Aspects of Vaisnava Theory & Practice
Varieties Of Dysfunctional Experience
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The following letter was received from one of the persons who read the manuscript of this book. Author’s name withheld for fear of political backlash:

“Dear Prabhu:

For your records: It was in 1989 at the Vyaspuja of my spiritual master that I found myself deeply pondering my life, my 12 years in the movement. It struck me that I was not going anywhere. I felt annoyed and uncertain about what to do. At that time, I thought of myself in these terms: “I am going nowhere. I feel like a dog chasing its own tail. I have not moved an inch in many years.” I was feeling frustrated, as if a lot of time had been wasted, as if a significant portion of my life had not been properly utilized.

I wondered. But, of course, I consoled myself, that this frustration was itself the price I had to pay to advance in spiritual life, that this frustration of not achieving anything would mature into complete detachment from the material world, and that my feelings that I was not moving at all in Krishna consciousness was only apparent, for by not achieving anything in this life, I would have nothing to be attached to, and therefore at the end, surely, I will go to the spiritual world.

This is my example of the illusion of progressing out of illusion. I kept pushing myself for another couple of years, until I decided to take my life in my hands, to make my own decisions about what was the best service for me and where I should stay according to my capacity and resources. I think I did this move barely in time, before the panorama became completely dark. I thought: “Fourteen years have passed; I have changed the body twice. I have given my authorities plenty of time to train me, and look where I am. I better train myself.”  I made this my only guiding principle: To be sure (or at least try to ascertain) that whatever I do is for the service of Krishna.

I think many, many devotees have had similar experiences, but unlike myself, they are now completely disassociated from ISKCON, and from the practices of Krishna-consciousness, because although they were able to feel as deeply, they may have lacked a good philosophical basis, or as you would say, the courage to move out of the herd.

I want to offer you my most humble obeisances for producing this book, which gives our members the tools, the knowledge and the language to identify clearly the situation, and the courage to move ahead. Thank you. I say thank you many times, and this only after reading the first ten pages.”

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