(Lecture given on ISKCON’s 30th anniversary New Delhi 2006)
On this most auspicious day 30 years ago in New York city on lower east side Srila Prabhupada incorporated the International Society for Krsna Consciousness, popularly known as ISKCON. Somehow or other by the causeless mercy of the Lord we have all contacted this movement. By contacting this movement established by Srila Prabhupada we have come in direct contact with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the sweet loving boy of Vrndavana – Govinda Deva, Krsna, Gopinatha, Syamasunder.
So we feel that we are very grateful for such fortune that we have received. So in times like these when we are celebrating the founding of Srila Prabhupada’s movement, we want to express our gratitude for how much mercy Srila Prabhupada has given us.
Practically the world, western world, if they have any understanding of Krsna at all, is due to ISKCON.
In England, years ago, sometimes there were so many difficulties. So some famous nationalist of England who very much loved his country, he said, “England with all thy faults, how I love you”. So naturally any country of this mundane world being limited by the material energy is full of faults.
This is the nature of the jiva in this world. We have defects – imperfect senses, commit mistakes, subject to illusion and the most problematic fault we have is cheating. Cheating, lying, not being honest. So obviously, such a governmental system or anything created by such a faulty person will be faulty. But this person said, “England with all thy faults, how I love you”. So he accepted, there may be some faults, but still he loved his country of England.
So we have seen in the growth of ISKCON, so many wonderful things have happened, so many glorious things. Those glorious and wonderful things happened by those devotees who stayed very closely and tightly to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada. And if something not nice happens then that is blamed on ISKCON or the members of ISKCON. Because it is caused by the members who don’t follow the teachings of Srila Prabhupada and are not actually following in his footsteps.
There is anukaran and anusaran. Anusaran means to follow in the footsteps. So some disciples, they like to imitate Prabhupada and by doing so they create calamity, and then other disciples, they don’t want to follow at all. So they also create calamity for their family.
Just like in a family, if one son..The family may be good – very pious, very religious, very respected in the society, in the village, in the community for their contribution to the village. May be economic or welfare activities that family is doing. But then one son may appear in that family and he may be like king Venu from Bhagavatam fourth canto. He may be a rogue, a dacoit, a gunda, and he can bring so much disgrace to that family. Although his family is not to be blamed, it is that individual person. Nevertheless, somehow or the other, he has to be rectified.
But sometimes we see that we are the members of this large family of ISKCON and over the last twenty years which we have seen or thirty years which our seniors have seen so much good is there and so much bad also, some bad. And on these days we feel that Srila Prabhupada’s movement because of the nature of this fighting is always being assailed. Assailed means attacked by so many forces. Prabhupada used to say, that the proof of your preaching, if your preaching is successful that means maya will react and give you a hard time.
Because preaching means your self purification, your preaching means your distribution of Krsna consciousness – is to benefit the conditioned souls. So when you try to purify yourself of the material existence which means becoming attached to Krsna. When you try to purify other souls, maya reacts, she reacts .Because she is a testing agent, she a representative of the Lord. So she will test you. Do you really want to become pure individually? Are you really desirous to love Krsna and return to Krsna and completely, selflessly, purely serve your Gurudev? So she will test you. And then she will test your preaching. Do you really want to preach? Are you really determined to please Lord Caitanya in this way and alleviate the sufferings of the masses? Or are you motivated for your own personal aggrandizement. Or actually in the name of preaching, you are really not trying to help others.
So in different ways maya will test. What is our sincerity? What is our real motive? Sometimes Prabhupada said, “People come to ISKCON with ulterior motives.” Ulterior means hidden. Secret motives, secret desires. They want fame. They want name. They want followers. They want money. And when they bring these contaminations in this movement then calamity results, either for them individually, because they don’t actually become liberated, they don’t actually attain Krsna consciousness and then they bring calamity to the movement.
But this movement of Krsna consciousness will go on. And ISKCON is a very special movement and we should appreciate it. Because it is easy to find fault. It is very easy to criticize. The right hand can criticize the left hand –
“Oh why do you have dirt on you?”
“Well, give me chance, we are a same family”
Even the left hand of body is criticizing right hand of body. This is the nature of kali yuga. There is so much - always fighting, always fault finding. But to appreciate someone or some entity or to be grateful, it is very difficult. It comes from a soft heart. Another problem we have is that we are very quick to judge – what is right, what is wrong! But then, we don’t really even follow.
