Monday, September 29, 2014

Food Contamination At Akshaya Patra Kitchen Ruled Out

It may be recalled that on Friday, September 19, 2014, some students of Government Urdu Higher Primary School, DJ Halli, Bangalore, had complained of stomach ache and vomiting. As reported in the media, about 350 students were rushed to Dr B R Ambedkar Medical College & Hospital. The students were under observation for a few hours and all of them were discharged the same evening as there were no serious medical issues.

The leftover of the food from the school was sent for investigation to the State Public Health Institute (PHI). Today the PHI has released their report and has said that the count of E-Coli and Coliform pathogens are within safe limits (PHI report enclosed).


The media had also reported that a dead lizard was found in one of the rice container in the school on Sept 19th. The PHI report also says that there were no traces of Salmonella bacteria, which is associated with lizard poisoning.


Akshaya Patra has a protocol for testing & documenting   the  ingredients  that are  used in it's kitchens on a periodic basis from certified NABL accredited laboratories apart from following well established  in-house quality control protocols .

Akshaya Patra reaffirms its commitment to provide safe nutritious food to the school going children. Akshaya Patra kitchens are ISO 22000 certified, which involves Good Hygiene practices (GHP), Good House-keeping practices, Good manufacturing practices, strict documentation of the various stages of production process, tracking all critical points in the process flow, periodic training of kitchen staff on safe food handling, etc. 

Akshaya Patra also affirms a culture of continuous improvement to make the food served daily to children is safe, nutritious and tasty. In the entire Akshaya Patra cooking process there is minimum human handling to ensure hygiene and food safety.

Akshaya Patra invites government officials, school teachers, public leaders, media representatives, etc. to make a visit to the kitchen, with or without prior notice, to understand the process and precautions we follow. We also welcome any suggestions for further improvement. 

Akshaya Patra requests the support of the government, donors and media in our humble efforts to serve school-going children with mid-day meals and support their nutrition and education.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

ISKCON Bangalore vs Mumbai Case: Update from Supreme Court of India

On 25th, after hearing us for the full day the Supreme Court passed the following order:-
“Leave granted. Heard learned counsel for the parties in part. The Registry is directed to take steps to secure the original record pertaining to Civil Suit No.7934/2001 before the 9th Additional City Civil & Sessions Judge, Bangalore.
List the matter on 18th November, 2014 as part heard.”

By the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, Leave has been granted as per our Special Leave Petition (SLP) after hearing our preliminary merits for granting the leave in spite of the opposition by opposite party ISKCON Mumbai to reject the Special leave petition SLP from the day we entered the portals of the Supreme Court in 2009.

For those not familiar with the Supreme Court procedures please read below:

What is this granting leave?

The Supreme Court of India does not accept appeal directly wherein they are bound to hear any petition against High Court orders like lower courts below them do. In India, suit begins at munsiff court, then district court then High court and then Supreme Court. Only for Constitutional matters like fundamental rights etc one can go directly to the Supreme Court.

One normally starts litigation based on the jurisdiction of the property etc. We started with the district court as our Temple was located in the city. In Bangalore there are rural munsiff courts also. 

Anywhere you lose in a lower court, you can appeal in the next court and it will be called appellate court of the court below where you can go in appeal. We won in the Trial Court in 2009 and ISKCON Mumbai went on an appeal in the High Court and won in 2011. That is when we came to the Supreme Court against the order of the High court.

As I said in the Supreme Court, you can only enter with a special leave petition SLP seeking permission to file an appeal and cannot file directly an appeal. It is the petition seeking leave or permission to file the appeal. If it is granted only then your appeal will be heard.

SLPs are heard on Mondays and Fridays. Each court will have about 250 matters on that day. There are 13 courts in the Supreme Court. Two judges preside over these courts. In Supreme Court single judges don't preside over the court. On Mondays and Fridays they will they either say 'issue notice' to other side or will refuse to issue notice and reject the SLP. If they issue notice then SLP will go to next stage of hearing the SLP on a subsequent date in the queue. If they refuse to issue notice that is the end of your story. On that day you only get two minutes before the judge. That is the first critical point for any litigant who enter the Supreme Court. Mostly the judges would have read two three para 'synopsis' in advance in their Chambers and come. Many cases not even two minutes. They would have read and come and just lift the file and say SLP dismissed. Less than a minute. They won't even allow the lawyer to speak. They will say, we have read it


In 2011 we crossed that stage without getting thrown out. We got one leg into the Supreme Court that day. The most dangerous stage mainly because there are limitations how much the lawyer can communicate and judges can understand in two minutes. Once rejected, you simply have to go home even if you had so much merit. 

Any Supreme Court judge who reads our High Court judgement will get shocked that there is a finding given of such a huge number of documents being fraudulently fabricated. No judge will get opportunity to see the documents at this stage to verify if it is true or not and they won't think of verifying also. By default they will think it is true. If you tell a very big lie people don't verify. We tend to think 'how can such a big thing be a lie'. Our high court judgement is like that. Out of two fifty three documents , High Court has given a finding that 106 documents filed by us are tampered and manipulated by insertions and affixing of seal of Karnataka society to make it look like our society document which really according to them are Bombay society's documents. No judges at the SLP entry stage will think that two high court judges will make such a big mistake. Actually if you go into the documents and verify you won't find any seal or insertion on any of these. On this point (so called seal and insertions), the judges rejected these documents as having no evidentiary. With such a judgement with finding of fraud, normally the party won't cross the first stage of ‘issue notice’. In our case, ISKCON Mumbai appeared on the first date of hearing to support the judges to get the SLP thrown out without issue notice. By Prabhupada's and Krishna's mercy instead of two minutes the court took half an hour on that day in 2009. Not only 'issue notice' to them was ordered but the court gave a two page status quo order allowing us to continue in management since we showed newspaper cuttings that they are trying to forcefully enter the temple on the strength of the High court judgment. It is then that the Supreme Court gave us the status quo order saying we only will continue to manage.That was our first victory in the Supreme Court against their opposition to get the SLP rejected without even issue of notice. This, ISKCON Mumbai could not digest. 


