Totalitarianism & Vedic Totalism:
by Kailäsa Candra däsa
Part Four of a Four-Part Series
“Most thankless task. We want to save them, and they accuse us. . . That is natural. But he is angry, 'Why you have checked my kite-flying?' So, it is a different type of civilization, a different style of life. If you want to introduce, they will accuse you--so many, like madmen--and still we have to do. That is preaching. You cannot expect very smooth life in preaching.”
“Otherwise, if you led by another blind man, what is your benefit? Andhä yathändhair upanéyamänäù . . . Just like a blind man going, falling into the ditch, we say, 'No, no. Don't go there. You'll fall down.' But he becomes angry, 'Why you are instructing me?' That is our thankless task.”
You lock the door and throw away the key,
In this age of Kali, when everything is topsy-turvy, the vast majority of people do not want to hear or read or know about their actual situation. They sometimes become angry if you inform them about it, as they prefer various illusions instead. Many evil principalities within their subtle bodies control them, keeping them more or less completely oblivious to Reality. This syndrome is not found only in material life, but in pseudo-spiritual and pseudo-devotional groups, also.
If you preach the real explanation to them, they will not appreciate it, but, either literally or figuratively, they instead will beat you with sticks. This perversion within people immersed in the lower modes extends all the way to the so-called spiritual or devotional field. Unlocking these chains of conditioned souls is not an easy process--and it is anything but automatic. They have to want to be released. They must not put up resistance to THE TRUTH. They must be willing to accept the Absolute Truth, and the totalism that it entails, while rejecting all forms of totalitarianism.
Secular law provides limited support, because it is based upon man-made concoction rather than scripture. Ignorance is intrinsic to it. Sure, it can serve to bring down a rascal President or Senator (as it did in the mid-Seventies and has just recently done), but that service potential is dramatically limited. It can hold off totalitarianism for awhile, but not for very long, because ignorance eventually provokes degradation, depravity, and weakness. Such ignorance is now embedded everywhere within secular states, and there will be consequences for that.
Indeed, here in the United States, practically the totality of its citizens do not even know the date when their country actually became a nation-state. If you would like to read the details concerning this, then consult APPENDIX ONE. Americans celebrate and glorify that event on July 4th of every year, but no such unification of the former colonies of Great Britain into a nation-state took place on that date.
Similarly, the supposed superiority of the Constitution has been flaunted repeatedly, in practically uncountable situations, both in the distant past and very recently. There are two instances in particular, not long after the Constitution was declared the law of the land in 1789, when American leaders overrode it. This planted the seeds for its general disregard, which is sometimes quite egregious at the present time.
If you would like to read the details concerning the first of those original neglects of the Constitution, one which is centered upon the Louisiana Purchase, then consult APPENDIX TWO. If you would like to read the second such original or initial disregard of the Constitution, one which concerned the annexation of the territory of what is now Texas, then consult APPENDIX THREE.
The objection may be made that all of this is mundane and has no relationship to Kåñëa consciousness. Although it has no direct relationship, obviously, it does have a connection to the threads discussed last month and this month in our four-part series. Law and order has to have a strong basis in human society, but secularism does not provide for that. In order to avoid the pitfall of godless totalitarianism, there must be very strong law and order, and the documentation underpinning it must be free from ignorant misconception and not easily disregarded. The people must know their heritage and thus honor it accurately, while also protecting it.
Even more importantly, law and order must be free from egotistical human agency which can override it at whim. Otherwise, the motto of a country—as in America, the motto of laws and not men--degenerates into nothing more than an astral cliche. That essential principle (of following fixed law) does have an integral relationship with Kåñëa consciousness, because Kåñëa consciousness is real religion, and real religion is always fixed up. Real religion is based upon immutable spiritual laws and respect for the laws of nature, as well. If something other than this has wormed its way into your brain, the time is now to remove it.
Limitations of Secular Law
“The statutory laws of the state are imperfect, imitation replicas of religious codes. The secular state, or the godless state, allows the citizens to break the laws of God, but restricts them from disobeying the laws of the state; the result is that the people in general suffer more by breaking the laws of God than by obeying the imperfect laws made by man.”
