The following article was published on the Dandavats website on 26th July 2012 (5,533 views). The article appears below in a revised and expanded form with the help of some devotees. Also included now is an Appendix section which contains more quotes of our founder-acarya, Srila Prabhupada giving his instructions on the subject of Mundane Welfare Work.
Next year marks the fiftieth anniversary of ISKCON. Among other activities planned to mark the occasion, one very important feature of observing the anniversary should be to reflect on the direction and position of ISKCON fifty years after its inception and thirty eight years after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance from mundane vision. Are we properly serving the founder-acarya of ISKCON? If not, then we risk losing the connection to the parampara and its blessings. For those who have a clear vision of the aim of ISKCON from Srila Prabhupada’s books (which he declared as the law books guide for the next 10,000 years), the increased emphasis on Mundane welfare work in ISKCON is alarming.
Over time, there has been an increase in ISKCON in activities which, although not supported by Srila Prabhupada, have been gradually creeping into ISKCON and which are now gradually becoming the main focus of attention, activity and donations. Specifically, I refer to the new zeal and enthusiasm by which devotees are rushing to establish:
- Schools teaching mundane subjects for devotees as well as for free education for the poor
- Hospital and medical aid-oriented activities
- Centers for feeding the ‘disadvantaged’, ‘malnourished’ and ‘victims of disaster’
All of these were not only never done during Srila Prabhupada’s time but were also regularly denounced by His Divine Grace. In numerous lectures, purports, conversations and letters, Srila Prabhupada would explain how Krsna consciousness was the highest welfare work and how all other mundane philanthropy and altruistic activities were incomplete, misguided ways of loving and serving all.