By His Holiness A.C. Bhaktivaibhava Swami
Congregational members naturally need more encouragement because of the material duties they have to perform. Most of them have to maintain families and go to work. They need so much more association and encouragement from other devotees. For spiritual life, it is in one sense easier to live in the temple complex in the tight association of the devotees. It is easier to practice Krishna consciousness. But if we think only in these terms, we will not have many devotees. How many can live in the temple anyway? As soon as they have family, they more or less belong to the congregation, and they require a lot of good quality association. I feel that this has sometimes been underestimated. I think that the most advanced devotees should visit the congregation to give them quality association. Even from a short amount of such association, householders can carry on for days and weeks from the inspiration derived from senior association.
The idea is very inspiring that Krishna consciousness will unlimitedly spread throughout the world through congregational preaching. At the same time, it is essential to have a very strong temple, a common place for public worship. The deities are the center of everyone’s devotion and devotional service. There must be a very strong and powerful temple with ashram devotees and beautiful temple worship. From the temple, the preachers and advanced devotees should as much as possible associate with the congregational members.