Time changes things. This month we focus on what appears to be the imminent destruction of Prabhupada’s branch of the Gaudiya disciplic
succession, as deviants have been consuming it by so many methods for many years. In the
modern and now post-modern era—and even more particularly, in the Western world—the
negative impact of this descending octave should come as no surprise. It is my duty
as a whistle-blower to expose that which entered into his movement in the Seventies and continues
to this day. Whistle-blowers are almost always unpopular,
although a certain sector of intelligent people will appreciate them, especially when they
are right. This becomes all the more complicated for those who blow the whistle on bogus gurus
and their institution, particularly when they appear to be Vaishnava gurus.
A certain anti-Vaishnava attitude or disposition entered Srila Prabhupada’s movement in the
Seventies. This weed was watered by personally self-interested, ambitious leaders, who pretended
to be advanced devotees and lovers of Prabhupada, when, in fact, they were anything but.
It is difficult to care about any of them at this point. Most of the initiated devotees
of Srila Prabhupada failed to notice this above-mentioned change back in the day, because
the genuine Hare Krishna movement was still functioning side-by-side with what we now
call—quite appropriately–a fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation. Actually,
this dual track constituted the beginning of a major war, but the will to contend in
this war—on the part of the real devotional workers—has only been present in a few.
Most of Prabhupada’s initiates got swept up into the heady, zonal acharya imposition of
the late Seventies and first half of the Eighties. However, time has made things clearer for
those who truly want to see. The overall glide path for the deviation is about forty years,
and the battles are now sufficiently known. It’s been dark skies and driving rain for
many decades, but the fight goes on–as it must. There is no assurance of anything to
the contrary, because the dispositions of the combatants has not changed at all. The
mis-leaders responsible for this were and remain misguided men, and this theme will
be expanded upon next month. That they have consumed Prabhupada’s line for their own self-aggrandizement
is almost a done deal, but “almost” is not the same thing as metaphysical certainty.
There was at least one murder in the Eighties, but that time of intimidation has given way
now—superficially, of course. This does not mean that anything has actually been rejuvenated
for the better spiritually, because such is not the case. You need to understand the history
accurately, as it was, as it is, and as you—as pure spirit soul transcendental to all of
their deviation—like it. At first glance, the current battle may appear
to be an exact replay of the original confrontation, but it is now fundamentally different from
that epoch. You need to understand these differences. The line is still being consumed, but in a
different way. You can only understand more profoundly the actual history of the Hare
Krishna movement in terms of its dual tracks, as afore-mentioned. Unless you know both the
similarities and the current differences rightly, you will likely become inadvertently part
of a strategic failure to expose the make-show, check its momentum, and, in due course—God
and Providence willing—terminate the deviation. Such failure will lead to short-term personal
humiliation but, in due course, worse than that.
Devotees entangled in “ISKCON” are now in the throes of the Third Transformation,
the Hinduization of their wayward cult. Superficially, it is not nearly as destructive as the First
Transformation, the exuberant—and thankfully, brief–zonal acharya era. There is also not
as much pressure on the “ISKCON” devotees as there was during the Second Transformation
of the mid-Eighties, the era of collegiate, ecclesiological institutionalism. The current
fight is much more insidious, as it is being fought now in slow motion.
It fulfills the dictum of Thomas Hobbes, when he said it is a fight between and amongst
the all against the all—in the name of accommodation, reconciliation, and pseudo-inclusivity. Hobbes
also rightly posited that war consists of not only fighting during a specific tract
of time, but in the continuous inclination to fight, when the underlying factors of contention
remain unchanged. Such has always been the case in “ISKCON,” and it continues to
be so. The world-wide web has changed the battlefield
a bit, and, if “ISKCON” eventually were to triumph in this war, then, if you are a
dissident, you will experience, directly and painfully, the surreptitious means the cult
will use to persecute you. Its leaders have not triumphed as yet, so such a dire situation
exists only potentially—but you still need to be aware of it.
To defeat “ISKCON” misinformation at this time is much easier than if that institution
were to gain political power where it would certainly use cyberspace in order to remove
the INTERNET influence (of its enemies) now found there. There are some other factors
favoring our resistance, such as the fact that the “ISKCON” bloc is not as united
as it appears to be. There are rivalries battling within it, and those rival players ultimately
do not share the same ideology. Indeed, some of them have very little but the institution
in common. Another way of saying the same thing is that
the rival wings of the “ISKCON” bird of prey do not always work together, but often
compete against each other. The liberals and the conservatives within that cult are both
deviated, but they are not necessarily deviated in the same way. Their maya centers upon a
node of control, of course, and that will be discussed subsequently.
The differences between the First Transformation of 1978 and the current Third Transformation
outweigh the similarities between these two deviations. The emergence of Neo-Mutt in the
early Eighties and Rittvik in the last months of that decade has compounded this fact. The
power struggles within “ISKCON” are both ideological and gender-based. They are not
like the traditional struggles between Vaishnavism and Mayavada. We must see them as little more
than in-house tempests within the “ISKCON” teapot. The root issues of the deviation are
always ignored by both wings. To contain the influence of the cult entails
first exposing its deviations–not in terms of the female diksa-guru issue or whether
so-called spiritual authority lies with the guru or the governing body—but, instead,
in terms of the root issues. By root issues, we mean the initial deviations from the guru-parampara.
These were inserted into the movement in the late Seventies, although plenty of groundwork
had been laid down previously. We have no need whatsoever to engage with
“ISKCON.” In fact, such a policy of engagement is counter-productive. “ISKCON” is far,
far beyond the level of reformation. Perhaps, it was alright to care about it in the late
Seventies, but not any longer. Its deviations have been locked in tightly for decades. You
must understand its history in order to secure this perspective.
When did the deviations start? Well, we can look at the winter of 1972 bleeding into the
early spring of that year for a hint. Eight independently-minded GBCs—all members of
the power node of the cult–decided, upon their own whims, to convene an illegal meeting
of the Commission in New York City. There, big, big changes were made to the way Prabhupada’s
movement was managed. Eight of these fellows convened the meeting, which constituted quorum,
but the other four commissioners were not even informed of it. Even more importantly,
Prabhupada was also not informed of it. The hateful eight voted in an assets-and-money
centralization scheme, and, even more astoundingly, transferred almost all the power to run the
show to a non-GBC member, who was made Secretary of the Commission. When Prabhupada was finally
informed of this, he came down hard! That saga is a long story, but we have covered
it quite extensively in previous articles and videos.
As a result, on April 8th, 1972, His Divine Grace suspended the Governing Body Commission,
transferring its power back to the movement’s temple presidents. All but one of the zones
returned to normal, but—somewhat ironically, here—the one zone that suffered lasting
damage from the scheme was the one in which your host speaker had joined, at Madison,
Wisconsin, in mid-February of that year. That temple was closed. It never should have been.
None of the real workers in the movement knew anything about this machination, but it was
a close call. Prabhupada indicated clearly—and we have documented this in previous articles—that
his whole movement was almost ruined by this centralization scheme. In December of that
year, his final statement about it was recorded in a letter to one of its chief organizers,
when the threat to his movement appeared to have been finally uprooted: “Do not centralize anything. Each temple
must remain independent and self-sufficient. That was my plan from the very beginning,
why you are thinking otherwise? Once before you wanted to do something centralizing with
your GBC meeting, and, if I did not interfere, the whole thing would have been killed. Do
not think in this way of big corporation, big credits, centralization—these are all
nonsense proposals.” So, the personality of Kali was thwarted that
time by the late spring of 1972, and the good momentum returned. Mostly. However, another
scheme would soon emerge, and this one centered on dramatically increasing income from donations.
You could say that its chief motivation was book distribution, but those who lived through
it know differently. The books were a smokescreen covering the real motivating principle: Increasing
the pick. Although the plainclothes collection did not
really explode onto the scene until the last months of 1973, the idea of it was sprouting
earlier that year. Prabhupada heard about it, and he did not like it. In February of
that year, here’s what he ordered: “Regarding our sankirtana party members
dressing up as hippies in order to increase book distribution, this is not a very good
plan. . . the devotees can dress up in respectable clothes like ladies and gentlemen in order
to distribute my literatures under special circumstances, but even this program should
not become widespread.” Well, that’s not even close to how things
played out. There are other letters we could quote here. In them, Prabhupada insisted that
even those dressing up in Western attire had to be wearing tilaka with shaved head and
the flag (the shikha) in obvious display. The governing commissioner of southern California
bucked him at every step, protesting these restrictions.
