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