Further thoughts on "sentiments"
Posted June 29, 2003
Regarding your article "Sentiment, is it so bad"... I'm sure you've heard Srila Prabhupada say that religion without philosophy is simply sentiment. He hoped for the K.C. movement to be more than just a religion. Institutionalized religions throughout history have distorted their founder's teachings and destroyed the lives of their followers by such sentimental following as you are advocating. Yes, he established the GBC but how does that make him right or wrong dependent upon what they do? He established gurukula which in many regards failed miserably because of sentimental following of his authority and the authority of those using his name. It does not make sense or honor Prabhupada by holding him to these conditions.
The GBC was established as the "ultimate managerial authority" for ISKCON. There is a gulf of difference between managerial authority and philisophical authority. I would argue that every member of the Hare Krsna movement has a responsibility to contribute to the philisophical authority of ISKCON.
Keeping the ritvik idea out of the picture, brahminically minded people view the whole world with a discerning eye, taking nothing for granted. To accept authority blindly on Prabhupada's or anyone's authority is a sign of mental laziness. Let us glorify Prabhupada by being as intellectually sharp as he was.
A final note: We can learn a lot from Prabhupada's own example of
following the GBC that Bhaktisiddhanta established for the Gaudiya
Matha. We wouldn't be here discussing this if he sentimentally followed
their authority. If you do the research you'll see that Prabhupada
challenged hypocrisy wherever he found it.