Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Dayalu Nitai Sundar Das Exposed (Part 4): ISKCON Bangalore Rebut

Hare Krishna Community’s (HKC) Dharmendra Sharma a.k.a. Dayalu Nitai Dasa has been making vicious propaganda against Iskcon Bangalore group of temples & Akshaya Patra. It is unfortunate that Dayalu launches a scathing attack on Srila Prabhupada’s movement simply because it does not subscribe to his personal ambition. Notwithstanding Bangalore’s yeoman service, Dayalu’s myopic vision is playing body double to his ambition, in his stunts. Since protecting Srila Prabhupada’s mission from the attacks of unscrupulous persons is of paramount importance, we will now discuss and clarify the allegations made, for the benefit of our readers – the followers of Srila Prabhupada.

Topic 1 -  Akshaya Patra Mid-day Meal Program

Looking out of his window one day in Mayapur, Srila Prabhupada, saw a group of children fighting with street dogs over scraps of food. From this simple, yet heart-rending incident, was born a determination that no child within a radius of ten miles from our centre should go hungry. His inspiring resolve has helped in making The Akshaya Patra Foundation, what it is today.
Akshaya Patra reaches out to 1,402,393 children in 23 locations across 10 states of India, providing them with freshly cooked prasadam meal on all school days. Currently, it implements the programme in 10,661 schools of the country, with plans to increase the number to hundreds more. Each centre of The Akshaya Patra Foundation operates under the guidance of devotee-presidents who, on a voluntary basis, oversee the functioning of the organisation. A team of hired men helps in the cooking in the mechanized, ISO standard kitchens where high standards of hygiene are ensured.
These men participate in kirtans regularly & are encouraged to chant. An initiated devotee offers the food to deities/picture of Lord Jagannath/Krishna. And finally during lunch hour, in most schools (except Urdu medium) children chant prayers & Hare Krishna mantra before taking prasadam.
So what are Dayalu’s complaints? Basically:
1.  Akshaya Patra distributes food, not prasadam, and thus is philanthropic, & since only feeding happens without kirtan, it is useless.
2.  It supports the (mundane) education system comparable to a slaughterhouse.

Allegation # 1 Refuted:

