We have to learn from past experience instead of remaining bitter about it. I want to tell you a story where I myself was able to come to terms with a situation. After I had already started my own Vaisnava-mission in the service of Srila Prabhupada, and we had named it Vrinda, I used to go to the Krsna Balarama Mandir in Vrndavana every year for Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance day. On that occasion in 1986, I went to mangala-arati where many of my Godbrothers and ISKCON gurus were present. They were dancing during the mangala-arati and there was a large crowd of devotees. As I was looking at many of the people whom I had served with previously and others whom I just knew, I was wondering who was responsible for the difficulties in Srila Prabhupada’s mission after his departure. Who could be blamed for all the things that had happened? My eyes went from one to the other. I could surely think of some things they had done wrong. But I could not see anybody there who could really, as an individual, be blamed for all the difficulties which Srila Prabhupada’s mission was facing at that moment: spiritual masters were leaving their posts and were abandoning their disciples, temples were being sold which Srila Prabhupada had bought himself, and so many other minor or major difficulties.

Then I thought, “Ok, if nobody in particular has caused this situation, then who can solve it?” Again my eyes went from one to the other of the great leaders of Srila Prabhupada’s mission. I began thinking, “If he proposed a solution, everybody would reject him. If someone else proposed another solution, they would create politics on the basis of his deficiencies.” It looked to me like none of the people present, or those that I could think of, could solve the difficulties in the mission. Then my next thought was, “Well, if no individual is guilty for creating the madness and nobody is capable of solving the mess right now, then who is responsible?” Then my eyes looked at their Lordship Sri Sri Krsna Balarama. All of a sudden the thought in me arose “If no one individual created it and nobody could solve it, then it must be your own activity, your own plan”. So, I looked at Sri Sri Krsna Balarama and thought, “That means you made all this mess? You are responsible for that?” Of course, Sri Sri Krsna Balarama just kept smiling as usual. But then my heart cried out to them, “Why did you do that? Why did you create this mess in Srila Prabhupada’s wonderful mission? What in the world could be the reason?” Then, within my heart, I could feel a very distinct cooling and refreshing answer arising which I consider to be entirely the grace of Sri Sri Krsna Balarama. The answer was as follows: “The world does not need any more big institutions. Big institutions and their resolutions do not inspire trust. They can’t do very much to solve individual problems or those of this world; the world needs individual performance. Only individual efforts, such as the efforts of Srila Prabhupada, impress the people in this world and will make them change. These difficulties have arisen so that all of you should get your act together and start to make a difference as individuals, in the service of your spiritual master. That’s what is necessary. Then the world will be blessed by Srila Prabhupada’s love.”

When this answer arose within my heart, I was so happy. All the bitterness and frustration that I had experienced in the years when I was so unhappy with the development of my gurudeva’s mission disappeared at that moment. Internally, I was embracing each and every one of the devotees present and not present. Never again did this bitterness return to my heart. I could understand that everything is positive and that everything is Krsna’s plan. Although sometimes things do take very unfortunate turns as different heavy mistakes and anarthas are being revealed within the conditioned souls. In the long run, it is all meant for blessing the world with the message of the Vaisnavas.

Source: Sato Vrtteh – Following in the Footsteps of Previous Acaryas by Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti

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