Worth the Price

Subscribing to your magazine is the wisest thing I have ever done. It is a magazine worth spending one's time and money on. I request that you do more articles on raising young children within Krsna consciousness. The mercy of devotees and your magazine is necessary, especially as we are also parents and family members.

Lungile Renene
South Africa

Glimpse of Vrndavana

The story by Annapurna Devi Dasi (Nov/Dec 2000) prompted me to pen a few lines to express my overflowing appreciation of her art and the article. A first glance of her paintings made me think that this was for minors. But a second look prompted me to have a third, fourth, fifth look. Only then I realized the untimely beauty of her simple water color paintings, which swept my heart away in waves of joy.

They are magical. They can attract the mind of any ordinary soul. As she has found peace in her work, we find solace in the beauty of Krsna and His pastimes as depicted in her art. Thank you, BTG, for publishing this inspiring article, and thank you, Annapurna Dasi, for giving us a glimpse of Vrndavana.

Uttama Caitanya Dasa
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

In the Top Five

The latest BTG (Jan/Feb) is definitely one of the top five best ones in the last twelve years. All compliments and obeisances to the crew. The photos and color are brilliant. Every article is first class, especially "Lifelong Search" and "Ahovalam Revisited." The Draupadi history is capti-vating. I think Prabhupada would be extra pleased with this issue.

I do have some complaints. In the letter on milk, we should respond that Prabhupada told us to get milk from our own cows, who are treated properly. The next best choice is organic milk. That is the standard in ISKCON that Prabhupada wanted. The Glossary is boring to me, but I understand that people may learn something from it.

Vivasvan Dasa
Tampa, Florida


The article on the artist Annapurna was stunning. Her paintings are fresh and bursting with spiritual energy. Thank you for this inspiring window on Krsna's pastimes.

Aradhya Devi Dasi
Prabhupada Village, North Carolina

Simple and Beautiful

The work of Annapurna Devi Dasi was different and a delight to see. It conveyed an element of innocence, purity, and calm which is so rare to capture in the times we live in today. The medium she used, watercolor, demonstrated her control of color and produced work that is not only simple but very beautiful.

Yogesh Mistry
Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England

Moved to Tears

Thank you all on the BTG staff for steadily producing this awesome magazine. It moved me to tears this morning as I read all about Dhruva Dasa and his trip to the Nrsimha temples [Jan/Feb]. BTG is a soothing ray of warm sunshine within the cold material world. Unlimited thanks.

Joan DeLisio
New York City

Why Criticize?

I have been reading books written by Srila Prabhupada. He believes only in Krsna (and Narayana incarnates) and considers all other Hindu "gods" demi-gods. He also doesn't believe in monistic Vedanta. Apart from not believing in these, he criticizes them sharply. He believes that Hare Krsna is the only way to the Godhead.

Well, I find this totally contrary to the Hindu view of tolerance and respect. Krsna Himself states in the Gita that "all paths lead to Me, offerings to all lords are accepted by Me." The view of being only a Krsna bhakta seems like the concept of Christianity, where all who don't believe in Christ are cursed to hell. Please clarify.

Varun Aggarwal
Via the Internet

Our Reply: Srila Prabhupada disagrees with the idea that any philosophy is as good as any other. Lord Krsna clearly says that worshipers of the devas (demigods) go to the devas and that worshipers of Him go to Him. These are not equal destinations. In Bhagavad-gita (18.66) Krsna says, mam ekam saranam vraja: "Surrender to Me alone." He says that demigod worshipers are less intelligent. He says that He is the source of everything, including the demigods.

Vaisnavism teaches that there are two categories of beings: visnu-tattva and jiva-tattva. In the visnu-tattva category are Krsna, Visnu, Narayana, and their plenary (full) incarnations and expansions. Everyone else, including the devas, is in the other category. The devas are not independently powerful; they are empowered by Krsna.

We jivas are infinitessimal parts of the unlimited Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna. We are not parts of the devas.

The idea that we must accept all kinds of contradictory philosophies as valid is a modern invention. It is not part of the original Vedic culture. Traditionally, great teachers debated one another, and the loser would become the disciple of the victor. That is how great acaryas like Ramanuja and Madhva spread Vaisnavism throughout India. So there is nothing wrong in holding one's ground on the authority of Krsna Himself and arguing against philosophies that contradict Lord Krsna's clear teachings.

Feeling BTG's Spirit

I am a new reader of BTG. I am very impressed and feel it contributes more than just a magazine. I give close reading to every single page, and I can feel the spirit of it.

During my childhood, I loved to see devotees chanting, and I wanted to read more books pertaining to Krsna consciousness, but I never got an opportunity. I managed to get two of Prabhupada's books, and I read them several times. Once I finished high school, I came to another city to further my studies, and I got to know a friend who is in touch with ISKCON.

I visited the temple frequently, gave up meat-eating, began to chant, and read more of Prabhupada's books. Gradually I developed a passion toward Krsna, Prabhupada, and his books.

I would like to pay a tribute to my friend Nagulan, who has shown me the way. And I would like to acknowledge BTG for its marvelous service, which has given me an opportunity to progress in spiritual life.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Prabhupada Photos

I really liked the photos of Srila Prabhupada in the November/December issue, especially the one on page 6 and another great snap-shot on page 15. I don't remember seeing these two great pictures of Prabhupada before, which is great! It's good to see some of the more rare photos of Prabhupada.

Jugna-Hotra Dasa
Ashcroft, B.C., Canada