Guru falldown confusion lays hoax bare


IRM

Back to Prabhupada, Issue 18, Winter 2007/8

By Krishnakant

The falldown of high-profile ISKCON guru Bhakti Balabh Puri Goswami / Balabhadra Das (just described) has bewildered ISKCON's leadership more than its usual level of bewilderment, with its response to the latest guru crisis merely confirming that we are dealing not with a one-off event, but rather the symptom of a monumental hoax. We detail here some of these responses:

It's a "disaster" and "incompatible"

ISKCON European Council Chairman and UK Congregational Preaching Director, His Grace Kripamoya Das, recently declared the following in reaction to this latest falldown:

"However, the facts of the matter are that repeatedly, and with disastrous consequences, the combination of the spiritual role of guru in the context of a temporally powerful organisation is proving to be incompatible."
(Kripamoya Das, "Keeping Good Men Good", The Vaishnava Voice, September 21st, 2007)

Thus, Kripamoya prabhu has clearly stated here that ISKCON's guru system is proving to be incompatible with the ISKCON institution as established by Srila Prabhupada; which, of course, means that the ISKCON guru system was never authorised by Srila Prabhupada in the first place, and hence establishing such a system will naturally have, and continue to have, disastrous consequences.

Best not be a guru

GBC voted-in guru hoaxer HH Sivarama Swami ("SRS") conveys how disciples of the fallen Balabhadra Das must be feeling:

"…devotees are often a little stumped thinking, 'well, if someone who has been practicing Krishna consciousness for such a long time can become so misled then what of me?'"
(SRS podcast, September 27th, 2007)

The answer, he says, is to not be a guru at all!:

"One aspect of the answer, it is quite fortunate that devotees who ask those questions aren't in a position of guruship, or leadership, or sannyasa; in other words, being a humble simple Vaishnava is a very safe position to be in and although there may be what some call perks in taking leadership roles, but there are also very high stakes. So if we just stay as humble Vaishnavas [...] being able to hear from other devotees and accept the guidance and direction, they will certainly advance in Krishna consciousness."
(SRS podcast, September 27th, 2007)

So, having trumpeted for years that it was Srila Prabhupada's order that actually "everyone be guru", a GBC member and ISKCON guru is now saying that actually the best and safest thing is that one not be a guru at all, but rather one just continue being a humble, non-guru Vaishnava if one wants to be sure of advancing! What is particularly amusing is that he says that part of this humble, non-guru Vaishnava program is:

"being able to hear from other devotees and accept the guidance and direction"

which is rich coming from SRS, since he is partly responsible for the mess in the first place, having continually sponsored and promoted Balabhadra Das as being a bona fide guru all throughout the latter's 25 years of deviation, having given him sannyasa and feted him as a regular guest of honour at his farm in Hungary. And earlier, SRS promoted Jayatirtha and then Bhagavan (two more fallen gurus), and then Narayana Maharaja of the Gaudiya Matha, before being forced to retract his support for him. Given this track record, SRS should be the last person a disciple with a fallen guru should be taking advice from!

SRS
HH Sivarama Swami:
Brewing another bogus concoction

 Wizard Sivarama Swami brews up new semi-
  initiation

 However, on the contrary, SRS has decided to come to the  "rescue" of Balabhadra's hapless disciples, offering his  "shelter" to them as their new "guru", by allowing them to  take an initiation ceremony from him again. Or maybe not;  since SRS himself is not sure what exactly he is doing whilst he  is "initiating" them:

"I'm thinking of a name to give it because I didn't want to call it a reinitiation, […] we had a ceremony in which those devotees who wanted a new name, they received a new name and all the brahmanas received the gayatri mantra again and we had a fire ceremony. […] I'm not calling it a reinitiation ceremony […] and I am going to propose that even that terminology, sort of, is dropped at least in official ISKCON circles. The reason I say that the word 'reinitiation' is not so suitable is because these devotees they didn't do anything that required them to be reinitiated […] I emphasized the difference between the situation of these devotees and a devotee who is newly initiated, and although I chanted on their beads, gave them new beads, and those who requested new names […] I discussed it earlier with Niranjana Maharaja and the conclusion was that they already took vows, their vows were intact by dint of their service.."
(SRS podcast, September 27th, 2007)

Ever since gurus started falling in ISKCON since the guru hoax program was instituted in 1978, hapless disciples of these fallen devotees have been "reinitiated" by new gurus, so that some disciples today are on their 3rd or even 4th gurus. Indeed, SRS himself has taken a leading role in conducting such "reinitiations". Now he claims that reinitiation is not necessary at all, since the disciples of the fallen guru were innocent. Which obviously means he has been misleading all the many devotees he previously initiated. Instead, all these devotees go through the same ceremony again, except their vows, but it's not reinitiation, and it's not first initiation either; indeed SRS admits it needs a new name! With a wave of his wizard wand, SRS has invented a brand new "semi-initiation", a half-way house between the first initiation he himself gives to new devotees, and the reinitiation he also gave to so many devotees in the past. Such confusing concoctions are the natural result when one tries to deal with a hoax that has begun to fall apart. Having tried "re-initiation" for so many years as the way to deal with all their fallen gurus, will the GBC now adopt wizard SRS's new "semi-initiation" as the latest way to patch up their broken guru system?

Conclusion

The choice before us is clear. We can either immediately return back to Srila Prabhupada as the Guru of ISKCON, which is not only the only safe position, but also what he ordered. Or we can continue to be entangled in this madness and confusion (please see also page 14), being bounced from one concocted system to another as our GBC wizards brew up the latest "solution" to their self-created guru crisis!

Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!