The answer to this question depends a lot on what prompted you to do it. Often answers are given that have nothing to do with what is behind it.
If your question is purely philosophical and historical, and stripped of any reference to contingent people or facts, then we must say that obviously one can be Krishna conscious outside of Iskcon, otherwise we should say that Krishna is an Iskcon God and not of all, that there are no other Vaisnavas in the world outside of our movement, that all our Acaryas were not devotees because they were not Iskcon’s and so on and so forth. All of this would be absurd.
If instead this question arose from some relationship problem with a temple or devotees, then we must consider that our movement is Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental body, it is perfect and free of material stains. It is thanks to Iskcon and its devotees that we are devotees, we should be grateful and take advantage of the fact that we have the opportunity to associate.
While Iskcon is a transcendental entity, unfortunately the same thing cannot be said of all of us, the devotees who populate this movement. At different levels, we are students and therefore prone to error. We bring our humanity where humanity shouldn’t be and from here arise problems and misdeeds.
If one has a problem with a devotee, or with a temple or with something that is said or done in our movement, he must think that it is a human error. There are various ways to settle issues.
We could also consider that maybe it’s us mistakenly thinking that something is an error while is not.
Distancing from temples and devotees is not recommended, because even a wanna-be devotee is always better than a non-devotee.
Of course in extreme cases there can be extreme measures.
- Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)
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