Was Srila Prabhupada Systematically “Positioned”?
[Transcribed at Gita-nagari August, 1980]
I wrote a very abject letter to Srila Prabhupada. Then a little later, we had a nice reply letter. I was very, very thankful to have a letter back from him. Very simple, just
“Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated 10/12/76 along with all the letters from the children. My blessings to Dinesh ….”
He mentioned all of the children, about twenty, twenty- five of them, he mentioned by name.
“My blessings to all these children. Hoping this will meet you in good health. Your ever well-wisher.”
There was another exchange. I had been having difficulty with my service because I found it difficult to cope with the atmosphere of Africa, so I was always interested in children’s work, and I decided to try to make a version of Krishna Book for younger children.
So every day I went down, spent a long time writing a simplified form of Krishna Book. However, I was doubtful what to do with it. In the end, two or three other devotees said, I should send some of it to Srila Prabhupada and see what he said.
My wife sent a letter to Srila Prabhupada and sent some of the manuscript. At that time, Jagadisha was secretary, Srila Prabhupada’s secretary, and I did not hear anything more for a long time. So I do not know— maybe he did not, somehow or other, give it to Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada did not like it or what, I do not know. Anyway, finally Srila Prabhupada got it after Tamal Krishna Maharaja became his secretary in 1977. So we had already reached London. Srila Prabhupada wrote a letter.
“My dear Lilavati,
Please accept my blessings. I thank you for your letter dated December 3rd, 1976, along with the enclosed manuscript. Your letter has taken a very long time to reach me.
Our literature is not sentimental stories. It is meant to be understood by the intelligent class of men. Children and those with childlike mentalities will do better to chant Hare Krsna and take prasadam. We cannot water down the philosophy to make it more palatable. Our books must remain as they are. Do not waste your time any more with such attempts. We are not going to publish it. Whatever books we have got let them try to understand. If they cannot, then let them chant Hare Krishna and take prasadam.
Hoping this finds you and your husband well. Your ever well-wisher, , AC. Bhaktivedanta Swami.”
That finished any ideas I had for writing children’s book. Even our daughter Subhadra, I showed her the letter and she said,
“Oh, Srila Prabhupada is chastising you.”