Female Diksha Gurus (FDG) the Tip of the Iceberg
BY: SUDARSHANA NARASIMHA DAS
We are having at the moment the discussion about female diksha gurus, in short, "The FDG Issue". This issue seems very essential for the future of ISKCON and also for the perceptive on how ISKCON devotees will perceive Srila Prabhupada's teachings.
But to understand this issue better we have to go a little into the history of ISKCON. Did ISKCON have some actions which were not approved by Srila Prabhupada and created havoc in ISKCON? Yes, there were some issues. We should but look at those with cool mind and without the desire to criticise. Starting with the problem which the ISKCON leaders had by not following Srila Prabhupada's instructions not to mix with His Godbrothers.
As some devotees felt that after Srila Prabhupada's disappearance there was some vacuum, they approached some of His Godbrothers who were spiritually advanced, but had different vision than Srila Prabhupada. This action was also inspired as some new young acaryas who were very eager to show their supremacy, but due to pride, developed anarthas and didn't behave properly.
[PD: This misses the original root point: There were no "young acharyas" ever, because Srila Prabhupada did not appoint any. The author is not making that clear, either that or -- he does not understand the issue, i.e. there was no guru appointment. Q: Who authorized the "young acharyas" program in the first place? A: No one, they self-appointed themselves. The author does not clarify that. And if the original ISKCON leaders were never appointed as gurus, how could they "appoint" more gurus? Hence, whether they are appointing male or female gurus, this should not be the issue, the real issue is, how can bogus people appoint ANY acharyas?]
*** So some of these devotees were sincere and just wanted some senior Vaishnava instructions and clarifications.
[PD: If these ISKCON leaders were so "sincere," why did they lie that they had been "appointed as gurus"? And since they were specifically ordered to NOT visit with the Gaudiya Matha, why would they be "sincere" to go there? None of this rates as "sincere."]
*** As the vision of these advanced Vaishnavas technically was a bit different this then created offences and falldowns on one side, leaving senior members to take shelter of these Godbrothers on the other.
[PD: If these "Gaudiya Matha God brothers" were so advanced, why did they support a homosexual guru program in 1936? And why did they support and even worse homosexual and pedophile guru program after 1977? Why is "The support of deviants posing as acharyas" -- an advanced concept? Even the cannibal witch doctors or tribal aborigine priests do not support the worship of deviants as their worshiped gurus. Why? Because they are more advanced, they know -- this is a bogus idea.]
*** Then the Gaudiya Matha issue and reinitiation issue was inaugurated at a more broad scale. It was but already existing in Srila Prabhupada's times.
[PD: Yes, the Gaudiya Matha's folks were already "re-initiating" Srila Prabhupada's devotees while he was here in the late 1960s, why would they stop doing that after he disappeared physically? If the God brothers were deviating all along since 1936, why would they magically stop deviating in 1978?]
*** Second issue that happened was the Zonal Acarya "higher elite" phenomena.
[PD: OK, except there is no such thing as a "zonal acharya" who has a managerial "zone"? This process is another concoction layered upon previous concoctions.]
*** Certain Srila Prabhupada disciples assumed a role which crossed over Vaishnava etiquette on how to behave with God brothers.
[PD: OK, so how can we say there were sincere when they were orchestrating the banning, beating and assassinations of the vaishnava God brothers? Again, this makes no sense, "Jack The Ripper was a sincere man," sorry, he was not.]
*** Those who didn't run over to Srila Prabhupada's Godbrothers started to worship them sometimes even above Srila Prabhupada, inspite of some of them having serious deviations.
[PD: OK, so if they are advanced vaishnavas, how could they simultaneously be engaged in serious deviations? This author sounds very confused.]
*** These "New Acaryas" inspired by glorification of disciples and Godbrothers swam in the ocean of "Indra's pride." They started to compete with Srila Prabhupada and devised different ways to enhance their spiritual bhava or external "spiritual" ecstasy, even with artificial substances.
[PD: Correct, some of these "gurus" were using "artificial substances," ok -- drugs like marijuana, LSD and so on -- which begs the question, why did people like Sridhara Maharaja continue to promote the GBC's bogus gurus like Jayatirtha, despite his knowing that Jayatirtha was having illicit sex and he was taking drugs?]
*** This after so many offences created fall downs of not only leaders, but whole yatras.
[PD: If whole yatras are being lost and destroyed, how were any of the people involved sincere? This includes: The deviating gurus; The entire GBC body which empowers and enables these bogus gurus; And the bogus Gaudiya Matha "advisors" who propped up these gurus? They all acted together to create this crisis.]
*** The third issue was the Gopi Bhava Club, not only started in Srila Prabhupada's time and dismissed, but survived in the minds of the same people who created a rebirth of the Gopi Bhava Club with the attempt to enthrone a New Higher Rasa Acarya who came to save ISKCON from the abyss of neophyte understanding which Srila Prabhupada was, according to this belief, giving to His followers till now.
[PD: Yes, this is quite a good point, the worship of the illicit sex acharyas program was being wrapped in the package of Narayana Maharaja's "rasika gopi club" of a sector of the GBC's gurus.]
*** Then only when serious offences were spoken on the side of the New Acarya that clearly minimized the position of Srila Prabhupada as The Founder Acarya did these enthusiastic promoters step back.
[PD: Not so sure people have stepped back? Mahanidhi and others like him are doing things like living in Radha Kunda, and are associated with various babajis, and they are still well respected in ISKCON.]
*** So then some devotees again left ISKCON to take shelter of this New Acarya, who built His empire first on these "ISKCON dropouts."
[PD: Right, ISKCON was "spawning its own competition" by creating this Gaudiya Matha "guru siphoning" out cropping.]
*** But the Gopi Bhava mood still burned in the hearts of enthusiastic preachers that looked for instant "Bhava teleportation". They failed to realize that Srila Prabhupada gave everything.
[PD: The entire GBC failed, they were the ones promoting these "rasika" acharyas from the Gaudiya Matha.]
*** This new Radha Kunda tourist group inspired many devotees to leave ISKCON, and they even wrote books about how one should not "TAKE SIKSA OUTSIDE ISKCON."
[PD: Yep, everyone should leave ISKCON and take shiksha from the rasika acharyas, yes, that is exactly what was being preached by the leaders of ISKCON and still is in some sectors.]
*** They themselves, "as considered above rules and regulations", continued with the visits of "higher rasa Gurujis" alone or even with their disciples. Even when they were disappointed at the fact that the disciples are leaving them, they didn't stop promoting their ideas, but nowadays with the difference of being themselves the "Higher Rasa Gurus" and manifesting "Vrindavan" in the West. So not only Gopis start to manifest, but the Dham also. The new ISKCON Rasa Acarya who is keeping ISKCON devotees in ISKCON was born.
[PD: Right, in order to compete with the rasika acharyas, some of the GBC's gurus began to essentially say they too were rasika acharyas (like Mahanidhi swami).]
*** The fourth issue is the "Academic Approach Issue". It is not that all that is going on in ISKCON about preaching on the Academic level will be discussed here. We have many sincere and qualified devotees. Some certain devotees, who are now also members of the FDG candidates group, developed at some stage doubt about Srila Prabhupada's books and not only this, but preached their doubts and are still doing so. That makes the Academic Issue a serious threat to the teachings of Srila Prabhupada.
[PD: Right, the collegial scholar section headed by Hrdayananda said we need to re-write Srila Prabhupada's "sexist" books.]
*** Devotees under the Academic Approach influence try to analyse Srila Prabhupada's books on the basis of science, sociology, psychology, western culture, their own upbringing and anarthas, etc., and put these material filters above the fact that Srila Prabhupada's books are beyond time and place.
[PD: Very nice!]
*** They believe some parts of the pure Srimad Bhagavatam, the incarnation of Krishna are mythological and just there to create fear and a sheepish following group.
[PD: Satsvarupa says he has to battle constantly with doubts that Krishna is a myth.]
