01/05/98 - 1463
Open Letter from Bir Krishna Swami
USA (VNN) - Letter from Bir Krishna Swami 01/02/97:
Now is the time for checks and balances in our society. No full
time member of ISKCON is independent whether he be sannyasa, grhasta,
brahmacary, brahmacarini etc. (did I leave out anyone?).
Everyone who lives at the cost of the society should have his
performance and life style reviewed by his peers.
This year we are instituting this on the GBC level. Ultimately
all of our devotees should be subjected to such regular reviews.
Amongst members of the sannyasa ashrama we have some who are quite
good examples, and others who need to be corrected. Who can deny
that? But instead of condemning those who need correction we should
put in place a mechanism by which these persons can be helped
to understand their dharma.
Another point is that in many instances a sannyasi may be carrying
a very heavy load of management or preaching in ISKCON, and to
carry out his responsibilities he may need some facility such
as a notebook computer. Personally I have a medium priced notebook
computer, and to carry out the load that I have been given it
is an absolute necessity. I would be only too happy (on a personal
level) to give it up and just sit down and chant. It would certainly
be a relief from my present lifestyle, but it would be irresponsible.
Of course there is no excuse for maintaining opulent digs (places
It is too easy to say that most sannyasis are like this or like
that. Induction is not a foolproof method of arriving at a conclusion.
One should state that "most sannyasis that I have met." Please
Most of the sannyasis that I have met (and I know almost 90%)
of them are overworked, and are not accepting more than necessary
to carry out their service.
For example I just came back from Toronto. I was visiting Bhaktimarga
Maharaja. He sleeps on the floor. Cooks the Raj Bhoga 5 days a
week for the deities. Is out practically every night doing preaching
programs and still comes to Mongala Aroti every morning. There
are many like him.
Please don't lump us in.
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