Ultimately, what is the substance of legal directives and legal maneuvers? Where does it all lead to in the end? The men in position today in ISKCON are basically entrenched. Whoever is there is just there, doing whatever they’re doing. Prabhupada gave the Direction of Management, a legal document, but even if the court were to give the order to enforce it, who would replace the managers there now? Where are the replacements? Out of the whole population of ISKCON, maybe 1% are capable, but replace the current management with whom? And who will be left for them to manage?
Law and judgment is one thing; collecting on it is another. Like suppose someone owes you $50,000, and you go to court and obtain a judgment in your favor… do you think the police will go and get your money for you? No. The judge and lawyers will pack up and leave the courtroom, and it will fall on you to go and collect your money.
It seems that it’s part of the purification process that we have to go through life and discover the fallacy of everything we believe to have substance and power, like the government, our parents, teachers, scientists. Everything turns out to be a sham. Maybe one of the last things is “Hey, I’ll take you to court.” Like we went through arbitration, and Fedorowsky admitted and the arbitrators acknowledged that he had embezzled the money, but we didn’t get it back. Apart from Krishna, everyone and everything is a charade. When you come close to it and examine it, it’s a sham, futile and without substance.
Prabhupada created legally binding documents, so you could go to court, spend time and money and even win, but then what? What will you end up with? How will you enforce it? What is left of the movement?
There needs to be a person to champion a cause, but that individual has to have support. He can’t accomplish anything by himself without manpower and resources. Prabhupada came as an individual, and he gathered support for his cause, rallied people around him and powered through, but as soon as he left, the support fell through.
Papers… we have papers and papers, but the simplest paper–“Be ritvik and make your own field” we cannot follow. We have to learn to be completely dependent on Krishna, not depend on the world for anything. Our association around Srila Prabhupada has deteriorated. It has fallen apart. All we can do is chant Hare Krishna helplessly, realizing that we are helpless and hopeless. And as long as we hope for anything else outside Krishna to bring us to justice, we’ll be disappointed.
We have to pray: “I see that everyone but You is a deceiver, I accept that you have put me here where I am, for Your own reasons, and although I don’t know why, I accept it”. Total resignation, surrender. “I am here because of Your will, and I accept it. I have no other expectation, no second backup, no reservations.”
We haven’t come to that point yet. We’re not able to let go thinking that there’s something else. But that’s what we’re talking about. Because we have some aspirations and expectations not in accordance with Krishna, that’s why there is discord.
We feel we are entitled or deserving, but surrender means “No, I’m not entitled, not deserving. Wherever You put me is for a purpose–for Your purpose, not mine, because I’d rather be somewhere else.” That’s why the whole world is moving. People feel that something is missing, and they’re looking for it here and there. But what is missing is that resolve, that surrender to Krishna. This is our one and only problem: we would rather be somewhere else.
This chanting Hare Krishna is the tool, the message, or the process that helps us incrementally to come there. And there is a time when someone may come to that point and remain there in surrender, accepting “You put me here because it’s good for me even though I don’t like it”, and never allowing the thought of going elsewhere to rise up. If someone can do this, people will be attracted to him like iron filings are drawn to a magnet, because they will see that he has no personal ambition, that he wants nothing for himself. Prabhupada was there.
We haven’t come there, but we’re students of Prabhupada, and so we’re practicing that surrender, that willingness to surrender. When we were travelling in India with Prabhupada, we ended up going to so many villages, and at one small village Prabhupada asked me, “This is a nice place. Are you prepared to stay here and make this your center?” I’d say, “Sure,” but I’m sure he knew I was mortified, thinking, “I don’t want to stay here in this dustbowl.”
Every creature is dissatisfied, but Bhagavad-gita says, “Austerity of the mind is satisfaction.” To be satisfied with every circumstance, no demand, at the beck and call of Krishna, whatever Krishna wants. Like the finger on the hand. The finger doesn’t move you; you move it. That’s the essence of our situation.
And if we examine our circumstances, we see that our situation is perfect in comparison to the circumstances of the rest of the world. This is our disease: we can’t be resigned to being what we are, thinking we should be something more, because we want distinction, prestige.
But we have connection with a pure devotee, and this gives us solace, satisfaction. It’s when we start thinking in terms of accomplishments, rewards, then we are dissatisfied. “For one who has controlled his mind, it is his best friend, but for one who has not controlled it, it is his enemy.