Devotee: Our Gurudeva once said that the success of the preaching of our saṅga would depend on the unity of the leading preachers. Sometimes I find that the leadership is in unity, sometimes it is totally not in unity, and sometimes some of the leaders divert from the path of bhakti. Since you know the future, can you tell what will be the future of our saṅga? Will it be progressive, since there is sometimes no unity? I’m disturbed about this.
Śrīla Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Mahārāja: What is it to you? It is not for you to think about this. You should just depend on God. It is by the will of God that everything is happening. Not only all the good things, but also the diversions, would not have happened if it were not for the will of God.
Devotee: So whether there is a diversion by the saṅga leaders or not, you are saying that it does not affect our bhakti at all.
Śrīla Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Mahārāja: It is not your duty to think about this. Why should you think about it?
Devotee: Because when there are fights between the leaders, it creates different schisms and camps. So we shouldn’t think about this? I am asking because we have dedicated our whole lives to the saṅga.
Śrīla Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Mahārāja: What is the loss to you? Is there any loss or gain for you? We respect all Vaiṣṇavas. Whether they are Vaiṣṇavas according to our eyes or not, they are all Vaiṣṇavas, on different levels. So, if they come to us, we respect them all and serve them (we give them prasādam, and we see that they are comfortable – like that). We serve them, but we do not do sambandha (have a close relationship) with them. There are six kinds of sambandha: revealing one’s mind in confidence, hearing from the other person, offering foodstuffs to them and accepting their foodstuffs, giving gifts and receiving gifts.
We discriminate according to our ability so that we can know whether or not to associate, but we don’t discriminate regarding whether or not to serve. If I’m busy looking here and there, thinking, ‘He’s not doing this and she’s not doing that, who is chanting, who is not chanting, who is treating somebody well and who is not,’ then it is due to my misfortune that I’m seeing all this with my eyes. This means that I am not looking towards bhakti.
Everything depends on the sincerity of the sādhaka. If I am sincere, there will be no difficulty for me. If there is difficulty and I am confused and diverted, I should think that this is due to my lack of sincerity.
We are all one family. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu never established any Maṭhas. Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s followers also never established any Maṭhas. All the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas were like one big happy family. Even Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura did not establish any Maṭhas. It was not until Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda that the Maṭha began – he started establishing Maṭhas for training preachers. At the same time, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura said, “But, whenever there is a Maṭha, there will be litigation and diversion. Litigation means ‘I’m suing you and you are suing me.’”