|The Message of
His Divine Grace
"Geeta Press" Gorakhpur
Tuesday 20th November, 1956
|Where is Godhead?
Is it possible to see Him?
Wednesday 20th June, 1956
|Letters to the Editor
|Anti-Material World or
the Kingdom of Godhead
Saturday 20th February, 1960
and Unsatiated Lust
Friday 5th October, 1956
|Human Welfare Activities
Friday 20th April, 1956
|Variety of Planetary System
Tuesday 5th April, 1960
|"Purushottam" the Godhead
Monday 5th November, 1956
Wednesday 20th June, 1956
in English Poetry
20 April 1960
|The Need of Prayers
Tuesday 20th November, 1956
|To The Subscribers
and Sympathizers of
"Back to Godhead"
|Thanks to the
Government of India
|"Prayers" of King Kulashekhara
Monday 20th October, 1958
|The Need of the Time
Tuesday 20th November, 1956
|The Science of Congregational
Chanting of the Name of the Lord
5 April 1960
|Back to Godhead
Wednesday 20th June, 1956
|Sufferings of Humanity
Saturday 5th May, 1956
|English Version of
some Vaishnava Songs
Wednesday 20th April, 1960
The Supreme 'Vedantist'
Saturday 20th October, 1956
|Hope Against Hope
Friday 5th October, 1956
(Athato Brahama Jijnasa)
Wednesday 20th April, 1960
|Definition of Vice & Its Scope
Tuesday 20th November, 1956
|An Essential Service
Monday 5th November, 1956
|Lord Caitanya’s Mission
Excerpted from BTG,
1973 Vol. 1, No. 49 & 50a
Back to Godhead magazine (BTG) was Srila Prabhupada’s first step towards fulfilling his Guru’s (Bhaktisiddhanta) order to preach Krishna consciousness in English. In February 1944 His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada published the first issue of BACK TO GODHEAD magazine. At his home in Calcutta, he wrote the articles, typed the manuscripts, and designed a logo essentially the same logo used on the covers of BACK TO GODHEAD today: an effulgent Lord Caitanya, shining light upon the souls of this world.
"From his front room at 6 Sita Kanta Banerjee, Abhay (as Srila Prabhupada was known) conceived, wrote, edited, and typed the manuscript for His magazine. He designed a logo, arranged in the style of a banner across the top of the page. In the upper left-hand corner was Lord Chaitanya, effulgent with rays of light, like rays from the sun. In the lower right were silhouettes of a crowd of people, in darkness but groping to receive light from Lord Chaitanya. And between Lord Chaitanya and the people, the title "BACK TO GODHEAD" appeared. In the lower right corner was a picture of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati seated at his writing, looking up thoughtfully as he composed. Above the logo ran the motto 'Godhead is Light, Nescience is darkness. Where there is Godhead there is no Nescience.'"
Although the logo went through several changes over the years, today it still matches Srila Prabhupada's original idea. New color artwork of Lord Chaitanya and the people facing him replaced the original black and white design. The only difference is that by the desire of his disciples Srila Prabhupada, rather than his spiritual master (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati), now sits across from Lord Chaitanya.
Srila Prabhupada: “BACK TO GODHEAD” is a feeble attempt by the undersigned (Abhay Charan De) under the direction of His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada, the celebrated founder and organiser of the Gaudiya Math activities–just to bring up a real relation of humanity with central relation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
These psychological movements of the leaders of all countries–combined with the orders of my Divine Master Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada has led me to venture to start a paper under the above name and style “BACK TO GODHEAD” which implies all the words that we may intend to say in this connection.
I wish that every one who is enlightened and educated of all nationality, may take active interest in this periodical publication for wide circulation as
this paper will contain only the transcendental messages of the great savants of India and specially of Lord Chaitanya, the Godhead Incarnate Who escended for the deliverance of all fallen souls in the present age. My duty will be simply to repeat in the “BACK TO GODHEAD” just like an interpreter what I have heard from and what I have been ordered to deliver by my great spiritual master H.D.G. Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada. Nothing will be manufactured by me by my mental concoction. Such words will descend as Sound Transcendental and when they are given proper serving reception by the aural channel, surely they will act like medicine to carry all back to home and “BACK TO GODHEAD.”
“OUR RESOLVE MUST BE BACK TO GOD. We make plans for the future for peace amongst the nation and for civil security at home. That is quite right enough and it would be wrong to neglect it. But all our plans will come to ship-wreck on the rock of human selfishness unless we turn to God. BACK TO GOD, that is the chief need of England and of every nation.” (Complete article here)
"I have got the clue of going Back to Godhead just after leaving my present material body and in order to take along with me all my contemporary men and women of the world, I have started my paper Back to Godhead as one of the means to the way."
70-04-16 Letter: Gurudasa
BTG is my life and soul. Please therefore try to distribute BTG as many as it is possible. I started this magazine in 1947 in my householder life. I was spending Rs. 300 to 400 at the time ($300 to 400 in your exchange), and I was distributing this magazine without any consideration how much I was getting in return. Practically the whole money was spent without any return. But ten years after, from 1954 to 1959, the struggle was very hard because at that time I had no money and alone I was editing, publishing, and securing money for publication. So it was a great struggle. My ambition was that I would publish BTG in huge quantity so that people may understand transcendental blessings of Lord Caitanya.
56-11-21 Letter: Dr. Rajendra Prasad, President of Indian Union
Please therefore save them from the great falldown. Believe me or not, I have got the clue of going “Back to Godhead” just after leaving my present material body and in order to take along with me all my contemporary men and women of the world, I have started my paper “Back to Godhead” as one of the means to the way.
64-05-00 Letter: Sir
In that book post you will find one copy of my theistic fortnightly paper BACK TO GODHEAD broadcasting exclusively everything about the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These topics about Godhead are delineated in a manner for understanding of any common man and it is high time that people of the world should now know about the Supreme Truth when they have had tried enough and failed in the matter of establishing peace in the world by so much attempt.
68-06-12 Letter: Rayarama
I have entrusted Back To Godhead in your hand. Because this paper is the beginning of my spiritual life. During the time of my Guru Maharaja’s passing away, His last instruction was to me that “You try to preach whatever you have learned from me in English, and that will do good to you and the people who will hear you.” This instruction was given to me in 1936, and I started this paper in 1944. So during my householder life I was printing this paper and almost distributing free, and some of them were paying me subscription, and some of them not. But I was trying my best at my cost. You have seen the old articles about my tendency in this regard, and please try to follow this principle and improve the condition of this paper as you think best. You have got full liberty to make it acceptable to the general public, keeping pace with our principles of Krishna Consciousness. And as I have told you several times that I am awaiting for the day when this paper will take the shape of Life magazine or similar other magazines, in the matter of its popularity. From India this paper has been brought to America, with this hope that American young boys like you will take interest in spreading this sublime gospel of Krishna Consciousness.
68-09-09 Letter: Brahmananda
You may convey my many many thanks to Rayarama for his nice article, “Evolution–the God that’s failing.” We should write similar articles in Back To Godhead. It is very very instructive, and it has appealed not only to me, but to many others. In the airplane, some of the passengers were reading that article with great interest. So I think Krishna is giving very good intelligence to Rayarama. Let him be seriously engaged in improving the shape and quality of Back To Godhead, and I am sure in future we will have as good a position as the other mundane magazines, like Life, Time, Etc. It is very good.
68-11-19 Letter: Rayarama
Regarding propaganda against animal slaughter in BTG. Please do not print any picture showing how a cow is being murdered in our BTG. This will pollute the whole atmosphere. We are not meant for moving anyone’s sentiment against animal slaughter, we are neither Buddhists or Jains, whose main propaganda is against animal slaughter. Even the so-called vegetarians who do not take Krishna prasadam are as much sinful as the non-vegetarians. Our propaganda is different, to make people Krishna Conscious, which automatically makes them sympathetic against any kind of animal slaughter. According to Srimad-Bhagavatam, one living entity subsists on the life of other living entities, either vegetarian or non-vegetarian. But we are neither of them. We are not vegetarian nor non-vegetarian. We are transcendental. We are concerned with Krishna Prasadam. Try to popularize Krishna Prasadam as you have already done. People will naturally become vegetarian without any ghastly propaganda. The pictures of a mahajana or similar pictures for propagating the Bhagavata conclusion should be our objective. Other pictures, there are so many subject matters, just like we follow 4 principles, say for example, illicit sex life, we can publish so many pictures of illicit sex life, but that will not advance our cause. Similarly we may make propaganda against animal slaughter, but that will not advance our real cause. KC is based on pure understanding, not by any sentimental provocation. People must be intelligent enough to catch up this KC movement without being carried away by any sentimental wave. We should always remember that we do not belong to any group like the karmis, jnanis, or yogis. We belong to pure devotional service group, following the footprints of great mahajanas. Our purpose should be that we are in one side and all others they are on the other side. We deprecate everyone, even one who is against animal slaughter. In the Caitanya-caritamrta, it is clearly said that there are two classes of activities. Pious and impious. We do not favor any one of them. Neither we favor any philosophical speculation, we simply stick to Krishna, and wish to render loving transcendental service unto Him. That should be our main objective, and the policy of BTG must be pursued on this line of action. I hope you will understand me rightly. Everyone who is not a KC person is a butcher. Even the so-called pious man, who is not in KC, he is also a butcher. Because he is killing his own self. So in our view, everyone is butcher, and everyone is thief also, because he is enjoying Krishna’s property. So how we can discriminate who is honest and dishonest and butcher and not butcher? Our only test is how one is taking to KC: Even a so-called butcher comes we welcome to chant Hare Krishna.
