It is because of our forgetfulness based on ignorance, where things come from and to whom they finally belong, that we find ourselves living in this material world. The mentality of „we are the owners“ creates an atmosphere, which is highly unattractive for the Supreme Lord and so those who show this kind of possessive nature, occur only a curse of permanent unhappiness while consuming what was created by others. Plain and simple, these are thieves.
It is most unfortunate that this can be witnessed even amongst those who profess as vaisnavas, persons who without any regret simply live from what was created by previous generations of devotees, not giving at least one word of credit or a thought to the fact that those who pioneered the frontiers of Krsna Consciousness, despite not having left yet their material bodies, are not anymore living in the communities they were once part of.
Those conditioned souls who claim Srila Prabhupada´s properties to be their own, regardless of their abilities to maintain or to develop them, are cursed.
In case of grhastas they get simply preoccupied with reproduction and protection of their own children who in the same ungrateful manner will continue to occupy these projects while being dominated by the mentality „this is me, the body, and this is mine“. This mentality is highly unattractive to those out there who are still idealistic and seek a place to invest their idealism, and so preaching gradually dies off, with aging generations of „ISKCON owners“ who are simply living from what was left behind by others. There is no way one can go back home, back to Godhead in this manner, as the spiritual world is a place of total absence of selfishness.
To give respect to predecessors is not only a dominant symptom of Vedic Society, but simply a sign of fundamental human culture.
This text could be illustrated by numerous testimonies of those who came to be estranged from the „ISKCON owners“ while maintaining their status as true members of ISKCON. Many of them, living in anonymity, simply collect the blessings of Srila Prabhupada and Krsna, who personally had to step in to help them, once they were bereft of the protection of those who came after them, eventually struggling for their survival. Most of these devotees live in dignity, not ready to treat their conscience for some financial benefit as the „ISKCON owners“ do. Such pure souls taste the warm care and the unlimited compassion of the Lord, realizing that Krsna indeed gives those, whose hearts are pure, what they need and protects what they have.
There is no progress or happiness for those who came to possess what they did not create. This may be a stern warning for the new generations of devotees, often born from „ISKCON renegates“, who may take this as challenge and create communities in the spirit of gratefulness towards all what was created by others.
Srila Prabhupada, leading us all, broke down emotionally when remembering how kind Krsna and His spiritual master were to Him, when He without the help of the „owners“ of the movement He came from, got so many blessings of guru parampara. For those who want to taste the real nectar of gratefulness I could only advise them to listen to one of many lectures given by Srila Prabhupada, filled with gratitude, like for example lecture from August 22, 1973 in London.
It was Srila Prabhupada´s gratefulness to His spiritual master, and even to us, His fallen disciples, which commanded our gratitude in return, as Srila Prabhupada was filling our hearts with humility while exhibiting His own.
The short sided mentality of „here I am today and this is mine“ is stopping the flow of mercy which powers the preaching, and so no wonder, speaking of Europe, ISKCON temples are occasionally filled with aging men and women or lunatics who have nowhere to go. How then can the young ones, the future of Srila Prabhupada´s mission, apply themselves to such places?
Once I was invited to give an evening lecture in a temple where few came to hear Bhagavad-gita. Just prior to my lecture the temple president asked me to give room for a small presentation he wanted to make.
Then he addressed the small group of visiting devotees, evidently older as he was himself, some of them living for years outside the vicinity of the temple. He seemed to know them well, even they were part of the temple years before he joined himself. Thanking each single one of these ISKCON renegates for the service they have done and giving them some small presents in return, apologizing for not being able to serve them more, he conducted in unexpected manner this small ceremony based on gratefulness.
The guests were obviously shocked by his humility and so was I. As a matter of fact, I had hard time to sit on the Vyasasana and hide my tears. No wonder, years after this temple flourished, many of those who lived in distance came back and took part again.
This text is dedicated to the young ones who may read it even when I have left my body.
As the „ISKCON owners“ are hardly to be rectified., living sometimes for decades from what was created by others, it is up to the new ones to correct this degraded mentality and show to the new bhaktas arriving on the scene, that Srila Prabhupada´s movement is a place where gratefulness and true humility are the dominant assets of its members. No membership card is necessary for that. Srila Prabhupada defined membership in ISKCON according to the consciousness of those who took part in the process of purification He gave.
His movement is based on the development of consciousness and not on the development of one´s own personal financial situation, or social recognition based on cultivation of name, fame and glory of one own self. Being a servant of the servant is the prerogative of true ISKCON members, not how many millions of dollars they managed to stash in their private bank accounts. As the ISKCON owners emanate the image of fear and depression, the ISKCON members may attract others by the bliss they derive from serving Srila Prabhupada and His mission in unmotivated manner. Who would not become an ISKCON member?