Did that title grab your attention? ha Good! :) However, please allow clarification. It will take a bit, so bear with me. Besides, you just might find it interesting.
Countless of us relish ideals of peace, cows, protection - and lately more are preaching about VAD /VarnAsrama-Dharma. Make certain to look at the flip side of the coin regarding what else may be brought into ones life.
Currently a most popular idea is that every devotee should get involved in this VAD. I was interested in it years back. Until I discovered how easily misuse came into the picture. And worse, some people have no problem misusing it. Who can ya trust these days? sigh, Yourself! And Prabhupada.
Just because something is vox populi, does not mean it's always 100% accurate. Predominately I'm noticing, whatever some get into, is followed by a tendency to think everyone must get into it - and if ya don't, you're viewed as having a problem, in maya, etc. ... I appreciate zealousness over something found helpful, nothing wrong with that. However, I disagree with viewing others as having something wrong who do something else.
It's easier to cast others into hell-fires or maya, than it is to take time & give good recognition to Krishna C activities or perspectives of those others, when it is different from one's own.
If a reader out there wants to take shelter of VAD, this article may not be for you. Stop here. AND this post is more for the initiated or those living that lifestyle. Not everyone wants this, so feel free to read other posts at the sidebar to your right on different blissful topics. If you continue reading, well, you have been warned. :)
There has been some talk of child abuse. Previously there was talk of woman abuse. And some claim it will all stop when VAD is put into action, and not before.
Where did most child abuse of the past occur? Predominately, in rural areas, where VAD is more likely to be promoted - to one degree or another.
Lets make it clear that abuse is contradictory to Prabhupada's teachings! Anyone who thinks otherwise... please make an appointment with your local therapist or psychiatrist.
Moving on....Some feel it has become urgent to finally get VAD up & running. IMHO if we have yet to be able to do that [the right way] in 50 years - how on earth are we suddenly qualified?
Oh some claim Sankirtana and full-time Pujari or other full-time service - that it was only intended for the old days to get things started - things are to be done different now. Some even give highly intelligent, clever, & lengthy philosophical explanations of why we did what we did in the past, the reasons it was not meant to last, and now must change. BUT all the intelligence, cleverness, & philosophical explanations in the world do not trump Prabhupada's instructions. Where does Prabhupada say this was only for the beginning and to now make such change? Nowhere. When he made any change he did so on letterhead, signed, and mailed to every single temple world-wide. Where is that letter? No place. He says the opposite - that we should not change a thing. Cent per cent, the disciple is supposed to absorb themselves in Krishna - one way or other ways - but to do it 24 /7. That is the instruction.
Even there is a quote from Srila Prabhupada, that if we could get more serious, we could make the world Krishna Conscious in 18 days. Is the whole world so Krishna Conscious that we can give up the tapa/austerity/bliss of sharing Krishna with others - and only care about our own welfare?
Especially those who are young or younger, they're actually a large percentile of those interested in VAD communities. Somewhat understandable. They have children they wish to raise in sweet atmospheres; they have family and all things connected to family. Yet, will they really get what they want?
So we must also look at the additional sense-gratification VAD makes more available.
My experience with some [& not all] who are strongly drawn to VAD, is that they are looking for a way to have their cake and eat it too.
- Some actually have the nerve to desire polygamy. Don't worry, these guys are the minority but it nerveless exists in VAD. [But not within transcendental Krishna Consciousness of this modern day. Polygamy is in the Bible, and many other scriptures too - no longer acceptable. Ditto for us. ] I've wondered how those who took initiation, meaning they definitely want to be assured they can go BTG, thus voluntarily vowed basic celibacy - how they can allow their minds to go in such directions. Prabhupada stated polygamy is not for this age, can't be successfully done, and only desired by those who [in truth] want to increase their sex life. Srila Prabhupada: "I have received your letter of 1/24/73 concerning polygamy and feel that this policy must be strictly prohibited within our society." ~ SPL, Melbourne, 10 February, 1973
- Some want to marry under-aged girls in the name of so-called protection. [Yeah right, no one believes that, except themselves. Delusional.] Outrageous to think what could be done in the past, can be done now. In Krishna Book we read the gopis had breasts, yet they were only 8 years old! Over time, physical development changed. Even 75 years ago the growth rate of girls were different compared to girls now. We also need to take into consideration, maturity level. In our modern times girls [and boys] mature much more slowly than 75 years back. MUCH. What to speak of when Krishna walked the Earth. ....Anyone wanting to imitate the past, wake up! ...Too sic a topic for me to get into again. "the institution of varnashrama-dharma is used by selfish men to pose an artificial predominance over the weaker section." SB 1:2:13 ....Speaking in general - kali yuga VAD is used by [some] men for power and prestige, and by [some] women with psychological problems therefore drawn to mistreatment and belittlement of 'so-called' VAD.
- Fortunately there are others who promote VAD having better morals than the above - only interested in monogamy with their adult spouse. This is Daivi Varnashrama-Dharm / DVD = one wife. Yet too many still want sex regularly [the so-called 3 & 1/2 regs], while simultaneously seek out, or took, initiation vows of a celibate. No one is saying one must be celibate if uninitiated. Simply, make a choice, then stick to it. "Initiation does not mean they have completed all their spiritual perfection and now they can relax but it means now they have begun spiritual life. If they are true to their vows, they will find all perfection in this life and be eligible to go back to Godhead." ~ Srila Prabhupada Letter, 7/25/75
- Or the desire for power and control over the masses - which is more easily achieved in VAD [or DVD] where children and women of the community [as well as their own] are viewed as low-class sudras who can never move forward, particularly female children. ....Bhibavati devi dasi personal experience, she asked Prabhupada: "Should I live like in the Vedic times, and simply serve my husband and child?" He replied: "No, you have a talent as a writer, you should write articles for newspapers and propagate Krishna Consciousness." ....One difficulty is, initiated etc women are being viewed as ordinary women. In some cases they've been taught to view themselves that way too. However, Prabhupada teaches: "These women are not ordinary women. They are preachers. They are Vaisnavas. By their association one becomes a Vaisnava." Srila Prabhupada, morning walk, March 27, 1974
Additionally: Srila Prabhupada wrote to a female disciple: "Now if you can induce all the women of Los Angeles to place an altar in their homes and help their husbands have peaceful, happy home life in Krsna consciousness, that will be very great service for you. The actual system is that the husband is the spiritual master to his wife, but if the wife can bring her husband into practicing this process, then it is all right that the husband accepts the wife as the spiritual master. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said that anyone who knows the science of Krsna should be accepted as spiritual master, regardless of any material so-called qualifications, such as rich or poor, man or woman, or brahmana or sudra." SP letter to Silavati devi dasi, June 14, 1969. .... Some may now call me a man-basher, women's libber, or even a FemiNazi. I've heard it all, but I've countless times said: I have no problem with a man taking any [bona fide] role, I've a problem with the unqualified taking it under a pretense of qualification, and with those who twist instructions.
- Some have authority issues. Not all authorities are perfect, and in no way am I suggesting to blindly follow them. Quite the opposite. However, some have maha problems accepting any authority at all, even out on the world in a job with a boss, etc. In VAD the wife, all children, and all females, are extremely submissive to them. Various men in such communities encourage each other in this behavior. What I've noticed is some men who are used to being unconditionally surrendered to at home, have trouble in the real world. I see them on fb often flipping out because someone dared to disagree with them. They're not use to that, and do not know how to agree to disagree. Everyone must surrender unto them, like at home.
I've also bumped into some who wanted to insult another man that dared disagree with him, telling the other man: "You're emotional like a woman." In addition to that being brash, this is Bhakti Yoga, do they doubt Prabhupada can teach women to control their emotions? Yet, they believe anger is not emotional but male? Nonsense. It's equally emotional. ...And any idea one must be void of all emotions - that is impersonal or mayavadi. Of course no one should go hay-wire, but why some think it's ok for man to say 'whatever,' but if a women even gives a [sane, calm, intelligent] reply of a different opinion - she's automatically emotional? Double standards have little to do with spiritual life. Tho they are often found in VAD.
I've even seen it said: "It's manly & healthy to be brash." That's New Age psychobabble. I'm not against 'qualified' help and if needed - go get it. But I've yet to see that in Prabhupada's philosophy. IMHO it's the result of embracing bodily concept, which is vox populi in so-called VAD. The idea that it's healthy to get angry then say whatever comes to mind is bogus, nor is it healthy. Actually, can lead to bad karmic backlash for offending someone. If they've that much a need to yell or name-call or swear, either their ego's been rejecting the higher purification process of Krishna C, or they need therapy. Anyhow, too often their life is more rocky than it need be, but they are in illusion and think they like it this way. "One should never think that his mind is trained and that he can do whatever he likes." Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya 11.10 .... "Austerity of speech consists in speaking truthfully and beneficially and in avoiding speech that offends. " BG, 17.15
"According to the Vedic culture, a learned brahmana, very gentle, sober, learned brahmana... Whoever is learned, he must be gentle and sober. Vidya dadati namrata. That is the test of education." SP Lecture on SB 1.2.5 NV, September 4, 1972
What about the women who are drawn to this role playing? What I've seen is, some are unsure 'how' to be married in spiritual life so too quickly try to get answers and turn to this. Not knowing how to go deeper, with too few available to share that knowledge. In their case with time & experience they may figure it out. But more appear to have lost their personal strength. Except to support their husband blindly, unconditionally, and unwilling to admit he's ever in much maya. Plus, many have learned how to be manipulative to get something, because direct and honest asking often resulted in "NO." [Or dare she make a decision of her own.] Then others, they just like it for the various forms of sense grad it provides for them. ....Again, not all, simply because it's kali yuga, our weaknesses tend to rise. We can even convince ourselves they are our strengths - at least in so-called VAD. [Afterthought: There are some women who do it because otherwise they'd be abused. However, that's a very complex topic and too much to get into here. No one should abuse anyone. That's maya.]
- Some argue that child molestation is the result of sexual repression and it, along with homosexuality and other issues, will only stop thru VAD. This is one of the biggest fallacies! One does not suddenly become a pedophile due to vows of celibacy. Plus, everyone's sexual identity is all ready present within them and does not change as the result of promises made. Especially considering vows are voluntary and they can walk away at any moment to seek out an adult partner - recognized as far less karmic too. Nor should repression be confused with sense-control. ....All just excuses to maintain sex life as an initiate. Prabhupada does not give the disciple something that can't be done. I just read the other day, one devotee speaking to him of weaknesses - and Prabhupada replied it was because he was not enough absorbed in Krishna. [Keeping spiritually engaged is key here.]
- Medically speaking, if the husband happens to have OCD, ADHD, Aspergers, or any similar type of health issue - it's highly unlikely to even get diagnosed, since that usually is difficult for the patient to see and often requires outside feedback from those who live with him. Because that type of feedback is not allowed and will often be severely chastised, they remain untreated, and their family remains under stress. [Yes, women can have these issues to, but they DO get feedback.]
- The list goes on. I may return and add some. Tho tire of the topic, or more specifically, of those who stubbornly hang on so tightly to the misunderstandings of it. Anyway, the above nonsense is NOT in line with Prabhupada's description of VAD:
"The social institution known as varnasrama-dharma--the
institution dividing society into four divisions of social life and four occupational divisions of caste--is not meant to divide human society according to birth. Such divisions are in terms of educational qualifications. " Bhagavad Gita 16:1 - 3, Purport
I am sorry to say, but until everyone can keep their pants on, work out their ego's desire to power-over others, and cease the toxic-brain stinking-thinking ... I don't want to hear about the 2nd half of the Movement, and am against VAD. [Or really, so-called VAD.]
"Regarding the farm, farm opening is not very essential, but if you can do it conveniently, then do it. The varnasrama system is for convenience sake in the material world. It has nothing to do with spiritual life. Acceptance of varnasrama means a little easy progress to spiritual life, otherwise it has no importance to us. For example, all my European and American disciples have no varnasrama position, but spiritually because they have followed the rules and regulations and also my instructions, their advancement spiritually is being appreciated by everyone. Always remember that varnasrama life is a good program for material life, and it helps one in spiritual life; but spiritual life is not dependent upon it. After all the system of varnasrama has to be realized before accepting spiritual life; and the renounced order of sannyasa is the last stage of varnasrama." ~ Prabhupada letter to Hamsadutta, Mayapur India, October 19, 1974
To clarify, I am not against FARM COMMUNITIES. Tho would be against word jugglery calling them that, then turning around and behaving as VAD. Prabhupada said we probably can not do VAD successfully in this kali yuga - which by now we have seen that factually. Farm communities should indeed be created, but they can and must include the highest forms and techniques of transcendental Krishna Consciousness. This is what we do best. Combine them and we can finally be successful!
Any farm communities some are now trying to build - let there be regular Sankirtana and Harinama parties that go out. Yes, there will be a need for farmers and those who take care of the cows, even teachers. But even they should participate in these activities to some degree. It's purifying plus keeps our 2 feet on the ground. It should be arranged, and balanced lives lived. No one can say they live too deeply into the woods to do so. I've lived at several farm communities and they all had a local town, and often more than one, where we went to buy a few things. If we can go there to put gas in our cars, we can go there for Harinama.
And while most farms I lived at had the Sunday Feast, often, especially in the Winter, people from town did not want to drive that far. Maybe we need to bus them ourselves! Yes, it's not only about us, but others too. In this way we avoid isolation - as isolation has played a large role in past problems.
It is harder to commit atrocities when practicing direct Krishna C. Some may argue "stuff" still can and has happened. Sure, as it does anyplace in the world. BUT it is often nipped in the bud when it is within the purifying method of transcendental Krishna Consciousness where uprooting anarthas [bad habits, wrong consciousness, etc] is encouraged.
Whereas when the consciousness is that of VAD, [usually those in charge remain permanently in charge & no one is allowed to point out their anarthas] ...if there is abuse, it can go on and on and on, as we have seen in NV as just one example. Tho will say, that does seem to be the past. Nevertheless, let us be cautious.
Someone I know and trust, told me about a black bodied gurukuli who - taught in a VAD school and society - was forced to receive training in accordance to his black body and not his desires or brain. He is very intelligent, but no one cared, he was black and that was that. They next forced him to marry the only black female. That marriage lasted about five minutes. :-) Oh, they got along great. They both told each other, politely, they had zero attraction to the other. ha
This of course is not real VAD. Prabhupada said it will be very difficult for us, in kali yuga, to practice real VAD. Although in a few letters he said we can, and that is what many use to take off about. However, "predominately" he did not have such faith in us succeeding in that way.
I have seen or heard more abuse going on under the guise of VAD than with children who lived at Sankirtana or preaching temples.
Tho am sure it can go on there too, but lesser. Abusers are more likely to get in trouble for it there. Parents are living there too, so it's easy to call the police if their children are abused.
Well, anyone can pick up a phone anywhere, but I've been told ... when in the boonies... and that is the place most VAD societies exist ....the police utterly HATE driving up those back, bumpy roads. It can take them an hour or more to get there, and they rather not. So while the countryside is great when its great - it's difficult when it's labeled VAD.
Yet I am not against living in the countryside, we first must develop the scruples, strongly, to address such issues. We tend to go up into Lala Land instead. We need to work closely with the police or child protection services [our Movements CPO but also that of the govt], welfare or social workers, etc - to help us stay on track. We need to develop relationships with such persons, because hearing from them is educational in ways some devotees do not know about, and it's highly important for our own success.
I feel obliged to add a good reason some are currently and rightly drawn to VAD.
The elderly Vaishnava's who have committed their lives for propagation of the Holy Names of the Lord - need health care and some need better living quarters, even basic foodstuffs. We can see in Guru dasa's recent NY Times interview that this is a real concern. As a result of needing care, I have seen some of us old foggies :) promoting VAD or Vedic Society.
