I got a phone call at 4:00 PM ; from my once mentor in Bhakti from an erstwhile Gaudiya Mutt connection. When I started my bhakti path approximately a decade ago ; this mentor of mine had a great influence on me. He was (is now also) very passionate about Bhakti ; the movement of Lord Caitanya and the movement of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta and Srila A.C Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada. As I heard him on phone today I rolled back a decade ago when I heard from his mouth for the first time about Sriman Mahaprabhu and the great ISKCON movement and the great struggle of the Gaudiya world. After the call ..I simply chuckled and got back to my chanting. A lot had happened in 10 years time ; my life was now re-formed laboriously , in fact I cannot recognize this person writing this email to you ..he is not the same one who heard this mentor of his for the very first time at the outset of the Gaudiya Mutt!!!
My mentor said in the call ” I have heard your whereabouts from our other friends . I want to tell you this….I invite you, I urge you to come back to the original movement . He further said ” I am involved with uniting people for a great new movement whereby ISKCON and Gaudiya Mutt will start appearing on the same platform ; from where Love of Godhead can be easily distributed to the entire universe!!!”
I replied “Why not… I am with you ..”and then kept mum for the rest of the call. I only had one thought as I continued to chant after the call “Oh Lord, I have a long way to go …I am not getting enough of your service..I am lost and forlorn ..Oh Lord please engage me in your service ; please do not let even a moment pass in vain”. This thought kept ringing for a while realizing the fact ; the bewilderment that has within its grip the entire world ; the non-devotees; the aspiring devotees and fallen ones like my own self.
Love of God and its distribution has become such a cheap thing these days ; that you can easily start a movement and make it available at a wink’s notice for the sake of fallen ones. People have taken the “so-called movement” very seriously indeed!! One has suddenly become empowered to distribute it lavishly as if it were a barrage of sweets. This is indeed unfortunate more than anything else. I am definitely not trying to make or pass a comment on the thinking of immature sadhakas, but trying to allude towards a larger threat that is hanging over the heads of unaware innocent devotees.These social movements are causing more damage than doing anything to nurture genuine feelings towards the Supreme Reality.True devotional service as I had indicated earlier is an out-and -out inward journey; your only guides being your sadhana/bhajana/your Guru and the Lord ; there are absolutely no other aides!! Anything or Anyone who is trying to guide elsewhere is just trying to play the game of position and possession. As I said earlier Acaryas like the Prabhupadas only appear once in a while, extremely extremely rare where their motive is jiver kalyana. Mind you these acaryas only came out in public life after they “are” positioned by the Lord on the transcendental platform and then encouraged people on the “inward path” of devotional service through Nama Sankirtana. However whatever had been said and done even after that was still undoubtedly insufficient and wanting!!!
As sadhakas ; we should be utterly self-ish and focus on the self ; cleanse the heart ; bash up the six enemies and become one-pointed on our goal of swarupa siddhi. The Prabhupadas were siddhas alright ; but their movements lacked many siddhas. However the movement of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta was studded with some Sadhana-Siddhas ; these gems would only lay emphasis on the inward journey of individuals . Srila BR Sridhara Swami would say “Go deeper and know your relationship with the divine couple..You can preach later!!!”
The phone call from my “misinformed and misdirected friend”only makes me more vigilant ; more aware of my own fallen condition. The Lord knows very well how to look after his devotees ; my prayer to Him is only that He should please consider me as one of His own and protect me from His “mass bewilderment programs”.