Autumn 2007

ISKCON guru hypocrisy – 1

"But in order to improve our attendance and attitudes at the daily guru-puja, we have to realize that Srila Prabhupada is present. We must pray for that realization. We should know that he is present on the vyasasana; and we should know that he is pleased by our enthusiastic participation. It is not a dull routine, but an opportunity to daily meet and glorify Srila Prabhupada in the most appropriate way."
(Srila Prabhupada`s Pastimes, Satsvarupa dasa Goswami, Gita-nagari Press)

So, according to one of the original 11 ISKCON guru hoaxers, Satsvarupa Das (pictured above), Srila Prabhupada is present before us and we can meet him everyday. Which then begs the question why he cannot still act as our diksa (initiating) Guru if he is present before us and we can meet him? Such contradictions are par for the course, when one concocts a philosophy as one goes along (and we have given many such examples in previous issues), which seeks specifically to satisfy everyone that ISKCON is "keeping Srila Prabhupada in the centre", whilst at the same time claiming that we still need to accept their all worshipful gurus.

ISKCON guru hypocrisy – 2

"This is the first time in Vaisnava history that we see a functioning worldwide institution with a committee in charge. We are in uncharted waters! But one thing is clear. Srila Prabhupada did say we should keep the Acarya in the center. […]
If one of his followers, who happens to have the duty of initiating in his ISKCON society, undermines or minimizes the instructions found in his books and lectures then how can we expect a sincere Iskcon devotee not to protest, even if the one minimizing him happens to have given him initiation?"
(HH Trivikrama Swami Maharaja, 'Dandavats' website, 18/6/2007)

Here we see that in one fell swoop, ISKCON guru HH Trivikrama Swami Maharaja (pictured above), has destroyed the main argument used by the GBC and himself (being a GBC voted-in guru) to justify their unauthorised guru system. "The ritvik system is without precedent, and historically everyone has always had a 'living guru'", the GBC argue. However, Maharaja is arguing here that we are currently in a completely unprecedented situation, that ISKCON is an unprecedented society, and therefore we are in "uncharted waters". Given this, it would be completely illogical to argue that precedent must be the guiding principle for an institution which itself has no precedent! Further, Maharaja also argues that it is the duty of any disciple to protest against his guru if he feels the guru is undermining Srila Prabhupada's instructions. This means that Maharaja is giving the green light to every ISKCON member to join the IRM and reject their gurus once they discover that their gurus are indeed not just minimising but actually rejecting Srila Prabhupada's instructions, since there exists no instruction for them to have become their gurus in the first place! For there is no instruction from Srila Prabhupada authorising his disciples to replace him as the Guru of ISKCON, but there are instructions from him keeping him as ISKCON's diksa Guru (see The Final Order and all previous BTP issues!).
Again we see such statements are generated by the need to camouflage the ISKCON guru system with the cover that "Srila Prabhupada is in the centre", as seen in the previous example. Therefore, do not expect Maharaja to agree with his own words and ask his disciples to return to to Srila Prabhupada anytime soon!

ISKCON guru hypocrisy – 3

“It is essential to have direct personal interaction with one’s guru so that one can make sure that one is actually satisfying the spiritual master by one’s attitude, one’s words, and one’s actions […] The guru therefore needs to be physically present to directly answer the questions of his disciples.”
(Sankarshan Das, May 20th, 2007)

Sankarshan Das (pictured above), a GBC voted-in guru, made the above pitch to convince people that the “ritvik” position is wrong, and therefore one needs to accept him as a guru because one can associate with him “personally”.

And HE obviously has not had his guru answer HIS questions for 30 years either. So it is the height of hypocrisy for him to argue that we must accept HIM as our guru because we must have personal association with the guru to get guidance, when he himself does not believe this, having not had such personal association for 30 years.

Unless Sankarshan prabhu can prove that on November 15th, 1977, the day after Srila Prabhupada departed, he was issued with a special, secret, unique two-way “spiritual” walkie-talkie, which allowed him alone to directly ask Srila Prabhupada questions and get answers regarding whether or not he was pleasing him, he would do well to stop spouting such hypocritical nonsense. It is already bad enough that he has occupied Srila Prabhupada’s position as initiating guru in ISKCON without Srila Prabhupada’s authorisation.

ISKCON guru hypocrisy – 4

Fact 1: In 1985, Caru Das, becomes a GBC endorsed guru in 1985 as part of the Great Guru Hoax part 2:

c "4. The GBC gives its blessings to those who have begun to give formal initiations since September, 1985. They are as follows: […]
7. Caru das Adhikari - Los Angeles, Utah"
(GBC Resolutions, 1986)

Fact 2: A recent GBC list of their approved gurus continues to have Caru Das's name (pictured above), and on April 29th, 2007, he initiates 3 devotees:

"Then, Bhakta Blake, Bhakta Justin, and Bhaktin Mikela were no more, but now Bharat Das, Jairam Das, and Mekala Devi, as Caru returned them their japa beads, and well wishing devotees tied their kunti mala around their necks. […]
A fair number of devotees from Utah have been initiated in the last 20 years, but none from Spanish Fork and nearby Payson"
(Website of Utah Krishna Temple, Temple President Caru Das)

Fact 3: Caru Das attends the 2007 ISKCON North America Temple Presidents and GBC meetings as the Temple President for the Temple in Utah:

"North American Temple presidents and GBC (Governing Board Commission) meetings were held in Houston Thursday thru Saturday. I went to the first day and a half. [...]
Friday morning Amarendra, the attorney, explained the drafting of bylaws in progress designed to protect temple properties. …"
(Caru Das, Report, 20/5/2007)

Fact 4: Bhakta Justin/Jairama Das, one of the persons initiated by Caru Das mentioned in Fact 2 above, states the following about Caru Das, and his initiation:

"He (Caru Das) is not currently a GBC approved initiating guru. He does not support the GBC and does not recognize their authority. […]
The only reason I took initiation from him was because he told me that although he was not a ritvik authorized by Srila Prabhupada he would give me initiation on his behalf. If that was alright with me. He does not allow Guru puja and he tells us all that Srila Prabhupada is our spiritual master and that we can associate with him by reading his books, listening to his lectures, and watching video footage of him."
(Bhakta Justin/Jairama Das, E-mail, June 20th, 2007)

So this raises the following questions:

a) Are the GBC in illusion about the real "ritvik-anti-GBC" status of Caru Das, having claimed on the one hand that they wish to protect ISKCON temples from "ritviks", and on the other they happily invite him to their meetings where such matters are discussed? Or are the GBC happy now to welcome "ritviks" who do not recognize their authority to their confidential meetings, and if so could we get an invite to their meetings please?!

b) Or has Caru Das been telling different stories depending on who he is speaking to? To keep those who he is initiating happy, he tells them he is anti-GBC and is giving a ritvik initiation on behalf of Srila Prabhupada, whilst to keep in the good graces of ISKCON, and get invited along to their meetings, he portrays himself as a loyal company man?
Either way, why are we not surprised to find the air of duplicity and confusion surrounding the affairs of the GBC and their "gurus"?

By the way, one practice that Caru Das does share with ISKCON, highlighted repeatedly in BTP, is the trend towards demigod worship, for Caru Das advertises himself as a "Priest" able to perform pujas (worship rituals) for "Lakshmi", "Shiva" and "Ganesh", as well as for "New Business", "Prosperity", and even for "New Vehicles"! (see also BTP 11 for further evidence of ISKCON issuing "automobile blessings").

ISKCON guru hypocrisy – 5

HH Bhakti Caru Swami ("BCS") recently made the following comments about Narayana Maharaja, a Gaudiya Matha guru who is competing with the ISKCON gurus to take devotees away from Srila Prabhupada:

"One of the most damaging attack is his claim that he is the real successor of Srila Prabhupada. If that is the case, then why did he not make that claim for so many years? It is only recently, in the late-nineties, when the leading devotees disassociated themselves from him, that he took this stand. If all these points are clearly explained to the devotees who are naturally quite intelligent, I am confident that they will understand." (BCS Letter, June 27th, 2007) bcs

But exactly the same can be said about GBC voted-in guru Gaura Govinda Swami's ("GGS") claim, made for the first time in 1989, as detailed in BTP 15, that Srila Prabhupada had appointed him guru by a secret whisper in 1977. And this claim was only made in 1989 because by then so many gurus had fallen and the system was in turmoil, and he saw an opportunity to stake his claim. But BCS never criticised GGS for doing this, but rather glorifies him as an "exalted disciple of Srila Prabhupada" (see BTP 14, back page). A clear double standard. And, as BCS says, anyone who is "intelligent" will "understand" the dubiousness of such belated "claims", whether made by "gurus" outside or inside ISKCON. BCS also states:

"Maharaja may be a very charismatic personality, […]
So if we remind our devotees of the importance of Srila Prabhupada's role in their life and the importance of their being sheltered by ISKCON, I am sure that many devotees will understand and will not go away, being allured by him."
(BCS Letter, June 27th, 2007)

So to counteract a guru from outside ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada is suddenly reeled out, and for ISKCON members "the importance of Srila Prabhupada's role in their life", is emphasised; but to promote themselves as "living guru successors" to Srila Prabhupada, the ISKCON gurus have de-emphasised "Srila Prabhupada's role in their life" for ISKCON members, otherwise they would have not a guru role. So we cannot take a guru outside ISKCON because we need Srila Prabhupada, but we must take a guru inside ISKCON because Srila Prabhupada is not enough! How long do the GBC think people will buy such hypocrisy? They should either return ISKCON to Srila Prabhupada and thereby save it, or continue promoting that "we need a living successor to Srila Prabhupada" and watch people leave ISKCON for better and more "charismatic", "living successors" than ISKCON can offer.

Yet more ISKCON guru hypocrisy

HH Bhakti Caru Swami admits he is not acting as diksa guru

“Generally, a guru establishes a link between Krsna and his disciple. However, in ISKCON, I very strongly believe that our responsibility is to help you approach the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada, and Srila Prabhupada, as the pre-eminent acarya, takes you to Krsna and engages you in His service.”
(10/6/07, BCS Istaghosti, Text PAMHO:13658994)

When Srila Prabhupada was physically present on the planet, the job of everyone in ISKCON, even if he was just a bhakta (new devotee) was the same, and this was to help people approach Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet, who then as the Guru would take that person to Krishna as his disciple. Above Bhakti Caru Swami (BCS) admits:

Yet BCS, as a GBC voted-in ISKCON guru, concludes from the above facts that:

Therefore, even though BCS admits that Srila Prabhupada’s physical departure has not resulted in any change to how he functions, he has however decided to change Srila Prabhupada’s position as the diksa Guru, and instead occupy that position for himself and claim Srila Prabhupada’s disciples as his. It is one thing to usurp Srila Prabhupada’s position and steal his disciples. But to openly admit that one has no justification for doing this, and still continue, requires a level of cheating and hypocrisy that can only flourish in Kali-Yuga, the Age of Hypocrisy.

ISKCON guru rules out his own tape ministry

A GBC voted-in guru, His Holiness Gour (Gaura) Govinda Swami (GGS, pictured right), who died in 1996, is eulogized by ISKCON today as a great saint, with his murti (effigy) installed in ISKCON temples, and his books sold in ISKCON temples and at ISKCON festivals. To afford GGS such a high level of awe and reverence would require the GBC to, of course, also fully endorse all the teachings of GGS. One of his teachings is the following:

Devotee #1: Sabda-brahma is Krishna in sound vibration?
Gour Govinda Swami: Yes. One has to hear. It is not that, “All right, tapes are there, I’ll hear the recorded tapes.” Sabda-brahma will never descend.
Devotee #2: It doesn’t descend through transmission of tape?
Gour Govinda Swami: No, no. [...] You should be greedy. Physical contact is required.
You must hear directly, not just by listening to tapes. Sabda-brahma will never descend through a tape.
One must hear from a physically present Sri Guru.
(HH Gour Govinda Swami, ‘Questions and Answers’, The Worship of Sri Guru)

This raises the following obvious points:

a) Why then did GGS allow his talks to be recorded on tape for his disciples to hear?
Why are they still listening to, and distributing such tapes now?

b) Why are the GBC disobeying the teachings of this person who they have proclaimed as a great acarya (guru), by promoting the distribution of tapes of Srila Prabhupada, and their own voted-in gurus, which give no value?
How can the GBC claim to be preaching the absolute truth, if they cannot even decide a simple point such as whether or not sabda-brahma can delivered through recorded sound vibration?