However - why do they have to lower their standards to get care? That should not even be necessary. They have given so much! Let some Sankirtana temple or devotee help them out. Donations given. Devotees pitch in. Everyone will get their turn, and if we don't help others, do we really think when our time comes around we will receive help? [rhetorical]. And lets remember the good karma, as well as higher than karma - it pleases Krishna to serve His devotees.
I'd rather do a GoFundMe or YouCaring [free!], in order to get them back on their own independent two-feet, than send them off to the middle of nowhere VAD commune - then you wonder if behind closed doors, will there be elder abuse? After all, behind closed doors for children in Dallas and India - well we all know. These days we're not submissive to such misunderstandings. These days - no more closed doors - we insist on transparency, and safe situations.
Moving on, maybe you are lucky and found a VAD community that is exactly what you want - even found one that is functional, [tho where the heck is that? ha]. Anyhow, just saying, don't go into it on blind faith. Check it out. Make sure they deliver what they promise.
I actually have one blog post from some years back where I had to process ......a lot about VAD. I use to think how wonderful it was, only to quickly discover so very VERY much maya nonsense going on under this name. Even, it was more likely to escalate in so-called VAD. [It appears the only type we know how to create in kali-yuga, is "so-called." lol At least, so far. :) ]
Anyhow, in that blog-post, I expressed that I did not want to be connected with this modern kali yuga VAD, yet I love to plant, love cows, love the fresh air of countryside, and so on. One day it hit me [duh lol] that I can still do all of those, just not under the title of VAD, because the minute that title is used, too often women and children get abused or at least neglected, laughed at, not taken seriously. Plus, it's simply not healthy for men to get so puffed-up that they become unable to take their own personal inventory. [Not saying this about all men. And certainly, women have issues too. Some with stinking-thinking are attracted to abuse - thus helping their husbands fall into, or stay, in maya.]
In this kali yuga, protection under such circumstances are more inclined to mean bully - at best. There are better ways for them to respond, tho if someone is a narcissist, seldom to they believe they are the problem or need help. Nonetheless, if each of us took some healthy ideas into ourselves, the world would be a better place, including the devotee world, and we would all experience more peace.
Yes, the above parts of this blog that's describing nonsense - are misunderstandings - without a doubt! However, they have not ceased in decades. They are as prominent today as they were 40 or more years ago.
Thus, I promote Sankirtana instead. For that reason. Plus the fact that it is a higher mission, it actually 'feels' spiritually higher, and it brings spiritual bliss!
"I consider the sankirtana more important than the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. Both the ceremonies and the sankirtana were going on simultaneously. The ceremonies were meant for persons interested in Vedic rituals for the elevation to heavenly planets. (jadi-krta-matir madhu-puspityam), whereas the sankirtana was meant for pure devotees interested in pleasing the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We would have simply performed sankirtana, but the inhabitants of Vrndavana would not have taken the installation ceremony seriously. As explained here, the Vedic performances are meant for those whose intelligence has been dulled by the flowery language of the Vedas, which describe fruitive activities intended to elevate one to the higher planets. Especially in this age of Kali, sankirtana alone is sufficient." ~ Srimad Bhagavatam, 6:3:25
If you are like me and poor at Sankirtana, not to worry. To promote it is not limited to personal direct success on the streets. Just buy some original unedited books and donate them to a regular book distributor. And / or go out on Harinma! :) Now, don't just talk about these things - follow thru to make it real.
Next, the idea that Prabhupada wanted VAD to begin as the 2nd half of his movement is something I all ready touched on in a previous post..... no need to go in depth here. To Summarize: I've no qualms he wanted that, but it did not happen under his watch, and we're still struggling with the basics; plus unlikely to do it the way he wanted it. First we must become the good disciples he expected us to become decades back. We can talk of society and other things "after" disciples are willing to maintain the 4 regs and "not" the 3 and 1/2 regs - rise early, no tv or karmi music etc, no 'lord & master of all we survey' - engage in blissful at-home Morning / Evening Programs ....and more... as he instructed the disciple as our lifestyle, of every day.
Actually I'm getting pretty fried hearing so many claim the 3 1/2 regs are fine for married "initiated" disciples. That is bogus. Falldowns may happen, but without admitting and humility, one starts to modify the teachings. Someday I hope to write a blog post on the responsibilities or expectations of the disciple. [Again, not speaking of congregational members, favorable folk, etc.]
Just know that Prabhupada instructed celibacy [with the exception of 50 rounds for a baby at 'right' time for conception]. If ya struggle too much with it and just can't do that, why take initiation?! No one is putting you down if you avoid or reject initiation with that going on - if anything it's more honest. You can still chant Hare Krishna and sign up to become a FOLK [Friends of Lord Krishna] Member, but lets stop trying to have our cake and eat it too. It will not give the desired results of Krishna Prema.
Moving on to the comforts of home, I confess, I like them. Yet I'm over 60, when young lived differently, and the degree of comfy sense gratification I've seen preached in VAD, often by those much younger than myself --- well it's far greater than how the majority of us lived when Prabhupada was here. Some complain, stating they want the same privileges and level of honor or respect of senior devotees. I simply reply, then do what senior devotees did!
Many early devotees lived in unique situations to push forward this Movement, or even to keep temple costs for their living, low. Maintenance only. Tapa, and bliss. If you needed more that was ok, but you got a job, and stepped down a notch, not up. lol Humility and honesty are so important in spiritual life. Its not to be viewed, nor felt, as it would be materially.
Those wonderful simple-living experiences are proof it can be done [even now], and makes this "new take" of going out of the way for too comfy a lifestyle, difficult to hear as vox populi. Again, not saying to live unhappily, no. Just what may appear to have been tapa was actually fun! Spiritual fun.
The goal for the disciple supersedes duty to spouse. Big topic, so to summarize: By all means do your householder duties, but don't make it complex, don't be fussy, keep it simple. Moving on....
Too many who practice VAD / DVD often view husband as guru - if not - then of some automatic superior birth to be served and not questioned. However, a conditioned soul who wants to have sex with you, can not be guru in this age. Instead, the idea is to work toward blissfully getting out of this world by hearing/chanting/serving Prabhupada and Krishna. ..... "They should know it that bodily relation between the husband and wife is secondary; primary factor is that both should help one another in the matter of advancement of Krishna Consciousness." ~ SP Letter to Brahmananda, Vrindaban India, Aug 4, 1967
Four married couples traveled to England, and along with George Harrison, opened a temple! THAT is how we use to function as married couples, and that was bliss.
This is the Manor, or temple in England we still have. It all began with 4 married couples leaving the comforts of home etc, traveling, and connecting with George Harrison.
Thus being disciple is not for increasing material pleasures / attachments [more are provided thru VAD]; rather it's to increase and actually experience spiritual pleasure, happiness, joy - and spiritual attachment [to God/Krishna] -- which is easier thru transcendental Krishna C.
"The system of varnashrama-dharma is more or less based on moral principles. There is very little realization of the Transcendence as such, and Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu rejected it as superficial and asked Ramananda Raya to go further into the matter." ~ SB/ Srimad Bhagavatam, Introduction.
Agreed. VAD is 'suppose' to be about moral principles. However, the reality in this age of kali has often resulted in the exact opposite.
"This modern caste system is now condemned in India also, and it should be condemned for the classification of different types of men according to birth is not the Vedic or Divine caste system." SB 3: 6:13
THERE IS A NEED TO STOP and DISTINGUISH the DIFFERENCE between VAD and transcendental Krishna Consciousness - then make a choice. They are not exactly the same, tho often mixed together when spoken.
So, Krishna Consciousness is a yoga, Bhakti Yoga. One focusing on transcendence, and connection to God. It's for meditating upon, serving Krishna, hearing, chanting, remembering, 24/7. It is to get one off the bodily platform, identify more with our soul. It's to get out of the material world in one birth - and transcend the world we are in at the moment.
