Srila Prabhupada wanted devotees from west to enter Puri Temple (2 Letters)

Tridandi Goswami
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Date: April 8, 1972
Camp: ISKCON Sydney

My dear Puri Maharaj,

Please accept my greetings. I beg to acknowledge your letter of 18/3/72, and I have noted the contents carefully. You will be happy to know that our centres in Australia are expanding very rapidly, and many many young boys and girls are surrendering their lives in rich country to Lord Krishna.

Now I think I have got about 100 disciples in Melbourne and Sydney, exactly like those you have observed with me in India. So there is very good scope here because we have opened up our preaching here less than two years back. The other day I was invited by some Christian monks to come to their very large monastery in the countryside near Melbourne, and they were so much appreciating our Krishna Consciousness philosophy of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and they read our Bhagavad Gita every night, and they are all very nice persons and have stopped eating meat.

So practically they have become our allies, and with their co-operation there is immens work to be done. Then last night we had a meeting in the Melbourne Town Hall in the central part of the city, and there was very ecstatic kirtan with more than one thousand persons and many of them joined us by dancing on the stage. So in every respect these western countries are the best field for our Vaisnava culture to spread and take effect, that has been demonstrated.

You have requested me in your letter to consider for purchasing another house. But there is one difficulty, because the present administration of Jagannath Puri sometimes do not allow us to enter the temple. Of course, for our Vaisnavas this discrimination is spiritually illegal. Arche siladhi gurusu navamati vaisnave janavate: if one is dressed in vaisnava dress, according to vaisnava law, if he is considered not a vaisnava, then that is a hellish condition. You know this also.

So I think so long Viswanath Das, Chief Minister of Orissa, is there, he should pass some law to help us. Viswanath Das knows everything, he can pass an act to allow foreign disciples into Jagannath Puri. Many hundreds of foreign disciples will be coming to India in the near future, and already we have got nearly 100 men there, so it is a great opportunity for the administrative officials of Puri to increase the fame and prosperity of Jagannath Puri all over the world, and it will be their misfortune if so many qualified devotees of the Lord are not allowed into the temple, simply because they have taken their birth in a faraway place.

So if you are able to do something, and approach the right persons like Mr. Viswanath, then we shall be free to have our centre in Puri. Kindly let me know at your earliest. I shall be at the above Sydney address until 18th of April, 1972, then I am going to Hong-Kong and Tokyo, so you may write me at Tokyo ISKCON, 3211 Minami Asakawa-cho, Hachioji-shi 193, Tokyo, Japan after then 18th to the first of May, 1972, and after that c/o my Los Angeles ISKCON World Headquarters, 3764 Watseka Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90034, U.S.A.

Thanking you once again. Hoping this will meet you in good health.

Yours in the service of Krishna
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami


Tridandi Goswami
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Date: May 26, 1972
Camp: Los Angeles, ISKCON

My Dear Revered Puri Maharaji,

Please accept my humble obeisances. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter from Rajahmundry dated May 19th, 1972. It is a good idea that you are proposing. The two claimants of proprietorship and the tenants should be given some money and they will go away. So I am advising my Bombay center to send you Rs. 1000/=. So now you do the needful, I am completely trusting in you in this matter. I am very glad that you are in contact with the chief minister of Orissa, Mr. Dass, he must have full knowledge of our world wide activities. Jagannatha Puri is one of the main headquarters of the Vaishnavas, so if the outsiders have trouble in entering Jagannatha Temple it will be a great scandal, so the government must be liberal on this point and co-operate, as we are trying to interest so many foreigners and tourists to come there. And if they co-operate we shall build a very nice center there. At least the government must agree to admit anyone who is certified by ISKCON. I know that they admit foreigners into the temple who are certified by some mayavadi sannyasis living there. So why not they shall allow anyone who is certified by me or the society? You know how strictly we are following the principles of Vaisnava way of life. So kindly try to persuade the government officials on this point and it will be a very great service to Srila Prabhupada’s cause.

Bhaktivinode Thakur and Srila Prabhupada wanted that American and European Vaisnavas should come to India and join with dancing our Vaisnavas there, but if they have got some difficulty to enter into the temple it will be against the desire of Bhaktivinode Thakur and Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. So I am sure that Mr. Dass, the chief minister, is a very nice gentleman, I know him personally. So while he is in the office he must rectify this anomaly and situate himself in the history for doing such nice service for Lord Chaitanya’s mission.

I expect to hear from you soon regarding these matters and I shall look forward very much for your letter. Hoping this meets you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Srila B.V. Puri Maharaja
Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mission
Aryapuram, Rajahmundry-1, F.G. Disctrict

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