Sahajiyas of the “ISKCON” Apa-sampradaya

Cooper

May, 2019

by Kailäsa Candra däsa

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Prabhupäda: These sahajiyäs will come out of so many devotees. What can be done? From my guru mahäräja’s disciples, so many sahajiyäs came. These are called sahajiyäs. Very easily they capture (the) thing. So my guru mahäräja used to say, “When my disciples will be sahajiyä, it will be more dangerous.”
Leading Secretary: Is it because we have the desire to come in contact with such persons that we contact them?
Prabhupäda: You may not desire, but if you are not strong, you’ll be misled by these rascals.
Room Conversation, 1-28-77, in Bhubaneçvara, India

“In the name of Caitanya Mahäprabhu, there are so many apa-sampradäyas. Apa-sampradäya means they present themselves as belonging to the Caitanya cult, but they are not at all bona fide. They are rejected.”
Platform Lecture, 1-28-73, in Calcutta, India

I don’t want your screams;
I want your life.”
Khaleesi Stormborn, “Game of Thrones”

Implicit to a sahajiyä cult—especially any post-modern “Vaiñëava” sahajiyä cult—is its continuous effort in covering up what it really is. The fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation has its foundation built on sand, but it, nevertheless, is held together by its deceptions. Whenever many people start catching on as to just what it is actually all about, it will circle its wagons. Nevertheless, its mastery of deception and diversion usually allows it not to take such draconian action very often.

Many foolish members, patrons, and followers of the cult accept its sketchy rationalizations as to why it is bona fide (and allegedly always has been), but that’s because they are also—whether consciously or otherwise—themselves attracted to its sahajiyä mentality and lifestyle. They are all misled.

The organization that Çréla Prabhupäda created–a genuine branch of Lord Caitanya’s Hare Kåñëa movement–was never meant to have any connection with the sahajiyäs of India, especially those in Rädhä-Kuëòa and in West Bengal. It was never meant to devolve into an apa-sampradäya. That is why he emphasized truth over lies, honesty over dissimulation, and the Absolute Truth over rationalizations.

He maintained the guru-disciple relationship (with minor, inconsequential adjustments) in accordance with the Vaiñëava tradition. He emphasized understanding over sentiment, which certainly did not preclude bhakti sentiments but, in essence, perfected them. Thus, he created a bona fide Vaiñëava phenomenon. There would have been no major difficulties connected to its maintenance and growth had his orders been fully followed and honored after he departed.

They were not.

The success of all transcendentalists engaged in a bona fide yoga system entails becoming free from the limitations, engagements, and entanglements of material conditioning. This principle is just as applicable to the bhakta as it is to the jïäné or räjä-yogé. Prabhupäda wanted all of his disciples to make progress in attaining the mukti of Brahman realization beyond the Virajä River; once attained, then real bhakti could and would flourish.

Such a rare accomplishment of the spirit soul is real freedom (mukti), the exact opposite of being controlled, contaminated, and invultuated by the unauthorized bijas of sahajiyä overlords and their institution. It is not at all an exaggeration to state that the eleven pretender mahäbhägavats of the late Seventies and early Eighties took the lives of hundreds of Prabhupäda’s initiated disciples, what to speak of all the newcomers who fell for the concoction created in the spring of 1978. All of their lives were, in effect, stolen from them.

They were won over and conquered by “ISKCON” lies, rationalizations, imposed fears, mistaken knowledge, inaccurate history, and ignorance of what differentiates a genuine buddhi-yoga process from the organizations of sahajiyism, the apa-sampradäyas. And please note: All eleven of those men were sahajiyäs. They never at any time implemented the genuine guru-disciple relationship that is inculcated in, and demanded by, the Vaiñëava guru-paramparä.

They Concocted Their Own Code

“It is not that one should create something out of sentimentality, become a sahajiyä and advocate such concocted devotional service.”
Caitanya-caritämåta, Madhya-Lélä, 1.34, purport

Unfortunately, after the disappearance of Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu, many apa-sampradäyas invented many ways not approved by the äcäryas.
Caitanya-caritämåta, Madhya-Lélä, 1.271, purport

You, who are on the road, must have a code that you can live by.”
Crosby, Stills, and Nash, “Teach Your Children”

The post-modern intellectual climate of Western civilization is not at all philosophically oriented toward the revealed Vedic and Vaiñëava texts. The Great Western Adventure prefers mental speculation, which can never make any significant progress in realizing Reality. Thus, a particular kind of so-called guru-disciple relationship is fostered within the matrix of its anti-Vedic perspective.

