Part Three of a Four-Part Series

A Critical Analysis of SPFAI

By Kailäsa Candra däsa

“Çré Jéva Gosvämé advises that one not accept a spiritual master in terms of hereditary or customary social and ecclesiastical conventions. One should simply try to find a genuinely qualified spiritual master for actual advancement in spiritual understanding.”
Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädi, 1.35, purport

Prabhupäda: That means this G.B.C.’s failure. I wanted the G.B.C. They are themselves fallen, victim. Not very well carried out. This G.B.C. was meant for vigilance . . . “
-Room Conversation, 1-3-75, Bombay

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but, in the end, there it is.”
-Winston Churchill

This is a continuing review of a recent G.B.C.-sanctioned composition compiled by one of its prominent members. The title of the book analyzed here is Çréla Prabhupäda Founder-Äcärya of ISKCON (hereinafter referred to as SPFAI). As the saying goes, you can’t always judge a book by its cover–-or, for that matter, by the title on that cover. The gist of this work is that the honorific “Founder-Äcärya” (in general) and the phrase “Founder-Äcärya of ISKCON” (in particular) connotes something far more extensive than the reality of the self-evident meaning of that phrase, viz., that Çréla Prabhupäda was a Founder-Äcärya of a spiritual organization, which he called, as per its acronym, ISKCON.

All emphases added for your edification and realization

The author of SPFAI is Ravéndra Svarüpa däsa, hereinafter referred to as RSA. In order to assimilate the message of Part Three (which you are now reading), general knowledge of the first two parts of this series is preferable. We are now analyzing one part of the second half of the book, called TEXT WITH COMMENTARY.

It contains four sections, as per the four TEXTS presented in the first part (TEXT). Of the four sections (in TEXT WITH COMMENTARY), inexplicably, no commentary is made to the fourth one. What needs to be analyzed from section one (of TEXT WITH COMMENTARY) has already been presented. That leaves the second and third parts of COMMENTARY; the first part is not so controversial. With but one exception, all the quotations (here in Part Three of our series) will be from the second part of SPFAI, entitled: “REASONS FOR PRABHUPÄDA’S FOUNDING OF ISKCON”. We shall, for brevity’s sake, simply refer to it as “Reasons.”

In Part Four, the final of our series, we shall concentrate on quotations from the third part of TEXT WITH COMMENTARY. Our apologies, once again, for having to go into such detail, but SPFAI contains a convoluted, complicated, and quite sophisticated format. If you should, by chance, get hold of a copy of it, you will require a road map. That is what is being provided here.

RSA informs us that he took seven years to complete his paperback, which contains but eighty-four pages of text (TEXT and TEXT WITH COMMENTARY). It also is comprised of a Foreword, a brief Preface, a six-page Glossary, one page of abbreviations used, and a two-page entry detailing the works that he cited.

Why an accredited academic of RSA’s standing would take seven years to produce a book (or booklet) only a quarter of an inch thick is anybody’s guess; it should have taken him not a day longer than seven weeks to turn the thing out. Perhaps the better part of his sojourn was spent recruiting influential “ISKCON” leaders (eighteen of whom are listed at the front of his book as backers, including a former pretender mahabhägavat and, of course, RSA himself). One G.B.C. committee is also listed. When someone decided to deconstruct his work, he knew he would need these things to fall back on. After all, as advertised on the front cover of the work, it is a “G.B.C. Foundational Document.” If that’s not an institutional imprimatur, we don’t know what is.

Every True Äcärya a Prabhupäda

“You can call me Gurudev or Guru Mahäräj or Prabhupäda.”
Following Çréla Prabhuäda: A Chronological Series.

“Therefore, the guru is addressed as Prabhupäda. The word prabhu means “lord,” and päda means “position.” Thus, Prabhupäda means ‘he who has taken the position of the Lord.’ This is the same as säkñäd-dharitvena samasta-çästraiù.”
The Science of Self-Realization , “What is a Guru?”

The most effective way to destroy a people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of history.”
-George Orwell, Diaries

The guru is addressed as Prabhupäda. Now, what level of guru? The answer is strongly indicated by the following quote:

“The äcärya in the true sense of the term, who is authorized to deliver Kåñëa, enriches the disciple with full spiritual knowledge and thus awakens him to the activities of devotional service.”
Caitanya-caritämåta , Adi, 1.47

The guru in the true sense of the term is addressed as Prabhupäda. He is obviously referring to the uttama-adhikäré guru, and that is the general understanding of that honorific (Prabhupäda) amongst the followers of the Gauòéya disciplic succession.

Again, we are confronted, in SPFAI, with over-glorification of the guru for political expediency and the accomplishment of related ends; another more blatant example of this syndrome was covered previously, so we shall not repeat all of that here. Suffice it to say that the honorific (Prabhupäda) is only applied to those very, very rare devotees of the Lord who attain the status of mahäbhägavat realization. As such, it is definitely a term of high glorification and very rarely applicable to any devotee.

At the same time, it is applicable to the guru, i.e., the Äcärya in the true sense of the term. What is the practical ramification? Quite obviously, it is that every guru or paramparä Äcärya in our line can be, and should be, addressed as Prabhupäda.

That is not RSA’s conception, however. As he strings together all kinds of implausible speculations (in order to crown them off with a new dispensation of mass liberation), he begins with this one, viz., there have only been four Prabhupädas in the disciplic succession. He contradicts it, however, by presenting counter-evidence; we have already encountered him doing the exact same thing earlier. [1]

“ . . . in 1970 the title ‘Äcärya’ by itself was deemed both inadequate and offensive. . . Nevertheless, just after incorporating ISKCON in 1966, Çréla Prabhupäda’s personal ISKCON letterhead stationery displays his position simply as ‘Äcärya: Swämé A.C. Bhaktivedänta.’”
SPFAI, “Reasons”

What is offensive about calling the spiritual master Äcärya? Nothing! That it is offensive is a misinterpretation of fact, and Çréla Prabhupäda was called both Äcärya and Founder-Äcärya. That he preferred the later term does not make addressing him as Äcärya an offense. Just as importantly, as verified above, he was called Äcärya even in ISKCON in publications which were approved by him.

“The way of the change was low-key and casual; the change itself, momentous. It would not have been so for ‘Gurudeva’ or ‘Guru Mahäräja’—since both are in widespread common use. But ‘Prabhupäda’ is exceptional.”
SPFAI, “Reasons”

This is in reference to the first quote, from the memories of Govinda däsé, referenced at the top (Following Çréla Prabhupäda). Again, RSA is making a mountain out of a molehill. If His Divine Grace only wanted to be called Prabhupäda, he could have said so. In the quoted reference, he does not say so; he says something different. It would then be offensive to consider Çréla Prabhupäda as guru-mahäräj? Of course not! The guru, in the true sense of the term, is addressed as Prabhupäda–where is the difficulty?

RSA is obliterating the history of the movement (inaugurated by Çréla Prabhupäda), because his book renders everyone who buys into its message unable to remember that history rightly.

“Now, two more followers of Mahäprabhu have appeared who also bear the title ‘Prabhupäda’—Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura Prabhupäda and A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swämé Prabhupäda. . . the compassionate efforts of the four Founder-Äcäryas were, by the mercy of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu and his instruments, expanded and completed by one more who bears that title.”
SPFAI, “Reasons”

Two more. What he is saying here is that only four Äcäryas in our line (following the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Caitanya) were to be called by the honorific Prabhupäda. These were two of the Six Gosvämés (Çré Rüpa and Çré Jéva) and then two more, Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta and Çréla A. C. Bhaktivedänta. This is another concoction–and, as we should have expected, RSA presents contrary evidence:

“In referring to the Six Gosvämés, Çréla Prabhupäda himself tends to confine his use of “Prabhupäda” to Çré Rüpa and Çré Jéva. Previous äcäryas have applied the honorific to other members as well. For example, in a lecture of October 16, 1932, Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura refers to Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé as ‘Däsa Gosvämé Prabhupäda’ and in his commentary to Caitanya-bhägavata , Ädi 1.25, he quotes Viçvanätha Cakravarté Öhäkura, who refers to Sanätana Gosvämé as ‘Our Prabhupäda, Çré Sanätana Gosvämé .’”
SPFAI “Reasons,” Footnote

RSA interprets that Çréla Prabhupäda “tends to apply” Prabhupäda only to two of the Six Gosvämés (“the luminaries”) and to his own guru mahäräj. Is anyone going to sift through every single sentence that Prabhupäda wrote or said in order to confirm this? Is that even necessary? Of course it isn’t, because every Äcärya in our line is a True Äcärya. Thus, every one of them, without exception, can be, and should be, addressed and honored as Prabhupäda.

Once again, we are presented with but another example of RSA’s theory in search of evidence, and, having found that evidence contradicts his theory, he sticks to his theory anyway. This is the inductive method. The conclusion of SPFAI—based as it is on a chain of implausible theories arrived at by induction—is an imperfect conclusion (another name for which is apa-siddhänta).

An Institutional Successor?
(“It’s Church! It’s Church! It’s Church!”)

“So far we are concerned in the disciplic succession of Lord Caitanya, if we simply abide by the order of the Äcärya in disciplic succession, then things are made very easy.”
-Letter to Bali-mardan, 8-21-70

“It is customary in India for an äcärya to leave his institution to his chosen successor as a legacy in his will. . . By thus establishing the G.B.C. and leaving it as his chosen successor at the head of ISKCON, Çréla Prabhupäda insured that the order of Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura would continue . . .”
SPFAI, “Reasons”

“You stand in the way not merely of an individual but of a mighty organization, the full extent of which you, with all your cleverness, have been unable to realize.”
-Professor Moriarty, The Final Problem

We find ecclesiology repeated many times in SPFAI. How often do we find Çréla Prabhupäda using it? Making a quick check of the Folio, sifting through his purports, lectures, morning walks, letters, and room conversations, and we find him using it–not even once.

SPFAI, Glossary

RSA considers it a most important word, and below is but one example of where and how he uses it:

“The new . . . institution was meticulously crafted by Çréla Prabhupäda, who faithfully accepted as his ecclesiological template his spiritual master’s own institution . . .”
SPFAI, “Reasons”

He’s claiming here that both Çréla Prabhupäda and his own guru-mahäräj were heavy into the institutional matrix, similarly:

“So it happened that, in 1966, Çréla Prabhupäda gained an unwelcome realization: the spiritual defects ( due to lack of effectively actuating the ecclesiological template) . . . engendered the failure of the Gauòéya Maöha . . .”
SPFAI, “Reasons”

If the ecclesiological model failed so obviously (“The Gauòéya Mutt institution has failed.” Letter, 6-23-66), then why did Prabhupäda supposedly try so hard to emulate a failed matrix? The current ecclesiastical template, the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON,” isn’t functioning all that well, either. We must remain skeptical that either of those great paramparä Äcäryas were intent upon creating their own brand of ecclesiological, organized religion, but we should not for a second doubt that “ISKCON” is doing just that. We have ample proof of it, and here RSA confirms that:

“The action Çréla Prabhupäda took in 1970—establishing the G.B.C.— allowed him in 1977 to set this down as the first provision of his ‘Declaration of Will’: ‘The Governing Body Commission (G.B.C.) will be the ultimate managing authority of the entire International Society for Krishna Consciousness.’ By thus establishing the G.B.C. and leaving it as his chosen successor at the head of ISKCON . . .”
SPFAI , “Reasons”

Although, to his credit, he does include the modifier (“managing”) in this excerpt from his book, RSA is claiming that a governing body, a commission of very imperfect men (proven time and time again) was and remains the designated successor (face-slap!). He’s claiming that an institution is the next successor in a line of Vaiñëava disciplic succession. RSA claimed the same thing in the excerpt we reproduced at the top of this section. This is one of the most important pillars of “ISKCON” ecclesiology, and thus the foundation of that institution must be known to be built on sand.

A successor to a mahabhägavat, an Äcärya in the line of disciplic succession, is always a person. No exception. Never an organization. Never a board. Never a governing body. It is never a commission. It is never the product of ecclesiology. Such ecclesiastical conventions maintain that the successor is some kind of group; thus, they create major deviations by doing so (apa-sampradäyas).

Such avidyä must be thoroughly eschewed by every bhakta or bhaktin who actually desires to become self-realized and God-realized. Indeed, this SPFAI ecclesiological contention alone—which, of course, is nothing new for RSA, because he and his fellow party men have been pushing it for decades—disqualifies his book from ever being considered Vedic revelation at any level.

This is not its only disqualification, of course. You have already read about other ones in previous parts to this series (and there is more to come). However, all of the SPFAI concoctions are based on this one, viz., that the G.B.C. (read, vitiated G.B.C.) is the designated successor to His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda. It is no such thing.

Cyborg Vaisnavism
(All Together Now)

“Why you make Kåñëa responsible? You are responsible for your own activities. . .That liberty is always there. . . it is your business. . . Yathecchasi tathä kuru. He doesn’t touch on your liberty . . .”
-Room conversation, 8-11-76, Teheran, Iran

“ . . . we will return to the kingdom of Kåñëa not as isolated individuals but all together.”
SPFAI, “Reasons”

“Reality exists only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal.”
-George Orwell, 1984

Basically, RSA believes that Kåñëa consciousness is not an individual attainment; we shall see the culmination of this Augustinian misconception in our section entitled Stargate “ISKCON”. RSA claims that Kåñëa consciousness is attained only through a process of socialization, in relationship with other people:

Salvation for a Gauòéya Vaiñëava means socialization . . .”
SPFAI, “Reasons”

Of course, anyone who has had experience living in “ISKCON” knows well that this is at the core of the institution’s mentality. However, that does not mean that the socialization template is automatically at the core of buddhi-yoga or Kåñëa consciousness (Çréla Gaura Kiçora däs bäbäjé Prabhupäda would have been in a bad way if it did). Yet, as we all know, “ISKCON” is a new movement pushing a brand new paradigm, a unique society:

“It is a brand-new name for a new society, a name embellished by a neat, entirely au courant acronym.”
SPFAI, “Reasons”

Actually, it has devolved into little more than another post-modern, gold-plated Western institution with pseudo-Vedic and quasi-Vedic coverings, embellished by an integral connection to Hinduism. Such forms of socialization (leading to socialism) have nothing to do with spiritual knowledge and realization.

As could be expected, RSA employed the patented “Another ISKCON” blast in his socialization screed (from that misunderstood letter to Tuñöa Kåñëa Swämé). Here we shall not get into how those two words are misused, as they always are by “ISKCON.”

You fly the plane alone at the time of death. You are responsible for your own spiritual life. Your Society will not deliver you. And certainly what you read in SPFAI will not at all help your prospects for ultimate salvation in the eternal world of pure personality.

Glossary of Cognitive Dissonance

“Hence, Çré Caitanya-caritämåta’s declaration—the authority of the Veda is lost by imaginary interpretation—becomes applicable here. Many ways can be adopted to ascertain or surmise the meaning of words.”
-Bhaktivinode Öhäkur, Daça-müla-tattva

“ . . . one momentous act of Çréla Prabhupäda stands out as an apparent anomaly: his decision to continue his efforts outside the aegis of his spiritual master’s own established organization.”
SPFAI, “Reasons”

Professor Moriarty: Now, you’re in my way.
Holmes: Thank you.
Professor Moriarty: I didn’t mean it as a compliment.
Sherlock, 2010

We are leaving “Reasons” now in order to analyze the SPFAI Glossary, which changes the pace. There are interesting words defined there. Using the FIND feature, your author was able to locate “ecclesiology” many times in TEXT and TEXT WITH COMMENTARY. It is defined in the Glossary of SPFAI as well, indicating the general direction of the book.

We are not going to comment upon all of the words contained in RSA’s Glossary, but let it be stated up front that, in virtually any book devoted to Vaiñëavism, there will be Sanskrit references. SPFAI is no exception to this rule. Some readers, especially those new to the Kåñëa consciousness movement (or any of its deviated splinter groups, whether localized or international) will not know the meaning of some of these Sanskrit entries.

As most of you are aware, the glossaries provided in Çréla Prabhupäda’s books are dominated by definitions and explanations of Sanskrit words or short phrases. So, how many Sanskrit words are defined by RSA in his Glossary. Absolutely none!

Why is that? The reason is not too difficult to comprehend: The book is inside baseball. It is meant for “ISKCON” adherents who are dedicated to it, identify with it, and are absorbed in its power plays. SPFAI contains any number of ten-dollar words, and this is to be expected from the mind and word processor of a (former?) university professor. In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with that, but it is not what is really of interest here.

All the words defined in the SPFAI Glossary, with few exceptions, are words not in everyday use by the overwhelming—if not totality—of devotees. Indeed, many of these words have never been used by any of them, what to speak of on a regular basis. As such, RSA defines them here, so that what he is trying to get across can be understood, as well as his mastership of vocabulary recognized and accepted as a means to establish his literary pedigree.

RSA’s “unique” Glossary serves a particular purpose for a particular section of people, and its rice is of a particular variety. We are going to provide, in alphabetical order, some brief, sardonic comments on twelve words culled from his Glossary. If you take a few grains of rice from the pot, you get a good idea as to the status of all the grains being cooked. What is most interesting about the Glossary is the subtle direction or flow of its words. There is a definite drift, and we have selected only a dozen of them in order for you to catch the drift . . . if you know what I mean.


Oh, yeah–up the organization! Get the support of as many leading men (and a few women) as possible, give them some kind of rough draft in order to secure that support, and then issue a new dispensation–with that previously attained backing listed at the front of the book. Whatever the plural of aegis is, RSA scored it.


The “ISKCON” anomaly, with its power node, the G.B.C. (also an anomaly), has now hitched its wagon to the philosophical anomaly of SPFAI. Was it expected to be this great of a concoction?


Fashionable use of a trendy French term, but avante-garde would have been more accurate and appropriate in describing the philosophy and conclusions of SPFAI.


Can this be applied to a concept, also? He certainly formed a new concept in the book, and there is no doubt that his effort was deliberate right from the (star)gate.


The purport is self-evident.


Consult the section called Idola Theatri in order to understand how he attempts to keep the facade in place.


You learn the real meaning and application of this word by associating with the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” apa-sampradäya.


Simply being able to get his book completely backed by the vitiated G.B.C. and nicely printed by the G.B.C. Press (and distributed to those he wants to influence), RSA demonstrates his master workmanship and displays his great ecclesiastical authority.


“. . . the morphology of ISKCON.” Has a bit of a morbid ring to it.


That’s just what “ISKCON” has been doing to the Hare Kåñëa Movement of Kåñëa Consciousness since the spring of 1978.


The chelas, space cadets, and devotees without portfolio—when they read SPFAI without knowledge of its fatal defects—will be further assimilated into the “ISKCON” wormhole.


He started out with a theory. He then sought evidence to make his theory hold up. He found a toehold in order to get the ball rolling, and he scored big by securing institutional backing, following in the footsteps of the author of the Lélämåta.


RSA gets praised in the book’s Foreword by his close buddy and fellow institutional guru, but not every initiate of Çréla Prabhupäda is going to valorize his concoction.

Surrealistic Pillar

“You are a great president of a great nation. In this age of unrest and quarrel, your strength, as well as the strength of your nation, will be lasting if it is built upon the pillars of spiritual knowledge and Absolute Truth.”
-Letter to President Nixon, 6-28-72

“’We know that all this word jugglery springs from the imagination of Çaìkaräcärya, and yet, because we belong to his sect, we accept it, although it does not satisfy us.’”
Caitanya-caritämåta, Adi, 7.136

“To be sure, other very important hallmarks of ISKCON were also in place by 1971, most notably . . . the äçramas . . . and the Bhaktivedänta Book Trust (which was established the day after the G.B.C.). As significant as these are, they do not seem to function as core components, considered in terms of ecclesiology.”
SPFAI , “Reasons” (footnote)

The essence of SPFAI is found in its “Five Crucial Steps,” specifically promoted in “Reasons.” There, RSA reveals that, in his estimation, there are five critical steps to the morphology of “ISKCON.” We could expand upon these steps–describing how he winds up concluding, through rather daffy logic, that there are these five and no more–but such an expansion would not really help us. Of course, the fifth step (the culmination), the most important of these five crucial steps (RSA is the one who employs the adjective “crucial”, we are merely repeating him) is mind blowing. As such, a separate section is devoted to that one.

The most important thing about these five steps is what they do not include. RSA is a shrewd academic, and he is able to intuit that this particular omission could become the crux of any (what his comrades might consider) legitimate criticism. As such, he acknowledges it in a footnote (which has been reproduced at the top of this section), but we are going to give it a bit more pub than that. To summarize RSA’s five crucial steps, they are:

1) The founding of ISKCON;

2) Prabhupäda taking the honorific of “Prabhupäda”;

3) Prabhupäda taking the title of Founder-Äcärya;

4) The creation of the G.B.C.;

5) The Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

Now, do you immediately notice something that has been left out? Why, of course you do: Prabhupäda’s books! The creation of the B.B.T.! His books will become the lawbooks of mankind for the next 9,500 years or so. Why are not all of his books considered a crucial step in establishing the Kåñëa consciousness movement? Why is not, therefore, the incorporation of the B.B.T. also considered crucial? There are answers to these questions, and they do not reflect well upon SPFAI, which is an n + 1 piece of work, provocative, intellectually obtuse, and certainly most sophisticated.[2]

Why is the formation of the G.B.C. (which was not incorporated and has been, since only a little over a year after its creation, more or less an unmitigated disaster) more crucial than Prabhupäda’s books? And the Planetarium? How do we even know that it represents a legitimate replica of the universe?

The Bhaktivedänta Institute, just after Prabhupäda departed, rejected the yojana to be a measure of eight miles (which Prabhupäda said that it was, repeatedly), replacing that measurement with a concoction of 5.5 miles. How many such compromises (to appeal to Western misconceptions) does or will the Planetarium make? Who knows? Is it even finished yet? Or, as an engineer once involved in its design has predicted, will it come crashing down?

What is RSA’s explanation for excluding the B.B.T.? He says that, as (allegedly) significant as the B.B.T. was, it does . . .

“. . . not seem to function as (one of the) core components, considered in terms of ecclesiology.”
SPFAI, “Reasons” (footnote)

This excerpt is repeated from the top, and it bears that repetition. No doubt, to some degree, the B.B.T. has been excluded because it no longer exists, having been usurped by the unauthorized B.B.T.(i)—and that does not even get into the massive (and similarly unauthorized) changes to the translations and purports of His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda by this B.B.T.(i). The five pillars proposed by RSA are surrealistic; they are a fantasy. They are fit to be rejected–and, in due course, they will be rejected.

Idola Theatri: Jedi Mind Tricks
(S+P+F+A+I = 1(GBC))

Idols . . . have immigrated into men’s minds from the various dogmas of philosophies, and also from wrong laws of demonstration . . . because, in my judgment, all the received systems are but so many stage plays, representing worlds of their own creation after an unreal and scenic fashion.”
-Francis Bacon, Novum Organum

“Prabhupäda wrote his Guru Mahäräja with a plea, a cry from the heart. He felt himself locked in a position which made proper service impossible . . . (he) was a householder doing business in Bombay, entangled in domestic and commercial matters, helping out the temple as much as he could. He was, as we say today, a ‘congregational member.’”
SPFAI, “Reasons”

“We’ve all been playing those mind games forever;
Some kinda Druid Dude lifting the veil.
Doing the mind guerrilla
Some call it magic, the search for the grail.”
-John Lennon, “Mind Games”

RSA appears to be enlightening you about what is, in his opinion, the newest discovery or revelation (which he alone, somehow or other, has made) of the way. He does so in a synopsis—a booklet comprised of various confabulations—wherein he lets you know just what that holy grail is (or, rather, what he claims that it is). We shall delineate the crux of the fantasy subsequently. For now, it is to your advantage to become aware of some of the mind tricks RSA employs (found in SPFAI, specifically), by which he seduces or intimidates you into taking the magic carpet ride with him.

The first one is hinted at in the quotes provided at the top. Notice that the Founder-Äcärya of ISKCON—who is said to be, alone, the second coming of the four Founder-Äcäryas of the sampradäyas—is also claimed to have come from the ranks of a congregational member locked into his position just before his guru-mahäräj departed manifest existence. Does this kind of mindset remind you of something? Why, of course it does: It is as if it has come straight out of the Lélämåta. Actually, RSA doesn’t try to hide that. Take, for example, the following excerpt found in SPFAI, “Reasons”:

“Çréla Prabhupäda arrived in New York alone and destitute . . .”

Over and above this, the Lélämåta is also cited in the book, repeatedly. It is listed in the final pages as well (as one of the Works Cited), in the area where you would generally expect to find the Appendix and the Index (which are not provided in SPFAI—despite the author taking seven years to compile it).

Nevertheless, the above-mentioned juxtaposition creates a mind-warp for those who unwittingly accept what they read in SPFAI. They thus buy into the leap from a lonely, destitute, congregational figure locked in position to—in just a few short years—the exclusive Founder-Äcärya of a new dispensation, one who created a portal of mass liberation operating out of West Bengal.

Such a Jedi Mind Trick must involve and be dependent upon some new definitions of “spiritual life,” and, indeed, it does. The Lélämåta has, as one of its volume cover titles, “Planting the Seed.” In and of itself, that is not a deviation–as long as it is understood that the reference is to the bhakti-latä-béja. RSA, however, comes up with a new definition of the seed in his book:

“Yet the seed had been planted and would fructify.”
SPFAI , “Reasons”

“The seed itself is Çréla Prabhupäda.”
SPFAI , “Reasons,” footnote

According to RSA’s literary sleight of hand, Prabhupäda gives the seed of devotion and yet the seed of devotion is Prabhupäda. The fanatics, the space cadets, and the party men of “ISKCON” may swallow this, but let it be known here that it is only a mind trick. There are plenty more of them to be found in the book.[3]

Bogus gurus often employ either/or impositions in order to trap their followers into accepting one alternative over the only other one allegedly available. Sometimes, an either/or situation applies, but usually not. For example, we find this in the Bhägavatam:

“. . . Arjuna by his sharp intelligence . . . separated the jewel from the head of Açvatthämä. This was as good as cutting off his head, and yet his life was saved for all practical purposes.”
Çrémad-Bhägavatam 1.7.55

Bhéma wanted the man killed, and Draupadé wanted him to live. Apparently, an either/or—but it wasn’t. Arjuna found an alternative. Now, catch this entry from SPFAI, in which RSA tries to make you believe that there is but one best way from a selection of only two being available:

“The ‘single autocratic äcärya’ exemplifies an older, more basic, and perhaps more instinctively natural, form of organization. . . (whereas) (t)he advantage of a governing board is that power is more dispersed, and the members act to check and balance each other. The institution is inherently more stable . . .”
SPFAI, “Reasons”

Yes, organized religions are more stable in the material world, but that does not make them more valuable than genuine yoga groups, which are far more easily destroyed. We have an example here of “. . . elementary penguins chanting Hare Kåñëa.” That’s the kind of people who will be attracted to SPFAI, and that’s the kind of people most susceptible to its influences. It is not that, unless you accept “the inherently stable” system of a governing body, that a “single autocratic Äcärya” is the only other way. There are different bona fide paradigms to choose from in Kåñëa consciousness, but RSA’s technique boils the whole thing down to an either/or choice–one especially attractive to the minds of those who are part and parcel of the institutional template.

