Less Work for Doctors
I am a regular reader of the magazine Back to Godhead. As a health person, I feel that at present human beings are going through the phase of Intense Turmoil. On one hand a small percentage of people have immense material facilities at their disposal but are still totally dissatisfied. And on the other hand a large section of people have neither material amenities nor mental satisfaction. The only way out of this mess is to follow the teachings of Jagad-guru Prabhupada.
I have experienced his teaching converting a completely tense and addicted person into a devotee living an ideal spiritual life.
I wish that more and more of our population should follow the path of the Hare Krsna movement, so that we doctors will have less and less work for treating and curing suffering human beings.
Dr. Subhash Salunke
Director of Health Services,
Thank You And Be Careful
The Indian inaugural issue of BTG comes as a long-awaited sweet dish while we have all along relished Srila Prabhupada's mercy in his books. I am thankful to the organizers who have brought out this issue during the Prabhupada Centennial year.
On page 5 a beautiful picture of Lord Krsna and Lord Balarama on the reverse side of a subscription entry form would be cut through in the process of detaching the form. I therefore suggest that such forms appear on separate pages.
Scientist, CISRA, CLRI
OUR REPLY: Yes, we'll be more careful about those forms.
The other day I was speaking with a seventy-year-old who loves quoting and telling stories from the Bible. He surprised me with his opinion on abortion. He is convinced that God doesn't hold aborted babies accountable for anything and sends them all to heaven. He feels it's better for them to go to heaven than be born into a world of atheists or grow up atheists themselves. So abortion is all right.
What could I tell him?
Karuna Devi Dasi
OUR REPLY: The man's first mistake is his failure to understand that the soul is eternal and that the child in the womb carries the karma, or reactions, of previous lifetimes. So the child is not innocent. If he were, he would have been liberated at the end of his previous life. Any of Lord Krsna's instructions in the Gita on the eternality of the soul clarifies this point.
Besides, if abortion sends children to heaven, why not abort all fetuses?
Killing unborn children is something one simply has no right to do. The soul enters the womb by Krsna's arrangement (karmana daiva-netrena), and we have no right to interfere. Srila Prabhupada compares abortion to illegally kicking a person out of his apartment. The punishment for abortion is severe to enter womb after womb, only to be repeatedly aborted.
Rediscovering South India
I read the recent BTG issue on Sri Rangam with interest. I am truly glad to see the magazine moving away from a hitherto north-based Indian view of the movement and make the effort to rediscover and present the heritage of the south as well. Bhakti singing has deep southern beginnings and much significance till today. Presentations of Vaisnavism from a slightly different culture, under another ancient tradition, Tamil, will allow a more complete view of an ubiquitous movement.
In this regard, I was equally happy to see an earlier issue on Tirupathi Venkateswara, another temple for Visnu, and very popular in India. I hope BTG will tour other parts, such as Karnataka and Gujarat, in its reporting of Vaisnava legacies.
(via the Internet)
OUR REPLY: Thank you. And yes, we will.
In the Sri Rangam issue [September/October 1996] one note explains a photograph by saying that a priest is putting the Deity's crown on the heads of the devotees. It is not the Deity's crown but the feet of the Deity, placed on a helmet to fit on our heads. No Vaisnava would accept Visnu's crown on his head. Another caption explains that a sannyasi is accepting remnants of the Lord's meal. The photograph, however, shows him accepting a piece of the Deity's cloth on his head.
OUR REPLY: Thank you for the clarification. The caption about the sannyasi said he was being honored in a ceremony in which he receives prasadam remnants of the Deity's meal. The photo showed a part of that ceremony but not the part in which he actually receives the prasadam. We apologize for the confusion.
We'd like to hear from you. Please send correspondence to: BTG, P. O. Box 430, Alachua, FL 32616, USA. Fax: (904) 462-7893. Or BTG, 33 Janki Kutir, Next to State Bank of Hyderabad, Juhu, Mumbai 400 049, India. Phone: (022) 618-1718.
Fax: (022) 618-4827.