The history of human kind is filled with examples how with full conviction leaders and followers in the name of material and spiritual progress find themselves fully engulfed in the illusory energy of the Lord, marching towards their destruction.
Indeed, as blind leads the blind, the power of their stupidity cannot be underestimated. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is so kind that he actually follows the desire of the conditioned soul and equips it with absolute faith into something absolutely relative.
Any preacher may be alert not to believe the dictations of his mind and his senses, knowing them to be fallible. Even when people talk about their conditioning, still they may not be freed of it as artificial humility doesn’t provide the liberation from ones acquired illusions. As a hungry man can conduct intricate seminars about the art of cooking, so can a cold hearted man conduct seminars about love and peace. Not knowing its real use, swinging the weapon of sastra around, he may finally cut of his own head.
And so to keep vigilantly the faculty of one’s hearing open is an absolute necessity. Sastra-guru-sadhu is a three-fold principle any preacher must be guarded by. In the days of Kali Yuga fancy wrapping of one’s foolishness is the standard. As one of my genius Godbrothers summed it up in his typical eccentric and humorous way: “Verbal dysentery and intellectual constipation prevails”.
Therefore acharya is judged by his actions and not by his words only. Some can speak nicely and act animal-like, some don’t speak so nicely and act in noble way. But the devotee of highest class acts and speaks nicely.
Finding this principle embodied by Srila Prabhupada, any preacher must allow to be preached to. Of course, the older he gets the more careful he may be from whom to listen and from whom not. As one devotee said, “one learns to walk with open eyes”. Any common sense human doesn’t like to repeat hismistakes and be over and over exited over the same illusions.
Enthusiasm per se is not to be trusted, neither the excitement and “happiness”. As Srila Prabhupada commented, “enthusiasm is good, but little brain is also requiered”. Therefore knowledge and happiness is defined in spiritual sense being the product of tapasya, austerity. What is the austerity of all austerities? – To follow the instruction of the spiritual master. Regardless how many generals and officers may be killed in the war, the principle to follow an authority stands firm.
Voracious initiations of unqualified disciples, confused and uncared for disciples roaming the world simply voicing the echoes of their minds in despair, this might be the standard in Kali Yuga. But those who search for reality are not to be allured by such cheap display of so called spirituality. They know the power of false ego and the destruction it can stage. And so they always try to keep the balance between sastra and guru by listening to bonafide sadhu, making their path fenced and freed from weeds on their way to accommodate others at Srila Prabupadas lotus feet.
Distribution of Srila Prabhupadas books is a most safe way to be guarded this way as this service instantly commands absolute sense control, false ego control and an intense prayer for total dependence on the mercy of the Lord. Any preacher finding himself thrown into the ocean of conditioned souls automatically develops a sincere attitude as he sees daily on the examples of his co-sufferers in this illusory world how absolutely convincing maya can be.
As one more intelligent materialist stated: “The problem of this age is that the fools are so convinced and the more intelligent ones are full of doubt.” And so the fools dash in where the angels’ don’t dare, pulling with them others massively along the path of destruction. Even a determined preacher may be challenged and sometimes victimized by his artificially acquired intellectuality. Rules and regulations don’t prove to be the ultimate safety when their purpose is not understood. Srila Prabhupada stated clearly that we are not the servants of the rules; the rules are servants to us. And so even sadhana bhakti practice can become polluted by mayavada where the practitioner is hiding his egocentric mentality behind a strict practice of principles he doesn’t understand.
That will be manifested by his incompetence to address and facilitate others in Krsna consciousness. That will be manifested by his ritualistic acceptance of spiritual master or by receiving the ritualistic initiation from the ritualistic spiritual master who is not connected to his follower in practical sense of spreading Krsna consciousness.
And so, gradually dying to the echoes of our voices, we may be still enchanted by our false egos, believing that it is us who are the holders of the keys of the gates of Vaikuntha. With the years passing by, such a “seniority cult” is producing an atmosphere of fear where one distinction seeking “preacher” is constantly on guard not to be exposed by another distinction seeking “preacher”. Therefore any sort of cooperation is automatically impossible, both between the master and the follower and between the individual masters as well. This kanistha adhikari spirit kills any preaching enthusiasm, turning the missionary facilities left by the Founder Acharya into grave yard tombs.
As the “senior” ones block the way for the younger ones, the flow of mercy becomes obstructed. Only death removes such “blockheads” who insist to be accepted while sitting in a shadows of their darkened tombs as being the designated illuminators of human kind. Suffering from total loss of mercy, they impose themselves upon innocently confused ones, creating an institutional smoke screen where the true bliss of disseminating Krsna consciousness becomes unavailable commodity.
Making their conditioning to a standard, declaring their material desires to be “another way” to please the Supreme Lord, such miss-leaders mistake at best their enchantment with mode of goodness to be transcendental or at worse their mode of ignorance inspired activities to be their “lila”.
In such fools-paradise preaching becomes difficult and when the voices of such self-confident rascals reach the sound level of a digging machine, the more sober ones retreat in embarrassment. Finally the Truth may find its outlet in voices of the “unimportant”” and “unrecognized” ones, who may reinstall the flow of mercy from “bellow” and not from “above”.
Krsna consciousness cannot be spread via cast brahminism, regardless if it is generated in the West or in the East. It can flourish only there where honesty prevails and the preachers becomes a medium in full awareness of the absolute nature of the instruction of His spiritual master and the relative nature of his still dormant conditioning.
Honesty is so rare in Kali Yuga that those who really seek it can finally find it only in Krsna consciousness. As birds of the same feather flock together, the flock of true Truth seekers will be always far smaller as the crew of frogs or crows. This may not be recognized on the level of the sound being emanated, but on the level of association one seeks and quality of action one performs.
Even Mark Twain commented in more introspective light cynically, “we should be grateful for existence of fools. Without them we couldn’t be extraordinary”, a devotee knows better and is grateful for the existence of more intelligent ones, so his and others foolishness can be exposed and removed.
Being absolutely chaste to the principles of Truth, a devotee rather accepts the statement that “it is better to be hated for what you are as to be loved for what you are not.”
Truth doesn’t come cheap and it is not facilitated by sentimental approach. But the result of being illuminated by the Truth is most satisfying as any unmotivated distributor of Srila Prabhupadas books can confirm.
To become a smooth tool in hands of the acharyas is the greatest bliss a devotee can experience. Experiencing this oneness in desire, only then he can be assured to operate outside of maya’s grip.