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1968 Correspondence

Character building is the groundwork for seating Krishna Consciousness and the Vedic injunction is that one can advance in spiritual life by following the rules of austerity and celibacy.
Letter to Jaya Mazo -- Los Angeles 18 January, 1968: I thank you very much for your appreciation of my disciples in N.Y. and you will be glad to know all my disciples in different centres are being so trained. The four principles of restriction, namely, no illicit sex relations; no animal food; no intoxication; and no gambling, are acting on their character. Character building is the groundwork for seating Krishna Consciousness and the Vedic injunction is that one can advance in spiritual life by following the rules of austerity and celibacy. We do not bluff our students that he has liberty to do all sorts of nonsense, and at the same time advance in spiritual understanding. And because we are a little bit strict in this matter, we have not a very large number of followers, neither do we want any large no. nonsense followers. We want only one moon at night, and we do not care for millions of stars. When we meet we shall talk further on this matter, and I hope you shall be initiated. I thank you very much for your nice letter, and hope you are well.
We must say the truth, as they are prescribed; in the Bhagavad-gita there are 18 kinds of austerities, 13rd chapter. The restrictions which we are following are austerities. Without austerity, without celibacy, any amount of nonsense meditation will not help.
Letter to Sivananda -- Los Angeles 12 February, 1968: You want to counteract the activities of Maharishi, but you must know Maharishi is the agent of Maya. Our process of Krishna Consciousness and Sankirtana movement is already counteracting the spell of Maya, but the Maharishi says that you remain under the spell of Maya. His preaching is that you enjoy, and simply you pay him $35, and purchase his mantra. People in general are already under the spell of Maya. That is to say, they want sense gratification. If anyone encourages the method of sense gratification, at the same time become a yogi, why people will not prefer that method? We say there is no illicit sexlife, no intoxication, no meat eating, no gambling, so if Maharishi says there is no restrictions, naturally large number of people will follow him. That means they want to be cheated, and Krishna sends them a cheater. We cannot cheat people like him. We must say the truth, as they are prescribed; in the Bhagavad-gita there are 18 kinds of austerities, 13rd chapter. The restrictions which we are following are austerities. Without austerity, without celibacy, any amount of nonsense meditation will not help. So there is no comparison of our method with Maharishi's method. We are not out to counteract any kind of vandalism. We must present the genuine thing before the public, and if they are intelligent enough they will take it up and realize it. The followers of Maharishi are not intelligent class of men. If you have any advancement in the knowledge of Bhagavad-gita, you can test any follower of Maharishi, you will find he is nil.
Regarding the location of your temple: I can understand that the students are not very happy neighbors. Practically they are not students. Because the system in your country to allow the boys and girls enjoying sex life from the very early age makes them most irresponsible and careless. Student life means complete celibacy, but that is not observed in your country, rather they are indirectly encouraged by distribution of contraceptive pills.
Letter to Satsvarupa -- Montreal 8 August, 1968: Regarding the location of your temple: I can understand that the students are not very happy neighbors. Practically they are not students. Because the system in your country to allow the boys and girls enjoying sex life from the very early age makes them most irresponsible and careless. Student life means complete celibacy, but that is not observed in your country, rather they are indirectly encouraged by distribution of contraceptive pills. If things are allowed to go on like this, the future of the Western world is very dark. By such unrestricted association of young boys and girls, is gradually turning them to be victims of the hippy and communist philosophy. So far I have considered it is very difficult to turn the people's face toward spiritual advancement. There is so much protest all over the world in the Catholic church on account of the Pope's refusal to sanction the contraceptive method. Even if you change the locality, you cannot expect very good audience. But still, wherever we may remain, we have to chant and distribute Prasadam, and I think the best method is to do it in the public parks.
A brahmacari is good for living a life of celibacy, but a person who can live a life of celibacy in the presence of a beautiful and obliging wife is more than a brahmacari.
Letter to Hamsaduta -- Los Angeles 12 January, 1968: I am very glad to note when you write to say that both you and Himavati miss your sleep and go to bed late. By Krishna's grace, Himavati is not only beautiful externally, but she is beautiful within also. Otherwise how she can say that you may have the license for sense gratification but what will you do with this license? A brahmacari is good for living a life of celibacy, but a person who can live a life of celibacy in the presence of a beautiful and obliging wife is more than a brahmacari. Of course anyone who is stuck up with only one wife is also called brahmacari. You will set a very good example if both of you agree not to have sense gratification anymore and still you remain as husband and wife together. This is possible, however, only if both of you are fixed up in Krishna Consciousness activities. I thank you very much for your sincere endeavor to do this activity.

1972 Correspondence

I have allowed my disciples to marry as a concession for having household life, because you American boys and girls are accustomed to mix freely with one another, so what can I do? But brahmacari life or celibacy is better, because if the semina is saved it fertilizes the brain for sharpening the memory, and if there is good memory, our Krishna Consciousness becomes perfect: hearing, chanting, remembering—that is the process.
Letter to Sri Govinda -- Jaipur 20 January, 1972: If you and your wife want to have children for raising them in Krishna Consciousness, and if you are prepared to take the full responsibility for delivering them from the clutches of birth and death, then I have no objection. I have allowed my disciples to marry as a concession for having household life, because you American boys and girls are accustomed to mix freely with one another, so what can I do? But brahmacari life or celibacy is better, because if the semina is saved it fertilizes the brain for sharpening the memory, and if there is good memory, our Krishna Consciousness becomes perfect: hearing, chanting, remembering—that is the process.
As for your question about celibacy, if you want to remain celibate for life, I have no objection.
Letter to Rudra, Radhika -- Calcutta 20 February, 1972: As for your question about celibacy, if you want to remain celibate for life, I have no objection.

1973 Correspondence

You say that your "association together was hindering your advancement." But Krsna consciousness marriage system should not be taken in that way, that if there is any botheration that means something is hindering my spiritual progress, no. Once it is adopted, the grhastha life, even it may be troublesome at times, it must be fulfilled as my occupational duty. Of course, it is better to remain unmarried, celibate.
Letter to Madhukara -- Bombay 4 January, 1973: For these questions arising between married husband and wife, you are requesting me to leave your wife and take the vanaprastha order of life, for these questions you must consult with and take permission from presidents and GBC. Yes, I know your wife Lilasakti, and I know that she is very serious and advanced disciple. But now you are married to her, there is some obligation according to our Krsna consciousness or Vedic system. These things cannot be taken so lightly, otherwise the whole thing will become a farce. Simply get married without considering what is the serious nature of married life, then if there is little disturbance, or if I do not like my wife or my husband, let me go away, everyone else is doing like that. So in this way the whole thing is becoming a farce. You say that your "association together was hindering your advancement." But Krsna consciousness marriage system should not be taken in that way, that if there is any botheration that means something is hindering my spiritual progress, no. Once it is adopted, the grhastha life, even it may be troublesome at times, it must be fulfilled as my occupational duty. Of course, it is better to remain unmarried, celibate. But so many women are coming, we cannot reject them. If someone comes to Krsna it is our duty to give them protection. Krsna has informed us in Bhagavad-gita that even women and sudras and others inferior class of men can take refuge in Him. So the problem is there, the women must have a husband to give protection. Of course, if the women can remain unmarried, and if there is suitable arrangement for the temple to protect them, just like in the Christian Church there is nunnery for systematic program of engaging the ladies and protecting them, that is also nice. But if there is sex desire, how to control it? Women are normally very lusty, more lusty than men, and they are weaker sex, it is difficult for them to make spiritual advancement without the help of husband. For so many reasons, our women must have husband. That's all right, but if once they have got a husband he goes away so quickly, that will not be very much happy for them.

1974 Correspondence

Devotees should have no wife if possible, but those who cannot maintain celibacy, they can marry one wife.
Letter to Sukadeva -- Bombay 24 November, 1974: Regarding free will and pre-destination, yes, materially everything is decided. Spiritually you can make advancement despite all material destiny. Materially you cannot change things as they are but spiritually it is possible. No, devotees are not allowed more than one wife. Devotees should have no wife if possible, but those who cannot maintaincelibacy, they can marry one wife. At the present moment people are so unfortunate they cannot maintain even one wife. First of all at the present moment they are not married and remain mostly unmarried. So for such persons even one wife is a great burden. Under the circumstances how one can think of more than one wife? This is stupidity.

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