Making a “Case” for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”

"Moving Forward"
Section "Two"

The Management of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission” Issue?

Segment 38.8
Comments on The Art of Management
Part 8

And GBC and Sannyasis will travel and see the officers are doing this, and if they observe anything lowering of the standard, they must reform and advise, or if there is some discrepancy, I shall remove it. 

After specifying the duties of the Temple officers, who have full authority in the management of the Temple; Srila Prabhupada specifies the duties of a GBC or a Sannyasis.  They are supposed to travel and see that the Temple officers must themselves follow, and see the others are following the regulative principles carefully, and the Temple officers are giving good instruction to the rank-and-file devotees, so they may understand nicely why this tapasya is necessary.

Of course, if new men are coming, they may not be expected immediately to take to our regulative principles’ cent per cent. Therefore, we should not be so anxious to induce them to live in the temple.

If one finds that he does not deeply desire to live in Krishna consciousness, they should not seek initiation from a spiritual master. If he is not serious, why make a superficial commitment to the spiritual path? Unfortunately, however, it has become fashionable to accept a spiritual master as one would accept a pet. Especially in India, many cheaters have come for those who are insincere about spiritual life, but who want to be flattered, that they are making spiritual advancement. They take to spiritual life as a kind of recreation. Some people are attracted to Krishna consciousness; however, they may not be serious enough to commit to following the rules and regulations.

How serious does one need to be?  The answer is,

“As serious as a heart-attack.”

Anyone who lives in the temple must agree to follow the rules and regulations without fail. So, if some new man moves in with us, he may become discouraged if he is forced in this way. Therefore, let them live outside and become gradually convinced in the class why they should accept some austerity, then they will live with us out of their own accord and follow nicely everything. It is very difficult to give up very quickly so many bad habits as you

have got in your country, so educate them gradually, first with chanting, and do not be so much anxious to count up so many numbers of new devotees, if such devotees go away later being too early forced. 

ere Srila Prabhupada, gives instruction on how to deal with persons who are interested in, or are attracted to Krishna consciousness, but do not possess the “seriousness” that is required.  Hence, he specifies a Krishna consciousness program for them as well.

I want to see a few sincere devotees, not many false devotees or pretenders.

 Why would Srila Prabhupada say this?  Because he knew that sadhana-bhakti, is no “cake-walk”.  

Is it difficult to be “serious”?  Yes! 

Is it difficult to be a “pretender?  No!

In my experience, I witnessed devotees who I thought were sincere; to only find out later that they were pretenders.  The problem here, is that these devotees whom I am refereeing to; mostly were, and some still are: “Leaders”. 

Why was I so wrong? 

Simply, because in my early years of being a devotee,

 “I did not know how to discriminate in the way taught by Krishna in Chapters 13 and 16 of Bhagavad-gita”. 

In other words, so many ISKCON GBC, gurus, sannaysis, Temple-presidents etc. have come and gone.

Would someone leave because they are serious?  No!

Would someone leave if they are a pretender?  Yes! And No!

It can be said that the rank-and-file devotees, of ISKCON, who were sincere in the beginning, they also became pretenders, for many reasons.  Srila Prabhupada disciple population in ISKCON, became a fraction, really a small fraction, of what it was before 1978. 

In addition, ISKCON now is experiencing,

“They are leaving as fast as they join.”

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