Letter to: Govardhana

25 December, 1969
My Dear Govardhana das
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated December 9, 1969 along with your prayer beads. I have duly chanted upon these beads and thereby have accepted you as an initiated disciple. Your spiritual name is Govardhana das Brahmacari. Govardhana is the name of the hill which Krishna lifted up to protect the inhabitants of Vrindaban from the heavy rainfalls which were being sent down by Indra. This Govardhana Hill is still there in Vrindaban, and it is worshiped by the devotees of Krishna just as Krishna Himself is worshiped. You have a very nice opportunity to quickly advance in spiritual perfection because you have the good association of the devotees in Hawaii. This association with devotees of Krishna is recommended by Lord Caitanya Himself as the most important factor for developing Krishna Consciousness. This is because our dormant love for Krishna is covered up by the material contamination, but it is quickly aroused when the association of a pure devotee is there. The example is given that when an iron rod is put into a blazing fire, the rod soon takes on the qualities of the fire; namely light and heat. But if the same rod is put amidst some ice, then it will remain simply dark and cold. In the same way, a devotee should associate with fellow devotees, and in relationship to others the devotee should try to elevate them also onto the spiritual platform. So please follow this principle and surely you will mark great strides in the matter of your spiritual advancement. The four basic regulative restrictions we observe are 1) no illicit sex connections, 2) no intoxication, 3) no meat-eating, and 4) no gambling. You must try to chant at least 16 rounds on you beads daily, and avoid the ten offenses to chanting which Gaurasundara Prabhu will instruct you about. When you are having questions to ask, you inquire from Gaurasundara and I also will be happy to help you in any way possible. I hope this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

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