10 REASONS WHY ISKCON IS ABLE TO CREATE PURE DEVOTEES MORE?
…………………….Das asked like this:
(He asked three questions in a single message. Considering their nature, I have divided them into two parts and replying in two counselling posts)
“hare Krishna please hide my name my question is. actually I have seen this reality also why is it that people who were actually initiated in a bonafide parampara start following real bhakti when they join iskcon and start following bhakti properly. They were not that serious before coming to iskcon although we see that they were in bonafide parampara”
I too have realized that.
Let me explain that thinking deeply in a balanced way:
I have also highlighted in my writings in a responsible manner, a few suggestions that ISKCON should adopt and as a follower of ISKCON for decades and as a common observer, not as an outsider. Some of my suggestions have been accepted also. I am happy about that.
The success of ISKCON is outstanding beyond comparison with any other spiritual organizations.
They have developed very fast and deep in almost all the countries, even some countries to which others may not dare to go and speak about their spiritual concepts.
Can one imagine centers for Krishna in China, Pak, Africa, Russia, Arab countries, etc?
ISKCON did that. We should appreciate the sacrifice of the devotees who took the greatest risk of speaking about Krishna in the countries where atheism or other beliefs are followed deeply. Some devotees even have faced cases for doing so. They did not back track. They fought in the courts and continued their service in such countries.
These devotees are highly dedicated to their spiritual masters, Srila Prabhupada and Krishna.
No other spiritual organizations would have faced such accusations faced by ISKCON. So many negative preaching. In spite of all these hurdles, they have achieved remarkable success in taking Krishna all over the world.
How could they achieve such a remarkable success?
Let us see them in my realized observations:
(1) PURITY OF THE FOUNDER:
The founder of ISKCON HDG A.C.Bhakti Vedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada is not a sitting and sleeping Acharya. He had a TRUE DESIRE of spreading Krishna to all over the world. He got this interest from his spiritual master Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati who directed him to spread Krishna overseas.
Srila Prabhupada was pure in words, thoughts and actions. His true intentions were given green signal by Krishna. Not even a single accusation can be pointed towards this Acharya and his intentions. It was beyond doubts. True desire of serving Krishna and his spiritual master.
Purity is the force in the devotional service. He had that. So, his efforts gave more than full results.
So, the first cause is the purity of Srila Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON.
(2) VIBRANT DISCIPLES OF SRILA PRABHUPADA:
Being inspired by their guru and Acharya, the disciples of Srila Prabhupada too were not sitting devotees. They were ready to continue the mission of their master Srila Prabhupada. Though young and faced some accusations in the beginning due to lack of practical experience, they quickly recovered from this and started to take ISKCON all over the world as a mission. Srila Prabhupada established the centers. His disciples expanded them further from the point where Srila Prabhupada left.
Because of the tireless efforts by the disciples of Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON is now expanding even to small towns all over the world.
In spite of the fall down of a few disciples, others worked hard and established ISKCON everywhere by expanding the devotee network.
(3) CONCEPT BASED ON SCRIPTURES:
There is no other Acharya in this world who designed a system to be followed by the devotees like Srila Prabhupada do. He knew that the followers will be less if there are strict rules. In spite of this fact, he gave strict rules for the devotees but in an organized manner that can be understood and followed by even a layman.
In this advanced society that is speaking about free life, speaking about four regulative principles is very risky because many will fear to come. However, Srila Prabhupada did not relax the rules because without purity, one can’t advance in the devotion to Krishna. Purity is the force. This true and uncompromized intention of this Acharya made wonders.
Many have spoken about chanting. But, Srila Prabhupada gave a minimum level of chanting of 16 rounds to all those who like to advance in devotion. No other Acharya have spoken about chanting in an organized manner as spoken by Srila Prabhupada.
When even many brahmanas have started to wear jeans now a days, Srila Prabhupada fixed a Vaishnava appearance for the devotees who like to advance in devotion.
Thus, his uncompromized preaching of vedic tradition to the entire community irrespective of castes, religions, etc., made wonders and anyone who got interest to follow the vedic system of devotional life were able to follow them under the expert guidance of the senior devotees in every center.
All the temples have facilities to worship a deity. But, only the ISKCON centers had deities as well as preaching system to the incoming devotees. This helped the visitors to train themselves in the devotional way of life.
Srila Prabhupada followed previous bonafide acharyas, bonafide scriptures like Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatham, etc. He continued and did what Sri Caitanya Maha Prabhu and his follower aacharyas wanted to do.
