Welcome to the first issue of The Vaisnava Journal. The main purpose of this publication is to help unify the senior members of ISKCON.
We have all felt the need for better Vaisnava relationships in our society. For one reason or another, we have to admit there has been a gradual erosion of love and trust among the disciples of Srila Prabhupada. Now more than ever, we need to revive the spirit of unity so prominent during the time of Prabhupada's physical presence.
As the founder-acarya of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada has always been the center of our movement. In the absence of personal association with the guru, it is essential that one should serve his instructions. "There is no difference between the spiritual master's instructions and the spiritual master himself." Therefore the central pivot of our worldwide activities is the vani of Srila Prabhupada. His instructions form the guiding principle of our movement, nay the world, for the next 10,000 years. As disciples of Srila Prabhupada, we share the heavy responsibility of insuring that his message is preserved and transmitted without adulteration.
One of Srila Prabhupada's most important instructions to his disciples is that we co-operate with one another in spreading Krsna consciousness. He recognized there would be differences of opinion among godbrothers, but he also reminded us that we share a common objective which supercedes all petty disagreements.
"Perhaps you may know that there are many political parties in a country but when the country's total responsibility has to be executed, they become combined. To have some little disagreements among yourselves is not very unnatural because we are all individual beings. But as we are working on behalf of Krsna, we should always forget our personal interests and see to the prime cause." (Srila Prabhupada letter, January 21, 1969)
It is certainly unpalatable to think that we could fall short of fulfilling this order, but history has taught us a lesson that we should be careful not to repeat. If our movement is to be truly successful, then it is necessary that we co-operate with each other. And in order to co-operate, we have to communicate.
In the 10th Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, Krsna describes how the devotees relate to one another. He uses the words bodhayantah parasparam, translated as "preaching among themselves." This emphasizes the importance of exchanging spiritual realizations with devotees.
The Vaisnava Journal has been created to help establish a healthy dialogue among the Prabhupada disciples. By communicating with each other on a regular basis, we can better achieve an overall consensus on vital issues. Hopefully this will help to improve the quality of our relationships.
I would like to invite all senior devotees to participate by submitting articles (2000 words or less), or by responding to articles through the letters section (the Vaisnava Forum). Of course, some lively discussions may ensue, but that is not unwanted. Krsna consciousness is not dry or static; neither are the devotees.
Please note that all articles should have their foundation in Prabhupada's instructions, with respect for the basic codes of Vaisnava etiquette.
We're looking forward to hearing from you.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.