Helping Devotees Is Our Mission


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 42, Winter 2013/14, Editorial

Welcome to Issue 42 of Back To Prabhupada (BTP).

On page 12 of this issue's Interactive section, there is a letter criticising the IRM for preaching to ISKCON members rather than preaching to "new" people, i.e. the general public. This is a common complaint, and is based on the assumption that preaching to those who do not yet know anything about Krsna consciousness must be more important than preaching to ISKCON members who are already situated in Krsna consciousness. However, let us look at the facts:

1) When it became necessary for ISKCON members to become spiritually situated "in the philosophy and activities of Krsna consciousness way of life", Srila Prabhupada wanted that preaching to them should take precedence over preaching to those who were non-devotees:

"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 and activities of Krsna Consciousness way of life. 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, 20/6/72)

And, ISKCON members are currently engaged in a double level of deviation:

a) Srila Prabhupada has been removed as the diksa guru for ISKCON in gross disobedience of his orders;

b) On every other major level, ISKCON has also deviated from Srila Prabhupada's orders and thus practically started a new mission, as was documented in BTP 30 - "ISKCON's New Mission" (available to read online here:

Therefore, it's clear that we are nowhere near having ISKCON devotees trained up "perfectly in the philosophy and activities of Krsna consciousness way of life". Instead of becoming fixed up in their "spiritual progress", "progress" is only being made in the level of deviation. Therefore, given the current situation, Srila Prabhupada's direction to concentrate on first preaching to ISKCON members is clearly applicable.

2) Actually, ISKCON members face a triple level of misfortune:

a) It's already bad enough that they are not situated in Krsna consciousness.

b) But unlike those who do not know about Krsna consciousness, ISKCON members have already supposedly:

i) Decided that they actually want spiritual life;
ii) Put in effort and renunciation to achieve this: following the 4 regulative principles, chanting 16 rounds every day, and dedicating all their time to what they feel is service that will please Srila Prabhupada.

Thus, unlike others, their lack of spiritual results is accompanied by wasted efforts.

c) Because they think that they have already found the absolute truth, it's not as if they will even consider searching for genuine spiritual life in the future like a newcomer may do. For they are already under the delusion that their search is over, and that they are "saved".

3) Thus, given this triple level of misfortune, if the IRM were to neglect educating those already desiring to become devotees in favour of newcomers, we would effectively be condemning them to their fates - self-deluded as they are that nothing is wrong. Furthermore, to help those who are trying to be devotees is the highest good, as Lord Krsna Himself states:

"For one who explains the supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me. There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear."
(Bg., 18.68-69)

Therefore, helping those already trying to be devotees is no less important than preaching to others, and we make no apologies for making this our mission.

Thank you and Hare Krsna.

In Srila Prabhupada's service,


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