Friday, July 31, 2015

More Trouble in Brooklyn ISKCON (update)

Placing roadblocks for others who want to go to Krishna?

ISKCON Brooklyn: Falling Standards


[PADA: OK but you are a disciple of Satsvarupa Das Goswami, who helped create all the false gurus and their falling standards in the first place. Then he supported, enabled, empowered and sustained all these hokey gurus. Thus the first issue is, why has your guru SDG been saying that all these fools and even debauchees are Krishna's guru successors?]

ISKCON Brooklyn: Falling standards, family / clique control, apparent racism and spying - or business as usual in Brooklyn.
After approximately a six year absence due to my work schedule I have recently spent time at Radha Govinda Mandira. For the past few months I have been visiting the ISKCON facility located in downtown Brooklyn on Sunday evenings and attending the programs there.

[PADA: This another big problem, many or even most devotees are too busy with their "karmi jobs" to be able to visit these temples regularly, or even at all, because SDG's program removed, exiled or kicked most of them out. After SDG's program removed most of the devotees who were following and maintaining the standards, then there was no one left to maintain these standards. And after being removed by the SDG program, then they had to get jobs to support themselves. So now there was nothing left but the remaining foxes watching the chicken house.] 

The purpose for visiting a temple of Krsna is for spiritual purification - a place to take shelter of the Lord and the Vaisnavas. It is supposed to be an oasis in the midst of the material world where one may cleanse the heart and rejuvenate the soul. It is supposed to be a place of pilgrimage.

This is no longer the case in Brooklyn.

Sunday Feast Kirtana - Let me start with the kirtana - the congregational chanting of the holy names - HARE KRSNA HARE KRSNA KRSNA KRSNA HARE HARE / HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE.

Sandhya-arati is part of the evening program and an ISKCON tradition and part of that tradition is the chanting of the Gaura-arati prayers - the glorification of the beautiful arati ceremony of Lord Chaitanya. I can speak from personal experience that this was a part of the Sunday program in Brooklyn since its inception in the 1980's, but in recent years it is no longer chanted. I don't know if this is an ISKCON-wide policy. I do know it is absent here.

Then there is the chanting of the Nrsimha prayers. In Brooklyn only Ramabhadra dasa leads these prayers. This has been going on since he took the presidency of the temple. Everyone sits during the chanting - except Ramabhadra dasa. Is he physically incapable of sitting on the floor with the rest of the devotees? Is this a physical manifestation of a false-ego desire to be recognized as the indisputable "king of the castle" and literally "head and shoulders and more" above everyone else?

And now for something new - his chanting of the Nrsimha prayers is accompanied by a devotee standing next to him playing a saxophone. Has the saxophone been recently approved by the GBC or some higher authority as an authorized musical instrument for the glorification of the Deities in the temple room? Chanting in public is different. We have seen different musical instruments used on Harinama on the streets. Isn't there supposed to be a higher standard in the temple room? Is this pleasing to Sri Sri Radha Govinda? Is this pleasing to Srila Prabhupada?

Sunday Feast Lecture - When I visit the temple I want to hear Krsna katha. I don't go the temple to watch a video or a photographic slide show. I can do that at home. I want to hear a devotee speaking about Krsna. I want to hear - the first and most important of the nine processes of devotional service - sravanam. It is basic. Sound vibration is the best and most powerful way to learn.

If you want to hear a lecture about Krsna or Lord Chaitanya or Srila Prabhupada or the Vaisnava saints, don't go to the Brooklyn temple. There were only two lectures given in the few months that I visited. Romapada Swami gave a lecture about Lord Chaitanya and how He glorified trees, but even that lecture ended with a twenty minute non-devotional video about trees. 

The saxophone devotee also gave a lecture recently. Every other night the devotees sat in the temple room watching either a video or a slideshow presentation. Everyone just sits there staring at the screen. Hypnotized. Mesmerized. There is no interaction. There is no sravanam kirtanam. There is no real "live" teaching about Krsna consciousness.

nitya-siddha krsna-prema 'sadhya' kabhu naya
sravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya

"Pure love for Krsna is eternally established in the hearts of the living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting (emphasis added), the living entity naturally awakens."(Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 22.107)

This appears to be an example of the laziness of the temple authorities. Are they too lazy to prepare a class? It is much easier to press a button and sit back and do nothing. You don't have to think or plan or use any intelligence or expend any energy in Krsna's service. The claim may be made by the temple authorities that there aren't enough qualified persons to help. 

That argument is nullified by the simple fact that the temple authorities have chased all the qualified devotees away. 

[PADA: Right, Satsvarupa's first program was to remove all the qualified devotees and replace them with his pals, ok deviants, crooks and criminals, and then ISKCON descended into mass criminality. That was his plan all along and he has never said anything about this process except, it was authorized -- trying to blame Krishna for his own misdeeds. Krishna did not want to kick out all the devotees and bring in a wave of motivated fools and criminals, SDG has done that.] 

Unless you are part of a few chosen families and their offspring and friends you cannot serve here in this temple. The same families have been running things here for years. This is common knowledge.

[PADA: Its corrupt, yes this is well known.]

This is also an example of the temple authorities over-reaching restrictions on allowing qualified brahmanas to give class. There are many who are qualified but because of the fear of someone mentioning something truthful / controversial like the many offensive changes to Srila Prabhupada's books or worship of fallen, voted-in "sannyasis", only a select few - the "politically correct" few - are allowed to speak.

[PADA: Hee hee, well yes, they cannot explain the history of their fallen acharyas process.]

Hints Of Racism -

The temple president and his wife have white Caucasian bodies. The few families that do service in the temple have brown Indian bodies or black African-American bodies. So how could there be any racial element here? The two white bodies rule. The brown and black bodies serve. The well-known philosophy of the two temple authorities is this - don't mix the races. It is okay for black to marry black and brown to marry brown and white to marry white. It is not okay for brown or black to marry white. 

[PADA: Well yes, there are "brown bodies" of ex-hindus all over the place, because they wanted to remove the Westerners and get some cheap adoration from these hindus, and that is why they fled the USA to mainly set up camp in India where no one knew about all their scandals over here in the West.]

There once was a brown body Bengali who cooked all the prasadam. He became engaged to a white body Mataji from Europe. The current temple president and his wife tried to convince him that it was a bad idea to mix the races. They warned the Bengali devotee that he would have to leave the temple if he went ahead with his plans to marry. The humble Bengali devotee asked them if they ever looked at who was on the altar in the temple room. Srimati Radharani is white and Sri Govinda is black. Needless to say, the humble Bengali devotee was told to leave.

[PADA: Right, of course there are other temples that have hired Bengalis to do the pooja. In one temple, some of these Bengalis go out to a doughnut shop to talk to the Western waitresses just after they do the mangala arotike. They sit there every day eating doughnuts and drinking coffee, chatting it up with the pretty waitresses. 

This begs the question, why has ISKCON become so dependent on this hired Bengali help? Anyway, maybe this Bengali man who wanted to marry a Western mataji was sincere, but he made the mistake of actually wanting to take care of himself -- and maybe then he and this woman would have been independent of the "authorities" by being married, that's not a good plan. Why is the GBC getting involved in almost everyone's married life in the first place?]  

Then there was the brown body devotee who was in charge of Life Membership. He also had the audacity to marry a white body Mataji. Gone. There is also a very qualified brahmana, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, who happens to have a black body, who gives lectures in numerous ISKCON temples but is denied by temple authorities the opportunity to give a lecture in Brooklyn. Prabhu, do you think the reason may have something to do with your black body son marrying a white body Mataji and having, God forbid, a mixed-race child?

I am the father of 3 mixed-race children. I have a white body and my wife had a brown body. Black, white, yellow, brown, regardless of pigment, they are all bodies belonging to the human race. Furthermore, what happened to the Krsna conscious philosophy that we are not these bodies?

There is also the past history of Ramabhadra dasa in the 1970's in Radha Govinda Mandira in Manhattan and his spreading nasty, hurtful, untruthful rumors about the black body vice-president of the temple and the arranged marriage to a white body Mataji. He was called out about his rumor mongering during an Isthaghosti by the GBC. 

There was also the very strange and offensive dance that Ramabhadra dasa used to perform during the Mangala-arati kirtanas in those days. A number of devotees complained about his pseudo-sexual gyrations in front of the Deities and the temple authorities put a stop to it. There is also the apparent refusal by Ramabhadra's wife, before she and Ramabhadra agreed to join forces, to an arranged marriage to a black body devotee. He was a very nice devotee and my god-brother.

Free Sunday Love Feast -

The older devotees know what the Sunday Love Feast is supposed to be - prasadam - ghee, two subjis, rice, halava, pakora or samosa, puri or chapati, chutney, nectar and sweet rice. It is NOT a feast without sweet rice.

If you are looking for that Free Sunday Love Feast don't go to Brooklyn. All you will find is kichari, halava and lemonade.

If you have money you can purchase expensive samosas and veggie burgers and pizza and cookies and cake and so on, which are sold right outside of the temple room. Additionally, all the best effort and premium bhoga resources of the temple are concentrated in their very profitable restaurant business.

And now a new requirement has been instituted in Brooklyn - you must have a ticket in order to receive a plate of prasadam. There was a special program to honor the recent passing of Sriman Jagat Pati prabhu. There was a video presentation in the temple room where you received a ticket which entitled you to a plate of prasadam. If you did not get a ticket, you did not get prasadam. This sets a precedent which may be used in the future. If you don't sit through a video or photo slideshow you won't be allowed to honor the "free" feast. That means it would no longer be free.

Spying -

Why does a temple of the Lord need to spy on the congregation? It is understandable that the use of security cameras is necessary to protect property. Is it also necessary to invade the privacy of the devotees? Is it also necessary to record both the audio and video of the humble Vaisnavas? What is the purpose? What are the authorities in this temple afraid of?

I had been warned that Ramabhadra dasa likes to watch and listen to the devotees via his security system. You can not feel safe revealing your mind in confidence when you are in this temple because someone is always watching and listening, and I am not talking about the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

I recently purchased a new phone with a new phone number. I only gave my number to 4 different persons. I did not give my phone number to anyone in the temple. On the night of the special program for Jagat Pati prabhu I did make the mistake of verbally giving my number to a devotee while standing in front of the entrance to the temple underneath one of the many security cameras. When I was on my way home that evening I received a voice message. It was an audio recording of my conversation in front of the temple.

Why would they do that?

I will not return to the temple in Brooklyn again. I will not be missed, I am sure. I will miss Sri Sri Radha Govinda. I would not have written this article under normal circumstances. I prefer to pray to Srila Prabhupada and Krsna to rectify the wrongs here. I do not want to offend the Vaisnava devotees but the truth must be told. Every word here is the truth.

I feel violated. That, in itself, is a form of violence perpetrated against me. That is okay. I am of no importance. It is the sincere devotees that are being mislead that concerns me.

I wrote a very favorable article about the recent NY Ratha Yatra in which I praised those in charge in Brooklyn for their service to Lord Jagannatha. What have I ever done to anyone? Whenever I visit I am quiet, reserved, and inoffensive. Everyone who knows me knows that I have always avoided involvement in any controversy or politics. I feel very hurt and I offer my most humble obeisances and apologies to all the actual devotees in Brooklyn who will no doubt be offended by this article.

Jagannatha dasa

[PADA: Welcome to the club of exiled devotees. You are not alone. You might want to ask SDG why he wanted all these bogus gurus to rule the society with no checks and balances like a normal religion has. ys pd]

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