Well, the biggest problems of the members of ISKCON are, they are not following the teachings of Srila Prabhupada. It is a fact that Srila Prabhupada gave us everything. We have examined ourselves how are we following what he gave us? Are we actually following the teachings? Do we actually chant? I don’t mean chant mindlessly or robotically like a robot.
We have this, what you call – automotronics. Animotronics or something, some name. So we should not be like some animotronic japa. Some kind of Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare (imitating the sound like a robot).
Like a robot. You know robot? Some Mac machine. But that’s the problem, you chant like that for twenty years, then how can you expect? Then you criticize, “O, Prabhupada only taught vaidi bhakti.” But it is a fact that if one strictly follows vaidi bhakti, even if you assume that argument, if one strictly follows vaidi bhakti, he will come to the platform of bhava, but it is difficult. But by the mercy of Guru and strict following, one can also come to the platform of bhava. This is a fact by vaidi but it is difficult. But Prabhupada didn’t only teach Vaidi but he also taught raganuga bhakti. He taught pure loving service of Krsna.
For those who actually follow the path of vaidi they can actually see all the secrets in Prabhupada’s books and how to actually unfold the lotus of their heart, actually how to develop their love for God. Prabhupada didn’t leave this mission incomplete. There is nothing incomplete about the mission except the members in the mission. The incompleteness is due to our lack of following. Perfection means perfect. Today. Yesterday. Tomorrow. So this ISKCON movement is actually perfectly arranged. Otherwise it would not be accepted by every jiva in every country all over the world. This is a transcendental movement and we must become transcendental members of this movement!
How does one become a transcendental member? He very seriously accepts those things that are favorable for Krsna consciousness and rejects those things that are unfavorable. We allow ourselves in the name of maturity or saying I am older devotee, to get involved with all sorts of maya!
“O, I am a senior devotee, I can do that. I can deviate to the right or to the left”. But until one gets liberated, there is no question of compromising. There are strict rules and regulations.
You see in the movement the things which you never saw thirty years ago during Prabhupada’s time. Everyone reading newspapers. Some of our temples, they get a newspaper for every department. Some departments get two or three newspapers a day. The biggest sale of the newspaper man when he comes to ISKCON, he gets fifty newspapers. What is this? And then that same person jumps up and down, “Prabhupada didn’t give us everything”.
When Prabhupada would give initiation in the beginning, Jayapataka Swami Maharaja told us, he would require the devotees to read the Bhagavad Gita ten times and he explained how, when he read he would put a little pencil mark inside what you call the N papers. When you open the book, it is called N papers. You put one, two, three, four, slash five. After you have read Gita five times then 6,7,8,9, 10 times.
Prabhupada said, “We should read Gita ten times” according to Jayapataka Swami Maharaja, senior devotee. And we should read 1st canto of Bhagavatam three times. Because we read everything but these things. And then we are qualified for first initiation, because by doing that it creates some faith. So we may ask ourselves, “Have I read Bhagavad Gita once?” We read so many books but we have no foundation.
So ISKCON actually if we examine it, its perfectly constructed. Prabhupada gave us everything from A to Z. He didn’t give us only beginners books – books of vaidi bhakti. He gave us the highest books - Caitanya Caritamrta, Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu. And Krsna reciprocates – tesam satata yuktanam bhajatam priti purvakam dadami buddhi yogamtam yenamam upyanti te.
He says, “I give the intelligence to understand”. There is no secret; everything is in the Hare Krsna mantra. If you chant Hare Krsna purely you actually see your svarupa. You will see the svarupa of your spiritual master, you will see Krsna. You don’t need any thousand and one outside instructions, thousand and one books!
But who sits tightly and chants purely? Prabhupada stressed over and over again. But we stepped over all the beginning instructions in thinking, “Yes I am mature, I am advanced, I can chant on a clicker - some kind of a metal thing, robot japa or something. It’s a part of the robot japa. Robot heart and a little thing – chuck, chuck, chuck. No! Tulasi mala. And avoid offenses. We don’t even know. Remember what these offenses are? We become entangled in all these things.
