Letters to the Moscow branch of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
Every year, through the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust some 200,000 people buy a book of Vedic literature in Russian. And every day the Trust's office in Moscow receives letters of appreciation from people whose spiritual yearnings have long been repressed. Here we present a sample of those letters.
THE BOOKS PUBLISHED by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust changed my attitude towards life completely. Lord Krsna is really present in these books, and the instructions given by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are so simple and easy to understand that when we hear them our life gains meaning.
A. F. Tsivon
Amurskaya obl., Russia
Thank you for the books you are publishing. Why did I know nothing about Bhagavad-gita before? Now I only have to lament that I have wasted 44 years of my life.
V. N. Apopov
From your books one can derive more and more energy. As I read the translation and then the purports, sometimes I have a feeling that these books are the most important things in my house and that everything else is just vain, temporary, of less importance.
S. S. Siatdinova
Thanks to the books by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, I found my real self and I am very grateful to Lord Krsna.
In your TV advertisement for Bhagavad-gita, I heard sankirtana chanting. It sounded like thousands of devotees going side by side, like a gigantic sea wave. I had an impression that the wave was going to come up and carry me away. That is my great desire to become just a tiny drop of that wave. Unfortunately I am not worthy of it. Still, I set my hopes upon the mercy of Lord Krsna. I hope that He will not only show me the way but give me strength and determination to follow it. Hare Krsna!
The books by Srila Prabhupada are of the greatest value for us. He moved a curtain, revealing the spiritual reality to the whole world. I consider it a great honor to bow to the ground before His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.
Anatoliy K. Serov
Dear publishers, please consider my words. Since our country is in a great spiritual need, I am appealing to you do not stop producing these books. They bring enlightenment to the people and I am convinced that many would share my opinion.
Boris, 17 years old
Thank you very much for your energy in sending the revealed scriptures by Sri Vyasadeva, which became widely known due to timely interference by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami and his spiritual masters.
What a wonder, what a great fortune for all of us, to have such a confidential source of knowledge accessible! Now there is hope that the quantity of ignorant people will not increase with such an oppressive speed and that in this very lifetime we will be able to see the teachings of God taught in schools by these very books.
Let me express to you my gratitude for all that you are doing, for it is the only thing that has a real value nowadays.
May the luster of the material world never overtake the fire of devotional service in your hearts!
M. V. Lipatnikov
Kirovskaya obl., Russia
We were brought up without any religion or knowledge about the spirit soul, the purpose of the human being, and the existence of the spiritual world. But our eagerness to know all this is so great. While listening to the radio and hearing the voices of your people very gentle and pure in heart I want to fly up and sing, my soul overwhelmed with some unknown feeling.
I have no Bhagavad-gita; therefore please send me one, for any price. I want my children to also know about this.
When I started reading these books, I was so captured by their topics that I read the Krsna book at one go, just swallowed it. I can swear to you, sirs, that for all my 37 years I've never read such an interesting and fascinating book. And when I started reading Bhagavad-gita, I realized that there is nothing to compare to it in the whole world.
V. E. Sokolov
Me and my friends are very interested in books published by you. We already have some of them, but not all. Your books are going from hands to hands and are read with great interest. And the most wonderful thing is that the people, who read your books become much more pure in their thoughts and actions. It would be very nice if we could keep our connection with you in the future.
S. Y. Sobolve
Bhagavad-gita opened a window to another world! A world where there are no soldiers and civilians, communists and capitalists, no wars, starvation, or epidemics.
Thank you that despite the terror of our times you are doing true necessary work for everyone with no exceptions be one a minister or an unimportant worker.
I learned about the movement for Krsna consciousness long ago. Till recently I only felt respect for those boys singing and dancing on Nevskiy, tolerating scowl smiles and insulting laughs of the passersby. Only in May last year I became greatly interested in everything related to Krsna. After one night and half the next day in argument (in which I defended my atheistic views), I understood that worship of Krsna is not just idle whims but a scientifically based philosophy.
And now here I am, sitting and humming the Hare Krsna mantra, making the next bead for my new chanting beads.
I try to practice bhakti-yoga at home, but since I have no guidance of a spiritual master, everything works out as if I did it with my left foot. And then I think about how rough and insincere I am and that due to my ignorance I cannot approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. I am unable to understand the deep spiritual meaning of Bhagavad-gita since I consider myself to be capable of offenses only.
