"Smog" Too Heavy?

I just finished reading your editorial ["Fighting in the Smog," July/August] and was shocked by the coarse, insensitive manner used to convince your readers to surrender to Krsna. Your article presented you as a most uncaring, cold Ayatollah Khomeini type, hardly inspiring a loving attitude in anyone.

Devi Dasi
Manhattan Beach, California

What you've stated in the editorial may not be "wrong." It's true that whatever we do in the material world (except for cooperating in even the smallest way with Sri Krsna sankirtana) goes up in smoke, or worse. But the Vaisnava understands that he is no better than the lowest of the low and that going back to Godhead does not mean escape from witnessing the tragic misuse of human life. Now we may be initiated and on the right path. But by having misused our lives in previous births, or even earlier in thisbirth, we have helped to create the thick layers of karma we now see from a different vantage point.

We don't need to move out; we, especially, need to move in and let people know we're here to help, not with swords, guns, and fire but with the holy name, books, and prasadam. The other articles do this so nicely; what a shame to give such a preface to an otherwise wise and compassionate issue of Srila Prabhupada's magazine.

Sarasvati Devi Dasi
Quakerstown, Pennsylvania

Apart from being dismayed by my heartlessness, several readers brought up another point. I'd said that Lord Ananta, a form of Lord Krsna, sometimes gets so angry He feels like torching the entire universe. Is that my own idea? Where does it appear in scripture? Answer: Srimad-Bhagavatam, 5.25.6, and Prabhupada's purport. JS

BTG Really Helps!

Hare Krsna! I love BTG. It has helped me in so many ways. I go to public school and get teased about being Krsna conscious. Several of your articles have helped. I'm in junior high and kids can be so cruel. BTG really keeps me in touch with what's going on all over the world in Krsna consciousness. Keep up the great work!

Narayani Devi Dasi
Lombard, Illinois

Hard-Hitting Vic's OK

I'd like to address the letter by G. S. Senan [July/August] in relation to Bhakta Vic's articles.

I am an "older generation" devotee and can understand why a gentle-man like Mr. Senan (obviously with a highly cultured background) would express a sense of disturbance in regards to the mode of approach used by Bhakta Vic in his articles, but let's look a little beyond the mode of presentation and see the truths he is addressing.

It is a fact that some readers may feel some shock or even a sense of abhorrence at Bhakta Vic's mode of address, but BTG is a magazine for everyone who has interest in the philosophy of Krsna consciousness, and that includes readers who would very much appreciate Bhakta Vic's mode of approach, and who through that mode of approach can understand the philosophy better.

Lord Caitanya is called Patita Pavana, and He empowers different devotees to preach His message in different ways so that persons of all character and diversified backgrounds can take up the process of Krsna consciousness. I can attest to the fact from my own experiences in preaching to different types of people that in certain cases the very graphic, direct, hard-hitting approach is more effective in getting the message across to certain people, as opposed to the approach which uses "good taste," "subtlety," "grace," and "tact."

Mahavegavati Dasi
Buffalo, New York

Sukanya's Example Impractical

I felt such anger and fear after reading Mulaprakrti and Visakha dasi's article ["Light for the Dark Well," July/August] that I had to sit down and write you this letter. They live in a world very different from mine. For me it wasn't enlivening to read about the selfless qualities of a wife for a husband who didn't care for her. I would have been more inspired and hopeful if they would have talked in detail about her path in Krishna consciousness, her courage and love for Krishna.

I admit I don't appreciate or understand the lesson of Sukanya, perhaps simply because all I know of the story is what little was mentioned in the article. I don't think anyone can do what she did in this day and age. There's no training, love, or guidance. Mulaprakrti and Visakha may be fortunate to have good marriages, but for the majority, yes, majority of women, I think it completely unrealistic to ask them to be like Sukanya. Why don't the men write articles on how men should treat their wives?

Rose Maylie
Los Angeles, California

Mulaprakrti Devi Dasi and Visakha Devi Dasi reply: Thank you for your frank and heartfelt letter. We are sorry you and perhaps others felt discouraged by the seemingly impractical standards of our article. We agree that the responsibilities and qualities men require in marriage were not stressed enoughwe do need men to write about this. We never intended to endorse women's being abused or unloved. Relationships with men are often difficult. Therefore discrimination is needed in choosing a trustworthy man. There is so much we all need to learn in developing healthy and happy relationships. We have found that this is best done when devotees of the same sex support one another with honesty, commitment, confidentiality, and good examples. This is of utmost importance.