Requiem for the Rackets
Requiem for the Rackets
A Closer Look at the Deviations
By Kailasa Candra dasa
“The demigods fully absorb themselves in meditation upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead to become perfect yogis, but, because of the presence of demons, their hearts are filled with the activities of the demons. Thus their hearts, which are meant to be the abode of the Supreme Lord, are practically occupied by the demons.”
Srimad-Bhagavatam, 7.8.42, purport
“Now that you find yourself losing your mind, are you here . . . again? Seeing that what you once thought was real is gone . . . and changin’.
Neil Young, “I Believe in You”
There is a specific procedure, manifest as tangible stages, in the prosecution of Krishna consciousness. It is also known as engagement meant to please the spiritual master, prosecuted in accordance with the working principles of buddhi-yoga. The goal is spiritual enlightenment. The spiritual master as diksa-guru is the manifest representative of the supreme authority of the Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. That supreme authority is known as guru-parampara, and any bona fide, authentic spiritual master must be recognized as a current representative in that line of real spiritual life, the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya.
All emphases added for your edification and realization
Our motto of life–in all engagements meant for making advancement in spiritual knowledge, spiritual power, and the ability to do (and not to do)–must be to please the supreme authority of the Personality of Godhead. That is called bhakti-seva, the service attitude; it is integral to the process of vidhi-sadhana-bhakti at all of its stages and on all of its levels. The stage of enlightenment will correspond to the revelation given to, and the power invested in, the sincere servitor by the Lord. He gives such benedictions when His line of supreme authority is properly served and respected by the devotee. That is known as authorized devotional service. In the prosecution of such vidhi-bhakti or applying the working principles of buddhi-yoga, we should note that there are different degrees–you may even say, sub-levels–within the various progressive stages of its procedure or process:
“But so far light is concerned, now there is question of degrees of light, intensity of light. So, the degrees of spiritual realization in brahman, degrees of spiritual realization in Paramatma, and degrees of spiritual realization in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they are different.”
Room Conversation with George Harrison, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono, 9-11-69
Nescience cannot be part of this process, however, because nescience covers revealed light at all of its stages. It diminishes the intensity of the service, destroying it altogether in due course. Nescience will work to degrade even stalwarts in the line, particularly when that ignorance is deeply and surreptitiously imbedded in their organization, an institution (of their choice) ostensibly engaged in promulgating vidhi-sadhana-bhakti. After degrading the misled devotee, up to and even including one who had previously been fixed in the process, nescience does not slacken, i.e., it will continue to act in order to eventually drive him insane.
We have seen it practically. However, the manifold obstacles and doubts created and put into effect by nescience can be overcome by understanding the base principles of how that nescience is operating. Combined with this knowledge, we must also know the root issue of the current deviations. In other words, what root issue is at the very core of these demoniac impositions? That very same issue will also be at the core of all efforts undertaken by true transcendentalists to propagate Krishna consciousness or vidhi-sadhana-bhakti in a genuine way here in the West.
Once upon a time, the ISKCON movement was authentic, linked to Reality. We were all engaged in it, and this was Srila Prabhupada’s Hare Krishna movement of Krishna Consciousness, his mission to the Western world. As the years rolled by, most of us continued to think it was so linked when, somewhat insidiously, it was gradually changing and devolving into something else. Now, it is almost impossible not to recognize that “ISKCON” is an entirely different entity from the original template. This disturbs real devotees. It bothers their hearts, which then become pre-occupied with these serious deviations.
In order to clear this, they must first be understood. Two offshoots, the Neo-Goudiya Mutt and the Rittviks, have their own peculiar explanations as to just why and how the “ISKCON” movement is no longer the real deal. We prefer to call it the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation. One of the purposes of this article is to provide you a clue about this important topic, which will also shed light on the essence of just what these three movements really represent. That must be known. When it is, the practitioner of vidhi-sadhana-bhakti should best take appropriate steps, acting upon that knowledge. If and when he does so, he will find his heart no longer filled with the activities of these sahajiya cults.
In due course, he must go on to enlighten others about this topic, according to his spiritual capacity and realization, of course. First, however, he must make a meticulous inspection of just what has gone down since Prabhupada left us (under very suspicious and nefarious circumstances). Superficially, there can be no doubt that these three groups—“ISKCON,” Neo-Mutt, and Rittvik—work against one another, at least much of the time. However, on the esoteric plane, is that their actual relationship? Upon closer inspection of the “ISKCON” imposition, the Neo-Mutt splinter group, and the rittvik concoction, we find that they have something essentially in common. This will be explained in detail in a forthcoming article.
Knock Down the NOC
“In order to gain that realized knowledge, one must, with firewood in hand, approach a spiritual master who has heard perfectly from his spiritual master and who is completely fixed in the Absolute Truth.” Mundaka-upanisad, 1.2.12
“GBC is to see that things are going nicely but not to exert absolute authority. That is not in the power of GBC.”
Letter to Giriraj, Aug. 12, 1971
Leading Secretary: He’s asking when did you become the spiritual leader of Krishna consciousness?
Prabhupada: When my Guru Maharaja ordered me. This is the guru-parampara.
Indian Querent: Did it . . . ?
Prabhupada: Try to understand. Don’t go very speedily. A guru can become guru when he’s ordered by his guru, that’s all. Otherwise, nobody can become guru.
There is a process for becoming a spiritual master, and the issuance (or pretension of an issuance) of a certificate from some kind of board has nothing to do with that process. A bona fide guru is authorized to become a spiritual master, as a diksa-guru and a siksa-guru, only by his bona fide guru:
“One should take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, who is authorized by his predecessor spiritual master.”
SB 4.8.54, purport.
Where does it say, in either Vedic or Vaishnava literature, that guru is manufactured by some kind of so-called governing body? Where? Nowhere, that’s where! First, this nonsense GBC claimed that eleven of their most powerful members were gurus on the highest platform of mahabhagavat, to be worshipped in all the temples as saksad-dhari. They claimed that Prabhupada appointed them as such. Remember that? It was known as the zonal acharya epoch. And, as a side benefit, these “gurus” formed their own clique inside the silly governing body, and that group-within-the-group was called the “acharya board.” Since Swami B.R. Sridhar had informed them that no godbrothers can tell them how to act—since guru is absolute—so these eleven men kept their GBC statuses but reserved the right to be above the GBC, while still in it, in the form of this concocted acharya board. Quite some gig, hey wot!
Of course, this whole scheme began to backfire and break down rather quickly. However, please note, while it was coming apart, these eleven men were cracking and snapping people to become their automatons, enforcers, hatchet men, confessors, pickers, and surrendered chelas in awe and reverence. They were initiating people, and those people didn’t know what the hell was actually transpiring, nor the actual history. These eleven pretenders bought time before some big questions came their way. In the heady days of the zonal acharyas and the acharya board, they were padding their nests. Of course, there was always the lingering problem that all eleven of these fellows were Americans in a cult that is supposed to be somewhat India-centric.
In about two years, it became revealed that there was no appointment of gurus by Prabhupada, i.e., the so-called appointment tape was just that, so-called. Oh, oh! Time to come up with another rationalization! Well, no problema: Prabhupada didn’t appoint the men, but he appointed the GBC. . . and the GBC appointed the eleven. . . or, mathematically speaking, A = B = C: The Transitive Explanation. That bought them more time, although they had to dismantle the acharya board.
“Just like nowadays they become. They are manufacturing guru. Guru is not manufactured. Guru is in the disciplic succession . . .”
Lecture on purport of SB 1.16.20, Honolulu, Jan. 16, 1974
“So, if you simply carry the message of Bhagavad-gita, then you become guru. Don’t manufacture anything; then it will be spoiled.”
General Lecture on Spiritual Life, Vrindavan, Dec. 6, 1975
The vitiated GBC still kept almost all of the devotees bamboozled, because it was still able to pull off the caprice that it had the power to manufacture a spiritual master. In the first case, it had rubber-stamped eleven mahabhagavats. However, the shine started rubbing off the apples of those great ones after the first adjustment, so it came time for another arrangement. Why? Because some other “stalwarts” in the confederation were demanding a piece of the action. This only-eleven-gurus-and-only-eleven-zones thing was starting to be seen for the flagrant self-serving concoction it always had been, and some of the other big guns were screaming: “What about us!?”
But how were they to be manufactured as guru? No problema: Just have the GBC do it by voting. That’s right, place your name up as a candidate, and, if the GBC votes that you are guru, then you are guru. Three got in like that in the early Eighties, two Indians and an American. They also took mahabhagavat worship (in the beginning).
This Fool’s Paradise just kept falling apart, however. How was it that mahabhagavats were regularly ripping each other with vicious slanders and low-grade name-calling? How was it that mahabhagavats (two, to be exact) were engaged in homosexual activities? How was it that sannyasi mahabhagavats (no less than four) were engaged in heterosexual activities? How was it that one of them left the GBC and crossed the river to join the Mahamandala of the opposing faction? How was it that two of them had to be disciplined by the GBC, their zones taken away from them? How could anything even remotely connected to these kinds of activities and occurrences transpire in the lives of men who were supposed to be prematura-bhaktas?
Obviously, it was time for another adjustment, and this one would have to entail more allegedly progressive compromises. The floodgates would have to open up, i.e., all the senior men still in the thing would have to, at the very least, be nominated for guru. Most would obviously wind up voted in, but even more than that was required. It was time for another change in the manufacturing business. What to do? Well, why not stop the high profile worship program? That should get a pretty good reception from the followers, by crackee. All the more so, since most of them, by this time, were no longer originally initiated by Srila Prabhupada.
As such, the new arrangement was this concoction: All the gurus of old—as long as they were still simpatico with the GBC—were now madhyam-adhikaris, not mahabhagavats. Also, they would be joined by a number of new gurus voted in, who had been madhyam-adhikaris all along, mind you. Despite the glaring contradiction within this concoction (how can a fallen individual, pretending to be an uttama-adhikari, then be considered on the devotionally high-grade level of a madhyam-adhikari?), they were confident that they could pull it off. Their confidence was justified, because, after all, were their own disciples going to dare question this arrangement? Indeed, the vitiated GBC did it again: Somehow or other, it had managed to manufacture guru with another scheme, continuing to get in the way of the bona fide process of a disciple becoming a spiritual master.
So, who is guru? According to “ISKCON,” guru is one approved to be spiritual master by the GBC. Guru does not come to us in that way, however. Guru finds nothing between himself and his own bona fide spiritual master. There is no commission lodged between the transcendental connection:
“If you want to know that transcendental science, you must approach guru. Srotriyam brahma-nistham. And who is guru? Samit-panih srotriyam. Srotriyam means one who is guru by hearing from his guru, srotriyam. . . Guru means srotriyam, srotriyam brahma-nistham. And, after hearing perfectly from his guru, he is brahma-nistham. . . Brahma-nistham: This is the guru’s qualification.”
Room conversation, Dec. 22, 1976, in Puna, India
Some of Prabhupada’s disciples in “ISKCON” were unable to forget everything they had heard from him. This led to a number of party men questioning the very legitimacy of voting for guru as part of the transcendental process. It became known that one of those who was voted guru, a member of the GBC himself, made the grade by one vote. In essence, he voted himself to the post of initiating spiritual master.
Doubts began to fester, and this huge wave of new gurus also began to vacillate. There was now competition from Neo-Mutt. Most of these new guys were not as hardened, vicious, and Machiavellian as the original eleven. As such, they had a more difficult time cutting the hypocritical profile. Some fell down and left; others simply took a mean slide and a clean glide.
“If you are incapable of raising yourself to the standard of becoming spiritual master, that is not your spiritual master’s fault–that is your fault. He wants. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu said amara ajnaya guru hana: ‘By My order, every one of you become a guru.’ If one cannot carry out the order of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then how he can become a guru? The first qualification is that he must be able to carry out the order of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Then he becomes guru.”
Room conversation, San Diego, June 29, 1972
Prabhupada wanted (and still wants) all of his disciples to become guru, and this is verified in many statements from his vyasasana, room conversations, and in his letters; those began to become circulated and well-known. The voting scheme was now on the rocks, so it was time to manufacture something else. Whatever you think about the vitiated GBC, never forget that these men are shrewd: They always come up with something. The new arrangement: No Three Blackballs! This was just before the rittvik deviation surfaced. In other words, any disciple of Prabhupada could become guru as long as three GBCs (or more) did not register a protest vote. The absurdity of that arrangement could not hold for more than a decade or so, which meant that the Commission saw it was a time for another change, something they had become good at and accustomed to anyway. Thus emerged the current scheme:
No Objection Certificate (NOC)
Now, we do not have enough contact with the Commission to know whether or not such a certificate is actually issued to the successful applicant, but it really doesn’t matter. The concept is that any disciple—and, in a few cases (apparently) these even have included disciples of the so-called new gurus—can request the GBC to become himself an initiating spiritual master on behalf of “ISKCON.” The GBC then, through some subcommittee filing a report that is reviewed by the complete body, decides how long the applicant must wait in queue before he can be issued a No Objection Certificate and recognized as an initiator guru. Sometimes it’s one year, sometimes two, sometimes three. This, apparently, is as far down the totem pole that the GBC is willing to descend, but it’s still outrageous.
It’s outrageous, because this concoction—like all the previous ones—has nothing to do with the authorized transcendental process. It is not within the power of the GBC to interfere in any of these ways. It is not part of their mandate. It is not part of the mission. The previous concoctions have only caused havoc, and the NOC will only create further havoc. If a disciple of Srila Prabhupada meets the qualifications, even at the basic level, and if Prabhupada then orders him to become guru, he’s guru. If he has a devoted follower who wants to be initiated into the disciplic succession by him, then he is—then and there–duty-bound to begin the process of mutual inspection, not after one or two or three years of waiting for some kind of certification from some kind of governing body.
What if that aspiring and devoted follower is fated to die in seventeen months? He does not get to make the connection via initiation from the devotee he admires—one who has been ordered to act as spiritual master by his guru—because that man must first wait in queue for certification? Ridiculous! Over and above that, when the vitiated GBC interferes—or, more accurately, continues with its various ongoing schemes of interference (as per the last three-decades plus)—the body takes upon itself to, in effect, state, “This man is advanced in spiritual life, and this disciple is not.” Where do they get this power? Not from the parampara. They have no right. They have abrogated this power from the sampradaya and their godbrothers, disingenuously assuming it unto themselves. Their track record, however, clearly shows that they do not possess the necessary discrimination to make any such judgments or interpretations.
The so-called GBC has not been bona fide for over thirty-three years, minimum. However, if things had played out according to Providence (rather than fate), and, as such, if the governing body had remained bona fide, then it would have been within their power to supervise, inspect, observe, and report. There are many current “gurus” (actually, all of them) who are off the rails. The GBC is implicated in the totality of it. However, if it had remained bona fide, then it would have been both within its power, as well as within its commissioned responsibility, to expose (and bring down) all these wild cards for the exploiters that they all most certainly are.
Instead, everything has become topsy-turvy, and the vitiated GBC, rather than guarding the hen house, has become the fox raiding it (guru-bhogi). This No Objection Certificate is just the latest manifestation of their racket. Give ‘em credit: The nescience of the thing, this No Objection Certificate, is more subtle than the first scheme in 1978. It remains nescient, nevertheless. It does not matter who a man is on the material plane or where he lives. If he’s qualified, he can and must act as guru:
“Son or anyone, anyone, if he knows the science of Krishna, he becomes guru. This is the Vedic system. It doesn’t matter.”
Lecture on purport of SB 3.28.1, Honolulu, June 1, 1975
There is a minimum qualification or stage of advancement in order to become guru. Srila Prabhupada may order it at that stage or he may choose not to do so. Spiritual life proceeds through different levels and sub-levels of enlightenment. The madhyam-adhikari is a bhagavat, and he can be ordered to become guru. The devotee reaching asamprajnata-samadhi, a much higher stage of madhyam (taking the starting point of mahabhagavat as bhava, in which there is some shastric evidence) is much more qualified to become an initiating spiritual master. He understands bhagavat-tattva-vijnanam. In all likelihood, he would receive the order. However, the spiritual master, if he so chooses, can give the order previous to asamprajnata-samadhi:
“On the whole, you may know that he (Bon Maharaj) is not a liberated person, and, therefore, he cannot initiate any person to Krishna Consciousness. It requires special spiritual benediction from higher authorities. The statements of Thakura Bhaktivinode are as good as scriptures, because he is liberated person. Generally, the spiritual master comes from the group of such eternal associates of the Lord, but anyone who follows the principles of such ever-liberated persons is as good as one in the above-mentioned group. The gurus from nature’s study are accepted as such on the principle that an elevated person in Krishna Consciousness does not accept anyone as disciple, but he accepts everyone as expansion of his guru. That is very high position, called mahabhagavata. . . A person who is liberated acharya and guru cannot commit any mistake, but there are persons who are less qualified, or not liberated, but still can act as guru and acharya by strictly following the disciplic succession.”
Letter to Janardana, April 26, 1968, New York City
There is a specific procedure, manifest in the form of tangible stages, in the prosecution of Krishna consciousness. It is also known as engagement meant to please the spiritual master, undertaken in accordance with the working principles of buddhi-yoga. The goal is spiritual enlightenment. The spiritual master, in the true sense of the term, should be sthita-dhih, he should have a continuous taste for Krishna consciousness. When he has this taste, it means that he no longer has a taste for maya. The spiritual master as diksa-guru is the manifest representative of the supreme authority of the Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. That supreme authority is known as guru-parampara, and any bona fide, genuine spiritual master must be recognized as a current representative in that line of enlightenment, the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya.
The real issue is: L-E-G-I-T-M-A-C-Y, as in the GBC doesn’t got any. We are duty-bound not to let these deviations slide, so it’s going to be Highway ’78 Revisited until the thing is either uprooted or they return to square one. The manufacturing of an “ISKCON” guru is completely unacceptable, and it is in egregious defiance of the supreme authority of the Personality of Godhead. The Protocols of the Elders of “ISKCON” are not representing the transcendental process, and they must be rejected. If you actually desire to escape their larva, if you really want freedom from their fanaticism, then you must practice the legitimate process of buddhi-yoga.
That is still being promulgated, and it is buddhi-yoga in America that will ultimately prevail. We hope to see it. However, you must save yourself first. Then, in order to maintain and increase your realization, you must work—make effort–to expose everything bogus. There is a great deal of it connected to the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation and especially its controlling node, the vitiated GBC. The NOC is but the latest brick in the wall. As an initiated disciple of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, it is your duty not to let this concoction remain viable. We shall close with the words of Francois Arouet, better known as Voltaire:
Ecrasez l’inflame: “Crush the evil thing!”
OM TAT SAT