Us vs Them: Rasa of Srila Prabhupada

If we really want Harmony, we need to learn to tolerate differences on views and people.

When Gurudeva “took over” after Srila Prabhupada, he was banned from isckon because they saw his siddhanta as misconceptions. Gurudeva took the foundation that Srila Prabhupada had built, and continued working from there and introduced especially manjari rasa. Now KBM is banned from Bhakti America, because they see their siddhanta as misconceptions. KBM is furthering Gurudeva’s foundation by seeing Gurudevas preaching from a specific context.

This is what I want from the next predecessor: He will teach us to tolerate differences on views and people.

There are some that don’t like that I use the definitions of KBM and Gurudeva’s sanga, because they consider KBM to be the true Gurudeva’s sanga. Those who are categorized as Gurudeva’s sanga, most likely wants to keep that definition. While KBM supporters wants to find another type of definition of them like “Group of devotees”.

Definitions is important. There is a lot of power in language. This is something especially devotees understand considering our primary duty is chanting God’s name.

The trouble with these definitions, is that it creates an alienation. An Us versus Them. I don’t think this benefits either group.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu are also the real ISKCON. We should try to know that we are all in one family – all. Anyone who is following even a little bit, who is chanting and remembering Krsna in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu – they are ISKCON. They may be in saffron cloth and sannyasa apparel, or they may be in the grhastha asrama, with or without family, alone, or anywhere. All are in ISKCON. That is why the follower of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Rupa Gosvami, has instructed us to honor all devotees who are in ISKCON, from top to bottom: kanistha-adhikaris, madhyama-adhikaris, uttama-adhikaris, and also uttama-uttama-uttama-adhikaris. We have to respect everyone; otherwise we are not ISKCON devotees.

Narayana Maharaja – We are one family

I don’t know what we should call each other – if anything. I do know that this alienation troubles me. I don’t want this in my heart, and I don’t want anybody to harbor it in their heart towards me. I want us to be devotees. We are on different levels and understandings, we are very flawed. I want us to understand it, recognize it, accept it and tolerate it when it gets a bit hard.

Right now, tolerance would be a good start. Acceptance is where we should move, where we begin to let go of judgements and just approach carefully, with a little bit of warmth in our hearts.

4 thoughts on “Us vs Them: Rasa of Srila Prabhupada

  1. Different opinions won’t split devotees into different groups, but it is when a group of those who share one opinion sign a statement against a group that has a different opinion to theirs when we have to start differentiate and a division happens.
    This is particularly sad because the group that has implied this division by signing a very clear document is the one group that is very much against splitting Srila Gurudeva’s sanga into groups.

    It is like being vegan but ordering a pot of milk for dinner.

    In order to bestow harmony amongst devotees we must all drop our pride and with clear, sober, honest vision examine our position.
    Then we should, in an absolute humility, meet and with respect discuss our differences in person.
    If we should not find understanding of each other, we shall respectfully accept and agree to disagree without any such harsh implications such as banning etc. but rather embrace the differences and focus on what connects us all, leaving all negativity to transform within our hearts into pure love and compassion.

    Srila Gurudeva knows all that lays within our heart. All our disqualities and qualities.
    Did he split us in groups or did he love us all ?

    Compassion for all that may not be able to understand. Compassion to one’s own self.

    Yet at the same time, everything has it’s natural order and it would be unnatural to forcefully keep the sanga together. There is only so much we can do to try.
    There is only so much that is required from us, and the rest is the Lord’s divine will.

    • Certainly!

      My own little speculation is that these qualities of tolerance, compassion and mercy is something that this controversy will highlight and Gurudevas sanga have to learn in time.

  2. Just want to point out something.

    In Sripad Nemi Maharaja’s first article he argues that because Sripad Madhusudana Maharaja is a disciple of Srila Janardana Maharaja, KBM is a different line. But so many siksa disciples have diksa from other gurus, Nemi Mhj himself included.

    Sripad Suddhadvaiti Maharaja responded that Janardana Maharaja was one of Srila Narayana Maharaja’s main siksa-gurus and the one that encouraged him to preach strongly about manjari bhava.

    This is especially wonderful regarding the statement that you, Haridasi, found in the official ISKCON papers, where it said that Srila Keshava Maharaja did not discuss such things and it’s a mystery where it’s coming from.

    This is very pleasing to me, because when I saw Janardana Maharaja’s name in the IPBYS vaishnava calendar I was wondering who he was, and very little information was available. Seems that Krishna is bringing him out in the light, albeit sparingly.

    Pranams to all Maharaja’s mentioned!

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