Monday, May 4, 2015

Srila Prabhupada's Guru Order

ISKCON IRM: Back To Prabhupada, Issue 45, Autumn 2014

Srila Prabhupada has repeatedly asked all his disciples to "become guru". The GBC, not surprisingly, has taken this order to refer to diksa guru, thus allowing them to fulfil their desires to declare themselves diksa guru successors to Srila Prabhupada, with most of the GBC members occupying such a position in ISKCON. In a room conversation on 30/5/76, Srila Prabhu-pada specifically explains what the order for everyone in ISKCON to "become guru" actually means. All quotes in the shaded boxes are taken from this morning walk, with all underlining added.
Become guru
Srila Prabhupada begins by explaining that he wants all his disciples to become guru, and that he is training everyone to take up such a role even after he departs:
"But after all, every one of you should become guru. [...] I am training you all to become guru in the future. Now the Krsna consciousness movement, the properties and everything, I will not take with me. They will remain where they are."
Lord Caitanya's order
Srila Prabhupada explains however, that to become guru requires that one is first ordered to do so, otherwise becoming guru will be artificial:
"Guru is accepted by etiquette, not by artificial attempt. Amara ajnaya guru hana [Cc. Madhya 7.128]: "Follow My order and become guru." Not that you become guru. amara ajnaya guru hana tara' ei desa yare dekha, tare kaha 'krsna'-upadesa" [Cc. Madhya 7.128] Hmm? You have to follow the parampara system, order. That is guru. Not that I declare myself as guru. No. That is not guru. [...] The Caitanya-caritamrta statement, amara: one can become guru by the superior order."
And to establish the point that one must actually be ordered by one's superior in order to become guru, Srila Prabhupada repeats Lord Caitanya's order to "become guru" in the Caitanya-caritamrta.
Thus, in summary, Srila Prabhupada has so far spoken of wanting all his disciples to become guru, even after he departs, but makes it clear, by quoting Lord Caitanya's order to "become guru", that they should first be ordered to do so.
The question that then rem-ains, is what type of guru does Srila Prabhupada actually order his disciples to become? As the conversation proceeds, Srila Prabhupada is directly asked this question, and Srila Prabhupada gives a direct answer, as the next section will show.
Only siksa guru order
Gopala Krsna: "Srila Prabhupada, I am just trying to clarify -- I don't want to offend anyone -- but no disciple of yours should call himself diksa-guru or siksa-guru. Am I right?"
Prabhupada: "Well, everyone is engaged to become siksa-guru, but one should become perfect. The attempt is -- what is called? -- probationer. When probationer period is finished, then he is naturally, automatically, bona fide guru. Not in the probationer period. That is immature attempt. That will failure. Amara ajnaya [Cc. Madhya 7.128], Caitanya Mahaprabhu said: "By My order." So all my disciples are expected to become siksa-guru on my order, not by his own order. That is meaning I am giving sannyasa, I am sending you to different places, so this means that you have to carry out the order of the guru very strictly; then you become mature. Otherwise it will be artificial attempt, and that kind of guru will not help."
Having heard Srila Prabhupada's warning that no one should attempt to become guru without first being ordered to do so, Gopal Krishna concludes that no disciple should ever become either siksa or diksa guru, and seeks confirmation from Srila Prabhupada for this conclusion. Srila Prabhupada clarifies in response only that all his disciples are authorised to act as siksa guru. He then again quotes Lord Caitanya's instruction that one must first be ordered to become guru, and states that this means that all his disciples are ordered to become siksa guru, due to having received an order to do so from Srila Prabhupada.
This explanation from Srila Prabhupada means that:

1) Srila Prabhupada has applied Lord Caitanya's instruction that one should become guru on the basis of an order, by ordering his disciples to become siksa guru.
2) If Srila Prabhupada had wanted his disciples to act as diksa gurus, he would also have needed to give such an order. But Srila Prabhupada never gave such a corresponding diksa guru order.
Qualified siksa gurus
In the quotation provided in the last section, Srila Prabhupada also explains that all those who are acting as siksa gurus are doing so in the "probationer period", and he wants that they finish this siksa guru probationer period by becoming perfect bona fide siksa gurus. Indeed, he states that even the sannyasis, who are supposed to be the most advanced members of the Society, are similarly meant to "mature" from this probationer siksa guru period, and become perfect siksa gurus.
This defeats the common false argument used against the IRM that keeping Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON's diksa guru means that he did not create, or could not create, any qualified gurus. For the reality is that Srila Prabhupada simply wanted such perfect bona fide gurus to continue acting as siksa gurus under ISKCON's diksa guru, Srila Prabhupada. For, as we have just seen, Srila Prabhupada only ordered siksa gurus, not diksa gurus. 

Conclusion

Srila Prabhupada has given various orders, wherein he mentions:
1) Lord Caitanya's order to "become guru" from Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 7:128, when ordering his disciples to become guru. 2) That his disciples should in the future go on to become bona fide gurus. 3) That he wants all his disciples to become qualified to take up the role of guru.
The GBC has falsely been relying on claiming that such orders refer to diksa gurus as the authority for their diksa guru successor program. For example, in their paper, Prabhupada's Order, they quote dozens of such orders as supposed evidence that Srila Prabhupada ordered diksa guru successors. Indeed, as we detailed in BTP 27 and BTP 39, the BBT has even changed a purport for Lord Caitanya's order to "become guru" in the Caitanya-caritamrta, in the hope that it can still be put forward as supposed evidence for an order to become diksa guru.
However, all such orders are herein directly clarified by Srila Prabhupada to only be orders for all his disciples to become siksa gurus, and therefore, the GBC's successor guru hoax program is defeated.

Monday, April 27, 2015

ISKCON Katmandu Distributes Food to the Earthquake Victims

ISKCON News: On April 25th, a massive earthquake hit Nepal, which is now reported to have killed some 2,500 people in Katmandu and the surrounding areas.
The quake also triggered avalanches on Mount Everest, killing at least 17 people there.
Meanwhile a powerful aftershock was felt on Sunday in Nepal, India and Bangladesh, and more avalanches were reported near Everest.
Many residents of the capital, Kathmandu, who lost their homes as a result of the tremor spent a second night outside on Sunday. They are afraid to return to their homes - especially after strong aftershocks hit the region on Sunday. 
Vast tent cities have sprung up for those displaced by the earthquake.
The ISKCON devotee community has also been affected, with many devotees injured and having their houses lost. Some of their relatives got buried under the collapsed buildings and died.
ISKCON Katmandu is trying its best to help devotees and people in need by providing shelter, medical help and organizing free food (prasadam) distribution – which is proving especially challenging. Patri Das, ISKCON’s Regional Secretary reports: “the only international airport in Kathmandu has its runway cracked, we now have no connection with the outside world. Broken roads, landslides and demolished houses make it difficult to move around, and basic things including communication, or getting electricity are difficult.”
Since commercial flights are not operating in Katmandu, ISKCON Kolkata is trying to find out a way to work with the government to send food materials, utensils and funds through Air India cargo flights, says Bhakti Purusottam Swami.



Similar Story

ISKCON Nepal Affected by the Massive Earthquake

Sunday, April 26, 2015

ISKCON Nepal Affected by the Massive Earthquake

ISKCON News: A massive earthquake of 7.9 magnitude struck central Nepal on Saturday, April 25, affecting Kathmandu and he city of Pokhara. The tremors could also be felt in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. 
According to international new agencies hundreds of people had been killed across Nepal. Rescuers are digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings in Kathmandu trying to reach survivors. A number of historic buildings have been destroyed.
Patri das, ISKCON's regional secretary in Nepal reported that the temple in Kathmandu is basically OK, but there are severe cracks in a number of buildings on ISKCON property.
The Deities have been moved outside from the main temple.
No devotees were injured at the temple complex, but there is a concern that since many houses in the area collapsed, it is impossible to determine at this point if all ISKCON devotees are safe.
ISKCON Kathmandu is asking devotees and well-wishers worldwide to please pray for the safely and lives of ISKCON members and all the people living in and around the affected area. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Seven less know facts about Akshaya Tritiya

ISKCON Bangalore: What is the significance of Akshaya Tritiya? Apart from the rush to purchase gold there are many other reasons why this day is very significant. Some of the commonly known aspects are listed below. However, we also give you a list of 7 least known facts. 

Significance of Akshaya Tritiya 

Significance of Akshaya Tritiya
(1) Lord Parashurama appeared on this day (2) Ganges descended to Earth on this day (3) This day marks the beginning of Treta-yuga (4) Sudama visited Krishna at Dwaraka (5) Pandavas received Akshaya Patra from Sun God (6) Vyasadeva started composing Mahabharata on this day (7) Adi Sankaracharya composed Kanakadhara Stotram on this day (8) Kubera received his wealth and position as custodian of wealth and (9) It is said that Goddess Annapoorna Devi appeared on this day.

1. Simhachalam 

Simhachalam
Simhachalam (Andhra Pradesh) is the abode of Lord Narasimha. The Deity of Lord Narasimha is always covered with sandal paste. On the day of Akshaya Tritiya (which occurs 11 days before Narasimha Jayanti – the appearance day of Lord Narasimha), the sandal paste is removed and abhishekam is performed. This is the only day the devotees will get to see the form of the Lord. On the same evening, the Deity is again covered with sandal paste. 

2. Jagannath Puri 

Jagannath Puri
Every year the Ratha Yatra festival is celebrated at Jagannath Puri. The three chariots of Jagannath (Nandhighosha), Baladeva (Taladhvaja) and Subhadra (Darpadalana) are newly constructed every year with the wood of specific trees. The construction of the charitos for Ratha Yatra begins on the day of Akshaya Tritiya.

3. Remuna (Kshira-chora Gopinatha) 

Remuna (Kshira-chora Gopinatha)
In the temple of Kshira-chora Gopinatha (Remuna, Orissa) the Deities of Madana-mohana, Govinda and Gopinatha are smeared with sandalwood pulp on this auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya. This tradition is being followed from the time of Sri Madhavendra Puri, one of the acharyas in the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradayas, who travelled from Vrindavana to Jagannath Puri on the order of Gopala Deity to collect sandalwood and camphor. On the way back, the Deity of Gopala ordered Madhavendra Puri to grind the sandalwood with camphor and apply it to Gopinatha Deity because the Deity of Gopala and Gopinatha are non-different. This Deity of Gopinatha stole a sweet rice pot for his dear devotee Madhavendra Puri and hence the name Kshira-chora Gopinatha.

4. Badrinath 

Badrinath
In Badrinath, the temples of Gangotri and Yamunotri are closed during winter. On the day of Akshaya Tritiya the shrines re-open for the pilgrims. 

5. Kumbakonam 

Kumbakonam
Kumbakonam, the temple-city, celebrates Garuda-vahana Seva for Vishnu Deities (Perumal) from 12 different temples: Chakrapani, Sarangapani, Varadaraja, Valvil Raman etc. Garuda, also known as Vainateya (the son of Vinata) is the bird-carrier of Lord Vishnu. He is the king of the birds (khagendra). In the Vedic literature it is stated that the two wings of Garuda are two divisions of the Sama Veda known (brhat and rathantara). The vibration generated by the flapping of his wings form the basis of Sama Veda mantras. Visit Kumbakonam on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya to have darshan of Dvadasha Garuda Seva. 

6. Guru Pushya 

Guru Pushya
There is a mad-rush for purchasing gold on Akshaya Tritiya. People believe that if we purchase gold on this auspicious day it will never diminish. But did you know that scriptures recommend Guru Pushya (Pushya Nakshatra falls on Thursday) as the auspicious day for purchase of gold. In 2015, the Guru Pushya yoga is formed only on July 16 and August 13.

7. Srila Prabhupada Incorporated The Leage of Devotees 

Srila Prabhupada Incorporated The Leage of Devotees
Did you know? Srila Prabhupada is the founder-acharya of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Before starting ISKCON Srila Prabhupada incorporated a society in India, called The League of Devotees, at Jhansi on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya (16th May) in the year 1953.

Friday, April 17, 2015

High Court drops contempt proceedings against Iskcon Bangalore

Deccan Herald: The High Court on Thursday dropped contempt proceedings against members of Iskcon (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) Bangalore and advocates, which it initiated for an attempt to malign Justice K L Manjunath, a judge of the High Court.

