Demigod Worship Expansion


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 29, Autumn 2010, Quotes, Notes & News

We had previously quoted ISKCON guru HH Jayadvaita Swami agreeing with the IRM that:

“ISKCON has gone from being beyond Hinduism to being – very much Hindu! [...] Temples once the exclusive hold of Gaura-Nitai & Radha-Krishna now are dominated by murtis of demigods. In some quarters ISKCON has undergone considerable Indianisation.”
(HH Jayadvaita Swami, ISKCON Studies Conference, July 28th, 2007, Italy)

As BTP has reported, ISKCON centres in Hungary, Switzerland, Germany, North America and India have all promoted demigod worship, against the teachings of Srila Prabhupada (see BTP 19, “Srila Prabhupada Speaks Out on Demigod Worship in ISKCON”). To this list we can now add ISKCON’s world headquarters in Mayapur, India, and ISKCON Tokyo. In Mayapur, a goddess temple is being constructed:

“The construction will be under the guidance and supervision of His Grace Jananivas Prabhu, the head pujari of Sri Mayapur Candrodya Mandir. It is dedicated to that great Vaishnavi of the Lord, Srimati Simantini Devi, who is none other than Srimati Parvati Devi. She will perform the function of accepting prasada before distributing, as Vimala Devi in Puri Dham. I am attaching two pictures to give an idea of the beauty and size of the murti and this wonderful temple.”
(ISKCON Mayapur, June 14th, 2010)

In Tokyo, the plans for a new Radha-Krishna ISKCON temple are being finalised. We are told that various Deities will grace the temple’s “Vedic Cultural Center”, including “Sri Durga-devi, Sri Ganesh, Sri Saraswati-devi, Sri Shiva-Parvati-Ganesh-Kartikeya-Nandi.”

The reason for establishing such a temple is openly admitted by the ISKCON management in Tokyo:

“With Indian population increasing in Japan, temple is necessary to satisfy their spiritual needs. […] People need to do rituals in their family: Naam-karan, Mundan, Anna-praashan, birthdays, weddings, etc. Temple can facilitate these rituals […] PROJECT COST: 185 million yen”
(ISKCON Japan, June 2nd, 2010)

Thus the reason for such a temple is nothing to do with spreading Krishna consciousness and Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, but rather to cater to the needs of the local Indian population by introducing demigod worship and Hindu rituals – both of which Srila Prabhupada was strongly opposed to happening in ISKCON:

“You know that we have refused even the Hindu people to hold demigod worship in our temple [...] As a matter of fact, we should not allow anyone to hold any function in our temple, otherwise than Vaisnava principle.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 10/10/1968)

“Some Hindus are supporting. I don’t want a Hindu temple. Our constitution is different. We want everyone. Krsna consciousness is for everyone. It is not a Hindu propaganda.”
(Srila Prabhupada Meeting, 9/6/1969)

“If we divert our attention to worship other demigods, then our faith in Krishna will be flickering […] there is no scope for worshipping any other demigods.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 29/1/1970)

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