Thursday, September 22, 2011

There is no hope for ISKCON leaders

We were in California recently where we were shown various articles written by devoted followers of Srila Prabhupada, all with the theme of trying to correct the ISKCON leaders who are in control of the institution. These leaders are accepted to be devotees by many people because they wear swami robes and initiate disciples as if they are authorized by the scriptures to be gurus. This is because most people in the west don’t know how real devotees act, and because such people are good at heart they accept these ISKCON leaders’ statements even though they blatantly intimidate others in many ways. Behaving in this way is contrary to the servitude demeanor of real devotees and many people in India know how real devotees act, which is why they are mostly very peaceful, but are criticized by these people as docile. The truth is they are happy to see others taking to their faith and tolerate their shortcomings.

After reading some of these articles we thought to relate to these devotees that these controlling godbrothers are inflicted with an incurable chronic disease and cannot be corrected, and therefore should be left alone because this is the scriptural recommendation. It is stated in the Subhasitani, dustesu vivadam asajjanasya seva laghutam prayati, “One should neither argue with nor present counterarguments to imposters because they will not heed, because by doing so instead of obtaining merits for the service, they become implicated with half of the imposter’s sin.” Even though a person may act as a devotee, if they have not truly had a change of heart and are not fully committed to serving the Lord they should not be served. People should know if a person is not always at peace by holding Krsna dear in their heart they are not a pure devotee. We’ve been called a Hindu many times for trying to advise the ISKCON leaders to the true purport of the scriptures, to no avail. We have determined they are adverse to following the scriptures because they have yet to develop a true servitude nature. We’re not translating such verses to retaliate against them for any reason, but such verses are the true advice of the scriptures for one’s spiritual elevation. Scriptural advice does not mislead anyone at any stage, but benefits the follower in every way. Hence, it should be understood that such people have not yet become real devotees in their heart and therefore should be left alone. As stated by Chanakya Pandit:

saile saile na manikyam mauktikam na gaje gaje

sadhava nahi sarvatra chanmdanam na vane vane

“Just as every hilltop doesn’t contain a ruby, a pearl isn’t found inside the head of every elephant, and sandalwood trees are not found in every forest; similarly real devotees are not in every gathering of people who seem like devotees.”

People who dress and act like devotees but who have not become real devotees in their heart are referred to as imposters in the scriptures. Having a real change of heart means, just as a mother is always thinking lovingly about her child, a person who has had change of heart thinks about the Lord. Hence the person no longer secretly desires position, fame, material association etc, but rather yearns to think about the Lord. Actions speak louder than words and by the ISKCON leaders actions a person can easily see they have other things on their minds than Krsna. These verses refer to people who have not had a real change of heart.

If imposters gather they should not be disturbed nor encountered in any way because they will join forces and gang up to destroy anyone who threatens their position. As stated in the Niti Sastra:

Bahubhir na virodhavyam durjanaih dustyajair api

Sphurantamani nagendra bhaksayanti pipilikah

“Wise true devotees shouldn’t argue, confront or fight with wicked-minded imposters because they have not yet changed their hearts to become real devotees, which is why they will gang up on one  and destroy them just like meat-eating fiery ants gang up and attack even a poisons cobra who may be angrily hissing, yet they still kill and eat it.”

Vidura Maharaja also states to Yudhisthira in the Mahabharat, suhrdas capi dustasya mulad uddharanam varam, “It is better to leave imposters who may even look like devotees and carry on with one’s prescribed devotional services to reach their ultimate goal.” While following this rule a wise person should perform their prescribed devotional duties in a favorable place in the company of a real devotee; and not waste their valuable time trying to correct those who are beyond all correction. Sometimes imposters learn and speak logical philosophy and act like devotees but remain irreligious at heart, which is why they should not be trusted because at any stage they can betray, thus causing the person pain because they believed in them. As stated in the Niti Sastra:

Durjanah priya-vadi ca naitad visvasa karanam

Madhu tisthati jihvagre hrdaye tu halahalam

Durjanena samam sakhyam dvesam capi na karayet

Usno dahati cangarah sitah krsnayate karam

Khalanam kantakanam ca vdividhaiva prati-kriya

Upanan mukha-bhango va durato va visarjanam

“Even if an imposter speaks sweetly, with their words filled with logical philosophy they should not be trusted because such sweetness is just a temporary state of their tongue. Their heart, by nature, remains filled with incurable poison. Therefore they should not be corrected because they will not listen, nor consoled because they will be offended. Any good advice given them will be taken in the opposite way. Associating with such people is like touching red hot charcoal that burns and causes pain or like touching cool charcoal that dirties the hand. There are only two ways to deal with wicked people— either destroy them or leave them alone. They should be dealt with like a person deals with thorns, they either wear shoes to break them or avoids them by walking away from them. Thus avoiding spiritual and material pain”

