I’ve looked through the quotes that are supposed to prove that ISKCON is wrong and everybody else is right. First impressions – this, the “proof” that ISKCON is wrong, is the only purpose of the whole debate itself, not the mystery of how we came into the material world.
Once that is clear the need for counterarguments disappears – it’s an entirely different game in a different ball park.
Maybe my impression is wrong and I sincerely apologize, but it’s very difficult to avoid this conclusion when reading accompanying comments. It’s one of those topics where I totally fail to see the best in every living being.
If someone wants to prove that our founder acharya was wrong we can only beg them not to step on this dangerous path, we can’t convince them of anything else. The Supersoul in their heart will provide them with perfect arguments that would justify their crusade no matter what we say.
If that’s what they want to believe, Krishna will provide. What has it got to do with us? For our own health we should stay our of their way.
As far as doubts in our ISKCON devotees are concerned, our GBC presentation of a decade ago is more than enough. It perfectly reconciles all contentious points and simply understanding our position should be enough to clear our minds.
There’s not much in the quotes by our self appointed “opponents” that really goes against our position. It’s all left to interpretation, context, and benefit of doubt.
I put “opponents” in quotation marks because they are picking a fight where there isn’t any. All their quotes of previous acharyas have been known for ages and they’ve never been seen as contradictory, certainly not contradictory enough to polarize the entire Gaudia Vaishnava community they way our “opponents” are trying to do. The “origin of the soul” has never been a problem until they made it so, and it wasn’t started by Srila Prabupada as for every his “wrong” quote we can easily present a mountain of supporting shastric evidence.
It appears contradictory only to the eyes looking for contradiction, and this is not the attitude we approve of and we shouldn’t imitate devotees who pick it up no matter how great and knowledgeable they are.
I totally agree with the title of the book that started it all – no one ever falls from Vaikuntha. We leave it on our own accord, we have not been forced, we made our own choices. What we do immediately afterwards is not important. We might spend a lot of time in the body of Maha Vishnu, or in brahmajyoti, or in tatastha region – the details don’t matter now.
If the point is that it’s impossible to willingly turn away from Krishna then I admit we don’t know how and why it happens exactly but even books quoted by our opponents imply that we HAD experience and knowledge of the spiritual world sometimes before we made our fatal choice. That is just generally assumed all throughout as without it the whole “choice” is rendered meaningless. It is also stressed all throughout that we possess the free will which means the capacity to make that choice consciously.
If the point is that there are different kinds of jivas, some are made entirely of internal potency and thus are incapable of falling down while the others, like us, can swing both ways – that doesn’t prove anything. If that is true it still means we are capable for making a choice and suffering its consequences.
Whatever it is, with clever interpretations it’s possible to argue that black is white and white is black. That’s not how we approach the scriptures, we approach from the assumption that all scriptures ultimately lead to worshiping Krishna as the Supreme Lord and thus all contradictions are temporary and reconcilable.
We avoid discovering disagreements between acharyas that never came up while they were here and who are not currently present to clarify these apparent disagreements.
And that’s all I can say on the matter.