Whereas that which puts a lot of emphasis on society & morality is VAD. In this age of kali, the way its usually done tends to keep one on the bodily platform, putting a lot of focus on male and female roles. Technically that's suppose to help us find our strengths and step up & beyond them, but as said all throughout this blog, in decades I've not seen it used that way. Anyhow, if you are interested in societal issues, that is different from Yoga. So go to VAD.
Although such issues are automatically taken care of in Krishna Consciousness. Hey, but if someone out there wants VAD, go for it, just be honest about it.
"So unless one satisfies Krishna, one cannot correctly observe the principles of varnasrama-dharma." BG 2:48
While I dare not speculate on the mind of God, but from shastra/scripture and common sense ....some of the things they try to pass off as VAD, I find hard to believe would please the Lord.
In any case, kindly cease telling me I must join and help build the 2nd part of the movement / VAD. First you do it. [Referring to those all ready preaching this.] You actually create a physical farm, bring in cows, a safe and sane Gurukula, no belittlement of women or children, etc - and do it right. Then call out to me. :) Well, I still am more attracted to the Sankirtana mood - but the point is: Actions speak louder than [decades of] words.
Some will point to one Mayapur conversation, where Prabhupada promoted VAD for [some] disciples. However, what they often minimize or ignore, was that within that same conversation, he noticed some 'initiated' disciples were sleeping around! Also pointed out that while some [fallen] initiates were still chanting, his concern was they would become sahajiyas. Thus to save them, he promoted VAD. At least they have some rules and regulations they hopefully could handle. But we should not confuse his higher expectations of the disciples, with that. That's more like a safety net. Do we really think we can 'seek' initiation, then run after anything else we want?
"Formal initiation means to accept, officially, to abide by the orders of Kṛṣṇa and His representative. That is formal initiation. Officially accept, "Yes, sir, I shall accept. I shall do whatever you say." This is initiation, official acceptance of the job. That's all." ~ Srila Prabhupada's Lecture : Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.15, Auckland, February 22, 1973
Sure, create VAD for devotees having trouble, and for some who are more grounded but not yet ready for initiation, etc. However, do not insist on lumping all of us into that one category - nor limit the entire Hare Krishna Movement that all must now practice VAD. Remember, our movement was actually started by Lord Caitanya and His Sankirtana!
Thus while one may say that VAD is also for initiated disciples - not only do the above ignored Mayapur points, brought to light, apply - but additionally the strongest who try to run such a society [tp etc], so far anyway, eventually start thinking and acting more like those around them in VAD who do not to follow strictly. After all, Prabhupada clearly explained we take on the qualities of those we associate with. And this, we have seen. Repeatedly.
Now, not everyone wants to be an Initiated Disciple / live the lifestyle. They are the ones who "real" VAD is intended for, if we ever figure out how to do the real thing. ha But putting that lack aside, [truthful] VAD is for those who do not want to be as strict as the rest of us.
Sadly, in this age I've little hope that correct VAD will be made available to them. So why not inspire singing & chanting Hare Krishna at home, explain how to create their very own altar & worship Krishna in their home so they can do it too, share how to offer their food at home? Maybe invite them out with you on Harinama sometime?
For that matter if you, reader, are not initiated etc & do not want to be - yet would love to have some spiritual fun on Harinama, invite yourself! ha Or start your own with a few open-minded friends. Can even offer some food [see link above] and pass it out during Harinama so others can share in the bliss.
The above is all I can think of, and really, it's sufficient and can give a sweet life!
Lord Chaitanya's Sankirtana Movement - equal rights to everyone!
Sri Krishna Chaitanya MahaPrabhu ki jai! :)
within this room or little more. But this mrdanga will go home to home, country to country, community to community, this mrdanga. So it is advised nr-loke. Nr-loke means the human form of body, in the human society. We don't discard that 'This American Society' or 'This European Society' 'This is Indian Society' ..... No, all human being. All human being. It doesn't matter what he is." ~ Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam, 1974,