BBC Broadcasts Worldwide IRM Special
BBC "FOCUS ON FAITH"
The Hare Krishna movement, an offshoot of mainstream Hinduism which takes as the focal point of its devotion veneration of the God Krishna, is facing internal division. Weighed down by factional strife, allegations of child sex abuse and attendant lawsuits, the movement is urgently trying to reform itself. Leslie Goffe now reports from New York on the task it faces in regaining the popularity it once had 40 years ago.
So there you have it. While ISKCON's gurus and their followers are gripped by a mass self-delusion that they can carry on with their illegal guru cheating program, and at the same time disregard all standard codes of moral and civilised behaviour, the outside world will not be hoodwinked by such blatant criminality.
The BBC itself has stated that the American Family Foundation "recently threw its support behind the Revival movement's attempts at transforming ISKCON."
And the American Family Foundation President has stated: "I empathise very greatly with those people who are the reformers within the movement."
With such an endorsement, anyone who dares to try and exercise such violent, cult-like behaviour against the IRM and its devotees as we have recently highlighted, is treading on very dangerous ground indeed. We will not stand for it, the law enforcement agencies will not stand for it, and the
anti-cult authorities will not stand for it. And most importantly - Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna will not stand for it.
Let us remind ourselves of the statement made to the world on the BBC by ISKCON member Satyaraja das:
"The IRM - their reform is not really a reform as such, but it's a sort of deification of the movement's Founder Prabhupada, trying to make him a Christ-like personality, saying that he is the only Guru; which is clearly not the philosophy of ISKCON or its tradition. In the ISKCON tradition, and it's an ancient, ancient tradition, the Guru is always there with the disciple. If he passes away at a certain time, then the leading followers of that Guru then become gurus themselves, if they're so qualified."
Here we see clearly expressed the sheer enviousness towards Srila Prabhupada's position as the only Guru in ISKCON. Although the scriptures clearly state that the bona-fide Guru should be worshipped exactly like God
["When one has attained the topmost position of maha-bhagavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshipped EXACTLY like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of a guru." - C.c. Madhya, 24.330, purport],
Satyaraja attempts to deride this practice by saying that Srila Prabhupada should not be receiving this level of worship.
And isn't it strange that, although Satyaraja holds Prabhupada in contempt for receiving worship on the same level as Lord Jesus Christ, his peer Tamal Krishna Goswami has stated in his book "Servant of the Servant" that:
"I had no doubt that Srila Prabhupada was EQUAL to Lord Jesus IN EVERY WAY."
(Tamal Krsna Goswami, "Servant of the Servant", BBT 1984, p.25)
And another one of his peers, Bhakti Caru Swami, stated that:
"Therefore, when people ask "what do you mean by Srila Prabhupada's having the position of Founder-Acarya", my reply is: "What Jesus is to Christianity and what Muhammed is to Islam, Srila Prabhupada should be that to ISKCON"
(Bhakti Caru Swami, Day 3, LA Seminar, 'Questions and Answers', Published on June 11, 2000)
Yet Bhakti Caru Swami had earlier told us that what Jesus is to Christianity is the one and only Diksa Guru of the Christians:
"Christianity does not accept the system of a present guru. They think Jesus is the only one and no one is coming to give initiation, or no one is coming as acarya"
(Bhakti Caru Swami, Recorded September, 1995, in Malaga, Spain, and Printed in 'Spiritual Connections' Vol 13 Jan-April '96)
So it looks like ISKCON is completely confused as to even the basic understanding of the position and qualification of our Founder-Acarya Srila Prabhupada!
Satyaraja states that: "In the ISKCON tradition, and it's an ancient, ancient tradition, the Guru is always there with the disciple."
Srila Prabhupada agrees, but also states that the Guru is there with the disciple even if the Guru is physically absent:
"I shall remain your personal guidance, physically present or not physically, as I am getting guidance from my Guru Maharaja."
(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, Vrindavan, 14/7/77)
Unfortunately, Satyaraja then proceeds to selectively quote from Srila Prabhupada's teachings by stating that: "If he passes away at a certain time, then the leading followers of that Guru then become Gurus themselves, if they're so qualified."
Of course, Satyaraja conveniently omits to mention the fact that Srila Prabhupada had specifically instructed *time and time again* that one must be also AUTHORISED to become a Guru:
"One should take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, who is AUTHORISED by his predecessor spiritual master. This is called diksa-vidhana." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.8.54, purport)
24 years on from the physical departure of Srila Prabhupada, the GBC has still not been able to come up with ANY specific authorization from Prabhupada that terminates the ritvik system and appoints Guru successors.
And in case anyone is still in doubt as to whether Srila Prabhupada is the Guru of ISKCON, and that ALL the members of ISKCON are his initiated disciples, here is Srila Prabhupada putting the record straight himself:
|Interviewer:||Now, are you a guru?|
Yes, I am the Spiritual Master of this institution, and ALL the members of the Society, they're supposed to be MY disciples. They follow the rules and regulations which I ask them to follow, and they are INITIATED by me spiritually. So therefore the Spiritual Master is called Guru. That is Sanskrit language."
(Srila Prabhupada Radio Interview March 12, 1968, San Francisco)
Note here Srila Prabhupada clearly claims ALL members of the INSTITUTION as his disciples - not only those who are connected with his physical presence. Thus Srila Prabhupada's position as Guru is linked to the existence of the ISKCON institution, and not the existence of Srila Prabhupada's physical body.