Visiting ISKCON Temples


IRM

Back To Prabhupada, Interactive, Issue 64, Vol 4, 2019

"ISKCON's leaders (not devotees) are using ISKCON devotees and assets for their personal use, under the shelter of the so-called GBC without acknowledging Srila Prabhupada. I know the facts but what can I do because we have to live in the ISKCON, under the protection of Prabhupada."
- Sridham Dasa, New Delhi, India

Editor replies:

The ISKCON today is not the ISKCON Srila Prabhupada established. Rather, as you admit above, it is entirely a hijacked, cheating movement, with it now being "under the shelter of the so-called GBC without acknowledging Srila Prabhupada". So living within such a movement is not living "under the protection of Prabhupada". Srila Prabhupada condemns such cheating association:

"Cheating oneself and cheating others is called kaitava. Associating with cheaters is called duhsanga, bad association."
(Cc., Madhya-lila, 24.99, emphasis added, along with all other emphases that follow)

"Association with persons who are not spiritually advanced is forbidden."
(SB, 3.29.18, purport)

Srila Prabhupada's instructions to associate with ISKCON referred to the movement he established at the time, where he was the sole spiritual master and everyone was operating only under his instructions and authority:

"Since the Krsna consciousness movement which is going on at the present moment is genuine, perfect and authorized and is following in the footsteps of Prthu Maharaja, anyone who cooperates with this movement or accepts its principles will get the same result as the workers who are actively propagating Krsna consciousness."
(SB, 4.21.26, purport)

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"Dear Prabhus, PAMHO,
I am wondering is there any ISKCON temple now that is bona fide to visit, or are they all non-bona fide, or are they still good just for the visiting of the Deities? Clearly one should not listen to the preaching, though.
Jaya Sri Krsna!"
- Sutapa Dasa, Cornwall, UK

Editor replies:

All the current ISKCON temples are deviated, and thus, as you have stated, one should not listen to their preaching. However, the following quote makes it clear that we can only enter temples where we can also listen to the classes:

"It is a prescribed duty in temple worship that not only should one visit the temple to see the Deity nicely decorated, but at the same time he should hear the recitation of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita or some similar literature, which is regularly recited in the temple."
(SB, 3.25.36, purport)

Thus, this automatically rules out visiting temples just to see the Deities if one will be unable to also listen to the preaching, since they are preaching deviation rather than the pure message of the scriptures. Further, the answer to the previous letter explained that association with deviant temples should be avoided. And since a picture of the Deities is non-different from the Deities —

"But in Krsna's form, if you have a Krsna's photograph, it is as good as Krsna. [...] You can get the same benefit from the photograph picture of Krsna as you get benefit by directly meeting Him."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 22/5/72)

– one can see the Deities without needing to physically visit such deviant temples and get polluted association.

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"The Life and Teachings of HH Bhakti Charu Swami.
Hare Krsna! PAMHO.
ALL GLORIES TO Srila Prabhupada!!
I am interested in obtaining a copy of this document as I have a personal interest in the person. I live in East Central Florida. Charu is opening a "temple/farm" here somewhere around Casselberry. When I heard the news, I was excited as I am now retired and greatly desire to serve Sri Krsna, Srila Prabhupada and the Vaisnavas... I was for 40 years a "fringie" as I have been called. Lol.
Anyway, I do not want to perform service and worship under tutelage of a pretend "guru". I know and understand that Srila Prabhupada is GURU and the Founder-
Acarya of ISKCON. Period.
I wish you all the best.
Hare Krsna,
Haribol!!
Ys,"

- Greg Sexton, Florida, USA

Editor replies:

We are sending you this book right away. You are right to avoid associating with deviants — please see our answers to the previous two letters.

 


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