Vaiñëava Foundation Reveals Core Issues

By Bhakta Çré Hari Vijayaräghavan

During the Vedic age, the teacher or guru taught his student (çiñya) what is illusion (mäyä) on one hand, and, on the other hand, what is reality (satyam param). The guru gives his çiñya a process to transcend illusion by taking shelter of ultimate reality; that is the essence of his äçrama. The çiñya learns, by practice, how to make that transitional process from illusion to reality by the mercy of the real guru, the bona fide spiritual master. Please note that all emphases have been added in this article.

The Bhägavata school accepts Çrémad Bhagavad-gétä as the essence of Vedic philosophy, for all the Sampradäya Äcäryas of this school have written elaborate commentaries (bhäñyas) on Bhagavad-gétä (as well as on Vedänta Sütra) in order to establish their authorised branches to propagate the essential conclusions of the teachings (siddhänta):

sarvopaniñado gävo dogdhä gopäla-nandanaù
pärtho vatsaù sudhér bhoktä dugdham gétämåtam mahat

“This Gétopaniñad, Bhagavad-gétä, the essence of all the Upaniñads, is just like a cow, and Lord Kåñëa, who is famous as a cowherd boy, is milking this cow. Arjuna is just like a calf, and learned scholars and pure devotees are to drink the nectarean milk of Bhagavad-gétä.”

Of course, others schools, like the impersonalists—also known as advaita or mäyäväda--also have their commentaries on Bhagavad-gétä and Vedänta Sütra. However, such commentaries are not accepted by the äcäryas of the Bhägavata school, because those bhäñyas do not reveal the real inner meaning or essence of Vedic philosophy, which is absolute surrender and service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Çré Kåñëa. Rather, they hover on the mental speculative platform, trying inaccurately to explain the preliminary (impersonal) feature of Godhead by jugglery of words. As such, devotees are instructed to stay away from them.

As the Mahäjanas have revealed, Bhagavad-gétä adheres to the standard Vedic teaching, viz. that Lord Çré Kåñëa, the Supreme Teacher, delivers Çré Arjuna, the qualified student, from his (apparently) bewildered bodily consciousness by revealing his actual identity and duty on the spiritual platform. This is called devotional service, which sets the perfect example of guru and çiñya interaction. Thus, the Lord has, by personal example, shown that real honour is inseparable from responsibilities that come with it.

The Lord further reveals that, in the material world, in due course of time, the science of Bhagavad-gétä becomes lost. When the disciplic succession is broken due to unauthorized changes of the original knowledge and/or it not being handed down through the authorized system of disciplic succession in the proper way, then the science of Kåñëa Consciousness is covered:

evam paramparä-präptam imam räjarñayo viduù
sa käleneha mahatä yogo nañöaù parantapa

“This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.Bhagavad-gétä, 4.2

Of course, the Lord has His inscrutable ways of re-establishing these traditions as well, as He does just that with Arjuna. Yet, He desires that His devotees, coming down in bona fide disciplic succession, themselves distribute the most confidential knowledge of Bhagavad-gétä.

“For one who explains the supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me. There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear.” Bhagavad-gétä, 18.68-69

The Lord explains, on one hand, how and when the disciplic succession breaks down. On the other hand, He re-establishes the process in order for transcendentalists to be linked up to Him once again. Considering the absolute fact that Çréla Prabhupäda, while physically manifest, perfectly represented the disciplic succession from the Lord, this same principle applies to the followers of Çréla Prabhupäda. In other words, one ought to know what to do in order to remain connected to the paramparä—and, conversely, what actions could result in disconnection:

“Kértanänanda may be eager to address in the Harvard University, but recently he has lost his link on account of disobedience . . . Very recently, Kértanänanda has developed a different consciousness of mäyä, which is called misuse of one’s minute independence offered by Krishna. By misuse of one’s independence, one at once becomes a victim of mäyä . . . his lecture anywhere now will bear no spiritual sequence. . . By lips he says that he is a surrendered soul, but by action, he is thinking differently.”
Prabhupäda Letter to Satsvarüpa, Oct. 6, 1967

Although Çréla Prabhupäda's words in this letter are self-evident, the points which target disobedience, duplicity, and hypocrisy (the integral quality of Kali-yuga), are particularly to be considered. Unfortunately, they are most relevant to the current situation. Therefore, there is a need for his genuine and sincere followers to, without duplicity, remain linked to the disciplic succession of the Bhägavata tradition. They must desire to preserve the original knowledge that is been coming down in the paramparä system (and preach it as it is to others); they should think exactly as His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda thought.