Once ‘issue notice’ happens in a case, they have to file counter and we file a rejoinder to the counter and SLP is heard as to whether leave to be granted to file an appeal against the high court order or not on a listed date. It is during one such date of hearing they also filed an application saying that since fraud is the basis of high court judgement they wanted to be jointly managing the property in the interim period by telling stories about real estate diversion of temple funds etc. But we vehemently opposed it but agreed to an alternative to have a supervisory Oversight Committee headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge. That is how Oversight committee was appointed, but with no change in management; only supervising the Bangalore Society who will continue to manage. That was our second victory against them. 

After the Oversight committee was formed the SLP was getting listed on several dates but our number was not reaching before the court closed for the day. This is very normal. Two years have passed by like this. Unlike Mondays and Fridays where they ensure atleast 250 matters for each court. On other days only about 20 to 25 items are listed. Still our matter was not reaching. 
This is the stage after 'issue notice' to other side where the court will decide to hear on preliminary merits to admit the case by granting leave (permission) on our SLP to file the Civil Appeal (CA). If they see no merit in converting it into an appeal you get thrown out at that stage. That is again end of your story. If they see merit in hearing the appeal then only they will grant leave. When this is done, automatically the court converts the SLP papers into a civil appeal CA with a new number. Such leave granted matters will come in the normal course after 4 to 5 years. In our case on 25th, last Thursday we crossed this second stage where leave was granted which means after hearing a full day the Supreme Court saw merit in giving us leave or permission to convert the SLP into a CA. The court could have rejected the SLP by dismissing it. This was the lurking danger on all the hearing dates till now since 2011. The court could have potentially said: 'we heard you, but we don't see any merit in hearing in depth through a Civil Appeal therefore dismissing the SLP.' 

Once leave is granted, every CA has to be heard in full and a detailed judgement will have to come out. SLP is disposed off as merely orders without a judgement. Only CA will have a judgement and an operating order. Now the court has ordered to get all the documents from the original court in Bangalore. If our side takes ten days to show every document, the court won’t push us to hurry but will patiently hear both parties. Till leave granting stage the pressure of time before the court is always there. The court before granting leave can say 'no we don't want to hear anymore and get into details and we are not granting leave and dismissing the SLP'. Now having granted leave they are hearing the CA or Civil Appeal and not the SLP. Both sides will take their own time and judges will have to write detailed judgement. This is the stage we are in today after leave being granted. We crossed two major hurdles and now both our legs are in the Supreme Court. When notice was issued we put one leg into the Supreme Court and when leave was granted our second leg is also in. Now it is a full fledged fight on merits of the CA or Civil Appeal. 

Why our matter, after granting leave is coming so fast for hearing instead of four or five years? 

In our case there is an application of urgency before the court from us saying that all our projects which are not even connected to litigation are affected due to Oversight Committee insisting on having jurisdiction to supervise over not only Hare Krishna Hill, but over all the properties of Bangalore society by interpreting the wordings in the order which created this Interim Oversight Committee. In between this application was heard, and the court said it will be heard with the main matter as it had no time and gave a short date for final disposal. So we have been showing urgency by mentioning that fact several times to the court. So that is why after granting leave it is posted for immediate disposal in November instead of going into the que to come after four years. Plus you see in the order there is mention of the word 'part heard'. This is another good thing. It won't be going from one bench to another and delaying. These two judges won't sit together in November as mostly the roster changes after holidays. But on November 18th and for further dates they will sit together only to hear our matter and will go on for about ten to twelve sessions like that till the case is closed. Now we have ample opportunity to show the perversity of the High court judgement by showing each of the 106 documents. Plus we can prove that how they have fabricated an audit report of 1991 by forging the signature of our then auditor to show as if he was their auditor. We have filed a separate criminal case against them in Bangalore for this. 

To get to hear the matter immediately instead of after three or four years is our third victory against their strategy to go on dragging the SLP just to harass our Vaikunta Hill Krishna Lila Theme Park project through the Oversight Committee who have already taken a stand that we cannot create any liabilities on the land where Krishna Lila Park is to be built.

Before the court rose it made a request to the counsel for both sides. Being august institutions, they expressed the opinion that the counsels for both the sides help the parties to come to some mutual settlement if possible. Our counsel said we have tried everything. Then one of the judges asked ISKCON Mumbai’s counsel as to why don't they try to accommodate ISKCON Bangalore under the big umbrella of ISKCON. The ISKCON Mumbai’s counsel replied that in a month long gap till next hearing he will speak to his clients on the same. 

Please continue with your prayers to Srila Prabhupada and Deities to ensure that Srila Prabhupada's position as our dear spiritual master as well as our service to His Divine Grace is protected through the final outcome of this case as it pleases them, which can come out by December.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Akshaya Patra Foundation Helps Jammu Kashmir Flood Victims

Helping the needy is not charity but our social responsibility! Akshaya Patra Foundation, Ahmedabad demonstrates this by supporting flood relief services in Jammu and Kashmir by providing 75,000 packets of food which comprised of over 3 lakh rotis prepared at the new centralised kitchen. From the shop level staff to the Managerial cadre everyone contributed their services to this cause.



Monday, September 8, 2014

Putting Srila Prabhupada in the Centre

Back To Prabhupada, Issue 41, Autumn 2013

All parties claim to want to put "Srila Prabhupada in the centre". This in turn is done by actually putting Srila Prabhupada in the centre. That Srila Prabhupada is put in the centre by actually putting Srila Prabhupada in the centre is such an obvious tautological truth that even those who are unable to do this are forced to agree. Thus, ISKCON leader HH Kadamba Kanana Swami ("KKS") agrees with the IRM that we must focus on Srila Prabhupada rather than ISKCON's multiple guru successors, otherwise ISKCON will not be successful:
"the relationship with Prabhupada must be at the core of our spiritual life. Otherwise this movement cannot be successful. We would become a conglomeration of different sectarian groups. Sometimes we can see this. When one spiritual master visits the temple there is a whole different group of devotees and then when another spiritual master comes there is another ISKCON. Each time the face of ISKCON changes. We are one family and we can only be one family if we all look at Prabhupada." (KKS, posted 23/9/2011)
KKS states this even though, for over 10 years, he has also been creating the same "another ISKCON" he condemns, by acting as yet another spiritual master in ISKCON with his own set of disciples.
Similarly, ISKCON leader HH Krishna Das Swami ("KDS") states the IRM position, that we should only focus on Srila Prabhupada as the guru of ISKCON, as there is no need to go and "find out" any guru other than Srila Prabhupada:
"'My guru fell down? My guru fell down?' Can there be worse thing, any worse thing than this, that guru falls down? What with the heart of the disciple? So, movement, because the Founder-Acarya of this movement was the purest of the purest, embodiment of purity, embodiment of surrender, embodiment of obedience, embodiment of faithfulness, and empowered by Lord Govinda Himself -- that is why this movement is continuing. [...] And how to become a pukka* guru, Prabhupada is there. You don't have to go to anywhere else. Pukka guru, Srila Prabhupada. Pukka disciple, Srila Prabhupada. No need of going anywhere to find out." (KDS, Lecture, 12/2/2012)

*Genuine.

KDS states this even though, since 1987, KDS has been putting himself forward as a GBC-elected successor guru to Srila Prabhupada, whom one should "find out" and accept, having initiated over 400 disciples.
However, contradicting these statements by his guru colleagues, GBC-elected guru HH Bhakti Charu Swami ("BCS") shockingly claims that we can have Srila Prabhupada at the centre by actually putting BCS in the centre:
"They also made excellent arrangements to celebrate my birthday. On that day, they presented me with a surprise compilation of Vyasa-puja offerings containing over 300 offerings from many of you. Although my travel schedule has been hectic since then, I have been regularly reading the offerings and I am thoroughly enjoying them. The appreciation and gratitude that you have expressed through your offerings are very touching. I am also very happy that you all are able to read the offerings in the shared e-book and I would encourage all of you to do so because it will help to bring our family closer together with Srila Prabhupada at the centre."
(BCS Istagosthi, 25/9/2013)
BCS claims that his disciples will be able to "come closer together with Srila Prabhupada at the centre" through the act of participating in the basking of the glorification of BCS! This is done via reading a whole book of Vyasa-puja offerings dedicated to praising BCS, which are based on the false premise that BCS has succeeded Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON's diksa guru.
That BCS believes that putting himself in the centre is the equivalent of putting Srila Prabhupada in the centre, is evidence of the immense delusion which arises when one is motivated by the desire to take Srila Prabhupada's position and be worshipped as a "good as God" guru -- the desire for PAD (Profit, Adoration and Distinction). This desire is so strong that one will say absolutely anything, no matter how absurd, to try to justify it.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Motivated by Power, Not Philosophy

The GBC claim that allowing Srila Prabhupada to remain as ISKCON's diksa guru, which it calls "the posthumous rtvik initiation theory", must be banished for being a "dangerous" philosophy:

"The GBC hereby declares that the posthumous ritvik initiation theory is a dangerous philosophical deviation. It is therefore totally prohibited in ISKCON."
(GBC Resolution 1990-73)

Claiming that it was the desire of GBC member HH Sivarama Swami ("SRS") to uphold the above-mentioned GBC resolution, ISKCON UK Headquarters Bhaktivedanta Manor ("BM") issued the following banning letter to anyone who accepted that Srila Prabhupada continues to act as ISKCON's diksa guru:

"It is the desire of the local ISKCON, UK Charity Board of Directors, chaired by His Holiness Sivarama Swami, that I strictly uphold the above mandate, and hence this letter. They have obliged me to ban all persons who advocate, assist, organise or help finance posthumous rtvik theories from coming to Bhaktivedanta Manor."
(Banning Letter issued by BM)

Thus, it is claimed that ISKCON is so concerned to protect the movement from deviant philosophies, that those who simply agree with them must not be allowed to even set foot in ISKCON's temples.

However, let us review how ISKCON deals with philosophies which are actually deviant.


