Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Case study of Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami

Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami: formerly Anirdhesh Vapu, head of the Mayapur Gurukula 

Here is a question I would like to ask: is Bhaktividyapurna Swami, formerly Anirdhesh Vapu head of the Mayapur Gurukula, less guilty than Dhanurdhara? Although there is no conclusive evidence that he has sexually abused any of the children under his care. There is however, plenty of evidence that he was violently beating the boys, in addition he made no significant attempts to expel and punish the many pedophile teachers and monitors that raped the children while he was the principal of the school.
Bhaktividyapurna is notorious for his expertise in lacerating the skin off the back of the children with one single hit of his special bendy bamboo cane. He would get the boys to kneel forward and hold their ankles with their hands, so as to form an arch of some sort with their body. He would then hit the boys on the back, causing the tip of the stick to whip around striking their chest. Many boys recall that he preceded his beatings with a sadistic ritual intended to increase the fear of his victims. He would smile and wiggle his eyebrows gleefully while bending the cane full circle and making whipping sounds with his mouth. Several boys suffered shock after those canings.
The father of a prospective student questioned Bhaktividyapurna Swami about the sexual abuse that was said to be taking place in the Mayapur Gurukula at the time. Bhaktividyapurna Swami gave him what I call the “Kirtanananda stance on sex”. He said something to the effect of, “sex, whether it is between you and your wife, not intended for procreating, or between a teacher and a boy is illicit: It is all sex”. As if morally and karmically they are on the same level. This is from a man whose job is to protect and guide the children.
Why has he not acknowledged his mistakes and offered an apology? If he does not feel he has done anything wrong, I am compelled to question his motives and qualifications. Today Bhaktividyapurna Maharaj is an authorized initiating Guru, Sannyas and still runs his own Gurukula in Mayapur specialized in “training brahmanas.” The GBC decided a fit punishment for his crimes was to temporarily suspend him from directly interacting with the children at his school. Personally I would like to know in what court of law such a punishment will be considered appropriate and just.
In the non-devotee world “karmis” cringe on hearing about child abuse. Yet in our vaisnava community, Gurus and Sannyasis have perpetrated child abuse and condoned it for years and very few ever stood up to say “this is unacceptable.” Why are we so apathetic as a society? What credibility does that give us as a spiritual community? That we have calmly allowed these atrocities to take place?
As aspiring Vaisnavas we must strive to be exemplary gentlemen before we can call ourselves Vaisnavas. We should first reach the level of sattva guna and then work our way up to shudda sattva, there is not enough emphasis in our society to behave like respectable citizens. In fact we have condoned and allowed so many despicable acts to go unpunished that this movement has been a heaven for criminals of every description. As a result some of our “pure devotees” have behaved in ways that no decent and moral “karmi” would ever consider acceptable.
Again word from Mayapur that false guru, Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami, has fallen down with an underaged minor. If it had occurred in the United States the criminal would be subjected to a prison sentence. But since it has happened in India, and under the protection of the GBC, it is swept under the carpet and forgotten. It's not that people weren't aware of what was going on.

For months people had been seeing Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami going around with this girl, him riding a motorcycle with her sitting on the back, right up next to him, cruising the back roads of Mayapur. Every single resident of Mayapur had seen it, and they all knew, but he was needed to run the gurukula, so they just let it go. I guess they were happy that at least he wasn't a homosexual, like the last three Mayapur Swamis (Bhavananda, Nitai Chand and Satadhanya).

