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Winter 2004/5

In BTP 2 we saw how Bhakti Tirtha Swami, an ISKCON "Guru" who claims to be in contact with aliens, was upset at being called a "demon" by another unauthorised ISKCON Guru, Bhakti Vikash Swami.

In BTP 5 we saw how ISKCON's most powerful "Guru", Jayapataka Swami, is seen as "sick", "obsessive" and "dishonest" by his Guru peers, who fear he wants to steal all their disciples. Now Suhotra Swami (another voted-in ISKCON Guru) has accused all his GBC Guru cohorts of making a massive offense to Srila Prabhupada by actively supporting the publication and promotion of the book "Hidden Glory of India" by Steven Rosen (aka Srila Prabhupada disciple Satyaraja Das, but who according to Suhotra "would rather be known by his karmi birth name than his initiated one"), in which he claims...

"...Srila Prabhupada's preaching mission to America is linked by saccharine words to "the distinguished swamiji Vivekananda." Not only that, but to a member of the Gaudiya Math whom we know was dismissed by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura as a black snake. Not only that, but to an elderly Indian scholar who is a contributor to an Internet website that viciously criticizes Srila Prabhupada and calls Srimati Radharani a bogus deity. Not only that, but to a host of other mundane people."

The book has been widely distributed throughout North America and Europe with the full blessings and co-operation of ISKCON's GBC, which is comprised almost entirely of self-appointed or voted-in Gurus. Indeed, as Suhotra Swami states, the book was "the BBT's main distribution book for North America".

If Suhotra Swami is correct, it means that practically every Guru in ISKCON is implicated in seriously offending Srila Prabhupada. It is certainly a huge blunder by the BBT (Bhaktivedanta Book Trust), which was established to exclusively publish Srila Prabhupada's books, to so enthusiastically sponsor Mr. Rosen's (pictured right) book since he is an ardent advocate of HH Narayana Maharaja, the GBC's arch-enemy. The GBC were foolish enough to use Narayana Maharaja as their star witness in their 1990 ISKCON Journal when they wanted to crush support for Srila Prabhupada's directive on ritvik initiations for ISKCON (see BTP issue 5), thus opening the door for him to swipe huge chunks of the Movement. And now they widely distribute a book by someone who has made the following gushing comments: sd
 
"Narayan Maharaj! He's from the Gaudiya Math an extremely advanced devotee, and a renowned scholar (...) he's such a great soul, a genuine sadhu (...) Narayan Maharaj is extraordinary (...) When you love someone, you want to know as much as possible about them (...) He has translated many important Vaishnava works into Hindi, and is now considered one of the leading Gaudiya Vaishnava devotees in all of India. So you are very fortunate to have met him."
(Steven Rosen, In Defense of Reality, published by Equal Vision Records, 1993).

So, another classic own-goal by the GBC. However, Suhotra Swami's devastating assessment of his fellow Guru hoaxers goes way beyond the implications of just this one awful book:

"My realization is that for the past six or eight years I have been struggling not to admit to myself that there is a clear trend among ISKCON's leadership to minimize Srila Prabhupada's mood and teachings, and to promote relativity, mediocrity, mediacracy, bureaucracy, and quasi-Hinduism as the new mindset of ISKCON. (...) My realization is that this book is a landmark of offensiveness against the Founder-acarya of ISKCON.

(...) Now, if this book is being distributed in America, that further more means "somehow or other" the North American GBC don't see anything wrong with it. That's all the proof in the world that the fish is rotting from the head."

Strong words, but it appears not to have occurred to Suhotra Swami that this minimising of Srila Prabhupada has been going on a lot longer than "six or eight years". It started when the GBC unauthorisedly removed Srila Prabhupada from his rightful position as ISKCON's sole initiating Guru, way back in 1977.
Suhotra Swami thus hypocritically accuses his Guru colleagues of minimising Srila Prabhupada when he is just as guilty himself. He has fully supported and participated in both the great Guru hoax parts 1 and 2.
 

Suhotra Swami laments:

 "When I note that so many leading figures in our movement continue to putter on with their prescribed duties in the blackening shadow of this offense, I am not at all encouraged."

We might all be more "encouraged" if Suhotra Swami started dealing with that issue, which is the original mother of all the many deviations he has identified.

So here we have the absurd situation where one Guru, who is meant to be as good-as God, claims many other supposedly good-as-God Gurus are acting offensively, minimising Srila Prabhupada, and preaching complete nonsense. He's right of course; but he also needs to look in the mirror.