Thoughts After a Sunday Feast Lecture
Posted January 10, 2005
I would like to share the following thoughts after attending the program and listening to the lecture last Sunday.
All the devotees' sincere efforts to continue to present the philosophy are highly appreciated. However, it is not always presented in an empathetic and tactful fashion, which is always more attractive rather than being coercive, critical, and sometimes disrespectful.
In this lecture for example, negative comments were made about devotees who at one time performed full time service but no longer continue to do so. It was also said that one has to surrender and serve Krishna when young, not when old and useless, and that people who do not follow are two legged animals. At a different occasion, after an Indian guest expressed that it was difficult to follow the principles, a devotee in the audience commented that it was difficult for the crooked.
While Srila Prabhudada was present and for a period of time after his departure, most devotees in ISKCON were living in the temples' facilities, collecting funds to support them. After the years we have seen how the majority of devotees are getting married. Nowadays the minority of devotees lives in the templesfacilities, and the majority lives and works outside. These congregational members, as well as the ones from the Indian community are providing the main financial support for many temples.
The movement will be more realistic and stronger when we recognize that not only the devotees that live in the temples facilities, do some direct service, or wish to follow all the standards are part of it. Others are very much part of it too, and they should be respected and appreciated for doing any service in the past, and for coming and supporting the temple in any capacity.
As a pure devotee, Srila Prabhupada had a high level of spiritual compassion and love. Although some of his disciples did not understand the philosophy at first, after seeing and listening to him they wanted to join the movement to serve him. We dont have to compromise the teachings, but have to be careful to present the philosophy without putting anybody down or turning anybody away.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada and the assembled devotees.