THE TRUTH is Not an “ISKCON” Value
by Kailäsa Candra däsa
Second of a Two-part Series
“When you speak The Truth, it must be very palatable (but) this social convention is not applicable to a person who is preaching the Absolute Truth.”
“What you learn easily is easy to forget.
“Oh, don't ask Why. Oh, don't ask Why”
To confront our current situation (and not to drift) proves helpful to transcendental understanding during this intense, post-modern juxtaposition of Absolute Good versus thePersonality of Kali. On the other hand, to dwell in the realm of factoid and opinion is to shuffle in a meaningless circle in which its adherents are unable to know each other accurately or to communicate anything resembling THE TRUTH.
Even to remain in the exoteric circle (superior to that outer ring, but barely) is far too superficial an approach for a progressive transcendentalist. We may not be able to reach the esoteric circle, yet it is incumbent upon us to have some knowledge of it. Just as importantly, we must recognize the pretentious, perverted reflections that now appear to represent it. In point of fact, those perversions cover and hinder esoteric realizations in many different and subtle ways. Our aim should be to conclusively know about this, not just philosophically or theoretically, but in practical fact.
All emphases added for your edification and realization.
That will lead to understanding. Buddhi-yoga is a system of understanding, a process of realization. There is jïäna or spiritual knowledge, and it is meant to matriculate into vijïäna or spiritual realization. Realization and love of Godhead occupy the topmost places of honor in buddhi-yoga. Vijïäna entails putting the pieces of the puzzle together perfectly. This can be attained, although determined effort is required for its achievement.
In this undertaking, there can be no compromise with the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation. It is the chief deviated line on earth now, an international devotional pretension, and it is potentially the most dangerous apa-sampradäya operating today. If the mis-leaders of “ISKCON” can be described in four words, those would be: bluffers, cheaters, rascals, and fools. One may argue that they are not fools, as they are expert psychological manipulators. That argument is, from a limited perspective, not false, but we are not referring here to such mastery in overlording. We are instead referring to the actual process of understanding (vijïäna) that is shared by legitimate yoga systems in all Vedic and Vaiñëava lines of disciplic succession. In this, the “ISKCON” mis-leaders are not advanced nor do they have any interest in becoming so.
“ISKCON” is an apa-sampradäya, an imitation school. It is based upon illusions, lies, historical revisionism, and identification. This identification is particularly manifest in its Party Men, because, for them, identification is with the institution itself, and that institution is a perverted reflection of what (the now ruined) ISKCON once was.
Even while it was bona fide, identification with ISKCON was not part of the process. To mistakenly think that today's “ISKCON” movement is non-different from Çréla Prabhupäda is an affliction shared by the Party Men, and nothing can effectively make a dent in that misconception for them. Their movement consists of psychic manipulators, hatchet men, fanatics, chelas, fearful masochists, monied interests of Hindoo contamination, and, of course, the Party Men themselves. None of these people actually ask “Why?” in their service to the deviated cult, since they couldn't care less about that.
Our perspective must not become limited by such sahajiyäs and miçra-bhaktas, i.e., it must become much larger. We must maximize what we can know on the platform from which we now function, and that will lead to understanding and to the next higher octave. We need to ask “Why?” often, and this will help us to see and understand things as they are. Why is “ISKCON” what it now is? How did it get there? Is there anything of value still left in it? What can we learn by knowing the actual history of its devolution over the past forty years? We shall thus--by sincerely asking “Why?”--secure real answers and develop a point of view that will both spiritually satisfy and protect us.
There are many things we can know and understand even now, however, as long as we actually desire to become free from the influences of “ISKCON,” Neo-Mutt, Rittvik, and the Solar Smorgasbord. Our character (sva-bhäva) on the causal plane will thus become more purified, i.e., our essence will unfold in the right way. As such, it will eventually suppress the bhava-sindhu to such an extent that the bhäva-sindhu, will be experienced.
Then, higher intelligence or advanced consciousness will become accessible, because the real energy is in the heart. It is best accessed through the topmost process of yoga, viz., bhakti-yoga. Currently, the problem is contaminated consciousness. The imitation schools (“ISKCON” and Neo-Mutt) and the wrong school (Rittvik) only work to deepen our entanglement in it and must thus be avoided.
By seeking to understand what these apa-sampradäyas are—and what they are not—we shall understand many other things. That will prove advantageous, especially during moments of personal crisis. Every realization sheds new light on not only the topic of our deliberation but also upon other areas of the occult science. Such realizations lead to further concentration of mind and development of prajïä. We must pay the price. If you undergo the difficulty and required tapasya to attain some realization, it will stay with you.
THE TRUTH is not an “ISKCON” value, and, as your author here delivers this stark fact in various ways, it may sting a bit. Your mind may find it unpalatable, but we are not meant for social etiquette in the service of this branch of the Gauòéya sampradäya founded by His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda.
Atomization, Slave Mentality, and the Post-Dated Check
“The alternative--to make a separate brain, separate funds, and separate manpower--is a diversion from our spiritual goal. . . You say you plan to run for U.S. Congress, but for this you can draw no money from the Society. So, your plan is utopian.”
“The idea is the slave mentality. The Englishmen, in an organized way, they taught the Indians how to become servant of the Englishmen. . . we were taught like that. So this imitation of Englishmen. . . it was the advancement of civilization if one could imitate the English fashion. That was. So, we should not make that a fashion. Guru is not a fashion.”
“I am saying I am millions, owner of millions of dollars, and you ask me: 'Give me some payment.' 'Yes, I give you post-dated check.' Will you accept? At present, if you give me five dollar, I see something tangible. And you're talking of big, big word, but you'll pay me in the future. So, is it very sanguine proposal? And I am to accept it?”
The power of diversion is prakñepätmika-çakti-mäyä; it is the power of forgetfulness. Mäyä diverts attention away from THE TRUTH through forgetfulness, hurling the conditioned soul into the realm of uncountable diversions, effectively atomizing him. It then covers his knowledge through another potency known as the ävaraëätmikä-çakti.
Diversion is everywhere present in the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation, but it takes a peculiar form there. Although warped, a foggy shadow of quasi-spiritual remembrance is still sometimes present. That is the nature of sahajiyä groups, but such a variety of so-called Kåñëa consciousness cannot help anyone. It certainly is not powerful enough to be even preliminarily conducive for the attainment of vimukti.
Yet, those in that institution, saturated with their in-house diversions, cannot recognize things for what they are; “ISKCON” ambiance convinces those people that they are actually in Kåñëa consciousness by such sahajiyä absorption. In point of fact, they are all atomized but in a different way. That sets themselves up for a transition to the outer limits when cult life becomes so intolerable that they are de facto forced to leave. Taking their chances, they then enter the outer ring of human society, the land of complete absorption in materialism, where no one understands one another or can effectively communicate. The circle of atomization broadens, and “ISKCON” fanatics call them “blooped.”
Such “ISKCON” Party Men take pleasure in that superiority complex, as they know it well that the overwhelming majority of those who leave their clutches will be atomized and completely diverted from Kåñëa consciousness in a short span of time. Due to the tendency of the conditioned soul to be identified with mäyä and forget Paramätmä, there will no longer even be shadow reminders for them as they struggle within society at large.
Just as importantly, these former followers were steeped in peculiar diversions while within “ISKCON,” i.e., the prakñepätmika-çakti was still working on them there, despite a flickering glimmer of higher influence every now and then. As such, it is only natural that, once somebody can't take it anymore and leaves the cult, he or she will simply transition to another version of the power of diversion. The mäyikä brainwashing continues in but another form. Every devotee must escape this atomization syndrome by first coming to know how it works, realizing how dangerous it is, and then developing real will in his or her activities. Having a nebulous aim is not enough, as THE TRUTH cannot be maintained without developing the power of will anchored in realization.
That is not valued in “ISKCON,” but it must be an essential aim for every devotee. “ISKCON” takes advantage of its own inmates and “blooped” devotees (when they foolishly return hat in hand) by perpetuating its lies often and insistently. As such, it is incumbent upon us to overcome that institutional prevarication by forging an unbreakable connection to THE TRUTH. In “ISKCON,” mendacity becomes accepted as reality, and that is one of the roots of its psychic tyranny. This must be known and realized by every devotee prepared to expose the deviated cult in order to check its momentum.
Becoming a servant of a real guru, an äcärya in the true sense of the term, means developing real will and advanced consciousness by such service. These lead to mukti and then vimukti. Development of transcendental consciousness grounded in acintyä-bhedäbheda tattva leads a devotee to the stage of freedom from the threefold miseries. That is real freedom. A service attitude to the äcärya produces results, but it does not produce a slave mentality.
As such, in all spheres of buddhi-yoga, freedom must be the main pivot. Without freedom, there is no execution of such service. To surrender to the rules and regulations of vidhi-sädhana bhakti, under the guidance of an äcärya, is to surrender to the transparent medium of the spiritual master. It entails complete freedom in due course of time.
A perverted reflection of such “surrender” is found in “ISKCON.” Its fanatics, keeping their buffers firmly in place, convince themselves that developing a peculiar form of humiliation (and fear of ostracism) in service to the god-men is the standard process. It is anything but. It does not lead to slave mentality, because it already is slave mentality. There is no freedom to be found in anything like that. How can fear result in entrance into the realm of eternal fearlessness? It is a nonsensical proposition, and it does not do so. A slave mentality is not any kind of prerequisite for making advancement in real will and advanced consciousness, and forms of those perversions are found in “ISKCON.”
They should be thoroughly rejected. Organized religions are notorious for issuing the equivalent of post-dated checks to their congregations. It may be the promise of a so-called eternal heaven or the promise of entering into Vaikuëöha at the time of death. Why would any transcendentalist accept such a cheap promise from “ISKCON”? In the future, the cult will supposedly straighten everything out, will right all the wrongs and become perfect and pure, but, for the present, continue to serve it and don't criticize. This is their idea. Then you are allegedly guaranteed entrance into the spiritual world. What kind of institutional pabulum is that? What kind of guru represents such garbage?
It is something like giving a person a post-dated check: “ISKCON” pays you one million dollars, post-dated. Although, if you look into it, you find that it has no money in its account. What is the value of that check? Will any intelligent person accept it? They are talking of the future in terms of their institution being rectified and their gurus no longer falling down. That future will never come, but they want the credit now. They want to quickly and painlessly clear their debts, i.e., all the offenses their institution and their gurus have generated over so many decades. Over and above that, they want to take credit in advance for spreading Kåñëa consciousness to every town and village.
Their post-dated check will never be honored. No intelligent devotee, whether he or she was offended and harmed by the institution or not, will accept it. Despite so many imperfections and deviations, they claim to have the market of pure devotional service cornered. They allege that they are trying and, for trying, they should be given full credit now. Post-dated check is their philosophy. They want credit in advance, but the devotee who is paying in cash at this time gets no credit in that institution.
Questions and Answers
Q: Even though there are any number of inconsistencies, contradictions, and discrepancies in today's three apa-sampradäyas, don't new people who come to either “ISKCON,” Neo-Mutt, or Rittvik nevertheless experience something extraordinary?
A: They often get experiences that are beyond the run-of-the-mill humdrum of material life in Kali-yuga, but pure consciousness is not added to those experiences. Kåñëa conscious knowledge must be firmly in place in order to serve as the basis for them. The newcomers cannot hold them, as such extraordinary feelings and visions prove fleeting and, after experiencing them, incomprehensible. They are often similar to what was previously experienced by these people under the influence of hallucinogens.
As is true in all yogic lines, the process and science of Gauòéya Vaiñëavism in Kåñëa consciousness has, as its preliminary aim, the attainment of pure knowledge on the highest universal plane, which is pure consciousness. Through various individual and/or group chanting of mantras--combined with austerities--the modes of passion and ignorance coating and slowing lower cakras in the präëamaya-koça can be temporarily stupefied. That can and does open up the doors to extraordinary visions and pleasures, but the newcomers cannot stay high forever, because the states they touch cannot remain in consciousness.
Those experiences are not based upon knowledge, which remains at a low level, because their cult of choice and its leaders have imbedded contradictions in their operations. Those contradictions destroy all higher development of knowledge (jïäna) and realization (vijïäna). The bona fide sädhaka is constantly engaged in removing contradictions, because that is integral to the process of bhakti-yoga.
On the other hand, beyond a process that yields preliminary A-B-C-D knowledge, “ISKCON,” Neo-Mutt, or Rittvik offer nothing. These cults allure people who are disinclined toward knowledge but who, instead, want to feel the buzz. These followers, some of whom eventually become fanatics, ignore the cult's discrepancies, and the contradictions remain unresolved within them. Some of them leave the institution, winding up more bewildered and worse off than they were before joining it.
The steady flow of unadulterated knowledge means purification of consciousness. It is scientifically delineated by the Supreme Lord in many verses found in the second half of Chapter Two of Bhagavad-gétä. Purification of consciousness is a higher aim than quasi-psychedelic experiences, which may be extraordinary but are insufficient.
