PADA: OK right, the gopis were previously sages who had prayed to have Krishna as their paramour, so their lives here were a stepping-stone of training to attain that level on the eternal abode of Krishna. Their lila here with Krishna is not the same as their lila will be when they are in Krishna loka. However, since they were with Krishna directly while here, I doubt they had any concerns for chiding and chastismements, of anyone. They were (and are) in eternal samadhi internally, so the externals did not really bother them much. The main point is: that simply advertising oneself as a "nikunya yuno rati keli" -- "pure devotee assistant of the gopis," does not make one such an associate, its not a title, its a post of internal realization. That was my actual point. Sorry if I did not make this clear. So this was my first complaint, how can we worship Jayatirtha as a "nikunja yuno" (gopi assistant) prabhu, when he is smoking pot and having affairs with female disciples? That was the first problem I had in the latter part of 1978. ys pd
NISCALA DD: Ironically, the GBC are supporting the ritviks, by such disregard for their valuable work (such as Akshaya Patra), for an objective viewer thinks "who should I follow? These (GBC) guys spending millions to sue people who are helping millions of Indian villagers - or the guys doing the good work?" It wouldn't take long to figure it out for anyone with a moral compass.
If the GBC want to support a philosophy that anyone qualified to be a guru, can be one and spread KC all over the world, which is LC's philosophy, then they should provide an example of saintly non-envious behavior, non- sectarian equal vision, soft-heartedness, freedom from possessiveness and other qualities described in sastra that indicate self-realized souls, capable of becoming spiritual masters, spreading KC in a non-dogmatic fashion that attracts the intelligent and soft-hearted person who is best qualified to become a genuine devotee of the Lord, Who resdes in everyone's heart.
Otherwise all they attract to become their disciples are people like them- self-centred, possessive, sectarian and blind. A devotee is described as a kind friend to everyone, so gentle in dealings that even rogues and rsascals become attracted. He does not have to sue opponents to become successful- the seeds of his own success are within him. They become self-effulgent over time, like SP did.
Such internally qualified souls do not need the approval of the organization they joined to become qualified gurus, nor are they hampered by non-approval of ritvik guruosophy. I don't mean, by all this, to detract at all from the issue of child abuse, but clearly the two are linked. When the dynamic is to crush opposition- regardless of whether it is doing good work or not, by protecting kids, feeding kids, or speaking unpleasant truth- when institutionalized rubber stamping has replaced internal qualifications such a soft-heartedness as an indication of purity, then all devotional service becomes tainted and turned into something else. Then no one is helped- neither devotees in their spiritual quest for enlightenment, nor the general public who would have been benefitted, materially and spiritually, by their association. NDD
Iskcon devotees enviousness to Srila Prabhupada:
Ramkumar: This is how I was thrown out of Iskcon: "Bhakti vriksha" (GBC) leaders were trying to satisfy women by declaring Srila Prabhupada’s teachings are controversial! Women were bitter towards Srila Prabhupada because he condemned free mixing of men-women, and he imposed the same restrictions as sastras like Manu samhita imposed.
These leaders were mixing freely with women, cutting jolly jokes. To satisfy them, they condemned Srila Prabhupada's teachings. I objected, quarreled with them for their critiquing Srila Prabhupada! Then, every one of them threatened me, and I was thrown out!
[PADA: Right, anyone who supports the teachings of the Vedas is condemned in ISKCON. Of course, this same problem has spread all over India -- "freely mixing of men and women" -- this is commonly seen all over their Bollywood culture. Shastra says: mixing freely men and women is "putting butter into a fire." That is quite correct.
Look all around at all the fall downs of the big guru / sannyasa folks in ISKCON and the Gaudiya Matha, and look at the scandals of many other big "gurus" in India, and look at the horrendous record of abortions all over the world including India etc. Its not hard to figure out that this "mixing freely" is causing a problem.
Anyway its amazing, this poor fellow cited Srila Prabhupada (who cites Vedic scriptures) and he is booted out of ISKCON for citing -- the guru of ISKCON. Incidentally, a devotee from India wrote to tell us the mass abortions of females is causing a huge rise in the male population over there, and this is leading to more and more homosexuality, just like males become homosexuals in prisons. So this artificial suppression of proper heterosexual relations is making even more abominable problems.
That means shastra is correct, sex life should be regulated or else it gets out of control. Srila Prabhupada said thus in 1977, no more sannyasa and -- everyone should get married (i.e. regulate the sex urge). That is the idea of shastra. Of course the ultimate ideal of shastra is to become free of sex desire altogether by meditating on Krishna. Then, all of the above problems are solved simultaneously. Clearly, these alleged gurus are not meditating on Krishna, otherwise they would not be falling into illicit sex left, right and center. No wonder they are criticizing these injunctions. ys pd]
Dear prabhus, In the latter part of 1978, when I said that Jayatirtha is bogus, Sridhara Maharaja said I was the bogus person for "disturbing the sraddha of the sisyas."
Sridhara Maharaja then went on to defend Hansadutta after he was arrested with a machine gun; Then SM supported Bhagavan telling Ramesvara he could not give up his vyasasana; Then SM supported keeping Tamal and Hansadutta during the Topanga episode, at every step SM supported keeping deviants in the Vyasasana. Even after Hansadutta told SM that he was taking drugs like Percodans and he was having sex with half dozen "disciples" SM told him, stay on the Vyasasana. SM has no idea what a Vyasasana means.