“Now, two more followers of Mahäprabhu have appeared who also bear the title ‘Prabhupäda’—Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura Prabhupäda and A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swämé Prabhupäda. . . the compassionate efforts of the four Founder-Äcäryas were, by the mercy of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu and his instruments, expanded and completed by one more who bears that title.”
SPFAI, “Reasons”

What he is alleging here is that only four Äcäryas in our line, following the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Caitanya, were to be called by the honorific Prabhupäda. Initially, these were two of the Gosvämés, Çré Rüpa Gosvämé Prabhupäda and Çré Jéva Gosvämé Prabhupäda. Then there were two more after this, Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta and Çréla A. C. Bhaktivedänta. A complete concoction (implausible explanation), and, to top it off, he presents contrary evidence in order to fry your mind:

“In referring to the Six Gosvämés, Çréla Prabhupäda himself tends to confine his use of “Prabhupäda” to Çré Rüpa and Çré Jéva. Previous äcäryas have applied the honorific to other members as well. For example, in a lecture of October 16, 1932, Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura refers to Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé as ‘Däsa Gosvämé Prabhupäda’ and in his commentary to Caitanya-bhägavata , Ädi 1.25, he quotes Viçvanätha Cakravarté Öhäkura, who refers to Sanätana Gosvämé as ‘Our Prabhupäda, Çré Sanätana Gosvämé .’
SPFAI “Reasons,” (footnote)

That’s more than four Prabhupädas.

“’. . . a brilliant star of the universal Vaiñëava firmament re-illuminated the Çré Viçva-Vaiñëava-räja-sabhä.’ This ‘brilliant star’ was Çréla Bhaktivinoda Thäkura . . .”
SPFAI “Reasons”

Çréla Bhaktivinode Öhäkur cannot be addressed as Prabhupäda? Yet SPFAI confirms that he is a brilliant star amongst the firmament of the Äcäryas in the Gauòéya line of disciplic succession.

What is going on here isn’t difficult to ascertain, i.e., it is just another mind warp methodology. He makes a statement that is supposed to be fact, integral to the overall chain of implausible theories he puts forth. He then presents evidence to contradict that statement, which thus breaks the chain of logic. After this, he sticks to his conclusions anyway—and everyone who buys into them gets bent out of shape, usually unaware of what is happening to him or her in the process. Call it going through a wormhole at Warp Nine.

RSA has been on the “ISKCON” center stage for some time, covertly controlling the ecclesiocracy for about thirty years. His reign may be coming to an end, especially since he has “retired” from the vitiated G.B.C., along with his departure from the Philadelphia temple. He gives all of his minions this shot, i.e., the new dispensation presented in SPFAI. As frosting on the cake, he fries you by employing various Jedi Mind Tricks. How many of the “ISKCON” party men, fanatics, and chelas will be able to spot them? Conversely, how many would prefer to fall under his seductive spell?

Stargate “ISKCON”

“The purport of this Thirteenth Chapter is that one should know the distinction between the body, the owner of the body, and the Supersoul. One should recognize the process of liberation, as described in verses eight through twelve. Then one can go on to the supreme destination.”
Bhagavad-gétä, 13.35, purport

“ . . . the temple discloses itself as a cosmic portal or gateway leading through the heavens and into the eternal realms . . . . (the) consolidating apex, the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium, which unifies both Bhägavatam and Bhägavata, book and person. It marks the core and center of the Founder-Äcärya’s creation, and it indicates the location of the true world-axis . . .”
SPFAI, “Reasons”

Dr. Jackson: He’s inviting us to go with him.
Lt. Kawalsky: How can you be so sure?
Dr. Jackson: Because he’s inviting us to go with him.

The process of liberation, the search for the Absolute Truth, is described in some detail in the Thirteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gétä. There we find twenty qualifications of knowledge bestowed upon the devotee by the mercy of the Lord and the guru. They are, nevertheless, to be further developed by the individual himself or herself. The process of liberation culminates in transcending the buffer regions at the perimeter of the spiritual sky (the first one being the impersonal effulgence) and then entering into Vaikuëöha proper on the other side of the seventh gate.

In order to achieve this wonderful goal, a transcendentalist has to know what the process of liberation actually is, as confirmed by the quote from the Thirteenth Chapter. Such a special and very rare goal is not attained by merely grafting on to some international entity that promises you a utopian facilitation via a mysterious portal to the spiritual sky–but only as long as you invest full loyalty into its governing body. Not that easy. Not that cheap.

In SPFAI, RSA claims that Çréla Prabhupäda established his “foremost temple” of Kåñëa consciousness at the ISKCON world headquarters in Antardvépa. In the last years of his manifest presence, the temple near Mäyäpur had just been completed. There was no planetarium connected to it at that time. Nor was it his chief headquarters, as everyone recognized that to be either his center at Los Angeles or London or Våëòävan, which were, comparatively speaking (since he resided mostly at those centers) more important to him—and thus could much more accurately be considered the headquarters of the Hare Kåñëa movement of Kåñëa consciousness.

