Re: Preaching Technique (on the internet)
bhaktin casey <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> Preaching Technique for Vaisnavas
>> 1. Vaisnavas should be enlightening. One Prabhupada lecture that
>> me was his description of a Vaisnava. Vaisnavas are para-dukha-dukhi
>> or, Vaisnavas are unhappy when others are unhappy. Therefore, Vaisnavas
>> should always be sympathetic to the concerns of other online participants
>> never be a source of anxiety, cause anxiety, indulge in ad-hominem
>> criticize or belittle others, etc.
A devotees "unhappiness" is not mundane. A devotee is not "unhappy" when someone
is "unhappy" because his senses are not being satisfied in the way he wants. He is
unhappy to see the fallen conditioned souls suffering because they have forgotten
Krishna. This is the motivation for preaching. A devotee wants to help the
conditioned souls by reminding them about Krishna. This may sometimes not be to
their liking. A jaundice patient doesn't like the taste of sugar candy, however
the sugar candy is the cure of jaundice. So they may protest, they may be
"unhappy" sometimes, but they are thinking about Krishna, they are remembering
Krishna. So gradually they are being cured.
I compleately agree with the second part of your statement. Our business is to
talk about Krishna. Sometimes people will attack us and criticize us but to
respond with personal attacks and criticism is childish. It doesn't work either.
The people don't respect us. But being tolerant and responding to them peacefully
and from the absolute spiritual platform often works wonders. I remember once in
Melbourne I used to give out Prabhupada's books on the street. I did it in one
place every day for about six months. There was one girl who took an instant
dislike to me the first time she saw me, she usually had an umberella [it's often
raining in Melbourne] and she would attack me with the umbrella and scream and
shout. So I would just stay as calm as I could and tell her something about
Krishna and recommend that she have lunch at "Crossways", our restaurant down the
road. After a few weeks she started having lunch at Crossways [and stopped
attacking me with the umbrella] and when I saw her each time I told her something
about Krishna and she became very favorable. After six months I decided to go to
Sydney because I had heard you could actually sell the books there [as opposed to
giving them out for free] and I met this girl on the last day I was distributing
in Melbourne. So she was a little upset when I said I was going to Sydney and she
told me I was her best friend... I have had many similar experiences and I am
convinced everyone likes Krishna, we just have to remind them -- that's all. But
they might yell and scream a bit in the start!
>> 2. Vaisnavas should consider if preaching is appropriate.
Preaching is always appropriate! It's our life and
soul. We don't have any other business. But we do have to consider what type of
preaching is appropriate -- that is a different question.
>> online is not appropriate if there is no one who is interested in
There is ALWAYS someone interested... But maybe not everyone. Still it's
worthwhile for that someone. Even if nobody is interested it doesn't matter. We
will continue preaching and everyone will benefit. That is the nature of Krishna
consciousness. If you supply water to the root of the tree then the whole tree:
branches, twigs, leaves, fruits and flowers -- everything is nourished. So
Krishna-katha nourishes everything...
>>or if someone is opposed to krsna-katha. Consider the other
>> participants when posting a message.
Of course you have to post "relevant" messages... It has to be somehow related to
the newsgroup or the discussion in the thread and interesting to at least some of
the people on the newsgroup... That is the art of preaching. To present the
philosophy in a way suitable for the audience.
>> 5. Vaisnavas should be aware of the limitations of the medium.
>> usage of words to insure that one's intentions are gentlemanly should be
Yes. We should be Vaisnavas, and we should follow the "nettiqute"...
>> All too often, improper usage of phrases and words may leave a bad
>> which may not have been intended. Avoid sarcasm, and emphasize the
>> Vaisnava dasa
>> aka email@example.com
>haribol. while your suggestions in general have merit, keep in mind
>that different tactics work for different people. i come from the
Very good point.
>straight-edge/hardcore scene. these kids have a different mood
>than most devotees are used to dealing with. sarcasm generates
>respect. hardcore kids can smell false humility a mile away. i've been
>doing a lot of on-line preaching to them, and i've found that in
>almost every case i've had to be almost as insulting as they are, in
>the beginning. it shows them that i am a person, not a stereotype.
>they are very sensitive to perceived holier-than-thou attitudes.
>i think krsna is allowing me to dovetail my obnoxious tendencies
>in his service. -bhaktin casey
Yes. It takes all types. We are all individuals and they are all individuals so we
all have different approaches. I wouldn't do it the way you are doing it and you
wouldn't do it the way I am doing it. There's no hard and fast rules, we have to
get them to talk about Krishna, that's the main thing...
But we have to be following the principles, chanting 16 rounds, reading Srila
Prabhupada's books... Otherwise what will we preach? We have to present the
philosophy in the disciplic succession... we can't make a new one to suit
ourselves and our audience. The pill may sometimes be difficult to swallow but we
have to swallow it. We have to accept Srila Prabhupada's presentation of the
philosophy and present the same in our own words.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
All glories to all the devotees trying to make the internet a Krishna conscious
Thank you. Hare Krishna!
All glories to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada!