Benefic and Malefic Spheres and Patterns of Influence

First of a Multi-part Series

By Kailäsa Candra däsa

“There are many devotees who assume themselves to be in Kåñëa consciousness and devotional service but, at heart, do not accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa, as the Absolute Truth.  For them, the fruit of devotional service—going back to Godhead—will never be tasted. . . Perpetually, their real knowledge will remain under delusion, and gradually they will regress to the darkest region of creation.”
Bhagavad-gétä, 9.12, purport

In sidereal science, a malefic, depending upon its position, can sometimes work in a mostly positive way for the horoscope.  Conversely, in the spiritual science of Kåñëa  consciousness, malefic spheres and patterns of influence harm the disciplic succession.  They work to break its siddhänta, process, momentum, and, ultimately, its viability in human society. Conversely, benefic spheres of influence are helpful. This is confirmed near the very beginning of the Bhägavat Puräëa:

“The effect of devotional service becomes manifest by complete elimination of these effects of passion and ignorance. The devotee is fixed at once in the mode of goodness, and he makes further progress . . .”
Çrémad-Bhägavatam, 1.2.19, purport

His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda did not create a branch of the Goudéya Mutt when he preached and established his mission in the United States.  He instead formed his own branch of the disciplic succession, directly linked to his spiritual master, Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Prabhupäda.  Indeed, Çréla A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swämé Prabhupäda wrote that the Goudéya Mutt was even then no longer a genuine succession:

“ . . . his (Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté’s) leading secretaries made plans, without authority, to occupy the post of äcärya, and they split into two factions over who the next äcärya would be. Consequently, both factions were asära, or useless, because they had no authority, having disobeyed the order of the spiritual master.”    Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädi 12.8, purport

All emphases added for your edification and realization

In this multi-part series, we are going to explore Bhaktivedänta Swämé Prabhupäda’s branch of the Madhva-Gaudéya-Sampradäya.  Your author is obliged to first state that this particular line of disciplic succession, originally coming down from Lord Brahmä, is currently in grave danger of being scattered by various factions of unscrupulous devotees.  The most dangerous faction of all is, of course, the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” ecclesiocracy. If Prabhupäda’s disciplic succession is broken due to such malefic influence, it will be lost to human society.

This series is going to explore the ramifications and repercussions of what is its perverted manifestation; if it is not exposed and uprooted at this time, what it will subsequently produce, and where this might lead Western civilization.

Don’t Get Fooled Again

“. . . after the demise, everything burst out. ‘Kuïja Babu must be driven out.’ That was the whole plan of Gauòéya Maöha breakdown. The grudge was against Kuïja Babu, Tértha Mahäräja. . . So, that was boiling in everyone’s heart. So, as soon as Guru Mahäräja passed away, so that burst out, and the whole plan was how to get out this Kuïja Babu. . . Because, at heart, they were, ‘After demise of guru, I shall become Äcärya, I shall become Äcärya.’ So, all the ‘äcäryas’ began fight. One side, that (Änanta) Väsudeva ‘äcärya’ and Sar Kuïja Babu ‘äcärya.’ . . . the rebellion broke out immediately after his passing away, and then fight in the high-court.”
-Room Conversation with Bombay banker, Sept. 21, 1973

“. . .  Çrédhara Mahäräja and his two associate gentlemen unauthorizedly selected one Äcarya and later it proved a failure. . . So, it is better not to mix with my godbrothers very intimately, because, instead of inspiring our students and disciples, they may sometimes pollute them. This attempt was made previously by them, especially Mädhava Mahäräja and Tértha Mahäräja and Bon Mahäräja, but, somehow or other, I saved the situation. This is going on. We shall be very careful about them and not mix with them. This is my instruction to you all. They cannot help us in our movement, but they are very competent to harm our natural progress.”
-Letter to Rüpänuga, April 28, 1974

You have all read the aphorism of Santayana, and you have also heard that history repeats itself.  Certainly, such is often the case.  However, when it does repeat, it does not do so exactly according to a previous paradigm.  Instead, the essence of history repeats itself, modified in terms of time, place, circumstances, and fate (daiva).

“ISKCON” apologists will cavil that their movement did not repeat the deviation of the Goudéya Mutt.  In terms of exactly repeating it, that argument holds. Yet, we are not concerned with such interpretations.  As per the essence of how and why the Goudéya Mutt deviated from their Äcärya–and thus, in the words of Çréla Prabhupäda, became asära–the “ISKCON” leaders did repeat the same history. As per Santayana, the 1978 G.B.C. thus proved it could not learn from the Mutt’s history.

That is one reason why you should not fall for the reformist propaganda.  We all learned in grade school that a negative number, when multiplied by a positive number greater than one, increases the strength of its negativity.  All the “good” proposals of the reformists represent the positive number; the negative number never changes its stripes.  All positive proposals of reform simply feed the negative G.B.C.

The deviation has been locked in for decades, and such reform allows it to grow stronger, if and/or when a reform is adopted.  At the very least, the reformists aid and abet the deviant G.B.C., allowing it to buy more time (which it has honed to an art form). The reformists are nothing more than enablers.  Yet, in order to understand this fact free from doubt, you must not be bewildered by historical revisionism.  Just as importantly, you must see the hidden truth underlying the history of what transpired in Bhaktisiddhänta’s organization known as the Goudéya Mutt and what then devolved into “ISKCON.”

Çréla Prabhupäda’s branch of disciplic succession is now in danger of being lost for eternity or for an extended period.  One of the reasons why this is happening is due to propaganda, pushed by “ISKCON” interests, to the effect that their movement has been, and continues to be, run differently than and counter to the Goudéya Mutt.  They allege that all recent decisions by “ISKCON” are not contaminated by the Mutt and not under its influence. If they are honest enough to admit that the Mutt negatively impacted them to a limited degree, they maintain that their movement has overcome that. In this connection, let us, with a cool and clear head, analyze some of these things connected to that “ISKCON” myth.

Their first point of contention is that “ISKCON” has maintained a governing body commission that has carried on the disciplic succession according to the orders of the Founder-Äcarya, while the Goudéya Mutt did not do so.  It appears to be a legitimate argument.  However, if we dig a bit deeper into the story, we come to a starkly different realization.

After the disappearance of Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Prabhupäda, his leading secretaries formed a governing body—and, yes, it was called the Governing Body Commission—consisting of thirteen members.  There were two dominant factions.  One was led by the aforementioned Kuïja-da, who later became known as Tértha Mahäräja.  He was the business man who brought in a great deal of the money used by the Goudéya Mutt for buildings, upkeep, and publications during the mission of the Äcärya.

The other dominant faction was led by the afore-mentioned Änanta Väsudeva, who was a great scholar in the spiritual scriptures and was responsible, along with a close assistant godbrother, for the organization and distribution of the many publications produced by the Goudéya Mutt during the mission of His Divine Grace Äcärya Bhaktisiddhänta. One was the money man and the other was the scholar. Both were dear to Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta, but, when he departed manifest existence on the first day of 1937, they soon were at each other’s throats, backed by their own factions.

The number thirteen is not divisible by two.  As such, when that G.B.C. convened soon after the departure ceremony, it faced a momentous decision.  The movement had functioned one way during the manifest presence of the Äcärya.  Should it be run the same way?  If so, who would be the successor?  If not, with no clear successor recognized, then how and in what different way should the Goudéya Mutt function?

The vote was eight-to-five in favor of naming a successor, and the same vote recognized Änanta Väsudeva as that man.  The five who voted “nay,” headed by Kuïja-da and Bon Mahäräj, rejected the decision and broke away, i.e., that 1937 G.B.C. was then no longer viable.  The faction headed by Kuïja-da took over the Caitanya Maöha, which was very easy for it to do.

Thus, the Goudéya Mutt, in terms of its governing body, was split asunder, as the faction headed by Änanta Väsudeva took over the opulent Bägh Bazaar Maöha in Calcutta.  The rest of the maöhas in India divided, some of them joining the faction headed by Änanta Väsudeva.  Many of the disciples of the Goudéya Mutt simply left the scene altogether.

Now, in the immediate aftermath of Prabhupäda’s disappearance in November, 1977, how did “ISKCON” come to differ from this?  The “ISKCON” G.B.C. did not break up, true.  It did, nevertheless, follow in the footsteps of the 1937 governing body.  That entity voted for one Äcarya.  The “ISKCON” G.B.C. voted to empower eleven.  Then, in order to force the imposition with immediacy and power, it falsely claimed that Prabhupäda had appointed these eleven men as, in effect, his successors. That particular deception was not spotted for over two years.  When it was finally uncovered and became well known, the G.B.C. declared that, although Prabhupäda did not appoint the eleven gurus, he appointed the G.B.C.  So, when it appointed the eleven men in 1978, that was non-different from Çréla Prabhupäda recognizing them as gurus.

The essence of the deviation by both governing bodies was basically the same, i.e., the appointment, by vote, by governing body mandate, of men as Äcärya or Äcäryas who were not qualified to be even genuine spiritual masters, what to speak of Sampradäya Äcäryas.

The particular deviation by the post-modern G.B.C. was worse than the previous one for a number of reasons.  First, we all know that Änanta Väsudeva was exceptionally well-versed in the revealed scriptures of Vaiñëavism.  None of the eleven pretenders could have held a candle to him (including The Scholar, who rationalized why all of them could cut the profile of uttama-adhikäré . . . and take that worship).

Secondly, the 1937 deviation empowered one pretender; the 1978 deviation empowered eleven, all previously mlecchas and not, in terms of years, far removed from that degraded status.

Third, the 1978 vitiated G.B.C. created eleven zones and thus called their great pretenders äcäryas of the zone.  Fittingly, they got this from one of the original 1937 G.B.C. men who had sided with Änanta Väsudeva.  As such, one false Äcärya versus eleven of them, i.e., eleven times worse.

Fourth, as obliquely mentioned, since Prabhupäda was no longer present to specifically guide the 1978 G.B.C., they went to a senior man from the Goudéya Mutt for advice on how they should proceed.  Thus, they imbibed from this loving uncle–who was called a “senior authority” in the original document created to announce their imposition–three specific pieces of bad advice.  They accepted all of them, with gusto.

Thus, they went on to create zones, without authority, for each of their bogus Äcäryas (all of whom were G.B.C. men and who dominated the vote).  They went on to accept worship as uttama-adhikärés, advised (wrongly) that all gurus must be worshipped at that level.  They put on the dress (in a “pukka” fashion) of the fully God-realized devotee, empowered by the erroneous encouragement that simply wearing the uniform would turn them into that which they were thus pretending to be.

The essential deviation of the 1937 G.B.C. was emulated and imitated, in its own distinct way, by the deviant G.B.C. of 1978.  The time, place, and circumstances factors were, to some degree, different, but the essence of the deviation was not.

The mere fact that the first G.B.C broke up (and the 1978 Commission did not) is but a footnote. Another G.B.C. representing the Goudéya Mutt emerged sometime later; it was headed for awhile by Audolomi Mahäräj.  It was a weak entity, and His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda did not recognize it.  It also did not recognize his mission, i.e., it did not authorize his trip to the United States in the mid-Sixties.  Nevertheless, it did exist. The argument that the Goudéya Mutt G.B.C. merged into absolute oblivion in 1937 is not exactly accurate.  It was resuscitated to some extent, but that should not be misinterpreted to mean that it was actually rejuvenated.

In 1978, a personal representative from the 1937 G.B.C. proved competent to harm Çréla Prabhupäda’s movement by enticing his leading secretaries into a major deviation from which the movement has not recovered.  The argument that it has overcome that is specious.  A number of the eleven pretenders are still accepted in “ISKCON” as bona fide gurus.  They were never genuine spiritual masters.  All the gurus subsequent to them were elected to their posts by the G.B.C.; the procedure was later changed to no-three-blackballs and then to the No Objection Certificate.

Any way you cut it, institutional “ISKCON” gurus, after the disappearance of His Divine Grace, are nothing more than that; they were and are all still connected to the original concoction, the zonal äcärya scam of 1978.  For some time, that arrangement was combined with the Äcärya Board, which was set up as a faction within the governing body itself, i.e., the Governing Body Commission of 1978 also broke into  factions.

That it remained an apparently indivisible entity is nothing more than a ruse and a technicality.  It went to the Goudéya Mutt for advice, followed that advice, and the personal ambitions of its chief operators thus found a way to exploit the situation.  In another curious parallel, there were two G.B.C. men in 1978—both now dead—who were rivals of one another.  The one of Jewish heritage attracted the other Jewish “mahä-bhägavats” (numbering six, with himself included) to his way of carrying out their movement.  The other one, a life-long Protestant (who died in a Catholic enclave at an inauspicious time) attracted the others to his camp.

History repeated itself in that way, as well.

We see, then, that what transpired in 1978 had a precedent.  Its specter continues to haunt the current version of the “ISKCON” movement, as well it should.  The 1937 precedent was not the same exact thing as the 1978 version, but there was, and remains, more than enough in common between these two in order to realize their ultimate link. As such, if you were fooled again (in this lifetime), better to wake up and admit the facts.

