This is different from sympathy in which one from a superior position simply feels sorry for those
who are suffering. In real love/empathy/compassion there is equality and hierarchy vanishes like the mist being burnt off by intense sunshine. By understanding this particular point, so much in Prabhupada's work becomes very very clear. We oftentimes speak about how a Vaisnava is an ocean of compassion (Kripa sindhu-usually mistranslated as "full of compassion"). It is important to understand how this is, how it is manifested, and how to achieve this ocean.
Today was the commemoration of the disappearance of Jayananda Thakura. He had so much love for Prabhupada that it was incomprehensible. He prayed (in much the same way as Haridas Thakura did) that he would not see Prabhupada's final pastimes on this earth (Krishna fulfilled his desire as he left right before Srila Prabhupada) and would serve Srila Prabhupada eternally.
Jayananda also had unlimited compassion for others. He was loved by everyone for this.
I told the devotees in class today that there was no one who hated Jayananda in this world. Amazing! Another thought came to my mind in regard to Jayananda Thakura is that he was serving Srila Prabhupada out of love, not because Srila Prabhupada imposed some authority on him. We oftentimes forget that Krishna consciousness should be executed from the heart and should not be done because of some extrinsic reward or threat of punishment. The domination culture that has been adopted by some in ISKCON mitigates against the actual development of Kcon.
In other words we should not be doing service or sadhana because we have to or because we gain something from it (recognition, etc) but because we truly enjoy making a loving offering to Krishna and His devotees. We should not be doing anything unless we truly enjoy it in a deep way. We should choose to serve. We should not be serving because it is simply our duty. We can still perform our duties but with a life serving spiritual desire that comes from the heart. Just got finished talking to a disciple of one of my Godbrothers who has passed away. It seems that a group outside of ISKCON is attempting to draw him away and literally coerce him to take shelter of another guru with the use of domination language (you must do, you should do, have to do, etc).
I explained to him that taking shelter of another Vaisnava should never be done because you have to do it, but should come from the heart, because you want to do it. In addition when we take shelter of a siksa guru the siksa guru's instructions should be compatible with the diksa guru's guidance.
So on both counts (forceful surrender and compatibility) choosing this other group was not the right thing for him. It is interesting for me to observe that after sometime in a hierarchical situation (what is called a domination culture) there is the tendency to lose one's heart connection and be caught up in shoulds and musts. I was also asked about the relationship between siksa guru and diksa guru. He was informed that the siksa guru is of equal importance with the diksa guru. Apart from the political implications of that statement, it is not necessarily true. I explained to him that the most prominent guru in ones life is the one that is most prominent. That statement appears to be a tautology but in fact my statement indicates that these relationships can not be legislated.
In any institution like ISKCON there is the tendency to legislate relationships. Doing so may destroy the heart of the relationship. One might as well join the army! Also met with some young people from Chicago about the festival that they are doing. I encouraged them and tried to give them some ideas.
Then we spoke about the future of ISKCON in general and New Talavan in specific. I was mentioning that unless the older generation stepped away and allowed the second generation to develop exciting, challenging Krishna conscious projects the future would not be so bright for many of our projects.
When I was in India this year I would ask many of the second generation (born in the movement) devotees whether they were enthusiastic to go back to their home temples/farms and sometimes they told me that they were bored with the situation there and would rather stay in India.