From: Danavir Goswami (USA)
Sent: Saturday, October 29, 2005 5:27 AM
To: Modern Culture in Relation to Varnashrama
SUN OR RAHU?
From Danavir Goswami
Several devotees have asked for my opinion about a news site named Sampradaya Sun (SS) which has recently begun to broadcast ISKCON-related topics on the internet. The website is puzzling because, on one hand it strives to appear “ISKCON-friendly” by displaying colorful photos of Krishna, devotional announcements, preaching reports and editorials, etc. while on the other hand it propounds ritvik theory, Vaisnava aparadha and condemnation of ISKCON. I find it like using Krishna as bait for a wicked hook.
On the whole, I think SS seriously breeches Vaisnava etiquette and undermines the faith of ISKCON devotees in the process of bhakti as given by Srila Prabhupada.
That seems a rather negative way of looking at it. As I see it, ISKCON has disappointed a lot of devotees, myself included, and Sampradaya Sun is providing a forum where I can try to understand why that happened, keeping alive that little spark of hope that somehow I can find Krishna again.
It was good to see Danavir Maharaj participate there, albeit briefly. Perhaps if ISKCON leaders would take a more active role in these sorts of forums, honestly discussing the issues that are raised there, those of us who have become jaded or marginalized may feel inspired again. Of course, there are many devotees who feel that more of a sacrifice is required of the leaders, thinking that those who helped cause a problem are not necessarily the best ones to fix it. Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about that.
In my case, just by asking one question about a moral contradiction of a big guru, I was threatened, condemned, and effectively driven out of my local devotee community, where that guru had replaced Srila Prabhupada as the primary guru of the temple. ISKCON has done nothing to help, after ten years of receiving as much service as I was able to give. It appears instead that the leaders, as exemplified by the message below, find it easier to push those like me even further out by denouncing the primary forum where we hope that our voices may be heard.
I came to ISKSCON ten years ago, eager to engage in devotional service and with full faith that I would become Krishna conscious. Now I’m trying to figure out what went wrong. Sampradaya Sun is giving me an opportunity to do that. My first choice would have been for the GBC to help, but they did not. Instead, those GBC who heard about it apparently were disinterested, cowardly, or corrupt; and their pathetic response has made me feel expendable. So now I’m finding a little solace in association with other devotees who have also stopped pretending that there are no problems in ISKCON, and here I find that this is also condemned.
When ISKCON has so disappointed me, why should I continue to put my faith in this institution? Can the ISKCON leadership find a way to heal my wounded faith so that I can feel inspired again? How much do they think the fate of a soul is worth, or am I already written off as lost?