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Winter 2006/7

For those who may still have lingering doubts about the IRM’s case, we invite you to read below some extraordinary claims made by H. H. Prahladananda Swami, who is a GBC-approved initiating guru, and thus these revelations come from a source which the GBC itself promotes as being authoritative.

GBC body does not represent Srila Prabhupada

"Unfortunately, since the departure of Srila Prabhupada, the GBC Body has not maintained his clear authority structure. […] In the absence of a GBC Body that clearly represents the desires of Srila Prabhupada to preach Krsna consciousness as a unified movement, the Society remains together more on the basis of a loose confederation of initiating gurus and independent local leaders, than as a unified movement of surrendered servants."
(Duties of GBC and Guru in ISKCON, Prahladananda Swami, 2006)

According to Prahladananda Maharaja then, the GBC has deviated continuously since Srila Prabhupada's departure in having never maintained the authority structure given by him, and currently does not represent Srila Prabhupada's desires for spreading Krishna consciousness.

No uttama-adhikaris in ISKCON

Having trashed the GBC body, Prahladananda Swami now turns his guns on his fellow ISKCON gurus. First he defines an uttama-adhikari as someone who is completely aware of the Supersoul (the Lord residing in the heart):

"Such an uttama-adhikari Vaisnava is in perfect touch with the Supersoul and at every moment knows the Supreme Lord's desires."
(Duties of GBC and Guru in ISKCON, Prahladananda Swami, 2006)

But Prahladananda Swami does not think that such a person exists in ISKCON today:

"If the GBC Body sees someone as a self-effulgent acarya who is completely aware of the Supersoul and Srila Prabhupada's desires and instructions they can and should follow his/her instructions. No one so far has been seen in that category."
(Prahladananda Swami, Wed, 30 Aug 2006 14:32 +0300, emphasis added)

"To spread Krsna consciousness in the absence of an advanced uttama-adhikari Vaisnava, third-class and second-class Vaisnavas must follow the instructions of Srila Prabhupada and learn the art of cooperation."
(Duties of GBC and Guru in ISKCON, Prahladananda Swami, 2006, emphasis added)

Guru Hoax Part 1 gurus were neophytes

"But as with the Gaudiya-Matha, just after His Divine Grace's disappearance, leading disciples disobeyed the orders of the Founder Acarya to work cooperatively under the GBC Body and, although the GBC Body met yearly, each initiating guru virtually occupied the position of an Acarya in his zone. These diksa gurus divided the world into 11 zonal Acarya regions and disunited the mission. […]
The imitation of uttama-adhikaris by these neophyte devotees undoubtedly led to their fall-downs and many subsequent problems in ISKCON."

(Duties of GBC and Guru in ISKCON, Prahladananda Swami, 2006)

Prahladananda Swami is referring here to the Great Guru Hoax Part 1, wherein the 11 persons appointed to act as ritviks and make disciples for Srila Prabhupada, pretended that they were actually successor Gurus to Srila Prabhupada.

Bogus Zonal Acharya system still continuing today

"Thus in ISKCON we not only still have what amounts to zonal Acaryas in different parts of the world, such as India, but we have independent temple presidents or preachers accountable to no one but themselves."
(Duties of GBC and Guru in ISKCON, Prahladananda Swami, 2006)

Here Prahladananda Swami has launched a not too veiled attack on HH Jayapataka Swami, the main guru in India, who was one of the original Zonal Acharya gurus attacked by Prahladananda Swami in the previous section. Hence Prahladananda Swami is effectively stating that HH Jayapataka Swami has been deviating continuously for the last 30 years, and that he is not strictly following the orders of Srila Prabhupada. As he further confirms:

"The main problem is that the GBC Body is supposed to supervise ISKCON and they are not doing this service adequately. Therefore, many leaders are not acting strictly according to the directions of his Divine Grace."
(Prahladananda Swami, Wed, 30 Aug 2006 14:32 +0300)

ISKCON gurus not selfless

"Presently the GBC Body lacks authority. Some of its leading members are initiating gurus who do not want to surrender their high degree of autonomy in the Society. Some leaders in ISKCON cooperate with the Society only as long as they can retain their own autonomy. [...] If the GBC Body is to regain its authority, its members must become a disciplined body of devotees who are clearly selfless and enlightened in their dedication to Srila Prabhupada's mission."
(Duties of GBC and Guru in ISKCON, Prahladananda Swami, 2006)

Above, Prahladananda Swami paints a grim picture of self-serving gurus whose calculated acts of co-operation are merely Machiavellian ploys to secure more autonomy and power for themselves, rather than to selflessly serve Srila Prabhupada's mission.

ISKCON leaders are enjoyers, not servants

"The gurus, initiating and instructing, have important roles in ISKCON. [...]
Only if the leaders sincerely try to become servants of the previous Acaryas and give up the controlling and enjoying propensities can Srila Prabhupada's mission succeed. If the leaders take up this mood, they will find infinitely more spiritual pleasure in acting as Krsna's simple instruments than in continuing even a subtle controlling mentality in trying to be appreciated as apparently empowered spiritual preachers."

(Duties of GBC and Guru in ISKCON, Prahladananda Swami, 2006)

Prahladananda Swami's use of the phrase "If the leaders take up this mood" indicates a hope that the gurus may one day curtail their "controlling and enjoying propensities".

ISKCON gurus in last snare of maya (illusion)

Prahladananda Swami opens the section from which the previous two critiques of ISKCON's gurus and leaders are taken by noting:

"The last snare of maya is to think oneself God, or even God's pure representative, worthy to be worshiped and served by others. [...]
It is an attachment that is difficult to give up."

(Duties of GBC and Guru in ISKCON, Prahladananda Swami, 2006)

Seeing as Prahladananda Swami then went on to invite ISKCON'S gurus and leaders to become selfless and give up their propensity to control and enjoy (which is fed by the receipt of worship and service by their thousands of disciples), one can only assume Prahladananda Swami believes they have indeed fallen victim to maya's "last snare".

ISKCON not really successful

Though even ISKCON will acknowledge that their preaching in the West has declined substantially, comfort is taken from the fact that at least in India and the Eastern Bloc countries things are faring better. However, Prahladananda Prahladananda Swami gives a different perspective, stating that such successes are only due to temporary circumstances rather than being based on a platform that will yield permanent results:

"ISKCON sometimes takes pride in accomplishments that prove to be only temporary. […] For example, in the former Eastern Block nations, in the absence of a strong Krsna conscious leader, a pattern is sometimes visible. After the demise of the Communist system, many people became interested in the process of Krsna consciousness and joined the temples. This resulted in a large force of preachers and a surge in book distribution. However, after some time the devotees married and had children, and then preaching and book distribution diminished […]
ISKCON's success appears to be due more to circumstances than to a viable management system that encourages long-term preaching. Another example can be seen in India, […] again it is likely that success is due not to a viable management system, but to the unique circumstances of India."

(Duties of GBC and Guru in ISKCON, Prahladananda Swami, 2006)

Prahladananda Swami’s great hypocrisy

Having criticised both the GBC body and the Zonal Acharya gurus as being deviant, Prahladananda Swami of course conveniently sidesteps the fact that he owes his own position as an ISKCON guru completely to these same deviant entities; because Prahladananda Swami is one of the beneficiaries of the Great Guru Hoax Part 2, whereby he lined up to take his guru authorisation from this same deviant GBC body, which also contained the remaining Zonal Acharya gurus at the time. Indeed, having attacked everyone else, to cover his own position he fabricates out of thin air the following instructions:

1) "Srila Prabhupada has given us the authorization process, that all his disciples, if authorized by the GBC Body, can take disciples."
(Prahladananda Swami, Wed, 30 Aug 2006 14:32 +0300)

Srila Prabhupada has never stated that "all his disciples, if authorized by the GBC Body, can take disciples." The unauthorised, current 'guru by majority vote' system was invented by the GBC as a reaction to their previous unauthorised 'zonal acharya system'.

2) "Srila Prabhupada created the GBC Body to oversee that his teachings are properly implemented within ISKCON. These teachings direct that everyone in ISKCON, including initiating and instructing gurus, work cooperatively under Srila Prabhupada's authority system to spread Krsna consciousness."
(Duties of GBC and Guru in ISKCON, Prahladananda Swami, 2006)

There is no teaching of Srila Prabhupada which even mentions "initiating gurus" other than himself ever existing in ISKCON, not to speak of such entities working "cooperatively under Srila Prabhupada's authority system to spread Krsna consciousness." Srila Prabhupada did, however, state that only he would remain the initiating Guru:

"The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am the initiator guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Madhudvisa, 4/8/75)


3) "Srila Prabhupada clearly established ISKCON's system of management with Temple Presidents, Secretaries, and Treasurers, under the supervision of a GBC representative and ultimately the GBC Body. He gave no managerial position to the initiating gurus within ISKCON."
(Duties of GBC and Guru in ISKCON, Prahladananda Swami, 2006)

Yes, Srila Prabhupada could not have given a "managerial position to the initiating gurus within ISKCON", because he never ever even spoke of a plurality of "initiating gurus within ISKCON", period.


This is probably as much a devastating critique of ISKCON's current leadership, its GBC and unauthorised gurus, as anything that has appeared so far in the pages of BTP! As a fellow guru and ISKCON leader, being the Sannyasa Minister, Prahladananda Swami's words carry weight and cannot be considered to be biased! So if one of ISKCON's own gurus and leaders is stating about today's ISKCON that:

Who in their right mind is going to want to join such a movement?!

Being compromised himself, Prahladananda Swami argues that the solution to everything is simply to make the GBC much more powerful, rather than root out the underlying cause of the problem, namely severe disobedience to Srila Prabhupada; all stemming from the unauthorised removal of him as the diksa Guru of ISKCON. We have noted that Prahladananda Swami obviously cannot identify the real cause of ISKCON's malaise, since he himself is the beneficiary of its false guru system. He therefore needs to perform a juggling act which allows him to criticise all and sundry, but still ensure his own position remains intact. As we have seen, to do this he has simply fabricated the authority for ISKCON's current 'guru by GBC vote' system, to which he owes his own guru existence, out of thin air.

Though Prahladananda Swami's critique of ISKCON is welcomed, by failing to state the correct solution of accepting Srila Prabhupada as the Guru, but rather continuing to offer the same unauthorised and, by his own admission, unqualified gurus, he is simply ensuring the continued exodus from ISKCON into other deviant movements, such as the one led by Narayana Maharaja, which at least claim their gurus are qualified!

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