"We have to defeat tyrrany in the realm of thought,
and create a will for world peace."
The above quote is taken from Srila Prabhupada's Back to Godhead magazine on the "First Appearance on the Vyas Puja Day 1944." Jayadvaita Swami has written from India, advising that Prabhupada may have been "paraphrasing someone else- perhaps Nehru, Gandhi, or some other prominent person." I haven't had the opportunity to investigate the actual source of this quote, but have been satisfied using it, knowing that Srila Prabhupada originally employed it in the service of BTG. It immediately struck me as an appropriate maxim, succinctly defining the challenge facing humanity in general, and the followers of Srila Prabhupada in particular. Therefore I was surprised when I received the following letter from a devotee in Europe:
"Your motto of 'defeating tyranny in thought' obviously implies there has been some gross discrepancies on somebody's part. Who are the perpretrators of this great crime? Where are the tyrants? (String 'em up!) Unless all our godbrothers and leaders alike can feel a welcome access, and unless there is not a 'counter-tyrrany of thought' being made publicized, this effort will have, at best, only a crippled effect. However, if this unifying spirit can be achieved and everyone can be drawn in, then this circular will be of great significance in the history of our movement."
Of course, the word "tyranny" has its connotations, indicating the presence of an oppressive power. But that imposing force is not external in this case; rather, it dwells "in the realm of thought." Naturally I recognized that it may also apply to our interpersonal relationships, but the "tyranny" was clearly perceived as that force or handicap which seems to prevent us from co-operating with each other in ISKCON, and thus establishing a collective "will for world peace." That inability cannot be blamed on any single individual. The responsibility lies on all of us, and therefore "We have to defeat tyranny in the realm of thought." In this context, Prabhupada is challenging us all. The question is, will we seize the day? Only time will tell.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.