A Treatise; Making a “Case” for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”
Notes to the Reader. Part 2.
Hence, there are 5 questions which come to mind:
- Do Vaisnavas believe, it cannot be changed, and therefore, must just be accepted, and one must, “just deal, with it”?
- Does ISKCON, over time, have an immutable and unchanging nature; and is unable to be changed?
- Is ISKCON unable to change its character, its capacity for tolerance, generosity, or sympathy? (See the “Aspects Of Vaisnava Theory And Practice” section, which is available on this Web-Site, which sheds light, on this question exactly).
- Must we express acceptance of ISKCON’s current situation, condition, state of affairs, circumstances, or status quo?
- Must we recognize, that ISKCON is just limited by its current nature?
If your answer to the above 5 questions, is in the affirmative, then it is the same as saying “ISKCON “Is What It Is”. Nevertheless, this Treatise does not accept, currently, what ISKCON “Is”; it only acknowledges that “it is what it is”, and more than likely, it is not going to change for the better; change it will over time, but this change will be for the “worst”.
This Treatise will reveal what Srila Prabhupada and the past-acaryas say ISKCON “Is”, at this moment in time, and has been since Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance; and most important, why!
Moreover, this Treatise will demonstrate “What ISKCON Can Be”; and even more important, “Why It Should Be”, according to Srila Prabhupada.
Although, the TRUTH may be “unpalatable”, to the leaders, and most followers, of ISKCON, as it exists today. Srila Prabhupada’s definition of “truthfulness”, is the foundation that this Treatise is built on.
The current state of ISKCON can be demonstrated in a short analogy:
“The ISKCON ship, that was supposed to take us across the ocean of nescience, is listing, and is about to sink. It may be a fact, that the ISKCON ship, has sunk, many years ago.
This ship ISKCON, has “Two Extreamly Huge Issues”, that have for a period of almost 5 decades, ripped gaping holes, on this ship’s hull, and they have also ripped the sails off the ship’s masts.
The ship that was to take us across the ocean of Material Existence, and return us all, Back to Krishnaloka; is slowly sinking, and in the due course of time, it will have sunk to the bottom of the ocean of Material Existence. It will simply be engulfed, and overwhelmed, by the 3-Modes-of-Material-Nature[i]”.
While there is these “Two Major Issues” in ISKCON, that need to be addressed and rectified; in actuality, there are many other problems as well. However, all those other issues, and problems, are beyond the scope of this Treatise. Moreover, in order to find solutions, to the diversity of these other issues and problems in ISKCON, would take at least a few human generations. It is the opinion of this Treatise, that it will take at least three generations, to address and solve, all the current issues and problems that exist in ISKCON today.
However, the “Two Major Issues” that will be presented, are what is known as “essential”, “vital”, “indispensable”, “important”, “crucial”, and “critical”.
The reason for such concern, is that Srila Prabhupada’s mission, “depends on”, “is contingent on”, “hinges on”, “rests on”, and “is subject to”, these “Two Major Issues” being healthy and stable.
We must first establish these “Two Major Issues”, in a state of being that is in accordance with Srila Prabhupada’s desires, orders, and instructions. Moreover, we must do this, exactly and perfectly, as he has prescribed. If we can do this, then, we will be following the advice of Naratama Dasa Thakura.
Srila Prabhupada Wrote in Quest for Enlightenment, 2f, The Mercy of Lord Caitanya:
“As Naratama Dasa Thakura says, ‘make the orders of the spiritual master your life and soul’, and then, ‘do not think otherwise’, ‘simply accept what he says.’”
Fix ISKCON or Reconstitute it, like Srila Prabhupada Reconstituted his Spritual Master’s Gaudiya-matha, actually does not matter, which way it happens. However, “better late than never”, is a very appropriate idiom in this regard. Why you may ask? Because it would be better to do something after it was supposed to have been done, then not to do it at all.
FOOT & END NOTES:
 Acarya—a spiritual master who teaches by his own example, and who sets the proper religious example for all human beings.
