Honoring Our Seniors

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Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Recently, devotees around the world had occasion to recall the outstanding devotional qualities and contributions of Yamuna Mataji, after her departure.
But would it not have been more appropriate and pleasing to all if she had been lauded in her presence, before her departure?
Most of the early pioneers of ISKCON are now largely forgotten by the Vaisnava community. Because of their endeavors we today are able to happily practice Krsna consciousness. Must we wait until they pass away before we remember them?
Apart from the original pioneers, there are many others, now in old age, whose sacrifices in their youth for the sankirtan movement have gone largely unnoticed. Possibly a section of Dandavats could be set up for honoring these ‚Äúold soldiers,‚ÄĚ or a new website started for this purpose.
Apart from that, some of our seniors are in need of tangible help. I was recently told that one of the original team of devotees sent by Srila Prabhupada to London, is now practically poverty stricken. With all the resources nowadays available to our movement, we should be able to do something (such as providing retirement facilities in Mayapur or Vrindavan) for those who gave their lives to Srila Prabhupada at a time when the movement had almost nothing in the way of resources.

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1 pustakrishna

Forgive me, I seem to be commenting on a number of letters here in Dandavats at this time. Rather than a “retirement home” or the like, I think we should rather personally reach out to those older devotees who are near temples, and try to re-engage them in devotional service. Get them (us) back into the fire of hearing and chanting, and other services. What is always needed are affectionate dealings between devotees. What comes around, goes around. If you give compassion, the time will come when you need compassion, and it is more likely that you will receive it.
Srila Prabhupad always described that we have a transcendental bank account for our devotion. What we place in Krishna, will always remain there. If someone might leave devotional service, then they will take it up again where they left off. Certainly, this is the case from birth to birth, until Krishna mercifully guides us through vaishnava seva to His divine Home.
Just think of all the energy that you need to put into cultivating a dedicated servant of Krishna. How can we let such servants who fall away be forgotten so easily, when it may only take a small degree of affectionate and genuine concern to re-stimulate and re-ignite the fire of Krishna consciousness in such an individual. After all, Krishna describes how rare a Krishna bhakta is in the Bhagavad gita:
manusanam sahasresu…kascin mam vetti tattvatah.
The Christains have the idea that the shepherd will leave his entire flock to find one sheep that has wandered off from the flock. Can we not see the obvious connection?
Retirement homes may not be needed, but rather re-engagement in devotional service.

Sincerely, Pusta Krishna das

Comment posted by pustakrishna on January 21st, 2012

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