According to Dayalu, unless food is cooked by devotees it is not prasadam. And although in the same breath he admits that for mass cooking Srila Prabhupada allowed hiring professional cooks provided they are clean, wear kanthi mala and follow the principles as far as possible, he conveniently overlooks this exception made by Srila Prabhupada:
Prabhupada: No, no, cooking alone, it is not possible. So that you have to do. Find out some men. Cooperate. Otherwise how it is possible?
Hamsaduta: Yes, therefore I'm asking you about hired people, whether hired people are good. In my experience...
Prabhupada: So if they are, if our men not available, then you must hire, hire people. But not these carpenters or like that.
Mahamsa: No, we should get professional cooks who are really good, like this man who cooked today.
Prabhupada: Yes. And this man is coming. He can bring.
Mahamsa: Yes, he himself will come. But he will have the habit of smoking and I think we can at the most regulate his smoking. "If you want to smoke, you go somewhere far away and smoke and before you start cooking you must wash yourself, have a bath, and then do the cooking."
Prabhupada: Yes. What can be done? Ne mama che kana mama  "If there is no uncle, one blind uncle is all right." So the matter is now clear. You do it and develop it.
- Room Conversation, Dec 12, 1976,  Hyderabad
Thus we see that Prabhupada is practical, not short-sighted like Dayalu Nitai. It is not expected that a few brahmacaris do the mammoth cooking in the wee hours everyday, keeping aside their other preaching/devotional engagements. The hired cooks may not have been devotees at the time of induction, but they are encouraged to become devotees gradually. So when the cooks adhere to the rules of cleanliness (cleanliness standards as per ISO guidelines are followed) and try to be devotees as far as possible, and a devotee offers it to Lord Krishna, the food becomes sanctified prasadam. Hence it is derogatory and most offensive to call it bhoga or ordinary food.
Next, coming to the point of prasadam distribution without kirtan, Dayalu again displays his myopia, because even if in some cases, like Urdu schools or others, where it is not practically feasible to encourage kirtan, the prasadam distribution alone is sufficient. This point is driven home on several occasions by His Divine Grace. Some quotes:
Gradually, you'll understand Krishna, by eating only. Krishna is not so easy to be understood, but we are giving you facility to eat krsna-prasadam so that one day you can understand this movement. This is the policy. Actually, that is the policy. We are not poor-feeding. That is not our philosophy. Like Vivekananda. Daridra-narayana-seva. No, we are not after that. We are giving you prasadam. And that is fact, that by eating, eating, eating, eating, you one day will become Krishna conscious. Simply by eating. Because you are so dull, you cannot understand the philosophy. You know the belly like the animals. So therefore we are giving facility, "All right, fill up your belly, fill up your belly. And you'll be infected." As you take foodstuff from an infected area, you become infected with some disease, so this is Krishna infected, prasadam. You take it, and one day you'll be diseased with Krishna consciousness. And that is a fact. Some way or other, let him come in contact with Krishna. He'll be benefited. Some way or other, let him come to the light. May be dim light or very big light. Light is light.                                   
- Room Conversation Apr 30, 1976, Fiji
Prabhupada: Somehow or other engage. If you cannot engage him, then let him simply eat. Engage him in eating, that's all. We are actually doing in the beginning: "Please come here and take some prasadam and go home."
- Room Conversation Apr 2,1972, Sydney
Just like we are giving prasadam every week on Sunday, distributing prasadam. That is the bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga means that sympathetic to persons who are not devotee of Krishna. Devotee or not devotee, by eating krsna-prasadam, he'll gradually become devotee.                        
- Lecture Nov 27, 1974, Bombay
Krishna Consciousness is so nice that if one takes part in it in either ways, like hearing, chanting, remembering, worshiping, praying, or even simply by eating prasadam, the transcendental effect will be visible.
- SP letter 23 Nov 1967
If we get opportunity, we can give sumptuous prasadam. We are doing that in all other centers throughout the whole world. By eating, simply by eating, one can be beloved. It doesn't require if he simply eats Krishna prasadam. It is so nice method.
- Lecture Apr 16, 1974 Bombay
You go on eating this prasadam, you become spiritualized.
- Lecture Feb 13, 1969, LA
Allegation # 2 Refuted:
Again according to Dayalu, schools are slaughterhouses and hence Akshaya Patra is doing a great disservice by providing prasadam there thus inviting children to be slaughtered! But it is interesting to note that Dayalu says Krishna is using his IIT degree for preaching nicely. Hypocrisy? Of course. Excerpt from his post:
“ Nimai Pandit Prabhu raised this issue repeatedly in Iskcon Bangalore GBC meetings to recognize HKC as an authorized Prabhupadanuga center. In response to that Iskcon Bangalore GBC gave a proposal to me through Nimai Pandit that 2 centres in one city will create problems later on so I should close HKC and move to Jodhpur and take care of AP and FOLK preaching there. This happened in 2009. I had replied to Iskcon Bangalore GBC though Nimai Pandit that if the 2 temple presidents sign a memorandum of understanding then we can co-exist peacefully. And still if all the devotees feel that there should be only one centre then instead of me going to Jodhpur, let Ratnagada go out of Jaipur and I will take care of Jaipur. At this point I had given many reasons why it is not a good idea to ask me to move out of Jaipur as Krishna is utilizing my I.I.T degree, my being a local person from Jaipur etc. nicely for preaching.”

