Saturday, November 12, 2016

Is Modern ISKCON A Sahajiya Program?

[PADA: Even an outside observer recently told PADA that they notice that the number of devotees at the temples seems to be "very small compared to what it was." Right, even the outside people are recognizing that ISKCON is falling and failing in many respects. Of course many of these temples no longer even belong to ISKCON, they have been spun off into many other separate charities. So they are not even part of the official legal society anymore. 

At the same time, the society is venturing into giant lawsuits all the time that are extremely costly, at the same time, public media exposes of these giant lawsuits has reduced the income of the society. Thus the society is finding it harder and harder to exist as time passes, since they are spending massive amounts on lawsuits, which generates a bad name for the society. 

This in turn creates a bad incentive for people to contribute, so the contributions are not as much either. The leaders are thus making the expenses artificially go way up, while the income goes way down, and this is not a good plan for any society. Basically, preaching that the acharyas are often deviants is not attracting people generally, and its alienating the mass of devotees from praticipation in ISKCON.    

Srila Prabhupada told us that at the time of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura that there were so many sahajiya groups, he hardly knew where to start to address them, so he chose 13 of the most prominent to write about and expose. He also said that since Bengal has promoted Ramakrishna's Mission, which is according to Srila Prabhupada another version of sahajiya, for that reason "all of Bengal has been dragged to hell." The idea that acharyas are often deviants appears to be an off shoot of some of these sahajiya programs, which probably explains why the ISKCON leaders have been hanging out with Gaudiya Matha folks, Fakir Mohan, Babajis, and who knows what else.  

And the sahajiya tilt explains why -- Bengal is materially poor, has little status on the world stage, and is prone to typhoons and floods etc. There is a reaction for promoting the wrong ideas.

A lot of the "vaishnava" groups originally founded around the time of Lord Chaitanya later on started to divert. Same thing happened in ISKCON, we had a sahajiya out cropping -- that pure devotees are subject to illusion, illicit sex, and other deviations, and ISKCON was dragged to hell in the same manner. 


[Condensed from article sent to PADA]

Some of the apa-sampradayas are the Jatta Goswamis: The goswamis of caste. They pretend to be authorities just by being born in family of the Goswamis. Except the Goswamis did not have any children? In a class given by Srila Prabhupada on 7 February 1969, he stated the following in relation to the thirteen sects apa-sampradayas:

"There are thirteen sects that claim to belong to the Chaitanya-Sampradaya... if I describe these 13 groups, I'd take thirteen hours. So I can't describe them all. But at least one must be described. The most important is the jati gosai. They created a caste of gosvamis. These kinds of goswamis are given by birth, or heredity, such is the caste practice. 

"The contribution of my guru maharaja is that he beat that caste of goswamis, in the same way you did, as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said: kiba vipra sudra nyasa kebe naya yei krnsa tattva veta sei guru has: "it doesn't matter if someone's a sannyasi, a brahmana, or a sudra, or a grhasta, married, or not. Anyone who knows the science of Krishna, he is recognized. He's a goswami. He's a brahmin.

"This is his contribution, let's say, for a hundred years. That's the input. And for this reason, he had to face many vehement protests of that kind of practice and goswamis. They conspired to kill him. Guru Maharaja told me personally, because by his grace, when I used to be alone with him, he told me many things. He was so kind that I used to talk to me. 

"And he told me personally: These people want to kill me. They Collected Rs. 25,000 and they went to see the police officer in charge of that area, and said, take this rs. 25,000 we want you to do something against Bhaktisiddhanta sarasvati. And the police officer refused and went to see my guru maharaja and warned him, take care. This is the situation.

"The jati goswamis are a hereditary caste of alleged spiritual masters. 
Although they are sunk in the worldly family matters, they believe themselves as important as the goswamis and renounced saints of the gaudiya sampradaya.

"It is said phalena pariciyate: one is recognized by the outcome of their actions. Vaisnava Society, there are many types of vaisnavas. Some of them are called goswamis, some are called swamis, some are prabhus, and others are prabhupada. However, one is not recognized by just one of those names. To a spiritual teacher is recognized with a true guru when he notes that he has changed the nature of his disciples."

Another Goswami clan assumes a dark vision of what they think are unnecessary austerities of the goswamis and of the gaudiya vaisnava sampradaya. They argue that Krishna already loves His devotees, and that He is satisfied even when He sees that they live a life of material comfort and sense gratification. They wield the example of their founder as superior to that of the six goswamis. A So-called priya dasa of this clan, wrote a play called sus-loka-manimala, which states that the founder was the spiritual master of sanatana goswami and jiva goswami.

In 1932, the caste of goswamis of vrindavana opposed the vraja mandala parikrama of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and his disciples of the gaudiya math, on the basis that he had strayed from the Vedic system for offering the sacred thread to people who had no Brahmínical kinship. On this point, Srila A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has explained the fallacy of the jatta-Gosani in a letter to his disciple Acyutananda swami, as follows:

"Due to the fact that the current era is not filled with the ceremony of garbhadhana, even a person born in a so-called brahmin family is not considered a brahmana; he is a dvija-bandhu, disqualified or a son of a brahmin. Under such circumstances, the conclusion is that the entire world's population is now sudra, as stated, kalau sudra sambhava. 

