(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 3 May 2021, Simhachalam, Germany, Srimad Bhagavatam 3.19.27)
What did it mean when Srila Prabhupada said that ISKCON cannot be destroyed from the outside, but only from the inside?
Yes, ISKCON can be destroyed from the inside. Srila Prabhupada is referring to a forest fire here. There are two forest fires that Krsna swallows. One of these forest fires is the disagreement that comes about in the spiritual movement in the sanga of the devotees. And so, this is highlighted as something that can destroy our movement from within. As long as there is a core group of devotees who are embodying pure Krsna consciousness, then everyone will be blessed by them. These are the devotees who are above the dualities, who have no enemies and are the well-wishers of all. As long as there is this core group within our movement, who are the well-wishers of all, then our movement can never be destroyed. Srila Prabhupada was very much that person. He was completely the well-wisher of all. If we turn to Prabhupada in that mood of being close to him, then that mood of giving and being generous will pass on. But if everyone starts fighting for themselves, for their position, for their room, for their facility, for their recognition and so on, then there will be fires. Then, that kind of fighting can undermine this movement. But fortunately, by Prabhupada’s grace, there are still so many Vaisnavas who are dedicated.
Prabhupada started the ISKCON movement, and when he did so, the older splinter groups about the succession of Gaudiya-matha also revived. But it is not so easy to destroy ISKCON because Prabhupada is so present. We always have to keep on it. Not just doing the Guru-puja of Prabhupada, but also aligning with his teachings and aligning with what he considered important. Therefore, book distribution should always remain strong as long as there are printing presses. The temples have a history of strong book distribution and we should really keep that and continue to revive it. It goes up and down. We have to rebuild it up again with new enthusiasm. It is very important here because that was the thing that pleased Srila Prabhupada the most, no doubt. That is what will revive our community. The fact that there are so many young people within our temples is because of book distribution. Where there is book distribution, people join. So this is one way to remain connected to Srila Prabhupada and of course in many ways we need to ensure that we remain connected to Prabhupada. We have to read not only his books, but we have to read his letters. We have to find out what did Prabhupada want? Not just lip service and, “Guru carana padma.” No, we must focus on what our founder acarya wanted, and then just do it.