"One consideration says that we must never ever question whatever may be the state of the movement. Whatever inconsistencies there may be, let them be. Be patient, be tolerant. Variants of this path also include those that pray to the Supreme Lord to for the well-being of the movement, of the Society, of the members, of the managers, of the gurus, etc. Some will also pray that they may be more Krsna conscious to be able to make a positive contribution themselves." Read full article.
Replies: 8 Comments
Posted by Yesu Bhaktan @ 12/18/2005 10:41 PM PST
When in doubt remember, "Honesty is the best policy."
How to present what one honestly perceives as the truth in any matter so that it will be most effective in bringing about positive change is an art form we must all learn as we mature.
My issue at the moment is the painful sight of watching Srila Prabhupada's efforts in pushing on the transcendental teachings of Lord Caitanya get eclipsed by the material side of Hinduism as if they are the same thing.
One thing for sure is that only a coward would suffer these injustices in silence just to protect his positon in a religious organization or to make sure his chapati supply was not cut off.
Posted by Constant inconsistencies @ 12/12/2005 03:16 PM PST
There are inconsistencies and there are inconsistencies. Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke of them as being the "hobgoblins of petty minds".
There will always be differences of practice and approach according to personality, time and circumstance. In many ways, ISKCON has changed radically since it's inception. It used to be more driven by spontaneous charisma and now more by systems of practice.
To speak out or not to speak out, that is the question, the deciding principle being the maxim that Silence is Consent.
Having said that I would like to distinguish between diversity and contradiction. It is NOT as the article claims a choice between tolerance at all costs or petty fault finding.
There are differences that make no difference, like whether devotees keep 'shaved up' for book distribution or not.
There are differences that constitute a break down of essential principles, like 'what is a bone fide guru?' or 'who can join?'
Such differences are intolerable since they strike at the core of the Founder Acarya's instructions.
Exclusion based on material qualifications are is one such 'inconsistency'.
"The almighty God is thus conquered only by loving service and nothing else." (Bhag. 1.8.45)
Another is installing diksa gurus by institutional election.
"The idea of an organized church in an intelligible form, indeed, marks the close of the living spiritual movement. The great ecclesiastical establishments are the dikes and the dams to retain the current that cannot be held by any such contrivances. They, indeed, indicate a desire on the part of the masses to exploit a spiritual movement for their own purpose. They also unmistakably indicate the end of the absolute and unconventional guidance of the bona-fide spiritual teacher."
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur
If speaking the authorized truth is offensive, then the offender is not the speaker but the one who is in violation of it.
Posted by Atma @ 12/11/2005 09:56 AM PST
please accept my respectful obesance. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada would some times play the devil's advocate in morning walks so that His disciples could better understand the arguments. So, I dont think that its being "wishy washy" to try to understand why people think the way they do.
However, the author does say that "both considerations are praiseworthy and laudable."
I would agree that this is being "wishy washy".
If you ask the GBC, they will say that they are serving Srila Prabhupada. If you ask the TP in Long Island temple, he will also say he is serving Srila Prabhupada. If you ask this author, will say the same.
To a larger extent, the Christian's say they are serving God, the Mohammadan's say they are serving God, the Jews say they are serving God.
What makes them incorrect? They actully are not following the teachings of their God. Of coarse, Srila Prabhupada is not God, but the idea is the same.
The current ISKCON management is not following Srila Prabhupada's instructions because of the following:
1)Unautorized book changes
2)The representatives (gurus) are accepting worship and giving themselves names ending in "pad"
3)They preach that Srila Prabhupada is dead, when he is alive and vibrant in vani form.
4)They make Srila Prabhupada inaccessable to the public by putting them selves in the center.
And that is just 4 reasons, I'm sure there are more...
I agree that ISKCON needs reforming. But I disagree that it needs to be abandoned. A few leaders, need to be abandoned- thats true. But, ISKCON is a person created by Srila Prabhupada.
The Long Island TP did not go out side of ISKCON to do what he did. He did not start a new movement, he took an ISKCON temple and put Srila Prabhupada as the middle.
If the current gurus in ISKCON want to see Krishna Consciousness sucessful, they need to step down and let Srila Prabhupada shine in the center. Then they can turely represent Srila Prabhupada.
Posted by Mark @ 12/11/2005 07:52 AM PST
Please accept my respectful obeisances Atmarama Dasa,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
I well understood Prahlada Maharaja Dasa's point and purpose, but doubt he did. It is not possible to serve 2 masters. Fear is a legitimate explanation for being wishy-washy and straddling the fence out of a sense of self-preservation, but it is no excuse to remain in denial once it is recognized as such.
I have seen my fault here and that is what counts in the end.
In a way, you are suffering in the same way he is, but you seem on the verge of a real break through.
So I encourage you as to your last point which was to keep Srila Prabhupada as the center. This is what sustains us all.
And since my fault is that I am not 100% prepared to share the project which is burgeoning amongst myself and those disciples of Srila Prabhupada whose pleasure I serve, as breaking anonymity now would invite physical attack that I am not fully prepared to defend, I can offer the following.
Anyone who is involved with an Iskcon center who wants to keep and thus "return" Srila Prabhupada to the center should contact the Temple President of the Iskcon Long Island Temple for advice. They have done what no one else has been able to do on that level. They have procured legal restraint against the bogus GBC, in accordance with the American Justice System, thus preventing them from having any influence at all upon the Temple. This is the first step. Now they reserve the right to witness the evolution of the repentance of GBC members from afar, and can decide if and when they will allow the relationship to continue.
