Prabhupāda Wanted…

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.”

Hare Krishna.


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  1. Good point.

    Prabhupada clearly states in SB 4.12.10 purport…

    “The Krishna consciousness movement is based on this principle: Chant the Hare Krishna maha mantra at every moment, as much as possible, both inside and outside of the temples, and, as far as possible, distribute prasada.

    That is all we really need to know about spiritual life.


  2. Pamho.

    Beautiful Prabhu ji. Seriously this has been the problem of our movement. I always believed what you wrote but never could express so beautifully. I really believe that Naam Sankirtan is primarily done by Khol and Kartals and not by book distribution.

    The proof is here :

    But in Kali-yuga, worship of the Deity is being neglected. Therefore chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra is more powerful than Deity worship. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu set a practical example in that He did not establish any temples or Deities, but He profusely introduced the sankirtana movement. Therefore Krsna consciousness preachers should give more stress to the sankirtana movement, especially by distributing transcendental literature more and more. This helps the sankirtana movement. Whenever there is a possibility to worship the Deity, we may establish many centers, but generally we should give more stress to the distribution of transcendental literature, for this will be more effective in converting people to Krsna consciousness.

    Now by reading it causally we can say Prabhupada wants to focus on book distribution but one may easily overlook that why he stresses that. He clearly writes that stress should be on Sankirtan movement as established by Mahaprabhu (khol and mrdanga style) and the primary way of doing that is Book distribution. In no way Prabhupada means that book distribution should impede the performances of Naam Sankirtan. Also acaryas have clearly mentioned Naam Kirtan is above any other form of Kirtan or any other type of Bhakti.

    Prabhu ji I have a humble request. May if you can kindly write a post about How everything we do(especially Book distribution) in the Naam Sankirtan movement may be called Naam Sankirtan but in no way original form of Naam Sankirtan should be overlooked. It is not just Harinaam. You write so beautifully and with ample clarity and authority. Please help.

    Your servant
    Tapomaya Das


    1. Thank you for your encouragement. We will soon publish Aindra Prabhu’s biography, and the points you are asking for discussion of are addressed pretty thoroughly in it.


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