nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhuitale
srimate bhaktivedant-svaminn iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
Srila Prabhupada left this world almost forty years ago. He left us a powerful, relevant, international movement and asked us to expand it, or at least maintain it.
In some ways, we did expand and maintain his mission. In other important ways, we did not. Prabhupada often explained that his strategy to make the world Krishna conscious depended on ISKCON’s success in the Western world, since the world follows the West.
Prabhupada often declared that his greatest satisfaction was that in each country, especially in the West, he had built a movement with local people. I often heard Prabhupada tell the press, “These are American boys and girls. I did not import them from India.”
Prabhupada also emphasized that his temples existed mostly for preaching and that Deity worship was meant to support the central program, preaching, by keeping the preachers strong in Krishna consciousness.
You may judge for yourself to what extent Prabhupada’s vision has been maintained in Western temples.
In its 50th year, ISKCON has much to celebrate, and much to rationally fear for the future. The best offering to Prabhupada, for those who serve in the West, is to help to rebuild a powerful Western ISKCON, an ISKCON that attracts thousands of intelligent Western people. This is the best way to glorify Prabhupada on his appearance day, and on the other 364 days of the year.
Every day, throughout the world, ISKCON devotees glorify Prabhupada as “pascatya-desa-tarine,” the savior of the Western countries. Let us glorify Prabhupada by making his words come true, since he wrote his own pranama mantra. It is not easy for any of us to spread Prabhupada’s Western mission, but that is what we must do.
His servant who keeps trying,
Hridayananda das Goswami
August 26, 2016