Dear Srila Prabhupada, Please accept my most humble obeisances at your lotus feet. All glories to you, the divine representative of Krishna on this planet.
I wanted to give you a summary of the developments since your departure as my offering to your lotus feet. I need to start when you gave me the name Puranjana dasa, and I asked, what does this mean? And you replied, "you will find out everything later." Later on, your fourth Canto was printed and I read the story of "King Puranjana" over and over, and I kept coming back where you said --
"Unfortunately, when the acharya disappears, rogues and non-devotees take advantage and immediately begin to introduce unauthorized principles in the name of so-called swamis, yogis, philanthropists. welfare workers and so on." (SB 4.28.48)
And you said that the sincere devotees will have to rectify that situation. So I was already worried even in 1974, that you will depart and there will be some sort of chaos in ISKCON due to false gurus. And since this problem is mentioned in the story of King Puranjana, I felt this might mean I'd become entangled in the whole imbroglio myself. And so it seemed prophetic that I "would find out everything later" -- that after you would depart -- there will be bogus gurus -- and subsequent chaos.
In other words, even by 1974 I was already feeling apprehensive -- that upon your departure -- there would be a huge crisis, and I'd be caught up in those problems. It was a premonition that has proven to be correct. That means factually, you warned all of us disciples of this impending crisis in the story of King Puranjana, but not all of us heard your warning. Its hard to express proper thanks for your giving us this warning. However, since my name has been connected to the story where the prediction of false gurus is specifically made, it has had a special significance to me.
And so, just exactly as you predicted in the story of King Puranjana, there has been a huge out cropping of bogus gurus, and subsequent crises problems, just after you departed. Fortunately, you have protected me from being swayed by their propaganda because of your preaching always about the bogus "appointed" gurus of the Gaudiya Matha, and similar self-made gurus and avatars. So the first thing I did in 1978 was -- to question their so-called guru appointment. And needless to say, this put me into an immediate state of "battle mode" with these leaders. And so the GBC gurus excommunicated me in 1979 for "challenging their guru appointment."
As it turns out I was quite correct -- even way back in 1978 -- because there never has been any proof that you had appointed these eleven gurus. I am happy to report that as of today (2013), many thousands of devotees now agree with us on this issue -- that you have not ever appointed any guru successors, and that you had instead intended to have -- yourself -- continue as the worshiped acharya of ISKCON.
Moreover, since these alleged post-1977 "guru successors" keep falling down left, right and center, its well known even in the general mundane karmi world that these self appointed messiahs are not any kind of self-realized saints. Therefore, literally billions from the mass of ordinary people of this world agree with us -- that these people are frauds and not gurus. Unfortunately, there are still a few hold outs trying to forward the idea that -- you had wanted and ordered these guru frauds, but this is gradually being cleared up -- that these guru frauds were not authorized by you at any time.
You also told us that if we stay overnight in Vrndavana, on the place where Krishna performs His rasa lila dance, we will go mad due to the offense of considering we are more elevated than we are. And so these eleven gurus started going mad right away, thinking they are vastly more elevated persons than they really are. Actually some of them not only thought they were just as good as you, but even better than you. So they began to introduce all kinds of deviations, including criminal programs, because they had "a better idea" than Lord Krishna and His acharyas. Naturally, we consider all this to be a form of madness.
I recall after confronting Jayatirtha in 1979 that hundreds of his followers were giving me the "glare of death" -- and so it was also becoming more and more apparent that you had sent us "dissenters" on a dangerous mission to remedy this situation. Even today I see a few burnt out left overs from the bogus post-1977 guru regime, including some of my mis-guided God brothers, whom are still "death glaring" at me. However, they are more like snakes without teeth compared to what was going on in 1979.
Then again, you told us that when people glare at the vaishnavas they have to take future births in the body of a vulture, so it would seem that these people who are spending their lives glaring at the devotees of Krishna are not going to have a happy future. In other words, I feel sorry for these people since they have been mis-trained to despise the devotees of God, and this is very dangerous for one's future life. This reminds me of when you met with your God brothers in 1971, and I personally saw how many of them were "glaring like vultures" at you. I am very happy, even ecstatic, to be in that same identical program with you. Then again, the smartas glared at Srila Saraswati thakura and so forth. Its history repeating.
