What does anti-ISKCON mean?

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When we label someone what is our intention?
Is it to elevate, chastise or keep a individual in their place
One of the most interesting labels I’ve been given and used effectively to sway a committee against myself was that my blog; and thus by default me as an individual is anti-ISKCON. What is most disturbing is that the word of one individual was enough to seal my fate and no one spoke checked or asked, indeed I’m not anti-ISKCON but anti individuals leaving ISKCON due to the corporate we have rules management style.
The thing is we can read, listen and watch Srila Prabhupada and one thing I’ve observed is his compassion and understanding of individuals he knew his disciples would have their own battles and difficulties along the way. He dealt fairly and most importantly didn’t want anyone to leave ISKCON admit is to be a home for everyone, not an elite or those who have no problems following rules.
It’s interesting that when one becomes so wrapped up in “we have rules Prabhu” we forget this is Sri Chaitanya Sankirtan Movement and in this age of Kali there is no other way than the chanting of the holy name’s, it’s the power of the Mahamantra not enforcement of rules.
Srila Prabhupada started the whole movement based on this chanting, indeed the three greatest gifts, harinama, books, prasadam with the simple instruction we distribute them.
And their is no greater joy than these three things.
Upon initiation Srila Prabhupada then introduced then four regulative principles, I like to call them the four protections as it saves those who follow them from great hardship and suffering. It takes time to progress to the point when following is second nature, fall down is and should be expected but this does not reduce the person’s sincerity or determination and the mantra we have rules seriously doesn’t help.
When I look at life long followers many have had problems, fall down and difficulties but it is not rules that have kept them but friendship a personal relationship with a devotee who like Srila Prabhupada is full of compassion for the fallen soul. Friendship and the getting together to chant and share prasadam is more powerful than rule following, and for some this is where they are at and happy and so my question is why push them and make the person unhappy?
It appears that being wrapped up in rules and courses we forgot Srila Prabhupada wanted personal relationship.
For me that’s the key, and by our honesty with each other great strength can be drawn and great progress on a spiritual path of self realisation can be achieved.
Friendship not rules is the key
And that was Srila Prabhupada success he was friend and ever well wisher to all introspective of rules following or not as long as they wanted to chant Hare Krishna and render some service, so even today we see the different flavours of disciples of Srila Prabhupada and that for me says it all from the rule followers to those who just enjoy chanting.
Each perfect in their own way, this for me is ISKCON able to accommodate and be a home for everyone.
And I am reminded and end on a comment Srila Prabhupada said “please try to get on with each other” for he knew we would be all individual and different, let’s celebrate this.

But that makes me anti-ISKCON I believe

Paid Seva or unpaid Seva (a thought)

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When is seva not seva?

Sadly I hear more and more individuals stating they want a paid job at one of the large established temples that regularly advertise such post’s, many state after all they have been devotee for many years and now deserve to be paid for their services.

Sadly I’ve also heard some who are in such post complaining that during festival times they are being asked to work more hours, but worse is that it’s without pay, I mean who works for free.

For me there’s some sadness when seeing devotees doing sincere seva in a restaurant were it is being run for profit, and that the profit is for individual wealth not to assist in supporting either the temple or preaching centre.

It is of note more see devotional life as a way of creating personal wealth or a right to be paid for doing seva and smiling whilst encouraging others to do seva for free. So what is my own personal thoughts and realisations on this based on my reading and listening to Srila Prabhupada?

Srila Prabhupada was clear seva is free and unconditional, that if full time devotee then minimum support (the bear necessity of life, simple living high thinking); of note he never spoke about wages in all the research I’ve personally done.

Srila Prabhupada noted that if we as individuals wanted more than minimum simple living then they should take a job outside of the temple; and I admire those who have opened up restaurants and the like to show how amazing vegetarian meals are (prasadam), but it is a private enterprise and anyone working for you as a private enterprise should be paid.

I’ve noted many who are in paid roles and it’s large enough to pay for mortgage and a reasonable good lifestyle, Srila Prabhupada noted no material gain the gain is spiritual the opportunity to dedicate one life to serving Sri Guru and share love of Krishna giving real education and showing the way home back to Krishna.

