I always feel enlivened after reading BTG. It renews my enthusiasm for attaining a spiritual base for my life.
The feature on Baladeva Vidyabhusana gave a deeper spiritual insight into the Gaudiya Vaisnava movement.
Subscribing to Learn
Even though I have not accepted everything you preach, I admire your devotion to God so much that I subscribe to BTG to learn how to incorporate Krsna consciousness into my life as best I can.
Dennis M. Donlon
Brooklyn, New York
Show the Work
I was crushingly disappointed by the photo with Suresvara Dasa's great ox power article. The photo of the devotee lounging with the calf is exactly in the wrong mood. I'm probably wrong, but he doesn't even look like he takes care of the animals. Where are his barn boots? Where are his blue jeans?
I think we need to guard against conveying a mood of enjoyment and leisure, of retiring to the peaceful country with the cows.
The struggle against seemingly insurmountable odds to work the oxen and establish Prabhupada's varnasrama social system is one of the most tremendous battles in all ISKCON.
Arjuna's fighting mood is much more in line with what we should be trying to convey. Then we will attract energetic, resourceful devotees to this service not those who are simply looking to retire from the stress of modern civilization.
It's a desperate, urgent situation. It would be good to have more photos that convey the excitement and challenge of the work involved.
Hare Krsna Dasi
Although our Society is still confronted with various opinions regarding the application of the philosophy in many areas, I feel that Back to Godhead is not the place to openly bandy these controversies about.
Bhakti Rasa Dasa
Christchurch, New Zealand
I cannot urge you strongly enough to continue the "ISKCON Community Discussion" forum. For those like me who've been around some time, it's especially interesting to be allowed to hear some of the more intimate thoughts of devotees, especially on issues of vital concern to the renewal and growth of ISKCON. Aside from this, it provides an absolutely essential candid look at the devotees and ISKCON for those "just browsing" or those even more removed.
There are so many issues which need to be addressed with respectful, healthy dialogue, and sharing some of this with all readers of BTG (from old friends to newcomers) provides a sense of openness and honesty that far surpasses the ecumenical silence so typical of organizations undergoing growth and change.
I find the new BTG so much more stimulating, provocative, open, honest and satisfying that I fully honor your efforts.
Wade A. Ryan
Put Krsna on the Cover
I have not at all liked the covers of the Back to Godhead issues I have recently received. On the reverse of each of the covers is an extraordinarily beautiful picture of Sri Krsna and Radharani which should appear in all of their fragile and delicate beauty on the cover, not hidden away on the reverse side.
One looks to the Back to Godhead for spiritual inspiration, and these pictures of Krsna are truly inspiring. Why should the cover of the beautiful Back to Godhead magazine not in itself be beautiful?
Nancy Maria DiBlasi
New York, New York
Pictures for Home Altars
Would it be possible for you to print color pictures of each of our four acaryas [previous spiritual masters] so that all four could be cut out and separately used to frame for our home altars or elsewhere? These pictures are not easy to come by; at least no one has been able to help me find them for four years now.
Nevada City, California
For a set of four full-color glossy photos, 5 inches by 7, write or call: The Bhaktivedanta Archives, P.O. Box 34453, Los Angeles, CA 90034. Phone: (213) 559-2143. The photos are $5 each, plus shipping.
Honestly, I had not been a regular BTG reader for many years because of the support of the "erroneous zonal guru system" mentioned in "An Apology." It was so healing to read an official acknowledgment that my own perceptions and realizations about those years of ISKCON were accurate and my feelings validated. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Nikunjavasini Devi Dasi
Is ISKCON disintegrating? Personally I see BTG as the voice of the movement and see the magazine's continued growth to be a sign that all is indeed well. Judging from the new format, I would say that in fact the movement is flourishing and becoming more mature. The devotees are emerging as intelligent and rational people in a world of dogma and hypocrisy.
Pearl Deplores Swine
I have always known that the "Hare Krishnas" were a bunch of sexist pigs and have never supported you although I do what I can to support and encourage most yoga groups.
I subscribed to your magazine hoping you had changed or would at least have the common courtesy to keep your sexist views quiet. Instead you blatantly publicize them.
People like you give yoga, religion and spirituality a bad reputation. I am ashamed to be even remotely associated with you.
I would appreciate it if you would refund my money.
Huntington Station, New York
On the Right Track
I am 29 years old. Twelve years ago my father invited me to a Krsna consciousness Sunday feast at the San Diego temple to celebrate my high school graduation. Fearing that ISKCON could be a false religion that uses mind control, I accepted his invitation reluctantly.
1990 was the year I finally decided to more seriously investigate Krsna consciousness, and I decided that rereading Prabhupada's biography would be a good idea.
What I learned was that the devotees who obey the regulative principles, avoid sinful activities and follow the instructions to chant Hare Krsna would be successful and worthy to follow. (If they didn't follow, I would be foolish to do service for them.)
The new BTG proves to me beyond a doubt that the ISKCON I know today is once again on the right track. All glory to the assembled devotees!
San Diego, California
A Big and United Family
I would like to thank you for the wonderful new long-awaited Back to Godhead magazine. My husband and I (as well as the many other devotees we have discussed BTG with) have relished its many interesting and enlivening articles. Personally I've found it has given me a reassured sense of ISKCON as a big and united family something I've found a little lacking lately, even if only in my own perception.
Tulasi Mala Devi Dasi
A Most Welcome Critique
I've read the magazine from cover to cover, and I cannot be more positive in my impressions. Aside from the dearth of those beautiful colored photographs I enjoyed (money money money) I think you've improved the magazine in very substantial ways. I like the new format with so many articles by individual devotees dealing with so many different topics. The spiritual content is certainly there but there's a much more down-to-earth quality about the reporting, which I think will have greater appeal.
Some of the writing is really terrific. I especially enjoyed Ravindra's article he expresses him-self beautifully and, of course, Satsvarupa is no slouch either. I get the feeling there's a more open, honest approach in the magazine a sincere desire to reach your readers by laying it all out on the table, so to speak. I hope you get equally positive responses from others as well.
Mrs. Shapiro is the Editor's mother.
We welcome your letters. Send correspondence to The Editors, Back to Godhead, P.O. Box 90946, San Diego, CA 92169, USA.