Offending Krsna is welcome


Below is a report given by SRS:

"In July, a well-known Hindu organization launched a worldwide yatra on the grounds of Bhaktivedanta Manor. [...] On the stage were to be two yogis, a guru, a Sankaracarya, and myself -- compromising association! [...] the Sankaracarya [...] made philosophical points clearly targeted at his hosts -- namely, the ISKCON devotees and, more specifically, Their Lordships Radha-Gokulananda. [...] I felt that you, Srila Prabhupada, our Society, and of course Krsna had been grievously offended. [...] In Krsna's temple you (the Sankaracarya) have said that Krsna is a subordinate manifestation of Brahman."
(SRS, Vyasa-puja offering, 2002, emphases added)

Thus, in this instance, not only were those who have a deviant philosophy offensive to Lord Krsna allowed entry to an ISKCON temple; they were actually invited to actively broadcast those offensive philosophies in the temple!


Denying Radha is welcome


A guru named HH Chinna Jeeyar Swami ("CJS") teaches:

"there is no character called as "Radha" at all. [...] We can take Radha as a symbol [...] Hence Radha is not really a person. [...] The description you have seen must be from IS(K)CON books. They feel that Krsna is the origin to all the incarnations. [...] Yet, he is only one avatara among many."
(CJS's website, 'FAQs')

Thus, according to CJS:
a) Radha (Krsna's eternal consort) does not exist. b) Krsna is not the origin of all divine incarnations, but is just an incarnation Himself.
Thus, his position is completely deviant according to ISKCON. Indeed, CJS even admits this, stating that the positions he attacks are coming from "ISKCON books". Yet, not only is he not banned from ISKCON temples for having such deviant views, he was actually invited this year by ISKCON for a lecture tour of various North American ISKCON temples! 


Minimising Krsna is welcome


ISKCON leader HH Jayadvaita Swami explains:

"ISKCON has gone from being beyond Hinduism to being -- very much Hindu! [...] priests earn a livelihood doing weddings and hair cutting ceremonies, [...] Temples once the exclusive hold of Gaura-Nitai and Radha-Krsna now are dominated by murtis of demigods. In some quarters ISKCON has undergone considerable Indianisation."
(HH Jayadvaita Swami, ISKCON Studies Conference, Italy, 28/7/2007)

Thus, the GBC allows temples to be "dominated" by demigods, thereby marginalising the exclusive worship of Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead -- even though this is against Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy -- to appeal to the Hindu community.


Deviant initiation is welcome


The GBC claims that those who were initiated by Prabhavisnu Dasa ("PV"), who is a "fallen" ex-guru, are considered to be connected to Srila Prabhupada and able to continue to function spiritually by taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada:

"Those devotees initiated by Prabhavisnu Dasa continue to be connected to Srila Prabhupada and our entire Vaisnava parampara. [...] Thus, they are encouraged to take shelter of Srila Prabhupada and siksa gurus or other senior devotees as per their faith."
(GBC Resolution 311, 2012)

However, some of these initiations were conducted whilst PV was deviating sexually:

"he has admitted to a number of sexual fall-downs particularly in 2001 [...] experienced bouts of spiritual weakness for some years".
(Extracts from GBC Executive Committee statements, 13/1/2012 and 2/2/2012)

These devotees are, therefore, like the devotees who follow the GBC-prohibited "rtvik" position; accepting the spiritual shelter of Srila Prabhupada without having a GBC-certified "living" guru. Yet, the GBC still considers them to be connected to Srila Prabhupada. The only difference is that they once had an initiation ceremony via a person who may have been sexually deviant. The GBC therefore advocates that if one were to get initiated today directly by Srila Prabhupada (rtvik), one would not be connected to Srila Prabhupada, but those who got initiated by a sexual deviant are connected to Srila Prabhupada!


Conclusion


a) If their position as "good as God" gurus is threatened, the GBC will spring into immediate action, claiming that such threats constitute a "dangerous" philosophy, and issue serious sanctions.
b) However, if Krsna's position as God, along with that of His eternal consort Srimati Radharani is attacked, the GBC will actually promote such proponents.
c) If minimising Krsna's position through encouraging demigod worship will financially benefit ISKCON temples, it is done.
d) Even connection to, and spiritual shelter of, Srila Prabhupada without having a "living" GBC guru, is accepted -- just as long as there was a role at one time for such a person to provide a ceremony, even if he was a sexual deviant at the time!

Thus, as long as their own position is not under immediate threat, all manner of actual philosophical deviations will be tolerated by the GBC. This double standard demonstrates that the GBC is motivated not by a concern for philosophy, but only by a desire for holding on to power.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Srila Prabhupada v/s Bhakti Charu Swami

We document below GBC-elected guru hoaxer, HH Bhakti Charu Swami ("BCS"), claiming that Srila Prabhupada's teachings on education are a mistake. Therefore, not content with having replaced Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON's diksa guru, the hoaxers now also wish to supersede his teachings. All emphases below have been added.
 