At such moments I keenly feel my imperfection but then remember this prayer by Rupa Gosvami: "O my Lord, I do not have any love for You, nor am I qualified for discharging devotional service by chanting and hearing. Nor do I possess knowledge, pious activities, or the mystic power of a Vaisnava. Nor do I belong to a very high-caste family. On the whole, I do not possess anything. Still, O Gopijana-vallabha, because You bestow Your mercy on the most fallen, I have an unbreakable hope that is constantly in my heart. That hope is always giving me pain."
My situation is just like that. Sincerely wishing to be amongst you,
My prostrated obeisances to all the devotees! I intended to write this letter long ago, but something was holding me until now. And now when I am finally writing, all the words are gone, for there is just a single idea in the mind to come to you and stay.
A year ago I knew nothing of the books, but already at that time I was often appealing to the Lord, not with material desires. I saw those who were serving the Lord but spoke badly of other religions and did not follow any principles. I could not be among them. After some time I bought Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
For half a year I was reading it, and my joy had no limit. I was reading about what was most important for me, what was always in my mind. I do not know if I can repay Lord Krsna for His mercy. But could it be possible for me to ever know anything without the mercy of His great saintly devotee, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada? Certainly not.
Now I have already 15 books, which I am studying step by step. After finishing I start reading again. How is it possible not to read them? They contain the full mercy of Lord Krsna.
If there is any opportunity, considering place, time and circumstances, I tell people about Krsna and what I have learned from the Vedic scriptures. My friend also accepted these teachings. My brother, by Lord Krsna's mercy, all of a sudden gave up all his bad habits. Some people hear me with understanding, some hear and think, "What nonsense," and others say directly, "You must be crazy." But I can see their ignorance, and thanks to them I only increase my faith and service. And I still hope to plant the seeds of love of Krsna in their concrete hearts. Everything depends on Krsna's mercy. He gives, He takes away, and this is all but His mercy.
Let me kneel before all the devotees for their great love of Lord Krsna, for their humility and wisdom. In great respect I bow down before all the real spiritual masters who were present on earth previously and who are present now.
I have an earnest request to you. I beg you to keep one set of 13 books for me till the end of March. At that time I will get my pension and redeem them. I am begging you to please keep the set of books for me. That would be a great gift for me. Please, put it away, hide it somewhere. Put this set away and hide it till at most April, otherwise my pension will be not enough. I am begging you to do something about it. Be merciful, help me, keep just one set. Better I will be lacking of cloth but have your books. Kindly give me the opportunity to put some money by. Please, have mercy in this world.
B. B. Vorozstov
Slavgorodskiy r-n, Russia
Now we are learning mantras. "We" means a group of self-taught Hare Krsnas, about 10-14 people. We are making our own attempts to offer food to the Lord, learning mantras, listening to many tapes with different spiritual masters speaking.
Do you want to hear our story? About two years ago we took an interest in reading about UFOs. We started gathering to discuss and analyze the information. The conclusion was, God exists. Then we start looking into Christian literature. Then your books appeared. We tried them, and that was something! Your books are the most truthful; everything is explained. After practicing chanting of the maha-mantra we felt, "It works." Tried prasadam and concluded, "That's a real thing." Now we all have just one goal: to serve the Lord and come back to Him.
V. G. Vlasenko
Rostovskaya obl., Russia
I am Chaikin Eduard from Kazahstan, 17 years old. After seeing your advertisement in one of the magazines, I ordered by mail Bhagavad-gita As It Is. While reading it, I don't know why but I was believing every single word. Then for some reason I interrupted my reading for some time, but over and over I was thinking about what I had read. The other day I started it again and bought some other books of Vedic knowledge. I attained self-realization: I am not Chaikin Eduard but a spirit soul which is meant to go back home, back to Godhead.
I am 23 years old. Sometimes I am terrified thinking how engrossed I am in this unmeaningful existence devoid of anything spiritual. But I am sure that if I have a spiritual guide I will gain a real meaning of this life, without doubt. I am not cheating myself with false expectations that someone can transform my life and make me happy without my personal endeavors, but I feel a necessity of spiritual support, wise advise, a sincere word. Till now I thought such an attitude to be mere selfishness. But now, after reading some of the Vedic literature, I understand that this is needed on the neophyte stage of self-realization. This is a necessity for deeply understanding the meaning of one's life and the soul.
Though I am unable to do it by my own, one thing I know for sure: there is a way back to Godhead, the way on which one can find a real happiness. Please help me!
When I had a business visit to Moscow I happened to buy these books in the metro. That was the mercy of Lord Krsna. I read them and was terrified with my ignorance. What a great layer of the human civilization was kept away from the Soviet person, me.
I love Krsna very much, I want to serve Him:
1) by joining the Hare Krsna movement;
2) by giving Krsna consciousness to others;
3) by associating with servants of Krsna.
Olga Nikolayevna Tereshenko
Novgorodskaya obl, Russia
Now when I have an opportunity to read the books of Srila Prabhupada, I can, thanks to his great work, distinguish a real servant of the Lord from one who is after satisfaction of his personal whims. This is the mercy given by the Lord Himself.
The most strong feeling which overwhelmed me while I was reading these books was the feeling of regret that I had no chance to read them before.
L. N. Shnaider
On seeing your advertisement, I ordered Bhagavad-gita. After I read it for the first time, I read it again for the second and then for the third time. Now I am reading it and cannot give it up. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krsna advises us to take shelter of a spiritual master, but how can I find him? Whom should I approach? There is no Krsna conscious center in our town. Please tell me what one should do to learn how to perform devotional service to Krsna. What should one start with? I feel that something should be changed in my life, that its purpose is different, spiritual.
The other day my friend and I read one of the numerous books by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada Life Comes from Life and came to the conclusion that this spiritual understanding is what we can never get from our present life, which we would like to change completely. All the author describes in the book showed us that human life is infinitesimally short and we have so much to do. We are very eager to dedicate our lives to the direct real service of God. Could you please send us the addresses of some Hare Krsna monasteries? Our intentions are serious.
Reading of the Vedic literature purifies my consciousness and gives me strength of mind. I became faithful to my wife and gave up smoking a year ago. This year I gave up alcohol, tea, coffee (and even do not feel any chemical dependence). I feel a great desire to associate with Krsna's devotees.
A. I. Tarasov
I am twenty years old. I was almost completely frustrated with life, but upon seeing your book advertisement all the dismal thoughts disappeared at once. Now I'm ready to dedicate my life to the distribution of Vedic knowledge.
I live in a village and never had a chance to meet a devotee while visiting the nearest towns. Nor is there any possibility to find a spiritual master. Therefore, please send me a set of your books. Although one can never comprehend and realize all the knowledge without the help of spiritual master, still I will accept every word of Bhagavad-gita as it is, without any personal interpretation.
I live very far away. Still, it is not a complete backwoods your books reached it. I read Srimad-Bhagavatam, first and second parts. It was like a shock. I was overwhelmed with ecstasy.
I started following the four regulative principles, and others just wonder how one can manage to drink no alcohol on holidays and eat no sausages. I simply smile with pity in reply. My dearmost desire is to have talks with a person like Swami Srila Prabhupada. I know he had a lot of followers all over the world. Perhaps there are some in our country too. We are in the greatest need of them, since most of our people have completely lost their spiritual assets. Please give me just one address where I can find such a person, a teacher of Krsna consciousness.
I want to express to you my sincere gratitude that you are existing and bringing people this most confidential of all knowledge knowledge of God, of love of God.
I offer my special respect unto His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, as well as unto you, his followers. By chance I came across one of his books and after reading just this one, I believed. And that was it. Now I cannot imagine myself without it. Perhaps because it answers all the questions I had since my very boyhood. I've prepared myself for one year to become a disciple. I am ready to accept any conditions, any difficulties. I want! I, the spirit soul, have a desire. I want to develop love for Krsna and go back to Him.
Please help me. Write to me how to become a disciple. I am prepared to accept any conditions.
My name is Yuriy. I am 19 years old. Recently I took up reading the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Also I try to follow the regulative principles and chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. I notice a change in my inner consciousness. I would like to completely renounce this material world and engage myself fully in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the association of the believers.
Yuriy Aleksandrovich Trushaev
IPTU, Ivanovo, Russia
The service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna and His pure devotees is my very life. Thank you so much that you have spoken to the temple president.
Of course I agree to take a probational period. I accept any conditions just to live with you. Please tell the president I will do whatever you say to me. Just please don't leave me alone!
You have advised me to be prepared to meet difficulties, but what kind of difficulties are you speaking about? Can the lack of food be a problem when there is a possibility to see the pure devotees, to touch their bodies? Maybe you meant poverty? Well if I join you I will become the most rich man. Not without reason is Krsna called "the Lord of those who are materially exhausted." Is this what you called difficulties? I wish to have more of them.
Please, let me know the conditions for joining the Hare Krsna movement. Are there any centers in Voronej or other places of Russia? Thank you for distributing such books as Bhagavad-gita. It is the greatest of books. It revealed to me the meaning of my life. When I read it, I experience the greatest joy. Thank you so much for carrying out your mission.
While I am reading the Vedic literature with the help of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada I realize more and more about the nasty and rotten world we live in. But these books are written in such a way that one becomes eager to read about Krsna again and again. After reading these topics, I lose all interest in other books.