In the revealed scriptures it is said that the Lord and His Holy Names are inseparable and non-different (näma cintämaëi Kåñëas) from Him. Thisprinciple applies to all of His authorized devotees, as well:Each devotee’s mood and mission is subtly revealed by his or her Vaisnava name and, if they actually deserve them, by their pranäma mantras .

Çréla Prabhupäda accepted the Holy Name of Bhaktivedänta Swamé given by Vaiñëavas, because he established and set the personal example of leading his particular mission of devotional service under the guidance of Vedäntic literatures. As such, when we talk about Çréla Prabhupäda, then his mood and mission is revealed in his pranäma mantra (and the deep purport behind it); these remain inseparable from him. By definition, the continuation of Çréla Prabhupäda's mission (paramparä) must reflect the bhakti-vedänta principle.

There can be no alternative. It is this author's humble opinion that all those who rationalize, and thus compromise, the principles of bhakti-vedänta are severely compromised themselves. They cannot help others; they can only mislead others. They themselves need spiritual help in order to, once again, be raised to the platform of useful, spiritual tools in hands of the predecessor Äcäryas represented by Çréla Prabhupäda.

However, since the disappearance of Çréla Prabhupäda from the manifest plane over thirty-five years ago, many deviant sects have been dishonestly and falsely claiming to represent him, claiming to be his Kåñëa Consciousness movement. These cults have been subjecting many innocent devotees to countless calamities--physical, mental, philosophical, and personal. This had been indirectly predicted by Çréla Prabhupäda in his purports. Vaiñëava Foundation articles delineate these deviant factions to be “ISKCON” (bhogi or enjoyers), Rittvik, Solar Smorgasbord (rogi or spiritually sick) and Neo-Mutt (traitors). They all push elaborate explanations that are flawed. Real philosophical expositions are befitting genuine followers, yogis, or devotees. As far as deviations in executing devotional service are concerned, they are completely rejected by Çréla Rüpa Goswämé, whose disciplic lineage Çréla Prabhupäda strictly represents:

çruti-smrti-puränädi-pañcarätra-vidhim vinä
aikäntiké harer bhaktir utpätäyaiva kalpate

"Devotional service of the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upanisads, Puränas, Närada-pañcarätra, etc., is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society." Bhakti-rasämrta-sindhu

When a new bhakta gets caught up in the midst of these calamities, it becomes, at some point, almost impossible to escape, to discern truth from illusion and authority from deviation. The only loophole to be found is if proper guidance (and fortune) is gained at right time. As far as research for Truth goes, on one hand, I have understood that none of the adherents of the above-mentioned deviant sects offers sufficient guidance to understand what the deviations (mäyä) are and, on the other hand, what the genuine authorized practices (satyam param) are.

Neither is it in their interest to offer that.

At the other end of the spectrum, however, the Vaiñëava Foundation (VF), headed by Çrémän Kailäsa Candra prabhu, is performing this great welfare activity by philosophically explaining and educating us as to what are the illusory, deviant sects and what is real Kåñëa Consciousness. This is highly appreciable seva.

Çréla Bhaktivinode Öhäkur cautioned us about those people and groups propagating mixed conceptions (miçra-bhakti) under the pretence that they are genuine devotees. He said that they were the deadliest elements:

“Unfortunately, in present day society, in the name of suddha-bhakti, various types of mixed devotion--such as karma-miçra, jëäna-miçra, and yoga-miçra, as well as various polluted and imaginary conceptions--are spreading like germs of plague. People in general consider these polluted and mixed conceptions to be bhakti. They respect them as such and thus are deprived of çuddha-bhakti. These polluted and mixed conceptions are our greatest enemies.”
Bhakti Viveka Tattva by Çréla Bhaktivinode Thäkura

In the spirit of that teaching, it is a humble opinion of your author that the contributions of the Vaiñëava Foundation, in exposing and revealing all forms of polluted conceptions, benefit both the new and mature devotees in order to help them reject polluted conceptions and progress further in genuine devotional life.

Your author humbly admits that he can never repay his indebtedness to these contributions, for the transcendental wisdom contained therein has thoroughly saved me from having to transmigrate through these deviant sects. All of these cults falsely claim to represent the spotless Çré Brahma Mädhva Gauòiya Vaiñëava Sampradäya and the most recent Sampradäya Äcärya of that eternal tradition, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swämé Çréla Prabhupäda.

