nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhuitale
srimate bhaktivedant-svaminn iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
As I reached the age at which you came to America on the Jaladuta and founded your great mission, ISKCON, I found I could understand and appreciate more than ever your bold, straightforward, and skillful presentation of Krishna consciousness. Sociologists confirm that a movement must grow its core of committed followers in order to achieve sustainable, meaningful growth. You expressed this very idea in your unforgettable metaphor — you were looking not for many stars, but for a moon that could actually illumine the darkness of Kali-yuga. You were of course paraphrasing a metaphor that Lord Caitanya gave in His first siksastakam: sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam, the sankirtana movement spreads (vitaranam) the moon rays (candrika) that cause the night-blooming white lotus (kairava) of good fortune (sreyah) to blossom.
You personify and instantiate the Caitanya-candra, the moon of Caitanya, and you came to the West looking for descendent moons to continue and fortify Mahaprabhu’s line. You preached boldly and openly, and with great skill, knowing that only the Truth would convince the most sincere souls. You disclaimed any intention of loading up your movement with what sociologists sometimes call “free riders,” i.e. those who hover around the movement but never seriously serve it nor commit to it.
If ISKCON is to grow significantly, we must attract moons, committed members who publicly declare and practically demonstrate their deep devotion to your mission. Your followers who ardently wish to assist you in this task must utilize upaya-kausalya, often translated in Buddhism as “skill in means.” We must preserve entirely the purity and integrity of your message and mission, and yet present them in a skillful way that attracts the world in which we live. I pray you will bless us to accomplish this urgent task.
Hridayananda Dasa Goswami