Bir Krishna Goswami on Krishna West: “When we start to make a lot of devotees, then there will be a mad rush to copy”

Disclaimer: was not personally involved or connected with the production of this post.
Post transcribed, edited and produced by Alexander Shenkar.

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Embed Music Files – Play Audio – 2013.04.23 – Maha Mantra – B…

Krishna West has already started and we have a Krishna West center at a place called Chapel Hill, North Carolina which is right in my zone. And I’m working with Hridayananda Maharaj to establish different preaching initiatives based on Krishna West. I have a large part of the south east United States, including the state of Virginia, South Carolina, Mississippi, and some different states in that area. And he is setting up his headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina near university that he wants to make central, Davidson University. I’m working with him on a regular basis and it’s already ongoing. And nobody has left any temples, nobody has left Krishna consciousness movement, and he hasn’t taken anybody from temple or temple service or discouraged anybody in Krishna consciousness.

There is a whole lot of people all over the world who feel inspired by the idea of presenting Krishna consciousness in a culturally acceptable way. That’s the whole idea. It’s not such a radical idea. It’s just philosophy, chanting, prasadam, and that’s it! No yoga! He says he’s too conservative for yoga. Pretty interesting, isn’t it? I mean there will be music with western instruments, but Prabhupada liked that. I was with Prabhupada when he had someone play base guitar during kirtan. People now are very conservative about kirtan. There is even a resolution from the GBC about kirtan. But there was a devotee at a Sunday Feast playing guitar and Prabhupada was there watching the devotees chant as this devotee was wailing away on base guitar. So Prabhupada also encouraged that.

Vishnujana Swami performing puppet show.
Vishnujana Swami performing puppet show.

Prabhupada loved Vishnujana Maharaj music. Vishnujana Maharaj sometimes played the flute. He did puppet shows. He did, of course, the harmonium. Prabhupada he said he chanted like a Gandharba. So the idea is that we don’t have to just stick to any way doing things to attract people but we always have to stick to the holy names, four regulative principles, chanting japa, and prasadam, and all those other nice things – those are our essentials. And of course neckbeads, tilak, sikha, etc. But Prabhupada said these cloths are nonessential.

The proof is in the pudding. When we start to make a lot of devotees, then there will be a mad rush to copy. Just like Apple computer. Apple computer company first came out with the iPad. Everybody was making fun of it. iPad!? There was the iPhone – ‘iThis’ , ‘iThat’, ‘iMe-and-Mine’. Everybody made fun. But it become so popular that all the companies are immitating iPad and the Apple productions and everyone is suing them. Apple is suing other companies for imitating. Apple is suing Samsung company right now for immitating their iPhone and also the iPad. So it’s like that. It will be proven by success. And if it’s not successful – whatever! At least we’re trying to spread Krishna consciousness. That’s the whole idea. When you see how few people are joining in the western world, you’ve got to try something radical! We have very little time left.

Another point is that Prabhupada disciples like myself, Hridayananda maharaj, and others, I mean – we’re old! He is the same age as me; he is a few months older. He is like 66. I’m 65. How much time do we have left!? What have we done for Prabhupada? What are we going to tell Prabhupada when we leave this world and go to join Prabhupada? “What did you do!?” – “Well, I made about 10 devotees… you know, opened up 1 temple.” Prabhupada opened up 108 temples in a space of 10 years.