Making A “Case” for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission
Saragrahi.org’s Specific Vision About Free Speech and Civility Or Let it be Clear Who is Most Welcomed to the Saragrahi Web Site, & Who is Not.
BY Upendranath Dasa
“A Person of Integrity”
Scott Peck is a man many people respect. He is a thoughtful man. He is so concerned about civility, he wrote a whole book about it, yet he also says this, about the person of integrity:
“One of the things a calling to be an individual of integrity means, is a calling to speak out, to be outspoken. We are called to overcome the psychology of helplessness, of reticence. If we see a lie, we are called to name it a lie. If we see insanity, we are called to name it as such. . . Yes, there are some who may find it upsetting, but perhaps they need to be upset. There are others who will respond to your outspokenness, with gratitude for that leadership that gives them the courage to speak out about it.”
ou may say Scott is not a follower of Lord Chaitanya, but this site is saying that a follower of Lord Chaitanya in fact accepts this view of integrity wholesale, as indicated by quotes posted on this site by Prabhupada and Bhaktisiddhanta. We all should accept it. Naming silly sentiments as such, calling lies lies, not being seduced by pseudo-philosophy, the whole nine yards, with malice towards none.
Srila Prabhupada puts Mr. Pecks words into Kåñëa-consciousness terms in his Purport to Bhagavad-gita 10.4-5.
Srila Prabhupada wrote in his Purport to Bhagavad-gita 10.4-5:
“Satyam, truthfulness, means that facts should be presented as they are, for the benefit of others. Facts should not be misrepresented. According to social conventions, it is said that one can speak the truth only when it is palatable to others. But that is not truthfulness. The truth should be spoken in a straightforward way, so that others will understand actually what the facts are. If a man is a thief, and if people are warned that he is a thief, that is truth. Although sometimes the truth is unpalatable, one should not refrain from speaking it. Truthfulness demands that the facts be presented as they are for the benefit of others. That is the definition of truth.”
Like when friends spar in martial arts school. It is to help both people, and your opponent is your friend, but you still throw the bugger 20 feet if you can. Do you hate him? Not at all. Later, he can have dinner at your table. That’s all.
If we would all learn to be open and straightforward people, what a relief that would be for all of us. What a foundation for love and trust. But if we use philosophy to obfuscate, rather than clarify, because our real agenda is fear to be ourselves, fear to live with integrity in social interactions. Fear to say,
“My gracious, but you do talk a lot of drivel, Prabhu.”
Of course we baffle ourselves first with the philosophy, and then things proceed from there. And our other agenda is to be popular, giving or getting a nice stroking. And if we meet someone who does not go along, we start “preaching.” And if that does not work, we try to isolate them from the herd. We who are serious about simple living and high thinking, should be alert to all this foolishness.
According to Prabhupada, writing is for the smart ones, those of brahminical nature. Not for all and miscellaneous. Makes a shipload of sense. So the Forum is open to anyone to have a go, and not say something “too foolish,” but for those who cannot cut it, give us a break, move to the side. Listen. Or else we will give your drivel the treatment it deserves. We do not want to be reticent and helpless, while privately thinking, “Gee whiz, what a jerk.”
As a matter of fact, Saragrahi.org is a great place to sort this all out, but first you have to be willing to deal with people who call a spade a spade, people whose first concern is making sense and NOT making each other feel warm and fuzzy. So, if anyone is going to wince too much and invoke “civility” then that soul is pretty much in the wrong part of town. No big deal, really, just call a cab and move on out.
This site is not at all interested in encouraging “everyone.” It is interested in encouraging the smart ones. Let the non-smart go somewhere else. Practically the whole rest of the devotee world is geared up for the non-smart segment. So this site is one place where the smart can confer and churn this philosophy for a change. This mood is in total agreement with our philosophy, which divides society into four classes according to nature, in which the guru teaches the smartest ones about Brahman, and they become the brain of the social body, and non-smart fellas or ladies, get the rudiments and other stuff, ranging from administration down to labor.
We may preach and canvas widely, but then we should boil the milk, as Prabhupada wanted. For the mass, “kirtan and prasadam and a little philosophy,” but on this site, why make it all about the mass? Why not has a site to encourage the bright people? This site is totally about that. What moral or philosophical grounds can anyone give to refute this idea?
ISKCON and other Vaishnava groups are an embarrassing mess. A community that caters to the morons, that fosters morons; a community about simple thinking and high living instead of the other way around. Devotees can quote this and cite that, but they cannot think clearly for beans, which is to say they are not even experiencing the equilibrium symptomatic of sattva guna, what to speak of going beyond that. Makes you wonder, does not it? And when you point out their stupidity to them, rather than pause and update their thinking, invariably they compound their folly by going into mudha overdrive and accuse you of not having humility, of being offensive, and a host of other programmed reactions, and defenses against reality. What a farce. Some call it the twit factor, a. silly or foolish person.
Meanwhile, Prabhupada wanted us to boil the milk. He wanted class, not mass. This is not just the interpretation of Saragrahi.or. So Saragrahi.org is a site with this emphasis. This site is not for the masses. Even if this site is a facility for only three, six, or nine participants who mostly say something of substance, who stimulate each other and those who read them, who give each other and those who read them something to think about, or who give a new insight or a fresh take on an old one. Yes, this site is for them.
Here, philosophy and reason sit in the place of honor and the rest of us sit on the floor. And we can speak our minds, and then have it mulled over in light of the philosophy and reason. And if someone does not make sense it will show. No big deal in that. But if someone is absurd, not yielding to philosophy or reason, or is simply clueless about how to conduct rational discourse, yet cannot zip up, then that will be dealt with summarily at some point, and the sooner the better. The upshot is that those who ride out the process learn to think for themselves, they learn independent thoughtfulness, and this is something Prabhupada wanted in his followers. Those who like their thinking, to come in a can, are welcome to go elsewhere.