Monday, January 9, 2012

ISKCON's competing "guru groupies" factions

By Bhakti Vikas swami

BVS: Although devotees have been aware of guru groupism, some have come to accept it as part of life, and to openly discuss it has seemingly been taboo. However, I submitted this topic for open discussion among ISKCON leaders. I suggested that in our movement some disciples tend to form groups centered around their gurus. Thus, rather than functioning as a united organization centered on serving the mission of Srila Prabhupada, we tend to form smaller sub-groups within the institution, each with the petty agenda of increasing its numbers, and-in competition with other such groups-to canvass new devotees and to promote their guru as best. 

Guru groupies become preoccupied with competing for new recruits rather than educating devotees on the principles and practices of spiritual life as taught by Srila Prabhupad. Significantly, no one denied that such problem existed and discussion ensued as to the effects of this syndrome. His Holiness Lokanatha Maharaja commented that guru groupism is one of the greatest dangers facing our movement: if left unchecked it could lead to a complete splintering into various factions. It should be checked now, before it’s too late.

Guru groupism tends to promote a neophyte, fanatical, divisive, and separatist mentality that cannot be healthy, neither for the individuals who subscribe to it, nor for our movement as a whole. 

Certainly there can be no real cooperation and unity if this syndrome persists.

[ PADA: Right, Gaudiya Matha's guru schisms pt. 2 ]


  1. Funny that Maharaja himself is running some sort of cultish-type groupie system from Mayapur itself.

    Maybe he should start with his own groupie cult and dismantle that.

    Or would that be too much a disturbance to one's false pride?

  2. Typical ISKCON to be slow on the uptake. It took them 35 years that this was the reason why 99% of Prabhupada disciples where forced out the movement because of this guru groupism, disciple not tolerating someone between them and their guru.
    No wonder that it will take another 80 years till they figure that with Prabhupada in the center all this could have been avoided.


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