BY: LALITA BHAVA DEVI DASI
May 22, 2012 USA (SUN) Over the last few years, I've been getting quite an education by reading the Sampradaya Sun each day. I love all the arts and cultural Feature stories, the serial Mahabharata, and other sastra. I also very much appreciate the editorials, from all angles of vision. Yes, there are many contentious subjects to discuss in our ISKCON world, but better we should talk openly than hide the disagreements behind closed doors. At least when it's out in the open, we can all learn from the discussion.
I've also been getting an education in the poetic arts, reading the regular thought-stream coming from Raghu Mishra das. It took me awhile to get the hang of reading his poems, but I'm now able to read the double-meanings pretty easily. Raghu Mishra, you have a very good way with words.
But I have to say, I'm beginning not to like your message so much. There seems to be a constant drumbeat of the theme, "I'm above all you rabble-rousers" in many of your poems. You often refer to all the complaining, bickering, criticizing, etc., etc., that you apparently think everyone else is doing (not only in the material world, but in the ISKCON family), while you are simply 'chanting Hare Krishna very nicely'. But what else are you doing, prabhu? Are you preaching to the fallen conditioned souls, when you're not spending what must be long hours at the keyboard, writing these poems? And if you're preaching, how are you handling the inevitable issues that arise and must be dealt with, like the hard questions about ISKCON guru-tattva, or the history of problems with child abuse and fallen leaders, etc., etc. Do you have some magic formula that lets you preach and respond to these inquiries with sensible answers? If so -- what are your answers, exactly? Or do you just hand out Prabhupada's books, and answer the hard questions from new people by giving them poems?
In other words, if you are so realized that you no longer need to fault-find, criticize, argue, and hassle over all the problems, then what are YOUR answers to all the hard questions that arise in preaching? Please give us this answer, straight up -- not in a poem that is so open to interpretation, that we can't be sure what you're really saying.
Maybe you feel that your poetry is your preaching. That's your business, of course. But please don't criticize the sincere devotees out there who are grappling with the very difficult issues that face us in trying to push Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON society forward. The devotees have to be able to chew through these issues, and work out what they think, and how they're going to dovetail their conclusions into their preaching, for Prabhupada's pleasure. They need inspiration and encouragement. They don't need to be constantly reminded that they should just be sitting still, chanting nicely. Getting the constant message, even in the lines of lyrical poems, that we should just give it all up and chant Hare Krishna very nicely… while ISKCON burns … that doesn't seem like a very sensible approach to me.