68-12-31 Letter: Satsvarupa
Regarding the article suggested by Rayarama, you are correct in your doubts that Radha-Krishna lila should not be discussed in Back To Godhead. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam there are so many philosophical discussions and we should concentrate on these philosophical aspects. Otherwise the less intelligent will surely understand Radha-Krishna lila as simply nonsense boy and girl sex life. Hanuman Prasad Poddar and company are all mundane types and they have no entrance into actual spiritual activities. Superficially they pose themselves as great devotees, but we can feel their pulse; ultimately they are impersonalists. We should not depend upon writings from such unauthorized sources. Strictly we should avoid publishing these confidential topics in Back To Godhead. This is dangerous for the conditioned soul. Although such Krishna lila can do some good to the mundane people in the long run, to understand the philosophical aspects of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam in the beginning is essential and will make for good stride in spiritual life. I do not know why Rayarama has asked you to send such article. It is not to my sanction. We shall be very careful about mundane sex life. That is the pivot center of conditioned life. You are intelligent enough and I hope that Krishna will help you in these matters.
69-02-05 Letter: Brahmananda
Regarding advertisements in Back To Godhead, I am not at all in favor of it. I was obliged to suggest you take advertisements because the magazine was not coming regularly due to lack of funds, but practically I see the magazine is not improving by accepting these advertisements. So in the future, say after the next issue, we shall stop taking advertisements because it is not satisfactory. If we print, however, 20,000 copies, we can accept one page of advertisements, fixing up our rate at not less than $100 per page. And this advertisement also must be to our scrutinization. We cannot accept advertisement from anyone and everyone, rather it will be our motto to avoid advertisements. So far as I know, in India, the Kalyana Kalpataru paper edited by Hanuman Prasad Poddar, does not accept any advertisements. Nor do they review any nonsense book published by others, and they have got respectable position. Similarly we have to create a respectable position for our Back To Godhead. Actually, it is the only single paper of its nature, describing the science of God in full detail, published in the western world. Our Vaisnava religion is so vast that we can supply millions of pictures and hundreds and thousands of literary contributions in this paper. In Christian religion they have got pictures like the Crucifixion and a few similar others. In the Buddhist religion they have got the picture of the Lord Buddha. In Mohammedan religion they have got picture of Mecca Medina, and I do not know what is the picture in the Jewish religion. But so far as our Krishna Consciousness is concerned, we can supply millions of pictures of Krishna, Visnu, and Their multi-incarnations, as well as Their transcendental Pastimes. So we have to create a unique position for this paper, at least in the western world. Anyway, that will depend upon our future capacity, but for the time present we can immediately take quotation from Dai Nippon what they will charge us for 20,000 copies every month. Now I have given my definite opinion about printing my books at Dai Nippon and printing Back To Godhead, so you can do the needful.
69-02-09 Letter: Rayarama
So far as I understand, the number of regular subscribers is not very satisfactory. Back To Godhead is being distributed by individual canvassing only. So if that is the position, then there is no need to publish something which is not pure Krishna Consciousness. Purely Krishna Consciousness means as you have published the article Isopanisad, and similarly we can publish all the Upanisads, the Vedanta Sutra, and many similar articles. The articles like Dr. Spock, the Beach Boys, or nonsense book reviews should be completely avoided. I know in India, the Kalyana Kalpatu paper and similar other papers do not take any advertisement, neither do they review any book unless it is published by them. So I think we should follow this policy. I shall be glad to hear from you in this connection at your earliest convenience. But for the time being, things may go on as it is regarding advertisements, so long as you avoid the hippy advertisements as far as possible.
69-02-22 Letter: Rayarama
Now our policy should be as follows: 1. the layout should be done by us, 2. there should be no advertisements, 3. under different headings we shall publish articles from Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Brahma Samhita, Nectar of Devotion, Vedanta Philosophy, Upanisads, etc. as well as comic pictures when possible. Besides that, if some of our students write as they have assimilated the philosophy, that also should be welcome. You say that Rohini Kumar is an artist, so he can do comic work. There are other girls there such as Indira who can also do this. So we shall fill up the pages simply with Vedic ideas. Now the policy should be straight that this Back to Godhead is completely different from all other magazines. As there are different magazines for different subject matters, this magazine will be simply devoted for Vaisnava philosophy, or Krishna Consciousness movement. That should be our policy. So immediately you can arrange for two months layout. How are you going to select the articles? I would like to know. We should lay out the subject matter as nicely as possible to our intelligence and capacity, and without any ambition that it must attract customers. They may attract or not attract, it doesn’t matter. We are selling Back To Godhead through the personal approach, through the Sankirtana Party, so I expect each center to sell 50 copies daily on the average as we have practical experience here. In this way, if four centers sell on an average 200 copies daily, then we come to the point of selling 6,000 copies directly which will cover the expense of printing and other charges. The balance 14,000 copies can be sold by the temples simply on profit. If they are not sold, then we distribute free to different societies, libraries, public institutions, respectable gentlemen, schools, etc. In this way we shall make propaganda. The idea is like that of a Bible society in India which distributes millions of dollars in the shape of biblical literature without any consideration of return. Similarly, we have to sacrifice each $750 on this principle. If there is return, that is alright, but still we have to do it on a missionary spirit. That is my idea. So try to think on this program and do the needful.
69-02-27 Letter: Uddhava
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated February 25, 1969, and I thank you so much for it. Regarding the pictures in Back To Godhead which you are learning to photograph, they will be of all kinds. When possible we will have nice paintings published, and other times there will be photographs of our devotees and their activities.
69-04-02 Letter: Rayarama
Please accept my blessings. I thank you very much for your letter dated March 25, 1969, along with the two magazines. These are very excellent both in appearance and in reading matter. This should be the standard of our Back To Godhead. As in the next issue there will be no advertisements, we shall be able to give substantial reading matter like that of Bhaktivinode Thakura, “Teachings of the Golden Avatara.” We have got many such informations from the Vedic literature. The mayavadis reject the Puranas, but actually the Puranas are supplementary to the four Vedas, the Upanisads and Vedanta. This is confirmed by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura. Srimad-Bhagavatam also is considered amongst the Puranas, but because the subject matter within is purely transcendental, it is called the Maha Purana. So from the Puranas we can give many, many instructive articles with nice pictures. Similarly, we can give many valuable articles, even from political or social points of view (although they are not our business), so much so, that the people of the world will have completely novel spiritual ideas. As people in your country are very much receptive to new ideas, I think we can place Back To Godhead very nicely with sensible layout.
69-06-16 Letter: Rupanuga
Please accept my blessings. I am very glad to hear that you are successfully carrying on the Sankirtana Movement, and Krishna is giving you encouragement by mercifully giving some money also. So rest assured that Sankirtana Movement is specifically benedicted by Lord Caitanya for achieving all kinds of success. Stick to the principles seriously and faithfully, and there will be no difficulty. Now you may please send as many nice photographs of your Sankirtana activities as possible to Brahmananda for publication in Back To Godhead. In each issue of Back To Godhead there shall be sufficient pictures of our Sankirtana Movement with descriptions. I have advised to follow this policy rigidly.
69-06-17 Letter: Jadurani
Please accept my blessings. I thank you so much for your encouraging letter, and I am so pleased to learn that the center is doing very nice propaganda work in Hawaii. Now you send to Brahmananda as many photographs as possible of the parading and the other chanting engagements. It will be the policy of our paper now to print as many as possible photos and articles of our own activities.
69-06-17 Letter: Gaurasundara
Please send all nice pictures of your activities to Hayagriva for publication in BTG. We have decided to give many pictures of our Sankirtana activities along with short descriptions. Hayagriva is now renovated to be the senior editor. You also should write articles as you have done before. Your articles are very much appreciated by me, so you write them, not only about Sankirtana, but also on our philosophy. But send immediately pictures to Hayagriva of your Sankirtana activities. Thanking you again for your letter. Hope you are well.
69-06-17 Letter: Muralidhara
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated June 12, 1969, and I have noted the contents. I have also seen your Krishna-Balarama picture and it is very nice. These pictures you are drawing for our Festivals in Los Angeles may be nicely colored and photographed and sent to Brahmananda for publication in BTG. The Bhagavatam picture you have already done is already arranged for publication on the front page, and in the absence of Jadurani’s paintings, I shall require your work for so many pictures in BTG.
69-06-17 Letter: Balabhadra
Please accept my blessings. I thank you very much for your letter (undated), and I have noted the contents with pleasure. Your description of the parade with 55,000 people viewing is very much encouraging, and it is clear that Krishna is giving you nice opportunities for spreading the Sankirtana Movement throughout Hawaii. Send pictures of your activities in this parade and your other activities to Hayagriva for being printed in Back To Godhead. I appreciate very much that you are a thoughtful, intelligent boy, and you have got Krishna’s Grace undoubtedly. Your good Godbrothers and Godsisters also speak highly of you, so continue to develop as you are doing and Krishna will surely be very pleased upon you. I am praying to Krishna for your long life and service.
69-06-20 Letter: Satsvarupa
I am very pleased to learn that you are planning for a nice Rathayatra Festival in Boston. Please do it nicely, and take many nice photographs for publication in BTG.