Srila Prabhupada noted support of individuals and families, food, clothing a place to stay simple living reliant on Sri Krishna and serving the devotee community, he was however very compassionate in as much as he spoke of how Sri Krishna can deal with any individual and if business then that is fine “Sri Krishna I do this for you and you pay me”, Srila Prabhupada gave a warning that this is business not devotional service and Sri Krishna owes you nothing; pure devotional service comes with no strings and no motivation for personal gain and Sri Krishna remains indebted to you.

So was Srila Prabhupada wrong?

Seeing the ongoing success of paid devotional jobs which means devotees live in some cases better than a majority of the congregation member’s it appears so, but then it’s business and well Srila Prabhupada said that’s fine.

However for me the higher taste is not to deal with Sri Krishna in business mentality but following Srila Prabhupada instructions, so just seva and work outside of the temple.

It’s a thought but do you think we should have more paid jobs and any objection anti ISKCON and an attack on senior devotees who take a wage?

Depending on personal view but my mind always returns to the warning from Srila Prabhupada take a wage then it’s business not devotional service, I feel it couldn’t be clearer than that; unless it’s a small maintenance pay where you make no personal gain and it’s just simpke maintenance were you make zero personal gain.

Is Deity worship the worship of a false Idol? A thought

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It is a real honour to be asked to give class indeed I’ve found it allows the opportunity to really absorb my mind in great pastimes of the Lord and ponder the lovely purport’s of Srila Prabhupada.

As I prepared for giving one biblical verse came to mind, it was one which over the years puzzled me; but closer examination given understanding of Guru and Deity worship unlocked the mystery.

The biblical verse is found in Numbers 21 v 6-9

6 And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died
7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
8 And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole; and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Given that I had been indoctrinated into the notion of not worshiping idols this passage appeared to encourage simple idol worship; however this indoctrination meant that Deity worship and the form of Sri Krishna is rejected out of hand without any question. But my thirst to understand made me curious and a long search for the answer.

Here is my humble understanding.

Guru

Moses is the Israelites own Guru Maharaja, he is guiding and leading his followers to Gods promised land. But as we know it’s hard for many to really understand so offences are made; it was this offence that lead to the plauge of serpents.

Wise is the one who seeks out the advice of Guru and we note that intelligence is given in distress the people turned to Moses who communicated directly with Sri Krishna, by heading and following instructions precisely ones distress is relieved.

We are in the distress of material suffering, recognising it means one seeks out the Guru who can relieve this distress; our Guru Maharaja having full understanding of this condition advise and guides this strict following of the gurus instruction is required.

As is the case of the Israelites they could choose to follow Moses instruction or ignore, similarly we can choose to follow or ignore; we either continue to suffer of gain relief.

Authorised Idol (Deity)

We see that Sri Krishna gave precise instructions to Moses make thee a fiery serpent, for me the best example is Kaliya one could not get any fiery. But most importantly it was to be set on a pole, it would be useless unless it was in a high place and also that which is most prominent.

One would gain relief from suffering death from the serpents bite upon glancing at this idol, you would have to have firm faith and belief if not then simply one wouldn’t bother. With faith ones suffering was relieved.

We are suffering the pangs of material distress, so how do we gain relief?

Sri Krishna has given firm information on this, he through our Guru Maharaja has given us instructions and guidance. This is how I look and this is how you can connect and serve me.

Do I have firm faith in the Guru’s instructions and the words of Sri Krishna?

One can connect simply by chanting the names of Krishna, similarly one can connect through pray, but isn’t it more personal to see the form of Sri Krishna and to offer nicely water, flowers, food and to wash cloth and sing directly to their Lordships?

By looking directly onto the form of Sri Krishna ones material suffering is instantly cured, and we can take darshan every day.

Both instructions based on time place and circumstances, the Israelites were not ready to worship Sri Krishna directly. Indeed the biblical recollection of this time in history reports that when Moses went to receive the 10 commandments, the people became restless, and made idols and worshiped them as if they were Krishna himself; so they must have had some concept of Deity worship, but due to this offence were instructed not to worship any False Idols.

Best we make sure we don’t make the same mistake and follow instructions nicely, for Deity worship is not false idol worship but true idol worship; we idolise Sri Krishna so much so that our meditation is always upon him, this way we return home in this lifetime as promised by Srila Prabhupada

Anything that doesn’t achieve this is false Idol, anything that prevents us from achieving the perfection in life

This is my basic understanding
Hare Krishna

Duplicity, hypocrisy and foolishness; when you ban a £5 note but not leather

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For some reason best known to my self I chose to live in the material world and be in the best and worst of yuga’s that of the age of Kali
It’s the best for one can return home simply by chanting the Mahamantra
It’s the worst because it’s a time of exploration and suffering, duplicate and hypocrisy

For those who don’t live in the UK you will be unaware that the bank notes issued by The Bank of England are changing the first being changed is the £5, it makes it more hard wearing and harder to counterfeit. And is very similar in nature to those issued in New Zealand and Australia.

It has now been discovered that it contains a trace of tallow, much to the outrage of vegans,vegetarians and some religious groups most notably the one misidentified as the Hindu Faith.

It brings in a quandary as sadly you need money and have little control over its production or value in real terms, so pressure is mounting to sign petitions calling for its withdrawal and that a new bank note be issued not containing tallow

Indeed an honourable cause one most who truly believe in animal welfare and understand the real nature of the spirit soul would agree with.

So a number of Hindu temples have banned and refuse to accept the £5 note within the grounds and especially in the temple room, very honourable.

But let’s make an analysis and note some observations

One of the reasons for the new bank note is that the old ones picked up and carried germs and residue very easily, indeed lab analysis showed that the old bank notes contained traces of drugs and animal fats; the trace of animal fat in the new note is far less; which raises an interesting observation notation if you are enraged by the tallow in the new £5 note than you have to be also enraged that the other notes are also contmimated.

The conclusion is that all notes should be banned

Their is also a duplicity when it comes to ISKCON UK stance we refuse the £5 note in the temple and it’s premises, but our sankirtan devotees are allowed to handle and accept the £5 note

The conclusion this is hypocrisy, you either are against and ban altogether or not make up your minds which one

An outsider observing will also note that given your outraged by this use of animal fat, but looking around one notes leather shoes, and individuals who wear leather belts and get the money out of leather wallets and bags.

Their conclusion is why is wearing of leather in the temple not banned

One interesting argument is that the shoes and accepting of the £5 note outside is alright as it’s outside of the temple and not offered to Sri Krishna, this is duplicity and hypocritical; everything a devotee does should be as an offering to Sri Krishna and of the highest standard the individual can achieve and maintain, we should not have a temple standard and well I’m not in the temple so it doesn’t matter standard.

Our business is the propagation of Krishna Consciousness and to give proper education, proper education is to inform about spirit soul and animal welfare, and show the benefits of a vegetarian diet.

Signing a petition calling for the removal of tallow from the bank note whilst turning a blind eye to the widespread use of leather products when their is many alternatives is disgraceful.

One should be looking at the cause not symptom

The symptom is the use of animal products in everyday items were it’s not needed
The cause is animal slaughter

We should be campaigning for a complete ban on animal slaughter, especially as were aware of the karmic reaction the government officials receive for allowing this, and for all those involved in meat, leather and animal byproduct production.

If you are making a stand against the small amount of animal byproduct in a bank note banning it’s use but then turning a blind eye to the wearing and use of leather which can be avoided this is duplicity and as the inventor of the £5 note stated your stupid

Over the years I’ve convinced 3 restaurants and 2 shops to remove all cow product’s one restaurant removed all meat products, not by petition but by education and by example

Srila Prabhupada said we lead by example

So my conclusion is if we are banning the £5 note we need to ban all leather from entering the temple and as individuals we conduct ourself outside the temple as we would inside

Personally I will continue to use the £5 note as it’s less contaminated than the old £5 note, otherwise no leather products I can avoid this, whilst continuing to educate those I meet on real animal welfare and the spirit soul within.

