When we ask a non-flattering question (or even a flattering question) about something happening ISKCON, we are very likely to soon hear, “Prabhupāda wanted this!” followed by a series of quotes from his recorded conversations and collected letters.
I am a dad. That’s something somewhat like being a guru and head of an institution, on a very small scale. As a dad, I want my son to take a shower regularly, every day would be swell. Now let’s say my son starts spending all day in the shower, saying, “My dad wanted this.” Yeah, I wanted him to take a shower, but I sort of expected that he would keep that desire in the context of all the other things I want for him, many of which are a lot more important than taking a shower. You know, things like eating, sleeping, getting out the door on time, doing some homework every once in a while, etc.
There’s certainly no question that Prabhupāda wanted a lot of things from us, but its equally certain that we are likely to mess up the context and screw up the implementation of what he wanted, and maybe THAT’s what the unflattering questions are about. For example, he wants people to become legitimate gurus. You can quote this and that till the end of the month on this topic. So what did we do, we got 11 zonal-ācāryas with daily guru-pūjā and gold plated bathroom fixtures. Yes, Prabhupāda wanted gurus, but…
See, the main thing that Prabhupāda wants is to serve Krishna and Rādhārāṇī. To do that, he wants newer and newer friendships for them.That means the main thing he wants to do is expose people to the beauty of Rādhā-Krishna’s vraja-prema. The primary way of doing that is Śrī Krishna Saṁkīrtan – which is primarily done with karatala and khol, and secondarily done with spoken and written words (ie “books”). That’s the MAIN MAIN MAIN thing our Guru wants. He also wanted a bunch of other things, but when people sense that we pay too much attention to the other things and neglect the main thing, that’s when we start to ask unflattering questions about what everyone is doing in the name of “fulfilling Śrīla Prabhupāda’s desires.”