Winter 2005/6

Readers of BTP 9 will recall the astonishing statement of HH Bhakti Caru Swami (BCS) who, just 2 years after admitting that the falldown of fellow guru Harikesa was proof that ISKCON was “going in the wrong direction”, now states that Harikesa is a person one can take shelter of! The reason BCS gave for this sudden U-turn is that “Harikesa Prabhu is my Godbrother”. Devotees who lived under Harikesh’s regime may not find this an entirely satisfactory reason for seeking spiritual shelter at his feet. The ISKCON Germany Emergency and Solidarity Action 2005-2007 Appeal, for instance, laments:

"Since the zenith of the German and Austrian yatras under the guidance of Harikesh Swami, many years have passed. With the unexpected resignation from his duties as guru and ISKCON GBC in 1998, the yatras and his disciples were left perplexed and disoriented. The inheritance of almost 1.000.000 euros debts for abandoned projects and creditors as well as the caused spiritual hurts turned out to be a bad dream for the German-Austrian ISKCON temples and their devotees."

Yet ISKCON’s gurus who are still, to use GBC parlance, “in good standing”, cannot seem to help recommending their fallen gurus as more effective spiritual shelters than Srila Prabhupada – as the following correspondence reveals:

From: Bir Krishna das Goswami (pictured right)
Date: 01-Oct-05 13:15
Subject: Initiation
>Dear Maharaj
>Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
>I am sorry if questions become over the limit. Anyway i feel there is a need for this question.
>Is Satsvarupa Das (SDG) fall down? I am curious because he is still guiding disciples. Does Iskcon agree devotees
>to take shelter under him?
>Thank you.

I think he can guide the disciples since it was an accidental fall down and he got right back up and is determined to never let it happen again.


Here, another GBC voted-in guru, HH Bir Krishna das Goswami (BKG), confirms that in his opinion Satsvarupa Das Goswami (SDG), a sannyasi (renunciant) who admitted to an illicit affair with a married woman, and also getting “physically intimate” with her, can still act as a guru guiding his disciples. Further, BKG states that SDG’s falldown was “accidental”.

If having an affair with someone and getting physically intimate with them is an “accidental” falldown, pray tell what one would need to do to deliberately falldown?!

Of course, the main point, as we have repeatedly stressed, is that bona fide, authorized initiating gurus in our disciplic succession do not fall down:

“A bona fide spiritual master is in the disciplic succession from time eternal, and he does not deviate at all from the instructions of the Supreme Lord.”
(Bhagavad-gita 4.42, purport)