Whilst campaigning for a closure of all slaughter houses

And on an end note Hindu India has one of the largest cow slaughter programs in the world best ISKCON and the outraged devotees petition the Indian government to close these, one this is achieved I will take the let’s ban the £5 note more seriously.

And accepting the £5 note outside of the temple but not inside frankly is just hypocrisy duplicity and gives entirely the wrong message, one just looks like a fool, and devotees aren’t fools

A small Vyasa puja offering to HDG A.C.Bhaktivadanta Swami Prabhupada

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In this the appearance day of His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivadanta Swami Prabhupada I thought writing a small vyasa puja offering

Dear Srila Prabhupada Founder Acharia of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Please accept my humble obeisance
All glories to your Guru Maharaja who you served so diligently

One can never truly put into words how much you have done, how inspirational your works and the selfless service in humble carrying out his instructions to you; how when praised you simply praised your Guru Maharaja for sending such lovely disciples then glorified your disciples for their selfless service and devotion to you.

It reminded me of this verse:

tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam śābde pare ca nisnatamṁ brahmany upaśamāśrayam

Therefore any person who seriously desires real happiness must seek a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of the bona fide guru is that he has realized the conclusions of the scriptures by deliberation and is able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, should be understood to be bona fide spiritual masters
Bhag. 5.14.41

Those who served you personally, those who came into contact with you even a glimpse was enough to convince them to take up a life of devotional service. Leaving aside all modern comforts that the West could provide, simply to serve and understand true knowledge.

Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī in his Hari-bhakti-vilāsa says that a person, whatever he may be, can attain the perfection of a twice-born brāhmaṇa by undergoing the spiritual disciplinary actions under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, exactly as a chemist can turn gun metal into gold by chemical manipulation. It is therefore the actual guidance that matters in the process of becoming a brāhmana
Bhag. 1.15.47-48

From the hippies and dropouts of society you gave freely, inspired shaped and gave meaning to their lives; true knowledge the knowledge of Self and the art of bhakti. From these came a society dedicated to helping others to come to the real knowledge of Self and real love, love of Sri Krishna.

The art of loving and caring devotional service.

You said make sure everyone has a book, and how everything we need can be found in.

Over the years I’ve found this to be true no matter what I’ve found its been their in those books you so painstakingly wrote, but still took time to personally educate direct and help your disciples.

And teaching us how to use whatever we have in Krishna service, and most importantly as a health care professional you gave us the greatest lesson how to deal with the material body and use it to advance in Krishna Consciousness.

I pray through your words you will continue to guide me and that one day maybe by your grace I will be able to inspire just one person to themselves become fully Krishna Conscious

So I end with a thank you, which never says what needs to be said

Yours humble
Dhirabhakta Das

Charge, donation or contribution (which is the sweetest exchange?)

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Charge, donation or contribution

I’ve been pondering these three words, how interchangeable are they and how easy it is to cheet if their misapplied

We often ask for a donation especially on book distribution, if you give me a donation you can have a book whilst showing them a wonderful book that will transform their life. Then we withdraw the book if the donation is small, or we go no it has to be £x; unwittingly we can cause offence, they asked for a donation I gave and they took away (I’ve had individuals who felt cheeted by this). Best if asking for donation show small booklet, if donation given they take no matter how small; if they donate a bigger sum of laxmi perfect, wow this is so kind please take this book, massaging the false ego but also a loving exchanges.

As devotees our aim is to have these loving exchanges, they may or may not take a book the aim should be to leave such a sweet exchange that they praise the devotees, maybe next time a book will be taken.

My thoughts are never far from controversial matters and one of the most controversial is paid courses that are becoming the normal this dispite Srila Prabhupada instructions that if they come to the temple it is free (a hard concept to grasp); although Srila Prabhupada was skillful in making sure they took a book and asking for a small contribution.

I like that word contribution, the act of assisting in something you believe in; one gives in many ways to what is termed good causes and the greatest cause is to relieve the burden of mankind with the glories of Sri Caitanya’s sankirtan movement.