When I thought that there was not a ray of hope for the survival of real Kåñëa Conscious movement at this time, especially under the all-pervading malefic influence of the deviant sects, the enlightening articles and position papers of the Vaiñëava Foundation have given me hope. The VF contributions and efforts have eradicated the darkness of apa-siddhänta with the brilliant sun of philosophy handed down by the predecessor Äcäryas. This detailed study of Kåñëa Consciousness philosophy, along with explaining it for the welfare of others, is highly commendable and is in the Bhaktivedänta tradition. I have thus recommended many devotee friends to hear good counsel, to consult the explanations on the VF websites, as well as on YouTube. Here are some of those hyperlinks:

http://therealexplanation.org , http://returntosquareone.com http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=therealexplanation&view=playlists.

I sincerely hope they too will be benefited as much as myself. Thus, the first requirement for the welfare of our spiritual life is being met by VF guidance, and it entails developing a solid foundation in Kåñëa Conscious philosophy. It especially requires discriminating intelligence as to what is approved to be Kåñëa Consciousness by predecessor Äcäryas in the revealed scriptures:

tac chraddadhänä munayo jñäna-vairägya-yuktayä
paçyanty ätmani cätmänam bhaktyä çruta-gihétayä

The seriously inquisitive student or sage, well- equipped with knowledge and detachment, realizes that Absolute Truth by rendering devotional service in terms of what he has heard from the Vedänta-çruti.

“A sincere devotee must, therefore, be prepared to hear the Vedic literature like the Upanisads, Vedänta and other literatures left by the previous authorities or Gosvämés, for the benefit of his progress.”
Çrémad Bhägavatam , 1.2.12, verse and purport.

Genuine sastra must be read and heard; if it is not, then:

yah çästra-vidhim utsåjya vartate käma-käratah
na sa siddhim aväpnoti na sukhaà na paräm gatim

“But he who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection nor happiness nor the supreme destination.” Bhagavad-gétä, 16.23

Three times disapproved; it does not get more final than that!

My personal realization is that a thorough reading of articles like On Sufficient Guidance by Kailäsa Candra däsa prabhu accomplishes the first requirement. Conversely, a cheap conception of what is Çré Guru leads to all kinds of calamities. “ISKCON,” Rittvik, Neo-Mutt, and Solar Smorgasbord, in due course of time, are all proven to be bright, shining lies--examples of laziness and its devastating results to one's spiritual life:

präyenälpäyusaù sabhya kaläv asmin yuge janäù
mandäù sumanda-matayo manda-bhägyä hy upadrutäù

“O learned one, in this iron age of Kali, men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.

The people of this age are also very lazy, not only materially but in the matter of self-realization. The human life is especially meant for self-realization. . . due to a bad system of education, men have no desire for self-realization. Even if they come to know about it, they unfortunately become victims of misguided teachers.

In this age, many unscrupulous men manufacture their own religious faiths which are not based on any revealed scriptures, and very often people who are addicted to sense gratification are attracted by such institutions. Consequently, in the name of religion, so many sinful acts are being carried on that the people in general have neither peace of mind nor health of body.”
Çrémad Bhägavatam , 1.1.10, verse and purport.

Your author is very thankful that these VF articles have saved me from just such calamities . Let me quote a few brilliant snippets from Kailäsa Candra prabhu's wonderful On Sufficient Guidance that have immensely helped me to understand the Vaiñëava philosophy, with my humble realization added in connection to them:

“Obviously, a third-class devotee, a neophyte, is not at all qualified to be a master. The neophyte is a student, still not fully eligible to know the Absolute Truth. Rather than imitating a spiritual master, the neophyte should be approaching a spiritual master. Imitation is always condemned throughout Vaiñëava teachings.”

In this connection, Kailäsa Candra däsa has explained nicely (especially in the Youtube videos) how acting above or below one's adhikära or eligibility produces evil in oneself and in others. He has explained how the current of dishonesty of the first “ISKCON” transformation still runs under the this phase of “ISKCON”, i.e, he has explained how dishonesty has become the very foundation of that cult.

“Even after the devotee Bhägavata has left manifest existence, the Book Bhägavata (explained by him with voluminous and lucid purports) still remains in written or in verbal (taped) form. It is sufficient guidance and is still available for the neophyte. The Book Bhägavata requires commentary by the Äcärya, even if he is no longer physically present, in order to render its meaning clear. A great saintly person may be silent for those who cannot comprehend this mystery, but he is not silent for those who act upon it.”