Sthita-prajïä can be attained by strict practice in both impersonal and Vaiñëava lines, but it will never be added to an individual enamored by experience for its own sake. He or she is not under proper guidance and thus not engaged in the hard work of confronting and removing contradictions. Insufficient guidance is all that there is in “ISKCON.” Such is the case in Neo-Mutt and Rittvik, as well, and that's why no determined sädhaka stays long in the association of the chief apa-sampradäya or its two splinter groups.
Most “ISKCON” gurus seem to be nice men. Despite their being institutional gurus, should we really consider them dangerous?
The guru must be a perfect man. Either as an impersonalist or a personalist, the man who has attained siddha is rarely found. Nevertheless, there is a level of perfection previous to siddha, and this must be attained by anyone who is a regular guru in Prabhupäda's branch of the sampradäya--or any bona fide branch. Over and above that, he must have received the order from Prabhupäda, although that is a personal experience that usually cannot, in and of itself, be directly verified by anyone other than the disciple receiving it.
The regular guru is what Prabhupäda was expecting. Such a steady disciple must have attained a preliminary perfection in spiritual life, i.e., he must possess objectivity in terms of his own self and be fixed in devotional activities at all times. Previous to that, if someone becomes guru, he is projecting a persona when he appears to serve in the capacity of spiritual master. Such a persona or self-image may be convincing for those who cannot recognize it for what it is, and the so-called guru may appear to be a real nice guy. He may be expert at love bombing, for example. He may appear to even be a god-man, but he is unauthorized and his projected self-image is not the real thing.
Such a false personality cannot help us advance in spiritual science, and his association is a waste of time. However, contact with him can turn out to be worse than that. If a newcomer falls under the spell of any institutional guru in “ISKCON”--and then becomes initiated with the “ISKCON” béja as a result--that unfortunate will eventually be forced to realize just how dangerous his mistake was. Even then, he may be unable to extricate himself from the bad situation without having to undergo even greater dangers during the extrication.
The Imitation Sampradäya Takes Over
“There are many so-called followers of the Vaiñëava cult in the line of Caitanya Mahäprabhu who do not scrupulously follow the conclusions of the çästras, and therefore they are considered to be apa-sampradäya, which means 'outside of the sampradäya.' . . In order to follow strictly the disciplic succession of Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu, one should not associate with these apa-sampradäya communities.”
“Unfortunately, after the disappearance of Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu, many apa-sampradäyas (so-called followers) invented many ways not approved by the äcäryas.”
“In the present day, there are many apa-sampradäyas or sampradäyas which are not bona fide, which have no link to authorities like Lord Brahmä, Lord Çiva, the Kumäras or Lakñmé. People are misguided by such sampradäyas. The çästras say that being initiated in such a sampradäya is a useless waste of time . . .”
As far as Prabhupäda's Hare Kåñëa movement of Kåñëa consciousness is concerned, as most of you know, there are now three primary deviant lines (or apa-sampradäyas) parading as if they have a connection to him and to the paramparä. The only connection to it that any of these deviations has is that each of them is covering Prabhupäda's branch of the Gauòéya sampradäya. These three groups have been delineated throughout our articles, and they have been mentioned in this one as well: “ISKCON,” Neo-Mutt, and Rittvik.
They have all invented many new ways—some of which are imitation of old ways from another imitation school—in order to influence thousands of people to their sahajiyä way of life, but we cannot be overly concerned about the past. The important thing now is to expose them, check their momentum, and, in due course, to terminate their influences, especially in the United States of America.
Of the three, the darkest is Neo-Mutt--yet it is not the most dangerous. Neo-Mutt is too decentralized to constitute a major international threat in the future, as its wild-card gurus prosecute their operations within the precincts of their own personality cults. They do so in an uncoordinated fashion and in different sectors of the world. The most dangerous movement is the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation. It has the most potential to do the most harm in the future, so we center our attention upon it.
If “ISKCON” is allowed to run its course unexposed and unfettered, a future generation (and possibly even this one) will be forced to experience, either directly or indirectly, an ultra-intrusive, Western-cum-Eastern form of neo-Gothic government. It would have “ISKCON” quasi-brahminicals manipulating world leaders from behind the scenes. This is the ultimate purpose underlying “ISKCON” ecclesiology, and it has the potential to be far worse than what went down for centuries at the beginning of the previous millennium.
