(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 14 December 2015, Mayapur, India, Srimad Bhagavatam 6.17.36-37)
We will be tested in our lives. It is not, ‘Maybe we will be tested!’ We WILL BE tested as this is the nature of devotional service. Srimad Bhagavatam is meant to guide us on how to act in a trying situation where we may have to face strong behaviour from superiors.
What if one gets mistreated by the authorities in the institution? Still, this is not an excuse to leave Krsna consciousness! This is a very common justification found by many who have found an excuse to give into their mind and to allow themselves to return to material life, ‘What could I do? No one understood me and I was mistreated! I’m just a soul whose intentions are good… but I was misunderstood and then as a result I was mistreated and here I am – a victim of the situation!’ No, you are a victim of your own mind! And of course, the mind is the seat of the senses and therefore a victim of the senses.
The mind is constantly looking for an emergency exit, ‘There’s gotta be some way to get out of this – this is too tight! No really, it’s too serious, it’s too much! I need a little more freedom. A whole lifetime of just four regulative principles and only Hare Krsna! Oh, please, give us a little more freedom!’
But we cannot do so because it does not align with transcendental knowledge. A way out is just not possible because you cannot argue with transcendental knowledge. But if there was a way out, what greater way out than to blame somebody else, ‘It’s not due to my fault that I fell down – I was mistreated, I am a victim!’
Yeah, believe it if you want to but it is not very convincing. Maybe you can fool your mind but I do not think you can fool anybody else. We understand very well what happened. The lower nature got the better of you and you just found an excuse to facilitate it!
We ourselves are by no means very powerful; we do not have great strength of character therefore we must read Srimad Bhagavatam and hear it again and again so that we can actually meditate on how to properly react to tests in life. We may not know spontaneously how to act in an appropriate way, therefore better we be thoughtful and meditate on it so that when such testing situations do arise then we can remind ourselves, ‘Okay, I remember what is supposed to be the right behavior!’ And after prolonged meditation, we might act properly in such a trying situation. One who is deeply thoughtful for a long time, one who has read Bhagavatam again and again, even though internally not yet completely pure, may act appropriately.
Dear anonymous, at least have the decency to mention your name if you discuss such a hot topic. And you should at least rephrase your text, for example “ISKCON leaders”, should be ISKCON members. You are generalising and so should your text instead of pointing out a certain group within the group. Unless you are a victim yourself you should at least think twice about commenting on this topic, or be damn sure you know what you are talking about, in other words, have the facts ready.
Last but not least, for sex crimes, like child abuse, there are already laws in place to deal with this. So materially there is a process to deal with it. Spiritually, the topic of this article and the conclusion of the Bhagavatam, is our understanding to deal with any situation where we get mistreated. The point of the article is that our mind is always looking for excuses to not practice spirituality. Even if you get attacked, injured, molested, or other horrible treatments, our mind should stay on the spiritual path. That might prove difficult, but the message of the SB is clear.
Now its our challenge to do it.
What about those which were true victims? What about those children that were physically, sexually and psychologically abused by ISKCON leaders? Can we really blamed them for leaving the movement or not being strong devotees? Isn’t everyone’s faith tested by that? When nothing was done to stop those crimes and the cover up that took part from well know and “respectable” figures in ISKCON.