Progress is Almost Undetectable! (08/26/06)
Dear G____ Mahārāja,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda.
I was so happy to finally get your answer. It never came to me directly, although you had sent it to my address. I was concerned that you didn’t want to answer. Finally, in desperation, I called J____, and he sent me a copy.
I am glad that you received my reply.
Yes, society consciousness is too prevalent in my book. However, as much as Śrīla Prabhupāda emphasized it, it cannot be eliminated, but is has to be subordinate to Vaiṣṇava dealings.
Agreed, but there is a difference between a society whose business it is to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness and a society that tries to make a monopoly of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And therein lies the problem - the emphasis is too much on the ‘society’ aspect and not enough of the ‘Kṛṣṇa conscious’ aspect. I am sure you will agree.
I also appreciate very much the letter you wrote to that girl, C___ Devī Dāsī, truly in the mood of the humble Vaiṣṇava you are. I am sending a copy to V____ Prabhu, as he is connected with the committee, as well as I will try to follow up with that lady, although I don’t know her, to express my feelings about how important your contributions are.
Its a fact that Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta will give a clearer picture of what is to be shown but that Śrīdhara Mahārāja is the one who originally gave the idea to Śrīla Prabhupāda is a hard nut for the ‘neo-conservatives’ to swallow. Anyway, on that point I have had my say.
Other suggestions that I have regarding the Deities at Māyāpura would be even more difficult for some people to accept because it throws light on just how far we have strayed from what Śrīla Prabhupāda gave us. We are basically looking at almost 30 years of inflated egos and a continuous flow of subtle and gross deviations resulting in an institution that so closely resembles the Ramakrishna Mission and the Catholic Church that its scary.
I can not help but recall when Śrīdhara Mahārāja said in a very concerned way that he feared for ISKCON’s future. He said, “I fear that ISKCON will become an apa-sampradāya in the future.” He said that in 1982 and from our point of view, the future is close at hand, unless certain changes take place soon within the society.
If size and numbers were everything, then we would have all been better off to have become Christians. Practically speaking, ISKCON has many of the characteristics that so much characterized the Abrahamic religions or what is commonly called the Judeo-Christian tradition. After all, for the longest time most of the GBCs were from Jewish backgrounds and many still are Jews I mean :)
I appreciate your being a dedicated disciple of Śrīla Prabhupāda that wants to save the institution from within, but my challenge is that the progress is almost undetectable! From within, your voice will always be muffled and assigned to yet another committee and a few more meetings. Guru is an autocrat that is guru-tattva. But in ISKCON, the guru actually has no such position. Thus in that regard, there are no sad-gurus in ISKCON - only institutional-gurus and their position is not mentioned anywhere in the śāstra as bona-fide.
I am looking forward to further talks with you and possibly seeing you this winter. Let me know when you are coming to India, but there is a chance that I will be preaching in Switzerland and Italy during part of December and January (although my program is not yet fixed).
Hoping this meets you well.
Swami B.G. Narasingha