Srila Prabhupada on schools


Srila Prabhupada condemned schools as slaughterhouses:


"I have seen intelligent boys, they go to school and he is spoiled. [...] Simply slaughterhouse, this so-called school is called slaughterhouse. Yes, slaughterhouse."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, 9/7/73)


"The modern educational system without any knowledge of Bhagavan, I may tell you frankly, not only in India, everywhere, they are practically slaughterhouse."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 20/11/71)

BCS says mistake - 1

However, BCS claims that condemning such schools as "slaughterhouses" was a "mistake":


"The outside world is the world of my. The other schools are the slaughterhouses. These were the expressions that we used. Everybody outside is a damned karmi. That was the way, that was a mistake."
(BCS Lecture, 5/8/2013)


Srila Prabhupada on gurukula


Having condemned schools as slaughterhouses, Srila Prabhupada established an alternative "gurukula" system of education, in which material education was disregarded:


Jyotirmayi: "You were saying that the children should learn these three, geography and these things, and I wanted to know if they should also learn what they call biology, that is how the body is working, what are the bones and blood and..." [...] Prabhupada: "Simply waste of time, simply waste of time. [...] But this biology and this "logy," they are useless. There is no necessity. [...] You follow that, brahmacari gurukula, that I've already explained. That should be done. Don't bring any new thing, imported ideas. That will not be helpful. It will be encumbrance. [...] Biologists, chemists, physicists, and mathematicians there are hundreds and thousands. We are not going to waste our time that Gurukula should produce a great grammarian, a great geologist, biologist, don't want that. There are many other educational institutions."
(Room Conversation, 31/7/1976)


This was done deliberately because gurukulas were only meant to produce Krsna conscious children, rather than persons qualified to get salaried jobs:


"And this material education...Of course, we are going to open the gurukula. Our aim is not how to make the students a big grammarian. No. That is not our purpose. How to make him fully Krsna conscious. That is the aim of this gurukula. In the gurukula description there is nothing, such thing as how to make the student a big grammarian or... [...] There is no question of economic problem, that one has to become learned to get some service in some big school or college and get some big salary. This is not our aim. Our only aim is how to mold the life of the children to become Krsna conscious."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 31/3/1976)


BCS says mistake - 2

However, BCS states that Srila Prabhupada's establishing such gurukulas where material education was disregarded, was a "mistake", and therefore his disciple will be establishing schools that will not repeat this "mistake" made by Srila Prabhupada's gurukulas:


"You see, our...Naveen Krsna (BCS disciple) is now trying to establish the schools in India. [...] We are not going to disregard material education. That is the mistake we actually made in our gurukula system. In our gurukula system we completely disregarded the material side."
(BCS Lecture, 5/8/2013)

The cover-up

Thus, in summary we can see that BCS condemns Srila Prabhupada's essential teachings regarding education as being one big "mistake". However, in this same lecture where he disagrees with Srila Prabhupada's teachings, BCS claims he is communicating Srila Prabhupada's teachings:


"the spiritual master considers that it is his responsibility to bring up, train his disciples. [...] And how do we train you up? We train you up by communicating Srila Prabhupada's teachings to you and engaging you properly in ISKCON."
(BCS Lecture, 5/8/2013)


Therefore, not content with attacking Srila Prabhupada's teachings, BCS also tries to hide his actions by blatantly lying about what he is teaching. He has to engage in such lying because otherwise he would be exposing himself as a rascal and demon for rejecting Srila Prabhupada's teachings:


"A siksa-guru who instructs against the instruction of spiritual, he is not a siksa-guru. He is a demon. [...] siksa-guru does not mean he is speaking something against the teachings of the diksa-guru. He is not a siksa-guru. He is a rascal."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 4/7/1974)



Conclusion



We therefore have two opposing visions. A spiritual vision of education offered by Srila Prabhupada. And an opposing vision which states Srila Prabhupada's vision is a mistake, offered by BCS. This is not an isolated example of BCS attacking Srila Prabhupada and his teachings, but is part of a wider trend. For instance, we highlight more examples of these attacks in the Sixth chapter of our book 100 Contradictions, where BCS offends Srila Prabhupada by stating that Srila Prabhupada was only able to preach once he had renounced his household life; that the mentality of Srila Prabhupada being "dead and gone" is fine; that Srila Prabhupada's instructions were "vague"; that Srila Prabhupada was a "mere member of the GBC of ISKCON"; that Srila Prabhupada did not know the disciplic succession; and so on.


One therefore has to choose to follow either Srila Prabhupada or BCS. One cannot follow both.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Fixed Guru versus a Flip-Flop Guru

IRM: On August 3, 2013, the GBC Executive Committee announced the resignation of yet another one of its "as good as God" gurus:

"reports were brought to our attention alleging inappropriate behavior on the part of Mahanidhi Swami on both a personal and philosophical level. The GBC began an investigation of those and found some of the allegations to be true, including inappropriate interactions with a female disciple. Although the extent of those problems is not clear, we found there was definitely behavior not befitting someone in the renounced order of life. It was during this investigation that Mahanidhi Swami chose to resign."
("A Letter to All Devotees of ISKCON", Executive Committee of the ISKCON Governing Body Commission (GBC), 3/8/2013)

The letter then went on to justify how its gurus can become deviants by quoting from GBC resolution 303 from 2013, which states that it is possible for them to deviate at any time:

"Yet it should be clearly understood that if such diksa or siksa gurus deviate from strictly following, they may fall down from their position."

Thus, the GBC admits that the gurus it is providing are actually defined as being "flip-flop" gurus. That is, they can flip to becoming deviants at any time. In contrast, as we see below, Srila Prabhupada specifically asks us to seek out a guru who is not a flip-flop guru, but a fixed guru -- one who will never become a deviant. All emphases have been added.