I was gradually learning some valuable points about Vaishnava history, that bogus guru out croppings and what you have called "self appointed gurus" could generate tremendous volumes of vicious hatred, and then -- violence. In short, I could easily die trying to remedy the situation. Worse, we had another ten similar "guru cults" going on, with their thousands of fanatical and misguided followers, self-manifesting all around the world. These folks collectively hi-jacked your mission by falsely claiming to be "the eleven new acharyas." That means I was -- at this point -- facing off not only with the eleven mad men gurus, but maybe another 20,000 of their combined followers. Challenging all of this -- without hardly any back up -- seemed like an impossible and bewildering task, especially since after leaving ISKCON I was mainly driving a taxi and had little time or resources to fight a multi-headed and multi-million dollar bogus guru program.
At the same time, I could see that many of my other dear God brothers were slipping down into a life of mundane pastimes such as: Watching football on TV; Talking constantly about their money issues -- or their karmi jobs; Many suffered from just plain boredom; Some were smoking pot, and worse -- some got into drugs like Heroin; Some were gambling; Some were watching porno movies; Some were engaged in criminal activities like drug dealing -- and even armed robbery; And there was wife swapping, prostitute hunting, various homosexual programs also going on, ad infinitum. Its almost like the Corinthians who were behaving very badly -- despite being "the first Christians." To their great credit, there has been a small but dedicated group of very sincere devotees who have followed you sincerely, and many of them are currently my well wishers and they are helping me by promoting our cause celebre program to re-establish you as the exclusive acharya of ISKCON.
Meanwhile, a number of my other God brothers simply ran off to the Gaudiya Matha to "take shelter" of their bogus gurus -- and so on and so forth; -- thus many (most) of my God brothers more or less abandoned the ISKCON ship (just as you said, most of your God brothers had also abandoned the post-1936 Gaudiya Matha). History repeated. Then again, you had said that after I depart, ninety five percent of my ISKCON followers will go back to being hippies, so do not turn this temple into a brothel after I depart. I was shocked to hear you say that at the time, but again, it is a powerful prophesy to consider. I think its turning out to be a fairly accurate number, you said ninety five percent would go back to their old ways, and that seems to be nearly the correct percentage.
I recall going into a liquor store in San Francisco to buy a soda in the mid-1980s, and there were two of your former "biggest scholar devotees" working there as store clerks. Essentially, most of of these folks had already vanished off the Hare Krishna landscape even by the early 1980s, but that is exactly what you had said would happen, most of them would go back to their old ways: i.e. your prediction was and is accurate. So it has been very odd for me, the former quiet book keeper type devotee from the 1970s, to be spear heading a program to re-establish you as the acharya -- at great risk to life and limb -- when these "bigger devotees" should have done that and I'd have been their hand-maiden assistant. Instead, I was doing the spear heading and they were, for the most part, vanished from the battlefield.
In short, many (or most) of my ISKCON God brothers simply lost their devotional determination and enthusiasm, and so they sort of spiraled down into mundane activities -- just as you told us had occurred among most of the "rank and file" followers of your guru's mission, the mass of devotees fell away. This is what you said occurred in Srila Saraswati Thakura's "Gaudiya Matha" mission after he departed in 1936. You also said, "they (some of your God brothers) are sitting around in the tea shops, smoking beedis -- wasting their lives." You have summed it all up by saying -- the fallen away God brothers are asara, or useless, because they have lost their enthusiasm and are simply falling into mundane life. History repeated, and many of our God brothers did pretty much these same things as well, for the most part. OK, some of our Western devotee contemporaries fell down way worse than the Gaudiya Matha folk's failures.
So I decided, better than slipping down like this, better to take risk and chance, and fight against these eleven crazy gurus, and their mad cults, and simply accept whatever reactions may or may not come, and to basically "depend on Krishna" -- even if that means -- I'd be assassinated. "Shoot for the rhinoceros," as you had said, "and it you do not get one, no one will be surprised." So I thought, if I could simply take down at least one or maybe more of these gurus, that would be like shooting the rhinoceros, but if they took me down and I was assassinated, no one would have been surprised by that either. So better to try to shoot the rhinoceros and fail, than to do nothing.
And the real reason I have been in so much danger due to -- challenging these bogus gurus -- is that most of my God brothers (fellow warriors?) abandoned me on the battlefield. They were now working in a liquor store, or whatever else they were doing, bu they were hard to even find without great difficulty. As you had said of the Gaudiya Matha, "one party deviated, and one party left." So the guru party deviated, and the rank and file simply left, and they would not help our protest. History had repeated.
The few who did fight with me, like Sulochana das, Yasodanandan das and a few others, are in my eternal debt. Of course you were also abandoned by the mass of your God brothers when you had similarly challenged their bogus guru "appointment" program in your 1936 Gaudiya Matha. History repeats. The people who challenge bogus gurus are generally abandoned, that's the history of all this -- at least in Kali Yuga. And this too is all explained by you as well, its Kali Yuga, so we will have to expect these things to happen. Nothing new under the sun.
Later on the Berkeley Police, FBI folks, Dr. Stilson Judah and many others warned me, "You can get killed opposing these 'gurus,' because their programs are dangerous and they want you to die." The Los Angeles police also told me the same identical thing, "Stay away from that Watseka temple, the people over there want to kill you." They actually escorted me away from the temple once when I was there on my bike, they said, "You are going to die if you stay around here." So while most of "the devotees" have no idea what is really going on, the police immediately know what is going on, I am challenging a dangerous guru program and I can die in the process.
And so, the guru regime folks killed my dear God brother Sulochana das and they would have killed me as well, except the police saved me. The police are of course one of the external manifestations of Krishna, so they could and did help me. As you have said of Lord Krishna, "His hands and legs are everywhere." The FBI even offered to give me a new identity and put me in a witness protection program. Of course then I would have lost all my devotee contacts so I declined. Basically, knowing the FBI was involved in monitoring me, discouraged the guru regime from killing me, so that was Krishna's arrangement to keep me alive.
Clearly you and Krishna have saved me, and there is no other explanation since a number of other dissenters are -- dead, and some have "disappeared" as the police have told me. So there has been a real danger to my bodily life, but since you taught us -- we are not these bodies -- there really is no danger to my actual life at all. Its eternal. This bodily form of life is simply a dream, there is no actual danger in a dream, as you have told us repeatedly. So that inspired me to carry on regardless.
And so, by remembering your teachings, you protected me from getting overwhelmed by all this. And when you told us some of the post-1936 dissenters to Sridhara Maharaja's bogus guru cult had their bones broken, because they were beaten with bricks, and some dissenters had their faces pushed into dogs stools, and some were killed, that made it clear exactly what I too would be dealing with, these bogus guru people could violently oppress me if they thought for one minute -- that they could get away with it. History was repeating -- exactly as you had warned us could occur.
Your describing all these mistreatment of dissenters to bogus gurus prepared me for the worst, so I was fully aware of the entire situation by your describing exactly what happens in such bogus guru cults. You prepared me. I knew this history was repeating exactly, and even more amazingly, then Sridhara Maharaja emerged as the post-1977 "shiksha guru advisor" to these eleven bogus gurus. So my life really was in danger because he had been the leader of the post-1936 dangerous Gaudiya Matha guru cult program which also had dissenters beaten and killed, as you explained so well to us. Not only was history repeating, but the same folks who had caused the post-1936 Gaudiya Matha to spiral down into a bogus guru and "murder of dissenters" cult were now annointed as the head "advisors" of ISKCON -- by the deviated post-1977 GBC. In sum, Gaudiya Matha deviation pt. 1 joined forces with Gaudiya Matha deviation pt. 2.
So this has all ended up as a sort of long battle, and there have been major casualties on both sides. Its a little overwhelming to think of all the devastation that has taken place on both sides. However, what gives me comfort is that Maharaja Yuddhisthira also felt devastation at the end of the Kurukshetra war, but Krishna comforted him by reminding Maharaja Yuddhisthira, "this battle was required." So that is a fact, we simply could not allow people to say "debauchees are Srila Prabhupada's and God's successors." We had to try to challenge that, and so we did.
We have -- in short -- made many enemies. And a former Catholic Church member tells me why, because -- anyone who speaks up about the Catholic Church's abusive problems becomes -- shunned, an outcast, a pariah, and is basically branded as the servant of Satan, and the "enemy of the Mother Church." So anyone who questioned the Holy Divine 11 gurus has been treated the same way. History repeats. Aindra prabhu said the same thing -- those of us who are dissenting are being "burned at the stake" by "the powers that be" (the bogus gurus) -- and so he had a similar experience as myself. I for one do not believe Aindra's death was an accident either, he was a thorn in the side of these bogus gurus and so, its my feeling at least that -- they removed him from this planet. He died saying much of what I am saying.
Then again, the more I am vilified, the more than convinces me that there is a demoniac conspiracy to cover up for these bogus gurus and their countless crimes. You once told us "the police are our best friends, because without them we would be severely persecuted." Wow! You were right again, the police have been my best friends.
The police have thus saved me from being persecuted, and even from getting killed. You have been totally right, the police are a devotee's best friends. Remembering your telling us -- the police are our best help when we devotees are in danger -- inspired me to make them my friends. And this process has worked well, they did save me. That means really you saved me because it was your good advice that worked. Those devotees who protested -- but out of sentiment -- did not take shelter of the police, like Chatur Bahu, Taru, and no doubt many others, they are all dead. They thought there was a minor problem here, but no, there was a major deviation here and it has been no small amount of dangerous. So just as you had said, there is a sinister movement within my movement -- that is trying to hi-jack my movement -- that sinister movement eventually emerged fully and tried to hi-jack your movement. Your prediction was right.
So, we had to at least try to contain the problem. Even the karmi police are amazed and they have often asked me, "You mean to tell us, all you are saying is 'debauchees are not God's messiah successors' and you actually have people who are arguing against you"? AT ALL! They are astonished that anyone would even argue with me for one second, at all, and try to counter our idea that debauchees are NEVER God's successors and messiahs. So even the karmis are mortified to find that thousands, maybe tens of thousands, are arguing with me when I say deviants are not messiahs, and some folks still are arguing with me over these issues because they cannot seem to comprehend the simplest of ideas, that debauchees are not God's successor messiahs.
And so in the early 1980s I began to write many papers citing extensively from your quotes -- where you are saying that the guru must be a pure devotee, that debauchees are not gurus, and so on. I wrote on the cover of my pamphlets that the author of my papers is "The Prabhupadanugas," despite not many folks were helping my writing. Not only that, I often had to use my own money to buy a typewriter, buy paper, pay to photocopy and distribute these papers, and face maybe getting attacked while distributing these papers at temples and festivals -- since we had little back up.
I am glad to report that our original 1980s title "The Prabhupadanugas" has spread all over the globe, and has now become almost a household word and title being used all over the Hare Krishna world environment. Almost everyone is now trying to use our original title, or hi-jack that title from us -- as some official ISKCON folks are now doing by claiming they are the original "Prabhupadanugas." Narayana Maharaja had been one of the very few folks to say we are bogus to use the Prabhupadanuga title, what else is new? So it now seems that there are a lot more people every day who are using the term we originally used, because they cannot defeat our idea that you are the current acharya of ISKCON.
Thus, the really good news is, nowadays there are not just a few of us using that title, there are thousands of people who now proudly announce that they are Prabhupadanugas, namely, worshipers of yourself. So our original 1980s title, which has been using your name as the title, has worked well for us. And we feel it will eventually become the standard name used by your worshipers and followers all over the planet -- as time evolves forward. In fact, that process is already going forward and is unlikely to be changed.
At the same time, all of these events has given me personally a really incredible life, all considered. I had to experience: Various fears for me and my friends; Grief over so many victims; Feeling I will be shot at any second; And great pressure like a detective who is finding your "hidden documents" -- and then publishing your documents -- to my great peril -- and so on. Then again, it is you yourself who said -- your own God brothers gave you simply "depression, repression, oppression." So then I began to feel, I must be doing something right, to at least to be getting the same treatment from my own God brothers?
Your instruction thus prepared me for this whole endeavor, hence the more I get depression, repression, oppression, the more that simply proves -- I am on the right track. And with so many people now coming forward to become Prabhupadanugas, we are in fact on the right track. Then again we remember you said in 1971 that your guru God brothers might try to harm or even kill you, so once again, I was sharing exactly what you were talking about, and that protected me from getting overwhelmed by it. Your bogus God brothers became self appointed gurus and they wanted to harm or kill you, then my God brothers became self appointed gurus and they wanted to kill me, history was repeating. So that is why you said we have to follow in your footsteps if we want to be protected, and I was protected.
Meanwhile, I have also experienced great happiness when people thanked me for saving them by giving them you as their guru. And I still get these types of thanks from time to time, which makes all of this worth it. And at other times I have also felt tremendous detachment, blissfulness, and just plain ecstasy. I seemed to have had just the opposite type of life of what I see as the rather dull and boring lives of many of my God brothers. In short, my life has been like a big adventure movie, with dreadful parts, scary parts, sad parts, happy parts, finding hidden documents like a detective movie, running from people with baseball bats, and of course there has been totally ecstatic parts, and everything in between. And I thank you for giving me this eventful life and saving me from the plight of a number of my God Brothers, who many times ended up with boring and dull lives, if not watching football etc. To sum, my life has overall been a lots of fun. I have found true happiness through you, and as you have said, that cannot be purchased for even billions of dollars.
Would I trade my life for any of my God brothers "quiet and peaceful" lives, or trade my life with anyone else on the planet? Honestly, no, you have given me a perfectly satisfying life. You gave me a chance to experience all the emotions and feelings that can be experienced it seems, and I have to thank you for making my life feel complete in all respects. At the same time, it now seems that a great number of my God brothers and Sisters have been suffering from some forms of apparent chronic depression, because of their consequent deadly illnesses, and many have already died prematurely.
Too many of them are now gone, that really is the main thing that gives me sadness nowadays. I think many of their premature deaths must be due to mental fatigue and depression due to this fight with these bogus gurus, which has lead to their feeling too much grief, which has then lead to their sickness and death. Its a little like Krishna telling Arjuna, either fight, our else you will suffer from the consequences of the war anyway. You cannot just retreat under a tree and expect freedom from the effects of the war, the effects of the war will come to haunt you anyway, so -- better to fight. And if these people had fought along with me -- they would have been better off simply from the psychological point of view -- that they would have felt better about themselves. For example I wanted to get ten people to make signs and protest in front of the temple, but I could not find these ten people.
As one CBS TV news lady once asked me, "How come all of your people read about a great battle in your religion's Bhagavad Gita, but then they seem to be unable to see that there are even any deviations in your movement, what to speak of having any sense of fighting against these deviations"? So this has been a big problem, many devotees who are apparently reading the Gita are not following the principle of standing up against various usurpers, which is the basis of the story of the Gita. Therefore, when pirates try to take over the ship, the passengers either fight off the pirates, or the passengers might then get tossed off the ship into the ocean, and its more or less likely then -- they will die.
As Dr. Stilson Judah and me discussed, you were right to say the idea that people need to worship conditioned souls -- in order to go back to God -- is simply not a viable and long lasting idea. Eventually, this program will collapse and totally crumble into the dust of time. And our idea, that we have to worship the pure devotee, will emerge as the main idea in your religion. And the main reason this program continues is through force and coercion (as Aindra prabhu noted).
However Dr. Judah warned me, after a religion is hi-jacked by false messiahs, this process can easily take a hundred years to be resolved, or even hundreds of years, before people finally accept the idea that we have to worship the pure devotee and not these false messiahs. Dr Judah said to me, your main problem is that your idea (i.e. Srila Prabhupada's idea) that ISKCON has to perform exclusive worship the pure devotee is currently way ahead of its time -- at the current moment -- in ISKCON.
He said, your idea is at least one hundred years ahead of most of your God brothers, those who are now acquiescing with these false messiahs, and worse, he said our idea is maybe many hundreds of years ahead of its time, since it sometimes takes centuries for such reforms to evolve. Dr. Judah would have known about these problems, since he was a scholar on world religious history.
So our good friend Dr Judah said, our idea will eventually be embraced, but since it may not be embraced for a century or even centuries, you are in a very dangerous position right now to be so far ahead of the ideas of others. Every time I left Dr. Judah's house he said "Watch your back, they will kill you if they think they can." He added, if we study history, people like you can be persecuted and even killed for being so far ahead of your time, and that is why your life is in so much danger. Of course Srila Prabhupada, you were also in the same danger, you advised your God brothers that their self appointed guru program was bogus, and that they need to worship the acharya Srila Saravati. They oppressed you as a result. So that inspired me to carry on, your example of sticking to the simple principle.
I recall that when I wanted to announce your poison complaint in 1997 that even some of my best friends wanted to physically restrain and stop me. They said, after you announce this poison complaint from Srila Prabhupada, you will be dead in twenty four hours. I said to them, better to be dead than to live in an oppressed manner. Let me die. They really could not argue with that. That is also what Krishna told Arjuna, just go ahead into battle, and leave the results to Me. And so it has happened, to many people's great surprise, I lived on and now there are thousands of people who are studying these poison conversations.
Anyway, the upshot of all this at this point in time is, your idea, that we need to worship the pure devotee and not conditioned souls, is starting to catch on all over ISKCON. The original citations we used from you in our early 1980s documents, with your quotes about the need to worship the pure devotee, are quotes we are now seeing all over the place at the present time. Almost everyone, even people inside ISKCON, are starting to cite these same identical quotes that we used from you in our early 1980s documents. So that means -- we are gradually having a large success by your grace. That means, maybe it will not take a century, or centuries, for your worship to be re-established, it may come sooner, and hopefully it will.
We also have many independent Prabhupadanuga centers developing all over the world, using the idea that we need to worship you, and not conditioned souls as the acharya. And these programs are expanding nicely all over the globe. So instead of taking what Dr. Judah thought might be at least a hundred years, or maybe many hundreds of years, we are seeing a turnaround going on NOW at the present time, to re-establish you as the exclusive acharya of ISKCON. So I am glad you gave me a role in helping this happen. As one of the GBC gurus said to me -- you are like the barking dog of ISKCON -- with your idea that only Srila Prabhupada can be the acharya for ISKCON.
Yes, and we barked loudly, and so now many other people are saying, "hey, you know what, that does sound like the right idea, lets worship His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and not these bogus imitations." That means with all our barking we are gradually having success, and nothing can change that at this point, our success to re-establish you as the acharya will happen.
In any case, I was worried when I got the Puranjana dasa name from you, and so I kept asking, is there any other Puranjana dasa? Nope. I kept wondering if this name would be connected to exposing false gurus after you departed, and that this could be a heavy burden for me. Well, its been just the opposite effect my dear master! I feel uplifted and happy as a butterfly in the breeze. I feel that your giving me this name and thus this job of fighting against your false successors has been the best thing that has ever happened to me, ever, not only in this life, but its the best thing that has happened to me for the past several millions of my lives. Its a blessing from God, which you delivered to me. There is no way to thank you for all of this. I feel very blessed thanks to your causeless mercy, and I hope to have your association sometime in the future, even if its merely to be your barking dog. Thank you so much for accepting me as your servant, I can never repay you for giving me Krishna, I can only weep and say thank you over and over again. ys pd