No longer can a GBC person just walk into their temple and tell them that they are not following the rules when they truly are, and then threaten any sanction. To tell the T.P. that he needs to force newly aspiring bhaktas to accept some false Guru from the GBC, or to only use books that have been changed by those thinking they are correcting Srila Prabhupada. Never again.
Srila Prabhupada never gave anyone the authority to use the GBC as a vehicle to fulfill their personal whim based on a mental concoction.
Rocana Dasa, in some of his articles, has outlined very clearly what the original role of the GBC was to be in relation to local temples. And Srila Prabhupada's Direction of Management, The July 9th 1977 letter regarding intitiations, and his Last Will and Testament say the rest.
So the Temple President of the Long Island Temple is free to act according to his understanding of Srila Prabhupada's instructions, and until he sees that the GBC has done more than pay lip service to their intense deviations, and more than offering half hearted committee proposals to address those issues which should immediately see resignations and imprisonments, he sees no benefit in taking the advice of such a body in how to follow Srila Prabhupada's directions. Do you?
This is what I have to offer.
I plan to arrange some closer relations with these brave and stalwart Devotees myself, and their example shines like a Diamond in a hill of worm dung.
Posted by Atmarama dasa babaji @ 12/10/2005 09:44 PM PST
Dear Bhakta Mark,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada. Please accept my humble obesances.
I think we are both a little bit unclear on what his point is (or maybe it is better to ask what is his puropse), but the issue seems to be that ISKCON has some problems and the question is: which direction it is going in and what is the best policy for devotees?
The author does not give any examples of the problems, he just says it has "abuses." He seems to attempt to give a solution, although that is unclear. He says,"...real benefit accrues if we can rise above the category of Sanda and Amarka, Prahlada Maharaja’s teachers - proficient in the mundane." He tells us to rise above the materal platform and I guess we are supposed to read the story of Pralada Maharaja in order to find out how to do that.
The two "contentions" on the best policy for ISKCON are interesting.
The first: "Whatever inconsistencies there may be, let them be. Be patient, be tolerant."
The second: "Some believe immoral and unethical incidents make for a bad precedent. That whatever the cost may be, the purity of the movement is of paramount importance."
On one hand, not a blade of grass moves with out the sanction of the Supreme Lord. So we could say that "unethical incidents" are okay because Krsna lets it happen. On the other hand, we could be Krsna's instrument in reforming the institution as much as we can.
Really this material world exists to fulfill our disires. Do we want Krsna or not? So is it safe to say that their mischieveious evil disires to mislead the people by committing "abuses" is greater then our disires to rectify things and to see justice done?
Srila Prabhupada is in every ISKCON temple and it seems that most ISKCON leaders agree that Srila Prabhupada is the Acarya of the movment.
You could say that the problem lies in the worship of imposter gurus and all the leaders in ISKCON should just represent Srila Prabhupada as regular gurus (as representitives of Krsna and Srila Prabhupada); or you could say that the current gurus are trying to follow Srila Prabhupada's instructions and even though they are imperfect at least they are doing something to spread the Holy Names.
So, to get back to what the best policy is: KEEP SRILA PRABHUPADA IN THE CENTER. For me this just means to continue reading Srila Prabhupada's books and listen to His lectures. There are no books that can compare. Keep Srila Prabhupada in the center whether you are representing Him as a guru or a servant and your life will be sucessful.
Posted by Mark @ 12/09/2005 11:58 AM PST
Dear Atmarama Dasa Babaji,
Please accept my respectful obeisances.
I honestly couldn't get past the fact that I had to wade through such dog manure straight from the beginning.
If you were able to locate some good points, perhaps you could assist the author in his re-write, being sure to edit out the manure, unless it is from mother cow.
I need to go sharpen my nails.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Posted by Atmarama dasa babaji @ 12/09/2005 12:34 AM PST
Tearing articles apart with your long nails is surely a sight to see- but he may have a few points there somewhere, no?
Posted by Mark @ 12/08/2005 11:05 AM PST
In the article above, the author writes,
"Seen as such, both considerations are praiseworthy and laudable."
This in reference what the author observes to be two different and "contending" policies a person can have toward ISKCON.
After describing the first policy of "we must never ever question whatever may be the state of the movement. Whatever inconsistencies there may be, let them be." and tacitly equating this with displaying "patience and tolerance", the description of the second policy begins with,
"The other path suggests that we must be honest."
So then going on to say both considerations are laudable and praiseworthy defies belief, but there it is in black and white.
Though the author never directly states that the first policy requires dishonesty, the authors true misunderstanding of what constructive criticism, patience and tolerance truly mean is revealed in the fact that he begins to show contrast between the policies using honesty as the keynote for the second.
One does not need to be a psycho-analyst to catch this drift of foul wind now does one? Not too hard to see which side of this fence this person has fallen down upon is it?
Quite simply Srila Prabhupada himself had no shortage of Patience and Tolerance, yet questioned the state of the movement and the state of those moving it CONSTANTLY, and NEVER let an inconsistancy with his instructions go unrecognized. NEVER NEVER NEVER. And constantly exhorted his disciples to kick the face of rascals and deceivers.
And to equate anyone else doing this with "fault-finding" is disingenuous. Anyone who stands by while another person is abused is a scoundrel and should be punished in near equal measure.
Being that this author has obviously heard nectar from the lips of a pure devotee, I will defer to the Lord's arrangement in that regard and not proceed to rip this sentimentally ignorant and inconsistant article apart any further, and request that the author either retract it entirely, or reread it using a dictionary, search his heart, and try again.
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