am not so much of a computer nerd but I know enough to notice your impact on the world today.
I would like to begin my appreciation by stating that you have taken the right decision. Better to quit when everyone asks “Why?” rather than “Why not?” Perhaps you may find this interesting to note that even in spiritual organizations including our Hare Krishna movement, many renunciates carry on their pastoral duties using many or almost all of the innovations and creations for which Apple Inc. is synonymous iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and the Mac.
I compare your achievements to that of a king or an emperor of yore. In Vedic histories exceptional kings were called rajarsis, or philosopher-Kings. The Vedic scriptures describe how these extremely well-trained princes would gallop around the world in order to expand their kingdom, and then at the right time relinquish it to someone worthy. WHY? Because they understood that to explore and conquer the inner world was equally or more important than conquering the gross, outer world. In fact the conquest of death and afterlife was seen as the main purpose behind the human form of life.
I especially think that you are uniquely gifted with wisdom echoing these Vedic truths. This is evident in the statement that you made at your famous Stanford University speech: “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent.”
Steve, it fills my heart with joy when you acknowledged that in those hard times the only decent meal you could lay your hands on was the one they served out at the local Hare Krsna center. I would like to bring to your attention Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the movement and the message he brought to the shores of America in 1965. When asked by American reporters as to the purpose behind his visit to America at the advanced age of sixty-nine, he would say, “To humbly remind what people have forgotten.” According to the Swami the main point of transcendental knowledge is to know that we are not these bodies, but are spiritual sparks living within our bodies. It is the spark which animates our bodies, and is the source behind all the creativity and innovations. Although he passed away in 1977, his legacy remains in the form of his vast library of transcendental literature, monasteries and, of course, his dedicated followers. I know in my heart that he will accept your public display of gratitude with pleasure.
I sincerely pray that at this important point in your life you sincerely seek sage advice and that you get the very best of it. You could utilize this opportunity, like the great kings, to devote yourself to the study of wisdom literature like the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. My best wishes for your greater success in the second phase of innovation and achievements in your life.
Your friend and admirer,