Apr 11, 2017 WATFORD, ENGLAND (SUN)
There is a lot of talk about putting Srila Prabhupada in the centre. It is very much the mood of the Founder-Acarya GBC paper. Similarly the IRM Ritviks have the slogan, "Back to Prabhupada".
Now I think it should be obvious to everyone that if we actually put Prabhupada in the centre then we will feel the difference. So when we see an ISKCON that has in many ways disintegrated as a force in the West, and a Ritvik movement which is similarly ineffective in spreading Krsna consciousness, then we are safe to conclude that neither institution has yet to really put Prabhupada in the centre.
The problem is that putting Srila Prabhupada in the centre is easier said than done. Prabhupada inspired surrender, and that cumulative surrender electrified the preaching mission during the 60s and 70s. Without that sincere determination to give one's life and soul, to serve twenty-four hours a day, how will the higher taste and empowerment manifest? The surge of spiritual energy is a divine gift to those who surrender. Ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham: As all surrender unto me I reward them accordingly [Bg 4.11].
It should be clear to everyone who is familiar with the history of ISKCON and Prabhupada's instructions, that the movement was a lot more disciplined during Prabhupada's time precisely because the devotees actually took Prabhupada's instructions seriously. There is no need to deny this truth even though there were plenty of fall downs.
Mangala arati was compulsory, street preaching meant all day not just a few hours a week, evening program was also well attended. Service included doing wonderful and seemingly impossible things such as opening centres in foreign countries. It was an immersion program. Intensity bore fruit, a spiritual movement that threatened to take over the world.
We cannot divorce Srila Prabhupada from his preaching spirit. He was the general of the sankirtana army. We should remember this and not create a false image of Prabhupada as some sweet gentle saint who was sympathetic to our desire to practice halfheartedly. He was hard like a thunderbolt, not just soft as a rose.
In ISKCON today, the gurus are softer in their preaching and the temple authorities are happy to have guests who simply take darsana and do not engage in practical service. The preaching spirit has diminished, hence the urgency to deliver the West has gone. Putting Prabhupada in the centre means to preach intensely. ISKCON and the Ritviks, in spite of their slogans, have yet to put that into practice.
For those devotees who favour the soft approach, please remember that real compassion means to make every endeavour to deliver the fallen conditioned souls. Also, indifference to one's own sadhana is harmful to oneself. In other words, without strict practice and intense preaching one is atma-ha, a killer of the soul.
We need a sankirtana revival. Please help to make this happen!