(Entrance to The League of Devotees, Bharati Bhavan, Jhansi, 1953)
Srila Prabhupada endeavored to preach Krishna consciousness in India before going to America. The following prospectus outlines Prabhupada's vision for The League of Devotees, his first registered society.
The Purpose of establishing an association like 'The League of Devotees' on the wish of Om Vishnupada Paramahansa 108 Sree Shreemat Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswatee Goswami Maharaj and Thakur Bhakti Vinode of Navadwipa (W. Bengal) is keenly felt a necessary enterprise on the face of the present world situation with special reference to the degraded and distressed condition of the human being.
The human being in general has forgotten his real purpose of life, being too much attracted by the External Energy of the Absolute Truth and as such he is enamoured with beauty of material Nature without any consideration of his spiritual identity.
This forgetfulness has begun from a time immemorial and from that time immemorial the living entity is transmigrating from one form of body to another by a gradual process of evolution. When he attains the boon of human form of life his consciousness is enlightened and developed so much so that he can know himself, this Cosmic World and the ABSOLUTE TRUTH.
In the lives other than the human being, the consciousness of the living entity is enwrapped with grossest type of materialism and as such living entities, in that state of existence do not know anything beyond the prime necessities of animal life namely Eating, Sleeping, Fearing and Sense-gratifying.
Human form of life is therefore obtained after a struggle for existence by millions and millions of transmigrating evolutions and the purpose of this life must not therefore, be spoiled in such engagements of animal life as simply by Eating, Sleeping, Fearing, and Sense-gratifying.
The modern trend of human civilization is supposed to be a polished type of animal life. It has improved the method of eating by discovering varieties of palatable dishes. It has improved the method of sleeping by constructing massive and attractive palatial buildings and resting places, provided with well furnished coaches and sleeping bedsteads.
It has improved the quality of Fearing by various defence measures which are exacting more than 50% of human energy with the ultimate result that it has invented the Atomic Bomb which facilitates the dying process of human being. None of the scientific discoveries can save the man from the cruel hands of death. It has improved the method of sense-gratification by inventing cino-metographic pictures, phono-graphic sounds, wireless-radios, horse-less carriages and similar other illusory things on one hand. On the other hand It has improved the dressing method of the fair-sex which gratifies the sense-enjoyment lust of human being. The market is full with the advertisments of pictures of beautiful women for selling such sense-gratifying articles as varieties of Toilets, Jewelleries, Sarees, Medicines contraceptives and similar other materials. And to maintain this animal type of civilization for the benefit of a handful of men of demoniac principles, ninety-five per cent people of the human race is chained-up to become victims of this wrong type of civilisation, devoid of spiritual value.
There is no peace even now in the villagers life because the innocent villagers are also being attracted by the glamour of the polished type of animal civilization and that also for the benefit of 5 per cent contending polished demons. As such 95% of the innocent human being is suffering from the pangs of this animal civilization.
The League of Devotees stands to protect both this 5% polished demons as well as the 95% innocent victims for real freedom and blessed life. It does not propose to stop the animal necessities of life namely: Eating, Sleeping, Fearing, and Sense-gratifying processes, but it proposes to check the one sided imbalance of life without consideration of spiritual value.
Life is after all Spirit and upon the Spiritual foundation subtle matters like intelligence and mind and gross matters like the material encagement of the body have developed according to one's desire and inclination (the law of Karma). This desire and inclination has overpowered the spirit soul in such a manner, that it cannot get rid of the influence of the External Energy of the Absolute Truth by its own effort without enlightenment.
It is a mistake to identify spirit-soul either with the gross matters (earth, water, fire, air and sky) or, with the subtle matter (mind, intelligence and ego) because both of them are produced of the External Energy of Godhead. Living entity being the product of Spiritual Divine Nature or internal Energy of Godhead, Spirit-Soul or living entity is qualitatively equivalent with Godhead. It is not therefore possible to manufacture such living being in the laboratory of material science.
We need now to open a laboratory of spiritual science where research in the Divine Nature of living entity can be made and thereby ascertain the real necessities of the spirit-soul, which governs the material world. This can be evolved for the peace and prosperity of the living being, who is in essence Spirit and not matter. Let us now find out the Divine nature of living entity.
The process of manipulating such spiritual laboratory to make research in the Divine Nature of living being is clearly defined in the Bhagwat Geeta and its practical demonstrator is Lord Chaitanya.
The League of Devotees wants to bring in practical use, these two big transcendental Subjects in prominence for the benefit of human society at large. The League of Devotees considers, on the authority of the Bhagwat Geeta, every living being as part and parcel of Godhead. Every living being is impregnated by Godhead Himself in the womb of mother material Nature and thus it becomes possible to see the different living entities born in the material world. Every living being is therefore a Divine child of the Almighty Father and all of them, never mind in whatsoever form they may be, are Divine brothers in the Kingdom of God.
Having forgotten that transcendental relation (eternally fixed up), the living entity is struggling for existence in the material world bewildered with the result that in every step of life he is baffled in his attempt to become a happy creature. He does not know that such material attempt for existence, will never be succesful, and it is only by Divine attempt that one can eternally be free from the bondage of birth death and insufficiency.
The human form of life is a chance to realize this fact. The human being now must therefore try to know his relation with the Absolute Truth. He must now learn to spend up his energy in accordance with that eternal relation and ultimately must attain to the highest perfection of life by achieving the spontaneous love of Godhead. The present state of perverted love of material products is only sense-gratification but spontaneous love of Godhead is real transcendental existence. Such love of Godhead can bring in real happiness for the human being. If the human being wastes the opportunity of the human form of life, he is sure to go down again in the cycle of animal evolutionary process in search of the false material happiness.
The League of Devotees therefore stands to save the human being at large from going down again in the cycle of animal life and wants to raise him to the position of transcendental loving servitor of Godhead which is his eternal birth-right as he is the Divine child of Godhead.
(a) To propagate spiritual knowledge systematically for checking the imbalance of life, to the whole race of India and the world over, with a view to educate the people in general in the techniques of spiritual life as the basis for balanced psychic biological developments of the human race and thereby achieve real unity and peace of the contending elements of the present world.
(b) To build up a social structure on the foundation of spiritual progress and establishment of peace and amity between man and man throughout the whole world.
(c) To propagate the sense of Godhead (who is one and the Absolute, who is the fountain-head of all opulence, all powers, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all in-difference, Who is the Creator of everything that is visible and not-visible in the manifested world or beyond, who is therefore the Original protector and Enjoyer of everything that be) everywhere in the greater society of human race.
(d) To bring together members individually to one another and nearer to Godhead who is the Prime Entity and the individual souls are infinitesimal entities and humanity at large that individual souls being part and parcels in quality of Godhead and the Absolute whole, they (the individual souls) are meant for the satisfaction of the Supreme Soul Godhead as it is revealed in the scriptures.
(e) To save man individually from the system of chained victimization by the trend of modern civilization of false sentiments so that man may again be a free soul to act and live freely, an inspired life with spiritual vision. This is possible by the individual spiritual initiation through the proper channel when a man can see everything in Godhead and Godhead in everything.
(f) To imbibe and develop the mind of the individual soul the all attractive Personality of Godhead (Shree Krishna) in His Primeval and Eternal Form as He has revealed Himself in His own words the Bhagwat Geeta. He has to be known all over the world in the manner as revealed by Lord Chaitanya who practically demonstrated the transcendental process of approaching th Abbsolute Godhead by his acts of Congregational Chanting of the holy Name of Godhead. There is nothing in the teachings of Lord Chaitanya which is not intelligible by human reasonings or is against any religious feeling accepted by the civilized society of the world.
(g) To prove it practically by active work and preaching that Shree Krishna is the only Enjoyer of all the outcome of everyone's sacrifice, penance, meditation, arts, culture, science, because He is the Supreme Proprietor of the whole universe, and Eternal Friend of every body. Real peace is possible to be attained when this is realised in fact. Such supramundane state of existence is called Divine Life. This supramental state of Divine life is decribed in the "Ishopanishad" as follows:-
Jatkinchit Jagatyam Jagat Magridha Kashyachit Dhanam"
(h) To propagate and realise the highest Truth as revealed by Lord Chaitanya through His Philosophy known as "Achinta Vedaveda Tatwa" (everything simultaneously one and different from the Absolute Truth) and other allied books of knowledge as revealed by the six authorised disciple Goswamins, headed by Shreela Rupa and Shreela Sanatana.
(i) To re-excavate and/or reclaim the holy places of transcendental Pastimes of the Personality of Godhead Sree Krishna, as well as places where his devotees flourished including the various temples of worship.
(j) To prepare the groundwork of spiritual atmosphere for the people in general by Sankirtan movement as it is recommended in the scriptures and as propounded by the Father of the "Sankirtan" movement Lord Chaitanya.
(k) To undertake civic enterprises which do not come into conflict with the ideals and missions of the 'League' with all the principles in view.
(l) To arrange lectures and discourses by eminent devotees for the benefit of the members of the 'League' and send missionary for this purpose in all parts of the world to recruit members of the 'League'.
(m) To open free mail services to advise by post in respect of inquiries made to the 'league' on spiritual subjects.
(n) To make the 'League' an international organisation for spiritual development through education and culture, also by recruiting members of the 'League' from all nationalities.
(o) To revoke the quality of goodness particularly (Satwaguna) in every member of the 'League' individually by the process of Spiritual initiation (Diksha) by establishing him in the status of a qualified Brahmin (good intellectual man) on the basis of truthfulness, forgiveness, equality, tolerance education, purity knowledge (specific and general) and faith in the transcendental service of Godhead.
(p) To accept membership of all orders of life namely:
(i) Brahmachari i.e. unmarried scholars fully devoted to the service of Godhead.
(ii) Grihasthas i.e. married householders living with family but devoted to the service of Godhead.
(iii) Banapasthas i.e. retired householders not living with family but devoted to the service of Godhead.
(iv) And Sanyasis or tyagis i.e. retired householders fully renounced to the service of Godhead without any family attachment.
(q) To initiate members in the rules of the Goswamins above mentioned by controlling over (i) illegitimate connections with woman (ii) intoxicating habit (iii) diets regulated with vegetable dishes (iv) gambling, unnecessary sporting or recreation enterprises.
'The League of Devotees' invites every individual member of the human society to become a constituent member of the Society and learn there of the Spiritual techniques in perfect order. The 'Bhagwat Geeta' is recognised all over the world. This great book of knowledge is the basis of Spiritual techniques. The League of Devotees requests all people of the world to make a sincere study of this book of knowledge without malafide interpretations and learn from it about our Divine relation with the Personality of Godhead. God is Great is known to all. But He is so great that it is impossible for the tiny brain of the living being to have a clear conception of Godhead as He is. Therefore, to attempt to know God and His huge affairs of diverse Energy by dint of our own knowledge acquired by imperfect senses of limited potency, is always a futile attempt. If we want to know God and our eternal Divine relation with Him, we must know it from Godhead Himself as He reveals Himself in the Bhagwat Geeta. Let us not misunderstand this Great Book of spiritual significance by our imperfect empiric knowledge, but let us learn it from Him alone or, from His Devotee recognised by Him.
The League of Devotees will give all help to you by personal touch by literature, by instruction and by correspondence. Do not leave the opportunity. Make your life perfect by contacting our relation. So far payment is concerned it is immaterial. If you are unable to pay the membership fees still The League of Devotees will not deny its utmost services to you, because The League of Devotees is pledged to serve the Supreme will of Godhead and by faith it stands to serve you at least for bringing you nearer to Godhead. But if you are able to pay do not try to avoid the membership fee. Every pie paid to this institution is engaged in transcendental service of Godhead and it is our duty to engage our life, money, intelligence, and words in the transcendental loving service of Godhead if we want at all to realise God and thereby to make a perfection of this human form of life.
In conclusion it may be said that the aims and objects of the institution "The League of Devotees" are not man-made ideologies but they are picked up from the original treasure house of India's spiritual culture attained by the great Rishis and Acharyas who transcended the conditional stage of existence and such spiritual experience is recorded in Sanskrit language. As such it is now necessary that men of culture all over the world may learn and read Sanskrit language the mother of all other languages of the Aryan stock. The League of Devotees therefore will maintain a Sanskrit Academy and a degree College specially for the purpose of disseminating the benefit of this great language to all. Scholars from all countries will be welcome to abide by the rules and regulations of the institution. There is scope for admitting free students also by special arrangement.
After political independence of India, the state language should have been made Sanskrit but it has not been so. Formerly though Sanskrit language was not known to the general mass of people in India still the written language of India was Sanskrit. As a result of this there was a strong sense of cultural unity of the ruling classes i.e. the Brahmin & the Chatriya who were followed by the Vaishya & Sudras. The spoken languages of India was as usual, always different over district after district but due to the cultural unity of the people through the written Sanskrit language there was no question of Provincial or other narrow rivalries. If Sanskrit language is therefore made again the written laguage of India the cultural unity of India will not only be more strengthened than ever but also it will be participated by the enlightened people of the world. The League of Devotees aims at this perfection for its objective of spiritual and cultural advancement.
Abhay Charanararvindo Bhaktivedanta
Founder and Secretary
Dated at Jhansi the day of
Aukshoya Tritiya the
16th May 1953