Prabhupada taught pure bhakti, And there are many members of Krsna consciousness movement, there are many members and disciples of Srila Prabhupada and grand disciples who are attaining perfection. They are attaining self realization. And it is not just by, “O they are fortunate, they are special”. They are simply strictly adhering to the lotus feet of their spiritual master and the principles that Prabhupada gave in ISKCON. We should be proud of ISKCON.
The pure ISKCON is represented...Nowadays everyone says, “O this thing, especially in India, so much criticism. So there is no appreciation. Its like the boy grows up and the mother feeds him for his whole life. Then as soon as he gets big enough to drive a car, “O my mother, she is no good”. He starts cursing his mother, she this and that – the color of her hair and the way she walks and this and that. All kinds of petty criticism that the son may give to the mother. Where is the gratitude? Where is the appreciation? And this is the nature of maya.
Maya has two potencies, throwing potency and covering. Throws you into illusion and keeps you covered there. With what? With forgetfulness! We forget, O my mother was actually very good to me. Actually it all began with my mother. My whole famous history as a great politician began with my mother and father, lest I forget! How can I not appreciate them, the culture, the nourishment, the nurturing, the education, the maintenance, the protection they gave me?
But this is the nature of maya, when one gets into this aparadha maan, this offensive mentality. He immediately forgets, he forgets the sense of reality. Reality is something that goes through three phases of time – past, present and future. Reality is eternally existing. So we forget our past.
Actually now I am a very advanced devotee. I am following so many intimate teachings. And because we start to lose our gratitude, we become offensive. We forget, where did it all start? Where did my fantastic advancement start? Where did I begin as a big devotee? Well it actually I started when I got a book of Srila Prabhupada ten years ago, somewhere somehow I contacted ISKCON. And that’s when it all began. But we forget due to maya. And then ten years later we are cursing ISKCON, finding fault and so many things.
Prabhupada in the 10.1 Bhagavatam in one purport he said, “The Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna has taken birth within womb of the ISKCON movement.” Now try to digest that, try to understand that. The Supreme Personality of Godhead usually takes birth in the womb of Yasoda or Devaki, Vasudev Krsna in Devaki and Yasodanandan in Yasoda. Duibhuja, the two armed form. So he is saying that Krsna, that svayam Bhagavan Krsna, that beautiful Lord, He is born, He took birth in ISKCON thirty years ago. Of course Krsna never gets older fifteen and a half, sixteen.
So although externally it looks like ISKCON is thirty years old but ISKCON is only a nava yauvanam. Nava yauvanam means eternally youthful. So this means that there is something really special about ISKCON. Very wonderful.
And nowadays we find so much criticism. And actually if you meet different acaryas, very senior disciples of Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur and disciples of their disciples, you could say, cousin brothers in one sense. And some of them will say, “O, how can you stay in ISKCON?” But then others, they have equal prestige or prominence, they will say, “never leave ISKCON”. Stay with your Gurudev, how can you leave your Gurudev? So there you have very exalted personalities praising and encouraging solidarity and remaining. We have very exalted personalities criticizing or finding some fault and encouraging departure. So how does the disciple balance everything?
It depends on the depth of his realization, about his gratitude, his appreciation. If one is transcendental, one of the qualities of a transcendental personalities is dharya. Dharya means patience. He tries to see the hand of the Lord in everything. And he especially sees how Krsna has picked me up out of illusion through the means of ISKCON. Most of us! Most of us have been picked up out of illusion, out of the cycle of birth and death by ISKCON. So that gratitude can never be forgotten. That debt can never be paid, because that is the first extension of Krsna’s kripa. Krsna’s mercy comes through all spiritual masters. Krsna’s kripa comes through pure spiritual movements. But most of us, our first contact with the mercy of Krsna came through Srila Prabhupada’s movement. So much we should appreciate. Forever! And that’s like your mother. Do you ever throw your mother away?
Hear this example, a prime minister of a country, he flies off for international business, may be war with another country. This is a situation, it just happened. And while he is there with his ministers and discussing what to do about this possibility of a war with a foreign nation. In the middle of all these meetings about to begin, he gets a phone call from a distant place, “O your mother died.” So then he has so much appreciation and love and gratitude for his mother. He tells everyone, “Stop, stop the meetings, stop the war, don’t invade or invade, but I have to go back home and take care of my mother’s funeral.” This just happened in a place we are sitting in.
So this shows you that international politics, country, fame, possibility of a war has nothing to do with the intensity of a relationship that the son has for his mother. Even in this age!
So this ISKCON is like a mother. We say there are seven mothers in society. One is the wife of the Guru, Guru patni. And the other is the bhoomi mata. And then the other is the brahmani, the wife of the brahmana. And then the datri, the nurse. So you analyze ISKCON from many aspects, ISKCON is also a mother. Bhoomi is our mother because she is holding us up, she is giving us foundation. So what is holding us up, the foundation, the very basis, the foundation of our spiritual life is ISKCON!
ISKCON is our bhoomi mata, she is supporting us from the very beginning. And the datri, nurse, she nourishes the baby by continually giving her milk if the original mother is dry. So ISKCON is always nourishing us with prasadam, with mahotsavas, festivals. ISKCON is our datri and the wife of the Guru, this is Prabhupada’s wife. This is his life, vidya vadu jivanam. We say vidya vadu, the wife of knowledge. So vadu. So this ISKCON is also the wife of knowledge, she is nourishing us with knowledge.
Mahaprabhu says,”Ceto darpana marjanam maha davagni nirvapana..” He says vidya vadu, vadu means wife. So in so many ways ISKCON is our mother. And how can we neglect our mother? In these days we want to count our blessings and worship ISKCON and worship Srila Prabhupada. And actually when ISKCON is attacked, we should take that as an attack on my devotion. Someone attacks ISKCON, we should say, “O, I haven’t become pure yet, I am not following enough”. Because if everyone in this movement was a pure devotee of the Lord then how could anyone criticize? If everyone in the movement was completely pure, if they criticize, simply all their noses will fall off in three days. Just like Gopal Capala, he criticized Haridas Thakur, “Hey what is this chanting out loud” and his nose fell off from leprosy.
So when someone criticizes, you say, “Yes, I am at fault. You are right, I am at fault. I am not pure. Thank you for reminding me. Let me become a pure representative of Srila Prabhupada. Let me become a pure representative of this movement”. You may criticize the movement but how can you criticize the individuals. But what happens is that people, they just lug everything to together, “O, ISKCON is all this!” This is not very good. This is not the proper mood.
“trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniya sada harih” Mahaprabhu taught us that – why are you fault finding. Look within, see the problems within yourself. The person is saying ISKCON this and ISKCON that. Is he free? Is he pure? Is he a pure devotee? How can we find fault with others as long as we are still in the material world. Being in the material world means we are full of kama and krodha, lobha, moha and matsarya, especially moha. We are full of so much illusion, we can’t even see the tip of our nose. We can’t see straight and we are quick to pass judgment like Yamaraja, judging all the living entities.
We are very fortunate. So let us combine together to try to improving ISKCON. Means improving me! The problem with ISKCON is ME. Just like that famous president of America, he said, “Don’t try to ask what country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country”. Something like that…
When someone finds out problems with ISKCON, we should think the problem is with me, because I never really realized Prabhupada’s teachings. I didn’t even realize the first thing when he said, “Please chant without offence. Please chant purely and just see what awaits you. See what will happen.” I haven’t even done that yet. I have been chanting mindless inattentive japa for thirty years, twenty years, ten years, eight years. And I expect to snap my fingers and be in a nikunja lila. NOT SO EASY. But Prabhupada gave us the fast way. He always said, “I want to give you the fast way. The jetplane.
Some newspaper reporter said that Prabhupada is a jet age paribrajakacarya. Paribrajak acarya, he is wandering here and there, but by jet. Just like all the acaryas are now flying. Gaudiya mission, our mission, everyone is now flying. Jet age swamis. It was necessary to cover the whole world. So Prabhupada gave us a jet age fast process. On the days like this, we can examine. ISKCON is thirty years old. How many years have I been in this movement? One third of the movement? If I have been for ten years that means one third or twenty years two thirds, or thirty years, the whole time.
But when a fruit sits on the tree, it must become ripe unless it falls off the tree. If the mango is on the tree, it is green, ok. But if it stays on the tree properly oriented towards the sun and keeps his relationship with the tree then it becomes ripe mango. No doubt. It is a matter of ripening, maturing. It is a time factor.
