We welcome your letters.
Write to BACK TO GODHEAD
51 West Allens Lane
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19119
In "The Vedic Observer" section of your October issue you say that since everything belongs to the Supreme Person, we're thieves if we claim anything belongs to us. Does that mean that the house I've lived in for the past twenty-five years (and just finished paying the mortgage on five years ago) isn't mine? What about my car? Who will it belong to after I finish the payments? If these things are stolen from God, how do you propose I return the "stolen property" to Him?
Our reply: The house certainly belongs to you. But where did the bricks, wood, cement, glass, nails, and other components of your home come from? Human beings can gather and fashion the various elements of nature: they can assemble houses, automobiles, televisions, and so on, from these elements. But man cannot create these ingredients on his own; he takes from the Supreme Person's creation. And man's ability to create from the material elements is also God's gift.
So since our houses and other possessions are Krsna's gifts, we should be constantly appreciative of His generosity. A devotee of Krsna recognizes that his house belongs to God. He regularly chants God's names at home, and he offers his food to God. In this way, a devotee "returns the stolen property" by acknowledging that Krsna is the ultimate proprietor.
* * *
I am writing to tell you how much I enjoyed the August 1983 issue of BACK TO GODHEAD. Of course, I enjoy every issue. but especially this one, as it covered Detroit's cultural center. The photos and layout for the article were beautiful. Although I don't live far from the temple, I don't get a chance to go as often as I'd like to. Now I can meditate on the photos of the cultural center's temple room and Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha-Kunjabihari and feel more complete.
I would like to point out how this new cultural center has beautified the whole neighborhood. Another old mansion up the road recently had to be torn down, as it was an eyesore. I also appreciate how the center's theater and restaurant can help new and curious persons who are interested in the Hare Krsna movement but who might feel awkward in attending the large free Sunday feasts. The FATE exhibit and the restaurant offer a more intimate atmosphere. The whole complex is indeed the pride of the area and of all Detroit.
* * *
I greatly appreciated the September issue of BACK TO GODHEAD. I found the article on bhakti ["Bhakti Flows West: Sri Caitanya's Children in America"] particularly interesting. The world is in debt to Swami Bhaktivedanta for bringing knowledge of devotional service to our attention.
Cincinnati, Ohio US