Promoting Gurukula in America

ASK BVKS | July 28, 2011 |

English;

Question:

I have been teaching in ISKCON schools in the USA for the past 30 yrs. Some of these schools (in the past) had boys' ashrams, which I believe is a good thing provided there are qualified teachers. Most (if not all) of the present ISKCON schools in America are day schools. Do you think ashrams or gurukulas will ever be revived here in America in the near future? What can those of us who still believe in that system do to promote the idea?

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Question:

I have a doubt in my mind, and you could most likely solve it.

Sannyasa is the highest ashram and generally the sannyasis are respected as being; as good as God by other sections. I hear stories about Prabhupada offering sannyasa to many of his devotees, and many of them could not maintain it.

During the early stages of the Krishna Conscious movement, was Prabhupada very careful in choosing candidates for Sannyasa? I hear stories that sometimes many of the devotees were given Sannyasa on a single day and were asked to go out and preach (please correct me if I am wrong).

Is the spiritual master supposed to understand the possible frailties of his disciples very carefully and give instructions only according to the disciple’s capacity? I hear this argument that the strength to carry on the instruction is imparted with the instruction itself.

Is it possible that the spiritual master may give an instruction, but if he is not very helpful to the disciple then the disciple has to take a simpler instruction for himself after the failure?

How does giving instructions work in the current context? We have many madhyama bhaktas acting as leaders, so are we supposed to check with others when there are strict instructions (other than chanting and regulative principles) and strong ideas presented that are directly not in Prabhupada's books - like preaching, program building etc.?

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