Initiation of Kedarnatha Dasa and On Speaking Strongly in Srila Prabhupada's Service

May 17, 2014 |

English; ISKCON Silicon Valley, USA

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Question:

I have been listening to your holiness' lectures for about 5 months day and night and I like the philosophical clarity of thought by which your holiness presents Krishna Consciousness, and of course the quality of the recording is nice.

I have also heard all of your Holiness' Q&A audio lectures available on the internet before asking this question.

In the western part of India, especially Maharashtra, there are many saints (I am not sure if this is what peoplel are supposed to call them) like Swami Samartha, Sant Dnyāneshwar, and Giriraj Maharaja whose followers are mostly simple and poor villagers. HG Caitanya Charan Prabhu mentioned in www.thespiritualscientist.com that devotees are supposed to respect them and glorify them for whatever bhakti they are doing, although they are using chanting or glorification of the Lord as a tool to gain followers and ultimately make them Mayavadis.

But the problem in practical application is that if we respect them then they will think that we are approving of their activities. For example most of their followers are vegetarian but they feel  that tea does not break their fast on Ekadashi, so they consume tea on their fasting days also.

Are these Maharaja's with their sampradaya's bona fide? If yes then which Sampradaya do they belong to?

In most rural parts of Maharashtra we don't have ISKCON centers, But we do have maths of the above mentioned personalities, so what should be our attitude towards the followers of the above mentioned personalities?

And what should be our approach to bring them to Krishna Consciousness as we don't have any ISKCON centers here? What are the do’s and don't we should follow to bring them to the service of Srila Prabhupada, or if not that then at least a bona fide Guru Parampara?

Can we or do we have a website or any such means where it is clearly stated that XYZ math or Sampradaya is bona fide or not bona fide, so at least we don't offend the ones who are outside of ISKCON and belong to a bona fide sampradaya and do not promote (by respecting them) the bogus so called spiritualist?

I do not intend to hurt any devotee, my only motive is to seek the truth or clarity of thought for healthy spiritual progress. Please forgive me for any offenses.

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Certain individuals in ISKCON believe that women can offer dandavat pranams (fully prostrate on ground in a rod like fashion). To support the argument they quote SB 8.17.5 where in Aditi fell to the ground like a rod to offer the Lord her respectful obeisances. Also cited is a video clip wherein a mataji is seen offering dandavat pranam to Srila Prabhupada.

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I was asked a question by a householder disciple of mine who distributes DVD’s of Srila Prabhupada’s lectures and all kinds of DVD’s in relationship to Srila Prabhupada by which he maintains his household. He doesn’t take all the profits. He has some arrangement with the Bhaktivedanta Archives or whatever. He has a policy of low price and high turnover. This means that you have a low price and then, if it is a low price many people will like to buy it and so many will be sold. That is called a high turnover and then even though the profit is low, it works out to be enough because there are a lot of units sold. Another policy in sales is to have a high price but usually then you get poor sales and you get maybe less profit and possibility of boot legging or imitation.

He is very enthusiastic to distribute this. It is mostly distributed to, 99% already committed devotees, followers of Srila Prabhupada so he is enthusiastic that they should get these invaluable teachings of Srila Prabhupada. And, of course, I very much encourage him in this and I very much encourage you all also to regularly listen to Srila Prabhupada’s lectures as well as to read his books. There are various problems within ISKCON which is inevitable when you have an idealistic movement within a highly non-ideal world. But some of the problems are self-inflicted and are not necessary. They are what Srila Prabhupada would call deviations or speculations or concoctions.  And the overall cure for this is if devotees again get into the habit of reading Srila Prabhupada’s books regularly and hearing his lectures, as used to be standard within our movement.

But I digressed, I got off topic here, I went into a very important topic. The topic is that he asked me that his dilemma was that well I am distributing this, I want to distribute this for the benefit of others but also as a householder, the profit motive is also in my mind. I have to support my family, I have to think of money also, and so is my devotional service compromised? Like this. And this kind of consideration may come for householders who also sell Srila Prabhupada’s books to support their family or selling prasadam. So what is the answer to this conundrum?

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