In modern day ISKCON the so-called spiritual masters are often found making public displays of loose and frivolous behavior, such as playing rock music, painting crazy art, joking around (or dancing around) with young women, acting in so many unorthodox ways. The disciples of such so-called spiritual masters do not question such loose behavior; rather they appear delighted to see such frivolity. These foolish disciples can be seen wide-eyed and laughing, taking pictures which they then post on the Internet for the entire world to see. They never stop and question their spiritual masters behavior, nor do they express any concern. They think their spiritual master is acting such, purely for the purpose of bringing people closer to Krishna. They actually think it is his “special mercy”.
If these so-called spiritual masters in today’s ISKCON are making such loose public displays, we can only imagine what is taking place in their private lives. We had personal experience of this in our dealings with our so-called spiritual master Prabhavisnu dasa. During Prabhavisnu’s visits to our temple he could be seen sitting in the spa (surrounded by bikini clad women) at the public swimming pool. Many times he would take my car and go to the pools by himself and at other times I would take him. Either way he would happily sit in the public spa pool surrounded by materialistic sense enjoyers. Especially in Christchurch city there are always young Asian women in the spa pools. During my last few years in ISKCON Prabhavisnu would always request to stay at my home during his visits to our temple. He complained that his health was not good and therefore he required more sleep. My family would have stay at the temple, my wife and daughter cramming into a room next to the bramacaris. While we renounced, Prabhavisnu would settle into our house enjoying the facilities. I would humbly bring him his prasada, clean the bathroom, make his bed and take his washing for my wife to wash at the temple. Anything Prabhavisnu required we would bring him. I recall one time when we served him ice-cream for lunch, the next day when I asked him what he would like for breakfast he smiled and said, “ice-cream!”
Many ISKCON so-called gurus live a life of luxury and their personal lives and behavior fall far from the standard that Srila Prabhupada teaches and displayed by his own personal example. Srila Prabhupada was not jet setting around the world catching all the festivals and Swami retreats, living off his naive disciples and breaching the boundaries of his ashram.
Srila Prabhupada was absorbed in Krishna consciousness; he was busy twenty-four hours in the service of the Lord, leaving aside his own personal considerations and conveniences. Srila Prabhupada only accepted those things required to keep body and soul together. He was free from personal desire and did not act in an inappropriate manner publicly or privately. Srila Prabhupada has shown the perfect example of what it means to be a bonafide spiritual master, a pure devotee absorbed in his humble service to the Lord. How many of these so-called spiritual masters are achieving anything close to Srila Prabhupada? How many are rising early in the morning to translate transcendental literature? How many are constantly preaching every minute of the day, as we saw with Srila Prabhupada? How many temples are they opening? How many farms are they establishing? How many devotees are they making? The activities of all these fools put together cannot equal a few months of Srila Prabhupada’s powerful preaching.