I say, the whole world is full of rascals.
A letter has arrived from Giriraja prabhu reporting on his recent activities in Bombay. After informing Srila Prabhupada of some banking arrangements, he gave an update on the upcoming Gita Pratisthan meeting. "I spoke to Ram Krishna Bajaj the day before he left for Europe, and since then I have met his secretary in charge of Gita Pratisthan. The secretary says that Mr. Bajaj will arrange for accommodations for all devotees in our sankirtan party and in addition he is willing to publicize our programme throughout the District. Mr. Bajaj suggested that we have the programme in his family temple in Varda since Paunar is just a small town about 8 miles away. He suggested we could have the programme the day before the actual Gita conference begins and that day is Saturday. I told Bajaj's secretary that we would like Vinobaji to attend our programme also and he said that Vinobaji has taken a vow and never leaves Paunar. He suggested that we could arrange a separate programme for Vinobaji in Paunar perhaps on one of the two evenings of the conference itself. The official talks by members of the committee will take place throughout the day and the two evenings are free. Mr. Bajaj wants to arrange a committee meeting on one of the evenings so we might be able to have our programme on the other evening. The secretary said that Mr. Bajaj did not want to pay for the transportation of the sankirtana party and that Mr. Bajaj will be returning to Bombay around November 15th."
Prabhupada advised Giriraja to circumvent the secretary and deal only with Mr. Bajaj himself. Otherwise, he advised, our men could go in our own bus if it is available.
On his other current main business, Giriraja wrote that he and the Bombay devotees have been busy enlisting the support of our life members and leading citizens, and that many are coming forward to help with statements attesting to the authenticity of ISKCON and Krishna consciousness. He had some suggestions on how to further the campaign. "Many of our friends in Bombay are helping to counteract the movement against us in USA. Sadajiwatlal suggested that Your Divine Grace include Swami Gangesvar Anandji Maharaj in your efforts from Vrindavan. Also perhaps a delegation of leading citizens and government leaders from Delhi could accompany us to the American Embassy to officially protest the harassment of our devotees and request the Ambassador to inform the authorities in America that this harassment will damage Indo American relations and should be stopped." He enclosed an article from a Bombay newspaper, which was strongly in our favor.
Prabhupada was pleased with Giriraja's efforts. "It is good that our friends are coming forward to help in Bombay. Let them present a statement that it is a genuine movement. All Indians are interested in spreading this movement. Krishna is accepted as the Supreme Lord by all Indians. His birthday ceremony, Janmastami, is observed by all Indians. In Bombay there is an embassy branch. Our Bombay friends should go there to express their protest."
Giriraja also gave an upbeat account of the recent festivities at their temple. "We had a very nice celebration for Govardhan Puja and about 1,000 persons attended. We prepared a big mountain of prasada and served full meals to all of the guests. Of course, we had a full programme of Krishna Consciousness, including a drama of the story of the lifting of Govardhan Hill. We also had a very important programme at the house of a leading doctor of Bombay Hospital who is also related to the Birlas. Mr. and Mrs. Mohatta and Mrs. Birla (Ashok's mother) also attended and were exceedingly pleased. Later Dr. Jhawer said he would help us collect funds for the Gurukul. He said he could get at least Rs. 1,00,000 from Mr. Maheshwari (who has already given me Rs. 50,000) and a 'very substantial' donation from the Birlas. He said he would approach members of all communities and he seems more sincere and enthusiastic than Mr. Mohatta himself. Presently I am compiling a brochure for the Bombay Gurukula to facilitate the collections." He signed his letter, "Your dog, Giriraja dasa Brahmacari."
Prabhupada was very pleased to hear that wealthy, influential persons are actively supporting us. "Encourage Dr. Jhawer, I know he is very enthusiastic. Mohata can give lots of help." And, practical as ever, he asked, "One thing, is the sanction there for our Gurukula construction?"
Giriraja also included some information for me in response to a letter I recently sent him. I am having trouble with the Uher cassette tape recorder because the electrical voltage here in Vrindavana Fluctuates so much. Sometimes it drops to 130 volts and sometimes it shoots up over 300 volts. The power supply has already burnt out once and I got it fixed, but just in case it becomes irreparable, I thought to carry with us a spare Uher reel-to-reel that is stored in Prabhupada's almira in Bombay. I had also asked him to send some spare tapes for Prabhupada's Grundig Dictaphone and a voltage converter that was in storage. He was able to retrieve the Dictaphone tapes and converter and is sending them with Dvijavara dasa tomorrow, but he said that the keys I sent him for Prabhupada's almira don't work, which is a mystery to me.
Kirtanananda Maharaja sent a copy of the latest edition of New Vrindaban's Brijbasi Spirit. Prabhupada read through it, enjoying the feature articles and especially the update on the Palace construction. It kindled his interest and he wrote back encouragingly, "I am in due receipt of the October issue of Brijbasi Spirit. It is very nice. I have read with great pleasure the article about the construction of my palace. When is it going to be finished? When it is finished I will be anxious to come there to stay."
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Taking Srila Prabhupada's advice yesterday, Jagadisa immediately arranged for Jagaman to go to the Hyderabad farm to be engaged in practical service there. Jagaman left by train today.
Reference: Transcendental Diary Volume 5
Author: Hari Sauri Dasa