Of course SM was the person who said we need to worship Ananta Vasudeva in 1936, another bogus messiah. And then Narayana Maharaja's folks handed me their Guru Tattva booklet in 1997, which says "there was nothing wrong" with Ananta Vasudeva being made the acharya. "There is nothing wrong" with bi-sexual deviants posing as acharyas? So this may be in part a Catholic Church idea (voted in Pope), but many folks from India supported these bogus gurus, and they still are their biggest supporters. This is why Srila Prabhupada told his followers: "Do not make my mission into another Gaudiya Matha or Catholic Church." ys pd
Hare Krishna text not banned by Russian court Sofia Javed, Associated Press Thursday, December 29, 2011
A Russian court decided Wednesday not to ban a religious text central to the global Hare Krishna movement, rejecting claims that the text is "extremist" and ending a case that has angered Hindus around the world.
The Indian Foreign Ministry said it appreciated "this sensible resolution of a sensitive issue."
Prosecutors in the Siberian city of Tomsk had argued that the Russian translation of "Bhagavad Gita as It Is" promotes "social discord" and hatred toward nonbelievers, causing an outcry in India, where many considered the proposed ban a violation of the rights of Hindus in Russia.
The text is a combination of the Bhagavad Gita, one of Hinduism's holiest scriptures, and commentary by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which is often called the Hare Krishna movement.
The prosecutors had asked the court to include the book on the Federal List of Extremist Materials, which bans more than 1,000 texts, including Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and books distributed by the Jehovah's Witness and Scientology movements.
Alexander Shakhov, a lawyer for Hare Krishna devotees in Tomsk, said the group is satisfied with the court's decision.
Yury Pleshakov, a spokesman for the group in Moscow, said the book in question has existed in Russia for 25 years and has never inspired violence or extremist activity.
The trial, which began in June, followed this year's ban on the construction of a Hare Krishna village in Tomsk and was based on an assessment by professors at Tomsk University, who concluded that "Bhagavad Gita as It Is" includes strong language against nonbelievers and promotes religious hatred and discrimination on the basis of gender, race, nationality and language.
The ruling came a day after Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna met with Alexander Kadakin, Russia's ambassador to India, and urged the Russian government to resolve the issue.
This article appeared on page A - 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle
PADA: Yes, as a matter of fact some real hard line Gaudiya Matha people are citing PADA's web sites, writings, and giving links to PADA's videos and so forth -- on their sites and blogs. Hmmm, seems like they are catching up to speed gradually. Very good news! I don't really want to reveal who they are just yet, but the bottom line is -- more folks are agreeing with our points. ys pd
PADA: Sorry Niscala, you are trying to re-write history. We were reporting these child abuses to the GBC and to many of the devotees (many of them were parents as well) way back at least as early as 1980. I was writing to folks like Mukunda Maharaja all along, in fact everyone on the GBC knew I was kicked out for saying my children are never going to worship these people and go to their "guru schools." In 1986 we informed all the GBC that there was widespread pedophilia in New Vrndavana, Mayapura etc., we were then told by Mukunda Maharaja -- that we were "offending great pure devotees like Kirtanananda."
That is how Sulochana was killed and I was almost killed, the GBC excommunicated us and had not the FBI came to Berkeley to notify the police on May 25, 1986 that "Puranjana is next on their hit list," I would have died. When Tirtha was arrested he had a note in his pocket with the license number of my car, he was "doing surveillance" on me. The FBI said I was next. After that when three people were chasing me with aluminum baseball bats, the police came around the corner and stopped that, i.e. the police were watching me or else I would have died then. As for the parents, many of them vociferously objected to me all along, and some of them excommunicated their own children when they found out these ex-kids were helping me with the Turley case, i.e. many parents helped with the cover up. Please do not re-write the history of these victims, it just re- victimizes them. The Catholic church has maybe .05 percent molesting, our kids faced 50 percent molesting, this is ridiculous comparison. Do not paper over the facts, that is my main request. ys pd
[PADA: Of course Lenny Sislac says that anyone who risks their life opposing child molesting is a crazy man who needs professional help, in other words he is saying exactly what the molesters are saying. He is their disciple, they said the same things he says, he is their top cheer leader. ys pd]
[PADA NOTE: Now Lenny Sislac is saying what the GBC said in 1978, that I am a crazy crack pot who needs professional help. That is how the GBC / Lenny and his team got thousands of children molested in the first place, they said my complaints are all "craziness." Lenny says we did not bring this up in 1978, sorry we did, and his clan said we were crazy then, and they STILL say the same thing now, i.e. they suppressed us then and all the way up to now, and thus they aided and abetted the molesters. ys pd]
PADA: Windle Turley helped stop the 1990s' suicide epidemic to almost nil, and people like Lenny Sislac despise that fact. Folks like Lenny Sislac are the reason these children were commiting suicide in the first place, i.e. the children saw that people like Lenny were never coming to their aid, EVER, and so -- the main help they got was from a lawyer in Texas AND thus -- not help from the tender mercies of "devotees" like Lenny. In addition, had the suicides continued, the New York Times headlines would have been instead "ISKCON Children Suicide Epidemic" -- this is the headline folks like Lenny wanted.
Yep, these children knew that the main "mercy" that they were getting was from outside of ISKCON, and people like Lenny were not only not going to help, Lenny types wanted to suppress us from helping these children -- at all, and they still do. He is angry the suicides were slowed and almost stopped, and that job had to be done by some man from Texas and not "the merciful devotees." It makes "great devotees" like Lenny look foolish, and that is why he is still protesting. Also notice, that means the children are right, many of these "big devotees" did not care about them at all, many devotees were only worried about: -- paying lawyers, what the newspapers are saying, money, ok money, and then again money, that is all Lenny ever talks about, what about the money, these are all material things, the lives of the children were never important to these folks apparently. Lenny has confirmed that we were right on the go to Turley, there would have been a suicide epidemic and no one else would have intervened if not for Turley. Lenny Sislac wanted these children to die, that was his plan to "fix things," and it still is, he wanted to put them under the carpet and have them die silently, ok just like the GBC did. ys pd
Lenny Sislac has really shown the whole world the brick wall we have been up against all along since the late 1970s. As soon as we said there was a problem with the children, starting in the late 70s, people like the GBC / many parents / Lenny Sislac started talking about "the money," "the potential bad news media," and this and that and the other, and they never said, "Hey, we cannot have abuse of children going on." And while I am getting chased with baseball bats for defending the children, Lenny is giving all the main arguments given by the GBC still today even. We slowed the suicides, and he is not happy with that, he is always talking just like a GBC man about "the money" and he never cares one iota for the children. He is clearly still part of their mentality. He said I waited, no I said things right at the beginning and was kicked out, he is the one who waited, he never said anything to defend the children and now he says he is sad we helped them at all.
I am going to start to delete Lenny Sislac quotes. I said we stopped and epidemic of suicides, and he says he hates that, which means he favors children commiting suicides, he is one of the GBC's and molesters pals clones, plain and simply, he is defending the molesters by syaing no one should have even tried to stop the suicides. He never says one word about these children, he never lifted one finger to help them and anyone who did, he attacks, he hates children and loves to see them die. He and his GBC pals are the reason we had to go to court in the first place, they blocked us from any other recourse. Yes some children are still commiting suicide, because they know there are people like Lenny out there who hate it that they are not dead. ys pd
BHAKTI VIKAS SWAMI: Whether or not I am misappropriating the honor accorded me will be judged by those for whom it is meant: Srila Prabhupada, the previous acaryas, and Krsna. I do not intend to take a falsely humble position and drastically revise my present activities due to the hostile judgment of persons who have very little idea of what I am doing, what it entails, and why I am doing it.
[PADA: Srila Prabhupada forbade his followers and disciples from allowing people to touch their feet. Why? He said we are not sufficiently purified to do that; Because then we will be acting as GURUS, and when people touch our feet we will be ABSORBING THEIR SINS. And this will make us get sick, fall down, or both. He also told Bahudak not to give away chanting beads for the same reason, that function is only for the post of guru, rather we have to SELL the beads to avoid getting karma. "Giving the beads away" is what the GURU does and we are not fit for that. Of course there are thousands of other quotes about the dangers of IMITATION OF pure devotees and GURUS.
As we see ALL THE TIME -- these GBC gurus are always getting sick and falling down, i.e. Srila Prabhupada is right. Yes, Srila Prabhupada says only pure acharyas and people JESUS can absorb the sins of others. Clearly, Bhakti Vikas thinks he is on THE SAME LEVEL AS JESUS, -- that he ALSO can absorb the sins of others LIKE JESUS is doing.
Yet he has already become TOTALLY fallen because he co-opts and supports people who say acharyas are engaged in illicit sex with men, women and children. That means he is already on the platform of making huge aparadhas to the acharyas, i.e. he supports the GBC, and they say acharyas are debauchees. So he is imitating, and the result is already there, he has fallen down to the platform of co-opting with the INSULTING the acharyas. And furthermore, if one does not have the sufficient brahma tejyas to burn off the sins of others, he has to suffer those reactions from the followers in his future life. Someone sent me a quote from the Vedas that imitation of great souls means: one has to take birth in the womb of an animal. Yes, Srila Prabhupada has summed it all up, these bogus gurus go to hell and their followers go with them. ys pd]
Thanks Mary, Yes you are right, "the karmis" often have more compassion and integrity than many of our devotees, especially the "GBC leaders." For example, Windle Turley is a really "tough as nails" Texas lawyer, who wears snake's skin Western boots, he has a big bottle of Johnny Walker on his desk etc., but even this "tough as nails" guy said he was feeling powerful emotions of empathy upon hearing about the mistreatment of children in the GBC's schools.
Yes, devotees need to "mature" and learn compassion and feelings towards other human beings. In sum, they need to grow up. Agreed. And as it turns out, Windle Turley was the main person who wanted to help the ISKCON children while many of the "ISKCON adults" sat around and criticized his efforts saying its sad -- anyone -- is helping these children at all. In sum, many of the adults wanted these children to have -- no -- support whatsoever. This is childish, or in fact, its worse than that, its adults bullying children. ys pd
PADA: Marek Madhaw Łepkowski Well thanks Marerk, so what you are really saying is -- I am correct. When I was saying the children are getting molested, you folks kicked me out and said, the plight of these children is all about nothing, its boring, who cares about these children? Let these children "get their karma." And that is exactly how all these children were molested, your program never cared for them, nor those of us who spoke up on the children's behalf.
All your program ever cared about was silencing the children and silencing us protestors on their behalf, and that is all you still care about now. Anyway, this is why we had to sue the GBC for $4m in public court, they were just like you, they were "bored" with the topic so we had to go to the public and sue them in court. We won by the way.
You are really saying: I was right to do that because those on the inside have had no concern for the children. Our saying the children are getting molested puts your folks to sleep, its a boring topic. Got it! Anyway this says it all, I am saying children are being victimized, you folks went to sleep, and that is how this problem started in the first place, you just validated that I have done the right thing by exposing it externally with the lawsuit. Children were being molested, and you folks found my concern for that to be boring, so I had to sue you in public court. You are de facto admitting you boxed me in so I had no other choice but to do that. Anyway this means I am right, you have no concern for the children, the CHILDREN THEMSELVES do not find their victimization to be boring, they find their victimization to be -- catastrophic. Now we are feeding 1.5 million children and the GBC wants to stop that, and you say this is all about me? That means you do not care for the 1.5 million children either, Marek only cares about Marek. ys pd
Dear Niscala dd, Good idea -- in theory, we can all "watch over the children"? Your sentiment is nice, its heartfelt even. Yet, pretty impractical idea if you think about it. We should "watch over" things like -- the care of children. Fine, yet the first time I said the children were being mistreated in 1979, I was given 24 hours to vacate all ISKCON properties "for life." These leaders do not want anyone "monitoring" the care of children, or their own extravagant behaviors (using money meant for caring for the children), or the conditions of the children in their care etc. Where is the "transparency" if the leaders kick out thousands of people who were often the very ones monitoring the situation?
Worse, as I exited the door Jayatirtha told me "watch your back." The gang of four gurus also said I could not set foot on any ISKCON properties or they would call the police on me. Then, as we began reporting from "outside," we got death threats and Sulochana was assassinated for mentioning "the troubles" with the LA "Gurukula," the big Gurukula mess at Lake Huntington, Gita Nagari, New Vrndavana, Vrndavana, Mayapura etc. None of us "monitors" are very much welcome now either. Our devotees are indeed regularly banned, banished, harassed, even threatened, right up to today, how can we monitor anything if we are not allowed in the door in the first place?
In fact as we speak today, the GBC is RIGHT NOW spending $4,000,000 suing us in the Supreme Court so they can ban another 1,000 of our devotees. Why? Because most of our devotees are mainly HOUSEHOLDERS WITH KIDS, the last thing they want to have around, women, kids, brahmanas, ... that is a big burden for them! We are also feeding 1.5 million poor India kids, that's something they need to stop right away! Sue the feeding of kids program in court, and stop that, feeding kids must be stopped! Lets victimize a million MORE kids, never mind the endless list of ISKCON ex-kids victims!
These leaders do not want us to "monitor" anything, and if we do monitor things, we do so at our extreme peril. Nor do they want us around because they are evidentally against families, children, protecting women, etc, its all connected. Your idea of transparency is a joke, they hide everything and anyone who blows the whistle gets booted out, harassed, and if that does not work, more extreme techniques have been used. And for sure they will sue us in court if we try to hang around. Now as we speak they are spending another $4,000,000 of the money they were supposed to use to pay the first wave of their children victims, and they are instead stealing the first wave of children victims money to pay lawyers, so they can make 1.5 million more children victims. Yes, where is the transparency here? ys pd
Right, Vrajendranandana dasa (the guy who was so depressed trying to work under Tamal that he tried to commit suicide by beating himself on the skull with a hammer, it did not work), told me the whole problem in ISKCON is that “everyone is in denial.”
Agreed. Thats it, we have all heard these slogans: head in the sand, mushroom siddhanta, etc. indeed we’ve all heard these things a thousand times.
The devotees of God need to be more aware of what is wrong and what is right — than the ordinary citizens, lest we risk looking compromised, and unfortunately at the moment, devotees have created the public impression of looking severely lacking in discrimination.
This hampers the preaching of all of us. The only good news is that at least some folks woke up early on, they rang the alarm bells — at great peril to themselves, and many others are now waking up. “Maunam samyam raksati,” anyone who remains silent is protecting (raksati) — the evil doers. ys pd
Ole Petter Høie: It's just to make discussing abuse a taboo and "offensive against senior vaishnavas" (yeah, right), and brush ex members who talk about these things under the carpet, so present and future members don't know about this when they join ... when they find out about some of it after taking initiation, they may ask their local leader or their guru, and be told that yes there have been some cases, but it has been dealt with blah blah ... and that one should be very careful to avoid offenses and think bad about "superior" vaishnavas, that is the most important of all, otherwise one will go to hell for ever!!
It took getting to know gurukulis personally in my case until I saw this clearly, as the buddy-buddy brotherhoods are there just like in the Catholic Church and society's leading under-cover brotherhoods.
And anyone defending the system or people in top positions in ISKCON are just supporting the problem, plain and simple. If one is on a high level and doesn't talk openly about the abuse nor try to stop it, one is participating in the abuse, whether one understands that or not.
Mistreatment and belittlement of children and women (and also men) has nothing to do with spirituality, shows a corrupted consciousness and further corrupts the consciousness. Anyone arguing for the abusers or trying to get the attention away from the abuse mentioned in this excellent article are disrespecting everyone who is and was abused in ISKCON, in my opinion.
Lugging along their varied collection of instruments, kirtan group the Hanumen followed their tour organizer Jennifer Canfield into the grim building, and down a long corridor lined with barred windows. This kirtan was just one of their seventeen performances during an eighteen-date tour across the North East of the United States. But it was certainly the most unique. The Hanumen hoped their visit to the Vermont State Hospital—the highest-level psychiatric care facility in the state—could make a difference for its fifty acutely afflicted patients and 300 overworked staff.
Just as the corridor seemed to be about to go on forever, popular kirtaniya Benjy Wertheimer, poet John de Kadt, and ISKCON devotees and musicians Jahnavi Harrison and Purusartha Dasa emerged onto a grassy lawn. As they set up their instruments in front of the forty waiting patients and many staff, Jennifer Canfield felt a keen sense of fulfillment and accomplishment at this latest step in her non-profit effort the Call and Response Foundation.
“I was introduced to kirtan through my yoga practice at a very challenging time in my own life,” says Jennifer, who now works as a manager for Dave Stringer and other kirtan artists. “I wanted to offer the same gift to others who most needed it, especially where it could have a powerful therapeutic effect.”
So Jennifer established the Call and Response Foundation this year, and made a proposal to the Vermont State Hospital, close to her home, to hold weekly kirtans there. “My proposal outlined the ancient practice of chanting and mantras as a viable tool for aiding the recovery of the cognitively challenged,” she says. “There is new research emerging on the role of the brain in chanting and this scientific perspective was appealing to hospital officials. I took great care—and still do—to present kirtan with great respect, but also as a practice with simple goals of creating space for calmness and peace.”
Jennifer’s proposal was accepted, and she began to sing kirtan at the Hospital on her own every week. Recently, however, she had been able to also introduce guest kirtan artists to the patients. Dave Stringer, Radha Gopinath Marinelli, Joni Allen, Devadas, and the Mayapuris had all played—and now, it was the Hanumen’s turn.
The group launched into their first chant, accompanied by violin, harmonium, bass guitar, and an eclectic collection of percussion instruments including the Indian mridanga, African djembe, Swiss Hang drum, and the Spanish Cajon. “We didn’t know what kind of a response to expect,” says Jahnavi, who also performs with kirtan group Gaura Vani and As Kindred Spirits. “We had all been hoping for some kind of dramatic external change in the patients—a Hollywood moment. Perhaps they’d all end up dancing, or would miraculously be able to follow along with all the words.”
Instead, many of the patients sat splayed out across the lawn, some even choosing to sit almost out of hearing range. They seemed unresponsive, staring off into the distance. One older man called out, “Do you know Harry Belafonte’s Banana Boat song?” But while that over-the-top “Hollywood moment” never came, the mantras, mostly dedicated to Lord Krishna and his avatar Ramachandra, did gradually begin to take effect.
“As we continued to sing, a lot of patients moved to sit closer to us,” Jahnavi says. “Many began to clap, and some even tried their best to sing along, a noteable change from their initial response. As we began chanting Srila Prabhupada’s simple Hare Krishna melody, one woman burst into tears and continued to sob uncontrollably throughout the rest of the kirtan in the most heartfelt way. I don’t know if it was because of the mantra, or for some other reason. But we could sense a definite change in the mood.”
Reflecting on the experience, Jahnavi found it to be a faith-building exercise. “It’s hard to see the effect of the chanting after just one time,” she says. “And maybe you’ll never see the effects. But I think you just have to have faith that it is working, even if it’s very subtle, or somewhere beneath the surface.”
And perhaps the effects weren’t all that subtle. Perhaps you just had to know the patients well to be able to notice them. After the forty-five-minute performance, hospital staff approached the Hanumen and told them, “You have no idea how much you’re doing for the patients. During the kirtan, those who are normally unresponsive to therapeutic attempts responded with emotion. They became animated and full of life in a way that they never do otherwise. And from past experience with other kirtan performances, we know they’ll talk about it for a whole month afterwards.”
The biggest revelation for both Jennifer Canfield and the Hanumen, however, was how beneficial and therapeutic the kirtan was not only for the patients, but for the staff too. “They were deeply affected by it, to the point of being moved to tears,” says Jahnavi. “I talked to one staff member who said that their job puts them in a constant state of tremendous stress, and as a result, many of them develop their own serious health problems. So the weekly kirtans that Jennifer organizes—some of which are attended by more staff than patients—improves relationships with patients and staff members, and provides a refuge for them to depend on.”
Staff are so enthusiastic that they recently purchased some hand drums for the hospital, and have arranged for kirtan artists to begin giving music lessons as well as holding their weekly kirtans. Meanwhile, the Call and Response Foundation looks sure to grow. More than a dozen artists—including Mantralogy’s Gaura Vani, Prema Hara, and Sri Kirtan—have been confirmed for its October 29th fundraising event, a 12-hour kirtan called “VerMantra” at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, Vermont. And Jennifer aims for the weekly kirtans at Vermont State Hospital to be replicated in all places where kirtan can have a powerful therapeutic effect: not just hospitals, but prisons, nursing homes, and homeless shelters, too.
“I would like to offer trainings and workshops for people on how to start these programs in their communities,” Jennifer says. “The project will grow if we can give the tools to others to implement. I have a wonderful list of kirtan artists who want to be involved in these projects that can eventually have an international scope.”
Jennifer’s long term plan is to make kirtan available everywhere as a practice and a tool for peace and harmony. “Even after countless kirtans, I am always astonished at the experience of chanting together with even one other person, and the depth of the effects it has,” she concludes. “I would love to continue to offer the practice to those people who will never walk into a temple, or a yoga studio, or a theater beacuse of their life circumstances. I have gratitude for the gift of this work and am energized and enlivened by the relationships it has given me.”
[PADA: Yes thanks Vignesh, the banning of the Gita is increasing the sales of that same Gita. ys pd]
Vignesh Krishna: A very serious situation, but as they days go by it is also clear that the potential banning of the Bhagavad Gita in Russia, due to the foolish accusations of the Christian Russian Orthodox Church, is the best thing that has happened to Krsna Consciousness in Russia since Srila Prabhuapda went there 40 years ago. More Gita's will be sold in Russia then ever before and Krsna's name and fame is being heard around the world on TV, radio and internet.
Raktadhar Das Rajesh Attry: Yes Prabhu ji . more people will come forward to buy Srimad bhagwat Gita as it is by Srila Prabhupad to find out what actually is written in it and in this way they will get the message of Lord Krishna. Ananda Venkata Subrahamanyam: Very very true. This is Lord's plan. I am happy to see Gita name and Prabhupada name in front page of news papers...!!! This is the grand marketing plan in this Book Marathon season...Now everyone in Russia will buy this wonderful book...really nice. :) Kathie Noga The Catholic church bans books, too. But they only promote the sales of every banned book. Chandra Dasa: Srila Prabhupada said demons when they try to stop our activity than be assured you are doing doing the right thing Krishna consciouness is working,he said just like your jesus Christ was crucified by demons,and other devotees, like Haridas thakur was beaten up, like bhakta prahalad was being killed, so therefore know that surely with faith you continue Krishna will protect you. Syama Priya Devi Dasi A book is not considered great until it has been banned. Mani Parmar: its a great thing that the Bhagavad Gita has become more famous. this was just another way that Guru and Gauranga spread the name of this Spiritual litereature. No one has the power to out do Krishna's power...Krishna has special arrangements that we will be able to realize gradually. All glories to all the vaishnavas fighting for their rights.
======================== http://prabhupadavanirj.com.br/ ======================== PADA: Well our idea is spreading all over the globe, its increasing expotentially. Pretty good, and this all started with a few fools on a computer? Hee hee. ys pd
PADA: In 1980 a GBC "position paper" was co-authored by Jaggadisha dasa, Jayadvaita swami and Satsvarupa dasa Goswami working under the "consultation with our higher authority" Sridhara maharaja, and the paper was entitled: "The Mahajanas Have Difficulties" -- wherein, they tried to "explain away" all the goofy, tamasic and downright illicit behavior of their bogus 11 gurus by saying, ... the Mahajanas have the same "difficulties." At that time I realized, these people are not even kanisthas, no kanisthas would ever DARE to speak ill of the Mahajanas and attack the Mahajanas in a written document. They never even explained that document, what to speak of the ten thousands of pages they wrote subsequently. ys pd
Gaurahari Das: Exactly. I just learned something. A sincere sannyasi is communicating with me whose iskcon guru fell down, and he took shelter of the Gaudiya Matha. And they taught him kanista adikari conceptions like: one should not criticze. Ok this is nice but what I found, just by following and promoting Srila Prabhupada's ritvik order one can be empowered to preach boldly and criticize illusion for the welfare of others with no reaction, except from the peanut gallery of the less knowledgeable. All who take shelter of Srila Prabhupada can assist him in battling maya and be fully protected, just like Arjuna took shelter of Krishna's order and was protected; but most of his God brothers and those who take shelter of them cannot set foot in such territories because of not being protected by the true Acarya, who as far as I know they thought they were equal to in spiritual empowerment.
=============================================================== SRILA PRABHUPADA: "This mistaken idea of the Rāvaṇic principles must have to be changed if we really want peace and prosperity of life. It was shown by Śrī Kṛṣṇa in His great Philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā, it was practically demonstrated by Lord Caitanya, and lately attempt was made by Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī for universal acceptance in a novel way. But His missionary activities still remain unfinished. Unfortunately, some of the top-ranking workers in his missionary activities were enamoured by the grandeur of the Gaudiya Math estate instead of its real work, and they have now satisfied their sense of possessing buildings by dividing the whole missionary centres as their private properties, without caring for the mission of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī." (Srila Prabhupada, Untitled Essay, Page 4, Unknown Date)
[PADA: Thanks Charles, correct, it looks like the communists are being opposed with their idea of discrediting the Gita. Rather everyone is coming to Lord Krishna's defense. Also correct, Saksi Gopal (Australia) told me he was formerly a Naxalite and they are connected to promoting Marxism, which has the same idea of many Russian leaders: ban religion "the opiate of the masses." So the communists want to stamp out the Gita, and Saksi evidentally never left them. You make an excellent point.
Many of my Hindu friends agree that officially banning the Gita in any country will make a bad precedent for all Hindus in other countries, it sets a bad precedent for religious intolerance of Hindus in general. And this may make life hard for Hindus in any number of other places around the world by creating a sort of "discrimination based on religion." Certainly Hindus in some parts of Africa are beaten and killed simply for being Hindus, so discrimination against them can be a dangerous path.
Some of my Hindu friends are worried these rulings against the Gita might eventually lead to Hindus being exiled, physically attacked, beaten, maybe assassinated, and for sure jailed in places like Russia. I think you are right Charles, this is ultimately what the communists want, they want to lock up anyone who worships Krishna, they worship Karl Marx and atheism. Of course this is also what the Muslims did when they attacked India, they tried to shut down the Hindu religion. As for Karl Marx:
"Karl Marx was born in Trier, an ancient German city in the Rhineland. His ancestors, Jewish on both his mother's and father's sides, were rabbis. His father, Heinrich, had converted to Protestantism in 1816 or 1817 in order to continue practicing law after the Prussian edict denying Jews to the bar."
PADA: Well there you have it, the de facto guru of the Communists and Marxists is a little fat guy with a long beard whose father converted from the Jewish faith to become a Christian, so he could make more money. What a high standard they have for their messiahs! Of course, lets not forget that communism's birth resulted in the deaths of 23 million people, mostly over religious discrimination. Why do people want to follow this path? Right, what is the attraction to that process?
Anyway Srila Prabhupada says eventually these communists will win as Kali Yuga progresses, because atheism will prevail eventually as the degradation continues. I think you are onto something here, the people who want to abolish the Gita are followers of the communist system, and people like Saksi never left that system, so he also wants to ban the Hindu scriptures -- as my Hindu friends are telling me is the upshot of all this.
Anyway, the Vaishnavas want to worship Lord Krishna, the Christians want to worship Lord Jesus, and these deviated people want to worship Joe Stalin and their atheistic writers like Karl Marx. We have faith in God, they have faith in mundane writers. So we either worship Krishna's feet, or we worship Joe Stalin's jack boots, the choice is ours.
Joe Stalin, mass murder of millions of people, and their crack pot atheist writers, yes, what kind of people are attracted to this stuff in the first place? The good news is that many nice people in India are standing up to defend Lord Krishna and His Gita, so we give them a big hug and a bravo for that! Glad to see that! At least in India there is some residual sentiment for Krishna, that's one great thing about India. So it seems we are winning the support of the mass of people there in any case, so this puts places like Russia on notice: not to attack the Gita. Yes, we have to fight for the Gita, that is what the Gita is saying itself! ys pd
Srila Prabhupada's Transcendental Sweetness and Beauty Presentation by Yamuna Devi Dasi
What a week of Vaisnava sadhu-satsanga this has been! I leave the richer, having exchanged with my family members, old and new, Godbrothers, Godsisters, nephews and nieces. While I feel most unqualified to speak to you today, I am honoured and privileged to join my Godsisters in voicing my concerns as a woman in ISKCON.
As the GBC body, all of you are responsible for establishing Srila Prabhupada's legacy, which, in these difficult and turbulent times, is at stake. One realm of that legacy - the rapport Srila Prabhupada established with his Vaisnavi (women) disciples - is the topic of our discussion today, because over the years since his disappearance it has been largely forgotten. Perhaps my personal service and association with him, along with his later guidance and instructions, offer some insights in this area.
As a strong and independent young woman I met Srila Prabhupada in 1966 and took initiation in 1967. Had Srila Prabhupada demanded conformity to orthodox roles for women as a condition of surrender, I, along with many of my God sisters, would probably not have joined ISKCON. That he did not is testament to his spiritual vision. He lovingly encouraged and engaged us in the service of the sankirtana movement, and he consistently revealed himself to be panditah sama-darsinah - equal to all.
In both men and women, Srila Prabhupada observed our propensities and expertly dovetailed them in his preaching mission. For many years, in different countries and circumstances, I had the good fortune to render personal service to him. He trained me, urged me to accept more and more responsibility, and regularly asked me to lead kirtanas, give classes, arrange programmes, manage departments, provide comforts for visiting devotees, meet with leaders, and actively promulgate Krsna consciousness. In ISKCON India, where previously no women were allowed, he sent me to various temples to learn cooking and Deity worship, and he repeatedly asked me to train others in the same.
It would take much longer than the limited time I have here to give you a glimpse into the numerous exchanges that illustrate Srila Prabhupada's demeanour and mood. However, one such exchange is what I call the Canakya Pandita episodes. I was present on four occasions when Srila Prabhupada repeated the Canakya adage: 'Never trust a woman or a politician.' On each occasion Srila Prabhupada looked me in the eye to see my response. On the last occasion, in Bombay in 1973, he quoted the saying, heartily laughing in front of a small group of men. Then he said: 'What do you think, Yamuna?' Immediately I retorted: 'Of course it is true, Srila Prabhupada,' whereupon he became grave, looked at me with great feeling, and said, 'But you are not a woman, you are a Vaisnava.'
Another series of exchanges centred on leading kirtana. Srila Prabhupada often had me lead the first kirtana before he spoke at a programme, whether in front of twenty people or ten thousand people. There were occasions when I felt uncomfortable with this. At the Jaipur pandal at Radha Govinda temple, I refused to lead kirtana. Srila Prabhupada called me over and said, 'Lead kirtana.' I said, 'I can't. My throat hurts.' He said, 'No. Lead kirtana.' So, croaking like a frog, I led kirtana.
In late 1974, not long after I had left my householder asrama, Srila Prabhupada pronounced it 'good that you have left your husband', and encouraged me to become a 'sannyasini'. Although I was not in the traditional role of being protected by my father, husband or son, in both his personal darsanas and written instructions, Srila Prabhupada offered me unfettered encouragement and astonished me with unexpected answers to my questions.
After settling in Oregon with my Godsister Dinatarine, Srila Prabhupada, while pronouncing us 'independent' to a concerned Godbrother, at the same time twice rebuked us when we approached him to leave. 'You westerners are so restless,' he admonished. 'Why can't you remain in the same place? Stay where you are.' We questioned, 'But Srila Prabhupada, they are saying that if we aren't in ISKCON, we lose your blessings and cannot make advancement.' Prabhupada replied, 'ISKCON is where you are chanting the holy name - that is ISKCON.' We rejoined: 'They are saying we don't have any association here and are therefore in maya.' He replied: 'Association can be two or two hundred. If you are two and compatible, you can become perfect in Krsna consciousness. If you are 200 and are not, then no one will make advancement.'
To conclude, Srila Prabhupada trained me to be concerned about his movement, and at this time I am deeply concerned. Now more than ever, it is time to revive and imbibe Srila Prabhupada's mood with his disciples. If we neglect this, an aspect of his greatness will remain unknown to future generations.
I appeal to the GBC that along with the laudable projects you are managing and those you are contemplating - especially the magnificent temple that will arise here in Sridhama Mayapura - consider that the behaviour of the ISKCON devotees who participate in these projects must also be magnificent. Any other behaviour will make the projects less than worthy of Srila Prabhupada's name. This grave responsibility falls on you. In other words, let us instil in every person who comes into contact with Srila Prabhupada's movement the healthy spiritual relationships that he had with his followers - his mood of encouragement, protection and kindness.
The closer we come to individually appreciating and honouring Srila Prabhupada's personal dealings with his disciples, the closer we will come to his sense of completeness in Krsna consciousness, to his joyfulness, to his transcendentally attractive nature.
With great care, our service is to create a devotional environment where men, women and children can thrive in Krsna consciousness, rendering service according to their desire and inclination. Our service is to empower rather than inhibit the service propensity in others.
Finally, let us search our intelligence and hearts for ways to help the women who are sincerely looking for spiritual life. Without properly nurturing them, we as a society have no future. Women in Krsna consciousness are an intricate, essential part of Srila Prabhupada's legacy. In our effort to move forward, let us not put Srila Prabhupada's example behind us, but in front of us - our divine beacon - to guide us together towards the lotus feet of Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai and Sri Sri Radha-Krsna.
============================================== http://www.prabhupadanugas.eu/?p=24856 ============================== Sri Tulsinatha Dasa: Yamuna Devi Dasi has departed from this world, I feel sad to learn she passed alone in her apartment although that may be what she had wanted. Often devotees do not wish to die alone but due to their humility they also dont want to burden or disturb others so they often dont ask and leave their body alone. I feel its important we all keep close contact and care for one another.
[Leader of the opposition party (the BJP) Sushma Swaraj today demanded in Lok shabha -THE BHAGAVAT GITA- be declared national book. She also demanded that the Indian government makes sure that Iskcon Gita is not banned in Russia.]
PADA: Dear Vasu Murti: OK, let me get this straight: The GBC targetted children for mistreatment as were sued for that. And now, instead of learning that is wrong behavior, they are continuing to target children by suing the managers of our free food program in India. And instead of spending millions to pay their victims here -- as they were ordered in the courts, or paying millions to feed children in India, they are instead spending millions on lawyers to sue our free food program devotees.
You say this process of the GBC's targeting children -- cannot be avoided because this is Kali Yuga. Well it can be avoided, even in Kali Yuga, because no one else is suing the managers of our "free food for children program," except the GBC? This is like a criminal who says, I cannot avoid robbing banks? What you seem to be saying is -- the GBC individuals involved are psychopathic, they have to attack children, they cannot do otherwise.
No, they have made a conscious choice to attack children, but they do not have to attack children programs, rather that is their desire. Now this begs the question, why kind of persons "cannot avoid" targetting and victimizing children? This is good progress however, you admit the GBC gurus cannot do anything other than target children because, "its unavoidable" and that is because -- this is who they are. You thus compare the GBC to Kali Yuga-ites, terrorists, children exploiters of all sorts, and Saddam Hussein. OK, we finally agree on something. ys pd
PADA: Churches, houses, and people, set on fire. Ouch! ys pd
============================================================== [PADA: --- Saksi Gopal [Atkinson Dam Australia] says, we need to work with, and not criticize, modern Hinduism? Srila Prabhupada says modern Hinduism is not a complete understanding of the Vedas. We agree. Only Saksi is defending this "modern Hinduism," complete with all these deviations. Saksi says we need to support Hinduism, does that mean Christians might assume he supports having them killed for being Christians? Wow, his resume is getting clearer all the time. ys pd]
====================================== PADA: Some of this is Srila Prabhupada's, some this is his works but edited, there is at least some good stuff here, and some of this has not been checked out by us, anyway you can check it out. ys pd
... Some of the ISKCON leaders have been trying to recover a “virginity” for themselves and for the Organisation by adjusting the public relations work to accommodate the taste of perspective “customers” who could finance the temples and centers – especially traditionalist Hindus who needed a place to perform their marriages and support their social interactions, celebrate their favorite festivals, and feel encouraged in their ancestral beliefs and lifestyle. Another good “slice of the market pie” is constituted by those who are interested in getting an “alternative” academic course on conventional indological studies, since mainstream conventional academy is taught by professors that do not believe or follow the religious conclusions expressed in the texts they present.
Some ISKCON leaders have therefore changed their clothing into a more “professoral” style and created a good living for themselves with publications, seminars and courses of their own creation, especially with the help and support of the Mother Organisation to which they render an important public relations service. These developments are ideologically very distant from the intentions of the Founder of the Organisation, as they tend to become spiritually cynical and church-like, aimed at just giving a new coat of respectable-looking paint over the serious ideological problems that continue to fester deeper inside, unaddressed and unsolved.
Unfortunately, any discussion on these issues is perceived by ISKCON people as “offensive dissent”, “betrayal”, and “heretic rebellion”, and those who dare express anything that is not strictly according to the “Institutional policies” are actively persecuted in various ways, even when they openly dissociate from the Organisation. This persecution also strikes those who do not recognize the Organisation’s “monopoly” over the “trade marks” of Iskcon’s religious business, such as chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, teaching or writing about Bhagavad gita (and other traditional scriptures), opening a Krishna temple, naming one’s vegetarian restaurant “Govinda” or “Hare Krishna restaurant”, etc, even if they never express any criticism or antagonism towards Iskcon.
Those who dare to do so independently from the ISKCON umbrella Organisation or its sub-branches (also controlled by ISKCON) are sued, threatened of personal violence, sabotaged and opposed in all possible ways. So, under all aspects, ISKCON has become another Vatican.
Dear Vasu murti: OK, so the GBC plead bankruptcy to avoid paying the USA children in the lawsuit here. Simultaneously, they already spent over $4,000,000 suing us in India because they object to our free food program "www.akshayapatra.org" which is feeding 1.5 million children over there in India. So they did not feed children in ISKCON and were sued in the USA for that, they lost the case, they plead bankrupt, so they could avoid paying the children here, and with the money they cheated the USA children here, they are using the money they saved to sue to starve more children over there in India? Why is it that children are always being targetted by the GBC? And they said they are going to sue us for the next 100 years, that means they are never going to pay the children victims, ever, they are going to buy new Mercedes for lawyers to they can -- starve more children? No wonder the ex-children feel discouraged. ys pd
Maha From Srila Prabhupada
by Jaya Gauranga das
Posted December 15, 2011
Due to a family emergency I am forced to sell one of Srila Prabhupada's personal copies of the Srimad Bhagavatam which I've had in my possession for more than 30 years. When Srila Prabhupada was still physically present amongst us, and every time the BBT would publish a new book, the first copy that came out of the printers would have gold-edge pages and it was sent to Srila Prabhupada for his own personal use (any devotee who worked at the BBT in those days will remember this). Some times Srila Prabhupada would travel with one such copies and usually these personal copies of Srila Prabhupada were kept in one of his temples where he spent the most time.
The particular copy that I have is the 8th Canto part one, originally kept in Srila Prabhupada's house in Vrindaban, India where Srila Prabhupada would some times pick it up and read from it. Any one interested please contact Jaya Gouranga das, cellphone No. (310) 945-8848 or (310) 204-2523
PADA: Please read the whole article, its a great analysis. Good question, why are all these bogus GBC gurus given preferential Visas from the Indian government? ys pd
============================= Dear ******* prabhu, Yes, Gopal Bhatta (Baroda ISKCON) wrote that all these lawsuits between opposing camps in India could result in "a government take-over of the entire ISKCON by the courts." So you are correct, the GBC would rather have no ISKCON than an ISKCON where Srila Prabhupada is the acharya. You got it. This is why many of the GBC gurus have formed separated trusts that are not in the name of ISKCON .... ys pd