Very well put. Alas, the books have been changed, and the so-called authorities are doing nothing about it! Kailäsa Candra däsa has drawn an appropriate parallel to the “Christian” Bible in terms of how an intelligent person would question whether those teachings are the original or are adulterations of later commentators. He has shown how, in Caitanya Caritämåta (another Book Bhägavata), that there is an unauthorized change in reference to Çréla Prabhupäda's commentary as to how the disciplic succession continued after Çréla Narottama däsa Öhäkur and other paramparä gurus.

How sad it is that, so soon after the disappearance of Çréla Prabhupäda, the greatest protection his books and instructions are supposed to give his devotees is compromised by those who dishonestly call themselves his best followers! These (mis)leaders, by their personal examples, demonstrate the real meaning of Kali-yuga. Then there is this:

“A dull-witted person will not put forth the effort required to learn this knowledge. The dull-witted must be cheated in spiritual life, and that is both a metaphysical, and, ultimately, a spiritual law rarely transcended. If you've gotten this far in the reading, there is a high likelihood that you are not amongst the dull-witted class, i.e., that your intelligence is keen to assimilate spiritual knowledge.”

Kailäsa Candra däsa has highlighted the rarity of a genuine seeker; marking them as rare as a genuine guru. The numbers game in reference to Absolute Truth is thoroughly condemned. That is also in line with çästra:

manusyänäm sahasresu kaçcid yatati siddhaye
yatatäm api siddhänäm kaçcin mäm vetti tattvatah

“Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.” Bhagavad-gétä, 7.3.

Kailäsa Candra däsa has continued:

“The inner meaning of the Vedic knowledge culminates in the Vaiñëava teachings. The guru must be a God-realized Vaiñëava, otherwise his disciple cannot actually surrender to him. Due to insufficient guidance, the disciple will be forced to doubt, will experience a diminution of faith, and will never actually surrender to a devotee who is not God-realized.”

Realization of brahman (brahma-präpta-laya) is rare and is also considered the incipient stage of God realization. Kailäsa Candra däsa has brilliantly highlighted the dangers of accepting insufficient guidance and the effect of consequent show-bottle surrender to a devotee who is not God-realized. That so-called surrender is simply a manifestation of the society of cheaters and cheated:

“The guru, although he is not God, is as good as God for the conditioned soul. The conditioned soul (with rare and special exceptions) does not directly perceive the Supreme Person. However, the conditioned soul can directly perceive the manifest pure devotee of God, who is in constant and direct contact with the Personality of Godhead.”

It is not in the interests of any of the deviations to encourage one to search out and surrender to a God-realized devotee or even an uttama-adhikäré. The so-called GBC and their “ISKCON” movement have concocted guru-by-GBC rubber stamp nonsense. Rittviks offensively claim Çréla Prabhupäda to be their dékñä-guru (getting in the way of the Book Bhägavata and impeding its blessings). Kailäsa Candra däsa has explained all this nicely in The Positive Alternative. Neo-Mutt has minimized Çréla Prabhupäda's exalted status due to enviousness of His Divine Grace's success in establishing Kåñëa Consciousness and accepting the title of Prabhupäda. And Solar Smorgasbord has compromised the conceptions of dékñä and çikñä gurus.

“The previous äcärya, Çréla Prabhupäda, put tremendous emphasis for spiritual advancement in the Vaiñëava literatures he translated into English. His prolific writings were not simply an exhibition of scholarship. Instead, they were an emphasis on the need to read and retain flawless philosophy in order to advance in genuine spiritual life. The Absolute Truth can be communicated through philosophy. The Absolute Truth is realized directly, but it is flawless philosophy that lays the foundation for such realizations.

This is because philosophical truths have a direct connection with intelligence. They purify the intelligence, and intelligence is very important in the process of yoga. Without sufficient intelligence, a practitioner of yoga is prone to be cheated. Without spiritual intelligence, a yoga practitioner becomes enamored by the semi-spiritual or pseudo-spiritual. Intelligence, when it is polluted in this way, will guide the chariot of material existence in the wrong direction. The spirit self is the rider in this chariot, and it's up to spiritual intelligence (buddhi-yoga) to steer the vehicle properly. Previous to complete realization, there is no alternative to this.”

