Vrindaban His Holiness Radhanatha Swami

January 11th, 2001


His Holiness Radhanatha Swami will be here for the day. I finished my morning program early so I could attend his class. I was surprised that the temple room, which by design is partially exposed to the outside, was packed in the middle of the chilly and cold winter.

ISKCON is not as united as it needs to be. There are too many disputes and grudges. Unfortunately, that is also the case here in Vrindaban, and it is therefore difficult to sense the spirit of community which, for most people, is necessary for spiritual life. A spiritual leader, however, immediately creates a sense of community, uniting people around the desire to hear about Krishna. I sensed that today upon entering the temple.

Maharaja told the story about the Chand Kazi in a very animated way. At the end of class, someone asked how the devotees felt toward the Chand Kazi considering that he had initially persecuted the Vaishnavas. Maharaja spoke very strongly about the Vaishnavas? quality of forgiveness.

I was sitting near the altar in front of Krishna-Balarama. I noticed a former Vrindaban gurukula student from America, sitting in the front of the class. He had been at times very vocal about the mistakes made in the pioneer days of the development of gurukula, and my responsibility for them as head of one the main schools. Fortunately, this former student has very good parents who supported him. Thus, despite whatever difficulties he faced in his youth, he is well-situated, happily married, and a good devotee.

When Maharaja was speaking about forgiveness, I sensed that?seeing both the former student and myself in the audience?he was also subtly directing the point to him, especially as I believe this devotee has regard for Maharaja. That Maharaja?s preaching may have been somewhat directed in this way seemed to be confirmed later in the day when I returned to the temple in the evening for Aindra?s kirtan and noticed this devotee chanting right opposite me. When the kirtan finished, he surprisingly came over to me in a friendly and respectful manner to ask me how I was doing. We talked casually for a few minutes before he had to leave tomeet his wife. I was relieved that he seemed to have forgiven me and it also gave me hope that in time progress can be made with some of the other students that are still affected by bad experiences in gurukula.

His decision to approach me could have been simply a result of his natural maturity. Still, I can?t help but sense that the discourse this morning was a factor.

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