With faith situated in the lower modes, post-moderns want a humanized world to be integral to whatever they formulate and form as their religions. These kinds of paradigms, more often than not, encourage concoction over acceptance of revealed texts and reject philosophical pursuit of the Absolute Truth within the context of what the guru philosophically expands and explains.

The role of guru was internationally re-defined in the spring of 1978 in the Hare Kåñëa movement. The position of guru had to be humanized in order to preserve a newly-concocted institutional hierarchy, which, paradoxically, assigned its so-called perfect masters to dominion over zones as the equivalent of kings.

They were called “äcäryas of the zone,” and the relationships of the disciples to those zonal gurus converted the movement into a religious factory. There were differences in the sizes of the zones, but that was not an important factor. The movement had a mysterium of complexity introduced into it which influenced most of its observers to re-categorize it as both a religious institution and a set of eleven authorities—all augmented by G.B.C. imprimatur—heralding topmost Vaiñëavas.

It was not at all authorized by higher Vaiñëava authority. It was a concoction. The concept of regular guru was not really discovered until the early Eighties, although it had always been there in Çréla Prabhupäda’s writings:

“The statements of Öhäkura Bhaktivinode are as good as scriptures, because he is liberated person. Generally, the spiritual master comes from the group of such eternal associates of the Lord, but anyone who follows the principles of such ever-liberated persons is as good as one in the above-mentioned group. The gurus from nature’s study are accepted as such on the principle that an elevated person in Krishna Consciousness does not accept anyone as disciple, but he accepts everyone as expansion of his guru.”
Letter to Janärdan, 4-26-68

“The second-class devotees are therefore meant for preaching work, and, as referred to in the above verse, they must loudly preach the glories of the Lord. The second-class devotee accepts disciples from the section of third-class devotees or non-devotees.”
Çrémad-Bhägavatam, 2.3.21, purport

“He must not take on unlimited disciples. This means that a candidate who has successfully followed the first twelve items can also become a spiritual master himself, just as a student becomes a monitor in class with a limited number of disciples.”
Easy Journey to Other Planets, Chapter One

The reaction to the grandiose concoction of the late Seventies was, from one perspective, exactly what should have been expected. From another perspective—from the one which Prabhupäda would have wanted and demanded—it was as unexpected as it was glaringly weak. It received little resistance, which should also have been unexpected. In the late Seventies, the position of regular guru (although no one had been so recognized by His Divine Grace) had been infused with a corollary power, viz., extravagant worship of sahajiyäs.

This was the First Transformation of the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation. Its glorified humanism (which drifted toward secularism) was paradoxically (and covertly) embedded within this paradigm. It was augmented by a G.B.C.-authorized biography of Prabhupäda loaded with humanistic misconceptions about his person and similar reports about his so-called history and status.

The source code of this colossal hoax is still present in the current version of “ISKCON” sahajiyism. There was never any sincere and serious effort by the governing body to confront it, what to speak of removing it. “ISKCON” has undergone three major transformations thus far after Prabhupäda’s departure. Dep-CON Four will also simply be another concoction in order to keep the monster alive on the road to mind-boggling depravity.

Tainted Love

“ . . . the so-called love which goes on in the material world is simply a perverted form . . . Everything in this world is a perverted form of rasa. . . it is perverted reflection of the real love.”
Letter to Mahäpurush 1-25-69

“Love means taking and giving also. If we just take from someone and give him nothing in return, that is not love—it is exploitation.”
Räjä-Vidyä, Chapter Two, “Knowledge Beyond Saàsära”

Once, I ran to you.
Now I run from you.”
Soft Cell, “Tainted Love”

No one actually receives anything that can truly be called love from an apa-sampradäya—not in the real sense of the term. The apa-sampradäya is a perverted reflection of the genuine bhakti sampradäya, so it does not give the real thing. Nor are any transactions with or within it more than reflections. A bogus guru in an apa-sampradäya may be expert at love-bombing, but a genuine devotee is not attracted to that kind of transaction. He has no interest. It does not tally with his values, either.

