And I am very concerned that due to your sincerity and service mood you have improved in Krishna Consciousness excellently. Whatever allocation of duty there may be, if we try to execute such specific duty sincerely, that alone can make us much more advanced in Krishna Consciousness. In the Bhagavad-gita, it is stated that for the fixed up devotee there is one duty. This duty is understood through the transparent medium via media of the Spiritual Master. It is better service to Krishna and Spiritual Master in a feeling of separation; sometimes there is risk in the matter of direct service. For example, Kirtanananda was giving me direct service by massaging, cooking for me, and so many other things; but later on by dictation of Maya, he became puffed up, so much so that he thought his Spiritual Master a common man, and was existing only on account of his service. This mentality at once pushed him down. Of course, those who are sincere devotee, they take direct service as an opportunity, but the illusory energy is so strong that it acts on this doctrine of familiarity breeds contempt. Kirtanananda was thinking I was existing on his service, instead of realizing I was giving him opportunity to do me some service.
My advice to you is to continue your good attitude that you are keeping now and this alone will help you in advancing your cause of Krishna Consciousness. I am pleased that you are very diligently assisting Rayarama. Rayarama is a sincere worker and by assisting him you will be benefited. You are doing your best and I shall advise you to continue this attitude.
Regarding smearing on the Body of Lord Jagannatha: You should always know that the Body of Lord Jagannatha is spiritual. We are given the chance of serving the Spiritual Body and according to Revealed Scriptures, we should serve the Transcendental Body of the Deity just as we try to serve our worshipable personalities. To continue a sense of devotion, it is better to wash the Body of Lord Jagannatha with hot water so that we may have the feeling that Lord Jagannatha is more comfortable. We should offer foodstuffs to the Deity and allow enough time to eat them. These are all transcendental sentiments. At Vrindaban, the Deities are offered foodstuffs and time is allowed as in the case of others. Yes, before offering anything to the Deity you must be satisfied that it is a first class offering and there is no objection if you taste it by smelling. But you should not smell for other purposes. The whole idea is that devotional service should always be immune from sense gratification. (Letter to Madhusudana- San Francisco, 30th December, 1967).

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated July 23, 1974 and have noted the contents. Regarding the worship of our Gaura Nitai by women pujaris, we worship Lord Caitanya in His householder life when He was with His wife, and not as a sannyasi. So, it is alright for women to do this service. But, besides this, service is spiritual and there can be no material designation. In Bhagavad-gita it is stated by Lord Krishna: striyo vaisyas tatha sudras te'pi yanti param gatim. The principle is that everyone who is properly initiated and following the rules and regulations can worship. This activity can not on the material platform.
According to the smarta vidhi, women cannot touch deity during menstrual period but the goswami viddhi allows. But it is better not to do it. One thing is that the seva can never be stopped for any reason. This also for the cooking. (Letter to Amsu- Vrindaban, 13th. August, 1974).

Syamasundara is a good servitor from the very beginning, and so is Harsarani. I am very much obliged to you all that you are taking care of Jagannatha so nicely. The more you make the Deity of Jagannatha attractively dressed, the more you shall become spiritually attractive.
If Jagannatha desires, then I may also join you, but the idea of making San Francisco as New Jagannatha Puri is my transcendental dream, and if you fulfill this dream, I shall be so much obliged to you all.
The example of Naradaji, that when he realized Krishna in his previous life, that life and next life, there is no difference. The example is given sometimes in the coconut skin when it is dried up, the fruit within the covering of coconut is hard. And if the coconut is shaken, it is found that the coconut fruit is moving within. Because it has dried up and broken away from the inner walls of the coconut skin. So it has nothing to do with the outer skin, even though it appears that it is within that skin. Similarly, when one is purely in Krishna Consciousness, it may appear that he is within the material existence, but actually he has nothing to do with it. He is dried up, like the coconut fruit; and that process of drying-up is forgetting all sense gratification, and executing Krishna Consciousness full time. So, when one is purely in Krishna Consciousness, his present life and in future life are identical.
(Letter to Upendra-Allston, Mass, 1st, June, 1968).

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