The really great thing about writing a blog, in my opinion, is the freedom. I can say whatever i want, without being concerned about anyone's reaction. So today, i'm publishing an email i just sent one of my closest and dearest friends, Ananda Swarup. Most of the very select group of readers of this blog also know Ananda. I'm printing this mail because it sums up my opinion and feelings about what is going on now in cyber space and real space with "devotees." The context of this mail is an ongoing dialogue between Ananda and myself. I would like to share this with you because i believe in the truth of these words for myself.
What you say is totally correct. First i know to be able to follow even the minimum that Prabhupada expected of us, one has to not just be honest but make a sustained effort. To follow for "show" like many of the leaders or devotees like ***** do, that's one thing. But to follow from the heart, without the show, as you are attempting, that's the real test. And then, not to become puffed up from following, but to remain simple, even if one gets some kind of taste, that's the second test.
These are the things devotees should be discussing amongst themselves, not manjari bhava, or how Prabhupada is not a jiva, or why Iskcon is or isn't this or that. The whole scene out there is sick. I don't know if you read it, but a few days back one of the short articles on the Sun mentioned that practically every devotee is a 'nut-case.' I appreciated that statement. Crazy is the only word to describe devotees who don't get it. Rascal, the word you used, is also correct, especially for the high profile devotees. So, crazy rascals, everyone. This is the world we live in.
Now the next question is, how do we transcend this category ourself??
Start fresh is my response.
Start again with a beginner's mind. And when inspiration (or desperation) comes, start preaching to new people (the old ones are all crazy rascals, or influenced by crazy rascals). Do it differently. Cultivate self awareness. Remain simple. Pray for help. Don't get involved again with any crazy rascals, no matter how tempting it may be.