Previously we provided
illustrations of how ISKCON has deviated from the original mission of
its founder and Guru, Srila Prabhupada, as the message of pure Krishna
consciousness has become diluted. From selling courses on mantra
meditation, to "soul mate yoga", to demigod worship and opening a school
which teaches the syllabus of the government, ISKCON's descent into
commercialisation continues unabated. This dilution of one's spiritual
principles, in an attempt to become more mainstream, is more accurately
known as "secularisation", with commercialisation being merely one
symptom of this spiritual dilution. As ISKCON's own Communications
Journal notes, secularization is: "change in the direction of
accommodation with mainstream cultures".
However, ISKCON's mission is supposed to be to influence the mainstream
culture to adopt Krsna consciousness, and not the other way around.
Nowhere was this trend towards accommodation of both the wider "Hindu"
and mainstream culture more apparent than at this year's Sri Krishna
Janmasthami festival at ISKCON's UK headquarters, Bhaktivedanta Manor
where, in the drive to appease the Hindu dollar, the focus on Srila
Prabhupada's teachings seems to have been lost - as we illustrate below.
Previously, the following warning was given by
Bhaktivedanta Manor's one-time GBC representative and voted-in guru, HH
|"In July, a well-known Hindu
organization launched a worldwide yatra on the grounds of
Bhaktivedanta Manor. To preside over the function, they invited
many spiritual leaders. [...] When I saw the mélange of
spiritual dignitaries, I had second thoughts. On the stage were
to be two yogis, a guru, a Sankaracarya, and myself -
compromising association! […]
I felt that you, Srila Prabhupada, our Society, and of course
Krishna had been grievously offended."
(HH Sivarama Swami, Vyasa Puja offering, 2002)
However, the keynote speaker at this year's
Janmasthami festival at Bhaktivedanta Manor was the famous Indian
yogi-guru His Holiness Swami Ramdevji Maharaja. According to the
Maharaja's bio, he is
|"the first, in the world health
history, to use freely available Pran (Oxygen) as a
medicine and in turn succeeds to cure thousands of grief
stricken persons suffering from lethal diseases like Diabetes,
H.B.P., Angina, […]"
In this regard Srila Prabhupada, the Founder of
ISKCON's Bhaktivedanta Manor, states:
"The guru does not mean that I keep a
guru. So as order-supplier "My dear guru, I am suffering from this.
Can you give me some medicine?" "Yes, yes. Take this medicine."
"Yes." Not that guru. If you are suffering from some disease, you go
to a physician. It is not guru's business to give you some medicine.
A guru's business is to give you Krsna."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, August 7th, 1973)
So while the Maharaja may have excellent
credentials as a healer, we do question the wisdom of the Manor's
management in selecting him as their keynote speaker on Lord Krishna's
appearance day, particularly in light of both Srila Prabhupada's
teachings and the warning given by their own previous GBC!
|Human chain is
The Hindu Forum of Britain, whose Spiritual
Commissioner is the Manor's Temple President Gauri Das, issued the
following press statement about the high point of the Janmasthami
"The highlight of the festival is a human chain to pray for the
victims of terror and war."
This "highlight" was to take place as the time approached for Krishna's
divine appearance at midnight. So instead of everyone being urged to
meditate on this divine appearance of the Lord, on His Appearance Day,
which is supposed to be the highlight of Janmastami, instead all the
many thousands of worshippers were encouraged to meditate and pray for
the victims of the many political problems engulfing the planet.
rides roughshod over Bhagavad-gita
This urge to promote a secular approach to
religion was continued via the promotion of "Hindu Aid", a charity which
was allowed to distribute a brochure at the Janmashatmi festival in
Srila Prabhupada's temple that directly contradicted the teachings of
Srila Prabhupada. We reproduce just one of these statements from the
brochure, to illustrate the point:
|Hindu Aid: "For Hindus, serving
humanity is like serving God."
||"In the Bhagavad-gita is
there such statement, that "Service to humanity is service to
God"? Is there any statement? There is no. This is wrong theory.
Don't maintain this. This is a very wrong theory […]
Then why do you say like that? And Krsna says openly, mam
ekam saranam vraja. He doesn't even recommend to worship
So these are imagination, concoction. They are not authorized."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, April 24th, 1977)
ISKCON's wholehearted promotion of such activities inside Srila
Prabhupada's temple in the name of accommodation and liberalism should be
contrasted with their attitude to anyone who dares to utter that Srila
Prabhupada is the Guru of ISKCON. As noted, such persons are subject to
bans and violence.
|The wedding business Please compare the following statements:
Bhaktivedanta Manor: "Weddings [...]
Bhaktivedanta Manor with its
beautiful and spacious building and grounds has made it a very popular
venue for this auspicious ceremony. […]
As part of the purification of
the wedding ceremony we ask both Bride and Groom to refrain from eating
non-vegetarian food and taking intoxicants for at least 48 hours before
the wedding ceremony."
"Uninitiated couples cannot be married by us. We shall
not take the responsibility of an ordinary marriage maker. Our practice
is to help devotees for advancing in Krishna Consciousness."
Bhaktivedanta Manor :
"Cost of wedding ceremony in 2007 - £2401 ($4500)
for a temple room booking"
|Srila Prabhupada : "No, we are not marriage company. We get married our
students if there is necessity, but we don't.... Marriage means they
will arrange their marriage in our temple. […] Similar proposal was there
in Montreal. Then it will become a business. They are not devotees."
can allow the sacrifice in the Manor for Mrs. Mehta, but as with
the weddings, they must pay for the room. (Don't have it in
the temple room.) She can bring her own brahmanas."
As was pointed out previously, such dilution of the spiritual principles
taught by Srila Prabhupada is only to be expected, when Srila Prabhupada
himself has been removed as the Guru from his own movement.