(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 18 October 2017, Melbourne, Australia, Srimad Bhagavatam 4.3.17)
ISKCON has to be a very friendly movement. A very accommodating movement that is ready to give everyone a chance; ready to not find fault in others. To not find fault in others is hard. We may catch someone lying and say, “He is a liar! Shame! This person needs to be rejected!” Well, have we ever lied? Never, ever? That is a lie! So yes, even if we catch someone lying, it does not mean that that person has some weakness. It does not mean that we can say, “This person is a write-off! I do not want to deal with such people!” Because then, we cannot deal with ourselves either. We are all fallen. We are all simply here by the mercy of great devotees and by the mercy of Lord Krsna.
But then, “How do you correct someone?”
Chanakya Pandit has mentioned that you cannot correct anyone unless you are in a senior position to that person. And even when you are in a senior position to that person, you cannot correct them unless you have a heartfelt friendship with them. If you are not senior and do not have a heartfelt relationship, then you do not correct them. Instead, you go to someone who has that relationship and say, “Well, these things are going on. I do not know what to do, but if you think something should be done… I just want you to know.” That is all!
It is not that we go around, “That is not really right, Prabhuji. That is not our standard… That is very offensive!” Through this, we just create a movement that nobody wants to be a part of it for a long time. If it is fine to tell everyone off then we cannot live in such a movement for a long time.
We need a movement which is based on deep friendship and deep appreciation. We do not need a boarding school. If we create a movement which is like a boarding school where everyone is looking at everyone else like, “Prabhuji, are you doing this correctly? That should go over there!” Then, in one’s mind, one may start to think, “I want to break loose. I want to run free. I want to go.”
We become split personalities in such an environment. We have a façade and the façade is all external rules, regulations and standards. And behind the closed curtains, the real self comes out. No, we do not want that. We want a very mature movement. A movement with deep friendships amongst everyone. And then, we help each other and we realise, “Today I help you and tomorrow you help me.”