One time the devotees came to Gurudeva very concerned, saying, "We have left ISKCON." He replied, "Why have you left ISKCON? Don't say 'I have left ISKCON'. Prabhupada has written 'Bhagavad Gita As It Is'. So, our sanga here is 'ISKCON As It Is', as Srila Prabhupada intended it to be."
Srila Prabhupada intended to have a universal movement, not a sectarian movement. His intention was that everyone should come together like one family for hearing, chanting and remembering with a fixed goal. Our goal is the exclusive service of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krsna. All our activities should be directed to this, not to politics, money or any sectarian idea.
Krsna Consciousness is not the property of any institution. And as far as allegiance to Srila Prabhupada is concerned, we should understand something about what is Guru Parampara. Guru Parampara is not a personality cult. Guru Parampara is not a diksa line; it may not even be a siksa line. If you look at our Guru Parampara, some of the personalities in our line never even met the next person in the Parampara. What kind of Guru Parampara is this? It is called vicara-dhara. Dhara means a current, and vicara means conception. The conception, the feelings, the ideas and realizations in the heart of Srila Rupa Gosvami are flowing in the heart of one Vaisnava into the heart of another Vaisnava and then another Vaisnava. And wherever that vicara-dhara, the mood of Srila Rupa Gosvami, is flowing in this world-that is our Guru Parampara. We go there and bow our head there and we take that.
Our allegiance, our faithfulness, is to our Guru Parampara. It is a sampradaya. Sampradaya means a party-like the Labor Party, the Conservative Party or the Congress Party. That party exists for many years and one person may be the leader of the party. Then another person becomes the leader of the party and later on another person may be the leader, but they have a manifesto-they have some ideals. So the sampradaya is the body of ideals coming down. Those are the ideals of Srila Rupa Gosvamipada. We must be true to these ideals, never compromising and always serving those ideals. And we must become the servants of the servants of his servants:
ei chaya gosai jara-mui tara dasaI am the servant of those who are the servants of these six Gosvamis. The dust of their lotus feet is my panca-grasa. I think that if you have five mouthfuls of food every day you won't die, but if you take less than this, you cannot subsist. The dust of the lotus feet of the Gosvamis is our food, our life and soul, and without the dust of the lotus feet of those who are the servants of the servants of the conceptions and feelings of the Gosvamis, we will die.
ta-sabara pada-renu mora panca-grasa
If we are a member of any institution which is saying we are following Prabhupada but the conception is not flowing there, then we will die. But where the conception of Srila Prabhupada, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura-wherever that is flowing we render our service there. This is our allegiance to Srila Prabhupada; this is our allegiance to our Guru Parampara and to Srila Rupa Gosvami. Otherwise we cannot be considered a member of the sampradaya.
We have to put ourselves in a place where the current of the feelings of Srila Rupa Gosvami can be transmitted into our hearts. Then we become a member of our parampara. It is not a question simply of initiation or anything. If someone in any other sampradaya has the feelings of Srila Rupa Gosvami in his heart, then he is in my parampara. If my own godbrother or godsister does not understand what is the mood of Srila Rupa Gosvami, I have no affiliation with them. We cannot have a rigid material conception of what it means to be faithful, what it means to be loyal, what it means to give allegiance and be a member of our parampara. It is only vicara-dhara, and where that conception is flowing, we will join that current and we will flow and help others come into the current.
I think that many devotees have not gone deeply into the parampara-tattva. They should try to understand this, and then this question of allegiance or non-allegiance will not come up. I think that those who are not going deeply into the teachings of Srila Rupa Gosvamipada are not following Srila Prabhupada-not at all. They create their own idea of Srila Prabhupada's teachings, quoting from letters and conversations. They take a piece here, a piece there, and sew everything together, making one Frankenstein of all the random dead pieces. They create a Frankenstein and worship that, calling it Srila Prabhupada.