The authorized guru


"The spiritual master must never be carried away by an accumulation of wealth or a large number of followers. A bonafide spiritual master will never become like that. But sometimes, if a spiritual master is not properly authorized, and only on his own initiative becomes a spiritual master, he may be carried away by an accumulation of wealth and large numbers of disciples."
(Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 14)

Srila Prabhupada makes it clear that the authorised guru will never become deviated. Therefore, by stating that their gurus are personalities who may become deviated, the GBC is also admitting that their gurus are unauthorised.


The fixed guru


"The bonafide spiritual master always engages in unalloyed devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By this test he is known to be a direct manifestation of the Lord and a genuine representative of Sri Nityananda Prabhu."
(Cc., Adi-lila, 1.46)

"The prime symptom of one who has become a spiritual master in disciplic succession is that he is one hundred percent fixed in bhakti-yoga."
(Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol. 2, Chapter 32)

"If someone is one hundred percent engaged in the service of the Lord, he is to be understood as liberated."
(SB, 3.33.10)

"A Spiritual Master is always liberated."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 21/6/1970)

"God is always God, guru is always guru."
(The Science of Self Realisation, Chapter 2)

In contrast with the GBC guru who may flip from being a "guru" to becoming a deviant, the bona fide guru will always remain fixed as a guru. And, in the next section, Srila Prabhupada states that it is this fixed, bona fide guru, whom we must accept.


Approach fixed guru


"In order to learn the transcendental science, one must approach the bona fide spiritual master in disciplic succession, who is fixed in the Absolute Truth."
(Mundaka Upanisad, 1.2.12 [cited in numerous places by Srila Prabhupada])

"The guru must be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru must be accepted from the topmost class".
(Cc., Madhya-lila, 24.330)

"There is no possibility that a first-class devotee will fall down."
(Cc., Madhya-lila, 22.71)

"The conclusion is that one cannot become a spiritual master unless he is a pure devotee of the Lord. [...] One should therefore take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master."
(SB, 4.29.51)

"The pure devotee is always free from the clutches of maya and her influence."
(SB, 5.3.14)


Non-cheater guru


"That is the business of spiritual master. He gives the right information; therefore he is respected so much, because he does not cheat. [...] Ordinary human being, he'll cheat you, or he'll give some information, he's cheating. But a guru, real guru, he'll not cheat you. [...] He does not cheat. That is the test of guru."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, 22/6/1976)

Prabhupada: "[...] So the imperfect person is prone to become a cheater. So we should not take knowledge from the cheaters. What do you think?" Svarupa Damodara: "We should take knowledge from Krsna." Prabhupada: "Yes." Svarupa Damodara: "And Prabhupada." Prabhupada: "Yes. Prabhupada is giving you the same knowledge, that's all. There is no question of cheating. I have received this knowledge from Krsna, and you take this. That's all. My business is finished."
(Morning Walk, 12/7/1975) 
Srila Prabhupada states that the whole purpose of accepting him as the spiritual master is that, unlike an ordinary human being, he will never cheat the disciple. Whereas, the GBC are stating at the outset that their gurus can go on to become cheaters! 


Conclusion


We are offered two starkly different visions of guru. Srila Prabhupada tells us to accept a guru who is authorised, always 100% fixed in Krsna consciousness, who will never deviate or cheat. The GBC, however, offers unauthorised gurus who may flip to become deviants and cheat. The fixed guru whom Srila Prabhupada tells us to accept is available to everyone today; his name is Srila Prabhupada. We should therefore follow Srila Prabhupada's advice and accept only him as the spiritual master and reject the flip-flop gurus.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sriman Madhu Pandit Dasa Vyasa puja offering to Srila Prabhupada

Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my respectful obeisances. All glories to Your Divine Grace.
Yet another year has passed under the transcendental shower of your causeless mercy. The transcendental shower that cools the scorching heat of miseries of this material world where there is the danger at every step. It is only by your mercy that over the last sixteen years we, the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore, have survived the material forces that have attempted to break the faith of thousands of your followers on this planet - that Your Divine Grace can be accepted as everyone’s direct sad-guru - both Primary Siksha and Siksha guru. It is easier to survive the attack of atheists than the guruvadis in ISKCON, who twist your direct orders and preach that Your Divine Grace cannot be a guru for anyone on this planet anymore after 1977. According to them, Srila Prabhupada, you are ‘no longer with us’, having physically ‘departed’ in 1977. Therefore it is only to them that the jivas have to surrender to as disciples, and not to Your Divine Grace. It is nothing but the twisted philosophy of ‘kill guru and become guru’. Your Divine Grace has used this very phrase while referring to ambitious neophyte disciples. This is especially so when you have explicitly ordered that those initiated in ISKCON will always be the disciples of Your Divine Grace.
This faith of thousands of devotees that: Your Divine Grace actually receives their direct surrender from them; Your Divine Grace actually guides sincere seekers in advancing in spiritual life, in the wonderful association of your other servants, in an organization Your Divine Grace designed. This truth is proven today by your lilas at ISKCON Bangalore for the last fifteen years. Thousands of lives are transformed every day, by the association of your books and your deity form in the temples of our group over the past fifteen years. The intense and foremost attachment and commitment to Your Divine Grace, of all the devotees, is the proof of this.
Srila Prabhupada, you have nicely explained the prakata and aprakata form of the Lord. The visible and invisible. In CC Madhya 13.155 purport
“Krishna has two kinds of presence—prakata and aprakata, manifest and unmanifest. These are identical for the sincere devotee. Even if Krishna is not physically present, the devotee’s constant absorption in the affairs of Krishna makes Him always present.”
Srila Prabhupada, when Your Divine Grace were asked by a reporter, “what will happen to the movement when Your Divine Grace die?” Your Divine Grace replied, “I will never die”.
Thus, wherever Your Divine Grace is sought after as the guru and worshipped and followed, Your Divine grace, even today in the aprakata (invisible) form, continue your aprakata lila with such disciples and inspire them to advance in Krishna Consciousness as much as Your Divine Grace were doing during your prakata lila. This is the understanding from your reply to the reporter – ‘I will never die’.
Your Divine Grace also established your deity forms in your temples even when present on the planet. In these forms, Your Divine Grace is prakta, giving opportunity for rendering personal service of dressing, offering bhoga, worshipping etc. All these are in no way, different from your lila on this planet before November 14th 1977. From your teachings it is clear that there is no difference. To think that on that day, Nov 14th 1977, some significant change happened and you are no longer ‘present’ with us after that date as a ‘living guru’ anymore, is absurd and false. It was this falsehood that led to so called new ‘living gurus’ being propped up in 1978 and thereafter continuing till date. And this turned out to be the biggest disaster which has practically destroyed the movement- so carefully built and nurtured by Your Divine Grace.
The Hare Krishna Movement is your transcendental creation and it transcendentally belongs to Your Divine Grace. It is your house in this world, where your service to the guru-parampara is conducted eternally, through your disciples. Your Divine Grace has expressed your transcendental ownership of ISKCON by clearly mandating through written instructions, that the words ‘Founder-Acharya’ shall always be written below, wherever ‘ISKCON’ is mentioned. Your mandate through this instruction is crystal clear. It is your transcendental vision to prevent future generations of ambitious neophytes from assuming that since Your Divine Grace is no longer physically present, it is time for the next person to fill your shoes, in ‘parampara’, and take over as the Acharya or spiritual successor. Promoting Your Divine Grace as the purva acarya, directly or indirectly, in ISKCON, is an act of constant offence as it means Your Divine Grace can be approached only through another current link as present guru.
On 18/2/76 Your Divine Grace said in a room conversation,
“After 80 years no one can be expected to live long. My life is almost ended. So you have to carry on, and these books will do everything.”
So it is very clear that Your Divine Grace will continue to influence thousands of souls by being directly connected to them as their spiritual master. Your transcendental vision in setting up the ISKCON organization was to facilitate and give service to all your disciples for all future generations as long as ISKCON exists to become instruments in training and strengthening every spiritual aspirant’s direct connection with Your Divine Grace as their spiritual master, both diksha and siksha guru and thus continue your parampara.
On this occasion Srila Prabhupada, I would also like to meditate on your glory of taking so many hardships for the preaching mission in this world and setting the example for future generation of disciples - the standard of hard work to spread Krishna consciousness. Srila Prabhupada, your life has demonstrated how one can express his love for his guru. To develop that love for one’s guru, one has to sacrifice one’s comfort for guru’s mission and vision. This means to take pains for his pleasure of expanding his spiritual mission on this earth. There is a tendency to think that perfection means that everything will go smoothly in this world and there will be no hardship. This principle of working hard by taking pains even for fulfilling the Lord’s mission, is nicely explained by Your Divine Grace in this following purport.
“In executing penance, one must be determined to return home, back to Godhead, and must decide to undergo all types of tribulations for that end. Even for material prosperity, name and fame, one has to undergo severe types of penance; otherwise no one can become an important figure in this material world. Why, then, are there severe types of penance for the perfection of devotional service? An easygoing life and attainment of perfection in transcendental realization cannot go together. The Lord is more clever than any living entity; therefore He wants to see how painstaking the devotee is in devotional service. The order is received from the Lord, either directly or through the bona fide spiritual master, and to execute that order, however painstaking, is the severe type of penance. One who follows the principle rigidly is sure to achieve success in attaining the Lord's mercy.”
- SB 2.9.24 purport
Anyone who reads this purport will come out of the false idea that the perfection of devotional service is one of comfort to the senses, body and mind, without any disturbance from any quarter. Your Divine Grace, as the Acarya, has taught us by your own example how to be well grounded by emotional acceptance of the reality that troubles and pains are very much part of devotional service and it is very natural. And devotees have to take up such austerities if any significant progress is to be made against maya’s plans to keep the jivas within her clutches. Situations that demand austerity in devotional service are great opportunities to purify our self-centered mentality.
Your Divine Grace wrote to your disciple on 27th July 1970:
