The New Meaning of Founder-Äcärya:
An “ISKCON” Dogma of Mass Liberation


Part One of a Four-Part Series

A Critical Review of SPFAI

By Kailäsa Candra däsa

“Çré Jéva Gosvämé advises that one not accept a spiritual master in terms of hereditary or customary social and ecclesiastical conventions. One should simply try to find a genuinely qualified spiritual master for actual advancement in spiritual understanding.”
-Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädi, 1.35, purport

“The spiritual master is not God. Only God is God.”
-Quest for Enlightenment, An Introduction

“One may make a show of devotional service like the präkåta-sahajiyäs, or one may try to support his philosophy by joining some caste or identifying himself with a certain dynasty, claiming a monopoly on spiritual advancement.”
-Caitanya-caritämåta , Madhya, 19.160, purport

This review is of the latest G.B.C.-sanctioned literary composition, penned by, arguably, its leading member. The title of the book in question is Srila Prabhupäda Founder-Äcärya of ISKCON (hereinafter referred to as SPFAI or SPFAI by RSA). As the saying goes, you can't always judge a book by its cover--or, for that matter, by the title on that cover. The gist of the treatise is that the honorific “Founder-Äcärya” (in general) and the short and similar phrase “Founder-Äcärya of ISKCON” (in particular) connotes something far more extensive than has been considered for the last forty-five years, since the corporate organization came to be known as ISKCON.

The writer is Ravindra Svarüpa däsa Adhikäré, although he chooses not to use the designation of his äçrama when citing himself as the author of this work. Hereinafter, he will usually be referred to either as the author of SPFAI or simply RSA. His Western name (with title) is Professor William Deadwyler III. He holds a great deal of weight in the “ISKCON” movement, and, arguably, he has been its chief hierophant, at least covertly, since 1987. He is an established academic with accreditation from Temple University and had been president of corporate ISKCON Philadelphia for a long time. He is now (April, 2014), however, in the process of solidifying donations from well-wishers, followers, and disciples as he retires from serving in that capacity.

All emphases added for your edification and realization

In 1987, RSA wrote and distributed a position paper entitled Ending the Fratricidal War, which strongly contributed to a change in the movement; we call that year—the events connected to that change, that paper, and RSA's overall influence—as constituting The Second Transformation of the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” ecclesiocracy. RSA advocates collegial fellowship, which he considers the effective and best method for governing religious institutions in the absence of the physical manifestation of the Äcärya. A version of that mentality and style has been dominant in “ISKCON” for the last twenty-seven years, and the author of SPFAI has been the chief beneficiary of that conversion. It is pushed to the next level in his new book.

In due course, we shall reveal that work for just what it is by analyzing its specific nuts and bolts, beginning here in Part One of this series. First, however, some preliminary facts, truths, and siddhäntas will have to be established in order to set the stage for the critique itself.

When confronted with various congregational activities acclaimed to be representing Vaiñëava theistic or religious affiliation, most people are unaware that demonstrations of intense fervor, devotion (fanatic or otherwise), and/or pageantry can be categorized within one of three divisions: Genuine, mixed . . . or sahajiyä. It is mistaken knowledge to conclude that the last-mentioned category is readily recognized by expressions of flagrant, sensual individualism, loose attitudes and behaviors, and neglect of ethics. Sahajiyä comes from the root sahaj, which entails that which is very easy.

Yet, some sahajiyäs are part of a paradigm in which they either are or seem to be quite strict—always cutting the profile of being so—in personal hygiene, outward appearance, sädhana, direct worship of the Deity, institutional dedication, along with behavior congenial to contemporary law, order, ethical, moral, and social norms. The leaders in these cults set an example and live up to its demands—because it's easy for them to do so.

They have institutional control to lord it over the other sections, they do not have to earn a livelihood, and, with the power of ostracism at their fingertips, they can easily get virtually anything that they want. So, to cut the profile of what appears to be a strict lifestyle is not a burden for them, considering all of the other amenities that they are able to exploit. They live up to what appears to be a strict standard, and thus they make demands on other members of the institution at the lower rungs. These demands often entail heavy extraneous expectations placed upon anyone in the congregation who wants to remain in the group. Particular sahajiyä “gurus” can thus superficially appear attractive to some inexperienced devotee—but only if he or she is unable to recognize them for what they actually are. This syndrome is very active in “ISKCON.”

PLOY OR REALITY?

