Can we make other organizations merge with ISKCON and have just one way?
Transcription: Sudha Mehta Mataji
Question: Can we make other organizations merge with ISKCON and make it the only way?
Answer: It did happen several times, for example when Srila Prabhupada was sharing Krishna consciousness in the western world there were some people who were leaders of other organizations and for example there was one of his disciple Satswaroop ananda who earlier had his own organization, and his own followers, disciples and when he read Srila Prabhupada’s book and understood the profundity of Krishna consciousness he along with his followers joined Iskcon and they all became initiated disciples of Srila Prabhupada. So such a thing has happened at the same time we also have to understand that there are different organizations which stand for different purposes. Even different spiritual organizations don’t have the same level of spiritual emphasis. Many spiritual organizations although they call themselves spiritual often focus on social, humanitarian, moral, nationalistic concerns and while these concerns may themselves be important they are not all important. And when spiritual organization gets caught in these concerns it may attract more people because people being in the bodily level of consciousness consider anything concerning the body to be more important than anything concerning the soul. So people who have that kind of expectations from the organizations they build such an organization and when they see an organization that focussed primarily on the spiritual growth of people then they don’t realize the value of that organization and that’s why for them to accept it will be difficult but at the same time if we explain systematically How Krishna consciousness is not for ones spiritual development? Because our spiritual development leads to our all round development. Soul is the basis of the mind and body so if we nourish the soul at the bodily and mental level also our life becomes better not necessarily more comfortable but more productive, more satisfied, more harmonised, more fulfilled so when we communicate this properly and if other organizations are open minded enough to understand it then surely it’s possible that many organizations can come together and that can create a very powerful and influential society. At the same time can we have only one way? Actually there is only one way that is the way given by god and different people are at different levels on that way. Krishna says mama vartha man varthan the manushya partha sarvasha All people are on my path but Krishna’s path is very broad and different people are going on different lanes of that path and in different directions. Some are going towards Krishna, some are going away from Krishna, some are going on a lane that gets them allured to a intermediate goal rather than going towards the ultimate goal. That means some people get allured by humanitarian ism which is not bad but which is not transcendental. Humanitarian ism in the name of spirituality Some of them get allured by other temporary material things so because of this although all paths are ultimately meant to take one to god, to Krishna, they may not necessarily emphasis the ultimate goal with equal emphasis. So what we can do is we can help people understand how there is the ultimate sadhyaka (Krishna) and ultimate (sadhana) Bhakti and to the extent we communicate properly and to the extent that other people understand it open-mindedly to that extent it is possible that we can bring other people together at least that is the aspiration of the devotee. The Gita Mahatmya tells :
ekam sastram devaki-putra-gitam
eko devo devaki-putra eva
eko mantras tasya namani yani
karmapy ekam tasya devasya seva
let there be one god and that is Krishna, let there be one scripture and that is the Gita, let there be only one name the names of Lord Krishna, and let there be only one activity and that is service to Lord Krishna, so this is the ultimate dharma of all the living entities and to the extent we communicate it properly and to the extent other people are open minded enough to accept then there can be one way. At the very least even if there is not one way and even if people understand that spiritual life is the ultimate goal and move towards that goal that would also improve society considerably, because this is Kali Yuga we cannot accept everyone to become a devotee in Kali yuga but still even if a significant minority also becomes devotionally inclined or devotees, then the world’s situation can improve tremendously and that’s what we as devotees aspire for. However because different people are of different natures not everyone will accept one path in the specific understanding of Sadhya and sadhana which they have. So they all are on the path of Krishna but they all have chosen their own understanding of what the path is? And what the goal is? and they all stop along the way and they don’t reach the ultimate destination. So everything attractive is ultimately a spark of Krishna’s splendour so if someone is attracted to nation then that is because in their nation they are sensing something glorious and that Glory of the nation is a spark of Krishna’s splendour so rather than people getting attracted to the spark it they are philosophically educated and devotionally attracted then they will be attracted to the whole and that is what the purpose of Bhagwad Gita is and that is what the purpose of the tradition i.e based on the Bhagwad Gita i.e the brahma madhava gaudiya Vaishnava tradition to which Iskcon belongs is trying to achieve and we can do the best to share this wisdom and make others come to this path which is not one path of an organization but which is the path that god has given for humanity to return back to him Thank you