This kind of development of philosophical truths and its purifying effect on the intelligence is sorely lacking in all the deviant sects. They take things very easily and cheaply, with little if any emphasis on tapasya. In the videos, Kailäsa Candra däsa has highlighted how the confrontational preaching spirit, meant to enthuse devotees to undertake tapasya (as preached and shown by Çréla Prabhupäda personally), is now lacking:

“Lord Åñäbhadeva told His sons: My dear boys, of all the living entities who have accepted material bodies in this world, one who has been awarded this human form should not work hard day and night simply for sense gratification, which is available even for dogs and hogs that eat stool. One should engage in penance and austerity to attain the divine position of devotional service. By such activity, one’s heart is purified, and when one attains this position, he attains eternal, blissful life, which is transcendental to material happiness and which continues forever.” Çrémad Bhägavatam, 5.5.1

Kailäsa Candra däsa has added further:

“Before actually embarking on the search for a genuine guru, it is imperative that a seeker of spiritual life is situated in the basic philosophical truths of Vaiñëava teachings. Retaining these truths will allow his or her intelligence to become sufficiently strengthened. Discrimination is not a bad word in spiritual life. Fine discrimination with good memory is essential for action in devotional service. This fine discrimination is only available to a person with evolving spiritual intelligence.” On Sufficient Guidance

Despite all the disqualifications in my present material circumstances, Kåñëa Consciousness is indeed lifting me up to a higher status of human existence, especially since I am now guided by the sincere preaching efforts of the VF. I genuinely appreciate what this organization is doing in terms of philosophically exposing all deviations that are going on in the name of so-called Kåñëa Consciousness and explaining all the root causes or reasons behind those deviations. The principle of honesty is now practically lost in those cults. Where was honesty when they heard “rittvik-äcärya, then as good as äcärya,” “put on the uniform to become a soldier,” or when devotees were trained to wrongly think “mat guru si jagat guru”? Kailäsa Candra däsa has explained the dishonesty inherent in all of these slogans in the videos.

This is the real Kåñëa Consciousness. It is very satisfying to learn that there are genuine Çréla Prabhupäda disciples and followers to carry on the tradition of His Divine Grace. Of course, blind leaders and their flock of blind followers won't appreciate his efforts at all. Bhägavatam reveals the destiny that awaits them:

“Leaders who have fallen into ignorance and who mislead people by directing them to the path of destruction [as described in the previous verse] are, in effect, boarding a stone boat, and so too are those who blindly follow them. A stone boat would be unable to float and would sink in the water with its passengers. Similarly, those who mislead people go to hell, and their followers go with them.

“One who boards a boat made of stone is doomed. To be elevated to the stage of perfection, humanity must first give up false leaders who present boats of stone. All of human society is in such a dangerous position that to be rescued it must abide by the standard instructions of the Vedas. The cream of these instructions appears in the form of Bhagavad-gétä. One should not take shelter of any other instructions, for Bhagavad-gétä gives direct instructions on how to fulfil the aim of human life. . . If one follows those instructions, one will be saved. Otherwise one will be cheated by unauthorized meditation and gymnastic methods of yoga. Thus one will board a boat of stone. which will sink and drown all its passengers.”
Çrémad Bhägavatam , 6.7.14, purport.

This author is convinced that Kailäsa Candra däsa has the blessings of the Vaiñëava Äcäryas and Çré Kåñëa, and the Supreme and his gurus are pleased with his efforts. His contributions, in the forms of enlightening articles, papers, videos and now a wonderful book (the English rendition of Çré Tattva-viveka by Çréla Bhaktivinode Öhäkura) are proof positive of my conviction.

At this critical hour, when the spiritual lives of many are in danger, neither "ISKCON," nor Rittviks, nor Neo Mutt, nor Solar Smorgasbord has the courage and sincerity to spread the Kåñëa Consciousness movement as it has been handed down by the predecessor Äcäryas. However, Kailäsa Candra däsa has taken it up sincerely, saving those who want to be saved from falling into the inferno of the above-mentioned deviants sects. Once again, I wish to thank him for his sincere endeavours to spread Kåñëa Consciousness as it is, which, in my humble analysis, represents Çréla Prabhupäda's mood and mission. Just one moon is able to eradicate the darkness:

ekaç candras tamo hanti na ca tärä-gatair api
varam eko guté-putro na ca mürkha-çatair api

“Another example is given: ekaç candras tamo hanti na ca tärä-sahasrasaù. If there is one moon in the sky, it is sufficient to give light to the whole sky. What is the use of millions of stars?
Conversation with the Associated Press, July 16, 1976, in New York

It is no coincidence that the leader of the Vaiñëava Foundation carries Candra in his Vaiñëava name. That is certainly in line with this prabhu's keen insight into the shining light of Çréla Prabhupäda's teachings, and, accordingly, his successful effort to expose the deviations that are now plaguing the Kåñëa Consciousness movement.

