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What Happened to the Hare Krishnas

What Happened to the Hare Krishnas

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Published by Suryasukra
Hare Krishna post-Srila Prabhupada physical departure from material world
Hare Krishna post-Srila Prabhupada physical departure from material world

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Published by: Suryasukra on Mar 04, 2013
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05/09/2013

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What Happened to the Hare Krishnas?
by Madhudvisa dasa
 
Preface
I offer my respectful obeisances to my eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He has saved me from the repeated cycle of birth anddeath in this material world and enabled me to have a slight glimpse of the beautifulcowherd boy, Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This little glimpse hasenabled me to leave behind the mundane aspirations and desires I had previously and insome small way to enjoy the nectar available through serving Krishna and His puredevotee. I have no way to repay my debt to Srila Prabhupada. The only thing I can do isto try and follow his instructions and push on the preaching of the Krishna consciousmovement all over the world
.
Srila Prabhupada said if you become a devotee of Krishna the whole world will becomeyour enemy, and to some extent I have experienced that
. Of course it is to be expected as practically speaking the whole world is engaged in sense gratification and Krishnaconsciousness is a threat to this.I wouldn't mind so much if it was the general public who were inimical and causingobstructions to the preaching work, but, although there are some "demons" out there who
 
can be quite annoying, the vast majority of people are not demons, they are innocent soulswho have been mislead by the sinful atmosphere of this Kali-yuga, the iron age of quarrel.
 The problem I am facing is that some so-called devotees of Krishna are making itdifficult to preach Krishna consciousness
...Srila Prabhupada had the same problem. Practically speaking the only serious threat to hismovement came from his godbrothers, the other disciples of his spiritual master, His DivineGrace Srila Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja. His godbrothers had their own preachingorganizations in India and saw themselves as world-preachers, jagat guru's (guru for thewhole world), but they never left India, despite the fact that Srila Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvatihad asked all his senior men to travel to the Western countries to spread the message of Krishna and Lord Caitanya. But they were not interested. They had their few temples andenough followers to send out begging money on the basis that it was for the service of Krishna but they were simply eating and sleeping. They had no life for the preaching work.When they saw Srila Prabhupada succeed in the West in fulfilling their spiritual master'sdesire, instead of congratulating and encouraging Srila Prabhupada they criticized him.They were envious of his position, envious of his followers, envious of his large number of opulent temples all over the world. Even up to today Srila Prabhupada's godbrothers arecausing great problems within his society.
Now we have seen ISKCON (Srila Prabhupada's preaching movement) develop, sinceSrila Prabhupada's departure in 1977, into something quit different from the movementhe established
. There is still lip-service to the instructions of Srila Prabhupada and if youtalk to one of todays ISKCON devotees they will still talk about Prabhupada and Krishna, but something has changed. The mood of pure devotional service has gone. SrilaPrabhupada wanted his ISKCON to be a society of pure devotees, because it is onlythrough the association of pure devotees that one can advance in Krishna consciousness. Itis true that one can be a mixed devotee, the demigod's are all devotees of Krishna, but theystill maintain some independent material desires. This means they can't leave the materialworld, they are simply promoted to a higher status to fulfill their material desires. It is notsuch a wonderful thing to be a mixed devotee, there are so many mixed devotees.Practically every religious group on the planet is promoting some sort of mixed devotionalservice. But that is not bhakti, that is not love. It is a business. If I have faith in God and Iapproach Him to serve Him with some motive in mind this is a business transaction. It'sgood, in the sense that such a person is pious. When he is in need he turns to God to fulfillhis needs, but it's not Krishna consciousness and it's not what Srila Prabhupada establishedISKCON for.So ISKCON has become an institution where the majority of members are practicingKrishna consciousness or devotional service to some extent, but not completely purely.Many members of ISKCON today have some motivation, some personal desire to fulfillthrough their devotional service. It's understandable enough as there has been a history,since Srila Prabhupada's departure, of leaders who are themselves materially motivated.Many of the former leaders of ISKCON have fallen away and in retrospect it can be seenthat they were not pure devotees at all. The leader has a big effect on his followers and acheating leader tends to attract cheating followers. So the current institution, ISKCON, can
 
 be very difficult if one is sincerely trying to practice pure devotional service, as that moodis no longer there.My personal position is that I have absolute faith in Srila Prabhupada, my spiritual master,and Krishna and I am trying with all my energy and intelligence to engage myself andeveryone else in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna, but there's no place for me inISKCON. They just don't know what to do with me. Because they are preaching somewatered-down philosophy to the devotees to encourage them to do business and make lotsof money rather than to preach and distribute Srila Prabhupada's books my presence in theTemple makes them feel uncomfortable, because I just want to preach and distribute books,and I want to do it with the other devotees. So it's very difficult. I wouldn't say that theISKCON devotees are demons or against Srila Prabhupada, generally they are all greatsouls who have dedicated their lives to preaching Krishna consciousness. It's just becauseof bad leadership the temples are in the state they currently are and the pure devotionalmood has been lost.For me there is nothing more enjoyable than the association of devotees who are dedicatedto pushing on Krishna consciousness by following Srila Prabhupada's instructions anddistributing his books. Simple, uncomplicated souls who are not interested in politics anddiplomacy and who are actually following strictly the path of saddhana bhakti as presented by Srila Prabhupada.Disciples of Srila Prabhupada follow four regulative principles: no illicit sex life, nointoxication of any sort including tea and coffee, no gambling and no meat eating. They riseearly every morning, before 4:00am and attend the Mangal Aroti ceremony in the temple.They chant at least sixteen rounds of the Maha-Mantra, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna,Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare, daily andthey engage themselves full-time, 24 hours a day in practical service to Krishna under thedirection of the spiritual master.Quit a difficult task you might say! In fact to do all these things is impossible unless wehave developed some real love and real attachment to Krishna and Srila Prabhupada. If thelove and attachment is there there will never be enough hours in the day to serve Krishnaand Srila Prabhupada and such service will place us in the ever increasing ocean of spiritual bliss. So the more we serve the more our desire to serve increases.The development of this love and taste requires good association. The reason SrilaPrabhupada established ISKCON was to provide a place for people interested in spirituallife to come to and associate with pure devotees so they could develop this love andattachment. Unfortunately in ISKCON today someone who wants to develop this pureservice mood is seen as something of a fanatic, they call it the "Pure Devotee Disease" andanyone who exhibits it is encouraged to come back down to earth, be realistic and keep ongoing out there and collecting money and bringing it back to the temple. It is very difficult,if not impossible, to develop attachment and love under such circumstances. Usually thereverse happens, innocent and sincere young people join the movement and by associationwith the "devotees" who are not very serious and who have their own personal motivations

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