Varaha-deva and public opinion
Posted on January 31, 2015
From a BTG article by Yadurani Devi Dasi
In 1967 at ISKCON'S first temple, at 26 Second Avenue, New York City, Srila Prabhupada had just received a postcard from his disciples in Montreal. The city was hosting the World's Fair -- Expo '67 -- and the devotees were asking if he had any paintings they could display at the Fair. Prabhupada showed me the postcard and asked if we had any.
"Well, Swamiji," I said, "We have a painting of Lord Varaha just finished by Kancanabala Dasi. But I don't think people will believe it."
After all, the picture showed Lord Varaha, Krsna in His incarnation as a giant boar, holding the Earth on his tusks and fighting with a big demon. The demon was at least ten times bigger than the Earth itself.
Prabhupada didn't care for my objection. Instead, he told me a relevant story about Lord Caitanya.
"When Lord Caitanya was thinking of going to Benares, the devotees told Him not to waste His time there. The people there were all impersonalists, and they wouldn't believe in or take part in the chanting of Hare Krsna. But Lord Caitanya said, ‘If they don't like what I have to sell, I'll take it back.' "
Prabhupada then raised his arms in the air, imitating Lord Caitanya. "So He chanted Hare Krsna and danced and everyone bought it."
He was impressing upon me, as he often did, to present Krsna "as He is" and not be overly concerned about "so-called public opinion."