Creating a Deviant Parampara


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 34, Winter 2011

The high-profile fall from grace of guru hoaxer Prabhavishnu Das, who has removed himself from all positions of ISKCON leadership, including both as an ISKCON guru and sannyasi, brings into focus the GBC’s philosophical position regarding the parampara (disciplic succession of self-realised acaryas beginning with God, or Krishna, Himself). All quotations in the shaded boxes are from current official GBC position papers as presented in the GBC paper Gurus and Initiation in ISKCON.

The fallen parampara -1

We have documented previously that it seems an ISKCON guru and sannyasi can engage in all sorts of deviation and still con-tinue acting as a guru.

For example:
a) Satsvarupa admitted to having an affair with a married female disciple.
b) Umapati was determined by the GBC to have behaved sexually with a number of male disciples over many years.
c) Param Gati was determined by the GBC to have made sexual advances to a male devotee.

Yet, despite all these transgressions by supposed sannyasis, all of them were still given “half-guru” status, which means they could still carry on functioning as bona fide diksa gurus in the parampara for their current disciples and were only prohibited from taking new disciples. (Umapati was later removed as guru completely only because he did not accept his “half-guru” status, and not because of his sexual deviations). Thus, the GBC permit a fallen standard of behaviour from those who are required to display the highest standard of behaviour – the members of the parampara. The reason for this can be found in the GBC’s position regarding parampara gurus, which officially permits them to deviate.

This states:

“If one’s guru performs some wrongful act, breaking Vaisnava regulative principles […] one should not give him up. [...] even if the guru has a lack of knowledge, […] is unable to give adequate Krsna conscious instructions [...] one should not reject the guru”.

Thus, the GBC’s position is that, even when their gurus are fallen, they can still function as bona fide members of the parampara.

The fallen parampara -2

The case of GBC-elected guru hoaxer Prabhavishnu Das helps to vividly illustrate the GBC’s philosophy regarding who is fit to be a member of the parampara. The GBC state regarding Prabhavishnu Das:

“he has admitted to a number of sexual falldowns particularly in 2001 […] experienced bouts of spiritual weakness for some years […] In 2011 he met a woman in Bangkok and began a relationship with her*.”

The GBC also state that Prabhavishnu Das:

“does continue to honor his discipleship under Srila Prabhupada and intend to remain connected to ISKCON*”

But the GBC’s law governing their parampara gurus states that the only conditions under which
a guru can be rejected are if:

“he gives up the Vaisnava mentality, offends the Vaisnavas, adopts a bogus philosophy, or goes on repeatedly performing sinful acts”.

Thus, as Prabhavishnu Das is still supposedly a Vaisnava currently honouring his commitments as a Srila Prabhupada disciple, he is not violating the conditions mentioned above under which a guru can be rejected. Which would mean that if Prabhavishnu Das had not himself resigned, then according to the GBC’s deviant parampara standards, in theory, despite his transgressions, amazingly Prabhavishnu Das’ disciples could still not reject him as a guru!

*Taken from GBC Executive Committee statements, 13/1/2012 and 2/2/2012

The invisible parampara

In addition to this GBC position that even deviants can still be bona fide members of the parampara, the GBC have also now created an invisible parampara! Whilst dealing with Umapati’s removal from being an ISKCON guru, the GBC stated:

“However, ISKCON will not recognize initiations given by Umapati Dasa after February 2010. Devotees initiated prior to this date are accepted as duly initiated members of ISKCON. […] Umapati Dasa is no longer an ISKCON spiritual authority or member […] He will not be allowed to reside in ISKCON temples, nor to teach or lead kirtan at an ISKCON temple, or an ISKCON-sponsored event.”
(GBC Statement on Umapati Das, 28/2/2011, released 13/4/2011)

Thus, Umapati is now considered to be so spiritually deficient that he is no longer even considered to be an ISKCON member or spiritual authority, or even allowed to lead kirtan, never mind be considered a bona fide member of the parampara.

The GBC states that:

“to be properly connected with Krsna and get the full benefit of chanting, a connection with a bona fide spiritual master is required”

which, as we just saw, the GBC accept is not provided by Umapati. But, the GBC also states that all those disciples that Umapati initiated before 2010 are still considered to be duly initiated members of ISKCON, even though they have no bona fide spiritual master. This means we have the ludicrous situation that they are connected to the parampara via an initiation from a person who himself is not considered by ISKCON to be in the parampara! The disciples are therefore supposedly linked to the parampara via an invisible or non-existent member.

Srila Prabhupada:
The only bona fide connection to the parampara


The GBC have tried to offer noble motivations for why they insist on their guru hoax, claiming it is required in order to “continue the parampara” and that to do anything else would be to go against the “tradition” of the disciplic succession and Srila Prabhupada’s orders. Yet their creation of an invisible parampara through Umapati, which does not even adhere to their own rules, clearly belies these claims. For one cannot continue the parampara via an invisible or non-existent link. In addition, Srila Prabhupada has not taught that the parampara should contain either half-gurus or invisible gurus, nor are there any examples in the parampara of such gurus. Rather, this is just yet another example of how the guru hoax parampara is simply fabricated by the GBC as they go along.

But there is no need for such a deviant parampara to be created in the first place.

Because the opportunity for everyone to connect to a bona fide parampara already exists. And that is by following Srila Prabhupada’s orders and connecting to the parampara directly through Srila Prabhupada himself, without needing to go via any fallen or invisible, unauthorised GBC gurus.

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