SELECTED QUOTES ON DEVOTEE CARE - MISSION

(Adopted from the student handbook of Devotee Care Course)

The following are quotes supporting the foundational principles behind the Devotee Care initiative, as articulated in its ‘Mandate’ document. They also support or qualify the twenty-one identified reasons undergirding any perceived deficiency in the provision of Devotee Care. We have tried to show how quotes are relevant to specific issues or questions, rather than merely listing them. This list is not exhaustive. The student may enhance it based on his or her own research.

Section B. “The Devotee Care Mission”
We strive to:
(1) Ensure that the Vaishnava virtue of care pervades all aspects of the ISKCON Society.
(2) Support and provide specific care services that enhance the spiritual, emotional, physical
and social well-being of all ISKCON members.

“Compassion is the hallmark of Krishna consciousness. ‘A person who is unable to bear another’s distress is called compassionate,’ states the Nectar of Devotion” (Bir Krishna Goswami, in “Carry on the Care Legacy”, p.9)

“However, I have heard that there was a study by some outsiders, where they said that…ISKCON has the best philosophy, but when they talk about taking care of devotees, ISKCON is way down the list.” (Jayapataka Swami, “Carry on the Care Legacy, p.6)

“The GBC Devotee Care Committee wants to provide the spiritual, mental, emotional, social, and physical care each ISKCON member deserves as a part and parcel of Lord Krishna.” (H.H. Jayapataka Swami)

“When we inquire from a friend whether everything is well, we are concerned not only with his personal self but also with his family, his source of income, and his assistants or servants. All of them must be well, and then a person can be happy.” (Shrila Prabhupada: SB 6.14.19 pur)

“The secondary rules are of three types: rules regarding self; rules regarding society; rules regarding the afterlife. Rules regarding the self are of two categories: those for the body and those for the mind. Those rules to keep a person's body properly nourished so that they can remain healthy are the bodily rules. Such things as regulated drinking, eating, sleeping, exercise, and for sickness, prescriptions for cure, are bodily rules.”
“If people do not follow these rules, they cannot pass through life smoothly. If they do not follow the mental rules, their power of realization, concentration, imagination, contemplation and judgment will be weak and will not properly function. There will be no advancement in arts and sciences, and moreover one will not be able to take the mind from material thoughts and direct it to thoughts of God. As a result, sinful thoughts and atheistic attitude will dominate the mind; finally a person will become no better than a beast. Therefore these bodily and mental rules are very necessary for success in human life.” (Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Chaitanya Sikshamrita)

In this verse, the word dharma-pratipakshaha ("opponents of religious principles") refers not to a particular faith, but to varnashrama-dharma, the division of society, socially and spiritually, into four varnas (brahmana, kshatriya, vaishya and shudra) and four ashramas (brahmacarya, grihastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa). To maintain proper social order and help the citizens gradually progress toward the goal of life—namely spiritual understanding—the principles of varnashrama-dharma must be accepted. (SB 5.1.29 pur)

"Those who think that devotion to God and kindness to the jivas are mutually different from each other, and perform accordingly in their life, such persons will not be able to follow the devotional culture. Their performance is only a semblance of devotion. Therefore, all the types of beneficence to others, like kindness, friendliness, forgiveness, charity, respect, etc. are included in Bhakti. Charity of medicines, clothes, food, water, etc. shelter during adversities, teaching of academic and spiritual education, etc. are the activities included in the devotional culture" (Bhaktivinoda Thakura)