I have a important question to you all.
When are you too much for fellow devotees? Or feel like slavery or just too much?
When I joined the Iskcon movement 22 years ago, devotees asked me to do a lot of 'service'; cut veggies, build ratha yatra chariout, help here do groceries there etc etc... sometimes 3 or 5 devotees asking things of me at the same time for years! I can say I did love it and worked hard to please everyone to 'fit in' even though not initiated. Or say one of them...
Now is the thing. I am older and all the devotees asked things are gone/passed away or in elderly housing/dementing etc etc. BUT...the younger generation even thoose of my age are not willing to help me or nama hatta or tempel or whatever chores. How come? Are they fed up or lazy? Some are initiated and say it is too much to do stuff, they need to chant rounds instead of sweeping the floor or help me things like bring a tulsi plant to a fellow devotee who needs it(as for I do not have a car or meanss of transport).
So when devotional service is slavery, that is the question. A few young devotees told me they are not my slaves... uhm... what did I do all thoose years? I have no idea! Krishna test me I geuss?
Yes they are initiated and some 2nd initiation. I am just me, not initiatied but do my best to read, chant, do service etc. For many years building a ratha yatra chariot in 7 big cities and more. Not to brag, just ponit out I do it just because... not that I asked to do it, but appears on the spot and help Krishna on His way to get noticed by the masses. aka devotional service?
Like all posts I post I am very complicated and black&white of things. So when is it slavery when is it devotioal service? Fact is I do not have a job and am disabile for 100% I can't get a job it turns out. So many devoees give me chores to do ; cuz I not work anyways. Is that fair? One even just watched tv all evening and told me too busy so I have to do his chores to get merits uhm... right... and that's not the only person of excuses. I think I blasphame/aparada now, but still want to be heard and awnserd if people use me or I let me be used.
I know in scriptures one must be more humble than grass... yeah there it went wrong I bet, Devotees used that on me to do whatever they want me to do. (this is very dangerous saying I am aware, but still I say it) When Prabhupada told his devotees to do things or his spiritual master asked Prabhupada to go to the West he did it! Or devotees listen to Prabhupada, how different is it if I asked young devotees to do things for Krishna's devotees?? Like bring a tulsi? I am just having a melt down mentally... no words... am I a devotee or a demon? I don't know. Well there is no different between demon or devotee everything ends up (after many years and kalpas) at Krishna's home.
Brother Iam getting every word you wrote, I have also spent decades in prabhupad's movement, First of all let me sympathise with you, Whatever you did for the chaitanya mahaprabhus mission has helped you clean your anarthas, destroy your sins and attract the mercy of krsna. Belive me each and every seva you did is counted and krsna will reward you for it whenever he wants to. We cant force krsna to shower his mercy. Whatever you did was not a slavery but a pure seva. Seva gives you name ruchi, what you did is vaishnav seva and what other people you mentioned is they lack jive doya. Now about the people who mistreated you, most of the devotees I have seen in my 12 years tenure, were not "WELL TRAINED DEVOTEES", MOREOVER THEY LACK SUPERIOUR GUIDANCE". People are chanting for decades but krsna is not receprocating with them because of their "VAISHNAV APARADHS". Very few people you will see here who are transformed and have melted heart. The problem is we see hard hearted and show bottle devotees prevailing and having high posts( authoritative post) . Sa mahatma suduralbha , genuine devotees are rare gem within the movement itself. Well, the advice I have for you is create your own like minded devotee association, avoid mixing with kanistha adhikaris. Take shelter of SB and chanting, Pray as hard as you can. I often run to senior Prabhupad disciples for counselling and direction.
Whatever you did all those years was 100% devotional service only.Don't let respected maya devi to make you think otherwise.What any other devotee ,young or old ,does or does not do is their own choice.What you can do is remain fixed up in what you have been doing and don't delve too much into workings of Krishna's energies..
Thank you Hare Krishna!
Finding faults in others is kinda what I did wich is wrong and a downfall of my devotional service. It is always easy to find faults in others and complain. I have to stop that. It is harsh and very sad to cope with missery and that others this and that... but in the end it will effect only me ifI keep doing that. I geuss ther e is a reason why devotees on certain time will get into a sanyassi stge or hermit kind of stage.They don't want nothing to do with quarrel and politics of the masses or bragging/puffed up expressions. They only go for devotional service and that's it.
To avoid social gatherings or even sadhu snaga is best for now. A sadhu sanga or program is not worth it if there is only quarrel and such things. If a gathering is without connection with Krishna or topics about Krishna, it is merily a cafe meet or mental health institute... just saying.
I could cry about the fact a few devotees are initiated and ther guru did fall down ontop themselves are now very less standards ontop they drag everyone around them into the pit. But you are right!
Fix my mind on Krishna and let them be them... even if it means to avoide them or slowly back off. If they are too busy for lifehood instead of devotional service, than I'm happy I am too busy for lifehood due devotional service. I may not have much degrees, oney or material things. But I am aware of Krishna who in my opinion is more weath and fame than populair bilionairs/popstars and even some gurus.
Could it be people avoide me due the reaon I lack of intrest of worldly quarrel like the daily news or football matches, new smartphone, shoes etc. and such? All I talk about in real life is Krishna or things connected to Krishna, turn things/subjects into Krishna connections etc etc. some even told me stop talk about Krishna cuz I am tiring and obsessive... uhm alright... I feel weird now. I know I am mental instable, but Krishna topics, is that mental instable? I am lucky I think the government put me (well Krishna did actually) in the position of a jobless mentally disabled state and give me money and such for free. (well it is barely enough to pay the bills but that's good! TA-PA!)
Well sometimes I miss be loved and a real cuddle , but that is material illusion everyone told me... like affection, sexlife and such are bad, bad,..bad. However in BG sexlife is told be not bad, if use to invite a soul to a body to get into Krishna conciousness. But I don't feel qualified to raise a child like that if I can't be stable in my own devotional service. Ontop who would like a person who is not capable to support a family lifehood I mean job, good house etc etc.
S what I say, materially I am cursed and the worst, not fit in and miss loveand all that. Spiritual I am blessed (ones told me here) and on the right path. Lonley, yes.I think love/devotion to one another is in my case monogame/aka only to Krishna. All other efforts fail after failure. Every relation got broken, by death, or other cause. Weird. Krishna has a plan for shure. But does He know I am often on the brink of suïcide? Because of my mental health state? Yes I geuss, just not shure what life is all about, if you can't socialize or get relation. Is life really ment to be alone and only put yourself 100% towards Krishna? I geuss so, but why do others stop me from that or others not do what I do? is it really obsessive? I have no idea.
I wonder what Prabhupada or others of the parampara were thinking while on their own. Oh no wait Prabhupada was married and has childeren. That's different to me(wel his whole life is non compairable to me, but I mean the fact he gave his life at the end 100% to Krishna)
A point that i found in your talk was "obsession".When you are asking 'am i obsessed?'.Well good for you.What other treasure do you need in this land of matter other than being obsessed by Krishna and his devotees!!
Another thing i want to discuss is Srila prabhupada.In our vision it is the end of his life where he appears 100% in Krishna's service but actually he was in Krishna's service right from his appearance in this world to his departure.He's different as he does not come on earth under the influence of karmic laws.This is not merely wishful thinking or phantasmagoria but supported by concrete facts.