Thus, the strong base of sadhu and sastra is the secret behind the success of ISKCON. That is why, even a criminal minded person is able to reform himself if he follows the preaching of Srila Prabhupada.
(4) DECENT MARKETING STRATEGY:
ISKCON does not follow cheap marketing strategies to spread Krishna Consciousness by popularizing themselves through the mundane media all over the world. The spiritual masters of ISKCON are known only to the followers of ISKCON. This much of restricted popularity is followed by them. They follow the decent way of preaching through the books, audios and videos of Srila Prabhupada. As ordered by Srila Prabhupada, they follow book distribution as the only way of spreading the knowledge about Krishna. No one is allowed to CREATE new strategies or concepts and their preaching is based on the books of Srila Prabhupadda only.
This well organized and recommended way of preaching made ISKCON to get thumping success in their service to Krishna.
(5) LOOKS LIKE CORPORATE, BUT, NOT SO:
Some critics say that ISKCON is corporatizing the devotion. But, the fact is that every temple is independent and they have to arrange the funds for their maintenance without expecting the support of the head quarters. Every temple is started registering as a separate body, but under the Governing Body of ISKCON. Every temple/ center has to arrange resources for their maintenance. Whenever required, the head quarters support them.
Even books are purchased by the individual centers from Bhakti Vedanta Book trust by paying money periodically. All BBT does is supplying beautiful and quality books for a credit period. Nothing is supplied free of cost to the individual centers.
Such a nice system was designed by Srila Prabhupada in a brilliant way. This ensures healthy development of every center according to its efforts without the interference of the other centers or head quarters. The head quarters or the spiritual masters guide every temple only in the disciplinary matters and solving the issues. Other than this, every center is free to act according to the common rules and agenda.
This wonderful system designed by Srila Prabhupada makes wonders in spreading the organization everywhere.
(6) FACILITIES TO ADVANCE IN DEVOTION:
This is another unique feature of ISKCON. Every devotee can entrust himself/ herself to the stages of growth. They first attend the temple programmes regularly, then, take siksha for a certain rounds of chanting and then are allowed to take diksha to start their serious way of devotion. This well organized system gives all the opportunities for the devotees to subject themselves to the growth in devotional practices. Well performing devotees are given responsibilities to serve directly in the management of the temples like pujari service, starting new namahatta centers, new temples, etc. No barriers for qualified devotees to spread devotion on their own, but according to the common rules.
(7) PRASADAM DISTRIBUTION:
Unless a person has satisfied his stomach, he can’t concentrate properly in the devotional practices. So, Srila Prabhupada included prasadam distribution to all the incoming devotees. Prasadam, on its part, purifies the consciousness of the devotees and makes them involved in hearing further about Krishna and devotional service. This distribution of delicious prasadam brings more and more devotees who later take interest in following devotion seriously.
(8) NO RESTRICTIONS OF RACE AND RELIGION:
Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita that this knowledge should be given only for those who are interested to know. ISKCON gives opportunities for all those who like to know about Krishna, Scriptures and devotional way of life. They introduce Krishna to the world through Nagar Sankirtans, Rath Yathras, Books, etc. After that, those who are interested to know further come to the temples. They get all facilities to learn and follow devotion through every ISKCON center. Thus, all those who are interested to know and practice devotion to Krishna can access all the facilities available in every temple.
(9) USE OF TECHNOLOGY:
Though ISKCON is based on scriptures of thousands of years ago, it uses all the technological development for giving more facilities to the devotees. They use websites, social media, Apps, Audios, Videos, etc to spread the concepts of devotion. This vibrant involvement of all the technology for Krishna makes ISKCON a vibrant spiritual organization.
(10) RE-ESTABLISHING VEDIC WAY OF LIFE:
ISKCON involves in re-establishing the vedic tradition by starting farm communities, cow protection centers, prasadam distribution for schoold, etc. This helps the devotees to experience the natural way of life in harmony with the nature created by Krishna.
Thus, ISKCON has all the facilities a devotee needs to practice and grow in devotion to Krishna according to the vedic way of life recommended for this kaliyuga by the scriptures.
Therefore, it deserves this much of growth because it is trying to cleanse the hearts of people in this cruel kaliyuga by imparting Krishna in their hearts.
Hope I have explained all the important reasons for the thumping success of ISKCON in spreading Krishna all over the world.
I dont feel shy to say that I was not living like a true brahmana though I took birth in a vedic brahmana family and I was leading a casual life. Only after practising the preaching of Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON, I became a good brahmana and above that, a humble vaishnava. This itself is a direct proof for the organized system of Srila Prabhupada.