The article by Samba Dasa [May/June] about his near-death experience is remarkable for its description of how he was able to remember Krsna and how Krsna responded by protecting him completely. It reminds us of the potency of Krsna's name and in what a helpless situation we living entities are.
I found it especially important for me because I tend to lose precious time in meaningless activities unconnected with Krsna and His all-powerful and all-attractive name.
Please permit me to point out that your magazine is well received and your Letters page commands a lot of interest. As a journalist of thirty-two years experience, I know for a fact that the letters page of a periodical is an indicator of how popular the periodical is.
Allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate you on the splendid article on Nrsimhadeva, an incarnation of Lord Visnu. That article appeared in your issue of May/June 1996 and was titled "Lord Nrsimhadeva Comes to Mayapur."
Forgive me for such a belated response. But as the saying goes, better late than never. I was considerably enlightened by that article and actually read it several times before drafting a response.
I have always wondered about the complexities of the construction of murtis [carved forms of the Lord], particularly those depicting Lord Narayana and His incarnations. I knew that correct proportions have a lot to do with the actual depiction, but to what extent I was only able to discover after digesting your beautiful article. It was a delicious experience, like tasting honey.
I have seen many murtis of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and I realize that the murti or the picture is the actual person. Srila Prabhupada makes this point in his lectures over and over, stressing the absolute nature of the Supreme Being. As such, murtis are to be respected and treated with love and devotion. What I learned from the narrative of the construction of the Nrsimhadeva murti has served to strengthen my belief.
I also know that there have to be professional sculptors of murtis of divine beings, and I hold the view that such persons have to be dedicated, committed, and knowledgeable of the subject. The implications are awesome if an offense is committed in the process, even in error.
In the narrative, it is stated that the guru advised the sthapati [sculptor] not to make the statue. "Don't do it," he cautioned. "Your family will be destroyed!" How the sthapati was finally made to sculpt the statue is told in a style full of suspense. And how the sthapati had to hurriedly send away the finished statue from his studio to its present location in the temple at Mayapur makes dramatic reading.
I was so impressed with the article that I bought a second copy of the magazine and made a present of it to a dear friend of mine, who is a Hindu priest and president of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha. I told him to pay special attention to that article.
Please allow me therefore to take the opportunity once again to offer my congratulations to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness for doing a great job worldwide. May I humbly suggest that Back to Godhead magazine would do well should it find and publish more stories like the one aforementioned. In this turbulent Age of Kali, such stories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead help to strengthen the faith of devotees. It did in my case.
Clinton Collymore, M.P. Minister in the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development
Government of Guyana
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