A division bench comprising Justices N Kumar and Indrakala dropped the contempt petition against Jai Chaitanya Dasa, secretary, Iskcon; Madhu Pandit Dasa, president, Iskcon; senior counsel S K V Chalapathi; counsels V H Ron, Ramesh Babu and S A Maruthi Prasad, saying that there was no scandalous attack on the judiciary in the matter.

“In the entire episode, the court is not involved. No scandalous attack is made on any judge or the judiciary in discharging their judicial functions. It’s purely a private matter between the learned judge, who was a devotee of the private temple, its faction and advocates representing the faction. The Contempt of Court Act 1971 was not enacted by parliament to deal with the situation arising out of circumstances displayed before us,” the bench observed in its over 230-page order.

Pointing out to the entire episode, which led to the contempt proceedings, the bench said the learned judge could not have taken note of the private communications relating to an appeal pending before him, as such things are forbidden.

“The two letters by the judge’s erstwhile senior counsel and his erstwhile junior colleague show they wanted to implicate their brother lawyers appearing in the case without any justification, which only speaks of professional jealousy. The learned judge could not see through this and was unnecessarily caught in the web. The erstwhile colleagues of the judge have not measured up to the standards of professional conduct and etiquette expected of them and it was improper on their part to have addressed those two letters. The learned judge also could not have taken note of these private communications relating to an appeal pending before him, as such private communications are forbidden,” the bench observed.


Related News Stories

1. Criminal Contempt Notice to ISKCON Mumbai

2. Mystery of the packet received by High court Judges

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Case study of H. H. Janananda Goswami

H. H. Janananda Goswami
H. H. Janananda Goswami
One of the most recently added gurus to the ISKCON GBC (Governing Body Commission's) list of 80+ voted-in gurus is HH Janananda Goswami (henceforward referred to as "Maharaja"). Being a new kid on the block, to try and establish himself, Maharaja has attempted to do something which very few gurus in ISKCON dare to do anymore: attack the IRM's position philosophically in writing. However, in attempting to do so, he has simply recycled the same old discredited arguments, already defeated many years ago. So, in addition to being a "new" guru, he also shows himself to be very new to the debate as well. As usual, we shall enclose his quotes in a box, with our responses following underneath. All his comments are taken from two letters he wrote on the subject, which have been forwarded on to us.


No guru succession

“The conversation with Tamal was referring to the assumption that the 11 rtviks chosen to initiate on Prabhupada’s behalf during his presences did not automatically become the next acaryas or initiating spiritual masters. Mostly everyone agrees with this. At the same time that doesn’t in any way justify thertvik philosophy. […] 
Mistakes may have been made in how we went about it - jumping in like a bull at the gate. Overwhelmed with the position etc.”
1) The 11 ritviks DID automatically become the next initiating spiritual masters, and they are still accepted as such today. None of the 11 ritviks who unauthorisedly automatically became initiating spiritual masters were ever removed for committing this “mistake”, but rather were allowed to authorise new gurus via the GBC’s voting system, of which Maharaja himself is a beneficiary. Rather, apart from those of the 11 ritviks who fell down, the others are still regarded today as bona fide gurus whose guru positions were correctly acquired.

2) If the 11 ritviks were not automatically meant to become initiating spiritual masters, then obviously they would have to stay as ritviks, since there is no authority for them to change their position.  
The law – Part 1

“ “But as a matter of etiquette it is the custom that during the lifetime of your Spiritual master you bring the prospective disciples to him, and in his absence or disappearance you can accept disciples without any limitation. This is the law of disciplic succession”(Letter to Tusta Krishna, 2/12/75) […] 
The law of disciplic succession refers to the second part – after the spiritual master’s departure one can initiate without restriction. It seems quite simple – maybe too simple for some. Prabhupada once said Krishna consciousness is so simple you may miss it.”
Yes, Maharaja does miss a very simple point, that the first and second part of the first sentence in the quote are linked by the simple word “and”, and then Srila Prabhupada refers to the whole sentence by saying “THIS” is the “law”. And ISKCON definitely have missed this “simple” point since they do not follow this “law”, by allowing disciples to initiate in the presence of their gurus. And the “law” only states the time period when it is, and is not, permissible to initiate. What we require is Srila Prabhupada exercising this law by authorising his disciples to initiate, something which Maharaja has just admitted was never done, since the 11 ritviks automatically becoming initiating spiritual masters was actually a “mistake”.  
The law – Part 2

“Now here are a few other quotes for consideration at least. […] 
“Those possessing the title of Bhaktivedanta will be allowed to initiate disciples. Maybe by 1975, all of my disciples will be allowed to initiate and increase the numbers of the generations. That is my program.” (Letter to Hamsaduta, 3/12/68) 
Having just quoted a letter from 1975 wherein Srila Prabhupada states it is part of the “law” to NOTinitiate in the presence of the Guru, Maharaja then contradicts himself by offering a quote where Srila Prabhupada speaks of initiations happening in 1975 as evidence that diksa (initiating) gurus were authorised! Obviously to stay consistent, the above quote can only be speaking of his disciples being authorised to initiate others on his behalf as ritviks, since they would initiating in his presence. And, of course, that is exactly what came to pass in 1977.  
Go home!

Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, amara ajnaya guru hana tara ‘sarva-desa: “O My dear disciples, I tell you that you, all of you, become spiritual master. Simply you carry out My order. That’s all.” “And what is Your order?” “The order is the same: yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krsna’-upadesa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. (Lecture, 5/9/69)
Prabhupada quoted this verse more than 350 times in the books and recordings alone.”
Yes, that is correct. However, it does not help Maharaja justify his position of taking disciples, since Srila Prabhupada also explained how one is supposed to execute the above order in the purports to the above verse:
“Many people come and inquire whether they have to give up family life to join the Society, but that is not our mission. […] 
That is, one should stay at home, chant the Hare Krsna mantra and preach the instructions of Krsna as they are given in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. […] 
It is best not to accept any disciples. One has to become purified at home by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and preaching the principles enunciated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 7:128, 130, purport, emphasis added)
Thus, to act as spiritual master means to stay at home, chant Hare Krishna to become purified, and not accept any disciples. So let Maharaja and all the other 80 unauthorised gurus go back to their family homes and not move from there, simply chant Hare Krishna, and not take any disciples, and we will all be happy.  
The Will

“2. Each temple will be an ISKCON property and will be managed by three executive directors. The system of management will continue as it is now and there is no need of any change.” (Last Will and Testament of Srila Prabhupada).”
The statement that the system of management should continue without change refers to the subject in point – ownership of ISKCON properties and the position of the GBC.”
Again, this is just some more wishful thinking by Maharaja. The Will only says “THE system of management”, not “This system of management”, or “The system of management only affecting properties and the position of the GBC”, or “The system of management as given 30 years later by Janananda Goswami” etc. Therefore, “The system of management” refers to the system of management as it was during Srila Prabhupada’s physical presence, which must necessarily include how initiations would be managed, which when the Will came into effect was via the ritvik system set up a few months earlier on July 9th, 1977, and which would now “continue” without “any change”.  
July 9th, 1977 Letter

“All this letter proposes or even changes was to whom the recommendations would be sent from now on. Read it carefully. It mentions nothing about changing the system of initiation or establishing a new one.”
We could not agree more that there is no mention of changing the system of initiation or establishing a new one. And what was the only system of initiation in ISKCON that everyone had known from day one? Everyone gets initiated by Srila Prabhupada, with his disciples usually helping in the initiation rituals. Maharaja’s statement simply begs the question that when did Srila Prabhupada change THIS system of initiation or establish a new one? He has already admitted that what did occur, with the 11 ritviks becoming gurus automatically, was a “mistake”.
So where is the order from Srila Prabhupada for these 11 ritviks to:
a) give up being ritviks;
b) change into diksa gurus;
c) authorise other gurus via a voting system;
since steps a-c is actually what happened (known collectively as the “Great Guru Hoax, parts 1 and 2”)? No order from Srila Prabhupada which encompasses all these above 3 steps has ever been presented by the GBC or by Maharaja.  
Offending Srila Prabhupada

“Another thing is that quite likely the rtvik proposal would not have been present had it not been for failure on the part of the initiating gurus. It wasn’t even discussed before that and for a total change based on a very indecisive letter, to take place due to this, lacks real substance.”
The ritvik proposal was always present, from the very day Srila Prabhupada authorised it in writing onJuly 9th, 1977, and it is because the GBC did not follow it that there was “failure on the part of the initiating gurus”. That it was not discussed was due to disobedience by the Society. To call this proposal of Srila Prabhupada’s “indecisive” is very offensive to Srila Prabhupada, since it is claiming that Srila Prabhupada was confused, and did not know what he wanted to do, and therefore he had his secretary send out an indecisive order on his behalf.
In addition to being offensive to Srila Prabhupada, Maharaja’s assertion is also hypocritical, because when it suits him Maharaja is also happy to claim that the contents of the letter are actually quite clear and decisive, as quoted in the last section:
“All this letter proposes or even changes was to whom the recommendations would be sent from now on. Read it carefully.”

Straw man

“Initiation is a necessity at some point but it’s both the disciple and guru’s choice. It can’t be force on the guru.
Hey Prabhupada I am your disciple now accept me. And here is my name….”
Here Maharaja states a “straw man” argument, which is attributing something to the ritvik position which is not actually advocated by the ritvik position. We are not proposing that anything is forced on Srila Prabhupada. We are simply saying that the system which Srila Prabhupada himself established for ISKCON on July 9th, 1977 be practiced. At this time he gave full power of attorney to the ritviks to accept disciples on his behalf without consulting him:
Srila Prabhupada:“So without waiting for me, wherever you consider it is right... That will depend on discretion.”
Tamala Krishna:“On discretion.”
Prabhupada:“Yes.”
Tamala Krishna:“That’s for first and second initiations.”
Prabhupada:“Hm.”
(Room Conversation, July 7th, 1977)
So to follow this system is not “forcing” something on Srila Prabhupada, rather it is called “following the order of the spiritual master”. Obviously, since this has been an alien concept for Maharaja and his guru colleagues for the last 30 years, we can understand why he would be confused!  
Siksa guru contradiction

“How I understand the situation realistically in ISKCON is that the position of Srila Prabhupada as thesiksa guru of all must be emphasised. […] 
At least in Prabhupada’s purports he mentions that generally the siksa guru becomes the diksa guru.The siksa guru in our movement refers to all the followers of Prabhupada also and the one who inspires the devotee most to follow the instruction of Prabhupada would be the natural choice of diksa.”
Having said that Srila Prabhupada’s position as everyone’s siksa (instructing) guru must be emphasised, and that the siksa guru generally then becomes the diksa Guru, any straight-thinking person would conclude from this that Srila Prabhupada is the natural choice of diksa Guru. Not Maharaja. He concludes from this the exact opposite, that Srila Prabhupada is therefore NOT the diksa Guru!
Conclusion
In addition to being a case study of Maharaja, the above analysis also serves as a case study of how the ISKCON gurus are still trying to dupe innocent persons into becoming their disciples by using the false arguments which were discredited and defeated long ago. Hence, it is important for every person who comes into contact with ISKCON to read BTP so that they may be forewarned and forearmed against the lies they will hear.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Karnataka High Court dismisses appeal of ISKCON Mumbai followers

Honourable High Court of Karnataka dismissed an appeal filed by some of the followers of ISKCON Mumbai on April 9th, 2015. Honourable Justice Anand Byrareddy was hearing an appeal filed by followers of ISKCON Mumbai seeking to get control of ISKCON Bangalore Society (Regn. No. S.49/78-79), claiming that they are the actual Governing body members. Earlier the same application was filed in the City Civil Court as OS 1758 of 2003 in Bangalore by ISKCON Mumbai followers and had been dismissed.
Amiya Vilas Swami
Amiya Vilas Swami
In the City Civil Court, Sri Amiya Vilas Swami and other followers of ISKCON Mumbai had claimed that they were the original founding members of ISKCON Bangalore Society (Regn. No. S.49/78-79). They had alleged that Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa and others had illegally taken over the society and were imposters. In an elaborate judgment running into several hundred pages, the Trial Court said that the claims of ISKCON Mumbai followers was legally untenable and dismissed their suit with costs.
During the course of the trial, some of the followers of ISKCON Mumbai including Sri Amiya Vilas Swami and others withdrew from the suit. But the remaining followers of ISKCON Mumbai went on an appeal before the Honourable High Court of Karnataka. During the course of the appeal, some more followers of ISKCON Mumbai withdrew from the suit citing various reasons. Sri Prasannatma Das, a follower of ISKCON Mumbai was the lone appellant left for some considerable time. Recently, Sri Amiya Vilas Swami once again sought to impaled himself as an additional appellant. Today, the Honourable High Court dismissed his application and the entire appeal itself on merits.
It may be recalled that ISKCON Mumbai is predominantly controlled by self-made Acharyas (not appointed by the Founder and Acharya of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada). Although Srila Prabhupada had given a written institutional directive on how he shall continue to be the Acharya of the institution and his senior disciples shall act as Representative of the Acharya, soon after his passing away, his immediate followers usurped the position of Acharya in ISKCON.  This has led to much abuse of powers, financial and moral corruption which is continuing even to this day all over the world. When Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa and other members of ISKCON Bangalore questioned ISKCON leaders in 1999 on these matters, ISKCON Mumbai and their agents and followers have been trying to oust Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa and others from the well-known ISKCON temple on Hare Krishna Hill, Rajajinagar, Bangalore. Devotees of ISKCON Bangalore following the written directives of ISKCON Founder-Acharya, Srila Prabhupada, adheres to the directive that Srila Prabhupada continues to remain the sole initiating Guru  and Acharya of ISKCON; whereas ISKCON Mumbai seeks to appoint successors to Srila Prabhupada, who will act as Acharyas based on a no-objection voting system. In 1999, the followers of ISKCON Mumbai and their self-made Acharyas tried to physically storm the Temple on Hare Krishna Hill, which forced devotees of ISKCON Bangalore to file a suit seeking a permanent injunction of non-interference in its affairs against ISKCON Mumbai and its self-made gurus.
Finding that their authority was disturbed, the self-made gurus of ISKCON resorted to all kinds of unethical, political means to disturb the yeoman services rendered by the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore. One such attempt was filing of this frivolous suit through some followers of ISKCON Mumbai falsely claiming to vest control of the ISKCON Bangalore society (regn no S.49/78-79). The Honourable High Court’s verdict today ensured that these frivolous claims come to a naught.
Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa, President of ISKCON Bangalore said, “It is indeed a great victory for the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore who have been subjected to relentless harassment by the self-made gurus of ISKCON. We hope that the self-made gurus of ISKCON will stop disturbing the various services rendered by ISKCON Bangalore to the society.”
Shanka Britha Dasa, Amiya Vilas Swami & Madhu Pandit Dasa at ISKCON Bangalore Ratha Yatra
Shanka Britha Dasa, Amiya Vilas Swami & Madhu Pandit Dasa at ISKCON Bangalore Ratha Yatra 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Unauthorised Guru Desire Causes Self-Delusion

Below we demonstrate with a case study example, how the threat posed by the ISKCON Revival Movement (IRM, publishers of BTP) to those who are desirous to be unauthorized ISKCON diksa gurus, leads to self-delusion.
Srila Prabhupada's teachings
A GBC-elected guru offered the following recollection of Srila Prabhupada teaching about the insignificance of physical association with the guru:
"Those who think that association with the spiritual master is physical, they are no better than a mosquito sitting on the lap of a king. And what is the business of a mosquito? Simply to suck blood. So many of my godbrothers, they were big, big sannyasis, and they thought like that, and they simply sucked blood."
(HH Giriraja Swami, "Srila Prabhupada -- Vani and Vapuh", 20/8/14)
The IRM also accepts Srila Prabhupada's teaching that physical association with the guru (vapuh) is not important compared to vani (association via instructions):
"There are some of my Godbrothers here in India who had constant personal association with Guru Maharaja, but who are neglecting his orders. This is just like the bug who is sitting on the lap of the king. He may be very puffed-up by his position, but all he can succeed in doing is biting the king. Personal association is not so important as association through service."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 20/2/72)
Yet, whilst GBC-elected guru HG Kripamoya Dasa ("KMD") does not object to this teaching when given by his GBC guru colleague above, he has attacked it (in an exaggerated fashion) when the IRM stated it:
"[...] the 'Back to Prabhupada' people [...] introduce vaguely impersonalist elements into Vaishnava theology [...] when we stress vani over vapu to the point where we deligitimise vapu almost entirely".
(KMD, The Vaishnava Voice, 30/6/09)

Thus, KMD will delude himself that Srila Prabhupada's teachings can become right or wrong depending on whether or not the IRM states them!
The need for association
In a similar vein, KMD claims that the IRM'S lack of physical association with Srila Prabhupada leads to less charitable behaviour:
"The IRM people [...] Most of them did not meet His Divine Grace personally, because if they had they would be infinitely more charitable with his disciples, just as he was."
(KMD Article, 2/8/12)
KMD also admits that he never met His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada personally either, beyond allegedly receiving a one-syllable acknowledgement:
"[...] you (Srila Prabhupada) replied "Jaya" [...] That was the only word you said to me directly [...] One word spoken thirty years previously".
(KMD, Vyasa-puja offering to Srila Prabhupada, 2007)
But KMD does not state that his lack of physical association with Srila Prabhupada also makes him less charitable to his Godbrothers.
So again, KMD can delude himself that the same principle can become right or wrong if the IRM is involved!
ISKCON reality
In regards to those, such as the IRM, who may point to ISKCON's lack of preaching success in certain areas, KMD claims that such a point is not true:
"From time to time I hear accusations that ISKCON is not growing; or worse still, that it may be shrinking; and that proof of this is that some temples are closing, empty during the week, or only attracting Indian families. Personally I don't believe that this is the case. I consider these accusations to be largely the propaganda strategies of embittered former members."
(KMD Lecture, 4/3/11)
Yet, when he himself states the same points, they magically become true!:
"In some parts it (ISKCON) has dried up. In some parts it is constipated. In some parts it is dust. In some places it has vanished. [...] 50% of our congregation go to congregational groups. And of that, only 50% turn up regularly [...] Guaranteed that many, many people who come to this temple on a Sunday don't know Caitanya Mahaprabhu after coming here for 20 or 30 years."
(KMD Lecture, 11/10/14)
Thus, again we see that KMD can delude himself that the same facts can become true or false if the IRM is involved!
Allegiance to Srila Prabhupada
KMD recently gave his effusive bless-ings for a temple's opening:
"This is a historic moment [...] an auspicious moment in history [...] from this place the fame of Caitanya Mahaprabhu will travel all over the world [...] now there is this wonderful place. [...] You have an even greater opportunity to give Krishna consciousness to the people, not only of London, but all of the South of England. [...] For this mandir, [...] let there be all success, all endurance, all health, all wisdom, all service, all joy and all victory."
(KMD Speech, 16/8/14)
But these blessings were not given for a temple where Srila Prabhupada is worshipped as the exclusive Acarya, which even the GBC accepts should be the case in ISKCON. Rather, the blessings were given for a Gaudiya Matha temple that actually has multiple acaryas, none of whom is Srila Prabhupada:
"Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math's current President-Acharya, Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj. [...] invited the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math Acharya-vrinda to attend [...] three of whom are appointed Acharyas."
(Official temple opening report)
Yet, the one movement that is promoting only Srila Prabhupada as the Acarya -- namely the IRM -- KMD states is "extremist", "parasitic" and "has created a Prabhupada of their own imagination" (KMD article, 2/8/12).
Thus, KMD deludes himself that it is better to glorify a group that does not accept Srila Prabhupada as Acarya, rather than one that does, due to the threat posed by the IRM to his position.

Conclusion

For those who are desirous of becoming unauthorised diksa gurus, Srila Prabhupada's teachings, the truth, and allegiance to Srila Prabhupada are no longer absolute. Instead, they become whatever they need to be, as dictated by the desire to protect one's unauthorised guru position from the threat posed to this position by the IRM. Therefore, whatever such a person says or does becomes corrupted by this desire. Hence, rather than being self-realised, those desirous of being unauthorised diksa gurus are simply self-deluded.

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