Tamohara dasa vanaprastha, Jul 27, ’09 Winnipeg, CANADA: When I was a young lad, I did not do what I wanted to do. I wanted to run free, to be part of the trees and the grass and the rivers and birds. I knew instinctively who I was. I wanted that natural happiness, to live free of unwanted imposing structures not of my designs. Instead, I trusted them. They soon made me sit in a small desk in school, for hour after hour, with my hands folded in front of me, to learn.
I had in my innocence found that when I just relaxed and let myself just “Be”, I felt ecstasy!, or at least a broad sense of well being, like a molecular-level happy tingling sensation, all over and in me! When I spoke of this to significant others, the adults, they didn’t know what to say, or acted like it was a child’s imagination and ignored me, and so I soon learned not to trust or expose my inner self. I became bricked, in the wall.
When at age 7, I cried horrified tears at the sudden realization that my parents would eventually grow old and die, my mother and father could only tell me that, “That is life, son. We must all eventually die.” Oh, most reassuring! Thus began my unsettlement, and come to think, the cause of the downfall of empires.
I learned to turn away from simple satisfactions towards the passion of acquisition and competition. I eventually more-or-less fit into the environment, just as the consciousness of the jiva extends out to the parameters of any given body and field of activities, or ksetra, which the “ksetra-jna” or knower -of-the-field, the jiva-soul, spark of Godhead, inhabits, as if “…on a machine made of material energies.” ( Bhagavad Gita As It Is, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada )
Gnostic and Kabbalistic texts say, “As above, so below”, Sri Isopanisad says, “isavasyam idam sarvam…” – so it is widely understood by theistic mystics that Lord Krsna expands into every nook and corner, IS every nook and corner. Yet he is aloof from all this, being atmarama, or self-satisfied. But whereas He is in full knowledge, the jivas which emanate from Him are dependent upon Him, except in their stupified mayic dreams! These bound non-different complete units are free when in their Krsna-intended spiritually charged state, but are subject to be illusioned by the grander energy of goddess Maya in their artificially separated-from-Krsna state, called embodied material existence. Mayadevi is not a conditioned soul, but an enlightened dear devotee of Lord Vishnu, Mother of Sri Ganesha, and wife of Lord Siva We can be overcome by her immense intelligence and potencies, or we can be released by God’s Grace.
Meanwhile, back inside the embodied me, Johnny Cash’s records, which I had played since age 4, had linked with a new inner resentment. Angst unnamed arose amid all that forced enculturation into demon-crazy. Alienated remembrances of my lost inner emotional intelligence, which had been bound and tamed by social pressures, lay just beneath the surface. Like that old Folsom prisoner, I could identify at a root level with this image. I was the prisoner, yearning for his lost freedom. Music to me began to mean a chance to break out of the too-restrictive cage of my adopted social behaviors, a hope for freedom, a return to something better!
When 60′s rock came along, the enlivened sound which I could so identify with, started to re-energize the Johnny Cash inner me. Not to my awareness of the mechanism, at the time, but now I can look back and understand better. Rock was a transformation of the country/blues of my instinctive inner Cash, to the wider circle of knowledge and activities of the Cultural Revolution of the Peace Generation.
These inner actions ultimately effected and transformed a whole cohort of worldwide society, and in due course actualized my own renewed sense of identity. Our generation acted out a return from the oppression of our deepest human and spiritual nature. Our fathers had embraced homogenous and rigid social structures, which involved blatantly capitalist and Darwinistic paradigms of thought. During times of war and economic difficulties, these racist and sectarian organizations were considered necessary for survival and capital advancement. Now, we could see that this way of thinking strangled individualism and freedom of thought and expression.
But we broke the molds, renewed our ideals! We wanted it right! We rose to the occasion, spontaneously launched a bloodless revolution!
By His arrangements, Srila Prabhupada brought the perfected path to us timely; the Sankirtana movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Bhagavad Gita AS IT IS. This was what we had waited for all our lives, what we were set-up for, to do what we must do in Srila Prabhupada’s service. “jivera svarupa haya; nityera krsnadasa!” ( the eternal soul is the eternal devotee of Krsna ) We were re-born! In degrees of our fortune, the inner self again became the outer, as well. Haribol, prabhus.
We could never begin to repay Srila Prabhupada, who appeared to fulfill the destiny and ambitions of a whole generation of young idealists in America. He truly saved us from the prisons within and without. No one else did it, He alone! He and his Inner Guide. They accomplished this deliverance over the entire planet, saving billions of people! Other preachers now merely ride through, in his dust, through the train tunnel which he punched through the mountainside of global Maya. No one can do this unless they are more powerful than she; only the Supreme Being and his pure devotee could do this inconceivable thing, Srila Prabhupada, our guiding father, the unstoppable power and mercy, our great conquering Vaisnava General.
We his many disciples have experienced Vaisnava salvation at his hands.
That is why HDG 108 A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada’s disciples will never run out of steam, will never just be quiet, will never just sit back and allow Srila Prabhupada’s mission and followers to fall into foolishness, will never compromise in following Srila Prabhupada and his original teachings As They Are, will never agree to anybody’s brainwash program, and ultimately, will never die.
Jumping ahead now, to the current context:
The joyous unfolding and deepening of character which Srila Prabhupada had enacted in us, by dint of his order to serve Lord Sri Krsna, suddenly is assaulted by the unbelievable! The pure intended structure of association of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples suddenly largely ceases to exist, externally!
The purity, love, and mutual purpose which formed the inner all-attractive body of ISKCON are tainted by some who thought they could out-think even the master. Srila Prabhupada is now partially replaced by some Precocious Jesuses, and instead of service, with cooperation and preaching, there is too much grandstanding by greedy usurpers for paisa, power, position, property, —— .
Let us tell the truth: Our father’s house is ransacked.
Open istagosthis are gone, fear and reticence have entered, and the new-age GBC sanctioned cults of personality blindly rule. Everyone has an opinion, and none are the same. In some places, Prabhupada’s orders and also his disciples are shamelessly belittled or ousted by cadres of cultists in control…. But in the long term, they are not the controllers.
Externally, the buildings are still there, the Deities rest peacefully inside. Radha’s kitchen is still there, there are even devotees and kirtana. But, Maya’s joke !, this temple association structure of bricks has been re-inhabited by a prehistoric breed of persons! It is now again more like the slaughterhouse school, where we once were made to sit for hours and hours, in quiet little No-Talking! rows with our hands folded, to learn.