ISKCON’s guru wars continue


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 31, Spring 2011

In BTP and our various books and papers we have documented:

a) ISKCON leaders agreeing with the IRM.
b) ISKCON leaders contradicting themselves.
c) ISKCON gurus contradicting their authority, the GBC.
d) ISKCON gurus contradicting each other.

As explained in this issue’s Editorial, such misunderstanding and contradiction will naturally result when self-motivated individuals fabricate hoaxes and try to justify disobeying Srila Prabhupada. Below we see more recent examples of such contradictory behaviour as listed above, from ISKCON’s leadership.

Guru 1: ISKCON growing

Kripamoya Das, GBC voted-in ISKCON guru, claims that those who say ISKCON is not expanding, and only attracting Indians, are basically “embittered former members”.

“From time to time I hear accusations that ISKCON is not growing; or worse still, that it may be shrinking; and that proof of this is that some temples are closing, empty during the week, or only attracting Indian families. Personally I don’t believe that this is the case. I consider these accusations to be largely the propaganda strategies of embittered former members.”
(Kripamoya Das, ‘Is ISKCON Shrinking or Growing?’ ISKCON News, 4/3/2011)

Guru 2: ISKCON shrinking

Yet we find that one of these voices of supposedly “embittered former members” comes from his GBC voted-in guru colleague, His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami (“BCS”):

“Compared to during Srila Prabhupada’s time, ISKCON is stagnant. When you go to the West, you see Indians manning the temples. This means that Westerners are not joining.”
(‘Insights from Bhakti Charu Swami’, 24/3/2007)

“Many of our temples in the West are practically empty and just to maintain the temple activities devotees have to be imported from India and other less opulent countries.”
(BCS, Q&A, 25/4/2008)

“Our temples are empty today, it is a bad sign. Something is lacking. […] Therefore no one is coming. […] The preaching spirit has been lost.”
(BCS Lecture, 1/1/2009)

“Just consider how the Sankirtana Yajna was during Prabhupada’s time and how it is today. I mean, there is a very, very distinct decline. I mean, we have to take up this mission seriously. Just consider, during Prabhupada’s time if we had this temple, how many devotees would’ve been here? Right? It would’ve been packed! So, the reality is the Sankirtana Movement is not spreading, it’s in decline.”
(BCS Lecture, 23/4/2009)

Guru 3: Pure devotees never fall

ISKCON guru, His Grace Sankarshan Das (“SAD”) states that those who are pure devotees, and thus fixed in Krishna consciousness, will never fall down:

“Pure Devotees Don’t Fall Down: One who is solidly fixed in Krishna consciousness never falls down because he is constantly relishing within his heart a sweetness which surpasses by millions, billions, and even trillions of times the happiness derived from material sense gratification.”
(SAD, ‘The Ultimate Self-Realization Course’, 11/3/2011)

Guru 4: Pure devotees can fall

SAD’s explanation, however, contradicts the GBC’S acceptance of ISKCON’s fallen gurus as initially being bona fide, fixed-up members of the parampara (disciplic succession), before they simply fell down and out of the parampara. This bizarre philosophy is exemplified by the explanation below from GBC voted-in guru HH Jayadvaita Swami , in a 1993 conversation in South London, England, with the now newly created, as-good-as-God guru Kripamoya Das (“Kripamoya Das”):

Kripamoya Das:“It doesn’t really seem to be a very positive foundation for a spiritual organisation to, you know, in 1993 own up to the fact that from 1978 right through to 1988, you had gurus who fell away. We thought that they were in the parampara and we told people…”
Jayadvaita Swami:“They were in the parampara, and then they left the parampara.”
Kripamoya Das: “Well then, were they ever in the parampara at all?”
Jayadvaita Swami: “Yes. […]”
Kripamoya Das: “But doesn’t that mean you’re dealing with a person who’s a spiritual master, he’s beyond the modes of material nature?”
Jayadvaita Swami: “As long as he’s doing his business, he’s beyond the modes of material nature, when he stops doing his business and does some other business the modes of nature can catch him. […] We should come to the philosophy, if we have to unravel history, it’s a big chore […] You could write a whole history, it’ll be real juicy. But the question is, what’s our philosophical understanding?”
Kripamoya Das: “Well, I thought I was asking you a philosophical question. Can a guru be a guru one year, and then not be a guru the next year? Is that present in Vaisnava philosophy?”
Jayadvaita Swami: “Yes.”


Though Srila Prabhupada writes in his books that the bona fide spiritual master is self-realised, “100% Krishna conscious” and “as-good-as-God”, ISKCON’s gurus actually have no idea if they are coming or going! Some have argued that even though they may not be on the highest levels of Krishna consciousness, our ISKCON leaders are still more spiritually advanced than everyone else, and we can at the very least accept them as advanced siksa (instructing) gurus. But, as continually documented, they appear to be “advanced” primarily in being unable to agree with either Srila Prabhupada, themselves or each other, which does not particularly qualify them for any spiritual position.

Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare, 
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
 And be Happy!