Aspects of Vaisnava Theory & Practice
Making a "Case" for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada's "Mission"
Rasing Our Spiritual Standards
Chapter 6

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Srila Prabhupada’s Warning and The Lessons of History

Part 8

“No Stable Arrangement Has Yet Been Successful.”

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has written about the danger of the organization subverting its ideals, in an article he wrote about the anartha, that Putana represents, “the pseudo[1] guru”, and by extension the pseudo religious group”:

“The church that has the best chance of survival in this damned world is that of atheism under the convenient guise of theism. The churches have always proved the staunchest upholders of the grossest form of worldliness from which even the worst of non-ecclesiastical criminals are found to recoil.”

This is a danger to ISKCON. In the name of yukta-vairagya we have the opportunity to rationalize “the grossest form of worldliness.”

Therefore, Srila Prabhupada despised churchianity, for it represents such worldliness. If we disintegrate into churchianity; that is a great misfortune.   It could happen very easily to ISKCON; or maybe it already has happened. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura continues:

“It is not from any deliberate opposition to the ordained clergy that these observations are made. 

The original purpose of the established churches of the world may not always be objectionable. 

But no stable religious arrangement for instructing the masses has yet been successful.”

The original purpose may not be objectionable, but no stable arrangement has yet been successful, because of the very tendency of the large organization to go off the track, by letting the continuation of the status quo, replace the continuation of spiritual principles, and the full sense of the original mission of the founder.  A stable arrangement would require some mechanisms for keeping the organization from devolving into a mere bureaucracy for retaining the reins of power. To guard against this tendency, Srila Prabhupada recommended “boiling the milk.”

Letter to Rupanuga—Honolulu 9 May, 1972:

“Now I want that we shall concentrate on making our devotees Krishna conscious and ourselves becoming Krishna conscious, and not be so much concerned with expanding ourselves widely but without any spiritual content. Just like boiling the milk, it becomes thicker and sweeter. Now do like that, boil the milk.”

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FOOT NOTES:

[1] Pseudonot genuine; spurious or s.ham