My ISKCON, My Prabhupāda.

[Regarding ISKCON] We have to redefine what “it” is. “It” is not something that belongs to “them.” ISKCON belongs to “us”, not “them.” It is an international society of people who are cultivating pure love for Krishna. It is not a predefined social entity with rules set by “them”, resolutions resolved by “them”, realizations denied by “them”, siddhantas ignored or modified by “them”, and iron-clad cultural norms set and enforced by “them.”

[Regarding Prabhupada] We have to redefine who “he” is. Is he the “founder-acarya” of an international corporation – the ultimate enforcer in a rigid police state of semi-accurate partially-comprehended viddhi? Or is he actually a dear, dear, dear friend and ever well-wisher? Someone else has made him a big monolithic icon of a figure. “They” did, because that image of him helps them have their image of themselves – big brother has appointed them. We don’t have to inherit this image. We can discover Prabhupada  through the eyes and hearts of those who we naturally and truly find inspirational and through the spiritual medium of chanting Hare Krishna and hearing his teachings with an open mind and heart. For me, Srila Prabhupada is not a “founder acarya” – he is my fatherly elder brother in this life, and in my eternal life the eternal form of Śrīla Prabhupāda is my very best friend.

I would be the greatest weakling and failure were I to let some social pressure from some psychotic-religio-quasi-society strip me of these two precious assets, my ISKCON and my Prabhupada.

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One Comment

  1. I believe this post very much relates to your post on Associating with Devotees insofar as Sri Rupa’s prescription of sajātiyāśaya-snigdha Śrī-bhagavat-saṅga is concerned. Particularly, the snigdha aspect. If “they” opt for projecting a very regal, aishwarya, stern Prabhupada, then (as you point out) it somehow deputes “them” to follow in that vein. But Prabhupada (when not acting managerially) was, in fact, snigdha and very much the parental, soft well-wisher of his “children” — many of whom now make up the “they” and “them.” Sadly, the balance are largely Machiavellian Hindu sheep whose egos are bolstered riding on the authoritarian coattails of the others.

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