Your author now wishes to share his background with the readers. It would seem that my spiritual quest began early in 2007, when I expressed my desire (to a friend) that I was keen to read Bhagavad-gétä and understand the essence of the Vedic philosophy contained therein. Hearing that even Western thinkers showed respect for this great literature, I had an impetus to achieve this long-cherished desire. That good friend gave me his copy of Life Comes From Life, morning walk conversations of a saint with his servants, recorded in book format. He suggested that I read this book first, as a precursor to my actually reading Bhagavad-gétä. He advised that if I liked this small book, he would lend me his Bhagavad-gétä.

Whatever insignificant pious credits I may have had, perhaps from a distant previous birth, I felt overwhelmed when I read Life Comes From Life, wherein the saint was defeating all kinds of modern, so-called scientific understandings of life allegedly developing from a combination of matter. Every nonsense argument in support of the above so-called scientific knowledge was squashed by this great saintly person, whom I later came to respectfully address as His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swämé Çréla Prabhupäda, the foremost pure devotee of the Supreme Lord in the recent history of this planet. He quoted immense background context to life coming from life (and matter coming from spiritual energies) as per Bhagavad-gita and other Vedäntic literatures.

While pursuing my full-time job and a part-time university course, I pushed on with reading from the first page until the last page of Life Comes from Life, thoroughly appreciating Çréla Prabhupäda. Upon completing it, I rushed to my friend to grab Bhagavad-gétä, which was curiously subtitled As It Is. I got fixed up reading it, a few verses everyday. After all these years, I humbly admit that, back then, I could not comprehend much in the way of Çréla Prabhupäda's philosophical expositions in Bhagavad-gétä or other books. Still, somehow, I was pushing on reading his treatise.

The only thing I, as a great fool, gained--which I would even jokingly inform my friend—is that there is no verse wherein Çréla Prabhupäda neglected to inform the reader to chant Hare Kåñëa. Therefore, taking Çréla Prabhupäda's instructions seriously, I started chanting Hare Kåñëa, though admittedly in an unregulated manner. I would chant a few times when I got up in the morning and few times before going to bed. Practically, only two verses recorded in my dull brain: The Hare Kåñëa Mahä Mantra and the famous éçvaraù paramah kåñëaù verse of the Brahma Saàhitä, 5.1.

Due to having grown up with the INTERNET and being a technical specialist at work (always researching various topics on it), naturally I started researching ISKCON there. In no time, I learned that there were serious problems in the cult, especially after the disappearance of His Divine Grace. This got my attention. Being a worldly moralist, I rationalized, "Oh, after all, to err is human, and everybody deserves a second chance."

To support that idea, I found various propaganda suggesting there have been “reforms” and “resolutions,” and all issues have been resolved, and ISKCON was now “pukka.” I was too naive. The first requirement for developing philosophical knowledge (on the basis of Vaiñëava teachings) remained incomplete in me, viz., I had no sign of discriminating intelligence. In later years, I would read articles like GBC: The Gods Who Failed by Kailäsa Candra prabhu, which plainly reveals that the vitiated, deviant GBC, and their fabricated so-called "ISKCON," have gone well past the stage of being given a second chance many times. To quote Kailäsa Candra däsa:

“The major deviations in today’s movement have all transpired due to the GBC having engaged in treachery and betrayal, i.e., illegal activity in order to set those deviations into motion. They have betrayed the fiduciary responsibility assigned to them by His Divine Grace, but this should not at all be surprising. It should not shock anyone that they have done this, because, if you have kept up what went on around Çréla Prabhupäda (especially in the last months at Våëdävan), such subsequent criminal activity could only have been expected. It was (and remains) not the kind of illegal activity which has any hope of being prosecuted by secular authorities, but that does not diminish its pernicious effects.

It was illegal for the body to exert absolute power, as the GBC attempted to do (and for some time, was able to pull off to a considerable extent) in the spring of 1978. It was illegal for the commission to declare a big lie, viz., that Prabhupäda had appointed eleven mahäbhägavats. It was illegal for the GBC to empower that lie and to implement it worldwide. It was illegal for the body to create exclusive zones for these so-called Äcäryas. It was illegal to create the äcärya board within the GBC.

All the initiations performed by these pretenders were also illegal , according to obvious çästric logic dovetailed with Vaiñëava higher intelligence. It was not in the power of the GBC to say that the paramparä, as represented by the last Sampradäya Acharya, worked only through them and that their appointment of dékñä-gurus was bona fide because Çréla Prabhupäda transferred to the commission his absolute power.

