Aspects of Vaisnava Theory & Practice
Making a "Case" for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada's "Mission"
Rasing Our Spiritual Standards

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Chapter 13
Our Mission

Part 1

“Krishna consciousness Movement is to Create a Class of Men Who Are Ideal, Frst-Class Men”

Prabhupada’s Lecture 1975 Bombay,

“Satyam, there is no truthfulness. And the first-class life means the brahmana life. Satyam saucam tapo. The beginning is satyam. The asuric life is no satya, no truth, and the first-class life in human society, the brahmanas, is satyam saucam tapo, and titiksa arjavah astikyam jnanam vijnanam. This is first-class life. So, our Krishna consciousness movement is to create a class of men ideal, first-class men with satyam saucam tapo samah damah titiksah, this is godly civilization.”

Prabhupada’s Lecture Srimad-Bhagavatam 1975, Bombay,

“But an ideal class of brahmana must be there to guide the society. This is Krishna consciousness movement.”

Letter to Karandhara 1972,

“ (The) Krishna Consciousness Movement is for training men to be independently thoughtful and competent in all types of departments of knowledge and action, not for making bureaucracy. Once there is bureaucracy the whole thing will be spoiled. There must be always individual striving and work and responsibility, competitive spirit, not that one shall dominate and distribute benefits to the others and they do nothing but beg from you and you provide. No. “

Our mission has two phases.

  1. Individually, to perfect our Krishna consciousness.
  2. Collectively, to create a model God-centered social order for the world to see.
 

Srila Prabhupada’s aim was to create a brahminical or intellectual class to serve as the head of the social body, for without such arrangement society is “brainless”. Where will we do this unless we apply it in ISKCON? In a conversation in 1974 Prabhupada stresses that we must take care of the first-class man, “the brain”:

“My original point was that if we take simply care of the fourth-class division of the society, do not take care of the first-class division of the society, then, in spite of taking care of the fourth-class society, it will not grow very nicely. Because the brain is not in order. . .”

Conversation, Geneva 1974,

“Point is that everyone should be guided by the brain. Therefore, the brain must be maintained. That is our point.”

“The brain must be maintained.” Although in this conversation Prabhupada was pointing out the downfall of mainstream society for not having an intellectual class of men, his criticism equally applies to us if we fail to create and maintain such a class of men in ISKCON.

Otherwise, as he says, if we do not take care of the first-class division of society,

“. . . then, in spite of taking care of the fourth-class society, it will not grow very nicely. Because the brain is not in order.”

And,

“. . . if it is brainless, however organization you may make, it will never become happy.”

Currently we work under the apparent assumption that all who join ISKCON are mostly, if not automatically in the first-class division, above varnasrama and fully transcendental. This is a mistake. An attempt to assess ourselves on the strict basis of guna and karma will show that among ourselves the ratio of those who can be truly considered as belonging to the intellectual class are a minority. That probably reflects the typical proportion of even the most smooth-running varnasrama setup in any yuga.

Srila Prabhupada again explains how “this Krishna consciousness movement is meant for creating brahmanas, or the most intelligent class of men”:

Lecture Bhagavad-gita 1973:

“So, at the present moment the education department does not distinguish who is a brahmana, who is a ksatriya, who is a vaisya or a sudra. And because the things have topsy-turvied (a state of utter confusion or disorder), there is chaos all over the world, not only here or there, because the division of labor or the division of working has been overlapped. Now this Krishna consciousness movement is meant for creating some brahmanas, or the most intelligent class of men. . . Brahmana means who has got very nice intellectual brain, who can understand the Absolute Truth. He is called brahmana.”

Prabhupada’s Lecture Bhag 1975 Melbourne:

“The brahmana class means the first-class ideal men, so that by the seeing their character, their behavior, others will try to follow. Yad yad acarati sresthah. So, this Krishna consciousness movement means we are trying to create some first-class men. This is Krishna consciousness, this movement. So therefore, we have got rules and regulation, no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling. This is the preliminary qualification of a first-class man. So, we are trying our bit to make some men ideal first-class men.”

Srila Prabhupada declares that the four regulative principles are but “the preliminary qualification of a first-class man”, indicating that, contrary to popular opinion, the principles alone do not make one first-class. In other words, the other qualities associated with sattva-guna must manifest. To fulfill his mission, we must go beyond the four principles to qualify fully as first-class men, brahmanas.

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