Letters by SP about Hari nama sankirtan

November 4, 2021 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Feb 4 1969 letter Hamsadutta
Regarding Kirtana Party: My idea is that at least one dozen persons should form a Kirtana Party. Two persons play mrdangas, eight persons play karatalas, one person playing tamboura, and one person playing melodious harmonium. The person who will play on tamboura will be leader singer. You have just calculated what I want, when you suggest that the leader should sing as I do, and the others will respond. That will be very nice. But all the members of the party will be pure devotees. None of them should be outsiders. We do not want any outsiders as far as possible. Mrdanga playing as you are doing at present will make you more and more expert as you go on playing. Here also I see Gaurasundara simply by playing is improving. If all the members keep their faith in Krishna and tries to please Him, certainly everyone will be pleased by hearing our Kirtana. It is sure and certain. When such Kirtana will be demonstrated, only the harmonium player may sit, and all the others may stand up and join the Kirtana and dancing properly dressed. This is actual idea and I hope if such Kirtanas are performed even on public stage, we can sell tickets. That will be a source of earning to maintain our activities.
… Our process will remain the same eternally, namely, to begin with Sankirtana and prolong it at least for 1/2 hour, then speak something from Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Brahma Samhita, etc. and invite questions and answer them. Then again concluded by chanting. This is my dream or idea, and I shall be glad if you, Brahmananda, Purusottama, Rayarama, and others can give this idea a practical shape and life, then I shall be very much thankful to you. Please convey my blessings to your good wife Himavati, and I hope to meet you very soon. Hope you are both well.
Feb 8 1968 letter Brahmananda
Your remark that we cannot make Krishna our order supplier is very appropriate. We should always try to supply everything to Krishna and we shall try to avoid any return by Krishna. That is Vaisnava philosophy. The Gopis and Radharani served Krishna without any expectation of material or spiritual profit. They never expected any return from Krishna and Krishna remained ever indebted to the Gopis. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu exalted the worship method of the Gopis, and Krishna when He tries to understand the heart of the Gopis, that is the transformation of Krishna into Lord Caitanya.
I have seen the Life Magazine article; the pictures have come very sublime, and imperceptibly they have admitted our superexcellence of chanting Hare Krishna. You have marked it that they have said: “The chanting of Hare Krishna continues to vibrate the brain for several days.” We want to inject this transcendental poison into the heart of the Maya-serpent bitten people in general. Krishna Consciousness by the sound of Hare Krishna, it continues for a moment in the brain of the rascals, then certainly it will act in future to help them to become Krishna Consciousness. I think the Television proposal as written by you may be utilized in that way. Yes, I saw the late Ambassador Mr. B. K. Nehru at San Francisco Hotel and he and his wife received me well. He introduced me also with the Consul General, Mr. Bazpai. So the meeting was nice and I understand that he has recommended my case as a permanent immigrant to the Immigration Department. His assistants and secretaries in the Embassy and Consulate General have written me letters confirming this. They have promised that they will do their best in getting my permanent visa, but usually it takes 5 to 6 months to complete the process. We have, however, submitted the Immigration application by the first week of January, 1968. So I think I shall have to wait for securing the visa. I quite appreciate your proposal that you cannot go out until the two books are published.

March 3 1968 letter Hamsadutta
Responsive chanting is very nice; one good singer may lead, and the others may join in. That is the system in India. It is very good for two reasons especially: One, the chanter gets to rest, so he does not become tired, and two, you get to chant and hear, that is the process. You may also have melodious accompaniment instruments, and amplifiers. Blowing of the conch shell and horns is very nice.
March 3 1968 letter Harikishand Agarwal
Therefore, I wish that if you organize a Sankirtana party there, completely trained in spiritual ways, and the American students combine with them, I think a very nice Sankirtana party can be organized to travel all over the world. I have tested it definitely that melodious vibration of Sankirtana, if they are performed by serious devotees, can attract people from the very spiritual platform, and it at once makes the spiritual background very smooth, when a spiritual instruction from the Bhagavad-gita can be implemented very nicely. So my first concrete program is that if you agree to organize such a Sankirtana party, a batch of American students may join, and I can combine these American and Indian devotees together under discipline. The American boys are being trained up strictly on spiritual line, which I have already explained to you in my last letter.Similarly, the Indian boys or girls must be spiritually trained; it is only by spiritually trained vibration can implement spiritual seeds in the heart of the audience, not otherwise.