So this ISKCON, Prabhupada said, “It is the branch of the tree of Lord Caitanya.” Lord Caitanya’s tree has many branches. There is not only one branch. There are many branches. And if you are on one of those branches, you are one of the limbs, one of the little twigs, and if you are a fruit hanging on one of those branches. Stay on the tree of Lord Caitanya and you will get the fruit. You will become ripe and sweet and fragrant and attractive and appealing and pure. It’s not that you have to go to another limb. When the fruit is hanging on the branch, it doesn’t say, “O, this branch is not good”. The branch is connected to the trunk. The trunk is connected to the roots. Its not that I have to go to another branch now! All branches will bear fruit depending on the strength of the tree. So we are on the branch of Lord Caitanya’s tree. The root of this tree is the desire of Lord Caitanya. The root of this tree is the soil of Vrndavana. The root of this tree is the lotus feet of Radha Govinda.
Prabhupada worshipped Radha Govinda and he took them out of his heart and took them all around the world so you worship Radha Govinda too. In New York, Kolkatta, then different names are there, but Radha Govinda, they are the ista deva for the Gaudiya sampradaya. But how much are we really cultivating our love for Radha Govinda? So many things we are cultivating. So many weeds. Prabhupada didn’t want that. He wanted a pure garden free from all weeds, just bhakti lata everywhere.
We can jump up and down ISKCON and distribute 500 million books which I guess almost they have done. So many temples and so many things, its very nice. But we should strengthen ourselves individually to not be affected by criticism. In a way that you direct the criticism towards the movement you are in, it is like biting your own hand. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
Your mother is feeding you and you bite her fingers. Prabhupada is feeding us so nicely. We don’t read the books, we don’t follow the programs. Immediately we want to be in the highest platform of self realization because we are so lazy. We don’t want to do any bhakti at all, we want to just say, “O, this is nice”. We just do this advance type of devotional service. This is the problem with Kali Yuga, everyone is so lazy. “Can’t get up, O, I am sick, my stomach hurts, my back hurts, I can’t go to mangal arti.” Such weakness, Prabhupada, when he started he gave so much strength to the devotees and they were so strict. We should examine ourselves, I am weak.
They say a chain is only as strong as the weakest link. So you have a chain and you are locking up your suitcase on a train. Right? Some chain. But if one of those links is Indian steel or something, not very good, kind of weak, and one of those pieces of metal, you can bend it with your fingers and open it. Once you open it then your chain is broken. Someone steals your lakh of rupees and your suitcase. So every link has to be strong then the chain is strong.
So each of us is the link of the chain of ISKCON! If you want the chain of ISKCON to be strong and go around the whole world and tie up the whole world with prema bhakti then we have to be strong links in that chain. But if one link is weak then it opens up and people will escape. We escape from the loving embrace of Prabhupada’s movement and the living entities escape from the mercy, the expression of this movement throughout the world. So we must become a strong link in that chain. Prabhupada wants to garland the whole world with prema. He came to teach Krsna prema. Do we have it? Have we attained it? Have we even seen it? So when are we going to get it? Ninety nine years from now? Ten lifetimes?
We say the glory of India, the glory of India project. But this is such a wonderful movement. It is so easy to immediately say, “There are so many problems”. Ok. But we are the problem. They say, “If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem.” They have these phrases…
This is a pure spiritual movement established by a pure devotee of the Lord with pure goals and pure teachings and by purely following. Prabhupada said, “Purity is the force.” If we purely follow, we will quickly make advancement to the goal of pure love, pavitram bhavam. Who want to attain that pure abode of the spiritual world? We must become pure. ISKCON is pure. The movement is pure. Prabhupada’s teachings are pure. But the contamination of the movement is us! We are bringing all the problems. We bring all the problems and we just infect everybody else with them and infect the world with that.
We hear it so many times, some devotee goes up and does some stupid independent materialistic thing then it comes in the paper, ISKCON devotee does this thing and that thing, and then everyone gets a bad name. Everybody says,
“O you are in ISKCON right?”
“Well ya, I guess so” (saying dejectedly)
Everyone will get a little embarrassed, “Well, ya, I have heard about it”.
“You want to like change your cloth or somehow”
“No, what makes you think I am in ISKCON?”
“Oh I just read the paper about the devotee, this thing, that thing”
Those aren’t devotees, those aren’t members of ISKCON. Anyone does crime and dacoitary and gundaism is not ISKCON, is not a member of ISKCON. He is a Kali cela, the disciple of Kali.
