Sankarsan das Adhikari Replies
BY: GADADHARA DASA
Sep 22, DALLAS, TEXAS (SUN) From ISKCON Temple, Helsinki, Finland.
My Dear Gadadhara, Please accept my humble obeisances_/\ò_. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
I am very happy to discuss everything with you threadbare, but I am a very busy man. Krishna has blessed me with an internet preaching program that has attracted 7,000 enrollees all over the world. I am constantly traveling and preaching along with my wife, and I have a very hard time now keeping up with my emails. I just looked in my Sent Items folder in my email software. In the last several years I have written 24,875 emails. Yours will be number 24,876 in a few minutes when I send it. If I don’t go into as much as much depth as you would like, kindly forgive me. I will try my best to briefly and succinctly explain things for your proper understanding.
I don’t deny whatever discrepancies have crept into ISKCON since Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance. There were many discrepancies manifest when he was here with us also. Discrepancies are there also in the ancient Vedic culture. This is why sadhus are required to guide and inspire the people to rise beyond the realm of discrepancies.
Srila Prabhupada’s early editors made many mistakes such as translating “go-raksya” as “cattle raising” instead of “cow protection”. Do you think we should let the early mistakes stand or present the books in line with what Srila Prabhupada gave us in the original manuscripts and the dictation tapes?
I do not disagree about so many discrepancies. But in terms of actual numbers ISKCON has grown by leaps and bounds since Srila Prabhupada’s departure. Formally it was a movement mostly of devotees living in the temples. But now they have become married and living outside earning a livelihood through employment or business.
Book distribution in North America has decreased, but book distribution in India has risen to inconceivable heights. I sell Srila Prabhupada’s books whenever I get the chance. How about you?
Srila Prabhupada’s July 9 Letter described the system for Srila Prabhupada’s initiating new disciples while he was still physically present on this planet. But in October 1977 he stated that he would no longer accept disciples. At this time he turned the initiation of new disciples over to his disciples.
The Ritvik people say that there is only one acharya for ISKCON. But Srila Prabhupada
said that there would be 10,000,000 acharyas.
Srila Prabhupada personally encouraged me that I could become a spiritual master, and the Ritvik people say that I cannot become a spiritual master. Who I am supposed to follow: Srila Prabhupada or Krishna Kant Desai? Who is my spiritual master: Srila Prabhupada or Krishna Kant Desai?
My authority to initiate disciples comes from Srila Prabhupada. That I also took the GBC blessings as a further confirmation is exactly what Srila Prabhupada ordered me to do. Should I reject the orders of Srila Prabhupada?
I am equally horrified as you at the abuses of authority. But that does not mean that I should not do my duty. If a quack doctor scam is detected, does this mean that reputable
doctors should give up the medical profession?
Srila Prabhupada told us that ISKCON is his body. If the body of the spiritual master becomes ill should we kill it, or should we run away? No. We should rush to his side to nurse him back to health. We should work together co-operatively to make ISKCON everything that Srila Prabhupada wanted it to be. If we sincerely try our best, Krishna will help us.
You mention the decrease of harinam sankirtana. I just went on harinam yesterday in Helsinki. It was glorious. When was the last time you went on harinam?
If ISKCON is a mess, should we mend it or end it?
I am constantly traveling and preaching all over the world. I am seeing the discrepancies of ISKCON and I am also seeing its wonderful qualities. I am not blind to its discrepancies and am doing everything I can to reform ISKCON on all levels. But I am the same time I am seeing how ISKCON is wonderfully offering shelter to an ever-increasing number of aspiring devotees all over the world. This is glorious. If you were here with me, you would see the fortunate souls who are getting Krishna’s mercy and Srila Prabhupada’s mercy from ISKCON.
You need to be out in preaching field experiencing what I am experiencing. You would be in bliss. My bliss is not the so-called bliss of a brain-washed cult member, my bliss is the actual bliss described in the Bhagavad-gita.
Today I am in Helsinki. Monday I will be preaching in Estonia. Wednesday in Latvia. From there it is on to Lithuania and Russia and then Holland, Bulgaria, Qatar, India, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Canada and than back to Texas for a couple of weeks before going to Atlanta and Peru. Then after a month or so in Texas is back to Europe again this time to also include Germany and Belgium.
My goal is to see that the entire world becomes one family under Srila Prabhupada before I leave my body. This can arguably be described as an impossible dream. But I am enlivened and enthused to dream the impossible dream. And who knows? If Krishna wants, He can fulfill my desire within a minute.
Hoping this meets you in good health,
Always your humble servant,
Sankarshan Das Adhikari