Dear Hansadutta Prabhu,
Thank you for your reply. Here are my thoughts on the current situation:
Srila Prabhupada stressed the necessity for his disciples to live a simple living/high thinking lifestyle. This has generally not been implemented.
Such a lifestyle makes its adherents somewhat immune to the consequences of war and economic chaos.
There is good evidence that Srila Prabhupada sent a letter in 1977 ordering all his grhasta disciples to move to farm communities. This letter disappeared, but enough devotees saw it to collaborate its existence. From this we can surmise that Srila Prabhupada stressed the importance of a lifestyle that is very different from the one practiced my most devotees at this time. I also saw a video of Srila Prabhupada on his death bed, unable to lift his head, but speaking about the lifestyle that he wanted the devotees to live.
Srila Prabhupada also said that the materialistic civilization would be destroyed by nuclear weapons and that after the war people would come to their senses and that the situation would become very favorable for spreading Krsna consciousness.
At the present time, if a person is interested in practicing Krsna consciousness, I don’t have a bhakta/bhaktin program where I can send him/her. I regard the present ISKCON to be a pseudo-ISKCON, but not somewhere that I would send a sincere person who was interested in becoming Krsna conscious. However as the economy collapses I fully expect that many of my godbrothers and godsisters will remember what Srila Prabhupada said about the lifestyle and the coming War and will be very interested in moving to a place where they will have food. The situation that is staring us in the face is one that was arranged by the demons so that they will be able to control the population through the scarcity of food. All you have to do at the present time is to make petroleum/oil very expensive and food will not happen in the supermarkets. Most people don’t know how to produce food and even the farmers don’t know how to farm without the petroleum products.
I expect that in the not so distant future that a situation such as the one we have landed in will become extremely attractive to a variety of people. Srila Prabhupada did say that he felt sorry for his disciples because they would have to experience the coming war. Because most of his disciples are older now, it is a good indication that the time he was speaking of is getting close.
It is important for the devotees to be in a position of strength when the economic system collapses. If we had developed the farming communities and farmed using oxen, people would already be seeing us as leaders—we’d have had 35 years to learn self-reliant skills. The way things are now, if we do nothing to prepare, other than chanting, we will have to scramble just to keep body and soul together and won’t be in a position to be effective. While Srila Prabhupada never said that we should do anything specifically to prepare for the coming war—his instructions were more for the lifestyle for the next 10,000 years—I know that he wanted us to live in such a way that the war wouldn’t affect us.
Although pseudo-ISKCON is impotent, the real ISKCON is destined to be around for the next 10,000 years. There is more to Krsna consciousness than just the books: Srila Prabhupada taught his disciples the culture—something that can’t really be learned from the books. Things such as putting on tilak, deity worship, putting on devotional clothes, cooking protocol, playing mrdanga etc., will need to be taught by us (Srila Prabhupada’s disciples). There is no one else to do it. The fact that you are still in your body in spite of your health problems is an indication that Krsna might be offering you a chance to make amends by playing a part in reestablishing the real ISKCON when the environment suddenly becomes extremely favorable due to chaos in the material world.
In a way I’m looking forward to the coming changes because the world right now is so crazy.
Wishing you the best,