I have gotten several responses to my piece, “Diary of a Betrayed Godbrother” (7 June, 2007). I hope more godbrothers will write me with their feedback and realizations. I received one email from a very dear godbrother who expressed a different perspective from most of the other comments i received. I reproduce it here, along with my response.
My godbrother wrote:
“We need to go deeper. We need to see the pain, the cause for this pain, and the blessing of the Lord behind it all. Can you feel some pity for Indradyumna for the separation he is feeling? All these other Godborthers who sit on the high seats, and did all that, how painful it must be for them, in the ultimate sense. They are, in essence, our Godbrothers. Can we look at them with some empathy, which every human deserves? Why so much pain in Iskcon? Why so much denial? Why all these fruits, in our children, and other manifestations? I am not looking to blame any one. It is the blessing of Guru for us to see the source of our pain and separation."
Thanks for your response to my blog article. I thought about your comments yesterday as they surprised me and disturbed me.
I came to two understandings. First, that the source of pain and disappointment in my life, which is almost universal (meaning, that i experience disappointment in practically every one of my relationships), is that i am a disappointment-- internally-- in my relationship with Guru and God. Therefore i am experiencing disappointment as my karma in all of my external relationships. This, i feel, is meant to teach me and lead me to clearer understanding and more rightful action.
The second understanding i got from your comments is that my empathy should be with my guru, not my godbrothers. Most of my godbrothers, like myself, are madmen, unfit for spiritual life. We got the divine mercy of our guru, but that doesn't mean now we can do or say anything. If i see untruth, i must be prepared to speak truth, even if godbrothers hate me for it.
Krishna went much further with Arjuna, his most confidential devotee. He told him to kill his own family members. Arjuna at first felt compassion for them, just as you say we should feel for our godbrothers who abused their brothers and sabotaged our guru's mission. But Krishna said "no" to Arjuna, "don't look at your cousin brothers like that. The pity you are feeling is your weakness. It's for the body, not the soul. You are Brahman, and I am Supreme Brahman. I want you to kill them. Now do as you wish." And Arjuna killed them, even Bhisma, who was as dear to him as a father.
So going deeper in this context, means to do what Prabhupada would want us to do, to act on that platform, not on sentiment. I am small and my capacity to act is also very small. But i can in my own tiny way expose the duplicity and pretense i see. And i can try to find sadhu sanga or create sadhu sanga that is free from duplicity. If my intention is correct, this will please guru. I don't have the capacity to change anything, but i have the capacity to please Guru and God by my effort. And if i do this, then my first problem, my feelings of disappointment all around me, will automatically be resolved, because i will become satisfied and peaceful within.
Thank you for sharing your opinions with me.