by Bhakta Meesala

Jaya Çré Rädhä-Kåñëa
Jaya Çré Kåñëa Caitanya, Prabhu Nityänanda,
Çré Advaita, Gadädhara, Çréväsädi Gaura Bhakta Vånda

Jaya Çréla Prabhupäda

It is called the Gauòéya paramparä, well-known throughout India, the disciplic succession of Vaiñëava spiritual masters beginning with the Supreme Personality of Godhead Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu Himself. Then, He is followed by Rüpa Gosvämé, Raghunätha däs Gosvämé, Kåñëadäsa Kaviräj Gosvämé, Narottama däs Öhäkura, Viçvanätha Cakravarté Öhäkura, Jagannätha däs bäbäjé, Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura, Gaura Kiçora däs bäbäjé. After that, there are these two Successor Äcaryas: Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasväté Gosvämé and Çréla Prabhupäda; they were a very special blessing for this planet.

After these Äcarya manifestations, there has now come a state of turmoil, one which is somewhat subtle but horrendously deviant in many ways. Of course, very soon after Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s manifestation and disappearance, there came into being many pseudo sects or sahajiya groups (pretender Vaisnavas) like Kartäbhajäs, who proclaimed themselves to be Chaitanya Mahäprabhu. Up to the Nineteenth Century, there were also Vairäginés, females allegedly propagating bhakti in the renounced order, which is forbidden.

At the present time in Kali-yuga, everywhere it is full of deceptions and clever maneuvers of apparent devotional practices meant to misguide the innocent and ignorant people of this world. We can identify some of these post-modern deceptions originating from the so-called ISKCON Governing Body Commission as inimical splinter groups, such as Rittvik, Neo-Mutt, and Solar Smorgasbord. There will surely be others formulated in the future.

Just like small political parties (named after their political ideology) thrive under the rules of a unified constitutional republic, these bogus Kåñëa sects may keep their identity for some time. Nevertheless, they are like small rivers which flow into (and lose their identity in) the vast ocean of material samsara with its bigger waves of deception. These cult-like institutions claim unity in diversity in order to sustain themselves. However, by some trick of fate, that unity gets dissipated, and the diversity has no meaning, i.e., the whole institutional charisma it possesses eventually merges into oblivion.

Today, aspiring spiritual students (sädhakas) unfortunately fall for institutional leaders who are unable to--or not even willing to--follow the first step of devotional practice, viz., çravaëam or hearing. Such callous, shrewd, and ego-centric “spiritual” leaders superficially follow basic formalities, rules, and regulations, but they intentionally neglect the essence of the teachings and the most important orders imparted by Çréla Prabhupäda.

Their motive is to become guru for the sake of becoming guru. These gurus take to the false approach but still impress their disciples, who consider them to be on a high platform of däsyam – executing the orders of the mahäbhägavata spiritual master. In due course, these fanatical disciples turn out to emulate them.

Self-complacent and always impudent, deluded by wealth and false prestige, they sometimes perform sacrifices in name only without following any rules or regulation.”
Bhagavad-gétä, 16.17

As a result, a wrong ideology comes into existence, with so-called aspiring disciples unknowingly falling into a net of deceptions and entangled in the illusions of a social fraternity. Related to this are false school gurus knowingly entrapping beguiled disciples in a system imbued with stern mannerisms, superficial etiquette, and what seems to be eloquent philosophical speeches. In this way, they mesmerize and control their sheep. Institutional, ego-centric spiritual masters thus safeguard their left-wing and right-wing party men to advantage, and this does not produce any kind of impetus for the real devotional seed to develop in the hearts of those who approach them.

Whoever knows Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without doubting, is to be understood as the knower of everything, and he therefore engages himself in full devotional service, O son of Bhärata.”
Bhagavad-gétä, 15.19

At the present time, due to various factors which clog the intelligence of the world populace, doubts arise, as there is no bona fide and practical facility for realizing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa. By the spell of Mahä-Mäyä, the worldly schools hinder people from grasping even basic Truth, what to speak of having any chance to move up to higher octaves in Kåñëa consciousness.

Pseudo-Vaiñëava schools mimic something in relation to actual truth, thereby diluting the pure essence of the highest Vaiñëava teachings. So-called Vaiñëava schools teach their pupils concocted codes of an apparent devotional standard and etiquette, and they also eliminate those who fail their bogus examinations (similar to any corporate institute), weeding out those who are no match for the institutional intelligentsia.

It is bogus propaganda promoting material competition and imbibing false assertiveness in the pupil’s mind. All these factors arise because the teachers themselves have a callous and ego-centric attitude towards bona fide devotional science, producing a lack of genuine concern for those who follow them.

These pseudo-Kåñëa cults build a Potemkin Salvage Group. In other words, Potemkin barricades are erected to give the false impression of befitting and resembling bona fide Vaiñëavism, but in reality, they are nothing more than imitations which dampen Vaiñëava bhakti. Deceptive institutions based on the modus operandi of be-fooling and training vulnerable people churn out Potemkin devotees, who are imitations.

When the ocean is suddenly receding and sea bottom is exposed, there is going to be a tsunami about to hit, one which will soon engulf the land. Similarly, pseudo-Kåñëa groups bewilder large chunks of populace throughout the land, but, from within, a wave of doubt, illusion, and falsity will soon inundate the group's superstructure, leading to an institutional, catastrophic downfall.

Çréla Prabhupäda has informed us that the four flaws of conditioned souls are mistake, illusion, cheating, and imperfection, sometimes mentioned in singular tense. However, in the present pseudo-Vaiñëava sects, these are carried out in various plural forms, often inconspicuously but sometimes even conspicuously. It is all there to see for anybody wise enough to perceive how the leaders orchestrate their organizations. Consider the following statement by Çréla Prabhupäda:

Learned authorities in devotional life consequently advise that one not endeavor to increase the number of temples and maöhas. Such activities can be undertaken only by devotees experienced in propagating the Kåñëa consciousness movement. All the äcäryas in South India, especially Çré Rämänujäcärya, constructed many big temples, and in North India all the Gosvämés of Våndävana constructed large temples. Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura also constructed large centers, known as Gauòéya Maöhas. Therefore temple construction is not bad, provided proper care is taken for the propagation of Kåñëa consciousness. Even if such endeavors are considered greedy, the greed is to satisfy Kåñëa, and therefore these are spiritual activities.”
Çrémad-Bhägavatam, 7.15.21, purport

The moral of the story is that today's so-called devotional institutions would have done valuable service to humanity if they were and are really based on the “greed to satisfy Kåñëa.” Alas, they are based on greed to satisfy their own top-rung leaders, and this will lead to institutional degradation in due course of time.

Om Tat Sat

Tell a Friend

Quotes from the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are copyright by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust