Preaching About Krishna


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 59, Vol 3, 2018

Srila Prabhupada was very clear regarding what sort of "preaching" should and should not be done in ISKCON. All emphases added.

Authorised preaching

As a result of becoming Krishna conscious, our lifestyle, practices and values will change, so that we will stop eating meat, give up illicit sex, and so on. However, Srila Prabhupada stated that we should not preach separately about such individual issues (all quotes below are, unless otherwise stated, taken from a letter to Rayarama Dasa, 19/11/68):

"We are not meant for moving anyone's sentiment against animal slaughter [...] there are so many subject matters, just like we follow 4 principles, say for example, illicit sex life, we can publish so many pictures of illicit sex life, but that will not advance our cause. Similarly we may make propaganda against animal slaughter, but that will not advance our real cause."

Thus, we should not preach on the basis of these issues, even though we may agree with them. Instead, Srila Prabhupada stated that we should just directly preach about Krishna:

"Our propaganda is different, to make people Krishna Conscious, which automatically makes them sympathetic against any kind of animal slaughter. [...] we simply stick to Krishna, and wish to render loving transcendental service unto Him. That should be our main objective [...] Our only test is how one is taking to KC [...] KC is based on pure understanding, not by any sentimental provocation."

However, despite this clear order, ISKCON leaders still do not obey. For example, though Srila Prabhupada states that we should only preach about Krishna rather than against animal slaughter, GBC member and GBC-elected diksa guru HH Sivarama Swami ("SRS") has produced a video, broadcast on his official website, preaching specifically against animal slaughter, with no mention of Krishna! In the same vein, his website also contains videos preaching about subjects such as plastics, abortion, Hollywood sex scandals, guns, and so on, which do not make any mention of Krishna at all. Similarly, we find other ISKCON leaders also preaching about such "moral" topics, rather than directly about Krishna. This reluctance to mention Krishna is something that has been confirmed by the GBC. In the last issue, in the article "Following in the IRM's Footsteps", we documented a GBC member belatedly confirming the wholesale deviation in ISKCON that was first pointed out by the IRM. And one of the items the GBC member mentioned was that devotees have a fear of offending those who do not believe in Krishna, and thus refrain from mentioning Him.

Bold preaching for full surrender

Srila Prabhupada explained his approach of only directly preaching about Krishna, rather than any individual "moral" issue, as follows:

"We deprecate everyone, even one who is against animal slaughter. [...] Everyone who is not a KC person is a butcher. Even the so-called pious man, who is not in KC, he is also a butcher. Because he is killing his own self. So in our view, everyone is butcher, and everyone is thief also, because he is enjoying Krishna's property."

Therefore, he explained that:

"The fact is that I am the only one in India who is openly criticizing, not only demigod worship and impersonalism, but everything that falls short of complete surrender to Krsna. My Guru Maharaja never compromised in his preaching, nor will I nor should any of my students. We are firmly convinced that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and all others are His part and parcel servants. This we must declare boldly to the whole world, that they should not foolishly dream of world peace unless they are prepared to surrender fully to Krsna as Supreme Lord."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 3/1/72)

These two diametrically opposed approaches to preaching – where Krishna is emphasised, or minimised in favour of "moral" principles – are summarised in the diagram above.

What is the goal?

It is argued that preaching about such non-Krishna topics will allow us to reach more people. For example, SRS got over 1 million views for his video opposing animal slaughter. However, since it mentions Krishna zero times, zero people will want to surrender to Krishna as a result of it. We may get popularity, since we are preaching about something more people wish to hear, but the goal is not popularity or to make people more "moral", but rather, as Srila Prabhupada says, full and complete surrender to Krishna.

Srila Prabhupada therefore rejected the approach of compromising our preaching in order to attract persons who may be interested in other topics:

"We will present our program at Bhaktivedanta Manor exactly in the line of Lord Caitanya, by kirtana, prasadam distribution and speaking from Bhagavad-gita. We cannot deviate even an inch in order to attract the followers of the ecology philosophy or any other materialistic, utopian movement. [...] we shall be glad to welcome and accept everyone who comes without our compromising in order to attract them."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 3/3/74)


Therefore, having, amongst other things, already abandoned Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON's diksa guru via the Great Guru Hoax, and having abandoned Srila Prabhupada as the sole authority of ISKCON by not following the Prabhupada-Only Paradigm (POP), ISKCON leaders are now even beginning to abandon the basics of how to preach. And thus this non-Krishna "preaching" can be added to the ever-growing list of deviations from Srila Prabhupada's orders by ISKCON leaders.

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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!