A letter from an Iskcon missionary in China to a senior Godbrother in New York City.
My dear Rupanuga Prabhu,
Please accept my very humble obeisances and prayers for our continuousassociation in the service of His Divine and Wonderful Grace Srila Prabhupada. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Yes, Hong Kong ISKCON lives! Please find enclosed several photos of our activities here, just 25 miles from Red China. I am sorry I have not sent them sooner, but things here are so amazing with just the two of us, Jagajjanani (my wife) and myself. Just today we have officially gotten our first temple here in Hong Kong. The address is 34 Cameron Road, IFD, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Telephone number K-678 240. I will send you our card if I have a chance.
So far our activities here have been mostly with the Indian population, and very much with the children of the Indian community. The children are like plants on the desert, thirsting from the heat of maya, but ready to blossom with the water from the ocean of mercy. All glories to the holy names. We have been making puppet shows, Krsna conscious card games, Krsna conscious crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and soon we will start on Krsna conscious coloring books—it’s unlimited the nonsense that can be converted to spiritual energy by the mercy of the purest devotee, Srila Prabhupada.
Krsna is so kind to me, and I would very much appreciate receiving a letter from you, because it is very rare that we hear of the wonderful activities from the U.S., the East Coast especially. I know you are busy, but maybe you or your good wife could find time to write back.
The people here are amazing. They have never seen anything like us, and they unabashedly stare and stare and stare. Some of the photos are in a market place in a district called Yau Ma Ti, and the pictures make the place look picturesque, but it is crores of times dirtier than the East Village. And everything is sold on the street for eating. Some people eat everything. One of the closest friends we have, and the most helpful, is a dogeater.
In every town and village will the holy names be sung. So there is no worry. These people too will feel the ecstasy of the holy names.
This place is one market. Now the most valuable item is being offered to everyone free—Krsna consciousness. We have classes each Sunday and Monday for the children, and they all have devotional notebooks with pictures from “Back to Godhead” and pictures of all the devotees, and Srila Prabhupada, and all the prayers in it, too. They sing prayers, dance, and want to learn everything. Their parents all worship Lord Siva and work 12 hours each day at least, and they don’t have time to teach them about Krsna. So we have based our movement in Hong Kong around the little devotees, and in this way we influence the parents. We have walked into homes and seen pictures of Srila Prabhupada placed spontaneously on the family altar, and then we feel we are 100% successful.
We plan to start a school here, a public school eventually subsidized by the government. We are also starting to make incense, and our hopes are to have the temple supported by the Hare Krsna Temple of Hong Kong Membership Program. Also, our idea is to have at least six temples in Hong Kong in the foreseeable future.
We have already printed a little in Chinese, so the Asia Branch of ISKCON Press is underway. We hope to get a small press donated, and we too will be heard all around the world. If people just read about Krsna, they are sure to become purified and get started on the way back home, back to Godhead. We are distributing Krsna Books here, and they are being received very enthusiastically. People love to look at the pictures and hear about Krsna’s wonderful activities. Spiritually, everyone is starving—we’re all so trapped by Kali-yuga [the Age of Quarrel]. But we are so kindly placed here by His Divine Grace to help overthrow the dictatorship of maya. Sometimes it is so difficult here, but Krsna has unfailingly protected us, taught us lessons, revealed Himself to us in so many ways.
Rupanuga Prabhu, I have heard you have compiled one slide show. If you could please send me copies I would greatly appreciate it, and I would greatly be able to engage them, and also I would be able to distribute them all over Asia.
Sometimes it has been so difficult. We have been temporarily located for seven months. The day after my good wife came to Hong Kong, Bali Mardan Prabhu, after marrying us the night before, left to open the Singapore temple. So we were two strangers, left alone with Srila Prabhupada, Lord Krsna, Lord Caitanya, and everything worked out O.K.
I am planning a simple article, mostly pictures, called “Krsna Consciousness for the Children of Hong Kong” or something to that effect. I will send it after a little bit. Reality in the material world means birth, death, old age, and disease, and we tend to forget that people are really suffering these things, and they hurt, temporarily manifested as they are. Krsna Consciousness is the only cure, presented freely and with the love of a father calling his children home. (Srila Prabhupada calling us.)
It is late, and tomorrow maybe we will move into Krsna’s home for us. So please write back. Some of the pictures are of Hong Kong University, some of an engagement at a Hindu temple here (no one knows anything about Krsna except Srila Prabhupada), and the Yau Ma Ti shots. Please forward these and the letter to Back to Godhead, and I think maybe they can put together a short picture article. Please tell me how your good wife is doing, and also my dear Godbrother Ekendra dasa [Rupanuga’s son]. If he can, please ask him to write to me. Maybe I can fix him up to have a pen pal with a nice Indian devotee little boy here named Suresa. Can Ekendra write? How old is he? It has been about two years since I saw him. O.K, Prabhu, please accept my very humble obeisances and prayers that I will one day be able to serve you. If there is anything I can ever do to help you serve His Divine Grace, I beg you to ask me please.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Bhurijana dasa adhikari