Though Srila Prabhupada expressed unhappiness that the modern education system is devoid of God consciousness, it is not that he recommended their boycott.  The following quotes show how material qualification is also necessary for dealing successfully in the material world for the purpose of preaching Krishna consciousness. Unless one is materially not ordinary, he cannot preach.  “Nicad apy uttamam vidyam. Nica. According to Vedic system, education has to be taken from high class, intellectual person like the brahmanas. But if you find that a person who is not a brahmana—he's less than a brahmana, or even lower caste—but if he has got some nice education, just accept him as your teacher and learn. Not that "Because he's lowborn or not brahmana, I shall not take the education from him." The point is that you have to take the education.”                                                                                                                                   - SP lecture 28 Jul, 1971
For the present you should continue going to school because education is important. Without education nobody has any social position and all our students in Krishna Consciousness are expected to be preachers. So preachers must have sufficient education because they have to meet with so many opposing elements.  
- SP letter 17 Dec, 1967
vidyam cavidyam ca yas  tad vedobhayam saha / avidyaya mrtyum tirtva  vidyayamrtam asnute
“Only one who can learn the process of nescience and that of transcendental knowledge side by side can transcend the influence of repeated birth and death and enjoy the full blessings of immortality.”                                                
– Isopanishad mantra 11
This does not mean that all activities for the maintenance of the body should be stopped. There is no question of stopping activities, just as there is no question of wiping out one's temperature altogether when trying to recover from a disease. "To make the best use of a bad bargain" is the appropriate expression. The culture of spiritual knowledge necessitates the help of the body and mind; therefore maintenance of the body and mind is required if we are to reach our goal.
-  From SP’s purport, Isopanishad mantra 11
So unless one is materially not ordinary, he cannot preach. All the Gosvamis, they were coming from respectable... And where Gauòiya Matha came? These are third-class men, no position in their past life.…. Uneducated, half-educated, poor, poverty-stricken. They could not do anything. Some of our Godbrothers I have beat them. (Like Tirtha) (indistinct). In his previous life he had a big, big business organization. So therefore he has been able to organize. They will admit. They are coming from some third-class status of life. This is not tripe, this is fact.
Paramahamsa: Actually, I noticed that myself so many times in the way you handle money and the managerial affairs, very expert.
Prabhupada: Yes, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's... Sri-caitanya-mano 'bhistam sthapitam yena bhu-tale, svayam rupa gosvami. Who established the mission of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu? Rupa Gosvami. He was minister. He was not a cultivator, plow department…..….
Paramahamsa: But if you become high quality or high class, then automatically you attract that type of person.
Prabhupada: Yes. That you can do. You American people, you can do. That I am instructing. You can do. And actually, because some of you will cooperate the movement is going on. Therefore I came to America. When I found that in India no intelligent boys were coming, then I decided, "Let me go to America."
- Conversation May 8, 1975 Perth
Apart from this perspective, what Srila Prabhupada wants is that children should be taught Krishna consciousness – at school or home, as the following quote shows:
In our country, it is a different thing; at least we have got the Vedic culture at home if it is not in the schools.                                        
- Lecture Nov 20, 1971, Delhi
Thus Iskcon Bangalore & group of temples have been conducting a number of Krishna conscious programs in schools throughout the year. To name a few programs that are getting a tremendous response from the student community:

•  Culture Camp during Summer Vacation for Class I to Class X
•  Heritage Fest – an Inter School Cultural Competitions for LKG to Class X
•  Sri Krishna Contest – Written Quiz Competition for Class V to Class X
•  Goloka Shades – Coloring Competition for LKG to Class X
•  Gita Quiz – Quiz Competition based on Bhagavad-gita As It Is for Class V to Class X

The authorities at Iskcon Bangalore and Akshaya Patra are thus convinced that this prasadam distribution program is authorized by Srila Prabhupada, is in line with his desires & teachings, and that it is going to have a massive impact on the re-spiritualization of the entire world in the coming days.
On the other hand, Dayalu Nitai Dasa, with his narrow vision and poor fund of knowledge, should accept a challenge to arrange to feed 1.5 million persons - prasadam cooked and distributed by all pure devotees – on a daily basis. Until and unless he can do this, he should stop his wrangling - misleading people against the noble work of Iskcon Bangalore & Akshaya Patra. Hare Krishna!

For Part 1: CLICK HERE
For Part 2: CLICK HERE
For Part 3: CLICK HERE
For Part 5: CLICK HERE
For Part 6: CLICK HERE
For Part 7: CLICK HERE

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