"So for the sudras there is no initiation according to Vedic system, but in accordance with the system pancaratrika initiation is given to a person who has a penchant for take the Krishna consciousness ".

Having understood the mission of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and being directed by his guru maharaja and by Lord krishna himself to spread throughout the world the Vedic knowledge, his divine grace Srila Prabhupada spread his mercy without cause to many melechas born in The West.

Srila Prabhupada understood that all the conditioned souls who wanted to be sincere devotees, should be given a chance. And no other acharya in the history of the sri gaudiya vaisnava sampradaya could disseminate the hari-Nama-Sankirtana as did our dear Acharya-founder of iskcon. 

In addition to the caste of Goswamis, which at least have in Bengal some possible renowned family link with some Vaisnavas in the past, there are even posers who proclaim to do any outrage in the name of Goswamis. Many of the important temples and holy places connected with the pastimes of the Lord Chaitanya, remain under the control of these Jatta-Gosani. Until the first half of the twentieth century, they kept Vaisnavas in a tight hold of ignorance and exploitation.

Kartabhaja: is the group apasampradaya that worship the guru as if he were God. The Guru is the representative of God and should be given certainly respect, but the spiritual master does not accept to be treated as God Himself. That's a wrong understanding of Guru-Tattva. 

Prakrta-Sahajiya: Is the sect of the deceivers, the pseudo-devotees, physically acting on behalf of apparent bhakti. They take the "easy way" and have a slight feeling of bhava, but still under the bodily concept of life. The Word Sahaja ("natural" "simple" "normal") has two connotations in literature vaisnava. Its traces can help us see more clearly the difficulty of the diversion of sahajiya where Lord Krishna uses the word sahaja in reference to the nature material - Saha-jam karma kaunteya -, indicating the imperfection of Human Nature, which does not indicate that we should deal with sensory materials in activities.

According to Dr. S.N.Das Gupta, the history of the movement of sahajiya in Bengal dates back long before the appearance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the kingdom of the Buddhist dynasty (circa A.D. 700-1100), when there was a secret cult of name sahajayana, Inside the school of Buddhism called "vehicle of the diamond" (Vajrayana). 

Buddhist sahajayana abandoned as useless the proceedings and the study of the scriptures. The Vajrayana is still prominent in Nepal and Tibet. It's a mixture of tantric yoga and sunyavada ritualistic philosophy. Some scholars believe that elvajrayana was created in Bengal, a fortress of the tantric religion kapalika, when they arrived the first Buddhist missionaries.

In relation to the story, the cult vajrayana extended from Bengal to regions of the Himalayas. Wherever there is created, it is true that the fermentation of vajrayana in sahajayana ("the easy vehicle") agreed to an original recipe in Bengali. You could say even more on the sect prakrta-Sahajiya, but it would extend too this description of this sect apasampradaya.

The priests of Ativadi dress sometimes as women in certain religious occasions, and are known to mix freely with women. They have so much influence in Orissa due to translations in Oriya by Jagannath dasa, of Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-Gita, but these simple folks do not discriminate between what is allowed and what isn't. 

The Ativadis often exploit their influence for political purposes, and can be fanatics. In this sense, Srila Bhaktivinoda thakura says they resemble certain Islamic sects like the wahabis, although they seem externally to be very good devotees of Lord Jagannath.

The Ativadis are supposedly tantric mystics and practice Yoga and sometimes they work magic to cure diseases. They formed a secret brotherhood like the feemasons, such as in the West, but they are also involved with using and selling drugs such as marijuana and opium. Bhaktivinoda thakura recognized that there were 1,500 of them in Orissa when he was there. At that time, it is often held they were working in conspiracy against the government so they could not be restricted.

Prabhupāda: These sahajiyās will come out of so many devotees. What can be done? From my Guru Mahārāja's disciples, so many sahajiyās came. These are called sahajiyās. Very easily they capture thing. So my Guru Mahārāja used to say, "When my disciples will be sahajiyā, it will be more dangerous." He used to say like that. Take things very easily. You know that Puruṣottama, supposed to be my Godbrother?
Pṛthu-putra: No.
Prabhupāda: You don't know?
Pṛthu-putra: In Māyāpura?
Prabhupāda: In Vṛndāvana.
Pṛthu-putra: In Vṛndāvana. Ah, yes. Puruṣottama, yes.
Prabhupāda: He has poisoned this Nitāi.
Pṛthu-putra: Oh. Is it because we have the desire to come in contact with such persons that we contact them, like Nitāi contacting that Puruṣottama?
Prabhupāda: You may not desire, but if you are not strong, you'll be misled by these rascals. But if we follow this instruction, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, āra nā koriho mane āśā, oh, then you become strong. Then you remain strong. Our bhakti line is anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. We should be completely zero of our material desires. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Śūnyam means zero."
Srila Prabhupada's Room Conversation January 28, 1977, Bhuvaneśvara

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