Should a devotee try for big posts in the temples? Why don’t you try?
A male devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“Prabhu. You have plenty of knowledge. Your writings make many devotees. Why iskcon don’t make use of your outstanding writing skills and give you a big post in iskcon?”
As far as a post in any sathsangha is concerned, I myself never asked them because I always feel that I am an unqualified person.
Mostly, to be popular, one should sell himself by projecting himself publicly. Only then, we will get some premium considerations. But, being fearful for popularity, I am serving silently and I hesitate to project myself. I do not like to be praised or worshiped. So, I myself did not try for a position.
The problem with the people is that they will start to worship if they find anyone in big position in the spiritual service.
They make even Yoga masters as spiritual personalities and consider the yoga gurus like spiritual gurus or the gurus in the devotional services.
They show emotional approach only, in the case of their spiritual guides and they pledge their intelligence somewhere else.
So, most of the people are not that much clever in selecting their guide or guru.
For example, I am thinking day and night for our site and update it with carefully prepared contents, understanding the true needs of every person.
But, the sites that promote movies, actors, earning tips receive enormous support and revenue from the followers. The devotional side is different. Here, lakhs of people will read or praise, but, only a very few will come forward to support the promoter.
That is why, many ‘calm type’ people with good knowledge do not take devotion as their full time activity, but go to jobs or do business and also follow devotion. Who will like to suffer for food and shelter taking devotion as their primary activity?
Only if we give up our humbleness, kind approach, etc and be ready for even physical fight, we can successfully run the profession of devotional service also. We have to follow all the techniques followed in other businesses. Some times, even physical attack may be needed that I have directly seen in our temples. If we run the devotional service silently, we will close it soon because silent services may gain a good name, but, it will not help for earning and living with that earning.
Though hundreds of people praise my writings and bold reformations, I always shy to show me as a big guy in anything, because I am aware that I am not doing anything. So, I never promote myself as a big guy in devotion. If I don’t show myself as if having something, no one will care me. It’s alright.
Decades ago, I was having close involvement in the administrative matters. But, whenever a devotee starts to gain name in the administration of any service in a temple, naturally, rivals and competitions arise in a short period of time. Usually, there are factions among the administrators in any business or service. If we satisfy a particular administrator “A”, another administrator “B” will consider ourselves as if loyal to that “A” and try to defame or sideline us. This is what happening in material businesses also. Same exists in the spiritual service also.
That is why, I stopped coming to the prominent place. Though I can give excellent speech with nice points, I have never touched the mike in any temple so far. Because, If I come to the prominence, naturally, branding and enmighty also will grow side by side.
I am a loyal devotee associated with ISKCON for decades. But, I am daringly advising the managements about the required reformations to be done according to the changes of time. If I expect any position in any spiritual organization, I can’t write this much bolder. I may have to accept whatever they do blindly.
A wise devotee should filter good from the mix of good and bad. I am one of such devotees.
I admire at a particular guru in ISKCON who daringly and publicly gives suggestions to the administrators for the benefit of the movement/ society. I too follow such an approach in my writings. I encourage giving up unwanted practices/ impractical rules in devotion and simplify the system according to the current trend of the society.
I am writing only against giving importance only for external appearance that brings down the importance of internal qualifications. Because, there are many devotees who just wear external symbols nicely and convince some senior devotees and get diksha from a guru on his recommendation.
So, Diksha should be made very strict and it should be given only for those who are personally found fit for the same by the guru. Unqualified initiations are also given that I feel personally.
These are the reasons for my not caring my external appearance and symbols. I want this system to be changed.
At the same time, I never relax anything in four regulative principles, chanting, humbleness, offering food to the Lord and honouring prasadam, etc.
Since I do not see any immediate signs of changes in the minds of the administrators, I have totally stopped involving in administrative services. I am very happy and peaceful in remaining a LAST BENCH DEVOTEE in our temples.
No position will come to you unless you try for it. Since I do not try for any position, I don’t get one. Of course, I am not in need of such positions. Only if Krishna likes to use me in any manner, He himself will arrange for some service. Now, He has engaged me in this great e-preaching service. This is great.
In this kaliyuga, if one should come up, he has to learn to pull down some others who are in the list of consideration for positions so as to become to the top position.
I can’t follow such cheap practices to survive in this world. I will do my duty sincerely and inform the needs and reality to the people decently. If they support me, it is their goodness. If not, it is their cleverness.
A good devotee will just perform his devotional services without displaying himself for any positions.
If any service comes automatically, he accepts and performs it well.
In my case, Krishna is using me in His service differently. He has given a group of senior and junior devotees to the forums I promote. The reforming views in our site are read, considered and followed by some administrators that I am aware. Krishna is using me silently to guide those who need practically viable tips to follow devotion.
This position itself is the great gift of Krishna. A media can even guide the governments. Similarly, as a spiritual media person and as a spectator, I am giving suggestions to the devotees and managements.
Krishna has blessed thousands of devotees to REALLY get benefited from our site. He is also guiding the managements in a decent manner through our site.
What else positions I need? Did I plan to start this preaching service? No. I was just writing something casually in FB in the year of 2011. Since it attracted thousands of devotees, I started to give importance for guiding the innocent devotees to set their devotional life properly and to avoid getting cheated by bogus spiritual personalities. So far, more than 2700 counsellings have been given that is an outstanding number.
Still we are growing in quality, standard and authority as a popular e-media. This service is driven by Krishna that I feel.
Thus being a humble last bench devotee itself is enough. I can’t promote myself to get any positions. It is not my character.
I advise others too like this. Just do your service to Krishna. Never expect any praise or appreciation from the people. If your service is good and reforming, it will automatically grow as we grew in eight years.
Do you remember that I always advise to fuse karma yoga even in following bhakti yoga? That means, just follow sincere devotional service to Krishna using any talent you have, as it is the prime duty for every human being. Do not expect anything in return –eg: Positions, money, Fame, name, etc.
If Krishna gives something, accept it. If He delays, wait and continue the service. You will be rewarded by Krishna in His own way.
Remember, Srila Prabhupada was not fully supported in India initially. But, Krishna took him to America and made a great Acharya. When he came back to India, this country too supported him. This is the magic of Krishna.
Krishna knows how to use His every devotee in His service.
Hope this has cleared your doubts.
When I was finishing this reply, I got this message of H.H.Jayapataka Swami in his Lecture, 15th January 2011, Australia.
“It is joy to please Krishna. It is joy to serve Krishna. Other than that, you should not desire anything. If you try for name and fame, then your attempt is not meant to please Krishna, and you are not a mahatma. Instead, all your service is like the stool of a pig. So you should just try to please Krishna, and then automatically everyone will say that you are a nice devotee. If you try to get some name and fame, then your service is artificial. Rather if you try to please Krishna, automatically people will appreciate our efforts.”
How timely this message is! That too while finishing the reply! My body shivers in thrill that this message has been sent by Krishna Himself through Maharaj to authenticate my views expressed in my above full reply.