Reflecting on some internet discussions in the past couple of days made me think about inevitability of change. Not simply because things deteriorate but because things can’t stay the same, it’s not in their nature.
Buddhist understanding of the world is that nothing really exists, we don’t pay much attention to what they think but the reason they say nothing exists is that nothing is permanent. I start typing this sentence on the keyboard and by the end of it the keyboard is not the same anymore.
We are not Buddhists but we also accept the inescapable influence of time. Things change and so should our attachment to them – the attachment should go.
ISKCON as we see it now will not be eternal and Srila Prabhupada will not stay as the best up-to-date acharya forever. Our connection to both ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada is eternal because it’s spiritual but we ourselves are not going to be eternal. There will be people who come after us and they will be lead by new acharyas.
It seems unthinkable and even smells of treason but we should not be attached to our material forms in this world. We should also not be selfish and possessive, we should rather welcome the next acharya who, by definition, will attract great number of new souls to Krishna Consciousness, the souls that we currently are unable to reach for one reason or another.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur was a great revolutionary acharya but he wanted his son(s) to do even better and preach even further. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati was unrivaled preacher, he was so great that no one thought anyone could improve on his achievements but then came Srila Prabhupada and took Krishna Consciousness to previously unthinkable heights.
That’s three great acharyas in little over a hundred years, with thirty five years since Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance. Mathematically we are due for the next revolution. Not “we” as members of ISCKON, we are more or less secure, but the rest of the Kali yuga souls.
Srila Prabhupada was able to reach and appeal to the Western people and their values but the West has changed so much since then. It has gone through TV revolution where the evil box had become a center of everyone’s life, then we had the computers, then the Internet, then Facebook and now we gone totally mobile. Life of a the current generation is so much different from the life of people who Prabhupada was preaching to that we with our books seem archaic now.
We tried to co-opt the TV and the Internet in our preaching but without much success. We haven’t been able to penetrate the virtual lives people have been building for about a decade now. We need a breakthrough.
I’m not going to speculate on how exactly it would happen and whether the new acharya would be welcome or met with suspicions. I hope we are better than that, we’ve had a history of not being much appreciated at times, we shouldn’t be the ones dishing it out to the next wave of devotees. I’ve just getting myself ready to the inevitability of change.