Refuge for the Genuine Seeker
“Every living creature is engaging in the service of something else. A living being’s constitutional position is to render service, but in the atmosphere of māyā, or illusion, or the conditional state of existence, the conditioned soul seeks the service of illusion. “
The ocean of mäyä is covering all things that cannot rise above her waters, and even great ships (such as ISKCON) can be sunk when the captain’s position is taken over by unskilled sailors, those who wish to sail the ship in the direction that they desire--and not toward the original destination.
When analyzing the aftermath of the once great ISKCON movement, one can see what a few selfish men can do to a thriving movement after the leader is gone. So much has been changed due to the whims of a few: They wanted more than spiritual life could offer, and many of their would-be happy followers are now stuck looking for answers from those men--but finding only deception. It has become self-evident that the so-called “ISKCON” confederation, once an unsinkable ship for so many, has,in fact, been at the bottom of the ocean for years now. Many who lived and fought for shelter and a life where they could find happiness in serving Kåñëa were devastated by mis-leaders in the service of illusion.
Only those who were resilient in the face of the changes can actually help us now. From the initial deviation, they were put in the position of having to fight. It all has been a thankless war of many battles for them, but they are important for having waged it--more important than anyone knows. Some struggled to maintain Prabhupäda’s teachings in their original state, while others had more selfish reasons behind their defiance. It was hard to tell one from the other, but, in time, the truth was revealed; Prabhupäda’s unaltered mission would still continue.
It will not be through a giant institution, however, but through the effort of a small group of individuals, who, in time, will become many. The Vaishnava Foundation (VF) has become a safe haven for the genuine seeker, a place where a devotee can let down his guard, knowing that it is led by a man, who fights tooth and nail in order for Çréla Prabhupäda’s dream to be realized without deviation.
Since the departure of Çréla Prabhupäda, Kailäsa Candra däsa, the leader of the Vaishnava Foundation, has been put through the ringer: Various leaders and acolytes of “ISKCON” have tried their hardest to remove him from the picture. He has been ignored, verbally attacked, scapegoated, and threatened--all of this because he wouldn’t back down from his stance that things are no longer going according to Çréla Prabhupäda’s plan.
These attacks would have left an ordinary man broken, but Kailäsa has proven himself to be truly made of sturdier stuff than most devotees. He now delivers insight into all the deviations and under-handed dealings of “ISKCON” and other splinter groups. Without Kailäsa’s written and video efforts, comprehendable and empowered presentations--and the creation of the Vaishnava Foundation as a safe space--the current state of Kåñëa consciouness might be beyond repair.
“It is a fact that most people cannot approach Kåñëa consciousness. Just like a rare gem. Only a few men can purchase a rare emerald or diamond, so, similarly, only a few men may actually be capable of grasping the importance of Kåñëa consciousness.“
Human life is so rare, and it is even rarer when a human approaches the idea of Kåñëa consciousness. The rarest event is when that individual is then able to understand the science behind Kåñëa consciousness. Such an occurence is so infrequent and extraordinary that the few who currently desire spirtual life must seriously consider taking full advantage of the opportunity to approach post-modern sages. Çréla Prabhupäda was in the category of the greatest and rarest of humans, and his goal was to find at least one individual who actually understood spiritual science on the deepest level. He could very well be considered successful when we listen to the explanations of his initiated brähmin, Kailäsa Candra däsa.
The battle to expose the wrong-doings of “ISKCON” has been going on for many years. As fighting tends to weed out the strong from the weak, many who initially fought, due to the influence of material life, turned soft, converted back to ordinary life, and gave up. Others went slightly berzerk, and they verbally attacked anyone who would appear to be some kind of spiritual leader. Some appear to fight today, but they allow their leaders to censor whatever he likes from their work, suiting that leader's agenda.
Although it seems they should all be united in common cause, mäyä did her work powerfully, preventing any alliance amongst those who defy “ISKCON.” One cannot blame Kailäsa for trying to unite them, however. He puts forth simple terms for devotees working together. In addition to avoiding meat and intoxicants, he urges them (and aspiring devotees) to imbibe sincercity, seriousness, and some humility. He asks them to shirk from deviation from the çästra, as well as to overcome the temptation to concoct rules to suit one’s fancy. Essentially, he asks them to follow Çréla Prabhupäda’s initial movement and reap the spiritual rewards.
The goal of the Vaishnava Foundation is to expand, as well as to maintain the focus on service attitude with individual growth, following Çréla Prabhupäda as çikñä-guru--and for those who were genuinely initiated (1966-77), dékçä-guru. Kailäsa provides clarity to philosophical and personal subjects that need explaining; he delivers answers that make so much sense that it feels like all the puzzle pieces of the puzzle fall into place and that spiritual advancement is achievable.
The desire to create disciples is not important at the VF. This is unlike the rittviks and “ISKCON,” both of which are obsessed with producing “initiated” disciples, so much so that they fabricate and manipulate çästra in order to allegedly achieve their goals. One group says that Çréla Prabhupäda is still intiating through the medium of rittviks; the other says that it is possible to be dékçä-guru without a direct order, i.e., to become guru as an institutional guru.
Both operate on an agenda derived from leaders who compromise that which cannot be compromised. It is understood that the movement must continue, but, in order for it to do so, it needs to follow everything Çréla Prabhupäda demanded from it. This includes higher intelligence, which seems to have been abandoned when it comes to certain core points ignored by these two factions.
Overall, Çréla Prabhupäda’s message remains clear and intact. The earnest seeker of Kåñëa consciousness still believes that there is hope for himself or herself. He or she does not give up, even in the face of having had dealings with despicable men from any of the splinter groups. If you are willing to make a new start and follow Çréla Prabhupäda’s teachings with clarification and without deviation, then there is a place for you within the Vaishnava Foundation.
OM TAT SAT
Quotes from the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are copyright by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust