Premiere Issue

Congratulations on the Premiere Issue of the new BTG. I liked everything about it—from the mature writing and design all the way down to the stately page numbers at the bottom.

It even smells better!

Suresvara Dasa
Port Royal, Pennsylvania

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Just came back from Vrindavana to find the Premiere Issue of BTG in my mail. Excellent service by all of you. What a surprise! It was like when I found my first copy of BTG on my doorstep over 20 years ago and experienced the nectar.

Rathayatra Dasa
San Francisco, California

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It seems to me that Back to Godhead as it is now presented can truly become the "backbone" of our movement as Prabhupada said that it should be.

Navadvipa Dasa
High Spring, Florida

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This is the first time in years that I've looked forward to reading BTG cover to cover. It seems you were able to incorporate most of the suggestions you received, from women's issues to international events to resources available. It's been a real pleasure distributing these.

Harinama Dasi

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Really enjoyed this "new" BTG. I'm sure Srila Prabhupada is pleased with its mood, art, current topics, and faithfulness to our mission of glorifying and serving the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna.

Bhaktin Karen
Nevada City, California

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I am grateful as a householder that BTG is back to press and its nectar is reaching the devotees. I am especially grateful for the column by Rohininandana Dasa. As a devotee who lives away from the temple, "Bhakti-yoga At Home" will be something I turn to first.

Dhananjaya Dasa
Topeka, Kansas

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Instead of thinking how the magazine will be read by others, the new BTG made me consider my own position as Krsna's servant in Krsna's movement. Especially Yadurani Prabhu's article, which dealt more with the position of the spirit soul than that of women, was enlivening.

Labangalatika Dasi

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I just received the Premiere Issue of Back to Godhead at the federal prison where I have been residing for the past ten months. Words cannot express the transcendental feelings I experienced when I opened the package. I immediately ran back to my cell, offered obeisances to Srila Prabhupada, and with great excitement and trembling hands opened it up and lost myself in spiritual bliss as I devoured every word from cover to cover. It is certainly true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Keep up the wonderful work and please send an additional copy if you can, as I have a waiting list of readers and I just can't seem to let go of my copy.

Dharmatma Dasa
Jesup, Georgia

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I want an immediate refund of my subscription price. I cannot believe Prabhupada's magazine has gone so low in quality. Where are the color photographs and paintings of Krsna? The magazine has the look (and excitement) of some quarterly business journal. The black and white photographs are not even clear. I didn't read much because it was too disheartening.

Nanda Dasa
Los Angeles, California

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Women In Krsna Consciousness

Since male chauvinism is the desire to feel superior to women, the "Women in the Krsna Consciousness Movement" article made it clear that the label does fit and the problem goes a lot deeper than a few ISKCON men acting chauvinistically. ISKCON, no doubt, will keep the label as long as devotee men see their spiritual advancement as more important than women's and see themselves as superior on the material platform.

Rupacandra Dasi
Bonners Ferry, Idaho

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Here are some thoughts on the "women's issue." I liked all the articles presented in that section of BTG! I think as women that the best policy is sad-acara [behavior according to religious principles]. If we act properly, we will also be seen by Krsna, and we don't have to overendeavor to see Krsna. If we try to stick as closely as possible to the qualities of a woman as found in sastra, we won't be losers, but will have everything to gain. Every qualified woman in spiritual life is naturally and gracefully protected by Krsna, and allowed to serve Him in so many ways. The sweet taste of service to Krsna and our relationship with Him have to be the most important part of any "role" in spiritual life, not the fact that we are encaged in a certain type of body.

Karuna Devi Dasi
Gurabo, Puerto Rico

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Yadurani's comments about accepting responsibility and knowing that Krsna is in control are very inspiring and true. However, what good has it done for women to sit quietly all these years? If we don't speak out, we not only hurt ourselves, but the Society as a whole. ISKCON needs to make much needed changes, and women must continue to speak out. Yes, "we are the architects of our own future," … with the direction of Krsna in our hearts. We cannot continue to use the fact that "we have to accept our lot" as an excuse not to act—both on the part of ISKCON officials and individuals.

Sanandananda Manjari Dasi
(Amy Williams)
Boulder, Colorado

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In the name of women's lib, please don't feel free to put pictures of the ladies with heads uncovered. I would feel very uncomfortable if it was me, and I'm not a "fuddy-duddy"! I have a lot of service, and part of it is dressing properly so I can preach properly. And many people locally have appreciated it and the proper Vedic culture it represents.

Kamra Devi Dasi
Alachua, Florida

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The articles on devotee women were excellent. These women accurately represented the views of women in ISKCON. Now that these issues have been brought to the attention of the GBC, I would like to hear from the GBC and see what they are actually going to do to resolve these important issues concerning women.

Vrndavana-lila Devi Dasi
Norwalk, California

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The new Back to Godhead has finally arrived, and it was certainly worth the wait—all the articles were excellent! I especially appreciated the offerings by my beloved Godsisters Yamuna Devi (always a source of great inspiration), Visakha Devi Dasi (living proof that women can be as intelligent as men), Jadurani Devi Dasi (her straight-arrow commentary goes right to the heart), and the always-outspoken and astute Sita Devi Dasi.

Dinadayadri Dasi
(Jeanne Zakheim)
Ferndale, Michigan

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I was interested to read the women's articles, as I thought it was only my lack of understanding that led me to feel that ISKCON women are sometimes thought of as second-class devotees. I therefore think it is important for these feelings to be brought for-ward, discussed, and sorted out.

Julie Penfald
Hoddesdon, England

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Bad Press Award

Why a "Bad Press Award"? Must we continue to present ourselves as woe-fully persecuted martyrs? No one can hurt us unless we allow them to, and Krsna gives all protection to His devotees. Why should we give the impression that it might be otherwise?

Sarasvati Dasi
Quakertown, Pennsylvania

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The "Bad Press Award" is excellent. You have to get right out there and deal with what people are really saying about us, not live in an ISKCON ivory tower.

Dhananjaya Pandita Dasa
All Trains, New York

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I do not think that your policy in the newly formulated "Bad Press Award" will contribute to the overall effectiveness of the magazine. It is good to point out sloppy journalism that is misleading and unfavorable to the Krsna consciousness movement, but unless you are willing to print the entire third-rate article, then you will also be criticized for sloppy journalism. The readers of BTG should be able to read the entire article and then BTG's rebuff in order to more clearly ascertain the reasoning behind the critique.

Ramanatha-suka Dasa
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Statement of Purposes

The "Statement of Purposes," I noticed, is different than that which has been given by Sri Prabhupada. Although I have not found anything objectionable in the new statement, is the intent of the new statement the same as the original statement? If so, why get rid of Prabhupada's words?

Suresh Vyasa
Redlands, California


OUR REPLY: We used to print Srila Prabhupada's purposes for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Now we print the purposes for Back to Godhead magazine. The purposes are similar, of course, but not exactly the same. For example, BTG has no intention of building temples, one of the purposes Srila Prabhupada set for ISKCON. We feel it is more appropriate to print BTG's purposes.

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Prabhupada's Picture

I was very much disturbed to see that there was no picture of Srila Prabhupada on the inside cover. I feel it is of the utmost importance that Srila Prabhupada be presented as the founder-acarya as he was in previous BTG's. Every devotee I have spoken to feels the same.

Madana Mohana Mohini Devi Dasi
Vancouver, Canada


OUR REPLY: Although we've had Srila Prabhupada's photograph on the inside front cover for quite a while, Srila Prabhupada never instituted this practice. In fact, he once suggested that instead of running his photo we could sometimes print photos of his spiritual master and other previous acaryas.

Srila Prabhupada's is still prominent in BTG. His article appears first in the magazine, along with his name, title, and photograph. And we have the new "Remembering Prabhupada." Most important, the articles are based on Prabhupada's teachings, and therefore the authors often naturally make references to Srila Prabhupada. Also, we feel that Srila Prabhupada would appreciate the Krsna conscious art now appearing on the inside front cover, and we hope readers will find it to be an added attraction to BTG.


We welcome your letters. Send correspondence to The Editors, Back to Godhead, P.O. Box 90946, San Diego, CA 92169-0864, U.S.A.