March 4 1968 letter Hansadutta
In the meantime, you train the Kirtana party as you are doing, and the responsive method is all perfect. I have already written you in my last letter in this connection, and again I say that the responsive method should be practiced. There may be more than one singer, just like you may take the leader’s seat, sometimes Jaya Govinda may take the leader’s seat, sometimes others may take the leader’s seat, but the method of chanting and responding, then chanting, should always be followed. When I come to New York certainly we shall devise plans on this touring program, not only traveling within the States, but also traveling all over the world. And when we go to India in course of our travel, we shall collect some Indian devotees also to join us. Not only Indian, we shall gradually collect devotees from all over the world without any discrimination. Our Krishna Consciousness movement must be all-pervading, as Krishna is all-pervading.
Aug 23 1968 letter to unknown
Those who are agitated in the mind, they will hear neither Krishna Conscious philosophy nor Christian philosophy. So to make the mind smoother, you should chant Hare Krishna nicely, not to do it by changing the philosophical topics. The chanting will work. When there is no possibility of talking philosophy, we should simply chant, nothing more. Don’t talk anything. That will help both the singer and the audience. Your little speech is very nice. Caitanya Mahaprabhu also said there is millions of Names of God, and one can chant any one of them he prefers. We chant Hare Krishna because Lord Caitanya also chanted Hare Krishna. We recommend to chant any Name of God, but we prefer to chant the Holy Name of God, Krishna, following the Footprints of Lord Caitanya.
Aug 31 1971 letter to Ekayani
So far your questions: Any tune can be used. When it is in relationship with Krishna, that makes it bona fide; Some precautionary measure should be taken to keep bugs from the altar and Deity. You cannot allow them to disturb the Deity. Best is that you try and catch them and throw them out rather than kill them but if killing them is the only alternative, what can be done?; Tulasi plants are liberated souls who want to serve Krishna in that way. Anyone who even desires to serve Krishna is liberated, what to speak of one who is actually engaged in devotional serviceexpansion means remains in Goloka Vrindaban and at the same time expands all over the universe. Krishna can expand, so his devotee can also expand; Vallabhacaryas teachings are bona fide. This difference of opinion is there always. Just like you differ with your husband, but that doesn’t mean that you and your husband are not devotees; In the spiritual sky there is no birth, so where is the question of baby? Krishna is there eternally as Kisora, a 16 year old youth. His childhood pastimes exhibited in the material universes. Best thing is if you chant Hare Krishna and go to Krishna Loka and find out the answers to all these questions yourself.
Some Conclusions--There is so much valuable information in these letters from Srila Prabhupada and I include much of it in these letters even when there is  an “off topic” in them. One thing I noticed was so many letters to Hamsadutta and not so much others. He was so much into kirtan which is what this is all about anyway !
For example who knew this?…Tulasi plants are liberated souls who want to serve Krishna in that way.
Or this?…So far your questions: Any tune can be used.
Or this?… But all the members of the party will be pure devotees. None of them should be outsiders. We do not want any outsiders as far as possible.
And on this note about who is a pure devotee…
(Dec 14 1972 letter Tusta krsna
We advise everyone to address one another as Prabhu. Prabhu means master, so how the master should be disobeyed? Others, they are also pure devotees. All of my disciples are pure devotees. Anyone sincerely serving the spiritual master is a pure devotee, it may be Siddhasvarupa or others, a-Siddhasvarupa. This must be very clearly stated. It is not only that your Siddhasvarupa is a pure devotee and not others. Do not try to make a faction. Siddhasvarupa is a good soul. But others should not be misled. Anyone who is surrendered to the spiritual master is a pure devotee, it doesn’t matter if Siddhasvarupa or non-Siddhasvarupa. Amongst ourselves one should respect others as Prabhu, master, one another. As soon as we distinguish here is a pure devotee, here is a non-pure devotee, that means I am a nonsense. Why you only want to be in the spiritual sky with Siddhasvarupa? Why not all? If Siddhasvarupa can go, why not everyone? Siddhasvarupa will go, you will go, Syamasundara will go, all others will go. We will have another ISKCON there. Of course, Mr. Nair must stay.)
Hare Krsna
damaghosa das