Do As You Teach

Manidhara Das
09 Oct 2021


In a letter to Jayatirtha das written in Mumbai on 20th of November 1975, Srila Prabhupada is pointing out the essence of our preaching, the platform we must operate from.
As short this quote may be, it carries increasingly urgent message to those who try to be the followers of His Divine Grace, but are occasionally confronted with „leaders“ who openly propagate:

1/ Double moral standards
2/ Absolute financial non-transparency of leaders
3/ Immunity towards well meant „constructive criticism“
4/ acceptance of „new“ standards, often copied from the demoniac policies of absolute atheistic society we are living in.


In that letter Srila Prabhupada writes:

„This is our process of preaching, that one shows by his personal example, not that we teach something and do something else.That is called cheating and that is going on in the religion, especially. We are not that kind of so-called religionists.“


In these few lines Srila Prabhupada sets the basic standard for anybody who wants to present Krsna Consciousness to others.

To come to this given standard may not be as easy as many think. It requires true spiritual guidance, as we all grew in a world of false designations, believing to be what we are not. False identities were imposed upon us since the day one of our appearance from our mother´s womb. Such false designation became only increasingly amplified, during the time of our association with other cheaters.
The worst kind of cheaters are those who came to firmly believe their own lies. Their absolute conviction and adherence to falsity may be often interpreted as conviction. Their charisma may be indeed fascinating to those who are bereft of true knowledge.


Therefore Srila Prabhupada emphasizes the ACTION of a man and not his words or believes.
Elsewhere Srila Prabhupada even pointed out that we are first interested WHO is talking before we proceed to discuss WHAT is the person talking.


This personal exposure, which is coming for any sincere seeker of Krsna Consciousness, is highly unpleasant for those who are cheaters at heart. Such invaders and parasites use Srila Prabhupada´s movement in order to hide and take shelter in the institutional hierarchy without serving its purpose.

An „organized attempt to spread Krsna Consciousness“ made by Srila Prabhupada is serving the purpose to lead ignorant souls to heighten awareness of Krsna´s presence and the presence of the Founder Acharya along other prominent members of the guru parampara. This is certanly in contradiction to the mood of some so-called leaders, who are closing the venues for those who are not sharing their views, blocking here with their service to Srila Prabhupada´s mission.
Such narcissistic leaders even try to remove others from this path, instead of opening for them new facilities without slackening the standards Srila Prabhupada laid down to follow.

Then there are those who seem to be „very liberal“ in the preaching approach, but actually in a populist fashion while collecting maximum possible number of followers are demolishing the essence of what Srila Prabhupada gave, declaring Him unofficially to be outdated.


Joining this movement in 1972, life was simple. The world was black and white, there were „they - the karmis“ and „us, the devotees“. Today, vast areas of gray, foggy mist were created where the line between Srila Prabhupada´s ISKCON and other, mostly imitating groups, is washed out. This is much due to the fear of the ISKCON leaders to stand firm against the constantly incoming mayavada and sahajia type of doctrines.

One doesn´t have to be a big philosopher or intellectual to discover such deviations; the abuse of Srila Prabhupada´s original message and the standards He established, which occasionally takes truly gross and even sadly comical features.

As one writer commented a long time ago, „times are coming where the shameless ones become prominent and those with shame will retreat into seclusion“.


"Silence means a confirmation", this is another one of Srila Prabhupada's statements. Therefore, despite all the criticism and loss of support, even from the side of His Godbrothers, He went on fearlessly establishing the Truth, acting in total dependance on Krsna´s protection and mercy.

It is this spirit, which should dominate the mind and the heart of every of Srila Prabhupada´s follower, regardless of his or her age, regardless of his or her social position, or regardless of the approval of those whose lives are in themselves compromised.

It is this spirit, which is invigorating, most satisfying and inspiring to anybody who truly seeks the Truth. Srila Prabhupada came to give us the sense of discrimination and the sense of consequent material polarization while offering us a platform of spiritual unity. He gave us all what we need in order to be thoroughly equipped for the confrontation with the illusory energy of the Lord.

Even we miss badly His direct involvement, He is still here, empowering those who follow to empower others.

The sign of an empowered one is that he can empower others. Finally, it is our heart where the battle takes place, the battle between our material and spiritual propensities.The result will be shown by action.


Those who never ask any questions but speak instead only, those who do ask questions only to gather informations serving their own benefits, and those who ask the wrong person, if they ask something at all, such narcissistic fools should be avoided. There are still those who are lovers of the Truth and are ready to be tested by the public while searching the Truth. Such „gentlemen“ as Srila Prabhupada called them, are the real leaders, not those who surround themselves with only those who tell them what they want to hear.

"Birds of the same feather flock together" is an absolute principle based on the position of the heart of each individual and the particular flocks we join in to fly into different directions.

The choice is ours and Krsna Himself promises that He helps those who are righteous in their hearts. The readiness to listen from right source should never stop, and the result is that one naturally becomes eager to share what one has had heard.

As Srila Prabhupada said: „I am only good in the preaching because I was good in listening from my spiritual master.“