69-06-21 Letter: Jayapataka
I am so glad to learn that Kirtana is going on, and by Krishna’s Grace you are getting some collections. This is very good news. If during Rathayatra, you cannot keep on the seaside, then you take the car in procession to the riverside, and come back the same day. For the eight days, as far as possible distribute prasadam, especially kitcherie. Then on the 8th day you also hold the ceremony in the same way. Please arrange to take nice photographs of your Festival activities as well as of your other kirtana activities. We wish to print many such photographs in our Back To Godhead, so take many pictures, and send them to Brahmananda in New York.
69-06-21 Letter: Gurudasa
Another point is that in BTG we shall now publish as many pictures of our Sankirtana Movement in different cities as possible. So get good snaps of your kirtanas and engagement in London, and send the photos on to New York.
69-06-27 Letter: Satsvarupa
Regarding your Sankirtana Party activities, please continue this most important function. The nice pictures you have sent have been dispatched to Brahmananda for publishing in Back To Godhead. I have given instructions that in Back To Godhead the pictures of our activities and short descriptions should be more and more published. So continue to send such pictures as you have already sent.
69-06-29 Letter: Rayarama
Regarding BTG, I shall be glad to know the subject matters you have inserted in the issue #27. There are two important articles lying with Hayagriva: one interview talks with Ginsberg, and my old homage address to my Guru Maharaja. I think you already have this last one. These are to be published, along with pictures, as many as possible, of our Sankirtana activities and descriptions.
69-07-01 Letter: Brahmananda
All students should be encouraged to write some article after reading Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita and Teachings of Lord Caitanya. They should realize the information, and they must present their assimilation in their own words. Otherwise, how they can become preachers? So far as Sankirtana Party is concerned, as many pictures as possible should be published each month. The pictures are very attractive to the customers also. Acyutananda should also be asked to send pictures, as many as possible, of the many Visnu temples in India for publication in BTG. BTG should be full with our own articles, and there is no need for articles by outsiders. So far as ads are concerned, only our own books should be advertised; nothing else.
69-07-05 Letter: Upendra
I hope you have by now received one circular from Brahmananda in which it is stated that you are all requested to write articles of Krishna Consciousness as you have personally realized it, and also send as many pictures as possible of Sankirtana Movement for BTG along with short descriptions. Hope you are well.
69-07-08 Letter: Bhurijana
I remember that when you were in New Vrindaban with me you took some photographs with your camera. Please send these pictures to Brahmananda in New York for our Back To Godhead. In future issues we will be featuring many such photographs of our activities. I hope this will meet you in good health.
69-07-09 Letter: Rayarama
In the BTG henceforward, the pictures of our Sankirtana Movement should be inserted as many as possible. The whole idea is now in BTG complete ventilation of our ideas should be exchanged from devotees to devotees by writing bonafide articles along with the other articles. This paper should now be completely a foreword of our movement. So combinedly make it successful.
69-07-12 Letter: Hayagriva
Regarding articles for BTG, I have already issued instructions to all centers requesting my disciples to send articles every month, and I am going to repeat it again for the second time.
69-07-15 Letter: Vibhavati
Please accept my blessings. I thank you for your letter of July 11, 1969, and I have noted the contents carefully. Regarding your proposal of writing a book about child-raising, I do not think this is required with all the other writings that we have to do. And besides that, you are not the master of this subject, so who will read such a book? I have seen in your article on Mr. Lennon that you have a very nice gift for writing, so better you should utilize this God-given talent for writing articles for our Back To Godhead. There is immediate necessity for this, and for this writing you are qualified because you are a sincere devotee of this Krishna Consciousness Movement. So why not write nice articles of this philosophy as you have assimilated it? This will be a very great service because we are now converting BTG to exclusively contain articles by my disciples and myself, along with many pictures of our Sankirtana activities. So if you can write some words about Krishna consciousness and send them to Brahmananda in New York, that will be very nice engagement for you.
69-07-15 Letter: Syamasundara
I am also glad to know that Rathayatra arrangements are going nicely, and so also in your country, especially in San Francisco, Boston, Buffalo, as well as New York. There also they are arranging nicely. Most probably in Boston it will be as good as in San Francisco. In San Francisco they are making good advertisement, and they are expecting a very good crowd. I am going there on the 26th of July. I hope you will send me the pictures of your world famous parade in London. Send all detailed pictures to Brahmananda for publication in BTG. If possible, invite some Indian press representatives to report to the Indian papers how the Vedic culture is being accepted by Americans and Europeans.
69-07-22 Letter: Brahmananda
I have received the copies you have sent of BTG no. 25 and no. 26. They are nice, but I notice that in no. 26 the first article does not have any adjustment for the margins. I do not know why this is. Your idea of changing the cover border to blue is nice. Black color should not be so prominent on the cover. Blue, red and yellow should be given. You have suggested that on every back cover there will be a picture of me in BTG, but I think a better proposal is that on page one or page three you may have a picture of me one month, then Guru Maharaja, then Gaura Kisora das Babaji, then Bhaktivinode Thakura, then Jagannatha das Babaji, then Lord Caitanya. This will be very nice, showing the Guru Parampara.
69-07-22 Letter: Brahmananda
I am enclosing a picture of Gaura Kisora das Babaji for printing in BTG. You may also print pictures of great acaryas in our line, such as Ramanuga Acarya and Madhvacarya. I have not yet heard any word from Germany about my going there, so this program is not fixed up at present.
69-07-24 Letter: Brahmananda
I am so glad to learn that you have increased the number of BTG’s to be printed. It is very nice. I was just this morning asking Purusottama to inform you of increasing the publication of Issue #26 because the article, “Beyond the Universe,” is very interesting. In the present atmosphere of space exploration this kind of article will be much appreciated, and people will know that we are not sentimentalists. Our background is solid, scientific and authorized. Actually, the modern astronauts are trying to reach the moon planet, and even if they reach there they cannot live there; and even if they live there, that is also not permanent. But our ambition is far, far greater, nobler and more sublime than these astronauts because we are trying to reach the Supreme Planet, Krishna Loka, and live there eternally in association with Krishna. Krishna has also advised in Bhagavad-gita that even if we go to the topmost planet, Brahma Loka, still we have to come back again. But if we go to Krishna Loka, there is no coming back to this material world.
69-08-27 Letter: Brahmananda
The second part of the Ginsberg conversation article should not be published, and our policy should be to only publish our Krishna Consciousness articles in various forms. We are not concerned with any other movement save and except Krishna Consciousness in its pure form. In India it is said that a little bit of a pure thing is much better than huge volumes of impure, adulterated things. So please try to follow this policy and publish in BTG only pure Krishna Conscious articles.
69-09-09 Letter: Brahmananda
Regarding BTG no. 27, it is nicely done, but there is no mention of the words “Back To Godhead” on each page. Why this mistake has been done? Besides that, some of the headings, like “Parts and Parcels,” are not very prominent, while at the same time there are many places where empty space is found. If some space is available, the heading should be broader. Henceforward, we shall try to avoid the Beatles or hippy’s articles, because they have no spiritual importance.
69-09-09 Letter: Brahmananda
I have instructed Hayagriva to work as co-editor with Satsvarupa, and he is now completely a surrendered soul. So conjointly make the appearance of BTG very nicely. The front cover page should be a nicely painted picture. You write that Jadurani is now painting wonderful pictures, so pictures by either Jadurani, Muralidhara or Devahuti should be given on the front page. The present front page picture is not very attractive as they were in last issues. A first class picture should always be given on the front page.
69-09-19 Letter: Brahmananda
I have seen the pictures of your kirtana sent by Sacisuta, and they are all marvelous. Please print them in BTG. All Sankirtana photographs should be collected, and one after another they should be printed in BTG. So far as printing part of the Krishna book in BTG, that is also very nice.
69-10-08 Letter: Jayagovinda
You have suggested that you print in ZZG [German BTG] simply the verses of Bhagavad-gita, but without the purport what is the meaning of the verses? The purport is actually the main thing. So you can pick up the principal point of a purport and make then a heading for the article. Just like in the next issue Satsvarupa has published an article, “Lord Siva, the Greatest Devotee”. This was picked up from my translation and purport of 3rd Canto Srimad-Bhagavatam.
69-10-15 Letter: Satsvarupa
In BTG the rasa lila episode cannot be published. We are writing on the activities of Krishna and rasa lila is one of the most important Pastimes of His transcendental activities. Therefore it must be published in the book, but it cannot be published in any public paper. That is the instruction of my Guru Maharaja. Actually, rasa lila means to curb down the lusty propensities of the conditioned soul. Unfortunately, it acts differently on the conditioned soul if he is not prepared to understand what is Krishna. So do not try to print this.
69-11-07 Letter: Brahmananda
The BTG will be complete when the headings of the essays are bolder and on each page the name of Back To Godhead is printed. The titlehead on the front cover is quite suitable, and the picture in the front page is exceedingly beautiful. I showed it to Gurudasa and he remarked that it is super-excellent and he expects it to sell very well because of this picture. I think similar pictures from Western centers should be printed. The New York Sankirtana Party is also super-excellent. I am very much pleased to see all these pictures and our magazines gives information to the people that we do not stick only to the cities, but we train people in the remote villages also. So everything should be done very attentively and amicably.
