Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bhakti Viksa Swami: ISKCON -- A society no one can live in?

Srila Prabhupada wanted to make a house the world can live in, has Bhakti Vikas Swami's program made ISKCON into a house, even most of the leaders cannot live in, which is why most of them left?


By Dhanurdhara Swami

I recently started to write a review of a book that was banned in ISKCON, but my book review soon morphed into something else: a study of moral diversity as a template to bridge the gap between the Society’s conservative and liberal wings.

Three months ago, I was included as a receiver to a flurry of impassioned but reasonably well-reasoned protest letters from the disciples of Bhakti Vikasa Swami to a long list of ISKCON leaders, arguing that it was improper for the GBC to ban their guru’s book "Women: Masters or Mothers"? 

[PADA: Right, often the disciples of one particular GBC guru think their guru is "the ONLY pure person in ISKCON," and all the others are bogus. That means ISKCON is being divided into smaller and smaller teeny personality cults, as occurred in the Gaudiya Matha. "A dozen gurus with a dozen disciples." And these "jagat acaryas" do not agree with one another, so the unified preaching effort is stunted or halted. 

This shows how badly the GBC and their appointed acharyas like Bhakti Vikas Swami are misrepresenting the Vaishnava guru parampara of Krishna -- by making it appear that Krishna's pure devotees and gurus are infighting among themselves like cats and dogs -- over simple points of basic siddhanta. Of course some Narayana Maharaja leaders are also infighting, for example one group is saying that Srila Prabhupada was a GOPA or cowherd boy, so that means Narayana Maharaja comes out in the "higher rasa" as an alleged manjari or GOPI. Same problem, it means their gurus are infighting and disagreeing.]

I was a little annoyed at first. I am not an ISKCON leader, and I hadn’t read or seen the book, or even had an interest to do so. But as I received letter after letter, my interest was piqued to find out why this book was such a controversy. I protested to the writer of the next letter I received, “I am not an ISKCON leader, nor even technically in ISKCON, and I have not even read the book. If you choose to continually copy me on your complaints, at least send me a copy of the book!” And she did.

[PADA: Oh swell, this is very typical, various people first off pose as the big swamis, gurus and leaders of ISKCON and later, after they ruin the society, they leave and make outside comments. Its somewhat amazing that often these bogus GBC gurus themselves seem to realize they have made ISKCON so rotten, stinky and uninhabitable, even they cannot live in the dog manure pile they created, so they have to decamp. And they might even clean out the safe and also take "a disciple" who is their "new lover" along with them, as they depart the broken sewer pipe disaster scene they created.  

As one devotee said, "Its like a person who has been passing big farts in a room full of people -- and then the culprit is leaving the room -- so everyone else has to suffer while he leaves the scene because -- he know what a horrible stink is about to happen." In this way, even their biggest gurus and folks like: Hansadutta, Bhagavan, Harikesha, Hrdayananda, Satsvarupa, Jayapataka, Ramesvara, Bhavananda and others, they are sort of now "retired" Jagat guru messiahs. Yep, even they could not stand the stinky pile they made here.

Yep! After they ruin the ISKCON society then they walk away and let the house burn to the ground, after they started it on fire. OK at least Jayatirtha and Kirtanananda were excommunicated. Of course this begs the question, what is an excommunicated acharya or messiah? So the apparent plan is -- to turn ISKCON into a giant mess, and leave, or maybe hide out in Salem India in the middle of nowhere like BVKS? Or they excommunicate their messiahs after first coercing if not forcing thousands of people to worship them, creating total chaos in the aftermath.

And their help mates like Brahma Tirtha, Ravindra, Hari Sauri, Prabhavishnu, Prithu, Trivrikrama and others are also not able to explain why they poured gasoline on the ISKCON false guru devastation fire either. Again, even Bhakti Vikas swami is semi-retired, he has given up on fixing the mess he created in the West by his support of the bogus messiahs' project over here, so he hides out in South India -- as the rest of the society is burning down to the ground. 

As one devotee said, Srila Prabhupada built a house everyone could live in, then the GBC built a house that even they could not stand to live in, so most of them had to leave as well, because the stink they made was so odious even they could no longer tolerate it. Of course Dhanurdar has had a lot of criticism from many of the ex-kulis, and this is forcing the rest of the GBC to distance themselves from him as well, due to social pressure, about the only thing apparently that makes the GBC do the right thing.]  

In a sense, whether I agreed with the author’s opinion or not, I couldn’t fathom why the book should be banned. It was mostly quotes from Srila Prabhupada espousing the more traditional view of the role of women in society, and the author gave many reasonable and well-argued supporting arguments. The cover was too provocative, and some parts were too polemical — some bordering on the pejorative, especially in discussing a topic with such a history of abuse — but I just couldn’t justify the ban, and neither could the GBC.

[PADA: Well there you have it, what is the point in discussing how women need to be subordinated to these male gurus and / or GBC leaders, when these leaders are often not protecting women and there is a pattern of the women being exploited. First of all, you'd need actual men who do actual men-like things, such as taking care of women, which is not happening much with this lot.]

I decided that it would be better to just highlight the core issue and address the controversy in a more general way. 
While pondering how to tackle the issue, I came across a relevant lecture by Jonathan Haidt, a NYU professor of sociology, entitled “The Moral Roots of Conservatives and Liberals.”[1]

“Conservatives speak for the institutions and traditions and seek order even at the cost of the those at the bottom” — and the flaw of the liberal mindset — “Liberals speak for the weak and oppressed, want change and justice, even at the risk of chaos.”

[PADA: Promoting illicit sex gurus is not conservative?]

Bhakti Vikasa Swami argues that if we had senior women who held to the most traditional line of women’s deportment and temples organized strictly according to these same strictures, our preaching would be more successful. 

[PADA: Right, Bhakti Vikas swami's program kicked out thousands of devotee women who were unwilling to comply and worship his illicit sex acharyas project. Worse, a number of these women complained that the children's gurukulas were creating problems for their children, and all of this apparently fell on Bhakti Vikas Swami's program's deaf ears. BVKS is criticizing the women for wanting a voice, but their voice was (is?) not allowed. 

And thus these women possibly could have saved hundreds of kids from being abused? So the BVKS paradigm is the opposite of success, he has created chaos by aiding a policy chopping off the complaints of the victims of the abuse being conducted and orchestrated by his guru party.]

I think this points out a weakness of Maharaja’s presentation — that his preaching has not been on the front lines of the First World and that he thus has only limited realization of the deep sincerity and mindset of the people whom preachers in the West confront. For his view to have credibility, he or his followers would have to lead the way and show others how to impact the First World with his tone and presentation.

[PADA: Good point, Bhakti vikas swami is preaching mainly in India where the traditional role of women there will be somewhat more accepted, but how to translate Vedic culture into the West is not being done on a large scale by these leaders.] 

Srila Prabhupada was on the front lines and credited much of his success in the West to his liberality. Those who have successfully followed suit as preachers in the First World also seem morally diverse. That is not to say that his presentations and expectations then or what he would have demanded now were liberal or divorced from the tradition. They were not; but they were tempered — or relevantly applied — out of fairness to the times in which people were living and out of compassion for their souls.

[PADA: Right, we need to have a more diverse voice in the society or it will suffer, the ivory tower imperious leadership model simply does not work whether in ISKCON or North Korea.]

Bhakti Vikas says many of the senior women in ISKCON are “suffragettes.” 

[PADA: Hee hee, this is good. These women are suffering under the jackboots of the GBC guru regime, hence suffragettes is quite acurate.]

So, what about all the direct quotes by Srila Prabhupada describing varnasrama and its traditionalist values? If that’s what Srila Prabhupada wanted, then by all means his followers should take up the service to implement it and show others its value — but only as long as they don’t, in trying to implement it, lose their heart and kick too many good, sincere, Krishna conscious women aside — women who can be good mothers with love and respect for tradition but who also need to be reasonably empowered according to their natures and karmic situations.

[PADA: Good.]

Bhakti Vikasa Swami is an excellent writer and a substantial preacher in ISKCON. His voice for conservative values is an important one. And he does have a point. There are radical voices in the modern world that don’t represent Srila Prabhupada and whose influence in ISKCON is unwanted, and people do need to be educated in the value of tradition and what Srila Prabhupada wanted. I just think Maharaja would be more successful if his vision were a bit more morally diverse and he showed the fairness, compassion, and practicality that Srila Prabhupada demonstrated in spreading this Krishna consciousness movement.

[PADA: To simply say that women are mothers and not masters is off-putting the whole issue -- that most of the Srila Prabhupada disciple women of ISKCON left the society being disgusted with BVKS and his hokey gurus. Its off-putting the real issue -- that a lot of these women brought important and crucial topics forward and they were squelched and suppressed. 

Its off-putting the fact that most of these women were loyal to Srila Prabhupada and could not be bought and sold out to surrender to a hokey guru program like BVKS was bought and sold out, because they had more integrity than him. And in general, BVKS is avoiding the real reason most of these women, their husbands and their children abandoned ISKCON, because they do not want to worship the BVKS illicit sex acharyas program, which bans, beats, molests, sues and kills vaishnavas. And if most of the leaders themselves have to abandon the ISKCON ship, and leave the mess they have made out of ISKCON, how can we expect the women to stay on board to clean up their mess? ys pd] 

1 comment:

  1. Yasodanandan was also present in 1977 and Tamal told him that there would be ritviks after Prabhupada departed, its in his diary. Of course people like Urmila, Swarpa Hebel etc. promoted that their pals like Kirtanananda and other conditioned soul fools could be diksha gurus and absorb sins like Jesus and be the next messiahs of the jagat, well swell, how has that worked out for you guys? The idea that Srila Prabhupada would no longer be the diksha acharya and he would have some form of successorship has caused mayhem, never mind molesting, beatings and murders. Another GBC guru Vrjendranandana just died after an extended illness, and his people were saying he was sick from taking sins, right, these guys cannot absorb sins, its taking them down. The idea that Srila Prabhupada can be replaced with conditioned souls is destroying ISKCON and its destroying these bogus leaders simultaneously. ys pd


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.