OM TAT SAT
Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
On Dec. 19th and 20th the court case trying to declare "Bhagavad-gita as it is" as an extremist literature will resume.
A lot is at stake. If we lose the case, the consequences will be very dramatic, long-lasting and very gloomy. It may put under question the very existence of our movement in Russia.
The fact that two days are alotted for the hearing from the beginning makes us suspicious that they plan to finish the whole process within these two days. It is a bad sign.
Also they practically did not give us time to prepare, just today we got the news, and it is already practically weekend, and the court will start on Monday. We still do not have the copy of the so-called expert opinion submitted to the court.
We humbly ask all of you to offer your prayers, to hold special kirtans and yajnas. Please ask your congregation to pray.
We are also formulating our petition following Sivarama Maharaja's example. As soon as we are ready, I will ask you to mobilize your congregation to sign the petition on line.
Your servant Bhakti Vijnana Goswami [end of quote]
I spoke with Bhakti Vijnana Goswami this morning. The petition mentioned above will have little impact on the outcome of the December 20th court ruling. Nonetheless, should there be an unfavorable ruling on December 20th, devotees worldwide will immediately need to be mobilized to start a massive international campaign against the court's decision. The impact that a negative ruling could have on the existence of ISKCON in Russia is incalculable. In this connection, I would like to quote something Acyuta Priya dasa wrote this morning to GBC members throughout the world:
"If Bhagavad-gita would be declared an extremist literature, that practically means that basically ALL of Srila Prabhupada's books could be forbidden in Russia, because all of them have quotes from Bhagavad-gita. It would be forbidden to distribute, read, and even keep at home these books! It would be strictly forbidden to discuss and give lectures on Bhagavad-gita or other books of Srila Prabhupada.
It could practically finish up or set back for decades our movement in Russia.
Now, Russia is a very important country in the Eastern World. This will affect heavily all countries there and their religious policy—Belorussia, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan etc. will be affected first of all." [end of quote]
I therefore request all of my readers, especially those of you living outside the CIS, to prepare yourselves to launch a massive letter-writing campaign against this potential injustice. You should also begin preparing your mailing lists.
Should there be a negative decision, I'm quite hopeful that a whole packet of material for emailing and posting on websites (and blogs) will become available very shortly thereafter.
For those of you who did not read "The Moscow Times" article entitled "Krishna Holy Book Faces Ban in Tomsk", please click on the following link. It is quite informative.
Krishna Holy Book Faces Ban in Tomsk
The book may be accused of expressing religious hatred, suppressing human dignity and declaring one religion superior to all others. But "Bhagavad Gita As It Is" can hardly be called Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf."
Jaya Srila Prabhupada !
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare