We hope that the foregoing letter and reply have clarified the position of the Society on the issue of psychedelic drugs. (The reason for the somewhat confused numbering of pages is that the bulk of our magazine is typed on stencils far in advance of publication, and the present additions caught us off guard. Sorry.)
We would like to express our appreciation for the fine work of our art directress, Jadurani Devi Dasi (Judy Koslofsky), whose picture of Lord Krishna follows our cover.
The opening of the Radha Krishna Temple at 518 Frederick Street in San Francisco's Haight Ashbury district has been a very satisfying success. The West Coast certainly seems certainly seems to be fertile ground for the growth of Krishna Consciousness. Regarding the arrival of Swami Bhaktivedanta on Monday, January 16, at San Francisco airport, here is an excerpt from a letter sent by one of the editors, who was present:
"There were well over fifty people, chanting and holding flowers. Great crowds had gathered to learn of the dignitary. They must have been quite amazed as Swami with a smile as broad as San Francisco Bay came through the door. He walked through a gauntlet of well-wishers who each bestowed a blossom into his hands. Then we marched to the parking lot chanting and holding hands. It was ecstasy in itself; I can't describe how beautiful it was. But, naturally, nothing could surpass Swamiji himself for beauty, as he soon showed us. For, while we were waiting for the baggage to arrive, he raised his hands and began to dance, with Ron holding his umbrella over him to keep off the sunlight. Allen Ginsberg was there also, and he joined us, as everyone began to dance and sing. As he danced, Swamiji took handfuls of the flowers which had been given him, and distributed them to just about each and every person there."
Six days after his arrival, the Swami initiated four devotees, and on the following day performed a wedding ceremony, at which a hundred and fifty guests were present. Kirtan is being held at the Frederick Street Temple on the same schedule as here on Second Avenue, so if you happen to be out that way, do stop in and join the chanting.
Although we haven't had any words on the Mantra Rock Dance at the Avalon Ballroom as yet (it is in progress even as this is being written, Sunday, January 29), we feel confident that the affair will be a great success. The kind participation of Allen Ginsberg, the Greatful Dead, Moby Dick and a number of other celebrities is duly noted and much appreciated.