DO AS PRABHUPADA WOULD DO! WE ARE ALREADY UNITED!
1996 Prabhupada Centennial
8 June 1993, Geyserville,California
Dear Lokanath Maharaj:
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Prabhupada. It was nice to see you in L.A. Thank you for allowing me to associate with you and for asking my opinion regarding the Prabhupada Centennial and the re-uniting and reconciliation of Prabhupada’s disciples. Because you suggested I put something in writing, I will try to summarize what we discussed in L.A.
DO AS PRABHUPADA WOULD DO! Act in his spirit. What would Prabhupada do?! The inspiration which comes to us in the mood of such thinking can be understood to be “the spirit of Prabhupada.” Faith in Prabhupada means to act under such consideration and subsequent inspiration. This is your duty as Prabhupada’s representative. To practice with FAITH, thinking, saying and doing what Prabhupada would do! That is called FAITH in Prabhupada. Not that we always pass the responsibility by saying “Yes! Prabhupada could do like that, but we cannot, because we are not Prabhupada.” Then what need was there for Prabhupada to teach us both in words and EXAMPLE? Is your representation of Prabhupada merely to mouth the words of his exalted and noble teachings? But you cannot practice what he showed as EXAMPLE. You can only say, “Prabhupada said this, Prabhupada said that.” What about DOING LIKE PRABHUPADA? Without doing like Prabhupada, you become nothing more than PROFESSORS of philosophy and religion.
The professors of religion in the university also teach philosophy and religion. But actually they have no FAITH in the teachings they PROFESS. Therefore they do not practice what they teach. To earn a living they have adopted the subject of PHILOSOPHY and RELIGION (they teach bhakti also) as a PROFESSION. In other words, they are PROFESSIONALS. For earning money (or demonstrating their scholarship), such professors MOUTH the teachings of great ACHARYAS and PROPHETS, but there is NO EXAMPLE, NO FAITH, NO SUBSTANCE, NO SPIRIT and thus NO RESULT, no change of heart. Prabhupada warned us of professional Bhagavatam reciters. Don’t just preach as Prabhupada; DO! AS PRABHUPADA WOULD DO! He used to say, “DO AS I DO.”
As an ISKCON leader, you must practice the highest principles of spiritual life, not merely mouth them. If that was all we required, a tape recorder would be sufficient. The books of Prabhupada would be sufficient. In fact, they are, because Prabhupada says in the purport of Srimad-Bhagavatam (First Canto, Chapter 2, Verse 18):
“There are two types of bhagavats, namely the book bhagavat and the person—the devotee bhagavat. Both the bhagavats are competent remedies, and both of them or either of them can be good enough for eliminating the obstacles… Book bhagavat or the person is identical.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto One, Chapter Two, Verse 18)
However, since you have assumed the office of guru-acharya, representative of Srila Prabhupada and the disciplic succession, your function as guru-acharya is to teach by example. Acharya means he teaches by example, not merely by words, committees, resolutions or creating another minister, Centennial minister. Why was Lord Jesus so highly regarded? Because his teaching and his example were parallel. When he uttered, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do,” in spite of being cruelly mistreated by crucifixion, he set the example of compassion. HE IS AN ACHARYA.
So all this talk in regards to re-uniting, reconciliation and surveys of Prabhupada’s disciples for the 1996 Centennial is simply bogus, an unnecessary diversion from the real issue at hand, which is that we are already united as Prabhupada’s disciples. No devotee will say he doubts Prabhupada’s purity or integrity. All devotees love Prabhupada, and they know Prabhupada loves them. This issue is not in question. The question is: “Do Prabhupada’s GBC, guru-acharyas love Prabhupada’s disciples?” And if they do, then let them SHOW IT BY DOING AS PRABHUPADA WOULD DO! If you can’t think, speak and act like Prabhupada, then how can you present yourselves as Prabhupada’s representatives?? Or is it that your ambition is to corral Prabhupada’s disciples into your dying institution? When Prabhupada was present, devotees like Tamal Krsna Goswami, Hrdayananda Goswami, Satsvarupa das Goswami, Jayapataka Swami and others were actually respected and accepted as Prabhupada’s representatives. Their word was as good as Prabhupada’s word. Today devotees laugh at these so-called guru-acharyas. No one cares for them. Why? Because they do not think, they do not say and they do not do as Prabhupada would do!
The best of Prabhupada’s disciples have drifted away or been thrown away. Why? If Prabhupada were standing before us today, what would he think? What would he say? What would he do?! So if you really want to RE-UNITE and make RECONCILIATION with Prabhupada’s disciples and STRENGTHEN Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON movement, then you must DO WHAT PRABHUPADA WOULD DO. Otherwise, whatever you do will simply be a waste of time. At best a sentimental, mundane re-union, perhaps pleasing to the foolish and unintelligent, but having little or no spiritual substance, which is after all the aim of our association and endeavor to be Krishna conscious.
I hope you are well. Let me know what you think.
Your humble servant,
[To date (25 October 1993), I have received no reply to the above correspondence from Sri Lokanath Swami, ISKCON’s Minister for the Prabhupada 1996 Centennial Celebration to re-unite and strengthen Srila Prabhupada’s disciples and the ISKCON movement.]