Srila Prabhupada’s Purity Formula


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 25, Autumn 2009

In BTP 22 we had written that “Kali has utlilised various ambitious, deviant gurus, leaders and managers to usurp Srila Prabhupada and derail his movement; thereby turning ISKCON into just another new-age Hindu sect, devoted increasingly to philanthropic, commercial and secular activities”. Srila Prabhupada gave many warnings to prevent such degeneration.

Better starve than compromise for money

“Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura comments that there are many materialistic persons who become preachers, gurus, religionists or philosophers only for the sake of maintaining a high standard of living and sense gratification for themselves and their families. Sometimes they adopt the dress of a sannyasi or preacher. They train some of their family members as lawyers and continually seek help from a high-court to acquire riches on the plea of maintaining temples. […] Thus they spread a network of business schemes to collect money for sense gratification by cheating people in general, who have no knowledge of pure devotional service.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, 9.69, purport)

“Recently I have received from one Sannyasi complaint about another Sannyasi who is not chanting regularly. So our view is that we shall be strictly following the rules and regulations. Monetary matters are secondary. On principle, we should better starve than neglect our rules and regulations.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 11/4/1972)

We should not change to accomodate the public

“Now go on in this way increasing more and more, and always stick tight to the point of our philosophy. We should not compromise in any way just to accommodate the public idea, but we can so tastefully present the real thing that we will change the people to accommodate us.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 16/2/1972)

“I am not much fond of the idea of changing things to accommodate the public – better to change the public to accommodate us.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 28/12/1971)

“We are not after vox populi. That is not our concern. We have got our standard method […] We do not make any compromise. This is our method. If you like, you take it. If you don’t like, you go away. Don’t mind.”
(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, 21/5/1975)

Concentrate on preaching to devotees, not public

“Yes, you have got the right idea when you say that your preaching work shall be directed toward the children and the devotees and not so much to the Dallas public [….] so now we have got enough followers, let us train them up perfectly in the philosophy [...] Unless all of my students become very much fixed up in their spiritual progress, what is the use of so many programs for expansion?”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 20/6/1972)

“You can thin milk by adding water and you can make it thick by boiling. Now is the time for us to begin the boiling process. Now you know everything how to be a Vaisnava brahmana, now you must practice these thing or the whole thing will be a show only. Better to develop the small number of devotees we have, make them truly Krishna conscious boys and girls than to go on getting many followers who do not understand and practice the real principles. Better one moon that many stars.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 9/5/1972)

Stop the musical inventions

“With regard to your question about Bengali style kirtan and mrdanga playing, one or two styles is best. To introduce more styles is not good. It will become an encumbrance. Who is that Krsna dasa Babaji who is teaching? If we introduce so much emphasis on style of kirtan, then simply imitation will go on. Devotional emotion is the main thing. If we give stress to instrument and style then attention will be diverted to the style. That will be spiritual loss.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 30/6/1976)

“So far the Road Show and this Yoga Village are concerned, these things should be stopped. Simply perform our kirtana. If we divert our attention in this way, the whole thing will gradually deteriorate. He is going far away. All these things are nonsense inventions. Such inventing spirit will ruin our this movement. People may come to see, some will become devotees, but such devotees will not stay because they are attracted by some show and not by the real thing or spiritual life according to the standard of Lord Caitanya.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 5/11/1972)

Stop the bureaucracy

“Once before you wanted to do something centralizing with your GBC meeting, and if I did not interfere the whole thing would have been killed. Do not think in this way of big corporation, big credits, centralization–these are all nonsense proposals. […] Krishna Consciousness Movement is for training men to be independently thoughtful and competent in all types of departments of knowledge and action, not for making bureaucracy. Once there is bureaucracy the whole thing will be spoiled.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 22/12/1972)

Stop the yakking, distribute books instead

“If you sell a book to someone, that is better than your speaking to them–what will your three minutes’ preaching do?”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 3/11/1972)

“The real preaching is selling books. You should know the tactic how to sell without irritating. What your lecture will do for three minutes, but if he reads one page his life may be turned.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 30/9/1972)

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