It is illegal for the GBC to abrogate unto itself the power to have its party men wait in queue for one, two, or three years in order to see if any of the members of the commission vetoes his nomination to be dékñä-guru. It is illegal for the body to recognize such a “guru” when he manages to avoid that. It was illegal for the commission to have dékñä-gurus recognized by votes of the body before this latest concoction.”

In the Youtube videos, Kailäsa Candra däsa has nicely explained how that cult has become nothing more than a Neo Jäta-gosäni sect--the goswämé status and goswämé appointing energy from a group (jäta) of deviant souls.

“It may not be illegal, but it is certainly highly distasteful that the GBC has not spoken out strongly against the so-called Lilamrita, especially since its author advertises in the book itself that his work has received that body’s imprimatur. It is equally abominable that the commission does not raise a deafening outcry against all of the changes enacted to Prabhupäda’s books by the so-called BBT(i).”

As discussed in the previous section, Kailäsa Candra däsa has nicely drawn a parallel to the so-called Christian Bible. The authority of Book Bhägavata, given by the mercy of a person Bhägavata, Çréla Prabhupäda, is being reduced, minimized, and ruined, and this puts many spiritual lives of present and future generations of devotees at great risk:

“It was illegal and not in the power of the GBC to incorporate, since His Divine Grace obviously wanted it to remain an unincorporated management organization. It is illegal to have the Society’s temple presidents declare sole allegiance of their temples--and especially sole fiduciary oversight of those centers--to the GBC, circumventing the original system of trustees for each center established by His Divine Grace.

Any one of these above mentioned illegalities would be enough to render the commission unauthorized and not entitled to any devotee’s allegiance. All of them combined together, along with many other shady arrangements not brought out in this small article, make the whole governing commission really nothing more than a criminal enterprise . It was not in the power of the GBC men to do any of this, and every individual president has been emasculated and compromised as a result of these harmful seeds sown by the combined intent of a vitiated GBC.” GBC: The Gods Who Failed

When invited to join bhakti-våkña programs, which are organised recruiting camps run by the loyalist or party-men for the big swämés of “ISKCON,” I would innocently attend those sessions. Sometimes, big “ISKCON” swämés would lecture. No doubt we would be taught the A-B-C-D of Kåñëa Consciousness. However, as Kailäsa Candra prabhu explains in the Youtube videos, problems begin when they explain G-H-I (guru, honesty, institution/initiation). If one is not extremely fortunate, it is impossible to be rescued from the trap. I wasn't fortunate enough at that time, so I remained entangled with them.

I was enthusiastically urged to surrender to any one of those swämés or “gurus” according to my choice, and there were many colorful choices to choose from. We were supposed to feel like we were hardly even in Kali-yuga anymore, but instead in Satya Yuga or better, since there was this wonderful surplus of “ISKCON” pure devotees all around--all at your command to give you initiation. It was supposed to be like a red carpet welcome to spiritual world. Of course, it all sounded so simple. More importantly, it contradicted what His Divine Grace was preaching in his books, viz., that this rarely attained human form is meant for associating with genuine devotees of the Lord:

bhajahü re mana çré-nanda-nandana
abhaya-caraëäravinda re
durlabha mänava-janama sat-saìge
taroho e bhava-sindhu re

O mind, just worship the lotus feet of the son of Nanda, which make one fearless. Having obtained this rare human birth, cross over this ocean of worldly existence through the association of saintly persons.

“This human form of life is very rare. Out of many, many thousands and millions of births, you have got this opportunity.Durlabha manava-janama sat-sange. Therefore, don't go anywhere. You just associate with pure devotees. Taraha ei bhava-sindhu re. Then you shall be able to cross of the ocean of nescience.''
Çréla Prabhupäda's purport for Bhajahu Re Mana

Crossing over this material existence is anything but easy:

daivé hy esä guna-mayé mama mäyä duratyayä
mäm eva ye prapadyante mäyäm etäm taranti te

“This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.” Bhagavad-gita, 7.14, verse and purport.

Performing austerities and penances in order to reach the stage of çuddha-bhakti, surrendering and serving the Supreme Lord, is the real way; their sahajiyä mentality will never do it. Seeds of doubt started germinating within me: The whole show was too good to believe!

I was further shocked to discover that there had been changes to Çréla Prabhupäda's books. These changes were not simply fixing typos or syntax but entailed a great deal of philosophical changes inserted into the books, as well. This is unheard of in Vedic traditions, and Bhägavatam doesn't approve of it. This goes completely against the basic teachings that the words emanating from the lotus lips of Çré Guru are transcendental:

guru-mukha-padma-väkya, cittete koribo aikya, är nä koriho mane äçä
çré-guru-caraëe rati, ei se uttama-gati, je prasäde püre sarva äçä

“My only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from his lotus mouth. Attachment to his lotus feet is the perfection that fulfils all desires.”
Guru Vandana , Çréla Narottama däsa Öhäkura

The Öhäkura very expertly revealed the Vedic truth of submissive hearing of Çré Guru's instructions in simple Bengali language:

This stage of highest perfection in yoga can be attained only by bhakti-yoga, as is confirmed in all Vedic literature:

yasya deve parä bhaktir yathä deve tathä gurau.
tasyaite kathitä hy arthäh prakäçante mahätmanah.

"Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed." Çvetäçvatära Upaniñad, 6.23

When discussing the book issues with the leaders of the bhakti-våkña programs, I got no satisfactory replies at all. Of course, how could there be any? I decided to do a thorough study of Çréla Prabhupäda's original books, since I did not want to be cheated as many innocent devotees had already been conned by them. Somehow, I stumbled upon Çréla Prabhupäda's recorded lectures at this time, which I would regularly hear. This is still my favorite Kåñëa Conscious activity, viz., hearing His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda's brilliant lectures, conversations, and arrival addresses.

In 2009, I would stumble upon various INTERNET websites, such as the Sampradäya Sun and the Vaiñëava Foundation; I got the link to the Vaiñëava Foundation from an article posted on Sun. I read the Sun’s Sampradäya Äcärya position paper, and, soon thereafter, Kailäsa Candra däsa prabhu's articles. It was indeed quite an intellectual accomplishment to simply read On Sufficient Guidance thoroughly, even once.

However, I came to question the very basis of the Sampradäya Sun (despite the fact that I am obliged to its forum, because it gave me initial access to the Vaiñëava Foundation websites). I especially questioned the solar smorgasbord conclusions after readingDull Witted Must Be Cheated by Bhakta Eric Johanson, a sequel to his Smorgasbord series. Just a few brilliant snippets, among many more in the original article, are quoted below:

“He also falsely considers himself a çikñä-guru, differentiating the platform of realization held jointly by any genuine guru (vartma-pradarçaka, çikñä, or dékñä). Guru is one in realization but can be different in function.

The cynical solar smorgasbord adherents have limitless rationalizations as to why seeking out a physically manifest pure devotee can and must be minimized at the current time. Generally they say, ‘None are available’ or ‘Show me one!’ They expect some kind of miracle easy solution like the ‘very fortunate’ opportunity that was available when Çréla Prabhupäda was supplying that clear water referred to in his Kåñëa Book translation, above. The reality, however, is that they are not at all serious about finding a genuine guru (‘If you do not find a guru, that means Kåñëa is not yet pleased . . . you are not serious’).

‘Reform’ is the political buzz word that gets the most attention. Remaining in a subconscious psychic orbit around corporate ISKCON, solar smorgasbord is obsessed with the idea of reforming it.”

Dull-Witted Must Be Cheated

The VF articles helped me understand that the root issues have not been addressed through their so-called reforms, and the “ISKCON” show-bottle is simply meant to enthuse blind followers to board stone boats. They would explain that the original seeds are still producing plants, and these plants are producing more seeds. As Kailäsa Candra prabhu explains in the Youtube videos, spreading (or having it preached to you) pseudo Kåñëa consciousness has no eternal value. It is disapproved by guru, sädhu, and çästra. Nobody has exposed these deviations as clearly as the Vaiñëava Foundation. Therefore, I highly appreciate its preaching efforts.

Ever since coming into contact with the Vaiñëava Foundation—and that is now over three years ago--I have continued to regularly visit its websites, practically every day. They sometimes contain updates and/or new articles. Every article on them is brilliant; to this day, I have read and re-read them many times over, gaining ever newer realizations during each reading. Of course, some articles are scholarly and deserve to be read many times. This organization is doing a great spiritual service via tremendous efforts in keeping up with and exposing the deviation dynamics. This helps devotees to know these things, so that they can become free from the dreadful effects of these pseudo-spiritual pollutions.

In summary, Kailäsa Candra däsa is preaching no-nonsense Kåñëa Consciousness philosophy in order to please the Sampradäya Äcäryas, and those who heed his good instructions are benefited immensely. For the benefit of such devotees, and in the service of predecessor Äcäryas, your author herein requests him to write more Kåñëa Consciousness articles, to produce more videos, to continue to write position papers, and, if at all possible, to translate the teachings of the predecessor Äcäryas.

OM TAT SAT. Hare Kåñëa

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