Go to the Child
Other articles about Raghunatha Stocker
Thank you for this letter that you have submitted to the Vaisnava community.
Replying to Raghunatha Stocker
to Raghunatha Stocker
By Bhakti-tirtha Swami
My Dear Raghunatha,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to
ISKCON’s Founder-Acarya, Srila Prabhupada.
Thank you for this letter that you have submitted to
the Vaisnava community. It is very profound, to the point and very
Every time I hear how the youth have suffered so much
in this movement I realize even more how merciful Srila Prabhupada was and
how fallen we are. It is overwhelming to think that a movement that is
supposed to offer solutions to the world is so full of contamination. It
would have given Srila Prabhupada so much pain to know we have not
protected women and children in this movement. This in one of the dangers
when one is in the mode of ignorance and one is in the mode of passion. In
other words so many of our devotees are not working out in the mode of
goodness which then naturally connects us with transcendence.
I actually hate the fact that I am a leader in a
movement that has such a poor history. At the same time, however, there is
such fantastic ordinance, philosophy and many wonderful individuals. Just
as the movement has wonderful people who make so many amazing sacrifices,
the movement also has so many dysfunctional people and so many hypocrites.
Of course, we as adults can alter our environment
much more than the children could or can, but we make up the environment
that the children experience. If I had experienced some of the things that
you had experienced maybe I would have committed suicide or have taken
someone else’s life. If we can’t find shelter from the representatives
of God, what is the value of anything?
However, I do know a little bit of what it is like to
be disappointed and mistreated by being a minority. Although I have lived
with it most of my life, I have learned to feel sorry for those who act in
such dehumanizing ways. Of course, I realize they actually harm themselves
much more than any harm given to me because those that have abused you
will have to undergo terrific karmic punishment.
You can blame the institution, but what is an
institution? It is an aggregate of individuals. There are so many
different types of devotees in the Hare Krsna institution that is unfair
to not to appreciate so many souls who would sincerely go on from day to
day. You may say, “but the nature of the leadership is very poor that it
has allowed such abuses to go on,” or you can turn this around and say
“how amazing Srila Prabhupada was that he was so kind to try to pick up
so many low class men and try to make us gentle Vaisnavas.”
So, do we say that for the most part Srila Prabhupada
has failed? I think it would be more accurate to say we have failed him.
What you and those like you have experienced we can never fully apologize
for, although we must continually apologize. However, our real apologies
are based on how we each do our part to strengthen our spiritual culture
of ISKCON. We can surely minimize this ever happening again.
Is their anything that I can personally do in the
present as well as your future? Actually, I pray that there is something.
We need such opportunities to assist and to serve for our own
rectification and purification. What is the value of all of these big
projects? What is the value of this entire institution if our own children
hate this institution that has made them misfits and dysfunctional? But
how wonderful it is for those who do connect with the institution, or the
unconditional love coming down from Krsna, Lord Caitanya, the Goswamis and
Srila Prabhupada. Now the question is that with the experiences that you
have had, will you use it to try to help others and try to bring out the
real institution or will you also make other innocent people suffer by
trying to destroy the basic vehicle that Srila Prabhupada tried to
Yours in Srila Prabhupada’s service,
Ps. I hope those authorities in India will respond to
your specific concerns in reference to His Holiness Gopal Krsna
Maharaj’s interview as well as Satadhanya’s involvement.
© CHAKRA 28-Sep-1999
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