“Kindly keep me informed of your activities at least twice in a week, otherwise I become very much anxious and due to my blood pressure sometimes do not eat, do not sleep. I am just trying to organize a worldwide movement not for any personal ambition but to execute superior orders, and by the grace of Krsna we are getting good encouragement. So I request my students to co-operate fully.”
So this is Acarya - one who sets standards by his own example. Your Divine Grace never taught an easy going life. You spent sleepless nights in the anxieties of organizing this world-wide movement for Lord Chaitanya. Your Divine Grace promised to take us back to Godhead - but instructed us all to lead a life of struggle for spiritual advancement and hard work to preach Lord Chaitanya’s mission. Dedication and commitment to fulfill the order of one’s guru, even if it means fighting formidable forces against all odds. Even if it means going to courts.
Your Divine Grace never settled to rest in material comforts or in the glory of your success while preaching in this world till your last breath. Preaching or practicing devotional service with such material ideas is just sense gratification and is just another deep anartha. Preaching mission in this world of maya means always dealing with opposing forces that are bound to attack, starting with our own body and mind.
While we are asked to take pains to preach the glories of the Holy Name, Your Divine Grace has also armed us with enough ammunition to give us real empowerment and transcendental happiness for the soul, by teaching us the art of associating with the Holy Name by chanting and hearing the sound incarnation of the Lord, “kali-kāle nāma-rūpe kṛṣṇa-avatāra”. Srila Prabhupada, you have talked and talked and talked about the glories of the Holy Name - of how to chant, how to hear, how to be attentive and the theology of the Holy Name in your books. So many transcendental secrets of the Holy Names are hidden in simple lines of your several purports. Each one of them opens the door to the spiritual world. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu named Haridas Thakur the Nama-acarya. Your Divine Grace has extended the mission of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, all over the world and has spread the Nama which is today dancing on the tongues of millions of jivas. Your Divine Grace is the true Ambassador, like Haridas Thakur, of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is the very personification of Hare Krishna maha-mantra. What a spiritual wonder you have created on this earth. Now there is no stopping of this sankirtana. How close and dear you are to the Holy Name is understandable from the degree of empowerment with which Your Divine Grace spread the Holy name all over the world in such a short span. kṛṣṇa-śakti vinā nahe tāra pravartana – (CC Antya 7.11)
We are all so fortunate to be born at a time to even hear about this Hare Krishna movement.
Srila Prabhupada we all know that Your Divine Grace is in our midst, guiding and protecting us. In spite of not being surrendered enough to perfectly receive and follow all your instructions, Srila Prabhupada, you are still protecting me. I know that any complexity in your mission that is not solvable, is due to our lack of clearly hearing your directions; lack of clearly understanding your instructions; lack of enough determination to follow.
For years together, following your teachings, I prayed to the Supersoul, for practical guidance in preaching and have received tremendous reciprocation by repeated application of Krishna’s words in Bhagavad-gita “mat citta sarva durgani, mat prasadat tarisyasi”. But, for some reason, some big preaching projects that have been conceived and started off in the recent times, by your mercy, have stagnated for years, faced by one hurdle or the other inspite of increased prayer and dependence on the Lord in my heart. I understood that Krishna wanted to teach me something important and until I learn this, He would not permit or sanction the progress of these projects. After a lot of soul searching, the realization dawned on me that there is a small - but significant difference - in praying, surrendering and depending on guru and praying and surrendering and depending directly on the Supersoul, Krishna. Krishna wants me to learn that first dependence is on his pure devotee - and then on Him. I have to move to the next phase of increased faith in Srila Prabhupada as the true power of attorney holder of Krishna. First things first. That is the true purport of “yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto 'pi”. Though I sing this every morning, yet I prayed to the Lord directly everyday all these years. After this finer realization, I am now training myself to always pray to Your Divine Grace first, for granting of devotional service and strength to overcome all obstacles in your preaching mission and then only to the Lord. And I find increased spiritual energy to serve Your Divine Grace. After that I have started to see that things are changing for good in these stagnated projects in the last few months.
Srila Prabhupada, you have preached that we always pray and surrender to the Lord in the heart. But now I know that the Lord is more pleased when we surrender and pray to His pure devotees first. The very same Lord is more eager to reciprocate with mercy of all kinds when a devotee surrenders and prays to Your Divine Grace, for that is the right culture of devotion for a disciple. One thing I am sure from my own realization - Your Divine Grace is by the side of anyone who wants to serve your mission without simply thinking of his own peace and bliss at the material level. And your teachings direct us to experience the transcendental peace and bliss that comes from simply knowing and feeling the sense of one’s eternal belonging to the eternal guru and the eternal Lord as their eternal servant, and becoming indifferent to material ups and downs. Thank you Srila Prabhupada and your dear Lord Krishna for the intense merciful grind you are putting me through to learn these finer nuances of devotional service. Thank you, Srila Prabhupada for the daily dose of “divyagyan hrde prakashita” and hardships that make me think and learn different lessons. Thank you Srila Prabhupada for making my daily life transcendentally blissful in spite of trials and tribulations from the material energy.
Based on this realization, on this auspicious day of this year’s Vyasa puja, I pray that if it so pleases Your Divine Grace, kindly put an end to this legal battle as soon as possible, and remove all the obstacles, and sanction us all in the coming five years the devotional service of completing the construction of a world’s largest monumental temple for your dear Lordships at Vrindavan dham to expand the glories of Vrindavan dham, which, Your Divine Grace has already put on world map.
Again I pray, if it pleases Your Divine Grace, in the coming five years, sanction us all, the service of completing the construction of an equally monumental complex of the Krishna Lila Park at Vaikunta Hill, Bangalore South, to make it the Vaikunta Embassy on this earth from where the Holy Name will be distributed to millions of souls by inspiring them through depiction of the wonderful lilas of Lord Krishna.
Again I pray, give me the knowledge and spiritual skills and strength to do the service of chanting and hearing the Maha-mantra better and better without offenses and also to serve and share such knowledge of improved japa with all devotees who have dedicated their lives to spread the Holy Name as your unalloyed servants.
Srila Prabhupada, you created a Hare Krishna explosion in 1966 on this earth - the tremors of which continue to be felt even today. Please create more such explosions, which results in creating transcendental employment of loving devotional service to the Lord for thousands of souls.
Anticipating and always in great hope for such new transcendental explosions,

Your fallen servant who begs at your lotus feet to be held always by your divine mercy,

Madhu Pandit Dasa

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