Saturday, April 15, 2017

Radha Madhava Das Rejects Radhanath Swami

Radha Madhava Dasa:

In 2007 I was one time riding in a car with Radhanath Swami. I was at the time his close disciple and figured I should take the opportunity to ask him important questions. My mother is a Srila Prabhupada disciple and when she found her favorite verse in Bhagavad-Gita had been changed, she approached Ravindra Swarupa the GBC where she was. He said "Oh yes, the GBC approached me to edit it. I didn't feel qualified so I gave it to Jayadvaita as he was the closest thing I knew to a fundamentalist and I figured he wouldn't change anything." 

My mother Maralee Mrgaksi Ash was livid, "You did WHAT to our spiritual masters books?" - that was in 1996. In 2007 my brother-in-law was working as the copyrights officer for the BBTI - and would give their arguments from "BBT Edit" etc. on why the edits were bona fide. So hearing both sides of this debate - whether changes to Srila Prabhupada's books were bona fide or not - I thought to ask Radhanath Swami his opinion.

He saw that I was leaning more towards the "no-changes" position, and so he said that I should have a balanced perspective and hear from both sides - that Jayadvaita has a clean public record - intimating that his detractors may not - and that he trusted him. He said that the BBTI was trustworthy because they wouldn't change even reasonable things like "women are less intelligent" - Radhanath Swami was part of a proposal to change all instances of "women are less intelligent" to be more politically correct. 

He said that in seeking to get his own biography published he was dealing with an editor from Penguin Publishing (a prominent publisher) and by reading his book she became vegetarian and started chanting Hare Krishna. Then someone gave her Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-Gita As It Is and she came across the part where it says "women are less intelligent" and she closed the book and told Radhanath Swami that "Your Guru is a sexist" and gave up the practices she had taken up. 

Radhanath Swami then went on to say that he felt in his heart that Srila Prabhupada would change the way he said things so as not to put off "good quality people" like this woman. He said that things like "women are less intelligent" are temporary material considerations that could be said differently to attract more followers. And this was his evidence that the BBTI was trustworthy to not change Srila Prabhupada's books because they would not accept such a sound and reasonable change as he was suggesting.

I thought of my mother who when she first came across the "women are less intelligent" part in Nectar of Devotion, became so furious that she threw the book across the room - then she thought "that was silly - in the paragraph before that he said that we are not these bodies - so if I am upset that women are less intelligent, I'm thinking that I'm a woman, which is really less intelligent." So she picked up the book, kept reading and became an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada. That was the most intelligent thing to do.

So after this exchange with Radhanath Swami, I started losing faith in him as my spiritual master - because he didn't know what to do or what not to do - his motives were for fame and influence - he felt his own ideas superseded Srila Prabhupada's words - he felt he is better than Srila Prabhupada - and so had the nerve to propose editing his books to better suit his own agendas. 

When I was living in the Bhakti Center in NYC I was told by the management that they actively don't display or distribute Srila Prabhupada's books as they offend people who then go away. First they distribute Radhanath Swami's books and later, once people are ready, they may introduce Srila Prabhupada's books with apologetics for the controversial things he says.

"A guru who does not know what to do and what not to do, but by mistake, by mistakenly I have accepted somebody as guru, he can be rejected. By rejecting him, you can accept an actual bona fide guru." - Srila Prabhupada lecture August 5th 1973

The true disciple changes their own life to fit the order of the spiritual master - a false disciple changes the order of the spiritual master to fit their own life.

Later on Radhanath Swami defended a child abuser who preyed upon my family - as well as himself was confirmed by victims I know, to have been a sexual abuser to them when they were children as well. That put a lot of things in perspective which fit my experience. When others heard my experience they have said that their experiences and suspicions were also confirmed.

Due to fear of social repercussion I didn't let on my experience, but now I'm not afraid to share my story and to renounce any connection with Radhanath Swami. I have reverted back to my birth name Radha Madhava Dasa. I pray that others may benefit from my sharing and avoid his presence "as much as milk touched by the lips of a serpent causes poisonous effect."

There is much more to my experience and anyone can message me for more information. Anyone who feels uncomfortable with this can talk with me or other former disciples and verify for themselves. It's nothing to be ashamed of - to have been cheated is not a fault - rather those who cheat others must carry the shame.

Distinguishing truth from illusion is devotional service, however inconvenient it may be. I felt compelled to share this today as it perfectly fits what Swarup Hebel prabhu just shared and a following comment with Radhanath Swami's photo someone posted.


Post by Swarup Hebel:

This is a rewrite of something I posted in the past:

Throughout the years I am noticing more and more an undercurrent of confusion, consternation and even criticism concerning some of the (so-called) controversial statements found in Srila Prabhupada's writings as well as in transcripts of classes and conversations. Let me say this about that.

The serious student of Krishna consciousness --- the genuine surrendered disciple or follower of Prabhupada -- is one who has reached a stage of feeling fed up with, disgusted and disillusioned with life in the material world. Sastra defines this as being materially exhausted. Such a person who is ready, willing and eager to render submissive aural reception will have no problem whatsoever with anything spoken or written by the authorized representative spiritual master who is disseminating knowledge of the absolute truth.

On the other hand the person who still loves the world and who continues to identify with the body may feel squeamish, offended, and bothered by certain statements about "delicate" issues. You'll hear those folks with their lukewarm faith saying:

"Oh, Prabhupada could not have meant that."
"It must be due to the culture he was coming from."
"We have to hide or change the words so they're palatable."
"This is not politically correct -- it will turn people off."
"Impossible! He couldn't have meant that. There's some mistake."

If you are looking for a warm fuzzy feeling and a philosophy that is politically correct and dripping with honey-combed sentiment then you're in the wrong shop, my friend. Try the market down the street.

Srila Prabhupada was not interested in being politically correct. He had no interest in watering down the truth or compromising. He could have set the bar low enough to attract large numbers of disciples and followers but he didn't do that. He set the standards very high and spoke the truth -- the absolute truth. If a person is not yet ready to accept it all that's alright. Take what you want and leave the rest but please don't cause a big uproar and turn his words into controversial discussions that go endlessly on and on.

Personally, I have been struggling for decades to grab onto that bar and I keep slipping ... falling on my face ... breaking every bone in my body. I rub chalk on my hands to get a firmer grip but I fall off again and again. So what shall I do? Should I lower the bar to make myself feel better? "Oh look -- I can do pull ups and chin ups. It's so easy." No! I don't want something cheap. I want the real thing. Let's keep it real and please let's not play fast and loose with the words spoken and written by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who came a long way and sacrificed everything fifty years ago to deliver the absolute truth, as it is.

[PADA: Its amazing that many people who have little or no respect for Srila Prabhupada or his books are propped up to the highest levels by the ISKCON GBC. Of course a devotee woman can be more intelligent than all these cracker jack acharyas like Radhanath. Many nice Prabhupadanuga women have rejected Radhanath and his changed books, they are more intelligent than he is. ys pd]

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