Source of Light
I want to thank you for the wonderful and inspiring article by Devamrta Swami, "When the West Loved India," in the September/October issue. It certainly was one of the best articles of its kind in many years. All of us who have accepted the Vedas as our own self, through the teachings of Srila Prabhupada, can certainly identify with the deep appreciation, to say the least, for the Vedic civilization of all the distinguished European and American personalities of that era. But the real merit of the article lies in showing how everything really has its origin in the Vedas. That is the way we understand them.
According to the Vedas themselves, the human race has its origin in them, because without their teachings we remain on the animal platform. The Veda alone, as identical with the Supreme, illuminates us as the spirit soul within these material bodies. Naturally we cannot but become spontaneously attracted toward the source of that illumination, the source of spiritual light, the Veda.
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Concurring Biblical Teachings
I'm writing to say how much I enjoy reading Back to Godhead every two months. The July/August issue was particularly enjoyable, and I found the article "Prayerful Reading" particularly good. When I first came to sadhana it was through practicing the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius, and one of the methods I used was similar to this form of prayerful reading. I am grateful for your returning me to this practice. I graduated onto the "Jesus Prayer" and now onto the beautiful maha-mantra, which this form of prayerful reading so complements.
In the same issue was the article about the three yogas, by Srila Prabhupada, and interestingly just before I read it I had been reading the following in the Holy Bible: "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hid these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them unto babes . . . . All things are revealed to me by the Father; and no man knows the Son but the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son will reveal him."
I felt this was close to what Srila Prabhupada was saying about devotional service being the way to know Krsna. It is only the Son (pure devotee) who can be in a relationship of love with God, and it is by the grace of the devotee that the Father of all is revealed.
Barnoldswick, Lancashire, U.K.
Philosophy and Religion
The article "Does Religion Cause War?" [November/December] was extremely analytical and thought-provoking. Humankind cannot survive without both philosophy and religion. Vedic knowledge alone can offer a peaceful solution for this conflict-ridden world.
Unfortunately, it is a sad fact that Indians themselves are forgetting their roots. The people who should be propagating this transcendental knowledge are being smitten by the craze for "modernization." But as long as there are preachers like Caitanya Carana Dasa, there is hope that people will be drawn towards spirituality in a very scientific and systematic way.
Mrs. Chinmayee Joshi
Gratified and Inspired
I found the September/October issue full of rich and exciting experiences. I was particularly moved by the article on the visit to the Siberian gypsies. As it so happens, I had just read Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago. Having seen how horribly these people had suffered through the Stalinist persecutions, what to speak of the tremendously harsh living conditions they routinely undergo in general, I was gratified to see this little orb of Krsna's mercy being extended to them.
Also, I was completely inspired by the excellent article from the eighteen-year-old student from Idaho on the two crippled boys "cured" by devotional service. I am paralyzed and undergo continual physical challenges myself and tend to use hardship as an excuse to "go soft" on devotional disciplines. Thank you for the inspiration.
BTG Still Life and Soul
I really enjoy receiving this journal because it keeps me in touch with the Lord's devotees, whom I admire very much. Back in 1970 I began to participate in Lord Caitanya's harinama sankirtana movement under the expert and caring guidance of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He became my spiritual master a year later.
At the Henry St. Radha-Krsna temple in Brooklyn, Back to Godhead was delivered in boxes, and we would load many boxes into a big van filled with devotees, karatalas, and mrdangas. We would go into Manhattan, and one group of devotees would chant while another group would distribute BTGs.
Back to Godhead was, and still is, the representation and the life and soul of ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada. Thank you all who still do the work that is so dear to our beloved Srila Prabhupada. Bless every devotee who lends even the most humble service to this cause.
Dasarha Dasa Adhikari
Boca Raton, Florida
Please write to us at: BTG, P. O. Box 430, Alachua, FL 32616, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.