Srila Vyasadeva warns the sincere in the following way:

Tyaja durjana samsarga kuru sadhu samagamam

Bhaja laksmi-patim visnum bhukti mukti pradayakam

Durjano dosam adhatte durgandham iva sukarah

Sajjanas ca guna-grahi hamsah ksiram ivambhasah

Durjanasya ca sarpasya varam sarpo na durjanah

Sarpo damsati kalena durjanas tu pade-pade

“O people, if you want to advance on the spiritual platform please give up all connections with wicked imposters who only claim to be devotees but have not yet changed their hearts to spirituality. Seek out a real devotee and under his direction, supervision and with his association serve the Supreme Lord, who rewards all material and spiritual benedictions, because the nature of wicked-minded imposters is like that of hogs who eat filthy things, leaving palatable dishes aside. Such people enjoy their bad qualities and cannot tolerate the good qualities of others. Therefore associate with real devotees who have the nature of a swan who easily separates milk from water, drinking the milk and leaving the water; thus aspiring devotees should develop divine qualities and leave bad qualities behind. If you have a choice between a wicked imposter and a poisonous snake choose the poisonous snake because the poisonous snake will only bite when time of death arrives, whereas the wicked-mined imposter disturbs one’s devotional service at every step.”

In other words one should stay away from imposters because they cannot be corrected. Only an innocent person can be corrected. A sleeping person can be woken, but not a person pretending to sleep. Therefore using one’s time to write articles and printing magazines against such people is not advised by the Vedic scriptures. It is stated:

Durjano narjavam yati sevyamano’pi nityasah

Svedanabhy anjanopayaih sva-puccham iva namitam

“Just as a dog’s tail can’t be straightened by regular massage or servicing it many ways for a long time or putting it into a straight pipe, similarly wicked imposters pretending to be devotees cannot be corrected by any means or counseling. They will always remain as crooked as a dog’s tail.”

Therefore endeavoring to correct imposters causes frustration and anxiety and is a losing battle. It is best to leave them aside and use one’s time in a beneficial way like heeding the scriptures and use that knowledge to seek out a real saintly person and serve Lord Krsna under his supervision. Even if one sees a seemingly external undesirable quality in such a saintly person he should be associated with because Lord Krsna lives in the heart of such a real devotee in His magnified, active form and real blessing will be gotten. That is why the scriptures state:

Susajjananam hi samsargah nitaram parisobhanam

Padma-patra-sthitam toyam dhatte mukta-phalam-sriyam

Kachah kancana samsargad dhatte marakatim dyutim

Tatha sat-sannidhanena murkho yati pravinatam

“Association of real devotees is always beneficial and such association is glorified in the scriptures because it elevates the position of an ordinary person, like a drop of due on a lotus petal looks as beautiful as a pearl. And just as a piece of glass placed on a jeweled ring is identified with the beauty of a priceless jewel, similarly an ordinary person that connects to a real devotee becomes knowledgeable and well situated.”

One may wonder how to recognize a real saintly person because many people say they are saintly and better than others and that others are not as good as them. In answer to this question the logic of the Nyaya Sastra states:

Yatha caturbhi kanakam pariksyate

Nirgharsanam chhedanam tapa-tadanaih

Tatha caturbhih purusam pariksyate

Tyyagena silena gunena karmana

“Just as the authenticity of gold is determined using four different tests, by rubbing on a touchstone, cutting it into pieces, melting it and by hitting it with a hammer; similarly a person is understood to be a real devotee by examining him in four different ways, by his outgoing straightforward nature, by learning of his pure birth dynasty, by his unconditional spiritual dedication, and by his constant performance of spiritual activities.”

Therefore, those who are heart of heart followers of spiritual life, those aspiring to advance on the spiritual path and those interested in pleasing Lord Krsna should follow scriptural statements and stop using their time and energy trying to correct those who cannot be corrected. Such people should be left alone, just as a doctor who determines a fallen soldier on the battlefield is terminal and goes to help someone else. Time is very valuable, therefore it is better to utilize it by searching out a real devotee whose qualities are mentioned in the ancient scriptures and learn how to transform our aggressive nature to one of servitude, because only servants enter the kingdom of God. The Hitopadesa states, upadeso hi murkhanam prakopaya na santaye, “Giving good advice to imposters doesn’t pacify them but only makes them angrier.” So it is best to physically and mentally leave such class of people behind and participate with those where your devotional service will be recognized by Lord Krsna.

Jai Sri Radhe

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