San Franscisco, June 2nd, 2018.
After 50 years of service to Krishna and Prabhupad I am saddened by the divisiveness of his family.
I am tired of the sectarianism, that separates rather then unites us.
We can do so much if we cooperate with the principals that Prabhupad gave us.
There are so many devotees feeling alone and apart. These schisms are based on adopting body consciousness which boxes people into surface identities that separates us.
Krishna’s variety encourages celebrating our differences rather than hating the unknown… This is counterproductive and not Vedic, which encourages sanatan dharma, which transcends and supersedes this mundane thinking.
When so many people are trying to serve Krishna but in slightly different ways, instead of conflict on the mental platform, we can cooperate better. In other words, why can’t we get along?
We started as a growing family and helped Prabhupad and yes we grew because Krishna blessed our endeavors. We grew on the simple principal – das and das and “love and trust”.
As we grew like all movements and groups, some get titles, property wealth, false adoration, e.g. power. These hard hearted devotees take advantage of the soft hearted adherents. Many over the years have ignored our principals, so much so that changes were made to Prabhupad’s words, ideals and plans.
The soft hearted ones are true bhaktas and bhaktis as we were devotees and not business people per se. Of course all types are needed, but the merchant Vaisha types took advantage of the simple Brahmin devotees.
So I have seen this phenomena before: The beginning zeal and idealism tarnish into complacency and power struggles based on the ego false separations; but even the Bhagavad Gita started on a battle field, so it is under Krishna’s purview and these quarrels are material nature. But we could and should know better.
Prabhupad was our example on good manners and good management.
So I am sadden by so many mistakes and even insidious acts over the years, a far cry from Vaishnava ethics and behavior. Yet we have evolved and despite the mistakes, the broken marriages, the mistreatment of woman, children and men… Yes, also impersonalism in the guise of personalism and complacency.
Yet we have started farms, restaurant and schools, etc etc. etc. and grew in spite of a somewhat dysfunctional family, we are. We have grown. And as I travel around the world, I see great hope for our movement and our future. And any movement is made up of individuals. E.G: The army uniform and the person in the army are different. People and governments etc.
So we devotees, as individuals have rebelled against bad behavior, and carried on our Sadhana practices, which transcends sectarianism; we persevere through troubled waters, resolute in purpose, Bhakti Yoga or Love for Radha and Krishna; Our unified goal. And if we love them, then we can love others here on this planet, seeing into hearts and souls rather then dwelling on surface bodily perceptions.
So many devotees have left the ashrams and communities and forged ahead on their own. It is challenging to be transcendent of the material world (as we know better) when we are in the midst of nescience.
That is why community is important.
And yes, we have grown and yes, started so may projects including planetariums, but neglected one thing and that is devotee care.
So I started the idea and some very sincere souls coalesced together to help me actually begin to care by identifying those devotees who are isolated and poor and neglected – after years of service – by the insensitive authorities.
So by Krishna’s, Radarani’s, Prabhupad’s and Bhakti Tirtha Swami’s blessings and empowerment I started out. Planting the message of devotee care. Aradhana Devi Dasi, a once successful model and actress reached out to become our C.E.O. and together we formed the Vedic Care Charity.
We have ambassadors and well wishers all over the world, and we’re grateful. We have many amazing carers and doctors, and Tina Heiland is our competent office coordinator; Matthew is our office affairs assistant.
But even today as we are helping people, we are mistrusted and sometimes attacked or more often, met with complacent interaction waiting for each other to support us.
Lots of lip service but few real supporters.
I believe in deeds not words.
So we are caring for people today, when many devotees who have served for many years are neglected and are kicked out of the temples, put out to pasture or thrown on the garbage heap of callous society, alone, and afraid.
We at the V.C.C., are here for you!
We have trained professionals who are doing out-reach now. Caitania Priya dd and Chaitanya Swarup das are caring personally and running our medical front: and with Rama Narashima das (UK), Mathura Lila (Canada), Devaki dd & Stritama dasi (Florida), Bhagavati dd (Belgium), Prashanti dasi (Texas), Ram Tulasi das & Ananda Shakti dd (Oregon), Gopaswami das & Krishna Caranaravinda dd (France), Jaya Krishna das (Florida), Vasanta das (California), Heather Holman (Arizona) and Bhakti das (NY); they are all carers or trained counselors facilitating this project.
We’ve helped fifty devotees in great need in the past two years alone, some for much longer. To mention a few: Mahananda das (ACBSP), Krsna Pryia dd, Caruhasa dasa (ACBSP), Mahaksha das (ACBSP), Ishan Chaitanya das, Bhakti Vasudeva Swami (Iskcon), Manohara dd, Jatayu das (ACBSP) and many more who prefer not to be mentioned.
Now we are working towards our first retirement village and care facility in Sedona, Arizona.
Thank you very much,