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One can't be independent and at the same time become devotee

Jayadvaita : One of the earliest devotees was named Rayarama. He joined before Satsvarupa Maharaj and many of the others, and he was impressive and dedicated to helping Srila Prabhupada. He and Hayagriva were the first editors of Back to Godhead, and he was the original editor for Teachings of Lord Chaitanya. Rayarama knew the philosophy better than anyone, at least in New York, because he was practically the only devotee who'd read all the books, and he used to be terrifyingly good in answering questions. Hippies and others would come and he would speak with them expertly. 

I was typing in Rayarama's office, but in 1968 or early 1969, after I'd been around for a few months, Rayarama left the Society. Then in 1971, when we were at Henry Street and ISKCON Press was on Tiffany Place, he showed up at the Press. He said that he wanted to come back, and he wrote a letter to Srila Prabhupada that, "I want to do some service, I want to join again." I thought Srila Prabhupada would be happy if such a long-lost devotee returned to the Society. However, from Rayarama's letter to him, Prabhupada detected that his materialistic mentality was still there. 

Srila Prabhupada wrote, "I welcome you for your coming back to our Society and you are feeling very nicely for the association of devotees." And then Prabhupada explained, "Devotee means who are following the regulative principles. One cannot be independent and at the same time become a devotee, because all devotional activities are based on surrender. So in the association of devotees we learn this important item - how to surrender, but if we keep our independence and try to become devotees, that is not possible... If you want to live with us you must accept temple life, namely cleanly shaven head, observing the regulative principles, decorating the body with tilak, etc. You know all these things. As far as your editorial work is concerned, I welcome your good service but if you do not follow temple life and Deity worship, it will set a bad example." Prabhupada ended his letter with, "To associate with me you are always welcome but not with your independence. That will not help me or you.

I think Srila Prabhupada knew that his letter meant Rayarama would say, "Well, then I can't join." But Prabhupada laid it on the line, "If you want to join and surrender, then you are welcome back full-heartedly. But if you want to join but not really join, if you want to join but keep a separate mentality, to have your own agenda, then why do it? Why cheat?" Rayarama left, and we never saw him again. 

Reference: Srila Prabhupada-Remembrances - Siddhanta Dasa