Today my wife and I were invited to a special program at the home of Sriman Jaya Krishna Prabhu and his wife Vrindarani Devi.
Here we all are.
I was asked to read from my book “The Great Transcendental Adventure”.
One of the threads of discussion was “Accidental Disagreements” between devotees and how to deal with them. I explained how the word ‘accidental’ was very significant in describing the occasional ‘falling out’ between devotees, and likened it to Srila Prabhupada’s description of ‘accidental’ falldown in his Bhaktivedanta Purport to Bhagavad-gita 9.30.
Here’s an excerpt that I read (via my translator Bhavatarini dd, pictured above, bottom row, second to left) from the letter Srila Prabhupada wrote to Bali Mardan concerning the disagreements between himself and Upendra in the early days of Australian Iskcon.
My Dear Bali Mardan and Upendra,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated by Post 5th May, 1970.
So it is very encouraging that people are coming to the extent of 40 heads, and they are trying to understand the importance of this great movement, and any sane man will be able to understand that. But I do not know why our students who are supposed to be the leaders of this movement will fight amongst themselves for supremacy. Our whole process is of surrendering.
We are taught to address others as Prabhu. Prabhu means master; and the leader of the masters is called Prabhupada. So if the Prabhus have surrendered to the Prabhupada, why there shall be such mentality of occupying the superior position? This is contradictory.
Kindly stop this unnecessary misunderstanding.
Both Upendra and yourself are competent and experienced, so please adjust your disagreement amongst your selves. It is my request. As a matter of fact, as you are the pioneer in taking all risks to go to Australia, naturally you shall be considered as the leader, but a leader’s position is also very grave and responsible. A leader has to lead others very tactfully and intelligently. Kindly therefore do not quarrel, but go on with your duties progressively.
We have to gather our strength by chanting the beads sixteen rounds regularly and praying to the lotus feet of Krsna for guidance.
I hope both of you will kindly follow my instruction and forget if there is any accidental disagreement.
Hope this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Jaya Krishna and his wife maintain a wonderful spiritual atmosphere in their small government apartment . Tulasi devi grows resplendently up on the balcony of the 19th floor.
Vrindarani is a spectacular cook, and the lunch (Thai, Chinese and Western fusion) was one of the nicest I have tasted in a very long time.