It is high time to express disapproval of what has now manifested and devolved into "ISKCON.” Beware: "ISKCON" today is not representing Çréla Prabhupäda's teachings! It is not his original movement! If you are considering joining this movement, you need to read this article. If you are in that movement and are experiencing doubts, you also need to read it. No matter your involvement, please consider the following:
We have Çréla Prabhupäda's true movement on the one hand, and then there is the deviation known as "ISKCON" on the other. Both are producing effects, and both causes will have to play out. However, they will not play out well together. Their effects are completely different entities. Çréla Prabhupäda's Krishna Conscious movement remains pure. The other movement that is now being presented to the public is fabricated and watered down. To which do you belong?
“ISKCON” has changed since the time His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swämé was active and manifest. The changes are drastic and devastating to a large number of devotees, some of whom left completely. The public is unaware of the dangers of being misguided by unauthorized people posing as gurus. A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swämé's books have been changed, and this interferes with the potency of Book Bhägavat. The problem in the apparent Krishna movement is that it is spiritually ineffective. You cannot cure an infection with simple sugar pills. You need real medicine, and “ISKCON” does not supply that.
The importance of returning the movement to strictly following Çréla Prabhupäda's instructions is, by far, the most important issue facing everyone at this time. Krishna Consciousness is the only solution. In order to turn the course of events from tragedy to success, all fabrications and speculations must be immediately stopped, and Çréla Prabhupäda's original books must once again become the standard. Legitimate commentary needs to be done externally through journals, wherein the author is identified. That is how çästra has been commented upon throughout Vaiñëava history.
Let it be stressed that the apparent Krishna Consciousness movement has failed, and this should not be misconstrued to be the failure of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swämé. He gave us everything we needed to become self realized.
1) The so-called gurus who took over the movement in 1978 were not authorized to do so. At no time did Çréla Prabhupäda indicate that eleven appointed rittviks were to become initiating gurus, much less Äcäryas of world zones. Consider this conversation that took place between Çréla Prabhupäda and T.K.G on October 18, 1977. Let’s take a look at the transcript and proceed from there:
So, I have deputed some of you to initiate?
2) The G.B.C. (the governing committee) has been voting in individuals as gurus since the early Eighties. This was never approved by Çréla Prabhupäda. There is a clause at the end of the May 28, 1977 tape, sometimes called (falsely) the "Appointment Tape." The discussion occurs between Satsvarüpa, who became one of the eleven, and Çréla Prabhupäda:
Satsvarüpa: That's all the questions.
This is conclusive. Here, without doubt, Prabhupäda invalidates the voting procedure of the D.O.M. It is ridiculous to think that it could co-exist with what was stated here, especially since the D.O.M. voting procedure was never enacted. Prabhupäda simply made it official near the end of that room conversation in 1977. The only way that its voting procedures could be re-established would be for the current vitiated G.B.C. to abdicate (like the Politburo), and a rejuvenated and bona fide G.B.C. take its place and institute the D.O.M.
Voting is similarly disapproved for determining who is a bona fide spiritual master. There are numerous warnings. In the Caitanya-caritämåta, a voted-in guru is not accepted:
"A disciple of Kali cannot become an äcärya by the decision of some high court. Mundane votes have no jurisdiction to elect a Vaiñëava äcärya. A Vaiñëava
äcärya is self-effulgent, and there is no need for any court judgment. A false äcärya may try to override a Vaiñëava by a high court decision, but
Bhaktivinode Öhäkur says he is nothing but a disciple of Kali-yuga."
The termination of the voting procedure of the D.O.M. in 1977 and the voting-in of gurus by the G.B.C. are related. Technically, of course, the vitiated G.B.C. can claim that they no longer vote for gurus. They indirectly vote, however, in the form of the No Objection Certificate. This means that when the commissioners caught on that it wasn't popular, or considered right, to vote for guru, they switched tactics. In doing so, they still remain the determining factor of who becomes guru in “ISKCON” via an indirect vote. This is not backed by guru (Çréla Prabhupäda), çästra (scripture), or sädhu (saints).
3) “ISKCON” is endorsing unqualified people to be gurus. None of them have received The Order from Çréla Prabhupäda. None of them abide by Çréla Prabhupäda's directive to be a regular guru, and none of them are self effulgent. If there were qualified disciples to become guru, they have been mis-managed and contaminated by the on-going G.B.C. operating procedures. This is what Çréla Prabhupäda said regarding regular guru:
: "When I order, 'You become guru,' he becomes regular guru, that's all. He becomes disciple of
my disciple. That's it."
"Çréla Jiva Gosvami advises that one not accept a spiritual master in terms of hereditary or customary social and ecclesiastical conventions. "
The conclusion is that the so-called gurus being endorsed by “ISKCON” are bogus. They have not received the order from Çréla Prabhupäda, as it would have been common knowledge back in 1977 if any of them had received it. The current so-called gurus are not following his orders now, i.e., it was not personally given to them at a later time.