Was the plainclothes pick only engaged in under special circumstances? Hardly. In virtually
all the temples of America, the majority of devotees were sent out where the men wore
wigs, and the women with short skirts. And the money . . . errr, “laksmi points”
. . . flowed like anything, especially where there was an airport.
Your host speaker could go into quite a bit of detail about it all, because I was amongst
the second contingent of collectors which opened up O’Hare the day after two other devotees
went out there and proved public collection viable. Oh, by the way, we distributed and
collected there with shaved heads, tilaka, and devotee garb. That only lasted until the
“Christmas pick” of 1973, of course. You didn’t need a weatherman to know which
way the wind was blowing. The movement’s mentality changed: You were only a real devotee if you
went out, distributed books and ripped off the vikarmis. In plainclothes, because, through
that deception—by hook or crook, as per the popular slogan at the time–you could
rake in legal tender in much greater amounts. Lie like anything, but bring in that lettuce!
Oh yeah, and make sure some books go out, too.
The movement became super-wealthy, but the price paid for that was steep. A mentality
of compromise, of conflict and confrontation, emerged. It was greatly exacerbated with the
emergence of the de-programmers in 1975 and militant atmosphere, because they could bum rush the devotees much more easily, pushing
their buttons and manipulating whatever emotional ways and means that suited the big guns. Also,
they got to control and use all that money as they saw fit, because there was no oversight,
no checks and balances on any of them. This was the beginning of the fabricated “ISKCON”
confederation, which ran parallel to Prabhupada’s Hare Krishna movement of Krishna consciousness.
Few devotees spotted this insidious fact, but many, if not most of them, were gradually
being driven crazy by these changes. Prabhupada did not really want any of this plainclothes
deception, but times had become strange. Once he saw that he was unable to stop it, he decided
to put the pedal to the metal and get the most he could get from it. After all, if his
leading secretaries were going to deviate from him in such an egregious way, he might
as well get as many of his books out as part of the bad bargain—especially, since he
could foresee the distinct possibility that his books would be radically changed after
he left the scene. TATTVAMASI
In late May of 1977, with Prabhupada clearly nearing the end of his manifest activities
on Earth, all the commissioners attended an important meeting in his quarters at the Krishna-Balaram
temple in Vrindavan. He was asked how his movement was to presently carry on initiations,
as a long list of applicants had been piling up. No one had been recommended, because he
was gravely ill. So, answering that question, he said that
he would once again re-establish the rittvik system. He did that in the second week of
July, 1977, as, within a span of two days, eleven rittviks were authorized (most of them,
re-authorized) to initiate new disciples on his behalf. In other words, the rittviks performed
the ceremony, but Prabhupada was the new devotee’s diksha-guru.
During the afore-mentioned May meeting in the dhama, he was also asked how initiations
were to be conducted after he departed physical manifestation, when he would, so to speak,
no longer be with us. He indicated that he would appoint some gurus, and then he said,
“Regular guru, that’s all. He becomes disciple of my disciple.”
However, Srila Prabhupada never did name, authorize, recognize, or officially appoint
any initiating spiritual masters. Obviously, he changed his mind about doing so, and he
had every right to change it. None of his disciples was recognized as an initiating
spiritual master–at least, not officially. Only rittviks were appointed.
There is nowhere in either shastra or Vaishnava tradition wherein a rittvik is automatically
granted the status of an initiating spiritual master once his guru–or, in this case, the
Founder-Acharya–departs physical manifestation. Yet, the deceptive leading secretaries merged
the rittvik appointments with the appointments of those eleven gurus. After Prabhupada left,
things started to drift, and the challenge horse of absurdity was let loose.
Word circulated—and it was false—that Prabhupada had, in principle, appointed initiating
gurus in that May meeting, and that those gurus had been named in July. No such thing,
of course, but that would not become clear until the summer of1980, when a senior, female
disciple demanded to listen to the so-called “appointment tape” and discovered that
there was no appointments to anything on it. Yet, in the spring of 1978, most of the devotees
(your host speaker being an exception) trusted the G.B.C. to do the right thing. In point
of fact, its leading secretaries were in the process of doing exactly the wrong thing for
their own aggrandizement. Most ISKCON devotees did not even know that the July, 1977 appointment
was merely recognizing new rittviks, and the G.B.C. exploited that ignorance (which it
fostered) to great advantage. Since the G.B.C. had bamboozled almost everyone
into believing that the appointment of rittviks was an appointment of future initiating gurus,
the leading secretaries next step was to secure a stamp of approval from some kind of “higher
authority.” They turned to Swami B. R. Sridhar of Goudiya Mutt, who was the head of that
deviant cult’s Navadvipa center in West Bengal. He asked the “ISKCON” representatives
who approached him to reveal the basis of their new gurus, and he was informed that
eleven of them were now recognized by the G.B.C. as bona fide initiating spiritual masters.
He received two contradictory answers on two different occasions, and both were deceptive.
The fanatic flag-waiver, one of the eleven pretender mahabhagavat zonal acharyas, shrewdly
misled Swami B. R. Sridhar in the following way:
“. . . when our Srila Prabhupada left, then he has given instruction that, for initiating
and for carrying on the sampradaya, there would be eleven in the beginning. He appointed
eleven devotees, his disciples, to be initiating spiritual masters or to accept disciples.
And, in the future, that number would also be able to be increased.”
This, of course, was a blatant prevarication, as Prabhupada—merely through a letter that
he did not dictate, a letter formulated and signed by T.K.G.–with Prabhupada placing
his signature on a line labeled “APPROVED”–only appointed rittviks, not diksha-gurus.
This egregious lie–that Prabhupada appointed gurus–has negatively impacted the lives of
every disciple and follower of Srila Prabhupada since he departed, often catastrophically.
No such appointment ever went down, and a real guru would not lie like that. But then,
Swami B.R. Sridhar was also told, later by another leading secretary in a different meeting,
that the basis of the eleven “new gurus” was that they had first become rittviks as
a prelude to them being later recognized as initiating spiritual masters.
If the Navadvipa mahant was well-intentioned, he would have spotted—and spoke up about–the
contradictions in these two deceptive rationalizations, but he did not. Instead, he jumped on board,
empowering the deviation by adding the catchy maxim: “Rittvik acharya, then it becomes
as good as acharya.” He also further encouraged their maya by pushing
them to imitate uttama-adhikari in carrying out their so-called new statuses. He did so
via a Bengali cliche which went as follows: “mat-guru si jagad-guru.”
This illusory conception—this bad advice–was cent-per-cent against Prabhupada’s stricture,
viz., “Regular guru, that’s all.” And let us always remember (and never forget)
that His Divine Grace never at any time officially recognized any of his initiated disciples
as even regular gurus. The eleven personally ambitious seeds needed some supercharged,
fertile soil in order to sprout, and that’s just what Swami B. R. Sridhar provided them.
After understanding our movement’s history clearly and accurately, it is not at all difficult
to see why there is ever-increasing polarization between and amongst the various camps of devotees,
mixed devotees, and so-called devotees. Those who buy into the smorgasbord idea may consider
themselves the moderate center, but none of the leaders of the other groups—both the
few who are right with siddhanta and history and those who aren’t—have any use for such
compromise. As Iesus Kristos so aptly put it:
Be ye hot or be yet cold But if ye be lukewarm, I shall spew thee from
mine mouth. A policy of trying to find some kind of middle
ground only goes so far even within “ISKCON,” although Srila Prabhupada was quite intolerant
toward any kind of compromise whatsoever. A policy of compromise cannot lead anywhere,
and, as time passes, any “moderate” faction will certainly shrivel. In “ISKCON,” it
produces little more than quasi-gridlock at this time. Thus, muddled thinking remains
the rule there rather than the exception. Always remember that, within “ISKCON,”
yesterday’s you-must-accept-or-you-are-a-demon hardline gets converted, over time, into today’s
rejected belief system. We see this every time there is another transformation. Not
only is any given position, process, or policy in “ISKCON” subject to reversal, it is
also subject to potentially re-emerging some time later. Do not think for a moment that
the “ISKCON” cult is incapable of turning the tables and returning to something similar
to the zonal acarya worship system of the late Seventies and early Eighties.
All of today’s conditions, changes, and potential changes are due to many causes. One of those
causes—not recognized by many—is a warped version of its history. By this time, you
should be coming clear about its real history, particularly if you have been regularly reading
our articles and watching our video presentations. Growing conflicts concerning a vision for
the future of Krishna consciousness are actually rooted in conflicts from its past. Here, of
course, we are referring to Prabhupada’s branch of the Caitanya movement, both in its genuine
form, as well as in its many warped manifestations. The stakes are very high; indeed, they could
not be higher. In effect, we are dealing with the center of the esoteric plane—the innermost
circle—along with what tries to pollute it on its outskirts, viz., deviations which
appear to be esoteric but are only perverted reflections of theistic esotericism. The next
generation, having had no direct experience of what the movement was like when Prabhupada
was physically manifest (while it was bona fide), will have to make crucial choices.
First, they must recognize that Prabhupada’s branch is currently being consumed by carnival
dogs disguised as gurus. It is our duty now to help them make the right choice, which
must certainly include rejection of the “ISKCON” alternative.
If we do not expose the evils of “ISKCON” now–and, just as importantly, if we do not
check the momentum of that cult–there will eventually be no individual rights in Krishna
consciousness even as soon as the next generation. They will be usurped by a tyrannical government,
utilizing high-tech surveillance combined with State power—and, worst of all, controlled
from behind the curtain by the quasi-brahmins of the fabricated “ISKCON” confederation.
That cult will misuse the concept of group rights in order to overcome individual rights,
and that bias will immediately morph into the misconception that Absolute Truth is determined
by the group. In the case of “ISKCON,” this is the case even at this time.
Remember, when the eleven, pretender mahabhagavats were first exposed, the fall-back position
taken by the cult’s leaders was that the zonal acharya era was still bona fide anyway. This
despite the fact that Prabhupada did not appoint any gurus nor did he (or does he) anywhere
approve of imitating uttama-adhikari by someone still on the vidhi-bhakti platform (or lower
. . . as in much lower). What was that fall-back position? Simple:
The G.B.C. approved the system’s implementation because Prabhupada—allegedly—endowed the
G.B.C. with absolute power and authority. This mentality extends to group rights allegedly
trumping individual rights. Institutional gurus love this mentality. Even now, you can
safely say that this is the essence of what we are fighting against.
Perhaps it is mostly a battle of ideas at this stage, since individualism is so strongly
woven into the ontological fabric of the West, especially in America. That fact, although
welcome, is, in an of itself, the foundation of a shaky reality. We are fundamentally opposed
to the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” in many ways, but individual freedom for individual
devotees—serious and sincere theists who chant mantras and live controlled lives—is
our paramount concern. We do not consider the bugaboo of so-called
“social progress” as anything more than a fig leaf covering the real motive of social
control that “ISKCON” considers the pivot of their concocted movement and its power
node, the Governing Body Commission. This video is not being delivered histrionically;
it is, instead, being delivered most rationally. It is not hyperbole to warn you now that the
greatest threat to genuine Krishna consciousness today is the governing body of “ISKCON.”
Without this realization, there can be no resolution to the current cold war between
genuine devotees of Prabhupada and the manipulators of “ISKCON.”
Today is shaped by what went down in the past. What goes down now will shape the culture
of tomorrow. Genuine Krishna consciousness is a cultural movement, not an organized religion.
You need to understand the accurate history of “ISKCON” in order to grasp this essential
truth. Without this realization, you will be lost.
Due to so many distortions over so many decades, many if not most of the devotees have now
gone crazy. As far as the Krishna world (so to speak) is concerned, the times are strange.
You need to insulate yourself from all of this absurdity and move outside the range
of its influence. Why pour the clarified butter of your concern on the ashes of the fabricated,
so-called “ISKCON” confederation? They have changed everything, although superficially
it appears that they are still legitimate. Save yourself first.
SAD EVA SAUMYA