“The spiritual master should be given respect of God, but that doesn't mean he is God. That is Mäyävädé. You should always remember that the spiritual master is the representative of God and should be given the respect of God, but that doesn't mean that he is God Himself!” Letter to Gargamuni, 10-27-70

Can a spiritual master be over-glorified? We know that this is possible, because it happened in the case of His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda. In 1970, a rumor that Prabhupäda was God spread like wildfire within his movement. He was said to actually himself be the Supreme Lord of all creation. He protested this vigorously and warned that, if it was not quickly and completely squelched, it would soon ruin his blossoming spiritual movement.

This glorification was pushed by a handful of his leading disciples, devotees who had otherwise served him well, having joined him in the early days of his mission. These men were all dear to him, loved him, and their devotion was demonstrated by tangible results. He even had given four of them—the most prominent ones claiming he was God—the order of sannyäsa. Yet, their glorification propaganda persisted for about a year before it finally lost steam and its leading advocates finally repudiated it.

During the time that the Prabhupäda-is-God idea was in vogue and most influential, however, it is not at all difficult to intuit that many of his disciples (who were bamboozled by it) came to believe that Prabhupäda was disguising his actual status for his own divine purposes. Many “gurus” had come from India to America in the Sixties, and most, if not all of them, had, as essential to their teaching, preached that they were God, that you were God, and that, by following them and implementing their Eastern techniques, you could realize the so-called ever-present fact that you were the Supreme.

In other words, a particular sub-class of the hippie movement was deeply attracted to Eastern teachings, especially from the mid-Sixties into the early Seventies. Amongst these people, the guru-is-God mentality was a kind of normative, so to speak. It seemed as if only Prabhupäda promulgated something different about himself. However, if the Prabhupäda-is-God propaganda—essentially an over-glorification of the Äcärya—was actually correct, then Prabhupäda's insistence that he was not the Supreme Lord could be nothing more than a ploy or deceptive tactic meant to assist him in the spreading of his movement, which we all knew emphasized service to Lord Kåñëa (what some impersonalists called the slave mentality).

MONOPOLY GAME

“One may make a show of devotional service like the präkåta-sahajiyäs, or one may try to support his philosophy by joining some caste or identifying himself with a certain dynasty, claiming a monopoly on spiritual advancement.”
-Caitanya-caritämåta , Madhya, 19.160, purport

In this age, religious organizations usually devolve into institutional delusions. One such example is today's “ISKCON” movement. Institutions such as that one are notorious for claiming either that they are the only way to “heaven” or the spiritual world, or, if they do not go quite that far, that they are the best way. Obviously, the leaders of “ISKCON” do not preach that they are the only way, although there is an underground stream of fanaticism running throughout all of its echelons which believes just that.

Yet, when it comes to returning back to Godhead via the teachings, instructions, and guidance of His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda, “ISKCON” is not so generous. SPFAI attempts to convince its readers (presumably dominated by its adherents or those favorable to “ISKCON”) that there must now be a new conception of just who His Divine Grace actually was and is. As could only be presumed, according to SPFAI, the divine personality of this çaktyäveça-avatär must be fully intertwined and integrated with the organization ISKCON (now the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON”).

The book advocates a perspective that these two are actually one, that they always have been one, and that, at least for the 9,500 years remaining duration of the Golden Age, they will always be one and non-different. In other words, it pushes the idea that the only way to please Çréla Prabhupäda is to serve him favorably through his authorized institution, i.e., by rendering such seva inside the walls of “ISKCON.” The Governing Body Commission, the power node of “ISKCON,” is, of course, mentioned repeatedly in the book.

This idea of no-service-to-Kåñëa-through-Prabhupada-unless-institutionally-approved is nothing new; it was gaining strength throughout the Seventies. What is new here, as promulgated in SPFAI, is the claim of an all-encompassing metaphysical lock directly connected to “ISKCON.”[1] The SPFAI claims, in essence, is that there is some kind of predestined mass liberation guaranteed for everyone who serves favorably within the institution. Related to this is its claim that this unprecedented and easy benediction, now discovered and uncovered by the author of SPFAI for the first time, can be had merely by realizing the new and stupendous meaning of the four-word phrase Founder-Äcärya of ISKCON and, of course, acting accordingly.

What RSA and his comrades are now claiming—and it is new (read, worse)—is that your bhakti-seva cannot be accepted by the paramparä, by Prabhupäda and the branch he founded, unless it is prosecuted within “ISKCON.” It must be favorable to the G.B.C. to be within “ISKCON.” It must also be favorable to the Commission’s down-line appointed and approved representatives—and it must recognize G.B.C. ultimate authority over both the whole movement and you. If you meet this basic criteria—if you get the realization of SPFAI—then you must also preach this line of mass liberation and bring as many people in as you can to the institutional shortcut—a Ponzi pyramid—of which you are but one of the countless atoms, rank-and-file blind muktas on auto-pilot to the paravyoma. Sahaj: It's all so easy! Didn't the Founder-Äcärya make it that way?

The G.B.C. has approved SPFAI, so you must also accept it, its message, think of Prabhupäda in this new way, and act with the firm and unbreakable conviction that the mass liberation monopoly game being preached by today’s “ISKCON” leaders is entirely bona fide—quite a leap of faith, even for the chelas.

AN AVANTE-GARDE FORMAT

“But every precaution must be taken to preserve our basic guiding principles as they are and not change them because we want to hear something new.”
-Letter to Bhakta däs, 11-20-71

“Gradually the Krishna Consciousness idea will evaporate: Another change, another change, every day another change. Stop all this!”
-Letter to Sudäma, 11-5-72

The book is chiefly divided into two sections. SPFAI has quite a number of entries, however, in the beginning pages before these two main sections, even though it is without an Introduction (which is, to some degree, covered in the Preface). All of these preliminary entries are, more or less, meant to establish the book's institutional legitimacy, i.e., that it has received the imprimatur of the vitiated G.B.C. What SPFAI has definitively received is the approval of a committee assigned by the G.B.C. (vitiated G.B.C.) to determine the status of Çréla Prabhupäda in relation to the institution. A letter of approval from that committee is reproduced near the beginning of the work.

There is a Foreword of average length, written by a friend of RSA and fellow leader within “ISKCON,” and it contains eight references to “institution” and one use of the adverb “institutionally.” Not difficult to figure out where this man is at, especially since, in 2007, he even claimed that Çréla Prabhupäda always put the institution above the guru.[2] We shall reproduce and comment upon a quote from the Foreword subsequently.

In the Preface, the author of SPFAI calls his book “a foundational document.” This could be code for what he really intends it to be or become. Also in the Preface, he reveals that about one hundred of his comrades in the institution (all leaders) reviewed and approved a draft of SPFAI in 2013, and that he received “invaluable” comments from them. Actually, the author of SPFAI asserts that the publication of his book has been approved by the G.B.C. and is thus an official statement of the G.B.C. This is likely, because he has been the covert leader of that Commission since the mid-Eighties.

Proceeding to the book’s two chief divisions, the first one is called TEXT. Here are some notes your author made about it:

TEXT is the first section, and it is divided into four sub-headers. These are then repeated in the second section, where TEXT is subdivided into sequential mini-“texts.”

This second section is called TEXT WITH COMMENTARY . The sub-headers are the same in both sections, and they are: 1) Prabhupäda as Founder-Äcärya [14 sentences], 2) Reasons for Prabhupäda's Founding of ISKCON [7 sentences], 3) Our Central Challenge [23 sentences], and 4) Outcomes [9 sentences]. The numbers in brackets (above) are the sentences from TEXT that are reproduced and further broken down under the four sub-headers in the second section of the book.

The TOTAL SENTENCES of TEXT : 53

In the second section (TEXT WITH COMMENTARY), in chronological order of sequential and consecutive sentences, individual “texts” are culled out from TEXT (the first section of the book). These “texts”, in and of themselves, are (limited) representatives of, but non-different from, TEXT of the first section. This second section then provides a commentary to each one of these, explaining what had been previously presented in TEXT.

This second section appears to evidence that a kind of new scripture is covertly being created with this book—or, at least, such an attempt may very well be made in the near future in subsequent editions. The style of the texts with commentaries (derived from an initial TEXT) is a common scriptural format for Vedic and Vaiñëava literature. Although each of those “texts” in the second section is not individually numbered (in this edition), the ultimate intention behind SPFAI—and its complicated, avante-garde format—is indirectly indicated by that very format.

MASS LIBERATION ROCKS

“The phrase 'Founder-Äcärya' is not just a title but a transcendental system intended (for) . . . an institution dedicated to the mass liberation of conditioned souls . . .Obviously, full implementation of this system in ISKCON is crucial to the successful fulfillment of Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s prediction. I shared this realization with a number of my senior god-brothers . . . “ SPFAI, from the Foreword

This seductive screed succinctly represents the crux of what SPFAI strongly desires to implement. Its predication, however, is faulty. It claims that the term (not phrase) Founder-Äcärya is a system! Is that so? And that this system is intended for an institution—is meant to be institutionalized—in order to achieve what the term is ultimately dedicated to: MASS LIBERATION! This kind of writing no doubt appeals to fanatics and sentimentalists in “ISKCON,” but, if we apply intelligence to it in an unbiased way, it is seen to be nothing more than syrupy Euclidica Illogica, where six turns out to be nine, because it is said to be so. Some of us do mind!

Did His Divine Grace ever state that his honorific title of Founder-Äcärya was actually a system? Of course not. Saying that it is breaks the rules and regulations, i.e., such an assertion is nothing more than well-intentioned(?) mental speculation. Nevertheless, the real gem in this parade of predication is the use of the term mass liberation. Let us check to see how many times Çréla Prabhupäda employed that concept in the form of this term. Typing it into the string search of the folio, it pulls up zero references. Typing in its synonym phrase of liberation of the masses, the folio informs us that there are absolutely no references to that either in any of Prabhupäda's translations, purports, room conversations, letters, platform lectures, or peripatetic utterances.

That's right: Zero, çünya, nothing, nada, zip, zilch. However, if we go to the INTERNET and type mass liberation into Google, we do pull up some references. There is a New Society under the domain name of Prepare for Change, commandeered by a visionary named Vossa. It is doubtful that Prabhupäda would be highly favorable to its particular New Age message of mass liberation, especially since Vaiñëavism and the Holy Name are not featured on the site. There is also, at this time, a rock band called Mass Liberation. Here and there you may find some other secular references to the term on the world wide web, but nothing directly from çästra or guru.

Still, we now get plastered with this new dogma of mass liberation, and the salvo is delivered to us by none other than SPFAI. That may make us wonder whether or not the concept of mass liberation advocated in the book is even bona fide. We are now supposed to, like loving babies, swallow this new paramparä paradigm (or pabulum), the “realization” of which now purportedly gives us the real meaning behind Çréla Prabhupäda ( Founder-Äcärya)—an honorific also used by his guru maharäj. We are now informed that it actually, though somewhat indirectly, connotes a system(!) related to an institution (“ISKCON”) dedicated to the proposition that all men and women in “ISKCON” are already and automatically benedicted with some kind of unverifiable mass liberation simply by loyalty. How can any sane person believe this?

Are you buying it? Or rather are you skeptical about it, what to speak of its implementation, as pushed in SPFAI. Yeah, mass liberation rocks, but, if it actually is a gandharva-nägara, we had better figure that out now—before being forced to most unpleasantly realize it at the time of death.

THE FIRST DIVISION OF SPFAI

“The institution that would be able to act . . . over large spans of space and time needs a unique form. . . an organization in which the ultimate authority would reside in a board of directors . . .” TEXT, second sub-header

As aforementioned, TEXT contains fifty-three sentences (by our count), some of which are incredibly long. Listed below are some prominent and important statements, from our perspective, made in TEXT. Most of these will be commented upon in later parts of our four-part series.

Prabhupäda as Founder-Äcärya (first sub-header)

“As founder . . . his particular spirit or 'mood' take on a societal shape and form in the organization he created. . . His spirit pervades the institution as the essence of its own culture, and the members become its visible embodiment in the world.”[3]

Our Central Challenge (third sub-header)

“Stating that he wanted there to be ‘hundreds and thousands of spiritual masters’ within ISKCON, he implied that the normative guru-disciple relationship would be perpetuated within the unified institution under the direction of the G.B.C. In such an organization, many gurus would be able to act with concerted force, operating together with other leaders and managers in collegial accord.”

“One central challenge is to integrate the guru-disciple relationship—which carries its own proper demand for deep loyalty and commitment to the person of the guru—within a larger society that demands, in a certain sense, a higher, all-encompassing, loyalty.

“. . . the 'ritvik' position wishes to do away with actual gurus in favor of G.B.C. institutional authority . . .”

Outcomes (fourth sub-header)

“His books will remain central to us, for they contain insights and directions that await future development to be realized.”

CODE CRACKED . . . OR SOMETHING ELSE?

“ . . . we must conclude that one bearing the title 'Founder-Äcärya' has been granted a weightier commission, a commission that commands specific recognition.” TEXT WITH COMMENTARY, first sub-header

“There is a Bengali proverb: tor shil tor noda, tor bhangi dater goda. ‘I take your mortar and pestle, and I break your teeth.’”
-Letter to Robert, 3-8-76

SPFAI has been presented in not only an avante-garde way; it is also been printed in a rather complicated format. We now move to TEXT WITH COMMENTARY, the second section of SPFAI. As aforementioned, each entry is designed in such a way as to make this section readily amenable to being converted into one with numbered “texts” in a future edition of the book, with each “text” then containing a purport (COMMENTARY). The COMMENTARY to the first two sentences of TEXT, repeated in the second section of SPFAI, will not be analyzed. The next four sentences, under the sub-header Prabhupäda as Founder-Äcärya, are shorter, and we shall now repeat (from above) a comment in TEXT WITH COMMENTARY (by RSA) made about it:

“ . . . we must conclude that one bearing the title 'Founder-Äcärya' has been granted a weightier commission, a commission that commands specific recognition.”
-TEXT WITH COMMENTARY, first sub-header

He is referring to Äcärya as a stand-alone title; his logic is that the title Founder-Äcärya is greater than that of Äcärya. In one sense it may be considered so, but not in the way he postulates. His Divine Grace Çréla A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swami Prabhupäda was an Äcärya, or uttama-adhikäré who directly represented the line of disciplic succession. So was his guru mahäräj, His Divine Grace Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Prabhupäda. All the Äcäryas in the disciplic succession have the same spiritual status.

It is rare and very, very exalted. To differentiate them based on other honorific titles can be risky business, but the premise being pushed by RSA goes well beyond that. We must also remember that the thesis of the book centers upon its foundational premise, which, as you will realize, is flawed. If Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté had never been called Founder-Äcärya, then, maybe, the premise offered by RSA (and his institutional cohorts) could be considered—although, even then, it would probably be rejected. . . but Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Thakur was called Founder-Äcärya.

The nub of the SPFAI argument is that Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Prabhupäda was called President-Äcärya more often—it is inferred far more often—by his disciples than he was called Founder-Äcärya. Ultimately, this is an arcane point, which, in the case of SPFAI, has been blown all out of proportion, in effect making a mountain out of a molehill.

“In time, the appellations 'Äcärya' and 'President' fused into a hyphenated form that gradually became the standard title for Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura: 'President-Äcärya.' This compound title is used in connection with both 'Viśva-Vaiñëava-Räja Sabhä' and 'the Gauòéya Maöha' (or variations such as 'the Gauòéya Mission' and 'the Mission'). Moreover, the title 'President-Äcärya,' like the 'Äcärya' title, frequently appears as a stand-alone designation for Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura.”
-TEXT WITH COMMENTARY, first sub-header

In other words, Bhaktisiddhänta was referred to as “President-Äcärya” more frequently than he was referred to as “Founder-Äcärya.” On the basis of such a statistical consideration, we are then enjoined to come to the conclusion that Çréla A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swami Prabhupäda, as a Founder-Äcärya (of ISKCON), is in a much more elevated position than his spiritual master.

“On the other hand, the use of 'founder' in titles of Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Thakura is quite rare.”
-TEXT WITH COMMENTARY, first sub-header

Has any disciple of Çréla Prabhupäda gone through all of the massive publications of the Gouòéya Mutt in order to establish this? And, even if it is so, does it really mean anything? RSA claims that it most certainly does, but just because he makes that claim—and then blows out an entailed meaning behind it to stupendous proportions—that does not make his premise firm.

Çréla Prabhupäda founded ISKCON. That makes him a founder of a spiritual organization. He was the Äcärya of the line after his guru mahäräj disappeared. That made him a Founder-Äcärya. Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta founded Gouòéya Mutt. That makes him a founder of a spiritual organization. He was the Äcärya of the line after his guru mahäräj disappeared. That made him a Founder-Äcärya. Is this difficult to understand?

And, as admitted by the author of SPFAI, Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkur Prabhupäda was referred to as Founder-Äcärya by his disciples. Interestingly enough, RSA provides us the proof of it in his book:

“This institution . . . owes its existence both as regards initiative and growth to His Divine Grace Paramhansa Çréla Bhaktisiddänta Saraswaté Goswämé Mahäräj . . .The Gauòéya Math is also identical with its founder Ächäryya. . . “
-The Harmonist, 28.5:129/131 (diacritals inserted)

Yet, RSA does not consider this historical reference at all significant, and he, more or less, dismisses its relevance:

“ . . . it is striking to find in the pages of The Harmonist the words “founder Ächäryya” introduced, in an unobtrusive yet confident manner, to refer to the President of the Gauòéya Maöha institution himself.”
-TEXT WITH COMMENTARY, first sub-header

In other words, despite the fact that the author of Çré Krishna Caitanya, Professor Sanyäl (who Prabhupäda said was bona fide in the period before 1937) used the honorific Founder-Äcärya to describe his guru, RSA is astounded and dismissive. Despite the fact that The Harmonist printed the term Founder-Äcärya on its pages (despite not capitalizing founder, apparently), RSA is surprised that any of his (Bhaktisiddhänta's) disciples would even use the term. In the view of the author of SPFAI, they all should have instead only used the designation President-Äcärya to recognize him.

“As part of the inaugural observances (opening Bägh Bazaar), The Harmonist carried an authoritative ecclesiological exposition of Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura’s institution. It is significant, on this occasion, that the author of Çree Krishna Chaitanya (Prof. Sanyäl) made use of the words “founder Ächaryya” to characterize (him, viz., Bhaktisiddhänta).”
-TEXT WITH COMMENTARY, first sub-header

Notice how RSA deftly employs the term “ecclesiological” in his particular comment here. As such, be aware that he is not trying to hide where he is really at. The basic premise of SPFAI is shot through with contradiction and bad logic which should both be rather obvious to everyone.

SUMMARY OF PART ONE

“Therefore, a philosopher is not a philosopher unless he refutes his predecessor and produces something new. This kind of knowledge is useless.”
-Letter to Dänavér, 12-12-71

Led there by RSA, the vitiated G.B.C. has stepped in it.

As word spreads that the base premise of this literary overreach (SPFAI) is ultra-shaky, some G.B.C. members are going to also realize that, by continuing to back the work, the Commission itself will be skating on thin ice.

None of us ever considered His Divine Grace’s use of the term Founder-Äcärya to mean anything more than the worshippable fact that he founded his own spiritual society and was the current Äcärya in the disciplic line, especially while he was with us in manifest form. That, in and of itself, was and remains glorious. Converting it into something else is bad enough.[4] However, that cannot be the sole or even chief motive behind SPFAI.

What is really going on with this book is that, once again, a prominent “ISKCON” man is establishing something NEW, creating but another avenue for the vitiated G.B.C. to increase its control and over-lording—in the name of an improved implementation of and for the mission, of course. These apparatchiks of “ISKCON” cannot secure their aims via personal charisma, because they have none. Even if they have a little, that does not compare to the wild-card “gurus” who are still allowed to operate and exploit within “ISKCON.”

As such, these collegial types are always meddling and trying to devise ways to make sure that all the gurus of “ISKCON” are institutional gurus. Institutional guru means bogus guru, and thus the apparatchiks are able to get over. In point of fact, all the so-called spiritual masters in that movement are dependent upon the G.B.C. for their recognition.

Some, however, do have personal charisma. Those that do not have it must instead depend solely upon institutional charisma, upon the organization, upon the Commission—and now upon the new big dispensation being dumped on the heads of everyone by this book, SPFAI. Its message will give them a bump, no doubt, but the whole initiative will also hit a speed bump—at least, in due course of time. Devotees are going to catch on as to where it is coming from and what it is based upon, and, when they do, a big brush fire in the back forty is going to start spreading. These malcontents are then going to point out the book's flaws on various websites; indeed, the Solar Smorgasbord has already run no less than two incisive and negative critiques of the work.

The halcyon hope for some kind of implementation of “mass liberation” will buy the “ISKCON” institution more time—something that its leaders are most expert at repeatedly achieving (by one means or another)—but SPFAI should, in all likelihood, eventually be rejected by almost all devotees. In Part Two of this four-part series, we shall further explore that prospect.

ENDNOTES


[1] We shall, more often than not, continue to employ quotation marks around the acronym ISKCON, especially since the book references today's movement, which has devolved into little more than a deviated, unauthorized, and perverted reflection of the corporate entity founded by Çréla Prabhupäda.

[2] Does his break with the Gouòéya Mutt and establishing himself independently as guru of Westerners, without Mutt sanction, indicate that?

[3] This, as many of you know, is the mood argument. This particular methodology, very popular amongst “ISKCON” hierophants, could have a whole part of this series dedicated to it. The mood argument is extremely insidious, but, nonetheless, in many ways, it is common mortar holding together the bricks of the “ISKCON” false philosophy.

[4] The guru asks for a glass of water. The disciple brings him a glass of milk, instead, on the plea that milk is better than water.

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