“In the name of Caitanya Mahäprabhu, there are so many apa-sampradäyas. Apa-sampradäya means they present themselves as belonging to the Caitanya cult, but they are not at all bona fide. They are rejected.”
Platform Lecture, 1-28-73 in Calcutta, India

The fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation may superficially appear to be a branch of a bona fide sampradäya, but such an appearance is deceiving. Obviously, it is not one of the thirteen sahajiyä groups delineated by Prabhupäda Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura, but it does have a distinct relationship with one of them.

That would be the jäta-gosäni apa-sampradäya. The term “jäta” means group or family, and gosäni refers to sannyäsés. Of the thirteen classic sahajiyä groups, there are two that are somewhat strict in outward behavior, and the jäta-gosäni is one of those two. It is a lineage carried on via a specific line of sannyäsés, usually linked by family connections. The term caste gosvamis indicates a line in Vrndavan, but the jäta-gosvämi line—if it still even exists—was/is prominent in West Bengal.

The post-modern, Neo-jäta-gosäni is functioning in “ISKCON.” It has no connection to a specific bloodline, although intrinsic to it is the concept of the family of “ISKCON” or “ISKCON” family. It also has a strong and prominent connection to specific individuals (tightly bound together in “ISKCON”), one which centers around leading secretaries and/or sannyäsés, most of them integral to the institution for a (relatively) long period of time.

These leaders are considered to be automatically blessed and special, and the governing body recognizes them as such. Membership in this circle requires such recognition, along with loyalty to all of the other made men. The eleven pretender Vaiñëavas of the late Seventies and early Eighties certainly fit the bill:

“One may make a show of devotional service like the präkåta-sahajiyäs, or one may try to support his philosophy by joining some caste or identifying himself with a certain dynasty, claiming a monopoly on spiritual advancement.”
Caitanya-caritämåta, Madhya-Lélä, 19.160, purport

The zonal äcärya scheme was chock full of exploitation, and its latter-day expansion of institutional gurus still carries the same astral smell. The Neo-jäta scheme was based upon that principle. How each of its “äcäryas of the zone” carried out their deceptive exploitation was primarily in accordance with their proclivities and skills. Some of them were quite expert at love-bombing, but it was all tainted love. The newcomer recipients who fell for it did not discover that it was a reflection until years later—and even some of them, to this day, have never got out from under the wet blanket of their guru’s so-called love for them.

The whole show is nothing more than a manifestation of post-modern sahajiyism. The activities of the sahajiyäs lowers one deeper into the material contamination of the senses and mind. Sahajiyä entails bogus gurus and their disciples, who all take things very easily via sensuality. They manufacture their own ways.

Even as they reciprocate in what appears to be loving relationships, they are actually covert Mäyävädés. This principle applies to all sahajiyäs. They are sahajiyä Vaiñëavas, materially affected. Do not be deceived by their make-show of loving reciprocation. There is never any pure devotion present in such cults, and that is certainly the case in the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation.

It is not advisable to equate the präkåta-sahajiyäs with pure devotees.”
Caitanya-caritämåta, Antya-Lélä, 20.28, purport

Dumbing Deviancy Down

“That sahajiyä tendency is very easy to take up. Sahajiyä means they take very easily. ‘Everything is all right. Now I am perfect.’ That is sahajiyä.”
Morning Walk, 6-7-76 in Los Angeles

“. . . actually we do not want to create a group of prakrta-sahajiyä, or devotees who do not know the science of Krishna and do not know the science of devotion . . .”
Letter to Çyämasundara, 6-3-69

“An elite class that is free to operate without limits–whether imposed by the rule of law or fear of the responses from those harmed by their behavior–is an elite class that will plunder, degrade, and cheat at will, and act endlessly to fortify its own power.”
Glenn Greenwald

It should be obvious to all intelligent devotees that Western, post-modern culture is not at all favorable to the development of spiritual and devotional life. The post-modern milieu instead favors the development of sahajiyäs rather than strict followers of the paramparä. Although, on the other end of the spectrum (to a lesser degree), the West encourages rational thought (over acceptance of sacred text), this has not, on the whole, been the case in what now appears to be the Hare Kåñëa movement.

Instead, that movement has degraded into somewhat subtle (but becoming less so) sahajiyism. There are reasons for this. Today’s pseudo-spiritual propaganda encourages the anti-Vedic idea that anything beyond the ordinary mix of post-modern life, anything paranormal (so to speak), must be anti-rational. Its attainment must honor feelings over and above rationality.

The idea is that rationality blocks the development of a capacity for spiritual life and the experience of Reality. Without a doubt, this kind of mistaken knowledge lends itself to seeking out a charismatic guru but, somewhat paradoxically, it also leads to blind acceptance of the institutional guru. It does so as an adjunct to blind acceptance of the Governing Body Commission as allegedly having mystical authority (read, irrational authority), one which can and does rubber-stamp gurus.

How many of the unfortunate newcomers did any real research before joining “ISKCON” and accepting either the guru of the zone or (post 1986) the institutional guru? How many accepted one of these gurus without first checking out his actual credentials, as well as the movement’s bona fides, before sitting at the fire and tossing in his bananas? On the other hand, how many of the unfortunates simply accepted their so-called spiritual master with complete credulity?

The answers are not difficult to glean. This has led to an ever-increasing explosion of sahajiyism in “ISKCON” with no end in sight. Many of these newcomers and unfortunates did not want a guru to teach them anything. Instead, they wanted institutional inclusion, which their initiation readily provided them. Many of them also wanted a guru as a friend, which smacks of indirect sahajiyism. Post-modern Western civilization creates minds that do not recognize spiritual superiority to any significant degree. That means that the guru can be both a friend as well as an equal—perhaps a tiny bit more than that, but basically an equal.

In Western culture, a genuine Vedic or Vaiñëava guru-disciple relationship is considered to be an anachronism. The post-modern religion of “ISKCON” encourages its own sahajiyä replacement, allegedly transcending the traditional relationship according to guru-paramparä. This state of affairs is not alarming anymore, because almost everybody has become dumbed down and degraded by it.

Western contemporary philosophy and lifestyle has subtly entered into the sahajiyä camp, and the traditional teachings have little or no meaning anymore. They are replaced by sahajiyä ideas and desires, which especially thrive in the post-modern apa-sampradäya that “ISKCON” has devolved into for many decades now.

A rational viewpoint will quite easily reveal all of this, and that is why it must be tamped down by the cult. “ISKCON” is expert at doing so by replacing it with all kinds of obscure thought processes. The mysterium of the inviolable purity of (what only appears to be) Prabhupäda’s movement is a big part of this strategy. It has proven to be quite effective. People don’t come to “ISKCON” for dry enlightenment or dry self-realization or dry God-realization or dry çästric knowledge. They come for fluid experiences based on emotions and visions.

Always remember that “ISKCON” has become a society of the cheaters and the cheated, although both sides of that coin are quite satisfied with their share of the benefits. In point of fact, there is no real shelter to be found in its sahajiyä society.

The “ISKCON” apa-sampradäya promulgates a culture that has sunk deep sahajiyä roots. Although it changes over time, at base it remains what it always has been. Those who were unable to accept it back in the Seventies were driven out long ago, either directly or indirectly. Now, the guru as teacher is little more than a wistful notion in “ISKCON.” As long as he has secured his No Objection Certificate from the governing body, he has the right to perform the rite. There is no need to submit to him—especially since he does not merit such submission anyway. The guru-disciple relationships from the Vedic and Vaiñëava tradition are antiquated; this is the (either conscious or subconscious) view within today’s post-modern devotees populating the “ISKCON” apa-sampradäya.

“ISKCON” sahajiyäs accept material bliss as spiritual bliss. Whether disciples or gurus or temple presidents or Party Men or members of the governing body, they all constitute a class that takes everything very cheap. Many of them actually believe that they have already attained perfection. As such, the regulative principles mean little or nothing to them. They are sahajiyäs, and none of the (post-Prabhupäda) newcomers are actually initiated in the true sense of the term:

“Sometimes, the präkåtä sahajiyäs claim that they have heard the truth from their guru, but one cannot have transcendental knowledge simply by hearing from a guru who is not bona fide.”
Caitanya-caritämåta, Madhya-Lélä, 8.312, purport

Betrayal of the Golden Age

“We cannot manufacture our own idea.
That is blasphemy, sahajiyä.”
Platform Lecture, 1-26-75, in Mäyäpur, India

“Those who do not strictly follow the principles of revealed scriptures are generally called sahajiyäs—those who have imagined everything to be cheap, who have their own concocted ideas, and who do not follow the scriptural injunctions. Such persons are simply creating disturbances in the discharge of devotional service.”
Nectar of Devotion, Chapter Seven

Betrayal is such a bitch.”
Chains Cooper, “Stone Cold”

Many unwanted creepers have invaded Çréla Prabhupäda’s movement over the decades, even before he departed physical manifestation. Some of them may, at least superficially, appear to be exactly like the bhakti-latä creeper, but they are unwanted and work against genuine initiation. Prabhupäda gave us enough intelligence to distinguish between the bhakti-latä creeper and any and all of these mundane creepers. However, over the years, many have become fooled as a result of not being powerful enough to be able to discriminate between and amongst them.

After Prabhupäda departed, there was The First Transformation of the eleven pretender zonal äcäryas–imitation uttama-adhikärés, sahajiyäs all. Then, when that concoction cratered, there was The Second Transformation of the mid-Eighties, which has been described in great detail in our written treatises, as well as in our videos. We are now witnessing The Third Transformation of “ISKCON,” the Hinduization of the movement in order for it to maintain a revenue stream that badly faltered during the previous major change.

Narcissistic displays have been steadily increasing throughout the “ISKCON” movement, and, as a result, more and more members of that institution have devolved from mixed devotees into sahajiyäs. All of this devolution constitutes a betrayal of what His Divine Grace both wanted and expected from his leading secretaries. Such degraded, narcissistic displays also constitute a betrayal of the Golden Age of Lord Caitanya’s Kåñëa consciousness movement, which was doing well for awhile in the Western countries in the form of Prabhupäda’s branch. Such is not the case now, however, and has not been the case for decades.

Sahajiyäs are notorious for thinking that they have become liberated and have transcended not only the lower madhyam status but all of the Founder-Äcärya’s vidhi directions. They require confirmation bias, and their fellow sahajiyäs readily provide that for them. They all think that they are räga-bhaktas.

They are actually all rascals.

This devolution also took place in Gouòéya Mutt. In “ISKCON,” eleven impostors claimed to be Prabhupäda’s successors and thus imitated the topmost platform. However, Gouòéya Mutt failed when it elected one so-called Äcärya, an event in which in-fighting both preceded and continued after it went down.

Prabhupäda never recognized any of his leading secretaries as being his successor, what to speak of eleven of them. That they had the temerity to make the attempt was nothing less than the greatest betrayal thus far recorded in the Golden Age. Prabhupäda’s instruction was “regular guru, that’s all.” Equally important, he did not name or recognize any of his leading secretaries as even having attained that madhyam status. His decision not to appoint a successor or recognize even a regular guru was not a failure on his part; it was a decision that was required, because none of his disciples measured up.

After he departed, they took bad advice from the Navadvépa mahant and parlayed that into the zonal äcärya imposition of eleven so-called successors. One of the eleven penned an early position paper in which they were all described as just that, viz., as successors. The whole thing was a manifestation of sahajiyism, although few of Prabhupäda’s disciples recognized it as such at that time.

Many more do now.

The movement has, for over four decades, been led down the primrose path of deviation and degradation, explicitly disregarding Prabhupäda’s clear order and re-enacting a version of what Gouòéya Mutt did back in the late Thirties. However, the “ISKCON” re-enactment has been worse for many reasons. It is a simulacrum of an authentic branch of Gauòéya Vaiñëavism, but it has special mäyikä potency to fool even a relatively experienced devotee. It is also internationally influential.

The so-called devotional emotions it displays (via its crafty leaders and their talented henchmen) should be seen for just what they are and thoroughly rejected. The “ISKCON” movement should also be seen for just what is: A betrayal of His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda and a betrayal of the Golden Age. The degradation will eventually slip into depravity when its sahajiyäs are forced to make their next improvisational move during the coming Fourth Transformation.

OÀ TAT SAT

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