The Menace of Delusional Institutionalism

by Bhakta Meesala

The Supreme Lord Kåñëa says in Bhagavad-gétä As It Is:

I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My eternal creative potency [yoga-mäyä]; and so the deluded world knows Me not, who am unborn and infallible.” -Bhagavad-gétä, 7.25

Such unintelligent foolishness is what is happening now. After a gap of forty years or so, after the first copy of Bhagavad-gétä As It Is was authored by his Divine Grace, Çréla Prabhupäda, things have changed. At that time, when the book was printed and released to a largely ignorant world in order to awaken them from their slumber of degraded consciousness, the mentality of spiritual seekers was not influenced by corporate consciousness.

Today however, large corporate organizations are being steered by spiritually foolish and unintelligent people in the name of Kåñëa consciousness. They think that God (Kåñëa) can be turned into something fallible—specifically, a flawed institution--despite superficially saying the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa, is infallible. These leaders of so-called Kåñëa conscious organizations are prone to such habitual thinking, while, at the same time, controlling their sheep according to whim and fancy, a kind of cheating process displaying only apparent success. In other words, they follow a pseudo-Vedic arthaväda system, primarily for the glorification of their institution and its hierarchy, by using an effective tool generally known as corporate propaganda.

It is cheating in the ostentatious guise of “Samaritans and Saints.” They are under the illusion of redeeming the world from its ignorant state of consciousness to what is supposed to be an elevated state of consciousness, although their whole program simply suits the aims and goals of these so-called Kåñëa organizations. These dubious “Kåñëa” organizations impress upon the general mass of people that they are Vaiñëava ethical propagators, though, in fact, they are entangled in deep negative karma as a result of cheating.

Here is another passage from Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu, as often quoted by His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda:

O Almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth nor to enjoy beautiful women nor do I want any number of followers. What I want only is the causeless mercy of Your devotional service in my life, birth after birth.”

Are these so-called devotional organizations following this teaching? Perhaps superficially, in terms of formalities, but in actuality, these organizations are only after wealth and pomp as they impose a post-modern quasi-Vedic etiquette on everybody who accepts their pretense. Their make-show induces grandiose feelings in the general mass of ignorant people, who then follow them blindly. They say that the Golden Age started at the divine manifestation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, and then it took off to greater heights during the physical manifestation of Çréla Prabhupäda. Yet, they make assumptions about this which are in error. They wrongly assume themselves to be connected to that paramparä, but what they are actually connected to is a new ecclesiastical line of their own making.

They are under the illusion that they are the vanguard movement leading the people all over the world to The Peak of the Golden Age. In reality, however, we must now question whether or not the Golden Age, begun by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Caitanya Mahäprabhu, has now reached what seems like a kind of dead end after the unfortunate disappearance of the uttama-adhikäré guru, Çréla Prabhupäda. Only the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa, knows exactly what the situation now is.

The following lines are from Bhagavad-gétä As It Is by Çréla Prabhupäda, Chapter Six, verse 30, purport:

To merge in Kåñëa is spiritual annihilation. A devotee takes no such risk.”

No doubt, merging in the effulgence of Kåñëa is spiritual suicide, but is not merging in The Delusional of Devotional Institutionalism even more dangerous than merging in the effulgence?

From Bhagavad-gétä As It Is, 6.34:

For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong. O Kåñëa and to subdue it is, it seems to me, more difficult than controlling the wind.”

The leaders of the dubious “Kåñëa” organizations have minds that work similar to the description in this passage. These leaders are headstrong in deluding the intelligence of the general populace by pruning the minds of each follower to their advantage, in the guise of truly guiding them, whether initiated or not initiated. There is an English aphorism which states that An Idle Mind is a Devil’s Workship: Idle mind in the sense that these leaders got rid of the actual instructions imparted by the mahä-bhägavata guru, Çréla Prabhupäda and thereby concocted an ideal situation to suit the purpose of their degraded minds. These leaders, by their shrewd and unbridled minds, have become expert in creating nefarious schemes, like unauthorized voting of gurus, undeserved mahäbhägavat worship for themselves, deft intimidation of their followers, and giving the wrong beeja (although they do not want it themselves).

On the other hand, there has also been the concoction of a splinter (Rittvik) group, which commits a grave affront to the Vedic system by misguiding ignorant devotees into believing that they can all be directly initiated by the departed uttama-adhikäré guru, as long as they follow the regulative principles. Contrasting this, their opposing “Kåñëa” comrades make devoted followers believe that they can now become the grand disciples of Çréla Prabhupäda, but this propaganda is nothing more than ecclesiastical hypocrisy.

The leaders themselves are deluded and thereby mislead their followers. These so-called leaders can give their followers neither Transcendence nor material prosperity. Some of the followers are so confused that they are forced to leave the organization in frustration, though hardcore followers remain in it by employing clever tactics. All of this can be compared to Charles Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest. Those who can fit in with the deviated “Kåñëa” organization are allowed to stay, with some even achieving accolades from their so-called gurus; those who cannot fit in are kicked out sooner or later, and they wind up licking psychic wounds, which are hard to heal--the fallout of a broken heart.

These dubious “Kåñëa” organizations display pomp which is a kind of pseudo-spiritual materialism by their ostentatious building of gorgeous temples via collections from the great number of public who visit these temples. Some of those visitors give huge donations, under the delusion that their money will be spent wisely. Though a small part of it is spent for distributing so-called sanctified food, how the rest is spent only Lord Kåñëa fully knows, i.e., it is not uncommon for them to spend the money dissolutely for their own materialistic self-aggrandizement and show-bottle spirituality.

It is clear that dubious “Kåñëa” organizations conquer wealth (material money) via a dazzling display of temple worship, distributing Çréla Prabhupäda’s abridged and changed books, clever jugglery of words (in the name of preaching), and manipulating sheep-like followers using mafia strong-arm tactics. This modus operandi leaves some of their followers broken-hearted.

Dubious “Kåñëa” organizations even go to the extent of impressing upon the general public that they have a rightful share in representing the Absolute Truth, though only a kind of distorted truth is what they actually represent. These dubious “Kåñëa” organizations give the impression that they are the true representatives of Kåñëa Consciousness as propagated by His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda, as if every truth Çréla Prabhupäda gave rests on them alone, just as pearls are strung on a thread.

The word satyam, as described by His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda, means that one should not distort the Truth for some personal interest. Yet, in these times, the Truth has been distorted to a great extent. The Truth and path laid down by Çréla Prabhupäda, which actually represented Providence (Spiritual Destiny), over time has been converted into Fate (Material Destiny). That now has been degraded into a material destiny which has developed several unauthorized branches, each controlled by an oligarchy.

The initially deflected organization, over the years, has created horrific structures with many poisonous fangs (parties), and they each sting each other, as each of them claims that it alone represents the sampradäya brought to us by Çréla Prabhupäda. Their only unifying agenda is to further entangle followers in institutional consciousness, thereby bewildering and frightening any devotee who gets the slightest notion or realization that he or she is caught in the covering of a psychic cocoon—a cocoon that wraps the devotee in colored blankets of attraction and deception, coated by ecclesiastical schism. These entrench the flock in a very firm hold.

The whole make-show is nothing more than bait to push a deviated cause in the guise of Vaiñëavism, and it is rooted in a contrived relation to the genuine Kåñëa conscious movement that formerly flourished when the uttama-adhikäré guru, Çréla Prabhupäda, was physically manifest. I am dedicating this article to that great personality, my Çikñä-guru, His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda.


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