A few months ago some of his disciples had complained to me that he was spending the entire day, from morning till evening, at the all-girls school, "teaching" the girls Bhagavad Gita, just so he could be around this girl. That's a lot of Bhagavad Gita to be teaching these young girls, wouldn't you think? From morning till evening. And then there were the secret rides out into the sunset with the girl on the back of his motorcycle, which everyone was aware of. Most of the people running the school were his disciples, so they couldn't say anything. They just silently went along and said, "Oh well."
The Mayapur management needs him to run one of the last few boys gurukulas left in ISKCON, so I wouldn't expect any push on their part to punish him. The word is it will be called an "accidental falldown", and not need to be disclosed to the public. This way they can keep the whole event internal, just amongst the Mayapur community, without having to really punish him or close the boys gurukula. These "accidental falldowns" seem to be quite common nowadays. Satsvarupa was also involved in an "accidental falldown", whereby he was able to hold onto his fake guru post and fake sannyasa. Till this day Satsvarupa is certified "as good as God" by the GBC. Suhotra Swami is another member of the "accidental falldown" guru club. Coincidently he also lives together with Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami at the Mayapur gurukula. After Suhotra's falldown, he had pledged to rededicate himself to sannyasa vows under the direct personal guidance and supervision of Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami. I guess that wasn't a very good idea, was it?
Suhotra had a special bonus with his accidental falldown, he got a nifty new pada title to add to his name. His actions had actually been so ridiculous that they couldn't cover it up and let him remain a sannyasi, but at the same time they didn't want to say he fell down. So they said he "downgraded himself to vanaprastha." What exactly does it mean when a sannyasi downgrades to vanaprastha? They could have just said he was caught going to prostitutes, but that wouldn't have sounded as advanced. So instead they decided to "downgrade him to vanaprastha". At the same time they wanted to cover up the fall down, so they announced that the GBC had awarded him a new name in recognition of his "severely austere nature". From now on he would be known as Tapovanacari - "the vanaprastha who does severe austerities (tapasya)". Yes, he is now Suhotra Das Tapovanacari - not just regular vanacari, but TAPOvanacari. So the good news for Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami is if he is lucky he may end up with a nifty new pada name like Suhotra got.
What's the lesson for the rest of us small time ISKCON devotees to learn? I really don't know. It's tough to figure out a spiritual moral from this, but maybe it's this:
If you go along with the corrupt GBC, you can remain a guru and sannyasi even if you are engaged in illicit activity. But if you happen to think Srila Prabhupada is the primary spiritual master of all devotees, you are banned, beaten, and thrown out of ISKCON forever. How long will everyone keep pretending things are getting better? When will you realize the GBC is corrupt from top to bottom. Just like they cover the falls of these small time gurus, they are also covering the falls of the bigtime gurus as well. How many disciples really know who their guru actualy is - what type of person is he? You see them for one day a year as they zip by to receive their yearly worship and dakshina from you and your temple. Do you have any idea how your guru lives, what he actually does, or anything at all about him? No. You see him for an hour a year, and you only see the big guru show they put on as they pass through.
It is a fact that the majority of ISKCON gurus no longer live in ISKCON temples, but have private houses where they stay with a few servants to take care of them. It is also a fact that the majority of high profile ISKCON gurus are multi millionaires. Take for example Bhakti Caru Swami, who a couple months ago pledged to donate $1,000,000 USD of his personal money to the GBC to be used for the child abuse court case. Where does someone like Bhakti Caru get $1,000,000? And do you think he is completely giving 100% of his total money? No way. If he is giving one million dollars that means he is sitting on 30 or 40 million dollars. Gaudiya sannyasis are traditionally known as "Tridandi Bhikshu", which literally means "street beggar", and several ISKCON millionaire sannyasis even print this title on their letterheads.
It is time for ISKCON devotees to see that the present gurus are looting Srila Prabhupada's movement of all it's finances. Why are the temples throughout the world struggling to stay open, and struggling to pay the bills? It is because all of the local money is sent off to these rich gurus. They initiate the local devotees, and then suddenly the temple loses it's donation base as the money is sent to millionaire gurus with swiss bank accounts. Money that should be going to build up Srila Prabhupada's temples locally is instead being sent to false Swamis who use it to continue their lives of sense gratification.
[PADA: This simply proves that the leaders were supposed to act as agents and not as messsiahs, the "representatives" (ritvik) idea was the right idea all along. I also asked some gurukulis: what about Svarupa's (and Sridhara's) idea that we need to "wait for another living guru," and they said: this guy sounds like the Heaven's Gate cult that was waiting for the space ship. You cannot run a religion based on "waiting" for someone who may come today, or may not ever come for the next 10,000 years, this is all speculation. Agreed. thanks pd]

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