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Write to BACK TO GODHEAD
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19119
I enjoy BACK TO GODHEAD very much. I find it both inspirational and thought-provoking. I want to thank you for publishing such an excellent magazine. I live in a rather remote area in Upper Michigan and look forward to learning more about Krsna each month.
Cindy L. Feliciano
K.I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan
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Hare Krsna. I have read with great pleasure and interest the essay "In Pursuit of the Highest Truth." I admire your efforts to bring together the Eastern and Western philosophical understanding of Godhead.
I was born and brought up in a Vaisnava family. From my early childhood, I had the privilege to learn about Krsna and worship Him. So when I came to this country, I was very much disturbed and disgusted with the Western concept of God as a bush of fire, or a pillar of fire, or a cloud. Unfortunately, there were no temples in this country then to show Westerners what God looks like. Thanks to Srila Prabhupada, today everyone can see and appreciate the most beautiful and opulent form of the Lord.
In your essay, which is very pleasing and convincing even to the most ordinary person, you have explained the form of the Lord, the Supreme Truth. The picture of Krsna being chastised by His mother brought tears of joy into my eyes.
Laxmi Narayan Chaturvedi, M.D.
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I have read with considerable interest the interview "You Can Be Happy" with Srila Bhavananda Goswami Visnupada in the July 1982 issue of BACK TO GODHEAD.
Not only in other parts of the world but here in India as well, many scientifically-minded and educated people have not appreciated the basic unity of life, which is the basis for nonviolence. The truth, however, is that the Vedantic concept of the unity of life is fully supported by modern science.
Let me quote Nobel Prize winner Sczent-Gjorgi on this subject. Discussing the role of chemicals universally required by animals from plant food, he said: "This simple fact involves a point of great philosophical importance. If I look upon the cells as a mechanism and upon the molecule as a wheel of this mechanism, I say that there are two mechanisms, the plant cell and my cell, whose parts, the single wheels, are interchangeable. Two mechanisms whose parts are interchangeable cannot be very different. This is the first scientific evidence for the great fundamental chemical unity of living Nature. There is no real difference between cabbages and kings. We are all recent leaves on the old tree of life."
In fact, many beautiful parallels between the Vedantic ideas and the most modern scientific concepts can be ennumerated.
D. R. Sharma
Our reply: Although the Vedas generally stress the spiritual rather than the chemical unity of life, it is true that there are many parallels between Vedic concepts and the concepts of modern science.
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I am disturbed by the pejorative use of the term "petty nationalism" in the November 1982 issue of your magazine. Didn't Krsna urge Arjuna to fight for the kingdom, even though Arjuna wanted to maintain a pacifist stance? "Action, not inaction" was, I believe, Krsna's precise instruction.
Our reply: Krsna's first instruction to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita is that an intelligent person should not identify with the material body. Our bodies may have been born in England or America, Russia, or Japan, but the soul within the body is neither English nor American nor Russian nor Japanese. The soul is eternal, a fragmental part of the Supreme Lord. When we leave our present bodies at death we are transferred to other bodies, and we forget all the affiliations national, political, racial, social, familial and so on of our previous life. Since Arjuna was a prince and a great military commander, Lord Krsna urged him to fight to establish a kingdom based on the eternal universal principles of God consciousness not any sectarian nationalistic differences. Krsna urged Arjuna to be active in Krsna consciousness, in other words, not active for a temporary cause. In this age, Lord Caitanya has recommended that our "fighting" be to spread the chanting of the names of God, or "Hare Krsna," to every town and village on earth.