WITH THIS ISSUE, I'd especially like to welcome our thousands of new readers in India.
For Indian readers, BTG, once rare and hard to come by, is now widely available.
A dedicated team of Indian devotees, based in Mumbai, has worked hard to launch BTG in India and now, with this issue, it's actually happening. We're taking off.
Srila Prabhupada began Back to Godhead in India in 1944, and when he came to the West he brought Back to Godhead with him, entrusting the task of publishing it to his American disciples.
Now, from America, we've come full circle and brought Back to Godhead back to India.
We look forward to dialogue, interaction, with our new Indian readers. On our "Letters" page, expect to see more letters from Delhi, Mumbai, Madras, Calcutta, Bangalore.
As the months go by, expect BTG to become less American, more global. (Readers in England, Australia, and South Africa, rejoice!) As BTG in India takes off, look forward to more articles from India, and from Indian devotees.
India is the land of Vedic culture and spirituality. It is in India that Lord Krsna appeared, in India that the Vedic writings have been given and preserved, and in India that Lord Krsna, only five hundred years ago, came again, in Bengal, as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Caitanya taught,
bharata-bhumite haila manusya janma yara
janma sarthaka kari' kara para-upakara
"Anyone born as a human being in India should make his life perfect in Krsna consciousness, and spread love of Krsna for the welfare of others."
Srila Prabhupada used to say that he himself was only one Indian and that by his humble effort the Hare Krsna movement had spread all over the world. So he used to urge all other Indians to take seriously the message of Lord Krsna, follow it in their own lives, and cooperate with him in spreading the Hare Krsna movement throughout the world.
It is in this spirit for the benefit of India and the world that we are now bringing Back to Godhead back to India. We are hopeful that the intelligent, pious, and fortunate people of India will receive its message favorably.
The full credit for Back to Godhead India belongs to Srila Prabhupada. It is he who began Back to Godhead, single-handedly, and it is he who has enabled us to serve as helping hands in pushing forward with the magazine.
My grateful thanks to my Godbrother Sripada Radhanatha Swami Maharaja and his disciples in Mumbai for taking up the work of Back to Godhead full-heartedly.
Special thanks to Krsna Candra Dasa (Sri Hrishikesh Mafatlal) for his vision, backing, and inspiration. And thanks to Srinathaji Dasa (Dr. Narendra Desai) for sponsoring 1,008 subscriptions for selected Indian leaders.
Thanks again to my longtime friend Mr. Shrikumar Poddar for his invaluable advice in publishing. And thanks to Mr. G. V. Pujara and his son Kaushal, again for splendid help and advice. Thanks to our friends at India Book House, who are bringing Back to Godhead to newsstands and other points of distribution throughout the country.
And thank you for reading Back to Godhead.