Does ISKCON Have Pure Devotees ?
Some followers from an infamous "rival" sanga who like to prey on ISKCON's resources have the audacity to criticise ISKCON for not having any "pure devotees" and that only their camp has a pure devotee or pure devotees. Yesterday evening HG Vaisesika prabhu gave a marvelous seminar at our New Remuna Dhama ISKCON temple in Toronto. Quoting from Srila Rupa Goswami, he sited the verse krsneti yasya giri tam.... and in summary stated that there are three qualities Verifiable in an Uttama Adhikari, a devotee of the highest order.
They are :
1. They are steady in their devotional service
2. They know the Sastra
3. They are always giving Krsna conciousness to others
In addition to all the youth getting inspired here by him, I am watching Vaisesika prabhu fire up old Indian grannies to go out on book distribution. How many senior devotees personally go out to lead the charge on Srila Prabhupada's book distribution, what to speak of firing up old Indian grannies to put their book bags on. Vaisesika prabhu quotes sastra very well, is very steady in his devotional service and fires everyone up around him to give Krsna to others. How much pure devotee do you need to see than that ? If you can't recognize a pure devotee from these standards then that must mean you are pretty dull, don't know the scriptures , or you are pretty envious and don't deserve to be in ISKCON anyways :)
By this standard, I know that there is at least one pure devotee in ISKCON, and probably many others. Srila Prabhupada once said that one is a pure devotee in as much as they are following.
Sanatana Goswami Das Nice points although I thought the point about "deserve to be in ISKCON" was somewhat derogatory and assumes that it is a matter of qualification rather than reposed faith that determines our affiliation. At least that is how it came across to me. Whatever the sanga the real function of that sanga is to facilitate association with sadhus, preferably ones that deeply inspire us. Krishna is not restricted by institutional walls and will manifest thru his guru-tattva in whatever form is required according to the necessity of the individual.
Besides all that I agree that Vaisesika Pb is outstanding and that when others claim to have the monopoly on purity then all they have done is exhibited their lack of understanding.
PADA: The rival sanghas are probably folks like the Narayana Maharaja camp, of course in the 1980s it was the GBC's gurus themselves who were promoting NM, and at that time their big gurus said anyone in ISKCON who did not accept that Narayana Maharaja is a pure devotee has to leave ISKCON. So it is the GBC who has been the number one group spawning ISKCON's "competing sanghas." No one seems to mention how the NM camp was spawned in the first place, it was a creation of the GBCs own gurus in the 1980s and all the way to the mid-1990s. I know because I opposed the NM "rasika camp" that was growing at the time, and was told to keep quiet by these guru leaders. ys pd