4) The original books of Çréla Prabhupäda have been, and continue to be, changed. There is no justification for all of the changes made to the original books that Çréla Prabhupäda wrote; they were approved by him in that form for distribution to the public. Besides some incorrect spelling, etc., all of the other changes are not approved corrections and have no foundation; they all must be thoroughly rejected. If those claiming the original tapes show that A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swämé said something different then what was approved for distribution to the public at large, then it is best to address such issues with external documents. Such works, if legitimate, would then be known as commentaries, with the author identified. It is important to remember that all commentaries on the çästra throughout history have been made this way, viz., via external writings by identified authors.
5) The history of the movement is not readily known. In particular, this applies to a new person coming into what only appears to be Prabhupäda's movement. All of the deviations that have taken place need to be formally published. Presently, due to the INTERNET, there is a vast array of information and misinformation being distributed about the Krishna Consciousness Movement. There are many contradictions and false statements within this network, and that has confused, and will continue to confuse, the public.
A logical approach would be to have “ISKCON” admit and publish a pamphlet that explains what has happened throughout the past forty-seven years. By officially publishing a complete history of the Krishna Consciousness Movement, including all the (seemingly) upward swings, as well as the tragedies, those interested in becoming devotees would be armed with correct information. This would assist in the prevention of re-occurrence. As Santayana warned:
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
6) There is strong evidence that Çréla Prabhupäda was poisoned. This is the death nail of what is now the fabricated “ISKCON.” In order for there to be any real healing, the men responsible (if still living) must be held accountable. Those who are pushing to have this hideous act not to be brought to justice must be brushed aside. Consider the following from November, 1977 in Prabhupäda’s quarters:
: That talk that someone has poisoned me.
The poisoning of His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedänta Swämé must be thoroughly investigated in a court of law and not merely played out on the INTERNET. Having foolish disciples stubbornly deny that he was poisoned is not acceptable. Any and all efforts to expose the facts surrounding this horrific chapter must be fully supported.
7) Although there has been some effort to stop the sexual victimization of the children in the Gurukulas, there are still incidents occurring on a regular basis. There is no place for this in what is supposed to be a spiritual institution. If the perpetrators are allowed to hold positions of authority and continue in “ISKCON,” it is simply a farce. It blackens any attempt to stop these atrocities and leaves the victims hurt without any recourse. The idea that the authorities are not to be held responsible is arrogance at its worst. The idea that they may think they are above punishment is reprehensible. These pedophilia activities must stop completely and quickly!
8) Incorporations, Limited Partner Ownerships, and clusters of profit-making venues have become a disease that plagues “ISKCON” at this time. It is not acceptable for so-called devotees to have profit-making designs hidden within the umbrella of what used to be saìkértana collections. Such corporate entities are linked to large bank accounts for the very few, leaving the majority of devotees forced to take jobs in order to support themselves. The international house that Çréla Prabhupäda built has collapsed due to this greed.
After long consideration and much research, I was fortunate to come upon a Vaishnava Foundation website. Within the structure of the Vaishnava Foundation, there is honesty, which includes a realization of the need to bring back the genuine Krishna Consciousness movement. There must be an accurate history of the movement and the correct bhakti process in order to develop Krishna Consciousness and have it genuinely re-established. Logic must be applied to all facets of this task, including addressing the problems above-mentioned. Knowledge of, and adherence to, the çästra that Çréla Prabhupäda has translated for us is essential.
In conclusion, I recommend the following:
Take a serious and honest look at what the Vaishnava Foundation has to offer; you will find substance there.
I believe that the Krishna consciousness movement must encourage all future followers to take shelter of the original books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swämé; this is known as taking shelter of the Book Bhägavata.
No further initiations are to occur unless a devotee receives the order from Çréla Prabhupäda either externally from His Divine Grace or within himself from him--the order to become regular guru. If we are blessed with another mahäbhägavata who wants to assist our Krishna movement, he will be specifically empowered, free from all the above-mentioned entanglements, and he will be self-effulgent. Therefore, we can gratefully accept his directions and personality.
I declare my faith in His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedänta Çréla Prabhupäda and his original teachings. All devotees must follow these minimum principles in
order to make advancement:
All devotees must study the Bhagavad-gétä As It Is, Çrémad Bhägavatam, and the Caitanya-caritämåta, and all other original versions of books.
Etiquette of men and women needs to be taught and followed at every temple and by all devotees.
Saìkértana must return to public chanting of the Mahä Mantra and the distribution of Çréla Prabhupäda's books--including DVDs of the same, as so many people have computers now.
All other directives that His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swämé has written or spoken must be adhered to as closely as possible, without deviation. This must be the new spirit.
The abyss of continued deviation must halt, and the rectification process must begin, one devotee at a time. The question you must ask yourself is this: Are you sure that your devotion is to the real movement or to the facade known as "ISKCON"? If you are not sure, then you don't know. As such, it is your duty to find out.
OM TAT SAT
Quotes from the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are copyright by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust