1972 letter to devotees to stop business of travelling road shows, electronic music, and drama presentation

June 20, 2021 in Articles by Laksman dasa

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Srila Prabhupada 1972 letter to devotees to stop business of traveling

road shows, electronic music, and drama presentation

Anyone who will be attracted will be attracted by that alone, nothing more, not psychic sleep, nor rock and roll music, nor ridiculous plays, nor sentimental, wishy-washy songs. “



FOUNDER — ACARYA, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

All Glories to Sri Guru and Gouranga!


Memo to all GBC members and Temple Presidents

Dear Prabhus,

Please accept our most humble obeisances at your feet.  Srila Prabhupada has instructed that we issue a letter of direction to you all regarding the business of travelling road shows, electronic music, and drama presentation. His Divine Grace has instructed that these things should stop. Our process is kirtan, philosophy, and prasadam, and nothing more. We do not need to glamorize or spectacularize beyond these simple methods at the risk of deviating from the Disciplic Line of presentation and diminishing the gravity of our message. All these new additions, i.e. electronic musical instrumentation, – so-called dramas and plays, songs written by devotees (Prabhupada said that it is prohibited for a Vaishnava to write songs unless he is on the liberated platform; then they are as good as the Vedas), and public relation-promotion departments are unnecessary and artificial. Granted, people may be entertained by the incorporation of such things, but they will not take us seriously nor understand the actual import of Krishna Consciousness. The conditional souls will be attracted by the Holy Name sincerely chanted by pure devotees and the perfect knowledge of Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam as rendered by the Acharyas. 

There is absolutely no need of anything  more. Our presentation should not become a cheap flim-flamery to attract mediocre and mundane mentalities. Prabhupada has personally never regressed to such tactics, nor His Guru Maharaj (His Guru Maharaj absolutely forbade the use of anything other in accompaniment to kirtan than mrdunga and kartals), and see what they have accomplished. The responsibility to maintain the standard of Krishna Consciousness as Srila Prabhupada has given to us is our single, most important duty. We must be so careful to avoid the entrance of poison and pollution into our line. If we simply present things exactly as Prabhupada does, there will be no logs. Anyone who will be attracted wili be attracted by that alone, nothing more,

not psychic sleep, nor rock and roll music, nor ridiculous plays, nor sentimental, wishy-washy songs. Chant Hare Krishna and speak Srimad Bhagavatam, that is all. If we want to travel, then we may take a bus and Radha-Krishna Deities and hold kirtan (four

mrdungas and ten kartals, specifies Prabhupada), distribute prasadam liberally and speak solid vidya from Bhagwat. If people come or do not come, that does not matter, but we know we are presenting the real thing, not a Madison Avenue version which will do no good for anyone.

His Divine Grace gives daily audience to one three-year-old brahmachary, who is, in His estimation, the perfect example of a Vaishnava of the future. He is simply overjoyed to mark how the child is making progress in Krishna Consciousness. “Child is the Father of man,” He says, which daily leads Him to remind us, too, of our Gurukula in Dallas, saying, “Take it very, very seriously, that school. Give them all facility to become the

preachers of next generation, do not neglect this educational program at Dallas. You GBC members, now take it very seriously to develop that school for the children. If we lose even one Vaishnava, it is a very great loss. This Gurukula is the responsibility of every GBC man, not just the zonal secretary so you you should actually participate in its development. “Write them like that.”

Regarding second initiations, Prabhupada wants that henceforth the Temple Presidents must ascertain, before recommending anyone, that he or she is perfectly chanting at least 16 rounds daily (for sure) and following all other rules and regulations strictly. His emphasis, more and more, is to concentrate on the ‘quality of the devotees we have got, training them perfectly, rather than expanding more. What is the use of so many men, He asks, when those we have got have no knowledge? He sees, He knows, He gets letters–Why the students are not learning and reading books? Our fault; as leaders, now we must see that each devotee becomes a learned philosopher. “If they are unable to become philosophers, let them be always absorbed in chanting Hare Krishna, that’s all.” Simple. No more extra weight, become enlightened. “When something is taken by the mind, that is mental platform, now I may take it, then again I may throw it

away or forget it. But once something is taken by the intelligence, it is fixed, forever. And from the intelligence it is one step to the Spirit (holding up two tightly-packed fingers to

illustrate). So now let us apply our intelligence for understanding Krishna, seeing Him everywhere through the sense of our intelligence, that is the point: Unless there is vidya,

there is no question of vairagya, giving up our attachments to material nature, and without viragya, there is no spiritual progress. Unless knowledge enters our consciousness, and being fixed there by intelligence, unless it drives away the slightest shadow of doubt and takes over as the guiding principle of our activities, what use is our life in Krishna Consciousness, trying to adjust this, change that, go here, try there, maybe if I, what do you think, isn’t it better, I’ve heard, someone said–what good are all these attempts to find out the solution without perfect knowledge? Our great task is to become ourselves convinced beyond any doubt by taking constant shelter in the brilliant sunlight of Krishna’s knowledge, and from every angle of vision, to see how He is working at every moment–that is Krishna Consciousness.”

His Divine Grace recently vetoed a new center in Chihuahua, Mexico, on the grounds that to expand more at this point is both dangerous and impractical to preach to the devotees ,” He tells Satsvarupa (see enclosed letter), “Train the devotees first, then

approach the non-devotees, don’t waste time.” One of Prabhupada’s favorite mottos: “First develop what you have got, then think of expansion.”

Itinerary: San Diego: June 28th (evening) to July 1st (evening); New York: July 2nd (evening) to July 4th (evening) ; London:  July 5th (morning) onwards. Paris, at least on 21st, 22nd, 23rd July. Probably other parts of Europe.

Bhagwat class should be held for one hour each morning, one sloka per day, discussing it from every angle, pronounced in Sanskrit all together, watch the knowledge grow!

Trouble in Bombay and Nairobi with big, big leaders not following the basic principles, falling down. So quickly it can happen! 

May we be allowed this short incursion into your troubles—enough, to request you all, big leaders, to give your most serious, deathly grave, and gentle, keen ATTENTION TO these matters in your hands…

Let us reflect in these instructions and keep our activities strictly to established Vaishnava standards. Do not add and do not substract. We have been told this so many times. Let us become absorbed in it once and for all.

Your servants,

Karandhar das Adhikary and

Shyamsundar das Adhikary

Note: This letter was read and approved personally by Srila Prabhupada.

: Last week two of our God brothers, Vaidyanath Prabhu and Mananda Prabhu, both brahmacharies from the Phoenix Temple, were killed in an auto accident. The Phoenix Temple Has subsequently been closed down,