The conditioned souls are all rebels, and, after the disappearance of His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda, a rebellion broke out again, via the governing body, in only what seemed to be his movement.  The pulse of personal ambition and rebellion remains unchanged to this day.  The story changes as the G.B.C. continues to make “adjustments” in order to fudge reality, but the truth remains unchanged.  In another unique parallel, there are millions of dollars now being spent in court battles, both in India and the States, concerning how to carry on the mission, i.e., which devotional entity has corporate control over which temples.

The power node of the “ISKCON” movement is its Governing Body Commission, a negative influence on the face of God’s good earth. Indeed, it could be argued it is the major negative pattern pushing corporate pseudo-spiritual force.  All efforts to reform it are like pouring clarified butter onto ashes. We must be very careful about this Commission and the masters and mistresses who guide and exploit it.  We should not mix with them. Çréla Prabhupäda would give us this instruction if he were here, but he is giving it now through different channels. The vitiated G.B.C. is on the road to the destruction of Prabhupäda’s disciplic succession.  It cannot help us in our devotional progress, but it is very competent to harm us.

The One-Hour Emperor

“Now, after the death of Päëòu, there was conspiracy. Dhåtaräñöra wanted that, ‘Actually, this is my kingdom. Now, somehow or other, I could not get it. Now my brother is dead. So, if I do not inherit, why not my sons?’ This was the politics. Politics are always there, and enviousness, jealousy. This is the nature of this material world. You cannot avoid it. . . This is material world. So even in the heavenly planets, these things are there, politics. Even in animal kingdom, these politics are there. This is the nature. Matsaratä. Matsaratä means enviousness. One man is envious of another man–it doesn’t matter even they are brothers or family members. Here the family members, Dhåtaräñöra and Päëòu, two brothers, their sons–they were family members–but the enviousness.”
-Lecture on Bhagavad-gétä, 1.1 in London on July 7, 1973

“But if he makes the wrong decision, what is the value in his action? Moths fly very valiantly and courageously into the fire. Is that a very good decision?”
Dialectical Spiritualism, Critique of Sartre

Just before Çréla Prabhupäda departed, he dealt the G.B.C. a fairly strong hand.  He could not deal them a straight flush or four of a kind, because they were not qualified to receive anything like that.  He could not officially recognize any of them as spiritual masters, because, as he revealed to his younger godbrother, none of them were qualified to be guru.  Nevertheless, he gave them significant dominion, theirs to use or misuse as they saw fit.

Just as importantly, he did give them instructions, especially during the key room conversation of May 28, 1977.

How differently things would be now if the G.B.C., just after His Divine Grace departed, played their cards right for the benefit of all the devotees in the Kåñëa consciousness movement.  They did not do so, however.  As such, we are forced to live with the current results of their deviation.  From the perspective of human history, this is not new.

A potential for victory by powerful leaders or great causes has many times been squandered by wrong intelligence combined with strategic blunders. The Western world would show a changed face if Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich had prevailed.  In the context of man-made governance, the Fuhrer’s writings and speeches made a strong argument for legitimacy in so many ways, and they influenced millions.

There was reason to believe that the Nazis would be triumphant, but strategic blunders by Hitler and his generals led to unavoidable defeat.  Had he not attacked a formidable Russia after signing a peace pact with Stalin, had he not over-estimated the strength of England and used his military might to conquer it (rather quickly), and had he not declared war on America right after Pearl Harbor, we would be witnessing, in all likelihood, a different Western Europe at this time.

Similarly, the United States would operate very differently now if not for colossal blunders by the South during the Civil War.  The Confederacy had a logical argument for legitimacy based upon the Articles of Confederation, but it was never emphasized.  It could have first forged an alliance with Great Britain before Fort Sumter, as England’s political and economic interests coincided with a Confederate victory.  As it turned out, a former American President, after hostilities had already commenced, was able to convince Britain to remain neutral.

Instead of aggressively attacking Union territories (which ultimately resulted in no territorial gain), the South would have otherwise forced the North to invade its rugged terrain; so many Confederate troops would have been preserved by that strategy.  Just as importantly, monumental blunders resulted in huge losses.  The most egregious example would be Pickett’s charge of the Union center at Gettysburg, resulting in the decimation of whole brigades and turning the tide of the war.

These are modern examples, of course, both of them connected to mleccha culture.  In a number of ways, a more appropriate example for the devotees of the Lord can be culled from the end of Vedic times, specifically in relation to the period just preceding the Kurukñetra war.  Before describing that, however, we must remember the context, as already mentioned at the beginning of this section.  What is the issue?  The issue is not good versus wrong strategic decisions–that is a factor, not the issue.

The issue is legitimacy. It always has been the issue.  It remains the issue at this time, and it will continue to be so.

In specific and pointed context, the issue today is the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the vitiated G.B.C.  Everything centers around this. This issue encompasses all that has been institutionally mandated upon the devotees along with the external manifestation of the movement.  In particular it relates to how the vitiated G.B.C. has decided to carry out the continuance of the disciplic succession—if it is doing that at all.

Spiritual or monarchical legitimacy can, and often does, ultimately hinge upon one point of contention.  This point may seem minor and even esoteric. Such was the case five thousand years ago in the run up to Kurukñetra. Such was and is the case in the aftermath of the disappearance of the Founder-Äcärya. What then transpired, especially in the upper echelons of power of his movement (after he left us), is today deemed bona fide by all members of “ISKCON,” what to speak of those benefiting the most from the new dispensation, the vitiated G.B.C. themselves.

“Duryodhana was there on the throne, and he was doing well in his administration, and, in one sense, there was no need of fighting. But, on the principle of justice, Yudhiñöhira was to replace him. The whole clique of politics centered around this point, and all the kings and residents of the whole world became involved in this fight. . .  Practically, this was the greatest battle in the world within five thousand years.”
Çrémad-Bhägavatam, 1.8.46, purport

What was that principle of justice?  It was based on one Vedic stricture, viz., a king could not have any major physical defect.  Any defect—such as blindness–would disqualify him from being king.  King Dhåtaräñöra–who became like a king but was actually a regent after the death of his brother–was born blind; his mother had closed her eyes when Vyäsa impregnated her.  Thus, he cursed what he had sired (there are over one hundred curses scattered throughout the Mahabharata).

In Vedic times, the law of primogeniture was followed, and Duryodhana, King Dhåtaräñöra’s eldest son, was not physically defective.  He believed that he deserved to be king, and he certainly was trained as a great warrior. He wanted to rule the kingdom, and he wanted to be emperor.  However, he could not be so, because his father was disqualified from being in the royal line of monarchical succession.

Dhåtaräñöra’s younger brother, Päëòu, was the heir apparent. Bhéñma, who had voluntarily renounced his otherwise rightful claim to be the emperor, was acting a regent for Päëòu when Vicitravérya unexpectedly expired from a bout with tuberculosis.  It is a very long and convoluted story.  Another factor was that Päëòu was not the son of Vicitravérya ; he was the son of a queen who had never mated with Vicitravérya .  She was impregnated by Vyäsa as well, on the basis of emergent contingencies.

Vicitravérya  died young without issue, and Devavrata (Bhéñma) had given his word (to a fisherman) that he would never marry and have progeny, in order that the fisherman’s daughter’s offspring with King Çantanu, the father of Devavrata, would inherit the throne.  Heir apparent Päëòu also died young before he was fully competent to accept the title of Vedic emperor.  As a further complexity to an already convoluted situation, none of the five sons of Päëòu were actually sired by him.

Each of Päëòu’s five sons was impregnated by a demigod in the womb of Kunté, the first queen of Päëòu—again, under emergent contingency, because Päëòu was cursed to die if he engaged in sex.  Alas, that was the very reason that he passed so untimely.  Nevertheless, despite the convolutions, the line of royal succession led to Yudhiñöhira, who did not have any physical defect and who was eminently qualified to become the most benefic despot, the great emperor of the earth.

Duryodhana disputed that, as did other kings.  Duryodhana’s brothers, uncle, and close friends–such as Karëa, Duhçäsaëa, and Çakuni–also were contemptuous of Yudhiñöhira as the heir apparent.  Indeed, after the two gambling matches in Hastinäpura went down—and after the Päëòavas had successfully completed thirteen years in exile and incognito—the two sides then began to gather allies.  The majority of the kings of the world sided with Duryodhana, and, at the beginning of the war, he held an eleven-to-seven advantage in military might.

However, we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves. The real intrigue, treachery, and betrayal centered around those above-mentioned dice matches.  Vedic warriors often engaged in gambling, and Çakuni, who represented King Duryodhana—who himself functioned as a powerful and well-connected de facto king (acting on behalf of his father)—challenged Yudhiñöhira to a high-stakes game of dice.  Yudhiñöhira was forced to accept, and he also had an attraction to gambling.  Çakuni knew the art of cheating at dice, and he won every match on the game board.  Yudhiñöhira waged and lost everything.  His final wager was his own self.

When he lost, he became the slave of Duryodhana.  This is where the situation got sticky, because a slave cannot be king.  In other words, Duryodhana then owned everything that Yudhiñöhira could claim was his, including his status as emperor—which had been (incipiently) consummated at the Räjasüya sometime previously.

Of course, the Kauravas became intoxicated with joy when Yudhiñöhira was cheated out of his kingdom, when he lost his brothers in various wages, and when he then finally lost his own self.  In their intoxication, they began to lust after Yudhiñöhira’s beautiful queen, Draupadé.  She was forcibly dragged into the assembly, on the plea that she had no independence from her husband, i.e., that she was now the property of Duryodhana.  The closest brother of Duryodhana, egged on by Karëa, then attempted to strip her in front of the assembly of great warriors.  That is why the assembly was called the asat sabhä, an assembly of uncultured men.  Almost no one there actually protested this attempt, so the Supreme Lord Himself interfered in a mystic way to protect Draupadé from embarrassment.

Her argument against being Duryodhana’s property was also based on a principle of justice, namely that, since Yudhiñöhira had wagered himself but had not wagered her, she was no longer his, i.e., she could return as a princess to her father, King Drupada.  As Arjuna put it, “Yudhiñöhira was our master before the gambling match, but, after losing himself, whose master can he be?” There were some contentious debates over this point by the assembled warriors, but most of them wanted to experience the pleasure of seeing her naked beauty.  They were denied.

However, Lord Kåñëa  and the Päëòavas could not forgive this transgression, so the die was cast.  Still, it took somewhere in the neighborhood of an hour between what finally went down (described below) and the big wager by Yudhiñöhira, where he had bet himself and lost.  During that period, while Draupadé cried and pleaded for mercy, while the stripping was attempted by Duhçäsaëa, while various insults were hurled at her by Duryodhana and Karëa in particular, it could be claimed that Duryodhana became heir apparent to the whole of Bhäratavarña.

What finally transpired is summarized as follows:
A jackal began to howl in the room of the sacred fire.  Asses responded by braying, and fierce birds screeched in chorus.  Bhéñma, Droëa, and Kåpäcärya knew what these terrifying omens signaled, as did Vidura and Gändharé.  Thus, they implored Dhåtaräñöra to reconsider all that he had allowed to transpire.  He realized the seriousness of the situation, which indicated that his sons were facing imminent death.  He then severely reprimanded Duryodhana, calling him a wicked-minded wretch.  He told him that he had insulted his faultless cousins and had insulted their wife.  He warned Duryodhana that his doom was now at hand.

King Dhåtaräñöra then attempted to console Draupadé, calling her the foremost of all of his daughters-in-law.  He then told her that she could take any benediction that she wanted from him.  She responded by saying that she wanted Yudhiñöhira to be made free from bondage, so that the son she had sired with him, Prativindhya, would not be known as the son of a slave. This also meant that, in due course, Prativindhya would become the heir apparent to Yudhiñöhira.  Dhåtaräñöra immediately consented.
Mahäbhärata, Sabhä-parva (summarized)

The reign of the one-hour emperor thus came to an end.  If it is objected that Duryodhana, had he been able to have kept Yudhiñöhira as his slave, would still have required being named heir apparent by Dhåtaräñöra, that is but a formality—an etiquette which would certainly have been observed in due course.  It all became irrelevant when King Dhåtaräñöra, influenced by the terrifying augurs, granted the requests of Queen Draupadé.

What we see here, then, is a series of convoluted events and non-events that created the mosaic of an extremely complicated situation.  It was eventually resolved in the most fearsome and destructive war in history.  It all boiled down to some subtle and even esoteric points.  Arguments could be presented from both sides. Ultimately, Yudhiñöhira was the de jure Emperor and Duryodhana the impostor, despite de facto control.

Similarly, there are a (limited) number of crucial points centering around what the vitiated G.B.C. has de facto established as the way to continue the sampradäya, in terms of the branch founded by His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda.  Is what they have done justified, i.e., is their system based upon principles of real justice?  Is it upheld by logic, ethics, and morality?  They have acted valiantly to establish what they have propped up, to some extent, but what is the value of that if it is not authorized?

All of this will be analyzed in Part Two of this series.  In the meantime, it is not intelligent to rely entirely on de facto manifestations.  They are subject to change, and that is a lesson we can learn from the three histories delineated above, especially the Vedic example.  There is spiritual power, but it must be based on spiritual authority in order for it to make claim to transcendental status.  If it is found out not to be so, then it is nothing more than a manifestation of temporal power.

At Your Own Made End

yaç ca müòhatamo loke yaç ca buddheù paraà gataù
täv ubhau sukham edhete kliçyaty antarito janaù

“Both the lowest of fools and the paramhamsas enjoy happiness in this world, while those situated in between them suffer.”
Çrémad-Bhägavatam, 3.7.17

“ . . . now you all leaders, especially the G.B.C. members, must become very much responsible and do the work that I am doing to the same standard. So, I want you leaders especially to become very much absorbed in the philosophy of Bhagavad-gétä, Çrémad-Bhägavatam, and become yourselves completely convinced and free from all doubt. On this platform, you shall be able to carry on the work satisfactorily, but if there is lack of knowledge, or if there is forgetfulness, everything will be spoiled in time.
-Letter to Hansadutta, June 22, 1972

Thus, I have described to you confidential and more confidential knowledge.
After fully deliberating on this, do as you wish.”
Bhagavad-gétä, 18.63

 The dilemma that we today face was essentially also present, in a different way, when provincial kings of Bhäratavarña were, in effect, forced to decide whether or not they would fight on behalf of Duryodhana in the looming fratricidal war.  During the twelve months of forest exile that the Päëòavas underwent, as well as the one-year they remained incognito in the kingdom of Virata, Duryodhana was able to take in a good deal of markers.  He was managing the empire, and his rule was unchallenged.

In kñatriya life, duplicity and diplomacy are commonplace. Yudhiñöhira had lost his kingdom in a bet. Although Çakuni used some cheating method in the dice matches with him, that was not considered irregular amongst warriors.  Kñatriyas were hard men who drew hard lines.

Then there was a controversy concerning the thirteenth year, wherein the Päëòavas where supposed to remain hidden.  There are three kinds of Vedic years: Lunar-solar, tropical, and sidereal.  When the identities of the Päëòavas were discovered by the Kauravas, not all of those years had transpired–but one had.  The terms of the loss in the final gambling match—after Dhåtaräñöra had granted the Päëòavas their freedom and had given back their kingdom at Indraprastha—dictated that they must spend another twelve years in exile if their identities were uncovered during that thirteenth year.  Duryodhana and company argued that the Päëòavas had been unmasked before its completion.

As such, when Yudhiñöhira re-emerged to stake a claim to rule–even just five kingdoms–many of those provincial monarchs looked upon the Päëòavas as troublemakers, unwilling to abide by the terms of their gambit.  Even the kings who did not buy into the technical argument (related to length of a year), felt that continuing to follow the established rule of Duryodhana was practical, i.e., it had become, by that time, the new reality, and they had no complaints with him or his management.

The Päëòavas, in their minds, represented a whining, unknown quantity and represented the potential for war.  If they were so great, powerful, and entitled, then they should never have been deprived of their kingdom in the first place.  Some of these kings were contemptuous of them, because no one in those Vedic warrior circles admired a whiner.

These issues–in a different format, of course–are present in our current situation.  “ISKCON” established its institutional guru rule by deceptive means, falsely claiming that Çréla Prabhupäda had appointed eleven spiritual masters.  These gurus, as so-called zonal äcäryas, along with their hacks and enforcers, directly or indirectly drove out skeptical godbrothers from the temples within their zones.  By doing so, in effect, they cast them into the wilderness of a post-modern, sinful culture.  The eleven great pretenders then went on to accept undeserved pomp and power. As time passed and their own disciples replaced various godbrothers, everyone in these temples became accustomed to the new management.

Yet, there are thirty-five years of facts and evidence–in the form of testimony from direct personal experience, written documentation, and indisputable history from varied sources–to conclusively establish that something grievously against the principles of pure Kåñëa  consciousness underlies “ISKCON” and its power-node, the vitiated G.B.C.

Joining that cult means entering its turtle tank, accepting it hierarchical structure, and, unless you bring something really special to the table, coming in at the bottom.  It’s not very sanguine there. A number of major transformations have transpired over the years since Prabhupäda’s departure, and every devotee is aware of the principle that you become like that with which you associate.  If someone chooses to associate with the “ISKCON” movement, his or her causal body will become infected by the “ISKCON” bija; it’s not a question of if but when.

Human life is the rare opportunity to become liberated from the modes of material nature, to become liberated from the three-fold miseries, and then to become situated in ecstatic love of the Supreme Absolute Truth.  Kåñëa  consciousness cannot be secured in bad association.  The “ISKCON” béja will not help you in this endeavor, but institutional religion (or organized religion) has always sought to imitate and override the means of conquest throughout the course of Western history.

It is happening again at this time.

Allowing yourself to become bamboozled by an institutional delusion does not fall within the category of pure devotional service.  You cannot understand spiritual science by such misuse of free will.  We are responsible for our influence.  You can side with the camp of de facto numbers, titles, letters, and buildings, wrongly believing all of it constitutes a link to spiritual authority and the satisfaction of Prabhupäda. You can try to merge back into müòha status in order to recover the lost happiness you felt during your ignorance-is-bliss days, before coming to the truths of Bhagavad-gétä.  You can convince yourself that the jury is still out, and you need more time before making a decision. Or you can decide not to decide.

None of these choices will place you on the path of liberation.  All of them indicate that you are still caught within the malefic sphere of “ISKCON.” If you become known as a malcontent from any of these positions, no leader in that cult will take you seriously.  For them, you will be as easy to break as a thin, dead stick, as easy to crush as a rotten apple.  Their monopoly game can only be overcome if you do not value anything on the board.  As long as you believe that the vitiated G.B.C. has any spiritual authority whatsoever, you remain connected to its unauthorized pattern of thinking, which it not only represents but also effectively projects.

Coming to sanity entails entering the sattvic mode.  In that state of mind, your intelligence clears substantially. Benefic influences flow your way, and you can see things as they are.  Those who are caught in the meshes of “ISKCON” deserve to be so, because the lower modes demand that those in them experience the miçra-karmic and vikarmic reactions that come with the territory.  You will get correct answers to your questions only when you move up to the mode of goodness, anchored by engagement in regular study of the çästra and chanting of the Holy Name.

At that time, it will not be difficult to see parallels between today’s complex situation and what was faced by the Päëòavas millenia ago.  Then, it will not be at all difficult to apply those same lessons (learned back then) in the post-modern context, realizing that the host Western culture has furrowed its way successfully into “ISKCON,” degrading it to such an extent that efforts at reform are tantamount to punching a tar baby.  With diligent effort, you will gradually be able to turn the tables on what the cult has done to you over the years, to disconnect its astral and causal cables, and to free yourself to engage in the true process of buddhi-yoga outside its clutches.

Still, all of this requires more than meager intelligence and a poor fund of knowledge.  Many of the devotees of the late Thirties could not psychically break free from a handful of bad leaders who turned Bhaktisiddhänta’s glorious movement into an imitation school. The same damn thing is essentially taking place all over again.  If you discover the “ISKCON” béja within you, exorcise it now from your state of being.

It is time to step out of the darkness and into the light, removing all those last threads of attachment to “ISKCON,” knowing well that they still possess the potency to suck you back into that web of sin.  If you want to go back, you will again get to experience the forgetfulness you desire and the bliss of yukking-it-up with your fellow inmates.  That is not the way of spiritual life.  You need to take seriously the responsibility of your human form and your influence, otherwise it’s turtles all the way down.

Go to Part Two


1 Parker Williams { 07.08.13 at 20:38 }

Cool parallel with the Mahabharata. I have to agree; the GBC and its “ISKCON” are way off track. Legitimacy is lost when conditioned souls, in the face of uncertainty concerning their attainment of ananda and lacking knowledge, faith and trust in God and His representatives, presume they have the ability to institutionalize spiritual authority.

2 Nielsen { 07.10.13 at 14:27 }

Thanks to Kailash Candra prabhu for being a great inspiration. Here´s a link to some words from Prabhupada on the same topic, called “When to reject guru”.

3 Srihari Vijayaraghavan { 07.30.13 at 09:15 }

Thank you for your this enlivening first part of multi-part series article. No one eradicates the darkness/ignorance of deviations as brilliantly as your good self (ekas candras tamo hanti). This article is proof-positive of that.

Your explanations of how history has repeated itself in “ISKCON” as it did before in the Goudiya Mutt with the backdrop of Mahabharata is quite enlightening. Leaving aside the minor distinctive features of modern day deviations in Krishna Consciousness movement, you’ve clearly explained how in essence, the major underlying spirit of deviant behaviour has repeated & how the whole thing has now become asara or useless to further the spotless mission of the acarya. Indeed, the milk has been so diluted, so watered down, it’s questionable whether there is any trace of actual milk left now! In colour only it looks white. In a brahminical spirit–supporting it with many perfect quotes from guru, sadhu and sastra–you’ve established these facts undeniably.

Thank you for these excellent contributions for the spiritual welfare of the devotees. Accurate recording of historical facts is paramount to moving forward, which you’ve been doing in this and all other articles of yours.

Thank you. Hare Krishna
Bhakta Srihari Vijayaraghavan

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