What is this Frankenstein? This Frankenstein is: You don't need sadhu sanga, you don't need to associate with devotees, you don't need to understand what is raganuga bhakti. You don't need any of these things. All you need is to read books, hear tapes and build big temples, and in this way you can go back to home, back to Godhead. If you have a membership card and Vaikuntha passport, automatically when you die, you go direct to Goloka Vraja! I saw an article on Cakra saying that Srila Prabhupada never spoke about raganuga bhakti because you don't need to know. He told us, "Only preach. Then, when you die and go back to Godhead, you can learn about raganuga bhakti there." This is on Cakra now. This is written in the name of following Srila Prabhupada, but this is not following Srila Prabhupada. It is only a Frankenstein made up of statements like "vani is better than vapu," and other such things taken from here and there, and sewing them together.
When the Baron Frankenstein made this monster, it came alive, turned around and attacked him. So they have made a big monster; it is not Srila Prabhupada. It is only a monster-you don't need sadhu sanga. Now it has turned around and attacked them in the form of the rtvika philosophy. They themselves have invented this rtvika philosophy and now it has turned on them and is attacking them. You don't need sadhu sanga. Okay, why do we need you? We can all make our own monster and worship that and then we will go back home, back to Godhead. This is all bogus, and those who are following this cannot make any advancement in lifetimes and lifetimes.
So what is real allegiance? We should go deeply into this. It is vicara-dhara. What feelings are in the heart of Srila Prabhupada? How he was living for years and years before he came to the west at Radha-Damodara Temple, always taking darsana of the samadhi of Rupa Gosvamipada and always praying to Rupa Gosvamipada! In 1965 Srila Rupa Gosvamipada came to Srila Prabhupada and told him, "Now is the time. Quickly go. The summer of love is coming. Many many hippies are there. You should go on a boat to America and start your preaching. Now the time is right." And Srila Prabhupada went to the West.
It is very significant that Srila Prabhupada was staying at Radha-Damodara in Seva Kunja for many years, right by Srila Rupa Gosvamipada's samadhi. He said, "This Seva Kunja is my eternal abode." What does this mean? It means that Srila Prabhupada by siddha deha is always with Rupa Manjari, Rati Manjari, Vilasa Manjari and all, serving the lotus feet of Radha-Krsna in Seva Kunja.
We must go into this deeply. Perhaps we cannot fully understand but our aspiration should be that some day we will realize this thing. Those who are following real sadhana-bhajana to realize this are really the followers of Srila Prabhupada and they are the real members of ISKCON.
Also I want to make one more point-it is very important that the books we are distributing en mass to the general public should be the books of the acarya who is present in the world right now. One time Srila Gaura Govinda Maharaja explained this point to me. I was writing a book from his lectures and he took something out. I asked him for clarification on this point. He said, "No, I will not explain this. Don't print it." I asked him why not. He said, "They should read it and become confused. They will wonder, 'Who can explain this to me? I'll have to go find the sadhu who can explain the real meaning to me.'" He told me, "You should edit my books in such a way that they are so attractive that someone will read them and say, 'I want to meet the author of this book.'" If people only read, they get some benefit. But unless they make an endeavor to come to meet the author, then the help that we have given them is very minimal. Without meeting the current acarya, it may take them hundreds of lifetimes to come into bhakti. They may get a book of any acarya who has left this world now. They may become very interested but will think, "I can never meet with him." But if they receive the book of an acarya who is here and there is an address, then they can go to meet him and ask him their questions. How much more valuable this is!
Then having darsana of sad-guru-darsane pavitra koro - ei tomara guna-in a moment all their sins and anarthas go away. By this sadhu sanga they can quickly come in the line of suddha bhakti. The devotees asked Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridara Maharaja, "If you are a conditioned soul and drowning, how can you help someone else who is drowning? Is it possible?" He answered, "Yes, it is possible. If you are drowning and someone else is also drowning but then you see a boat, you will say to that person, 'I see a boat. Look!!'" We ourselves may be drowning in this world, but we can help others by pointing out that boat, "Come with us. We know a boat. I cannot save you but I know someone who can." Then, when they meet Srila Gurudeva, he will bring them into the true line of sadhana and then they will be able to meet Srila Prabhupada personally-face to face. Where? In Vrndavana. So if you want to bring people to Srila Prabhupada, then bring them to a person who can bring them into siddha deha and send them in the service of Srila Prabhupada there eternally. This is really introducing people to Srila Prabhupada.
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