Keeping Devotees with Krsna


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 44, Summer 2014, Editorial

Welcome to Issue 44 of Back To Prabhupada (BTP).

Devotees have praised the IRM on numerous occasions (as reflected in the many thousands of letters we have received) for the many important services that they say the IRM has rendered to them. Chief of these has been enabling devotees to connect with the bona fide spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada. Others have also told us how due to our work they have been inspired to improve their spiritual practices with renewed vigour, having had their hope and devotion revived. While others have simply thanked us for saving them from a fate worse than death - ruining both this life and the next - by preventing them from surrendering their lives to cheaters, whom they would have been following to hell:

"[...] anyone, if he is a pure devotee he can deliver others, he can become spiritual master. But unless he on that platform he should not attempt it. Then both of them will to go to hell, like blind men leading the blind."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 14/12/72)

These are just some examples that devotees have given of how the IRM has personally helped them.

However, I wish to address another result of the IRM's work, which is probably just as important as the services mentioned above.

Currently, there appears to be a very troubling paradox regarding those supposedly practising Krsna consciousness. Through observing the "senior" devotees in ISKCON, others are seeing that it seems like the more one practises Krsna consciousness, the less one advances. Thus, those who have supposedly been chanting, attending the programs, and performing service the longest - the leaders - are also the ones who seem to go on to display the least amount of progress. These leaders end up routinely engaging in behaviour that is worse than that displayed by the normal non-devotee - paedophilia, running off with money and women, lying, cheating, and so on. As GBC member and ISKCON guru HH Sivarama Swami remarked following the behaviour of senior ISKCON leader Balabhadra Dasa:

"[...] devotees are often a little stumped thinking, ‘well, if someone who has been practising Krsna consciousness for such a long time can become so misled then what of me?'"
(Sivarama Swami Podcast, 27/9/07)

Such a situation, where it appears that the more one follows a path, the worse the result, has led some to conclude that this must mean that it is the process itself which does not work. They therefore lose faith in Krsna consciousness and give it up altogether.

However, by explaining the actual path of Krsna consciousness, and how those who are supposed to be the most advanced, are actually some of the biggest deviants, the IRM is able to demonstrate that it cannot be the practice of Krsna consciousness that is at fault, because these leaders were not practising Krsna consciousness to begin with. Rather, we prove that they are actually trying to misuse Krsna consciousness for personal self-aggrandisement. Indeed, we show that such "leaders" do not even know the basic philosophy of Krsna consciousness, let alone practise it correctly. For example, see pages 14 and 15 of this issue, as well as the "ABCs" series in previous issues.

Hence, in this case, pointing out the various deviations, which seems a "negative" thing to do, actually becomes the most positive, because it separates the perfect process of Krsna consciousness from the deviant practitioner. This in turn keeps the faith of devotees in Krsna consciousness alive, and hence they do not then lose all hope and give up chanting and believing in Krsna altogether.

Therefore, rather than being "negative", BTP is actually essential reading for all devotees, because it shows that any problems experienced by those supposedly practising Krsna consciousness are always the fault of the practitioner, and that the process, Krsna and Srila Prabhupada are actually perfect.

Thank you and Hare Krsna.

In Srila Prabhupada's service,


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Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!