“Secular state means neutral to any kind of religion, but it is the duty of government to see that people are religious. Not that because government is secular, let the people go to hell."
“A man has got to know his limitations.”
There is a gulf of difference between empirical politics (and the laws that issue forth from it) and Vedic political science. Empiric law is based upon political theory, while Vedic law is based upon revealed scripture. The Absolute Truth is perfect, and Vedic law, which is integrally related to Vedic totalism, to the Absolute Truth, is also perfect. It must be applied perfectly for this to be demonstrated, of course.
Western political scientists, along with sociologists, establish generalizations based upon empiric evidence and/or physical facts. That, of course, is a manifestation of inductive reasoning. It will always turn out to be flawed after the theoretical stage has been converted into power on the ground. Law is the codification of government over public and private entities, and we must have it. Anarchy is horrible, but it is also temporary. The vacuum will be filled, and it is often filled by some form of totalitarianism.
Democratic political power in a liberal, secular state is constantly in the process of change, making unreliability its chief factor. That kind of law, as succinctly and perfectly stated above in the Bhägavatam quote, is but an imitation replica of spiritual or Vedic codes. These real codes are now ignored not only in the West but in the East, also.
Comparative studies between institutions of two (or more) nation-states will not solve the intrinsic flaws contained in godless, secular law. Political institutions, no matter how powerful, are ultimately non-Vedic concoctions, and the laws that emanate from them, in many cases, turn out to be anti-Vedic impositions which subtly or overtly stifle the spiritual and devotional growth of progressive citizens oppressed by them.
As could only be expected, secular law has its roots in Greek speculation, i.e., Western speculation about government and law, especially at the time of Plato and Aristotle. The goal of such speculation was to maintain social control, both individually and collectively. Aristotle went so far as to consider political science the master science, but knowledge about how to control the base tendencies of humanity, particularly in this age, must be found outside the realm of mental speculation; it is to be found in the Vedas.
The chief problem today with secular law is that it is applied in any and all arenas with few exceptions (such as ecclesiastic law). Secular law has no business determining morality or ethics, but it intrudes in these areas. Vedic law and essential Vaiñëava scriptures are meant for determining ethical and moral law.
In the West, over the last millennia, we have all either read about, or have directly gotten a taste of, the evils of ecclesiastic law. Misuse of a great science or principle does not make it useless, and misapplication of the principle of spiritual law—which, when degraded, degenerates into ecclesiastic dogma—cannot be overcome simply by determining law and order via a representative government conjured by majority vote.
The secular state has got its place, but that is supposed to be limited in progressive human society. For example, who can deny the practical validity of secular laws determining rules of the road, divisions of the world into time zones, and rules of interstate commerce? There are many thousands of such regulations in applicable arenas, and there are laws connected to them—including penalties for disobeying such secular laws. No sane man or woman engaged in spiritual life would ever protest the creation and enforcement of neutral, common sense laws in this complex Western matrix—although, according to Vedic understanding, a motor-car civilization is not an advanced state.
Certainly, there must be local, national, and international law—especially the latter, considering that nuclear Armageddon hangs like the Sword of Damocles (and having recently taken an incremental leap relative to what is transpiring in the Far East). Controlling the results of what modern and post-modern science has unleashed is a mandate that no civilized, democratic country can ignore. Abstract speculation alone cannot help us in this matter, but Vedic revelation, if applied in the right way by the executive class, under the guidance of genuine Vaiñëava-brähmins, will certainly help us.
Empirical studies and their applications, based as they are upon international power relations, are always prone to be counter-productive to the goal of this rare human life. Through constant crises, attention is diverted away from the real issues, e.g., a militarily strong but godless state, when opposed by another such state (with a different political philosophy), results in the sundering of both natural law and transcendental law. Thus, extremely severe suffering must eventually ensue, and the foibles of man-made, secular law will not be able to postpone that for much longer.
