Letter to: Jaya Gopala

Los Angeles
11 January, 1970

Columbus, Ohio
My Dear Jaya Gopala,
Please accept my blessings. I thank you very much for your letter dated January 9, 1970 along with your check, dollars 15, for my maintenance. For a servant of Krishna, there is no distinction of hell and heaven. Our only ambition should be to serve the Lord. It does not matter where the service is demanded. It is exactly like the soldiers are asked to come forward to fight and there is no question of selecting the place. There are many sincere souls like you in the western world and my Guru Maharaja wanted me to come here and to pick up as many of you as is possible. And I am trying my best. By Grace of Krishna, you have joined me to help in this Krishna Consciousness propaganda and Krishna will surely be pleased upon you very much. Please try to continue this activity of cooperation and we are sure to come out successful.
Regarding Volcer marrying, for the time being they can be married by the civil court without delay. Both the husband and wife may be allowed to associate with you and after a few days, if you recommend for initiation, then you can send their beads and they will be initiated by post. At that time you can perform our regular wedding ceremony as usual. That will be nice. Uninitiated couples cannot be married by us. We shall not take the responsibility of an ordinary marriage maker. Our practice is to help devotees for advancing in Krishna Consciousness. In such activities, when there is necessity, we get them married also.
Regarding your question of an initiated person falling prey to the maya, the answer is that so long we are in this material world, there is always chance of being spoiled by Maya, so we must stick with vow to the Lotus Feet of Krishna. An initiated devotee is given the chance for becoming free from the entanglement of karma wheel. Initiated means beginning, not perfection. The Spiritual Master's business is to guide him to the perfectional point. But if one does not strictly follow the guidance of a bona fide Spiritual Master his initiation does not bear any meaning. The initiation performance is an agreement by the disciples to abide by the order of the Spiritual Master. Therefore, if the Spiritual Master is bona fide and the disciple is serious to abide by His order, then the success is sure. But if a disciple follows strictly the devotional way of life, he is no longer a karmi and all his activities which may appear to be like ordinary work, or it may be activity according to Scriptural injunction, are counted as devotional service. And devotional service in all circumstances is free from the actions and reactions of karma. I hope this will clear the matter.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

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