Monday, September 17, 2007

Prabhupada writes about John & George

In yesterday's blog, i mentioned a dream Srila Prabhupada had about John Lennon. Thanks to Vicaru prabhu, who manages a web site archive of Prabhupada's letters (link to the left), here are Prabhupada's words, in a letter to Shyamasundar:

Friday, April 24, 1970

"You have asked me to disclose my dream about John, so I beg to state the incident as follows. I dreamt that John took me in a place at Calcutta and he was showing me a house, a big palatial building, which formerly belonged to a very rich man, and he was a famous musician also.

I think therefore that John was previously that man to whom that house belonged, and now he has taken birth in England. It is quite possible that he has inherited his past musical talent, and because that man was very liberal and charitable, so he has acquired some wealth also, and now in this life if he properly utilizes his talent and wealth for Krishna, then surely he will achieve the highest perfection of his life."

In the same letter, prior to revealing this dream, Prabhupada writes about a disturbing quote from Swami Vivekananda that George apparently wanted to include in his foreward to the Krishna Book. Prabhupada was determined not to have his transcendental writing polluted even with one sentence of impersonalism.

Regarding George's foreword, you write to say that certainly there will be no more changes. Do you mean that the changes which you have already suggested in you letter dated 11th April with quotation from Swami Vivekananda are to be added? We cannot add any quotation from Swami Vivekananda.

In your letter of April 11th you have asked me to insert ``What right has a man to say he has a soul if he does not feel it, or that there is a God if he does not see Him?'' Do you mean I have to put in my KRSNA book all this nonsense quotation? This man (Vivekananda) has no understanding either of soul or of God and still he has posed himself as a Swami to mislead so many innocent persons.

Understanding of the existence of soul is the beginning of teachings of Bhagavad-gita. If one has no understanding of the soul and God, he is no better than an animal because animals cannot have any idea of the soul or God. So how can I add these nonsense quotations?

George's foreword as it was originally sent can be published with little editorial changes, but in no case can the quotation from Swami Vivekananda be placed in my book. You have already admitted in your letter dated 11th April that it hurts you to see this change, quoting a rascal like Vivekananda, so please let me know clearly what you want me to do. If you think that George's foreword will help the selling of the books, then it may be published as it was originally sent.

(Excerpt omitted)

You cannot learn music from a carpenter. If you want to learn music, then you have to approach an expert musician. So how he can learn about God from persons like Vivekananda who had no preliminary knowledge of the soul, even?

So best thing is if he is serious to know about God, tell him to begin reading Vedic literatures, and we have published our Isopanisad. Let him seriously read this book and whenever he has to question, he can ask from us, but he should always remember that he should try to know about God from a person who is in touch with God, not from a speculator.

Hope this will meet you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami


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