I am Concerned About My New Disciples (03/29/12)
Thank you for your update.
If A____ has the recommendation of J____, and B____ also feels comfortable having him at Jardines de Govinda, then we can give it a try. But B____ has to be enthusiastic about the idea, otherwise it will not work. And that means that B____ has to be willing to guide A____ in our ways and even retrain him if necessary.
I do see two potential issues. The first is that A_____ has been in almost every camp possible. So the question is, what is he actually looking for? If he doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak Spanish, then how can he be sure that what I am saying and doing is what he is actually looking for?
Second is that since he has been in every other camp, he will obviously have many ideas and ways of doing things that are not in line with what I am trying to do in Mexico. In this regard I am especially concerned about my new disciples and I do not want them coming under any old iskcon way of thinking or any of the other exposures that A____ may have had. For example, when A____ was at the festival he was chanting japa in the kitchen with his bead bag hanging in front of his genitals. I spoke to him and asked him to raise his bead bag next to his heart and explained why etc. He was humble and accepted, but the worry is that he may have many bad habits (small and big) and I am not there to correct him. He will therefore have to be humble and submissive to B____ in my absence.
A_____ seemed like a nice person, but I am skeptical about his subtle influence over very new devotees. Of course, A_____ would not intend to do harm, but I am certain that his other experiences will not be a positive effect on our new devotees.
Just so you understand, let me mention here that in order to get the mission started in Mexico that I have tolerated many things that I am not prepared to continue to tolerate in the future such as dogs in the house and dogs in the kitchen, food cooked by uninitiated devotees (like H____’s mother) and food cooked by _____, or food cooked by hired kitchen help. What a Vaiṣṇava eats is very important and we are now moving in the direction of higher standards.
A____ is a good cook, but what his consciousness is, I am not actually sure. But if B____ and J_____ both agree then we can give it a try. But if it is a problem then he should not stay. You will remember S____ – he was a so-called ‘friend’ for 20 years and he was a good cook. But beneath that shell was a nasty person (many bad iskcon influences) and he was intolerable and had to be rejected.
Old friends of J_____ may become members of our mission or they may not – time will tell. I just wanted to make myself very clear to you on the matter and you can pass on the information to J_____.
Hoping this meets you well.