69-12-13 Letter: Satsvarupa
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated December 7, 1969 along with the article of Acyutananda. Your decision not to publish this article is correct. To the neophyte devotees we should issue instruction that there are four stages of understanding the Absolute Truth. The first stage is re-establishing our relationship with Krishna. This is the first stage. The second stage is after understanding our relationship, to perform devotional service under proper guidance. The third stage is acquisition of the desired Object. The fourth stage is relishing the nectar of perfectional love. So Radha-Krishna Lila belongs to the fourth stage of understanding, and we are publishing BTG for people in general to re-establish their forgotten relationship with Krishna. So we should always remember this and from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, and Isopanisad they should try to write how our relationship is revoked from this stage of forgetfulness. They should write articles like this: 1) Krishna, the Omnipotent, 2) How God can be realized as All-Pervasive, 3) The Original Source of Everything, 4) Transcendental Process of Hearing, 5) How one gets out of the Clutches of Maya, 6) Prayers by Arjuna, 7) Prayers by Kunti Devi, Prayers by Bhismadeva.. They should try to understand Krishna first in so many ways which are described in our Bhagavatam. They should read them carefully and pick up subject matters as above mentioned. What general people will understand about Radha-Krishna Lila? Immediately they will take it as ordinary boys and girls in spite of a thousand warnings, “This is not this, this is not this.” So you shall issue instruction that they should write articles on the subject matters as above mentioned. They should read our Bhagavatam. The purports are there: They should assimilate them in their own words in a literary career.
69-12-13 Letter: Satsvarupa
I was very much pleased to see one of your articles which you picked up from Daksa yajna. The articles should be very scrutinizingly published. We want to make our BTG an authorized, first class magazine, and the writers and students should be equally responsible. So when we meet we shall talk more about this.
70-01-15 Letter: Mukunda
Ask Gurudasa to send me some pictures of the Installation Ceremony and some of them may be directly sent to Boston for publication in BTG.
70-02-15 Letter: Satsvarupa
You write very nicely, I have seen you articles. In that way you may take out so many purports from Srimad-Bhagavatam and write nice articles upon them.
70-03-19 Letter: Patita Uddharana
I am very glad to know that your pen is inspired to create, because we are in need of many intelligent writers who can express our Krishna consciousness philosophy nicely just following exactly the transcendental words and purports of our vast Vedic scriptures according to the previous Acaryas of our Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya. And if you continue to work in this writing and publishing of our literatures with steady enthusiasm and sincerity, your success in Krishna Consciousness is certain. Therefore to keep your spiritual strength, always observe the regulative principles strictly and chant at least sixteen rounds of beads daily without fail. This is essential for understanding our philosophy practically to advance in Krishna Consciousness. And we should always avoid mental speculations.
70-05-13 Letter: Pradyumna
In the last portion of your letter you write to say, “I need to have this back immediately for publication in the upcoming issue of BTG.” So I can advise you that you can publish it as it is, and if there is any discrepancy we will rectify it in future. The policy of the BTG should be always writing articles which can be understood by people in general. Vedic literatures like Brahma Samhita may be published in separate books, but assimilated ideas may be published in BTG.
70-05-28 Letter: Satsvarupa
I am so glad to learn that you are trying to compose at least 800 pages per month. That will enliven me very much to write more and more books for you. I have received some photographs of London Sankirtana on the Advent Day of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, so publish them in BTG.
70-06-04 Letter: Yamuna
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 23rd April, 1970, with enclosed pictures of Lord Caitanya’s Birthday procession as well as the Calcutta magazine section. I have immediately asked our magazine editors to publish the London pictures.
70-07-19 Letter: Yogesvara
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 13rd July, 1970, along with one poem which I have read and sent on to the editors of BTG. Some time back you sent another poetry which I have also sent to the editors; These poetics are nice, but now if you would write some articles for our BTG that will be even better. Now you have got some good understanding of our Krsna consciousness so you write it for publication.
70-11-28 Letter: SatsvarupaSo far as minimizing the use of Sanskrit words in BTG, that is very nice. There is no need for so much Sanskrit. Therefore I object to the Brahma-Samhita edition. I use Sanskrit, but the purport I give immediately.
71-01-11 Letter: Satsvarupa
I hear from all our centers that they have instituted regular classes for writing articles and still you say they do not contribute sufficiently to Back to Godhead. How is that? I want all our students to write articles for our transcendental magazine. That is practical.
71-01-21 Letter: Gopala Krsna
Some improvements in the format of the magazine can be made though. For our English edition I have instructed Satsvarupa that there should only be one article by myself no more than four pages in length and that the remainder of the magazine should be made up of articles ‘by our students. Also, so far as the order of presentation, first my Guru Maharaja or senior acaryas, then myself, then our sannyasis, and then other students. In this way you can present our French BTG and that will be very nice.
71-05-26 Letter: Satsvarupa
So far as “Back To Godhead” is concerned, the answers to your questions are as follows: Recipes are all right if you think that there is such a public demand. But just recipes, no pictures; Yes, parts of my letters may be reprinted as a second article by me; no drawings should appear in the magazine; Yes, a question and answer article is very nice, and letters from interested persons may also be published. On other matters you can use your own discretion.
