Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Debate with Bhakta Shishir Katote (of oneiskcon)


DEAR PADA: Recently an article ( appeared on the website (a website which seems to be closely affiliate to Bhakti Vikasa Swami) written by one "Bhakta Shishir R. Katote". The article is alarming because it shows how (official ISKCON) devotees are slowly minimizing Srila Prabhupada's importance within ISKCON.

For example the original title of Bhakta Shishir's article (which is later changed on this site) is "The Six Goswamis: The only Theological Pre-eminent Founder-Acaryas and Greatest Siksa Gurus of the Gaudiya Sampradaya and ISKCON".

When he states that the six goswamis are "the only" pre-eminent founder-acharyas of ISKCON, it means that "other people", or more specifically, that Srila Prabhupada is not the pre-eminent founder acharya of ISKCON, nor is he one of the "greatest siksha gurus" of ISKCON. This is of course contrary to Srila Prabhupada, who clearly stated that he is the founder-acharya of ISKCON, and in ISKCON his teachings are of utmost importance.

In his second sentence Bhakta Shishir makes his position quite clear: "The official legal founder-acarya of ISKCON is certainly Srila Prabhupada, but the theological founders of the whole sampradaya, and even ISKCON, are only the six goswamis and none else."

To him Srila Prabhupada is simply the official legal founder-acharya, but the siksha gurus and pre-eminent founder-acharyas are only the six goswamis and none else, specifically not Srila Prabhupada. Previously in the BBT court case, the BBT argued that Srila Prabhupada was just their "hired writer," -- their employee that they had hired to write books -- and now the new bhaktas in ISKCON are being trained to announce that Srila Prabhupada is simply the official legal founder, and nothing more.

Further on in his article, Bhakta Shishir argues that Srila Prabhupada should not be the main siksha guru for ISKCON:

"The principle of guru-parampara or disciplic succession is that later acaryas follow former acaryas and not vice versa. But making Srila Prabhupada as the greatest siksa-guru of ISKCON will make it vice versa and this will hurt the basic fundamental concept of “anugatya” in the sampradaya."

Later bhakta Shishir goes on to criticize Srila Prabhupada's books and literary skills: "Another reason why the six goswamis should be highlighted is that the writings of recent acaryas are full of apparent ambiguities and the writings of past acaryas are technically devoid of ambiguities."

And finally, his conclusion is that we need people like Bhakta Shishir to check Srila Prabhupada's writings for deviancy by comparing it to the writings of the six goswamis: "Though Srila Prabhupada’s writings cannot be compared as heterodox like Gunatitananda’s Vacanamritam, but still, if we make the writings of the current acarya as more prominent to the writings of the founding-acaryas, then how will we be able to detect any deviancy?"

In summary, he argues that:

1) Srila Prabhupada is not the founder-acharya of ISKCON.
2) Srila Prabhupada is not a pre-eminent acharya.
3) Srila Prabhupada should not be the greatest siksha guru for ISKCON.
4) Srila Prabhupada's books are ambiguous, unlike the writings of the Six Goswamis.
5) We should give more importance to the writings of previous acharyas, rather than to Srila Prabhupada's writings.
6) We should check the writings of Srila Prabhupada against the writings of the six goswamis for deviancy.

In a subsequent article ( by this same author on the same website titled "Philosophical Discussions With Neo-Gaudiyas" he states how the ISKCON devotees who are offended by his writings are just sentimental "neo-gaudiyas" who don't understand the real philosophy.

As we mentioned, these articles offending Srila Prabhupada are published on a website with close ties to Bhakti Vikasa Swami, and the author also has a picture of Bhakti Vikasa Swami as his facebook profile image, so it seems to imply that he is a follower in some way of this swami. 

I wonder if Bhakti Vikasa Swami also holds these same views, or maybe if he was in fact the one who taught these ideas to Bhakta Shishir? Since the site is closely linked to Bhakti Vikasa Swami, and the author appears to be his follower, he should make his own position known to the devotees as to whether he condones or maybe even teaches these offensive ideas. If not, maybe he should take a more active role in training his followers and disciples properly in Krishna consciousness as taught by Srila Prabhupada. The article is nothing more than a minimization of Srila Prabhupada's transcendental position.

On the facebook page where the author posted the article originally, we see dozens of comments by one Radhakrishna Das Brahmacari in support of it. He is the same person who was previously banned from posting to the Sampradaya Sun for saying that Srila Prabhupada had become senile in his old age. 

This person is a disciple of Gopal Krishna Goswami, and apparently this guru has no problem with his disciple saying that "Srila Prabhupada was senile in his old age and he therefore spoke incorrectly." I would quote the article, but it has already been deleted from the Sampradaya Sun. There is a growing trend for newcomers in ISKCON to treat Srila Prabhupada without proper respect and to not understand his exalted spiritual position. The present gurus do not correct their erring disciples when they make such offenses to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada.

Srila Prabhupada's own instruction on keeping himself in the center of ISKCON is clear: "I wish that each and every branch shall keep their separate identity and cooperate keeping the acharya in the center. On this principle we can open any number of branches all over the world. The Rama Krishna mission works on this principle and thus as an organization they have done wonderfully." (letter 11th Feb. 1967)

Bhakta Shishir posted a comment to one of his articles above. Below is his comment and my reply to him:

(Bhakta Shishir wrote:) Hare Krishna PAMHO! AGTSP! AGTSG&G!

I am brahmin initiated from Madhva Sampradaya. I am not a neophyte. So kindly don’t feel that I am immature to handle the other people. [ of comment edited for brevity. you can read it at the original site...]

Your Servant

(My reply to him:)

My dear servant Bhakta Shishir, 
I accept your humble obeisances. Thanks.

First, you should know that anyone who is above the neophyte stage has no need to announce that "I am not a neophyte". That announcement is itself the declaration that you are a neophyte.

Second, you obviously know that initiation in the Gaudiya sampradaya is based on receiving harinama, Krishna's name, from a guru. That is the beginning stage. Not having received harinama from a guru means you have not yet started, and are not yet a neophyte. 

After receiving harinama, then you will progress to the stage of neophyte, and by chanting that guru given mantra you will slowly progress beyond the stage of neophyte. You are yet to start this spiritual path, yet you want to lecture those who have been duly initiated into harinama for decades. You are nothing more than an arrogant upstart to be honest. And such an arrogant upstart thinks he is qualified to analyze Srila Prabhupada's teachings for defects against the writings of previous acharyas.

You state you are "brahmin initiated" in Madhva sampradaya. I think what you really mean is that you belong to brahmin caste, and that's basically it. You are not the first person to be proud of his caste. We hear the smartas also proudly proclaim their birth in smarta brahmin families. You should know that in the Gaudiya sampradaya your past caste affiliation has no bearing on your spiritual standing.

If you take that "brahmin initiation" as a serious spiritual initiation into your madhva sampradaya, then you have no business jumping around to other sampradayas looking for juice. Follow your madhva sampradaya and do what ever your brahmin initation acharya instructs you to do. But stop writing and trying to pose as someone representing the gaudiya vaishnava sampradaya when you have not entered it.

Using my mystic vision, I can sense you are some software engineer, sitting in an office behind his computer, typing out your vast spiritual realizations for the rest of the "foolish and blind" followers of Srila Prabhupada. Obviously the rest of the disciples of Srila Prabhupada don't have the vast spiritual experiences that you have received behind your computer screen in your office. 

They didn't have that nifty birth in a madhva brahmin family, nor the superior education at NIIT to become a software engineer. All they did was dedicate their lives to Srila Prabhupada's mission, spending decades on the street distributing Srila Prabhupada's books, going to new places to open temples, and preaching to the fallen conditioned souls. All they did was actually dedicate their physical lives to the spiritual instructions of Srila Prabhupada. You on the other hand sat in your cubicle at Infosys when your boss wasn't looking and typed up some super spiffy philosophical writings on company time criticizing those devotees who actually gave their lives for spiritual service.

What is humorous is your use of the phrase neo-gaudiyas. Because someone who was never initiated into the gaudiya sampradaya, but pretends to represent it and writes philosophical rubbish about it is a perfect definition of a neo gaudiya. Someone who is not willing to actually follow the sampradaya or take initiation within the sampradaya, but wants to pose as an adept member of the sampradaya, that is truly a neo-gaudiya.

What you need to do is some practical menial service to God. You need to go to the temple kitchen and wash some pots, mop some floors, and do some practical devotional service, so that you can advance to the stage of being qualified to receive entrance into the gaudiya sampradaya. But out of thousands of men, hardly one will be given that rare opportunity by Krishna. The rest will be content with their birth in a particular caste family.

Again, thanks for the humble obeisances. I have duly accepted them. ys ##### dasa


  1. Tim Lee, you are a crazy guy. if you go to the real link you will see that actually you are defeated in the debate.

  2. OK Bhakti Vikas best friend Jayadvaita says God's successors and acharyas and guru are often "engaged in illicit sex with men, women and children." Any average ten year old child in the USA could defeat all of you, the child would know that God's successors are not debauchees? Any ordinary child could defeat you? Any ordinary 10 year old child anywhere in the USA could defeat all of you with one question, why are you supporting debauchees as God's successors? ys pd

  3. Time Lee - you rascal! everybody knows that. yes sanyasis fell down and all bad things happened. but here the topic is the debate between Bhakta Shishir and you. you still have not replied to his comment. so you are defeated. speak on the topic. dont start barking like a dog every time with the same topic of fallen gurus. what is your position? you are defeated by a young ISKCON boy.

    Your Boss
    -Tin Lee

  4. OK except, Bhakti Shishir's program says God's successor gurus fall down, no just sannyasas? His program says gurus are engaged in illicit sex with men, women and children? I have not answered his topic? His topic is: that he is defending a guru program that has illicit sex, drugs, and orchestrates murders. He does not even know these things are wrong, he has to address the root issue, his guru parampara is full of debauchees, and he has not done so, because he does not know that debauchees are not God's successors, he was never trained properly. He needs to find a nice Church and see how people there worship pure devotees and not his party animals pooja program. Bhakta Shishir worships illicit sex with men, women and children messiahs programs, he is the biggest fool on the planet, even the cannibals have a higher standard of worship that he does. ys pd


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