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Farms are not really a place for new bhaktas and brahmacarls. Farms are meant for householders. The brahmacarls and especially the bhaktas are meant to go to the city centers on sankirtana. This is why you are having so many troubles there. Your farm is not really what it should be. Maybe there can be some brahmacarls there on the farm, but they will be the type of person who can neither do sankirtana nor wants to. He would rather be on the farm. That is the best thing; to have on the farm only those who really want to be there. You should also have a traveling sankirtana party that works out from the farm or from the nearest city where book distribution can take place. In this wav. vou can engage devotees according to their propensity. According to their qualities and activities, they should be engaged and then they can be happy. It is not good to try to push them into a certain mode of action if they are not fit tor it.
So at your farm you should have a sankirtana party that travels and sells books. I think that there are enough books now to insure that they have something to distribute. All those devotees who want to do sankirtana should go on the sankirtana party, and whoever doesn't want to go on sankirtana should stay back and work in the temple and the farm. We would never, at least in the West, force a person who wants to do sankirtana to serve in the farm or in the temple, for that is completely against all principles of varnasrama management. Besides, it is against the principles of sankirtana management. Since we are a sankirtana movement, every available man and woman, who wants to be engaged in the sankirtana movement, should be given facility to distribute books and preach to the people. But we should not fill our temples up with useless neophytes, who are not at all fixed in the devotional service of the Lord. We should also take some time to train the new devotees. But new devotees should be trained in a city center, not a farm. The way in which devotees should get to the farm is as follows: First a person joins in the city center. He learns from a bhakta program in the city and simultaneously he goes on the chanting party in the city and learns how to distribute prasadam, magazines, and small books with the chanting party. A little later, when he is more fixed up—perhaps in iww u; ioui uiuiniis utile, depending on the person — he will join the full-time sankirtana for some years until he learns the art of preaching well. He remains on the sankirtana party for as long as he can. Perhaps later on he will want to come and work on the farm, and he can do so, after he has done his sankirtana duty, like one must do his military duty in the karml world. Also there are some who are not fit for sankirtana. They are not good at it and some don't want to do it either. They can move to the farm right away. You see, we send people to the farm when it is seen that they cannot do ^anklrtnnn We °ive evervone a chance to do sarJilrtana since that is the most important service, but those who cannot do it go to the farm. This balances the population of devotees out nicely after a while, and it also makes sure rhar no one at the farm feels frustrated. The farm should only expand with these members of ISKCON who are voluntarily joining the farm community. It is also possible that sometimes a sankirtana devotee would rather be associated with the farm than the city center. They are interested in the farm, but they would rather do sankirtana. Such devotees should go on sankirtana from the farm and return to the farm during the weekends. In this way, they can feel part of the farm community and the farm development, yet at the same time they can feel that they are part of the sankirtana movement, which is the most important service. (August 30,1990)