Strained Guru-disciple Relationships

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.13.10 | October 26, 2013 |

English; Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

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Question:

How was it possible that Sukadeva Goswami became an impersonalist (Brahmavadi) but then became attracted to Krishna’s personalistic activities?

I ask this because I have heard from senior devotees that Suka is parrot of Radharani and that in his form as a parrot, he heard Bhagavatam from Lord Siva while he was explaining it to Mother Parvathi.

Also Sukadeva Goswami remained in the womb of his mother (Bitika) for around 16 years as he refused to come out. But after Krishna assured him that he will not be attracted by His Maya energy, then he came out. This means that Suka knows Krishna is supreme. Then how did he become an impersonalist.

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I am sure you are aware of one of the great devotees in our ISKCON movement, Srila Aindra Prabhu, recently I have heard some of his recordings, lectures, conversations, and he is always giving emphasis on that one of the biggest problems in ISKCON is that the performance of (nagar) Harinama Sankirtan is on the decline and that is the reason for many problems in ISKCON. It is now often sidelined and marginalised as a token activity that is performed once in a while. He feels that it is more important than book distribution.

If we look historically at ISKCON, the times when most people joined the movement was when there was ample regular Harinama Sankirtan being performed everyday. Similarly many great saints in our movement were engaged in regular Harinama Sankirtan, such as Vishnujana Swami, etc.

I am also aware that book distribution brhad mrdanga has been promoted as our kirtan by Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur as being equal to Harinama Sankirtan. Book distribution is still emphasised quite nicely in most of our temples in ISKCON.

But often when there was difficulty in ISKCON, lots of kirtan and 24 hour kirtans should be held. Now I see a huge popularity in kirtan in the temples, in Europe and America, regularly large and long kirtans are held, although I still do not see the results fully manifesting yet, I believe it may do soon.

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Is book distribution a means for replacing (Nagar) Harinama Sankirtan, or that they should both be the main focus of our movement side by side?

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