Two Kinds of Madness

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 5.8.24-25 | July 6, 2016 |

English; Baroda, Gujarat, India

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There are many opinions and philosophical interpretations within Vaishnava society. What is the Vaishnava process of resolution of these conflicts? Should there be (i) a majoritarian democratic process involving the entire Vaishnava congregation, (ii) literal textual authoritarianism with strict enforcement and excommunication procedures, (iii) hegemony of those who have attained institutional positions due to experience and merit, (iv) a legal and philosophical disputation process, in which all sides submit their positions and the judgment is made by a body of judges appointed through consensus, (v) an internal dialogue process based on argumentation and compromises that makes everyone least upset, or (vi) let each faction thrive and only if the harmony is disturbed, punitive action be taken against the culprit?

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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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