Just as Iesos Kristos did not preach inquisition (but that, nevertheless, went on in his name for centuries), Prabhupäda's teachings could be warped and misused to such a degree that the atrocities perpetrated in his name--by a more ferrel form of “ISKCON” than at present--would follow a similarly dangerous path. That version, however, would have access to all kinds of technological means of thought control, leading to much worse persecution.
“ISKCON” tries to replace personal development of right attitude in Kåñëa consciousness with its own organized religion, i.e., it imposes and forces institutional development on the individual. That leads to serious psychological maladies and compromises for the devotee who falls under its spell. In particular, its in-house competition leads to fixing before development, and the worst example of that is seen in the form of so many institutional gurus, none of whom are spiritual masters. They have all made many compromises, and spiritual death is the end result of one compromise at a time. “ISKCON” is loaded with such compromises, but we do expose them here.
“ISKCON” and Neo-Mutt are apa-sampradäyas of a particular variety, i.e., they are imitation schools. Rittvik is an apa-sampradäya that is a wrong school. Of course, there are many competing deviations by many rittviks at the current time, as that apa-sampradäya is highly centrifugal. How could it be otherwise? Its process of initiation is based upon an anti-Vedic, anti-Vaiñëava illusion. At least, “ISKCON” and Neo-Mutt have deviated from branches of the Gauòéya sampradäya that either are bona fide or were once bona fide, but all three of these groups have their own set of demands for their members.
Now, the objection may be made that a newcomer does not have power of will to overcome mäyä on his own, as he is too absorbed in self-will. Such self-will leads nowhere and can never grant spiritual realization. As such, the principle is that the organization is supposed to possess a group will that substitutes for real will, i.e., the follower joining such a Vaiñëava organization submits his self-will to the will of the organization. That principle is also sometimes part of the bona fide process of vidhé-sädhana bhakti.
When Gauòéya Vaiñëava äcäryas form schools to spread the message, it becomes an essential part of the process. The problem is not with the principle; it is with its imitation. “ISKCON” followers submit to a group will that is not bona fide. Putting oneself under such discipline, the unfortunate does to attempt to escape it. Substituting individual self-will for a deviated organizational self-will, however, entails the development of false personality--a different kind of false personality, of course.
This is also the case with the “ISKCON” gurus, who are false personalities posing as spiritual masters. They attempt to adapt to ever-changing situations. They make compromises as a result, but sometimes their self-will is not subordinated to the institution, although it appears to be. Such covert rebels make different compromises, because subconsciously they doubt (and rightfully so) the legitimacy of the institutional process that they allegedly represent. However, “ISKCON” has degenerated to such an extent that this syndrome often cannot be recognized even within that organization.
That is the difficulty: The necessary understanding of the bhakti system has become so diluted and dumbed down that “ISKCON” gurus have very little to give to anyone. It is a principle that, by such a degenerative process, the school or branch of the sampradäya devolves eventually into its own opposite. It then ceases to have any connection to its original purpose and actually no longer means anything. However, it does not cease to exist. As such, it provisionally then becomes even more dangerous.
An increasing number of people become misguided under its influence, and, if and/or when they leave its confines, they are unable to explain just what happened to them. They were cheated, because they wanted to be cheated; that's the only realization they take away from the experience. “ISKCON” facilitates that painful but factual realization if the “blooped” devotee decides to become inimical.
THE TRUTH according to Prabhupäda's order cannot be transmitted by an institutional guru to anyone, because both he and the organization (apa-sampradäya) that he serves have a conflicting set of values--different from the Vedic and Vaiñëava standard. Institutional guru means bogus guru. Prabhupäda ordered his initiated disciples to take the legacy. Individually, as regular gurus—when and/or if they become qualified and have received the order-- they are to represent and disseminate THE TRUTH to their own disciples.
In order to prosecute this sevä, a devotee initiated by the Founder-Äcärya (1966-77) must develop real will and become advanced in Kåñëa consciousness, fixed on the platform of madhyama-adhikäré. That order, that aim, and that goal are what is to be valued, not any of these versions of institutionalism. Those communities are false manifestations, empowering false personalities in the guise of spiritual masters for nobody's ultimate benefit, and they should all be avoided as far as possible.
“ISKCON” influence must be terminated, and then
OM TAT SAT
Quotes from the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are copyright by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust