Q: In order to motivate devotees,we need visions for the future. What should these visions be?
A: Questions of this sort provoke compassion. They are embarrassing. How can anybody who is a follower of Srila Prabhupada inquire what kind of vision he should have?
Srila Prabhupada gave us all the visions we need. Our part is to follow. Anybody trying to follow in Srila Prabhupada’s lotus footsteps will soon realize…they are truly big. As matter of fact they are so big that we may get sometimes confused, realizing our inability to accommodate the visions Srila Prabhupada had.
But as he writes on 12th of September 1974: “There is no question of bigness or smallness of the center as far pleasing me is concerned. It is the sincerity of the attempt that is the important thing. Of course, as Krsna sees the sincerity of our hearts, He supplies the facility. Just like I came to your country with only 40 rupees and now we have this huge institution. So you can be sure that Krsna will supply you according to your capacity. I think that if you continue working sincerely, you will get all the facilities that you require for your purposes.”
This letter clarifies it all. Keeping Srila Prabhupada’s preaching visions in terms of book distribution, prasadam distribution and Holy Name distribution in our minds,(beware of “new” visionaries!), any attempt in this direction will be rewarded, revealing piece by piece Krsna’s plan as it was visible in Srila Prabhupada’s presence.
Megalomania, especially the American brand, is dangerous, making us blind to the presence, the opportunities at hand and the facilities offered to us NOW. Even Srila Prabhupada said we should “think big”, what “big” means is visible in the letter mentioned above. That “big” must be based on pure sincere desire.”Big” can also mean big loans, big talk and…big disaster, as demonstrated in ISKCON’s history.”Big” can be only achieved by the mercy of the spiritual master and that mercy is of very personal kind. Srila Prabhupada plans were big, but He never forgot the “small” devotee who tried to serve Him with all what he or she had.
Everything starts with persons, originating from the Supreme Person. And so we can only progress with our visions to the degree we manage to facilitate and inspire those who want sincerely serve Srila Prabhupada’s mission.
Facilitating madmen, highly deranged individuals and psychic abusers in the name of “mercy” is absolutely contra productive. The “voracious” initiation frenzy, resulting in accumulation of highly unqualified individuals who profess as devotees, simply increases the madness dominating occasionally this movement. Sober persons take distance and so a “lunatic asylum” is left only behind as a facility for more madmen to join.
And so we run into danger to become “the movement of frustrated visions”, simply creating generations of lunatics insulting the embarrassed devotees who have no other choice as to retreat into some sort of underground.
Knowing the visions of Srila Prabhupada and being faithful to it, despite occasional setbacks, brings long term success. As all good things in this world take time to grow, it should be known that Srila Prabhupada didn’t strive for huge number of followers, but by the time His movement had maybe 350 operating devotees, He said that this should be enough and “now we should train them”. Training means to keep one’s life intact and not compromised by the constantly moving and changing modes of nature. Once this kind of stability is achieved, things grow as on their own.
There are those who came to contribute to Srila Prabhupadas mission and there are those who came to use it. The users will be always in majority in comparison to the contributors. After all, we are living in a world of cheaters and cheated, the users and beings used ones.
And so choices have to be made. Who do we want to be a “Hare Krsna representative”?”Bhakta weird-one”, suffering from schizophrenia and in bad need of regular medication, or Paramahamsa – pedophile -das”, in bad need of legal prosecution…or do we truly want to help those who do sincerely realized that they are, as everybody else in this world, suffering from madness, but desperately clinch to Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet while serving day and night His mission with whatever they have?
Specifically addressing those who bring their own agenda and try to declare it to be Krsna conscious, Srila Prabhupada said: “Let him go away. Don’t care for him. Let the fools go away. There is a Bengali proverb. Instead of maintaining some bad cows, let the cowshed be vacant. We shall prefer the cowshed be vacant, no cow, then keeping all bad cows who don’t give milk and get disturbed. We are giving a chance but we don’t want bad cows. We don’t have to agree with their views, they must agree with our views. Then they can live. Otherwise, let them go away. This is our position.”
And so being alert and ready to use any opportunity Srila Prabhupada so mercifully bestows upon us, one should conduct one’s life day by day under the instruction of the spiritual master and simply witness the wonderful exhibition of Krsna’s mercy as He did. This is the ultimate vision and the ultimate plan to follow.