 Goloka Vrndavana (Krishnaloka)—the highest spiritual planet in the kingdom of God, Lord Krishna’s personal abode.
 Narottama dasa Thakura—a renowned Vaisnava spiritual master in the disciplic succession from Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is famous for his many compositions of devotional songs. He appeared in the 16th century in Khetari. in the West Bengal district of Rajasahi, just north of Nadia. He was devoted to Lord Caitanya from birth. His father was a king and dedicated to Lord Nityananda. Narottama went to Vrndavana and became the initiated disciple of Lokanatha Gosvami. He studied under Srila Jiva Gosvami and preached widely throughout India, making many thousands of disciples.
[i] Three Modes of Material Nature—There are three gunas, or modes of material nature: goodness (sattva-guna), passion (rajo-guna) and ignorance (tamo-guna). They make possible our mental, emotional and physical experiences of the universe. Without the influence of the modes, thought, value judgement and action are impossible for the conditioned soul. The English word mode, as used by Srila Prabhupada in his translations of Vedic literature, best conveys the sense of the Sanskrit term guna (material quality). Mode comes from the Latin modus, and it has a special application in European philosophy. Modus means measure. It is used to distinguish between two aspects of material nature: that which is immeasurable (called natura naturans, the creative nature) and that which seems measurable (called natura naturata, the created nature). Creative nature is a single divine substance that manifests, through modes, the created nature, the material world of physical and mental variety. Being immeasurable (in other words, without modes), creative nature cannot be humanly perceived. Created nature (with modes) seems measurable, hence we do perceive it. Modus also means a manner of activity. When creative nature acts, it assumes characteristic modes of behavior: creation, maintainance and destruction. Bhagavad-gita (14.3-5) presents a similar twofold description of material nature as mahat yoni, the source of birth, and as guna prakåti, that which acts wonderfully through modes. Material nature as the source of birth is also termed the great or immeasurable Brahman. Mahad-brahman is nature as the divine creative substance, which is the material cause of everything. Material cause is a term common to both European philosophy and Vedanta philosophy. It means the source of ingredients that make up creation. We get an example of a material cause from the Sanskrit word yoni, which literally means womb. The mother’s womb provides the ingredients for the formation of the embryo. Similarly, the immeasurable creative nature provides the ingredients for the formation of the material world in which we live, the seemingly measurable created nature. The clarity of this example forces a question: what about the father, who must impregnate the womb first before it can act as the material cause? This question is answered by Krishna, the speaker of the Bhagavad-gita, in verse 14.4: aham bija-pradaù pita, I am the seed-giving father. In Vedanta philosophy, this factor of causation is termed the remote cause. It is important to note that by presenting creation as the result of the union of two causes (the material and the remote), the Bhagavad-gita rejects the philosophy of Deus sive natura, the identity of God and nature. In short, though creative nature may be accepted as the direct cause of creation, it is not the self-sufficient cause of creation. The seed with which Krishna impregnates the womb of creative nature is comprised of sarva-bhütanam, all living entities (Bhagavad-gita14.3). And Bhagavad-gita14.5 explains that when Krishna puts the souls into the womb of material nature, their consciousness is conditioned by three modes, or tri-guna. The modes are three measures of interaction between conscious spirit and unconscious matter. The modes may be compared to the three primary colors, yellow, red and blue, and consciousness may be compared to clear light. The conditioning (nibhadnanti: they do condition) of consciousness upon its entry into the womb of material nature is comparable to the coloration of light upon its passing through a prism. The color yellow symbolizes sattva-guna, the mode of goodness. This mode is pure, illuminating, and sinless. Goodness conditions the soul with the sense of happiness and knowledge. The color red symbolizes the rajo-guna, the mode of passion, full of longings and desires. By the influence of passion, the soul engages in works of material accomplishment. The color blue symbolizes tamo-guna, the mode of ignorance, which binds the soul to madness, indolence and sleep. As the three primary colors combine to produce a vast spectrum of hues, so the three modes combine to produce the vast spectrum of states of conditioned consciousness that encompasses all living entities within the universe.