*** They want us to believe that teachings which are unchanged from Brahma and Prahlada that now there is a 21st Century Bhakti yoga approach. Pure bhakti will be always the same. It doesn't have to be reformed or shaped to fit into the eyes of conditioned souls. Pure bhakti anyway will mix with the anarthas of those practicing to form multifarious approaches with tinges of karma, jnana, papa, etc. That doesn't have to be done already by the preachers to present a chewed down bhakti.
Srila Prabhupada preached pure bhakti, but he was understanding of the difficulties his disciples and followers faced. But in no way was he ready to shape the Bhakti Yoga teachings to make them feel better. This academic approach many times is mixed with feminism, western culture above Indian syndrome. One of the biggest deviations in this regard was the Dhira Govinda and his Guru followers, who also ended in serious offences to Srila Prabhupada on the part of Dhira Govinda Pr. All others are still somehow kept in moderation to not create too much of an uproar in ISKCON society.
The fifth issue is not the last one to appear. It was brought to life on one side by fallen ISKCON Gurus to justify their own mistake by showing that only Srila Prabhupada is perfect and all others are useless, so they could stay themselves even after falldown Gurus. On the other side, the critical devotees who themselves were looking for position, or disappointed devotees who saw the changes after Srila Prabhupada's disappearance and all the havoc and were looking for some solution.
This Rtvik issue approaches the problem of "Guru deviations and falldowns" not in a siddhantic, traditional way, but by allowing the free flow of the fertile Western mind, which is always looking for change and excitement.
[PADA: Well where is your example of the right approach then?]
*** Started by some fallen Srila Prabhupada sannyasis and gurus and frustrated devotees on the other, promoted by a non-practicing fellow and propagated by a few ambitious individuals. They claim that Srila Prabhupada is the Guru, but they are doing all the same as the paramparic Gurus with the addition not to give Srila Prabhupada credit that as a pure devotee he could make a single devotee qualified to be a Guru.
[PADA: No one ever said there could not be another pure devotee, we said you have not identified any. We also never said the sunken ship carrying Mayan gold does not exist, we said you cannot find it, so it is not relevant for now.]
*** The Sixth issue is the top of the ISKCON multivarious ideas that were inspired not only by the great example of Mother Jahnava, Hemalata Thakurani, etc., but also by a Western view on male-female roles, feminism, and frustration from "heavy sannyasis and brahmacaris" that were blowing fire of "I don't want to marry" out of their mouths. Suffering the chauvinism of all the ISKCON history, neglected by enthusiastic ambitious want to take sannyasa husbands, ISKCON frustrated children are looking now for the greener side of the pasture.
It seems that this FDG issue is neglecting the ideal behaviour of woman. Jahnava Ma was a diksha Guru, but she was always covered when giving lecture and only accepted visitors in private quarters, as told in Gaudiya Kathahar, etc. She was an exemplary wife, mother and she only took role of diksha Guru after Lord Nityananda's disappearance.
We fail to recognize the power of ISKCON marriage couples who could act as perfect example Gurus. The example of Kratu Pr. and wife is not mentioned in all the discussion. Maybe all have a bad feeling that such exemplary devotees exist. This is the future of ISKCON, not ambitious devotees who didn't do their proper duty in grihastha ashrama, taking to sannyasa and falling down or having subtle association with women. And also not frustrated mothers, single women looking for instant spiritual promotion. No one's mind changes by just the ritual of becoming a Guru.
All the sincere ISKCON devotees want to see a pure and bright ISKCON Society without all the deviant ideas on Srila Prabhupada's teachings. Those who have been influenced by such ideas should humbly submit their heads to the Lotus Feet of Srila Prabhupada, as Lord Brahma did after making his blunder. The great souls shouldn't feel that this will not fit their public figure and will lower their spiritual image. By accepting the shelter of Srila Prabhupada and reversing their errors, their glory will manifest in an unimaginable way.
Sudarshana Narasimha das
[PADA: Well this is a start. ys pd]