Combating Kali-chelas Passing As Vaisnavas


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 36, Summer 2012

As we have documented many times in previous issues, those who object to BTP do so primarily on the basis of the nature of the subject matter it chooses to cover. We focus on exposing those who mislead others in Srila Prabhupada’s name. It is charged that such content is blasphemous, offensive, focusing only on the negative, and that it is a combination of judgmentalism and unnecessary faultfinding, which is irrelevant to spiritual life. It is also claimed that such activity is unnecessary because we need to concentrate only on preaching to those who do not yet even know anything about Krishna consciousness, rather than to, and about, those who are already devotees. It is significant to note that such objections do not claim that what is stated in the pages of BTP is fabricated. Or that we present no evidence to support what is stated. Or that we are lying. Rather, it is claimed that the very purpose of BTP - exposing cheating masquerading as religion - is itself objectionable.

However, as we will demonstrate over the next two pages, such objections are precisely the cover required in order for irreligion to flourish in Kali-yuga (the current age). And, unless such irreligion is combated at the root, any “preaching” done will in any case be useless. All emphases on the next two pages have been added.

Prabhupada used for power

We commonly experience politicians wrapping themselves in the flag of patriotism and offering simply to do “service” to the nation in order to garner support and thereby gain power. We find a similar phenomenon in the ISKCON world, whereby everyone wraps themselves in the flag of “Prabhupada” and claims to be merely serving him. Who doesn’t claim to love, serve and follow Prabhupada? Who doesn’t claim that they are merely trying to glorify Srila Prabhupada, and that everything they do is only in the service of Srila Prabhupada? No one is claiming that: “Yes, I want to use Srila Prabhupada’s name to garner money, name, fame, properties and followers for myself.” For there is no power to be gained in the ISKCON world from claiming one is not representing Srila Prabhupada, just as a politician will get no support if he claims he is not working on behalf of the country. Rather, the route to gaining power is to claim to represent Srila Prabhupada, and, in that way, have the necessary platform to be the conduit for all the donations, temples and followers which will be generated in Srila Prabhupada’s name.

For claiming to represent religion grants one a power that one would not otherwise have:

“So Ravana had ten heads. [...] He became a sannyasi and he went to take some alms from Sita. The purpose was to cheat, to enter. Because according to Vedic civilization, a sannyasi has open door. He can even go inside.”
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 5/7/1971)

Similarly, falsely claiming to represent Srila Prabhupada will allow one to be most effective at cheating devotees.

Most dangerous

Srila Prabhupada states that such false religious representation is more dangerous than not claiming to represent religion:

“Although the Buddhists are directly opposed to Vaisnava philosophy, it can easily be understood that the Sankarites are more dangerous because they accept the authority of the Vedas yet act contrary to Vedic instruction.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 6:168)

Thus, following this reasoning, it can be understood that those who accept the authority of Srila Prabhupada and yet deviate from his instructions are more dangerous than those who do not accept Srila Prabhupada’s authority. Indeed, Srila Prabhupada states that those who come in the guise of following religious principles to mislead people are the most dangerous elements:

“By a false display of religious sentiments, they present a show of devotional service while indulging in all sorts of immoral activities. In this way they pass as spiritual masters and devotees of God. [...] to mislead the people in general they themselves become so-called acaryas, but do not even follow the principles of the acaryas. These rogues are the most dangerous elements in human society.”
(Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 12, purport)

Actions speak louder than words

We have seen that claiming to represent Srila Prabhupada is the route to power, and that such false representation is actually the most dangerous. The only, and most important, issue in question, therefore, is to determine whether or not such claims of representation are genuine. Going back to the example of politicians given in the previous section, we find that politicians promise whatever will win them votes, but when they actually get into power they often do not follow through. And when elections come around again, they again promise and say what everyone wants to hear. These hypocritical tactics are to be expected, since this is the nature of the current age in which we live:

“This is the age, Kali. It is called Kali. Hypocrisy, simply hypocrisy. Kali means full of hypocrisy.”
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 26/11/1966)

Similarly, we find in ISKCON that everyone will speak about Srila Prabhupada, and how great he is, etc., and everyone is happy to hear this. However, what matters is whether anyone is actually following what they claim to follow:

“It is said, phalena pariciyate: one is recognized by the result of his actions.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, 3:143)

In summary, in Kali-yuga, words speak louder than actions (hypocrisy), but in spiritual life, actions must speak louder than words (judged by the results of actions).

Sample example

A very simple example will illustrate the points made above. Guru hoaxer HH Bhakti Charu Swami (“BCS”) very correctly states:

“everyone should actually focus their worship and devotion onto Srila Prabhupada.”
(BCS quoted in BCS Istagosthi, 18/9/2000)

This could easily be a statement right out of BTP. However, he recently received a letter from a follower, in which he was glorified non-stop, with zero worship and devotion towards Srila Prabhupada, with the follower stating about BCS:

“But you are my number one man. I do love you and I think about you every day.”

and that his mother:

“worships every breath you take and every step you make.”

But BCS did not immediately chastise his errant followers for not focusing “their worship and devotion onto Srila Prabhupada”, as he had commanded. Instead, he said he was “very touched” by the letter, and immediately broadcast it to all of his followers so that they could “benefit from his mood of devotion”! (All excerpts above from BCS Istagosthi, 15/6/2012)

Judge by the end result

In addition to accepting Srila Prabhupada’s authority, false representation is enhanced if bona fide practices are engaged in partially. For example, controlling one’s senses is essential to practising Krishna consciousness. Thus, if one who is claiming to be a Vaisnava is successfully able to control his senses, others will naturally assume he is acting in a bona fide fashion, especially if those persons themselves struggle to control their senses. Given this dynamic, we find that a popular route for those seeking to gain position in ISKCON is to control one’s senses in order to become a sannyasi, and then a guru, for it is no coincidence that the vast majority of sannyasis are also gurus. However, the end result of such sense control is merely to gain a position which allows one to enjoy Profit, Adoration and Distinction (PAD). For if one takes up a position which has not been authorised by Srila Prabhupada, and is actually in defiance of his order to keep him as ISKCON’s sole diksa guru, then such an activity is taken up due to one’s own desires for PAD. Enjoying PAD involves using one’s senses for pleasurable hearing and seeing as one receives worship, fame as an “advanced” devotee, etc. But enjoying this type of sense pleasure demands that one controls one’s senses in other areas, such as touching, or having sex. We therefore have the irony that in this case, the means of partial sense control is merely used to achieve the end of enjoying the senses even better!

So what matters is not the means being employed, but the end result that is being achieved. In this case, the end result is being worshipped as good as God without authorisation. Humans will do whatever is required to be worshipped - which will also partly require the same means necessary to achieve bona fide Krishna conscious ends. In other cases, the end result may be some other non-Krishna conscious end, such as profit or control, even though the means will again involve some bona fide practice used in Krishna consciousness, such as opening temples, preaching, etc. As a sign of how deviant ISKCON has now become, even secular non-Krishna conscious means such as philanthropy, demigod worship and so on, are also being used to achieve non-Krishna conscious ends.


Thus there are two stages of deviation. In the beginning one does not know anything about Krishna consciousness, and is a materialist, or “karmi” as referred to by devotees, and thus will simply engage in regular sense gratification through sinful activity such as meat-eating, intoxication, etc. However, a more nefarious level of deviation is to enjoy one’s senses through one’s guru by misusing his teachings and movement, which may require actually accepting and even partially practising Krishna consciousness. Srila Prabhupada wrote how this occurred in the Gaudiya Matha, whose leaders also disobeyed the orders of their Founder-Acarya, just as ISKCON’s leaders have:

“These are facts. Two parties there were. One party, to use guru as their instrument for self-aggrandizement, and another party left guru. So both of them are offenders. This Kunja Babu, this Tirtha Maharaja’s party, he wanted to enjoy senses through guru. [...] So both of them are severe offenders.”
(Room conversation, 22/4/1977)

*disciples of Kali-yuga

Srila Prabhupada states that there are many false Vaisnavas in ISKCON:

“There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaisnavas in this Krsna consciousness movement, […] Such a pseudo Vaisnava associates with money and women and is jealous of successful Vaisnavas. Although passing for a Vaisnava, his only business is earning money in the dress of a Vaisnava. Bhaktivinoda Thakura therefore says that such a pseudo Vaisnava is not a Vaisnava at all but a disciple of Kali-yuga.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 1:218 and 1:220, purports)

And, indeed, this statement has been practically documented by us in our many exposés of the spread of commercialisation within ISKCON – persons passing themselves off as Vaisnavas whose business is to do business!

Spiritual audit

From the above, it is clear that the following is the means that allows the irreligion of Kali-chelas to flourish under the guise of religion, promoted by those same Kali-chelas:

a) Objecting to BTP actually exposing hypocrisy and documenting where cheating is occurring;
b) Insisting that instead we should only print the philosophy of Krishna consciousness without “faultfinding” or observing if it is being correctly implemented;
c) Demanding that we should concentrate only on preaching to “non-devotees” who know nothing about Krishna consciousness, rather than exposing those who are supposed to know everything about Krishna consciousness;

And if the Kali-chelas are allowed to flourish, they will continue to mislead all those who come into contact with them and the movement they run. Furthermore, as the philosophy of Krishna consciousness is presented perfectly by Srila Prabhupada in his books and other teachings, there is no need for us or anyone else to try to duplicate or compete with that. Nor, in general, are those within the ISKCON world even claiming to dispute its tenets. Hence, the only useful function that is required is to detect where those who are claiming to follow the perfect philosophy of Krishna consciousness, are actually using such claims to lead people away from Krishna consciousness; a “spiritual audit”, if you will. And since this means the difference between whether or not one actually practises Krishna consciousness, this is a very positive and necessary function!


Srila Prabhupada1) Srila Prabhupada stated even when he was on the planet that the Krishna consciousness movement contained “many” false Vaisnavas, and such infestation has only massively increased since his departure, such that the whole movement is being led on a path of wholesale deviation. This is not an exaggeration, for not only have we copiously documented this conclusion over many years, but we have also documented ISKCON’s leaders agreeing with us!
2) There is a saying that, when the Devil comes, he will not come wearing horns, just as Ravana came disguised as a sannyasi to kidnap Sita-devi. Thus, the capacity of Kali-chelas to deviate and mislead is the most dangerous, because they come in the disguise of Vaisnavas and, in this way, dupe devotees who otherwise would be on their guard and not be deceived.
3) However, the IRM stands in their way, and we will continue to expose such Kali-chelas and prevent them from deviating devotees from following Srila Prabhupada and from the practice of true Krishna consciousness.

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