Your ever well-wisher
Letters from Srila Prabhupada #19
21st February, 1957

Shri K.M. Munshi,
Governor of Uttar Pradesh,
Raj Bhavan, Lucknow.

Dear Shri Munshiji,

Please accept my respectful Namaskar. I hope you have duly received my letter of the 18th instant in the meantime. By the by while reading some of the literatures of your great institution, it has come to my notice that you have in your mind about the various temples and their respective Pujaris also.

In this connection, I wish to draw your attention to my paper "Back to Godhead" issue No.VI dated 20/5/56 in which an idea of a Gita Nagari (PP2) and how to preach the teachings of Bhagwat Gita are suggested. In that article I have also touched the question of these various temples (PP3) of India and how to utilise them for public welfare work.

A thorough reformation of the management of these temples are required for spreading Theistic knowledge through these centres. No intelligent person is now attracted in such temples, because the purpose of these temples have been lost sight of due to negligence on the parts of both the public and pujaris. As a matter of fact, therefore, no new temples or places of spiritual enlightenment are constructed now in the newly constructed colonies of different cities. There are some of the signs of materialistic trend.

If I remember correctly, you have been
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criticising in the meeting of the 16th instant about the culture of Holywood cinemas. The Mayavadi philosophy having killed the spiritual variegatedness of the Supreme Being -- the people are generally attracted in the variegatedness of material existence. In the vedanta sutras, we have direct information of how a spiritual entity is joyful -- full of spiritual bliss. This idea of enjoyment is focussed through a material ________ and as such the spiritual focus is reflected in a perverted manner. The attention of the people in general is attracted by the cinemas in place of temples, because the Mayavadi philosophy -- impersonality of Godhead has created a void in the spiritual realm. If you create a void in the Spirit unnecessarily, you have to create a fill-up in the material existence and that is the cause why temples are being replaced by vulgar cinemas.

So simple criticism of cinema houses will not fulfill the purpose. We have to create tangible interest in the temples for spiritual advancement of knowledge. With that purpose in view, it is necessary that the priests and pujaris must be enlightened men both in Theism and Sanskrit language also. They shall be primary teachers of the Bhagwat Gita in different temples. Both these temples and their management have to be reformed in the present context. We shall have to accomodate the process of temple entry by all classes of people but they may be so admitted for proper qualification and not for the purpose of a mere show.

Om Tat Sat.
Yours truly,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta
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