This movement, Srila Prabhupada coined this phrase, he said, “The materialist are feeling the weight of this movement” So the newspapers are representing Ravana. The newspapers are representing Kamsa. So Kamsa and Ravana, they don’t like the weight of Rama. They don’t like the weight of Rama rajya or Krsna bhagavan. They want to destroy Krsna and destroy Rama. So when this movement is pushing forward, these newspapers are the weapons of Maya, they are the weapons of Ravana and of Kamsa. So then they say, “O we must stop this movement, we must create defamation, we must divide and conquer. Defamation. Disrespect. We must turn the people away from ISKCON.” Because people are flying into this ISKCON movement, all over the world, there so many cell groups, congregations and ISKCON forum. So Ravana is getting up tight. Kamsa is getting up tight and nervous and anxious. “O, I am losing so many of my loyal subjects! So many of my loyal subjects are not serving lust, anger and greed anymore, they are going to serve the lotus feet of Govinda and becoming pure? I must stop them”.
So they find one devotee who hasn’t chanted a round in twenty years and he just goes off somewhere and does something, huge front page headline “ISKCON devotee does this and that”. This is a tactic of maya to stop this movement which is a proof of how much forward progress ISKCON is making. How much influence and change it is creating in the world. That is the proof as I mentioned early because maya is reacting.
And a little this thing, some little nobody can get on a front page of an international newspaper.
Because he is connected with this movement – ISKCON! If you are a member of this thing, that thing, this samaj, that samaj, you will never get in newspaper. Never in a hundred years, you could do anything. If you are a member of some family, the Agarwal family, you will never get in newspaper. But if you have anything to do with ISKCON you will get in the front page of New York Times and it will be on the evening news, all around on satellite TV. Everything. ISKCON, ISKCON.
Question? Is ISKCON mafia or what? In all these big debates they have. It is all non sense because they are all threatened so they will say anything. Just like when a man is under duress or under difficulty he just blabs anything, blah blah blah…when he is frightened. So don’t be affected by the petty words of the public.
When sadhus or saintly persons, when they find fault, then we should take it seriously. Let me look at myself. The fault lies with me, not with you. I am at fault, let me correct myself. Let me be repentive and beg the Lord for His mercy to make this movement pure. So many times in last twenty years we could have walked out of this movement. So many god brothers, good friends went this way that way. It is lot easier to leave. When something gets difficult it is easier to leave.
Just like in a family, the husband and wife are fighting left, right and center, it is easier to hop in your car and leave, the hard thing to do is to compromise, to work it out, to stay together. Because this is the age of division, this is the age of separation, this is the age of fighting, this is the age of quarrel. So if you have examined any combination of people or institution you must find always an opportunity for division and quarrel and fighting and hypocrisy because that is what the age is made of. Kali is made of that. So members of one family are always getting divided against each other. Fighting gets one another.
So ISKCON is meant to harmonize the world, unify the world around principles of God consciousness, Krsna consciousness. The wonderful beautiful person, Krsna. So this is our mission - become pure devotees of the Lord and give our purity, give Krsna to others. It’s a wonderful movement, you may leave this movement but the movement won’t leave this world. You may leave this movement and stand on the outside and say, “They did this to me and they did that to me and they and they and they”. What about you? What did you ever do? Did you do anything good? So that is unfortunate because we should support this movement, we are a part of it. We stay inside and we purify it, become exemplary. Proper devotees, proper representatives of our grand father, our great grand father, our father, then our movement will become glorious. If we individually become glorious devotees, the movement will become glorious. If there is any infamy to the movement is due to us. So we feel so bad when our father gets dragged down.
But its interesting thing you will see, no matter how many articles.– we see articles about Prabhupada and ISKCON. Atleast to date we haven’t seen, we have never seen anything bad spoken about Prabhupada. Even if there is an article where they say so much bad about ISKCON followers and the movement, they say, “Anyway the swamiji, he was a good person. He was serious but after he left…”
Prabhupada, no matter who they are, communist newspapers, socialistic newspapers, who they are, somehow they have some respect and regard for Srila Prabhupada. It’s us who bring the infamy to the family of ISKCON, not our founder, not our Gurudev. So we should bring glory to this movement by our behavior. Our preaching is our behavior. There is no philosophy without behavior. If you are not behaving purely and nicely then you don’t know anything about philosophy.
Devotee should be a temple of humility. Each devotee in the movement should be a temple of humility, a temple of respect, a temple of compassion, a temple of love. Spiritual love and concern for others. We should be a walking temple. So people who come into us, come into our association will get these things. They will receive humility and compassion and love of God.
We mark our body, this is the temple. So many places, twelve places, to signify my body is so many temples right. Each place there is Visnu, Krsna, Damodar. It is a temple, temple of my arms, temple of my back, temple of my forehead. Our body is a temple. Prabhupada built temples for people to come into but he created devotees that should be temple also mandira asraya. We should be asraya mandiras, we should give shelter. This is the mission of ISKCON. Prabhupada wrote in the mission statement of ISKCON, it says, “To erect for society at large an institution or mission where everyone can come and develop love of God and live peacefully and cooperatively in divine atmosphere of harmony and sharing and cooperation.” This is ISKCON. Not back biting and fighting. One brother stabbing the other brother, knocking up the other brother and cheating on the other brother or sister, this is not ISKCON.
Let us examine ourselves, become pure and serious. Then as we become glorious in our behavior and transcendental and spiritual in our activities and dealings, then ISKCON automatically becomes glorious and respected. That’s what Prabhupada wanted.
We only want to leave this movement one time. Everyone should leave this movement once when you go back to Godhead. At one time they asked Prabhupada, “Prabhupada is there ISKCON in the spiritual sky”. Prabhupada said, “He looked, Yes!”
So maybe there is, there is not, definitely Prabhupada is there and all the pure devotees are there. So we are going to leave the movement, leave it once, when you go back to Prabhupada, when you go back to the spiritual world and be broadminded.
Prabhupada wanted brahmanas, he didn’t want robots. Deep thinking individuals, broadminded sincere personalities. We have to study and understand every thing. Not merely judge something or merely speak up something crazy. Because we cant see everything. We don’t know how things are unfolding, how things are progressing. We are very limited by our structure and nature. But if we are a little patient as I mentioned, everything becomes adjusted properly.
Something that’s true lasts forever. Something that’s false soon falls apart. This movement is not false. It is true and it will last forever. Ten years, twenty years, thirty years, forty years, fifty years and now its the thirtieth. So may be we will be here for the fiftieth anniversary, sixtieth anniversary, it will go on, because the foundation of principles is based on purity. What is the force of an individual spiritual life? It’s purity. The more he becomes pure, the more he goes forward. What is the force of this movement? Purity is the force. Ok books are the basis, preaching is the essence, utility is the principle.
But those don’t mean anything without purity. You can pile up books to the svargaloka, but if there is no purity, nothing will happen with those books. No one will open them till they meet a pure devotee. They’ll just sit there.
So we have to become pure devotee so people say, “Wait a minute, who is this personality I just met! Extraordinary person, unusual, different from everyone else I ever met in this world. How has he become like that?”
And he says
“O it’s in this books. Read these books.”
“O I have these books at home”
So then by meeting that pure devotee then everything begins. So purity is the force of ISKCON. The more we become pure individually the more this movement will forcefully and purely go on till perfection to help the whole world which Prabhupada wanted. There are only three hundred temples in the world. They should be three thousand by now. We are very tiny, compared to Prabhupada’s vision, we should be thirty thousand temples. There should be five billion temples ultimately. There are five billion people on this planet, everyone must become a temple, a temple of prema bhakti. Krsna prema, this is what it is about. It’s not about position or fame or anything else. We throw those; we don’t want any of those things.
We are keeping focus, what am I here for? Am I here to be adored or worshipped? O you are big this, you are big that! You did this, you did that! That’s the material world. But we are here to become humble servants of the Lord, become His loving eternal associates in the sweet realm of Vrndavana, to live eternally with the pure devotees, with our gurus in a divine relationship of affection with the Lord as parent, as friend, as lover. This is the meaning of ISKCON, nothing less than that.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada Ki Jai!
Srila Prabhupada ISKCON movement ki Jai!
The International Society for Krsna consciousness ki Jai!
ISKCON’s Avirbhava Mahotsava Tithi Ki Jai!