Manu Dasa Lawrence: Thank you we are having a lovely time in India. I have not rejected my spiritual master and am most definitely not rtvik. I have served in ISKCON for many years and will continue to do so. It does not mean that I accept things that are ethically wrong.
There are many policies which are antiquated and protect the high and mighty while dismissing the lowly "servant". Before you misunderstand my post, I wish you would re-read it. I believe that it is very dangerous terrain to say things like being critical is wrong and unimpressive, I strongly disagree. It is the LACK of doing so that has caused so many problems within our society. Perhaps you are unaware of these problems, but they have bothered me for many years.
During the course of my Masters degree, we were taught critical and cultural theory, critical thought and the importance of being critical. It is a sign of intelligence. To blindly accept something without further questioning (even from a pure devotee) is, in my opinion foolish. And if you find it difficult to understand why someone accepts diksha then rejects their spiritual master or questions the GBC as crooked, you need only look to our recent past. The examples are plentiful.
Would you not question your leaders if your Guru Mj was a criminal, or a child molester? Or quesiton the people that protected him? I certainly would. That is where most of our mistrust comes from. You are correct in saying you do not know everything I have experienced in ISKCON. I have served under very, lets call it "regimented leaders" who were most certainly at the very least, verbally abusive. I remember a time when the bhaktins were not allowed to have the Sunday feast with other guests, so they could "preach" and no one made them plates and they went hungry, one example of many.
When I see examples of such egregious conduct happening here in India under certain Spiritual leaders that I am convinced are not only unqualified, but megalomaniacal, it is alarming. We must never accept bad treatment in the name of being humble. Have you heard of the recently published book, My Karma, My Fault? It will perhaps give you another perspective.
I do not mind you being straightforward as long you accord me the same privilege. Rather than be passive and accepting atrocities in the name of humility, I prefer a progressive approach of talking about things publicly rather than quoting scripture to rationalize things away. That has been done to death in ISKCON. It is important to use shastra to promote valid spiritual practice and not use it to validate someone's misbehavior. That is an incorrect use of Krsna's words. Please accept my obeisances and the spirit of this post with the kindness it is intended. Hare Krsna.
PADA: Good post prabhu, Right, if the emperor has no clothes, simply attacking the people who are asking about his lack of clothing will not solve the problem. And worse, the entire society where the "blind following" process is allowed will be made to appear foolish and will be embarassed publicly for allowing this type of deviation to continue. So -- if no one is allowed to ask about these matters, i.e. "where are the emporer's clothes?," that entire society will appear in public opinion as co-opted with the foolish, a society of blind leaders and blind following, and a cult like mentality and not "intelligent and critical thinking." That about sums it up. Neither is that society held accountable for its errors and mistakes, for example all of the people who booted me out when I questioned the treatment of children issue were never held accountable. ys pd