But back to my thoughts (it’s my personal thoughts to which you may or may not agree)

I wish to become initiated, how wonderful the most successful move one will ever make; now enrol in this system and sign up for these mandatory course’s (yes mandatory it’s for your own good one day maybe not now but one day you’ll appreciate it)

One is presented with a bill

So what is it?

Not a donation, although many argue this is the case
May be a contribution, but contribution means it is like a donation from the heart based upon ones means and inspiration
A charge? Yes we are Charing the information will not be imparted unless their is an exchange.

But Srila Prabhupada said if come to the temple no charge, indeed he did give instruction on charging, if I’m dig institution or education centre and I ask you to come speak; wisdom is this Srila Prabhupada knew it is acceptable indeed normal to charge.

My thoughts is this, we give course free

Then at the end we suggest that if they feel inspired a small contribution (individuals can decide how much) can be made to help in continuing to put on these valuable courses full of knowledge and insight.

This way we are not seen as either cheating or profiteering, nor going against Srila Prabhupada instructions not to charge if they come to temple.

Yes some will laugh and give nothing, some a little, some a lot; but if we trust in Sri Krishna the way Srila Prabhupada did laxmi will always be their.

And we make sure they leave with the respective books, inspired to read and ask questions as their studied nicely.

My thoughts best not present with bill, upfront charges; but give freely

Inspired the person will contribute and give donations, which over the years I’ve been happy to do; always a sweet exchange and indeed as I analys my own situation I’ve given more than is asked upfront price and not feel cheeted; but I do when asked for upfront charges

But then it’s a suggestion

And you may suggest I’m just bitter as I’ve been charged to see my own Guru Maharaja, now that remains a painful and bitter pill to swallow

Reconnecting outside of corporate ISKCON, but with ISKCON’s ever well-wisher’s

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Regaining joy and equilibrium in Krishna Consciousness

With each struggle comes an opportunity to learn not only about myself but also how ones own actions impacts on others and how a balance in both means that I can encourage others whilst encouraging self; Srila Prabhupada after all wrote about the Science of Self Realisation, not others realisations (although learning from others is always experiential in spiritual progress especially if they have gone through the same type of difficulty)

Firstly and most controversially I came out of the mentorship system and disassociated myself from any of the courses as prescribed which has impacted on the way some interact with me.

When I first came into contact with the devotees it was wonderful, yes they mentored me in the Science of Krishna Consciousness although you would never have noticed it was so subtle. Over time you just wanted to help out and the reciprocation increased.

And over the years I’ve had many wonderful devotees who have in their own way mentored and encouraged me, and I’ve enjoyed their association and in some way serving them.

Notably in all instances their was loving exchanges and true friendship, no pushing in a singular one size fits all system but one were encouragement and progression is individualised.

This is something that personally I’ve tried to continue to do, it means taking time for each person, listening carefully and then spending time reading before making the suggestion based on real Vedic knowledge.

So reconnecting with real mentor and just enjoying their association.

In my dealings with others following their fine example has really helped

Now to be controversial again, and this those who encourage this particular system will no doubt be angry with this statement; but it’s something I personally feel, paid for courses lack real substance compared to those who like Srila Prabhupada give freely.

Srila Prabhupada and many senior devotees warn of dire consequences of hearing from professional recitor or one who charges, but then disconnect when forcing courses that are mandatory and charge.

I’ve sat in many amazing classes, house programs and again in the early days evening programs each had one thing in common they were free and in most cases I’ve left feeling fulfilled.

I’ve also replicated this in my own dealings with others and programmes, based on the audience needs, prasadam and no charge.

Over the years I’ve been moved to either give a little laxmi or to help out in some practical way, it was indeed a loving exchange. And over the years I’ve experienced a similar exchange which has encouraged me to do more.

I’ve also noted that when monetary exchanges are made the whole atmosphere changes and for me it looses its transandental potency, it becomes dry and unpalatable and indeed for me personally their appears to be little benefit.

After all one notes that in all the pastimes of Srila Prabhupada disciples not one starts with, well I booked on a course it was £15 and Srila Prabhupada came and gave class took some questions and left, it was so inspirational. NO!

When we listen to the pastimes of Srila Prabhupada disciples we hear of the loving exchanges, the morning walks, classes, the prasadam distribution; how Srila Prabhupada gave all this for free and out of deep love one immediately reciprocated, one was convinced and inspired.

This was the ISKCON I once knew, and one I’ve reconnected with, leaving the corporate ISKCON behind the one with an artificial mentorship system designed to make sure you do the paid courses.

This corporate ISKCON with paid jobs, were the accumulation of laxmi is the aim rather than Srila Prabhupada ISKCON which didn’t have paid jobs just maintenance and based solely on loving exchanges.

It was nice to be back in that true association, with amazing devotees who never ask for anything other than your association. I was also asked by all but the most senior devotees if I was going to give class and it was humbling to hear how much they benefited, all I’ve tried to do is share the same enthusiastic love that those real devotee mentors gave me.

Money corrupts and asking for money upfront before imparting what one considers essential for spiritual progress is something I’ve haven’t heard Srila Prabhupada disciples say that was their experience.

My joy in Krishna Consciousness is slowly returning
The joy of association is slowly returning
The joy of sharing with others is slowly returning

It’s returning simply because I’ve disconnected with corporate ISKCON

And reconnected with my real mentors
Those who are and will always be my ever well-wisher
And so the real loving exchanges can take place

And for me it doesn’t start with exchanging laxmi
One may at times reciprocate with laxmi, but the biggest reciprocation is when one uses the knowledge and loving exchanges to help others in their own path of Self Realisation in finding their real constitutional position as spirit soul and love of Krishna.

So I apologies for those who are angry or frustrated at my actions, but best stay with what I know works and in guidance and experience of those loving devotees I’ve had the privilege of associating with which is always sweet.

And ending of my real appreciation of those early days, those amazing devotees and those who have followed who’s enthusiastic sharing of love of Krishna continues to inspire, these humble disciples are the real mentors

Real Love of just a commodity to make laxmi (a question)

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Their comes a time when one feels somewhat saddened and the struggle in Krishna Consciousness appears so futile one believes that the solution is to just give up; however each morning one sits before the home deities, offers prasadam, gives a small class and chants.

One simply cannot give up, even though the mind says that it is by far the most logical course of action.

So what went wrong?
How did one get to the stage of giving up?

A mentor system that was so indexable it killed the joy of seva
An institution that put emphasis on course’s, tells you not to go to someone who charges to depart bhakti, then presents you with a bill and trys to disguise it as donation
A committee that judges without knowledge as they never sat with you, spoke to you, shared prasadam with you or even sat in any of the classes
Or having to pay to see your own Guru Maharaja

For me that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back

Not the 290 mile journey to do seva each month, after negotiating an ongoing agreement to allow extended weekends each month

Not the apparent insult, your qualified enough to give Srimad Bhagavatam class in the morning but somehow my knowledge is not good enough for the committee members

Not even the mentor system that dispite my plea to the head instigator and temporary mentor to not leave devotees like me behind and find a way to make us feel needed, was ignored to the point one became deeply unhappy

No this wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back

It was the change of relationship, from one of friendship to one of business; yes the feeling that one is just a commodity a way of gaining laxmi, and at every turn their is a bill and a smiling devotee who is convinced that I am convinced the asking of laxmi is alright.

The final nail in my enthusiastic pursuit of bhakti was my last visit by my Guru Maharaja, I could only make it to one date due to work commitment (something many forget); it meant a bill to see my own Guru Maharaja, yes a bill and apparently this was a good thing.

For me it signalled the end of the personal relationship to one of business as long as the laxmi flows my progression is guaranteed.

I was so upset and bewildered I wrote this email to my own Guru Maharaja:-

Dear ==== Swami Maharaja
Please accept my humble obeisance
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

It was so nice to meet you if not briefly the other month, although I noted our relationship and that of my relationship with ISKCON has changed somewhat; to the point were one is no longer enthusiastic.

I have received several emails reminding me of the need to write a Vyasa-Puja offering and how Imminent the deadline is, however I found myself empty and unable to write a single word; drowned and confused by the new corporate impersonal way things are done.

One is further saddened that the only way to see you or even speak to you means a monetary exchange, I’m left empty wondering if you would be more willing to speak to me if I pay in advance and worked out that as our conversation last less than half and hour that the accepted amount is £60.

That I’m judged by a committee that doesn’t even know me, and marked by results from paid courses and forms; when all one wants is the personal relationship as was found in those early days with your disciplines in Manchester, things seemed a lot simpler then and I never had to pay to see you.

I’m guessing ISKCON has moved on and I’m just a sentimentalist of the simpler personalism and the joy of just being around devotees and helping them in a simple way

It would have been nice to tell you about the video of me the council uses, and the community and school visits and to hear how I can improve and look at long term aim; but I’m guessing in the new corporate ISKCON which appears to be more interested in pursuit of laxmi than devotees this probably won’t be applicable.

I want to write a nice offering this year but given our relationship is now simply business relationship I’m confused as to how to achieve this.

So what to do?

I was hoping that maybe as I’ve an opportunity to visit ==== to look at wildlife and countryside management that it would allow me the opportunity to reconnect, to again realise the joy of seva; without feeling it is simply business transaction. But I noticed you were little enthusiastic.

So my question is what is one to do?
How does one reconnect with what one felt was real, when one feels that all ISKCON is interested in is my wallet?
How does one regain the joy of seva, and the joy of sharing love of Krishna, when the mentorship system beat it out of me; leaving an empty shell, where happiness once was but smothered in corporate courses and forms?
And more importantly where do I stand with you? Is it too only business, do I have to continue to pay to see you?

One is saddened by it all, and simply prays for the simple days to return

Humbly Yours; discipline or not discipline as I’m unsure

Dhirabhakta Das

Sadly I didn’t receive a reply and a bit of me thought maybe it would have come if I had given big donation at the same time.

The personal relationship, the relationship I felt were real now feels empty one personally feels cheeted by ISKCON

Given that I’ve only ever experienced the reverse were a business relationship has changed into a personal friendship, were once I was seen as an income of sorts is now family discount or free

For me ISKCON was a real family, my motivation was because I loved the devotees and I thought they intern loved and liked me; but the reality is it feels to me like I’m being cheeted and that the only thing ISKCON is interested in is laxmi

And simply that makes me weep
And the regection cannot be put into word’s

Apart from this,

I now truly appreciate the one thing those early devotees showed and gave to me, the understanding of real love and friendship and the reality of what Krishna Consciousness is and not how it now has become.

And for that little insight of real devotional love, I thank you

I thank you because it’s the only thing that keeps me going

And I pray each and every day that one day I’ll experience that pure unconditional love of devotees once again

Vyasa puja offering 2016 for HH Devamrita Swami Maharaja

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Dear Guru Maharaja
Please accept my humble obeisance
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
All glories to your steadfastness in seva to your beloved Guru Maharaja

Each and every day I wake up surprised, surprised that one remembers Sri Krishna and have another opportunity to connect by chanting and sharing the holy names.

I sat today and read the following verse:

mūkam karoti vācālamṁ pangumṁ langhayate girim yat-krpā tam ahamṁ vande śrī-guruṁ dīna-tāranam

By the mercy of the guru, even a dumb man can become the greatest orator, and even a lame man can cross mountains. As advised by Lord Brahmā, one should remember this śāstric injunction if one desires success in his life.

It reminded me that by the mercy of Guru one can achieve the unachievable, if one simply follows the instructions carefully.

I still remember clearly the challenge you gave me so many years ago, it’s so clear as if you only just had spoken it even though many years have passed.

We see in your own example you remain firm in your own determination to fulfil the wish of your own Guru Maharaja to spread the love and happiness of pure bhakti of real knowledge and understanding of the power of chanting the holy names of Sri Krishna; but more to understand the pastimes and how we can learn so much from them.

So today on your appearance day I am reminded of how extra ordinary your life is as you have given the perfect example of dedicating it in service, to save even one like me from the clutches of material nature.

And pray that somehow ones own appreciation can grow and somehow follow in your great example

Yours Humble
Dhirabhakta Das