(Notes #4)

The Vaisnava Journal was never intended as competition to BTG or the ISKCON World Review. As stated in our masthead, the journal is not meant for widespread public distribution. Our primary function is to promote constructive dialogue among the members and supporters of ISKCON. Some devotees insist that we are limiting ourselves with such a vision, but obviously not all discussion is meant for outsiders. It's quite natural for most organizations to circulate a newsletter among its members for the purpose of helping to solve internal problems. We have no intention of trying to create an elitist or separatist mentality; rather, we're just trying to get on with our business (and duty) of solidifying this great international society in a practical way (albeit an imperfect one). So The Vaisnava Journal will never pose a threat to other ISKCON publications because it has its own role to play in the Krsna consciousness movement. This is an example of "unity in diversity" in action.

Another function of The Vaisnava Journal is to help bridge the gap between those devotees who have remained as dedicated servants in the temples, and those devotees who have, for one reason or another, chosen to live outside the movement, but who still maintain their loyalty to Prabhupada and ISKCON. Over the years, so many devotees have left the movement and are now scattered here and there across the globe. Some are maintaining their strict disciplinary vows, and others are unable to do so. But with the proper encouragement and association, it's possible that we can help to revive the dormant devotional creepers in the hearts of our godbrothers and godsisters who have left. Many talented and experienced devotees are waiting for the right time to revive their active participation in ISKCON. If we can demonstrate our maturity and genuine Krsna consciousness, then we can act as a catalyst for their return, thus pleasing Srila Prabhupada, who constantly reminded us that every devotee is so valuable. We all know one devotee or another who is living outside, disconnected in some way. Why not make the small effort to invite him or her back to the temple?

Perhaps a good start would be to offer them a copy of The Vaisnava Journal (along with BTG and IWR, of course), and show them how devotees are sincerely working to rectify our problems. Undoubtedly, Srila Prabhupada wants to see all his followers return to his family. It's up to us to make the conditions favorable.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
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