Satsvarupa's Unauthorised Biography


Below we present an analysis of the contents of the so-called biography of Srila Prabhupada, the “Lilamrta”, authored by Satsvarupa Dasa.

Satsvarupa portrays Srila Prabhupada as an ordinary human

Throughout, the Lilamrta insidiously implies that Srila Prabhupada was an ordinary human being with all the regular frailties, fears and insecurities. The book is subtitled: "A very real human story", and to drive the point home in the introduction Satsvarupa writes:

"I invite the reader to enjoy the very real, human life story of Srila Prabhupada"

- just in case anyone might get the wrong impression that Srila Prabhupada was in any way superhuman. Contrast this with the correct scriptural understanding:

"...the spiritual master is the sum total of all demigods." 
(The Science of Self Realisation, chapter 2) 

"A person acting in the service of Krsna with his body, mind and words is a liberated person, even within the material world." 
(Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.187) 

"Therefore, one is forbidden to regard the guru as an ordinary human being (gurusu nara-matir...naraki sah). The spiritual master, or acarya, is always situated in the spiritual status of life. Birth, death, old age and disease do not affect him." 
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.4.20, purport) 

By the time Satsvarupa began writing the Lilamrta he had already illegally ensconced himself as one of Srila Prabhupada's successors, even though he knew he was not qualified for this position:

"As for guru, I am in no position for that... Now Srila Prabhupada has departed in his personal presence. I am to begin initiating disciples. At present I don't feel I could give a disciple shelter. I could not tell a soul that if he simply served me nicely, I could take him back to Godhead." 
(Satsvarupa das Goswami, ISKCON in the 1970s)

He also said of Srila Prabhupada:

"I sometimes saw him as my rival. Still, I sometimes feel a twinge of jealousy when one of my disciples speaks on and on about all the realisations he is getting from his relationship with Srila Prabhupada." 
(Satsvarupa Das Goswami, Srila Prabhupada is Here)

Satsvarupa either consciously or unconsciously made the biography of Srila Prabhupada a vehicle to minimise His Divine Grace's greatness; perhaps so he and the other Guru hoaxers would not pale completely into insignificance as wannabe acaryas. 
In the material world we are innately envious of the Supreme Lord Krishna.

This envy also extends to whoever represents him. So already we are at a huge disadvantage when trying to have absolute faith in the bona fide spiritual master. 
The last thing we need is someone writing a book that merely confirms the idea that he was not so very different from us.

Thus, even if Srila Prabhupada may have ascribed to himself feelings and emotions that we recognise, perhaps to encourage us, as disciples we should not spend our time broadcasting these to the world just to demonstrate how "very human" he was. 

Here are just a few examples of the many mundane, "human" attributes Satsvarupa Das offensively superimposes onto Srila Prabhupada:

"Srila Prabhupada was forced by mundane circumstances"

"The Bowery and Chinatown were too far out of the way. They would find him a new place. Forced by conditions he accepted as Krsna's mercy, Prabhupada sat patiently, trying not to disturb anyone..."
(Lilamrta, Vol. 2, 'Planting the Seed', chapter 17)

The subtle inference here is that Srila Prabhupada was forced into situations, just like you and I, the only difference being that he somehow "accepted" those circumstances as "Krsna's mercy".

 Yet Srila Prabhupada tells us the proper understanding:

"...a pure devotee is never under the modes of nature. In other words, no material laws apply on a devotee because he is fully under the direction of Krsna. (...) in this kind of loving service there is no question of force."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 14th, 1970)

"Srila Prabhupada was shaken by adversity"

"Although Prabhupada's home had suddenly become an insane terror, the street at its door was also a hellish, dangerous place. He was shaken." 
(Lilamrta, Vol. 2, 'Planting the Seed', chapter 17)

Yet Srila Prabhupada taught:

"Established thus (in Krishna consciousness), one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of the greatest difficulty." 

(Bhagavad-gita 6.20-23) 

"An unalloyed devotee is never disturbed by any kind of trying circumstance."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.12.19, purport) 

"Srila Prabhupada felt unhappiness"

"He was gaunt and looked very sorrowful ." 
(Lilamrta, Vol. 4, 'In Every Town and Village', chapter 31)

"When Abhay left Bharati Bhavan, with its six-foot-high lettering 'League of Devotees' painted across the outside wall, he felt sad." 
(Lilamrta,Vol. 1, 'A Lifetime in Preparation', chapter 7)

Yet Srila Prabhupada taught:

"When one is self-realized, then he is jolly. "Prasannatma. He is never morose. He is jolly. Na socati na kanksati: "He has no lamentation, no hankering." 

(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, June 19th, 1974) 

"In the liberated stage, oneness with the Supreme Lord means that one has no realization other than happiness ." 

(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 3.28.37, purport)

"Srila Prabhupada was dependent on ordinary people"

"A mendicant, Prabhupada was temporarily dependent on the good will of his Mayavadi acquaintance, with whom he regularly conversed and from whom he accepted shelter." 
(Lilamrta, Vol. 2, 'Planting the Seed', chapter 14)

"Now his last hope was Sri Padanpat Singhania... He was Prabhupada's final hope ." 
(Lilamrta, Vol. 2, 'Planting the Seed', chapter 15)

Yet Srila Prabhupada taught:

"When you live at the mercy of others, this is called dog's business. Just like a dog lives at the mercy of the master. So it is strictly prohibited for the brahmanas." 

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, July 8th, 1976) 

"A Krsna conscious person does not take shelter of any person, man or demigod." 

(Bhagavad-gita, 3.18 purport)

"Srila Prabhupada's situation was insecure"

"A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja... now had to face starkly that he had not one friend of stature in the US. Suddenly, he was as homeless as any derelict on the street. In fact many of them (...) were more secure than he. They were ruined but settled."
(Lilamrta, Vol. 2, 'Planting the Seed', chapter 17)

"This is what it meant to be working without government sponsorship... without a patron. It meant being vulnerable and insecure." 
(Lilamrta, Vol. 2, 'Planting the Seed', chapter 17)

Yet Srila Prabhupada taught:

"You just become obedient to Me, surrendered to Me. I shall give you all protection." This is the law. So if you become a surrendered soul to God, then your position is very secure." 

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, October 19th, 1975) 

"When a devotee needs something, the Supreme Personality of Godhead supplies it."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.10.4, purport)

"Srila Prabhupada felt lonely without his spiritual master's physical presence"

"Yet even armed with this philosophy, Abhay felt all alone. His two great well-wishers were gone - his father and now his spiritual master." 
(Lilamrta, Vol.1, 'A Lifetime in Preparation', chapter 4)

"...yet without his spiritual master's physical presence, he felt small and very much alone." 
(Lilamrta,Vol. 1,'A Lifetime in Preparation', chapter 9)

"Abhay groped after memories of his spiritual master." 
(Lilamrta,Vol. 1, 'A Lifetime in Preparation', chapter 9)

Yet Srila Prabhupada states the opposite:

"When I first came to the United States I was seemingly alone for one year. But I never felt alone. I always felt the presence of my Guru Maharaja." 

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 27th, 1974) 

"So my Guru Maharaja will be very, very much pleased with you ... it is not that he is dead and gone. That is not spiritual understanding ...he is seeing. I never feel that I am alone." 

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, March 2nd, 1975)

"So far as personal association with Guru is concerned, I was only with Guru Maharaj 4 or 5 times, but I have never left his association, not even for a moment. Because I am following his instruction, I have never felt any separation." 

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 20th, 1972)


The Lilamrta is quite dangerous since it mixes truth with illusion, the mundane with the transcendental. As Srila Prabhupada warned:

"Intermingling the spiritual with the material causes one to look on transcendence as material and mundane as spiritual. All this is due to a poor fund of knowledge." 

(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 16.72, purport)


Fabricated evidence supporting the great Guru hoax

So determined was Satsvarupa Das to convince the world of his legitimacy as an initiating Guru, he invented his own version of the May 28th, 1977 conversation with Srila Prabhupada (the so-called "Appointment tape" ) which to this day is still printed in the Lilamrta. Let us compare what Srila Prabhupada actually said in this conversation, with what the Lilamrta claims Srila Prabhupada said:

Satsvarupa: "So they may also be considered your disciples."
Srila Prabhupada: "Yes, they are disciples."
(Srila Prabhupada Vedabase 7)

" "So they may also be considered your disciples," said Satsvarupa, referring to those persons initiated on Prabhupada's behalf by the rtvik acarya.
"They are their disciples," said Srila Prabhupada.
Now he was speaking of initiations after his passing away."

(Lilamrta, Vol. 6, p. 325, Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami)

Lilamrta’s use of speech marks means that it is claiming to present Srila Prabhupada's words verbatim. However, Lilamrta has changed Srila Prabhupada answering "Yes, they are disciples", when asked if they are his disciples, to "They are their disciples". Thus, it has deleted the answer "yes", and added the word "their". Hence, through this changing of Srila Prabhupada's words, Lilamrta has completely changed the ownership of the disciples accepted by the "rtvik" on Srila Prabhupada's behalf, from Srila Prabhupada to the "rtviks" themselves. Lilamrta also adds that this refers to initiations after Srila Prabhupada's "passing away". So this changing of Srila Prabhupada's words allows Lilamrta to claim that Srila Prabhupada is stating that the rtviks he will appoint will be initiating their own disciples after Srila Prabhupada's physical departure, i.e. acting as successor diksa gurus. Therefore, Lilamrta engages in this fabrication so that it can claim that Srila Prabhupada will appoint certain individuals who will become successor diksa gurus.

Lilamrta: censored due to guru pressure, admits GBC

Above we gave an analysis of the so-called "authorised biography of Srila Prabhupada", Srila Prabhupada-Lilamrta, written by one of the founders of the ISKCON guru hoax, Satsvarupa Das (Goswami), who was later prevented by the GBC from taking more disciples following an exposé of his illicit relationship with a married woman in 2004.
 Not only does Satsvarupa's "biography" portray Srila Prabhupada as a conditioned soul struggling to maintain his Krishna consciousness amidst the rampant materialism of the West, but as we highlighted, the book audaciously fabricates evidence to support the Great Guru Hoax by inventing words Srila Prabhupada never spoke in the famous May 28th, 1977 conversation.

While Satsvarupa shamelessly desecrated the actual words of his spiritual master, it transpires that this was not the only truth in the book that was suppressed, as the following admission from ex-GBC Chairman Ravindra Svarupa Das reveals:

"the first and major crisis was a crisis involving Kirtanananda. This happened towards the end of 1967. This is not in Prabhupada-Lilamrta, here is a problem with writing history, Satsvarupa Maharaja, this was Prabhupada's first major crisis when Kirtanananda tried to take his place, is really what happened in 1967. [ …]
It is not in the Lilamrta because when the Lilamrta was being written Kirtanananda didn't want it in there, and he was at that time one of the major acharyas and Satsvarupa Maharaja had no recourse but to bow to this kind of pressure and leave it out.
Similarly in Prabhupada-Lilamrta all the scandals of ISKCON are not discussed, first of all it's not about ISKCON it's about Prabhupada so you don't have to tell all those things. But it's the problem of writing history when people are around, so some things are in there. What Prabhupada called the fratricidal war 75/76 is in Prabhupada-Lilamrta, also in some ways it is soft -pedaled."

(Ravindra Svarupa Das, "Issues in ISKCON Reform" lecture, June 29th-July 3rd, 1999)

So here an ex-GBC chairman and current GBC and GBC-elected guru is confessing that facts involving "those who were around" with influence, were suppressed. In addition, many scandals are not included, and those which are, are "soft-pedaled". In sum, the Lilamrta is heavily censored to protect those who had a stake in the Great Guru Hoax, and thus has no credibility as a source of authority.

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