Winter 2006/7

Devotees sometimes complain that the activities of the IRM are simply "politics", and therefore they have no interest in the IRM. They would rather prefer simply to "peacefully" chant, and not get "disturbed" with all this troublesome "politics".

Let us see what Srila Prabhupada has to say on this:

sp "For Vaisnava there is no suffering, personally. But he is very much anxious: "How these rascals will be happy?" That is his business. "These rascals are misled. They are going astray, unhappy. So how they should be happy?" So that is Vaisnava's business. So the Vaisnava, therefore, will have no politics. Politics means planning for one's own happiness. That is politics. So in our society there should be no diplomacy, no politics. Everyone should be eager how to do good to others. That is Vaisnava. If he's planning something, that "I shall be leader," "I shall be doing something," that is not Vaisnavism. That politics is not good."
(Srila Prabhupada, Morning Walk, March 15th, 1974)

In the context of Srila Prabhupada's explanation above, "planning" how to distribute literature to help devotees who are misled about who the real Guru of ISKCON is, and getting attacked, banned and beaten-up in the process, is hardly "planning for one's own happiness". Nor is becoming infamous, hated and generally ostracised from the "society, friendship and love" of the devotee community! Nor, as we explained previously, does the IRM have any interest in planning to make a peaceful life for ourselves by acquiring buildings and setting up our own small society in which we can control these buildings and think - "I shall be leader" and "I shall be doing something" - whilst using ritvik philosophy simply to reject GBC/guru control and avoid fighting for Srila Prabhupada using the excuse that it is "politics".

Therefore, planning for our own happiness we definitely ain't! Planning for the happiness of the devotees, by ensuring they are not cheated, we are - even if it is not appreciated. We want that all the devotees should become happy by knowing the good news and truth that Srila Prabhupada is their eternal Spiritual Master.
As we can see, it is actually the desire to have a "peaceful and happy" life for ourselves under the guise of avoiding "politics" which is ITSELF the definition of politics as given by Srila Prabhupada.

Sometimes devotees just want to be able to go to the temple and "hang out" with the devotees and do their service in the temple, and do not want to jeopardise this comfortable program. It is actually THIS which is the real politics, the thinking and planning about one's own happiness, rather than that of one's fellow devotee. So, yes, the IRM is constantly planning. But we are not planning how we can grab assets and hold onto them, or what positions we can get or how we can be "peaceful". We are planning only on how we can give the truth to as many devotees as possible, which necessitates exposing the cheating done in the name of Srila Prabhupada, and in this way do good for the welfare of all devotees. Because out of all the "good" which can be done in the world, to help the devotees know the truth is what Lord Krishna considers the highest:

"For one who explains the supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me. There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear."
(Bhagavad-gita, 18:68-69)

And in the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna had explained earlier that part of this "supreme secret" involves knowing that one must approach Him only via the bona fide spiritual master:

"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth."
(Bhagavad-gita, 4:34 [1972 ed.])

Now it stands to reason that one cannot do this if one does not even know WHO this spiritual master is. And thus without this information one cannot even BEGIN the process of Krishna consciousness. Please note that we are not saying that simply knowing the truth of Srila Prabhupada's position as the Guru of ISKCON is by itself the panacea to solve all the ills plaguing either ISKCON or its devotees. Rather, it is simply the beginning of the solution. This truth has to be there first, before one can get any further. Hence, the next time one hears the excuse that preaching the truth about Srila Prabhupada is "politics", know it that it is actually this very rejection of engaging and supporting the distribution of the truth for the welfare of the devotees, which is itself the real politics.
So support the IRM and stop all politics once and for all!