October 14, 2015

Dear Devotees,

Jaya Prabhupada! Many of us have been working hard to establish Krishna West in ISKCON. We are doing this because we know that this type of approach is needed to revitalize Prabhupada’s movement in the West.

The Caitanya Caritamrta 1.2.117 declares that we should not avoid necessary discussions about Krishna:

“A sincere student should not neglect the discussion of such [philosophical] conclusions, considering them controversial, for such discussions strengthen the mind. Thus one’s mind becomes attached to Sri Krishna.”

At the same time, we must be careful to always act as ladies and gentlemen when presenting or defending our viewpoint. I understand that many of you feel strongly about Krishna West, and that many of you have endured attacks because of your views.

For example, one sannyasi just published a rather vulgar “announcement” that I had left ISKCON and was “starting a cult.” Still, in order to persuade sincere people, we must avoid harsh language. We should remember that in a debate like this, even when replying to criticism, we are not ultimately addressing our opponents, but rather the general Vaishnava public. The Vaishnavas in general may reject Krishna West if they see that our comments are too harsh, angry, or sarcastic.

Therefore, I sincerely appeal to all of us (I include myself) to make a special effort to speak and write as ladies and gentlemen, despite inevitable provocations. Thank you very much.

With best wishes,
Hridayananda das Goswami
October 14, 2015