The scholasticism of the Middle Ages, and its political representation in the form of feudalism, was meant to harmonize the power of government with the ethics and laws embedded in Roman Catholic scripture. It was a religious framework which attempted to fit Aristotelian tradition into the framework of Christianity. Aquinas went so far as to rank all political subject matter below the subject of law, and he was primarily responsible for attempting to adapt Aristotle to the Medieval rights and duties of individuals. The various kingdoms of that time, all of which were supposed to be subordinate to Rome, where constantly kept in check by the ever-present threat of Papal indictment.
These Christian theories were eventually challenged by the political philosophers of the Renaissance, led by Machiavelli (favoring the emergence of princely states separate from ecclesiastic states). Along with the philosophy of the originator of modern science, Francis Bacon, centralized Catholic idealism was pushed aside in favor of empirical, power politics, which was often ruthless. This approach became known as secularism, and it received a boost by the emergence of the Protestant Reformation.
Actually, the Reformation was far more important than the Renaissance, which was little more than a lateral octave assisting it. Nevertheless, Renaissance thought, capped off by the meticulous, pessimistic, and godless philosophy of Hobbes, was successful in separating politics from religion, which, by the Sixteenth Century, had mostly degraded into sclerotic forms of ecclesiastic dogma, itself a form of totalitarianism.
The secular state then further morphed into constitutionalism, as kings were replaced by constitutional monarchy and then into republicanism. That was followed by today's liberal, secular democracy, which is currently breaking down. With a few, rare exceptions—and very limited and temporary in terms of their effects--all of the uncountable secular laws that have been spawned over these last five centuries have neglected the government's ultimate duty to see to the spiritual evolution of its citizens. Democracy, Socialism, Communism, and many other contemporary ideas may appear to be improvements in human society, yet, the constant political reform that emanates from over forty international political science associations fails to realize the inherent limitations of secular law.
Real global interest must not be limited to nation-states or even to a one-world government. Instead, it must be centered around the attainment of spiritual liberation for individual human beings of whatever race or nationality. Vedic political science cannot be neglected, as it currently is, in order to implement that real interest. Secularism must first be limited and applied only to the categories that are suitable for it in order for the real interest of mankind to transpire. Does the world (and so many innocent living entities) first have to experience totalitarianism and then nuclear annihilation before this is finally realized?
Today's “ISK” Con Man is Tomorrow's Totalitarian
Prabhupäda: Yes. I shall choose some guru. I shall say, "Now you become äcärya. You become authorized." I am waiting for that. You become all äcärya. I retire completely, but the training must be complete.
“ . . . by the dress of sannyäsé, you take some money and eat and sleep, then it is transcendental fraud. Just like others are toiling, and we are getting money by some dress. That's all. . . In India, mostly the sannyäsés, they do that. The priests also, they do that. This is our profession . . . Instead of earning livelihood by showing the Deity in the temple, it is better to take the profession of a sweeper in the street . . .”
“Truth has a despotic character. It is, therefore, hated by tyrants,
Fraud is perpetrated by cheaters, and they do not like being unmasked. As such, to some degree as a defense mechanism, their initial fraud mutates over time into something very different—and often more powerful—then its original manifestation. This principle is now ascertainable in the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation, but it had its origins in something simpler than today's bureaucratized and complicated institution. That its roots were dug deeply into the soil of personal ambition, there is no question. Nevertheless, there was another factor concomitant to it, viz., misuse of the razor's edge principle of converting the material into the spiritual. That misuse led to strong, personal desires allegedly being dovetailed into spiritual desires, culminating in the “ISKCON” long con.
“He can convert the material into spiritual and the spiritual into material, because He is the original source of these two energies.”
It cuts both ways. This is an in-depth topic, but we can now clearly see, in hindsight, that the principle of such dovetailing was misused due to lack of training and too much imagination, combined with authority entrusted to men who could not handle it. Their egregious misuse of this principle of transmutation does not render it useless, but we must now be on guard as to just where and how such wrongly converted power will wind up.
Unless it is fully exposed and checked at this time, where it does culminate may appear vastly different from where and how it first reared its ugly head. If not enough devotees step up to the plate, “ISKCON” may worm its way into a future, malignant manifestation of international totalitarianism. We are unmasking that stark potential here on our websites, so that all the devotees reading this message do what they can to warn people now.
A Fever for Constant Change
“Vedic way of simple life is the best, and, unless you adopt the Vedic way of simple life, you'll be implicated, material desires. There is no end. The Western civilization, they are after sense gratification, but there is no limit where it will end. The psychology is that everything new. They are changing—"change, change, change." And there is no limit.”
“It will be another hippie edition. Gradually, the Krishna Consciousness idea will evaporate: Another change, another change, every day another change. Stop all this! Simply have kértana, nothing else. Don't manufacture ideas.”
“A fever of newness has been everywhere confused with the spirit of progress.”
The Kåñëa consciousness movement is a very, very old movement. In terms of the recorded Vedic message, it entered human society over five thousand years ago. Even its current iteration, promulgated by the Supreme Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, is over five hundred years old. Çréla Prabhupäda's branch of Lord Caitanya's Hare Kåñëa movement was inaugurated in America over a generation ago, and the principle of disciplic succession requires that there be no change to either its message or any of its mandatory strictures. That principle has been under severe attack since the late Seventies.
That is one of the reasons why it is time to return to square one. Innovation is of very little value in Kåñëa consciousness, and it must always be carefully checked and limited when it comes to spreading the message of disciplic succession. Yet, a fever for everything new, combined with allegedly making so-called spiritual advancement through ways and means meant for material enjoyment, has led now to massive distortion.
There are so many examples of it. The mind-boggling changes (well over seven hundred of them) to Prabhupäda's Bhagavad-gétä are the most destructive, but not necessarily the most blatant. Consider also the “car puja” ceremonies undertaken to please the Hindoo hodge-podge, and the two other transformations of “ISKCON” since the first one in 1978.
A most egregious example, in a colorful pictorial form, can be found in a post-modern advertisement pushing some kind of festival cruise hosted by one of the prominent “ISKCON” institutional gurus. If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one is worth a million. In the foreground, we find a young, attractive, scantily-clad “devotee” with an alluring smile, a light-skinned female, apparently of Southeast Asian descent. Immediately behind her, we see the front deck of the cruise ship, featuring its pool. Floating above it, we see a super-imposed picture of the host guru on his “Vyäsäsana.”
Would Çréla Prabhupäda have approved of this? Nevertheless, it is certainly an innovative method for supposedly preaching the message of the paramparä, but, as most of you know by now, no genuine preaching is ever undertaken today by “ISKCON” gurus.
“ISKCON” is Dying but THE TRUTH is Not Dead
“Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu has forecast that this Hare Kåñëa Mantra will be heard in every nook and cranny of the globe. He is God, so it will happen, that is a fact. So, if we take advantage, then we may take the credit, but if we do not, someone else will.”
Leading Secretary: It says, “God is dead. Nietszche.” And then, right underneath it, somebody wrote, "Nietszche is dead. God."
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
It was a matchless gift . . . until it wasn't. Çréla Prabhupäda's branch of Lord Caitanya's Hare Kåñëa movement grew exponentially, in a bona fide way, in the late Sixties and the early Seventies. Then, extraneous elements squirmed their way into it. In the late Seventies, the self-apotheosis of Mäyäväda (nirviçeña) and the nihilism of çünyaväda combined in an almost unprecedented way, and a colossal hoax perpetrated by eleven pretender mahäbhägavats destroyed everything for the sake of the egotistical enjoyment of those men.
As a despotic imposition meant to exalt a mere handful of neophytes (who were, by that time, sahajiyäs and deserved no glorification whatsoever), Prabhupäda's branch was ruined to such an extent that even his teachings are now barely holding on. The level of contaminated consciousness that produced today's putrefaction in “ISKCON” is still present in that organization. It is also fully present in its contender splinter groups.
As such, there can be, and will be, no meaningful reform in “ISKCON,” because the cause remains in the effect. Reform is not the issue anyway. Only a revolution is applicable to the current level of degradation and dumbing down that “ISKCON” has sunken to, and any reform simply serves it by supplying a temporary and meaningless uplift.
“ISKCON” is a dying institution, but it is not dead. The Absolute Truth is no longer present in it, so Vedic totalism is no longer represented by it. The same goes for Neo-Mutt (which is very strongly connected to a covert form of Mäyäväda) and Rittvik. None of these three deviated philosophies and cults will propel Lord Caitanya's movement to every nook and cranny of the globe—not in a bona fide way, which is all that really matters. Instead, all three are delaying that divine eventuality, and, although the situation is very bad at this time, do not for a moment think that it could not get much worse.
If the complicated international situation begins to crater and spin out of control, the powers that be will resort to whatever they have to in order to maintain or regain control. In the process, under the principle of never letting a major crisis go to waste, they may make one final stab at trying to secure complete control worldwide. That would have to include some kind of alignment with a world religion, and we have discussed this topic previously. What could then manifest would appear to be the perfection of totalitarianism, and this would obviously delay the prophesied triumph of Lord Caitanya's movement—quite possibly, in the name of having achieved it.
We are not there yet, and the good news is that we may never get there. In the intermediate future, in a world that does not break down financially and socially, a quasi-influence of Hare Kåñëa may remain in the form of many different (and competing) Kåñëa groups with many different leaders, styles, and emphases. This would be similar to what transpired throughout Europe after the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. More or less, in terms of the Christian religion in the Occident, that initial toleration model, modified significantly, has been integrated into Western society since that time. Something similar is present in India, as Hinduism has almost uncountable teachings, rituals, and manifestations there.
Secular law, especially in the United States, tolerates and encourages religious freedom in the form of different churches, synagogues, mosques, stoopas, and temples. As far as Çréla Prabhupäda's branch of the Kåñëa movement is concerned, the tolerance model serves as an interim stage, but it serves well at this time. The emergence of some kind of international totalitarianism would probably bring it down.
His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda took full advantage of it, and he began his branch of Lord Caitanya's movement in Western, secular society. Yet, with so many bewildering teachings and manifestations now constituting “religion,” there is an incontrovertible weakness that surreptitiously imposes itself everywhere. Due to the endemic compromise that is woven into the socio-democratic fabric of secularism itself, totalitarianism may not be checked.
That the world is not totalitarian now is obvious, so, if there is some real will, we have an environment that still allows us to straighten out the Kåñëa consciousness movement. Interest in THE TRUTH is not yet dead. Not for all people, anyway. Many people individually reach a stage where they want to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together for themselves. In the process, they realize that they do not have to settle for compromise in anything, because the Absolute always remains what it is. They also may realize that they can become perfect, although most “Christian” teachings today promote the opposite view, preaching that only Iesos Kristos was capable of perfection or siddha.
That is not the teaching of Lord Caitanya. That is not the teaching of His perfect representatives in the paramparä. That is not the perfect teaching in the branch formulated and formed by His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda. That is not the teaching of Vedic totalism. God is left for dead in a consciousness of inherent imperfection, but that consciousness is mäyä. It can be be overcome. Atheism will increase and prosper when so many anti-Vedic, compromised teachings are held to have equal standing and legitimacy. No progressive transcendentalist should settle for that.
Prabhupäda's original movement was never meant for such compromise with imperfection. If atheism increases to a certain point, then the totalitarian paradigm will manifest with profoundly negative consequences, especially for transcendentalists. If we do not compromise what His Divine Grace actually (and clearly) wanted, then we must follow through and not compromise with any unauthorized manifestation functioning in his name. Such institutions dishonor him. The best way to staunch the slide of human society into anarchy and depravity—eventually followed by atrocity-riddled, godless totalitarianism—is to clean up and unite Prabhupäda's branch of the Hare Kåñëa movement of Kåñëa consciousness.
“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