Letters on India


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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19119

Once again, your latest edition of BACK TO GODHEAD was a smasher. I read it through with tear-filled eyes. Especially, the article “Impressions of India” was a most moving and accurate account of “Indian” attitudes toward life.

Although an Indian myself, I’ve never been to India and yet I hope to go (I’m just 18). The spirit within me pulls me strongly toward India, not because it is “my” country but because Krsna, the essence of life itself, is perfectly understood in that country, where so much time and energy are spent for Him even now. Please don’t misunderstand me when I say “perfectly understood.” Of course not everyone in India understands Krsna, but practically everyone at least makes an effort to understand Him.

I have a question. Since we are all part and parcel of Sri Krsna, why were we separated from Him in the first place? In the beginning, why did God create the universe—and then separate the souls and let them loose in the material world?

Once again, thanks for your wonderful magazine. It helps me dream of a time when all the world will be at peace, there will be no cow-slaughtering, no nuclear horrors or political haggling or wars—just a little piece of land for everyone, a few cows, and the Hare Krsna mantra to chant!

Arti P. London, England

Krsna has complete independence, and because we are small parts of Krsna, we have partial independence. That independence consists of the freedom to choose whether or not we want to serve Krsna. Most living entities eternally serve Krsna, and they are ever-liberated souls who reside in the spiritual world. But a small number of us misuse our independence by choosing to neglect Krsna rather than serve Him. Instead of desiring to give enjoyment to Krsna, we desire to be the center of enjoyment ourselves. In this way we separate ourselves from Krsna, by our own desires. Because all living beings are constitutionally Krsna’s servants, our desire to enjoy separately from Krsna is unnatural. Nonetheless, when we want to enjoy in this way, Krsna Himself reluctantly fulfills our desires by placing us in the illusion that we are fully independent and can do whatever we like. The Lord creates the material universe to provide a place where those of us who want to forget Him can seemingly do as we please, without Krsna consciousness. But for our benefit the Lord gives us His instructions in the Vedic literature and sends us His representatives, the pure devotees, to try to persuade us to give up our separatist mentality and return to our natural position as His servants. Separation from Krsna is only an illusion, but we are now in that illusion, because we desire it. As soon as we desire to be Krsna conscious, Krsna withdraws that illusion and helps us make progress back to our real life of devotional service in eternity, knowledge, and bliss.

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