In this age of Kali, the age of quarrel and strife, mutual understanding and cooperation is, perhaps, one of the most difficult things to achieve. And this is also true for devotees. The proof of that is the number of failing projects (including farm projects) that were launched with a lot of enthusiasm by devotees, but eventually fell apart and disintegrated with time.
Although the 10 000 year period of the Golden Age within the Age of Kali, predicted by Brahmavaivarta Purana, is progressing (for example, we can see how accessible the spiritual knowledge has become nowadays), Kali doesn’t want to give up. He is doing his best trying to disrupt the joint efforts that the devotees are attempting to make. And he is doing that, among other things, by penetrating the minds of devotees, making us want to criticize, blame each other, and promote our own opinion whatever the cost.
Srila Prabhupada was very much aware of this. We all know how important for him was how well his disciples cooperated with each other. He would say to them, “Your love for me will be shown by how you cooperate with one another.”
But what does it mean – to cooperate? One of the definitions of the word ‘cooperation’ is “an act or instance of working or acting together for a common purpose or benefit”. And what is this ‘common purpose’ for Vaishnavas? Srila Prabhupada expressed this in a room conversation with the Mayor in New Delhi on November 10, 1971 in the following way – “We should cooperate. The hand and leg should cooperate for maintaining the whole body. Similarly, everyone should use his talent for the satisfaction of Krishna. That is perfection. Not compete with one another.”
So, using one’s talent for trying to make Krishna happy, and not being envious of each other (in other words, working towards creating Varnashrama-dharma) – is the key to being successful in satisfying Krishna and Srila Prabhupada. When we are content with what we have and try to concentrate on how to render our service in the best possible way, we don’t have neither the desire, nor the time to find faults with each other, with the leaders or the organization.
For the Golden Age to come faster, we need strong communities of devotees. Strong rural communities are especially wanted for us to be able to promote the ideas of simple living and high thinking which, in this situation of the worldwide COVID crisis, are getting more and more attractive to people.
Devotees, and the people in general, are desperate to have a successful practical example of an alternative way of life, since many are getting more and more disappointed in what our modern civilization has to offer. And such examples should be given to people. For that to happen, we all must learn how to cooperate.
“It is Krishna’s desire that we should meet together and cooperate for the cause of Krishna Consciousness movement which is so badly needed throughout the world” (Srila Prabhupada, from the letter to Vrndavanesvari. Allston, Mass – 26 April, 1969).
This will make Srila Prabhupada happy, and his Mission for the satisfaction of Krishna – successful. And it all depends on us. In his letter to Brahmananda, dated July 17, 1968, Srila Prabhupada writes, “You are all my limbs of my body. Unless you cooperate, my life will be useless.”