Saturday, October 10, 2015

Affirming Srila Prabhupada's Legacy

Affirming Srila Prabhupada's Legacy


Affirming HDG Srila Prabhupada's legacy vs. questions as to what is Srila Prabhupada's legacy. ISKCON has a clearly defined purpose from HDG Srila Prabhupada. Why question what is it? Don't the GBC know? Why don't they?

A reply to H.H. Badrinarayan Goswami's recent paper, "Who are we and where are we going? A Fight for the Soul of ISKCON". ISKCON's Original, Official, well defined "Mission Statement" is Affirmative, from His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada founded ISKCON in July of 1966 in New York, USA. The incorporation document states Seven Purposes of ISKCON:

(1) To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all peoples in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values in life and to achieve real unity and peace in the world.

(2) To propagate a consciousness of Krishna as it is revealed in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.

(3) To bring the members of the Society together with each other and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, and thus to develop the idea, within the members, and humanity, at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of Godhead (Krishna).

(4) To teach and encourage the Sankirtan movement of congregational chanting of the holy name of God as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

(5) To erect for the members, and for society at large, a holy place of transcendental pastimes, dedicated to the personality of Krishna.

(6) To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler and more natural way of life.

(7) With a view towards achieving the aforementioned purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings.

In many temples in America, Canada, UK and EU, the Sunday Feast attendance is 95 per cent attended by Indians and needless to say, if this continues ISKCON will lose any hope of returning to Bhakta making of the locals. I also saw on a recent visit back to America, at one U.S. temple, no white guests (including myself) were given any attention or talked to by the regular Indians. 

Not even a Hare Krsna or Haribol, or how are you or who are you! How is this applying point one in ISKCON s Mission Statement -- "To educate all people"? This isn't even Krsna consciousness as handed down by Srila Prabhupada. It's Indian cliques and apparent subtle racism. Impersonalism. Moreover in some temples, discrimination is given to blacks, white people and those who don't fit a certain profile of education and wealth.

On Purpose 3, instead of bringing devotees together "Under the worship of HDG Srila Prabhupada", the GBC have created zonal gurus again. Clubs. Disciples are many times not united with other gurus' disciples and don't listen to seniors. Even when we spot serious deviations to Srila Prabhupada's standards for ISKCON, preaching programs violated and changed. For example, a while back I saw here in Moscow bogus ISKCON programs, with closing the eyes to New Age music and senior devotees asking the crowd to search their chakras. Unbelievable!

Why is this going on in ISKCON Russia, and no GBC is stopping it? They do not reference properly Srila Prabhupada's books, lectures, conversations and letters to his disciples, although they are the Lawbooks for ISKCON. They may instead follow a cult guru who impersonates a pure devotee with opulent worship and inappropriate spiritual titles. Still it goes on.

Regarding Purpose 4, where is Hinduization mentioned? Where is mundane yoga mentioned? Nowhere, as it was not meant to be in Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON. By the way, where are the daily and weekly big Harinams in America and Canada? Good Luck finding them, as only a few exist!

On Purpose 6, the GBC and leaders have neglected Prabhupada's disciples and banned many of them from ISKCON for exposing mission drifts. Vaisnava-aparadha. On Purpose 7, the BBT was renamed, ISKCON centralised and Prabhupada's books changed unnecessarily, and no attempt was made to stop this ongoing process. Srila Prabhupada's books are changed, and what did Srila Prabhupada have to say about his books?

Introduction to Canto One of the Srimad Bhagavatam by His Divine Grace:
"I must admit my frailties in presenting Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but still I am hopeful of its good reception by the thinkers and leaders of society on the strength of the following statement of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.5.11):

tad-vāg-visargo janatāgha-viplavo
yasmin prati-ślokam abaddhavaty api
nāmāny anantasya yaśo 'ṅkitāni yac
chṛṇvanti gāyanti gṛṇanti sādhavaḥ

"On the other hand, that literature which is full with descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, form and pastimes of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a transcendental creation meant to bring about a revolution in the impious life of a misdirected civilization." "Such transcendental literatures, even though irregularly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest." Oṁ tat sat

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Dated at Delhi - early 1960s

The real reasons why ISKCON is not expanding with locals in the West: Srila Prabhupada's original books were perfect and should never have been changed, with whole sentences re-written in another voice -- not Srila Prabhupada's voice, but Jayadvaita Swami's voice and his interpretations. Book Distribution has suffered greatly in the West. 

Airports have been closed for book distribution, Brahmachari and Brahmacharini ashrams gone. Harinams almost gone too, in most places. Apparently there is no fight left in ISKCON to preach strongly for Srila Prabhupada. How is this progress pleasing to Srila Prabhupada? Then ISKCON has the gall to have mundane yoga nonsense at the 50th Anniversary Celebrations in Calcutta! How can you celebrate compromise and deviations? In Srila Prabhupada's birthplace no less, this nonsense is promoted by ISKCON!

Many of His strict instructions on Krsna consciousness standards for ISKCON have been neglected. There is indisputable evidence of purposeful misrepresentation of Srila Prabhupada's Instructions in ISKCON, and it's all over the movement now.

We have enough evidence of the disobeying of Purpose 2 from the incorporation of ISKCON to ask to fire the entire GBC body. Find new GBCs who are honest enough to completely revive and restore Srila Prabhupada's intended ISKCON.
The insidious cabal of senior devotee deviators in ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON has been stripped of its very soul

Yes, there is a fight for the soul of ISKCON, as it's been badly damaged, altered and compromised. The Sampradaya Sun's editorials and news articles and reports from many whistleblowers on mission drift have shown proof positive of this fact. The GBC body ignores the reports and warnings from godbrothers / sisters / prabhus. Despite all the glaring facts, the GBC does nothing. They have sole responsibility for ruining ISKCON, as they are supposed to protect it, and they will pay the piper sooner or later for not doing their jobs properly, or at all. Meanwhile the world and devotees suffer due to a weakened, compromised ISKCON.

H.H. Badrinarayan's paper makes all the right points with, but with "what if" instead of "why isn't it". Still, it's going in the right direction and it's long overdue, way too long. Maharaja's paper is well researched and he gives Srila Prabhupada's well known direct to the point answers (quotes) on varnasrama, true women's roles in ISKCON (not the Women's Lib agenda), and real preaching ethics of Srila Prabhupada, however as an ISKCON society, it seems few notice, care or follow strictly anymore.

I wonder why Badrinarayan Goswami, a senior godbrother and GBC, took so very long to realize something is really compromised and has gone wrong in ISKCON? Why is he soft-peddling serious issues? Why is the GBC body not honest? He won't like my answer to these questions. It's because he too let all these changes happen, just as the GBC body did. Too busy having Mayapur meetings and more meetings and conferences promoting Krsna consciousness, but no honest facing of the truth, or talking about the real serious, complicated issues, like all the mission drifts in ISKCON.

One prime example of this is "The Illegal Centralisation of ISKCON". Please Maharaja, explain why the GBC body has centralized ISKCON? Despite "Srila Prabhupada's direct instruction never to do this in ISKCON". Explain it.

Why are many Temple Presidents and devotees getting huge Salaries? Why? This is in direct opposition to Prabhupada's instructions on Bhakti Yoga in ISKCON. This is corruption. We see our GBC / Guru godbrothers and sisters who have either compromised Prabhupada's ISKCON or have turned a blind eye to it, or are in the process of their own compromises now in ISKCON. More PR hype, more avoiding Book Distribution and Bhakta Programs, in favor of the all too popular Hinduized preaching or yoga exercises as a lead in for so-called preaching of Krsna consciousness. The results are obvious: in the West temple devotee-making has been abandoned or has stagnated.

PDF -- Profit, Adoration and Distinction, and security seem more important to some insiders in ISKCON now. Not a peep of protest from most younger devotees or most Indians who come to the Sunday Feast. The situation looks hopeless for ISKCON.

Incredibly, Maharaj praises "Bridge Preaching". I call it 'Compromise and Distraction'. Srila Prabhupada intended for people of all groups to move into temples. Of course there are exceptions, but the program was Ashram Life. How can you have ashrams when no one is joining? And today, Temple Presidents like it that way! It's a failure. It is not addressing the programs given to us and blessed by Srila Prabhupada. Programs which worked fine and were abandoned. "Bridge Preaching" mostly means vanishing Harinams, it's not a revival, it's not restoring book distribution, or the asramas. Srila Prabhupada's instructions have simply taken a back seat.

The GBC are not addressing the most serious issues killing Original ISKCON,
aka Krishna West, loose standards, Mayavadi association, New Age, Hinduized ISKCON... Maharaj knows damn well that's not the Prabhupada ISKCON he joined in the 1970s. He also knows Srila Prabhupada is not happy with all this mission drift and worse, he knows certain GBC / Gurus have changed the mission and preaching in ISKCON. 

The fact is, they will fight his new paper and anyone who exposes mission drift. His paper does not take a strong stand to defend Srila Prabhupada. We must fight the rascals in ISKCON to now save ISKCON. Maharaj's writing of his paper at least shows us he feels guilt, as he finally spoke out and is concerned that soon after all of Prabhupada's disciples will be gone, then ISKCON is in real danger of becoming more irrelevant and impotent and mission drifted by the next generation. If it's not fixed soon, it may never be fixed.

Those gurus and GBC who let this hijack of ISKCON take place are guilty of treason to His Divine Grace. They've damaged His ISKCON. I don't have to name them. The names of these GBCs and Gurus have appeared countless times in the Sun. We also know this same cabal of deviators will be supported by many in ISKCON. ISKCON has created a cult within itself, personality cult gurus and they rule now. Why won't Badrinarayan take a very firm stand against all this awful compromise? Yes, It will be fight because senior devotees flaunt mission drift in ISKCON now, but the fight must be escalated.

I have to re-mention this 50th Anniversary incident to let it sink in, just how offensive it was to Srila Prabhupada. This is very serious, not something to be proud of. Srila Prabhupada saw the final insult in Calcutta at the 50th Anniversary celebrations as devotees, dressed in tights and karmi clothes, performed mundane yoga with karmi music for cheap PR with the Guinness Book of World Records. What a disgrace.

The trouble with Maharaj's paper is that he writes to make it an open debate in ISKCON. There is no question/debate on "What is ISKCON" for those loyal to Srila Prabhupada. For them, it's already known and not debatable. The pure devotee's words leave no room to question or misrepresent him. To do this to Srila Prabhupada is offensive and it signals a loss of faith in him, to 'think we know better than Srila Prabhupada'. But these points are nowhere to be found in Badrinarayan Swami's paper.

Either you obey Srila Prabhupada or you use him to promote your own ideas and agendas, in and out of ISKCON. And that's just what many senior devotees have done now. It's out of control. Krishna West, BBT compromise on book changes, Hinduized ISKCON, New Age yoga nonsense, mayavada in ISKCON, etc. Devotees everywhere are confused and disappointed with ISKCON now.

My question to devotees is: what are you going to do about it?

Here are the recent comments from a senior Prabhupada disciple on Badrinarayan's paper:

A few comments on Badrinarayana Goswami's paper
By Vaiyasaki das (ACBSP)
September/October 2015

1. "Is ISKCON meant to present a philosophy only or are we meant to also present an alternative way of life?"

Prabhupada wanted us to show the example of a spiritual life style based on the teachings and philosophy of Lord Caitanya. [namaste sarasvati deve gaura vani pracarine...] So the Gaura Vani is meant to be spread and replace the [nirvisesa sunyavadi pascatya desa tarine]

Example is much more convincing than precept. So if we are only preaching the precepts then we are giving only a theoretical presentation. When Prabhupada said that varnasrama, 50% of his work, was unfinished, he intended that we must finish it, otherwise ISKCON remains a theoretical movement with no examples to establish it as a practical and viable alternative way of life.

He instructed us to implement daivi varnasrama rural communities for ISKCON members based on krishi go-raksha principles. The catur varnyam maya srstam type of varnasrama he wanted us to implement for the general public, the non-members of ISKCON. These are the directives he gave us. By not implementing them we became guilty of guror avajna and ISKCON has suffered the negative results ever since.

2. "Is our goal to find a way to fit comfortably into the current flow of the modern world or are we meant to change the world's cultural, social, and economical structures?"

Just consider: If ISKCON leadership would have glorified and preached a grhastha lifestyle and encouraged couples to have many children, instead of glorifying and instituting a brahmacarya / sannyasa model, ISKCON would now have 4 or 5 times as many devotees, plus many women and gurukulis would not have left.

If we had implemented his daivi varnasrama system in the '70s we would today be in the vanguard showing the example of self-sufficiency, organic gardening, healthy living, and cow protection. We would be offering organic cruelty-free milk, fruit, and veggies to our Deities, instead of being fully dependent on ugra-karma factories supplying these things, because we have nothing better to offer our Deities.

By not following the instructions of the Founder Acharya we all become losers. ISKCON loses instead of benefits. Every problem in spiritual life is a direct result of not following the instructions of guru - guror avajna.

3. "Are we so eager to gain a seat at the table of established institutions that we are no longer willing to rock the boat or take a challenging position?"

When we joined ISKCON it was the movement to go back to Godhead in this life. It was not the movement to become a recognized religion along with the other faiths. It was not the movement to become an established institution in the material world. Rather, it was the movement to show the world that material life is NOT the answer to the world's problems. Yes, it was the movement to rock the boat and explain that without a spiritual dimension, without devotional service, there is no solution to the problems of life. We challenged - anyone can experience God consciousness by establishing a relationship with God via chanting His holy names. We challenged - come live with us and your life will become sublime.

"If we had stayed on track we would now have hundreds of successful krishi go-raksha communities worldwide."

But when Prabhupada left, "we sold most of our rural land, or lost it via repossession, because we fell asleep at the wheel." ISKCON lost land that today is 100 times more costly to acquire. It was a great failure on our part, and the longer we delay in implementing this other 50% of Prabhupada's mission, the more irrelevant ISKCON will become because other groups are now doing what we should have been doing decades ago! So the example is always more convincing than the precept.

Just search for eco villages on YouTube and see how many people, in so many countries, are going off grid and living self-sufficient lifestyles today. ISKCON could have been leaders in this field but instead we are laggards. "Others are implementing what Prabhupada wanted us to implement, but without Krishna."

Conclusion - Directly addressing H.H. Badrinarayan Goswami face-to-face.
Badrinarayan Swami, you seem to want reform in ISKCON, but do you? Maybe in your heart you have finally seen that ISKCON is off the track big time. By writing your paper you made a good point and I applaud it. You took a step in the right direction. Your paper states that you want to see Srila Prabhupada's society restored. More dynamic, but dramatic action is needed and a million papers is not going to reform those who have made it 'their mission' to introduce compromise and do what they imagine is right.

Some GBC leaders and gurus are publicly instilling doubt about Srila Prabhupada's exact instructions in ISKCON. Some believe that what Srila Prabhupada told us is "out of date". There are too many faithless leaders now in ISKCON. Because of this, the GBC body won't fix what's gone wrong in ISKCON.

Srila Prabhupada s original ISKCON is about to die out -- at least, the "pure original one" that Srila Prabhupada intended for the world. What's been put in its place? Krsna consciousness compromise to be a replaced by a PR happy face of New Aged Yoga, Interfaith and Hinduized for popularity and money (let's not forget the $$$.) No end of Strategic Planning Meetings is going to fix this now.

For the ISKCON Movement to be repaired, restored, revived to the same proper level and standards we saw in Prabhupada's time, drastic measures must be taken. The trouble is, it's the actions, offenses and support by deviant GBC, leaders and some Gurus THAT have contributed to the ISKCON quagmire Maharaj talks about in his article. He does not mention these issues, but as a leader, he -- and all of us -- must take up the fight to save ISKCON in our lifetime! It's a hard task and embarrassing, but some leaders must be fired and the GBC body must be reformed. Guru reform is urgent too, to put Srila Prabhupada at the center again in ISKCON without the buffer of compromised 'soft Ritvik' guru-tattva approaches.

As always, it's Maya's job to take us away from this goal. We are seeing zonal guru-ism all over again in ISKCON, just a softer sell this time. But the damage is worse this time around because it's veiled. Disobedience to Srila Prabhupada is being peddled in the guise of excuses that it is simply 'time, place and circumstance' preaching in ISKCON.

Badrinarayan Maharaj, you said in your paper that ISKCON is at risk of becoming "irrelevant". Mark my words, it's already happened. It's now very close to becoming a mundane religion all over the world. No matter how painful, we must face the unpleasant task of stopping mission drift by ISKCON leaders and devotees, and re-establish ISKCON as Srila Prabhupada wanted it. It must be done in our lifetime or it is finished. We cannot allows that. We must restore ISKCON as it was supposed and intended to be: a mission for preaching pure Krsna Bhakti.

[PADA: Well said. Badri has been one of the foremost defenders of the post-1977 illicit sex acharyas club. yet Badri offers no actual or tangible process of fixing things, for example that people should NOT accept these GBC deviants as their acharyas -- and that Srila Prabhupada needs to be re-established as the factual acharya NOW. 

Its hard to see how Badri is serious about changing anything of substance, although his sentiment to have things fixed is good, its not enough to be effective. Worse, he is doing what he himself complains about the rest of the GBC, that they simply engage in lip service, and he is simply another version of that lip service. Anyway this is a good analysis of the current situation in ISKCON, whether people like it or not. 

Of course Sampradaya Sun / Rocana wants us to continue with his "ISKCON Constitution" wherein Rocana wants to continue the current GBC process of guru voting, guru correcting, guru censuring, guru removal, -- same old wine in a new bottle, except he says we have to be more effective at correcting bogus messiahs. OK he does not get it, he has no authority to rubber stamp bogus messiahs in the first place. ys pd]

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