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.