Now, however, since RSA has laid his concoction on everyone (his “five crucial steps”), the world headquarters of His Divine Grace is supposed to be accepted as Antardvépa, West Bengal, India—a place that many of his initiated disciples have never even once visited (and, in all likelihood, never will). RSA emphasizes this headquarters concoction, because he very much needs it in order to establish the schema of his “five crucial steps,” which, as aforementioned, culminates in the planetarium:

“The central or parent temple of the institution, being thus located on the border, as it were, between two realms, serves as a kind of gateway. Its associated branches, though dispersed further throughout the mundane realm, by virtue of their links with the center, also function in themselves as gateways.”
SPFAI , “Reasons”

There is a detailed description of how a self-realized bhakti-yogé, at the time of death, passes through the universe up to and through Satya-loka, and it is found in Vedänta Sütra. No mention there of astral suction tunnels coming from scattered world-wide satellites all connecting to a central octopus center in West Bengal. Ultimately, this utopian picture RSA is painting is nothing but another version of institutionalism, i.e., the automatic ticket to the spiritual world made easily available, but only for those loyal devotees who serve at one of the cult’s centers, the bare minimum requirement.

He goes into more detail:
“The ISKCON Temple of the Vedic Planetarium presents . . . (w)ithin the main dome of the temple . . . the cosmos displayed as it discloses itself to those who experience it with unoccluded perception . . . the temple can provide a kind of map of the pathway to divinity (together with the various way stations, detours, and diversions). . . Thus the temple discloses itself as a cosmic portal or gateway leading through the heavens and into the eternal realms of Kåñëa.”
SPFAI , “Reasons”

So, according to this vision, the center at Antardvépa, through unoccluded realization of its design (the planetarium, which has had no existence to human vision until recently), discloses a mystic portal which then leads you through heaven to the spiritual world at the time of death. No mention of study. No mention of japa. No mention of tapasya. For all practical purposes, no mention even of any real seva. Just, the automatic ticket presented by institutional affiliation—or, at least, that is what is implied.

This planetarium allegedly unites the Person Bhägavata and the Book Bhägavata, yet the incorporation of the B.B.T. is not listed as one of the crucial steps for establishing the process of liberation during the time of Prabhupäda’s real movement. Instead, everything now culminates in this planetarium, which is said to mark the core and center of Çréla Prabhupäda’s overall creation . . .

. . . and the location of the world-axis!

RSA is inviting you to buy into this sci-fi tale, and he also wants you to join him in traveling through the portal. Does the portal even exist? Maybe, maybe not. Did Prabhupäda ever directly speak about it? If he had, do not think for a moment that RSA would have not reproduced those quotes ad infinitum in his book.

At least admit that believing in his proposal is an act of faith—perhaps, blind faith—on your part. The actual viddhi for attaining the spiritual world is different from the institutional scheme. Then again, maybe the portal leads to a destination different than advertised. Perhaps, if you enter it, you’ll wind up like that American fighter jet which shot up the underbelly of the alien mother ship at the denouement of Independence Day.

Summary of Part Three

“This is called guru-çuçrüñaëam. A disciple should serve the spiritual master as a menial servant, and whatever he has in his possession should be dedicated to the spiritual master.”
Çrémad-Bhägavatam 7.7.30-31, purport

“One central challenge . . . demands, in a certain sense, a higher, all-encompassing, loyalty. . . a loyalty proven in practice by our cooperation with each other, within the (movement’s) structures . . .”
SPFAI , “Our Central Challenge”

“Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn!”
-C. S. Lewis

Accepting “ISKCON” means accepting not only what it stands for (along with its methodology and hierarchy) but also completely accepting its philosophical (mis)conceptions. At root, do not for a moment believe that “ISKCON” leaders have any kind of liberal perspective about other initiated disciples of Çréla Prabhupäda not fully aligned with them, especially those who are not at all affiliated with their organization and who point out its flaws.

Most certainly they do not.

In their conception, if you are not onboard the “ISKCON” boat, then you not only have no connection to His Divine Grace, but your connection to Kåñëa consciousness is hallucinatory. That is what they believe. They don’t say it outright, because such a public statement could only wind up hurting them. Still, it is barely hidden, and you can gain some indirect references of it.[4]

This oppression makes the deviant institution the greatest lose/lose organization on the planet. It would not be a stretch to go further and conclude that “ISKCON” may even be the worst lose/lose institution in the history of Kali-yuga. And what do we mean by this? We mean that you lose both ways. You lose if you directly affiliate yourself with, and work under, the authority structure of “ISKCON,” because such a linkage necessitates (in order to be free from hypocrisy) your complete acceptance of the G.B.C. (the vitiated G.B.C.). Even when the Commission is obviously dead wrong, it still is to be considered right, because it supposedly has an automatic, self-corrective mechanism.

Then again, if you do not work within “ISKCON” (but still feel that it is Prabhupäda’s movement and represents what he wants), you also lose. How is that? Because the leaders of the organization do not, and will not, accept anything that you are doing as having any spiritual or devotional value. You lose because you then, due to your own foolish liberality, become subject to the cult’s psychic oppression: You feel its weight bearing down upon you.

You feel the institutional thought form of your allegedly not being connected (“He has lost his link . . . ” Letter, 10-6-67). Fundamental to “ISKCON” is its members’ belief that no one can serve Çréla Prabhupäda except through its hierarchy. At this time, the oppression has moved to the next octave, at least philosophically, with the publication of SPFAI, which, on its front cover, is stated to be “A G.B.C. Foundational Document.”

Since the G.B.C. is (allegedly) the ultimate authority (sometimes they will concede the qualifier, “managing,” between those two words, but usually not), you must accept everything that is laid out in SPFAI. RSA has made sure of that, and many of his comrades have their names attached (in print) to his book—in which it is claimed that the phrase “Çréla Prabhupäda Founder-Äcärya of ISKCON” is a system! Yes–and a system for mass liberation!

Obviously through that portal at Antardvépa.

With its Byzantine layers of institutional mandates, every sane devotee should be able to conclude that “ISKCON” is a pseudo-Vedic (Westernized) version of organized religion–and that’s ultimately all that it ever will be. This incontrovertible fact, however, is ignored by all too many: Will it take the darkest night to enable such blind people the ability to see the stars? We’ve all had plenty of bad experiences, but it appears that not everybody is willing to learn from those experiences. “ISKCON” should be repulsive to anyone actually interested in Eastern occultism and spiritual life.

The superstitious spectacle of this cult, with its reactionary, paranoid aggressiveness, buttressed by a blind group-think within a bastardized matrix of institutional dogma, represents little more than gold-plated exploitation. Its power to overlord is facilitated by an ever-vigilant protection of its most prominent rogues. Now the caprice is being further facilitated by a philosophical tour de force, SPFAI. The desired culmination of this particular book is, of course, nothing new: Loyalty to the G.B.C.

In the final part of our series, we shall explore the remainder of TEXT WITH COMMENTARY. We shall look at those seven OUTCOMES advertised at the end of the book. RSA provides no commentary on OUTCOMES, but we shall provide one—as well as an explanation as to why, in all likelihood, he says nothing about them.

Previous to that, we shall dig into the third section of TEXT WITH COMMENTARY, viz., “Our Central Challenge.” It does not have as much nescience in it as does “Reasons,” but it comes in a strong second. We shall then make it a wrap by summarizing the book’s philosophy (which, according to the Foreword of SPFAI, as well as the back cover of the book, is “meant for implementation”). All this will be forthcoming when our series culminates. Wait for it.

Go to part four
Return to Part One
Return to Part Two


[1] As previously delineated in our series, RSA says “Founder-Äcärya” can only be applied to His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedänta Swämé Prabhupäda. RSA further claimed that the term “President-Äcärya” is what was only applied—and meant to be applied–to His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Prabhupäda. However, RSA also presents conclusive evidence to disprove this, viz., he acknowledges that one of the disciples of Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta, Niçikänta Sanyäl, referred to his guru mahäräj by the honorific of Founder-Äcärya (the “f” not capitalized) in a prominent Gauòéya Mutt publication.

[2] There are two possible interpretations of n + 1 here. It can refer to the title of an East Coast monthly magazine that came into being based on the concept that, “whatever exists, there is always something more that has to be added.” Alternatively, n + 1 can be interpreted to mean nifty and nasty. Both are applicable and appropriate as far as SPFAI is concerned.

[3] We are not going to list them all, but we shall mention another one here. The second TEXT, from which TEXT WITH COMMENTARY provides explanations, consists of eight sentences. At the beginning of this second part of TEXT WITH COMMENTARY, RSA repeats those eight sentences (from TEXT) in bold. That is his format, so no problem there. Then, inexplicably, in the middle of explaining all eight of them, he repeats the last four sentences (of those eight). As such, his presentation does not even follow regulative principles. Ultimately, these techniques amount to nothing more than a means to screw with your mind.

[4] Indirectly, you can know that this is so in the mind of RSA, because he often cites the three-volume biography of Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé Prabhupäda in SPFAI. In that three-volume book, its author, who is a prominent leader of the right-wing in “ISKCON,” points out that (in his opinion) Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta said that his movement was the only way. As such, logic would lead us to conclude that his most prominent disciple must have the same conception. This is but one indirect piece of evidence to establish what the leading “ISKCON” secretaries project as they carry that same spirit within themselves.

1 comment

1 Sulocanadasa { 07.31.14 at 14:06 }

It is mind boggling to be an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada and have to read the slippery, convoluted, self-serving pamphlet SPFAI. The amount of mental mundane imagery is so far-fetched as to turn your head around many times. Who in their right mind could not see the falsity being posted. Thanks again to Kailasa Chandra Prabhu, for so deftly wading thru the murky waters of that book. Holy Cow!!! Here’s a few lines from Srila Prabhupads Introduction to the Srimad-Bhagavatam, pg. 20: “The Lord thus attacked all Vedantists who interpret the Vedanta-sutra fashionably, according to their limited power of thinking, to serve their own purpose. Such indirect interpretations of the authentic literatures like the Vedanta-sutra are hereby condemned by The Lord.”
The Lord continued: “Srila Vyasadeva has summarized the direct meanings of the mantras in the Upanisads in the Vedanta-sutra. Unfortunately you do not take their direct meaning. You indirectly interprets them in a different way. . . The authority of the Vedas is unchallengeable and stands without any question of doubt. And whatever is stated in the Vedas as pure, people accept them as such because of the authority of the Vedas. . . The idea is that one cannot set his imperfect reason above the authority of the Vedas. The orders of the Vedas must be obeyed as they stand, without any mundane reasoning. The so-called followers of the Vedic injunctions make their own interpretations of the Vedic injunctions, and thus they establish different parties and sects of the Vedic religion. Only for this reason, the Buddhist religion was not accepted by the strict followers of the Vedas. But those who are so-called followers of the Vedas are more harmful than the Buddhists. The Buddhists have the courage to deny the Vedas directly, but the so-called followers of the Vedas have no courage to deny the Vedas, although indirectly they disobey all the injunctions of the Vedas. Lord Caitanya condemned this.”
So, there we have the devotional view of Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada said that speech was the most important quality of any man. A well dressed fool can remain undiscovered until he speaks. So, RSA has spoken, for himself and “ISKCON,” and it’s very plain to see how totally foolish they are.
Sulocana Das

Ed. Note: This prabhu was genuinely initiated by His Divine Grace. Initiated Disciples Archives (accessible on the INTERNET) has an incorrect date of initiation (July, 1974) for him. He has clarified it as having taken place in December of 1973, where he received both Harer Nama and brahminical initiations simultaneously.

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