The Meaning of Preaching


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 12, Summer 2006

A common criticism levelled by ISKCON gurus and their followers against the IRM is: "The IRM does no preaching and only criticises, what good is this?"

Though on the surface it may sound like there is merit to the charge, please consider the following:

1) By criticising us for criticising, the charge is guilty of the very thing we are accused of, and therefore is self-contradictory. It is defeated as soon as it is made.

2) However, let us assume for sake of argument that the charge is correct. Then we should ask if all the IRM does is "criticise", is the criticism CORRECT and TRUTHFUL? To this the answer must be "yes", because if our criticism was wrong, then we would not be criticised simply for criticising, but for actually telling LIES. Thus, whenever we are criticised for "only criticising", this is another way of saying:

"I cannot criticise WHAT you say, therefore I will criticise you FOR saying it!" Therefore the charge now has to be amended to: "IRM does no preaching and only criticises truthfully, what good is this?"

3) Next we must ask if truthful criticism has any value. Well on further examination, we find that preaching is nothing but constructive criticism: e.g. Maya bad – but Krishna good. And we are similarly criticising constructively: e.g. cheating gurus bad – Srila Prabhupada good. So then the charge again must be amended to: "IRM only preaches ‘controversy'. Better they preach by distributing books only."

4) To see the accuracy of this latest amended charge, let us consider a world free of this "criticism" of the deviation of ISKCON. There exists no IRM. Instead, everybody is engaged blissfully in distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and doing nothing else. Let's see what would happen in this non-IRM preaching world:

Someone gets a Bhagavad-gita, which is our main book, and the first thing they read, right in the second paragraph of the Preface is:

"Our Krishna consciousness movement is genuine, historically authorized, natural and transcendental due to its being based on Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. It is gradually becoming the most popular movement in the entire world, especially amongst the younger generation. It is becoming more and more interesting to the older generation also. Older gentlemen are becoming interested, so much so that the fathers and grandfathers of my disciples are encouraging us by becoming life members of our great society, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness."
(Preface, Bhagavad-gita As It Is, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada).

So before they even begin to read the book, they read that ISKCON is "genuine", "authorised", "transcendental", and a "great society". The first thing I would want to do after reading this, is to seek out this "great society" ISKCON, promoted as it is by Srila Prabhupada himself, which is easy to do even if there are no contact details for ISKCON in the book. Having then come into contact with ISKCON, which has been completely endorsed by Srila Prabhupada, I will surrender my life fully. Only in doing so I will get cheated by bogus gurus, have my life ruined, and tragically BLAME SRILA PRABHUPADA for this, because HE is the one who directed us to ISKCON by telling us that it is completely bona fide, and consequently we will give up Krishna consciousness altogether - which sadly has been the fate of many. And this is just the second paragraph of the Preface. The more they read, and the more books we distribute, the more the above scenario will be repeated. Now it will be argued that some people will not contact ISKCON. Yes, but this will be despite the books, not because of them. Srila Prabhupada promotes ISKCON throughout his books – that was part of the purpose of the books, and indeed it says "Founder-Acarya of ISKCON" just on every cover. Therefore, after reading a book, to seek out ISKCON will be the default position. And remember, there is no BTP, no TFO, no IRM, because this is a ‘criticism-free' world. So immediately we come to the crux of our dilemma. If ISKCON is deviating, you cannot promote it, nor can you ignore it, you have to expose and fix it.

And right now there is no one else on the planet dedicated full-time to this task of preaching the truth about Srila Prabhupada and the great society he founded, ISKCON. So this preaching has to go hand-in-hand with book distribution, otherwise people may unwittingly be taken away from Srila Prabhupada, rather than be brought to his lotus feet.

Please feel free to write to me at the following address if you have any questions, criticisms or comments:

We welcome all correspondence.
Thank you and Hare Krishna.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,


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