71-06-12 Letter: Satsvarupa
So far as publishing songs in BTG, I have translated two or three songs of Narottama Dasa Thakura only but if you like, I can send you more songs and ideas. I have sent some poems by our disciples here along the line of Narottama Dasa Thakura’s songs. Do you like them enough to publish?
71-06-12 Letter: Satsvarupa
I am enclosing one letter from a new boy in Japan. He was going to commit suicide but came to Krishna instead. This may make an interesting topic for BTG in the new type of article you described in your last letter.
71-06-12 Letter: Sudama
Please accept my blessings. Just recently I have received one very interesting letter from Damari Toshio Inove and the reply to his letter is enclosed herewith. His letter I am sending to Satsvarupa and he may publish it in Back To Godhead. Here is a boy who was about to commit suicide, but he came to Krishna instead and now he is perfecting his life. That is most encouraging news.
71-07-03 Letter: Satsvarupa
Also please find a poem presented to me in Bombay by one French boy, Darsha. If you like, you can publish it in Back to Godhead.
71-07-09 Letter: Satsvarupa
So far Moscow is concerned, there was only one substantial meeting, with one Professor Kotovsky and the tape of that conversation is being transcribed. Also I have written an introduction to the three lectures I had proposed to deliver in Moscow: 1) Vedic conception of Socialism and Communism, 2) Scientific values of a classless society; and 3) Knowledge by Authoritative Tradition. These are yet to be written. Photographs have been taken also. So I will collect all the material available and send it all to you in the very near future for publication in BTG.
71-07-27 Letter: Satsvarupa
The subject matter of BTG should be very grave. It should not be made a joking, comical literature. The subject matter is that everyone should know who is Krishna. So present it in philosophical way but with simple language. The next subject matter is our relationship with Krishna. Then how we fulfill our life’s ambition in Krishna Consciousness. So all these subject matters should be made understandable by the people in general, but we should be very grave in our presentation.
71-11-21 Letter: Satsvarupa
I am glad that you are writing essays, and that all of our students are contributing their work. I think that if we simply improve the contents of our BTG magazine that so many changes are not required. I have written to Karandhara on this point, so you may write him for my opinion. What is the use of instituting many changes?
71-12-17 Letter: Satsvarupa
Your idea for 5 different articles in BTG monthly is very nice. I like your “topical articles” also. Keep them simple and Krishna Conscious, avoiding too much bending to the public taste, but if they are appropriate to current problems, then it is nice proposal. Rayarama tried this too, but his style was not very appealing to me. Actually, people are seeking after transcendental reading matter more and more, so if we stick to our standard, as I have given you, then there is no doubt they will come to read our magazines in great numbers. Now make it very attractive, with our KC subject matter as you have outlined, and our BTG will be very much in demand, without further changes. I have seen one Christian newspaper which is trying to attract the readers by resort to fashionable phrases and materialistic themes of mass public interest–simply because they have not got any real substance for attracting, they offer what they think the public might like, such as sex, crimes, amusements, like that. That is not our method. We have got such stock of real substance that alone it is sufficient to capture the readers, without such ordinary tricks and commercial formulas.
72-04-02 Letter: Mandali Bhadra
I am very much pleased to hear that your German BTG distribution has gone up to 50,000 last issue, and I very much approve of your ideas for improving it more and more. In the editorial section which you plan to have for the beginning, the point should be stressing on the position of the living entities, as it is stated in Bhagavad-gita that a learned man observes everyone on the same level, that is, on spiritual understanding. So our Society’s position of vision is from that platform. We want to see all living entities as parts and parcels of Krishna without giving any consideration to outer skin, and that is real education. So you can expound on this idea. The modern civilization is based on bodily designation–American, India, German– but our proposition is to become free from these artificial designations, and unless one becomes free from these artificial designations there can’t be any God-consciousness, and without God-consciousness there is no possibility of any peace in the world.
76-08-28 Letter: Jagannatha-suta
By the way, there has been some disturbance created by the publishing of a few comments on Vallabhacarya in Back to Godhead Vol. 10, No. 8, page 5, column 3, paragraph 2. Kindly avoid comments such as these in future publications.
76-09-23 Letter: Rupanuga
Regarding the editorial policy of BTG, if the editorial board is not expert enough they should be changed. Dr. O.B.L. Kapoor also had put a similar complaint. Yes, scientific articles must be published when sent by our men. I cannot see every article, but some of you should examine why nice articles are rejected. See if the board can be changed. If experienced editors are not there it will be unpopular magazine. These things are to be seen to immediately by the GBC. The board should be judged immediately and be changed if required.
76-10-29 Letter: Ramesvara
What about that book Dialectical Spiritualism edited by Hayagriva? Also, the rejection by the BTG staff has somehow or other alienated Dr. Kapoor. You must carefully oversee which articles are being accepted for BTG.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada