Using Maya to Justify Self-worship - 2


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 38, Winter 2012/13

In the preceding article we documented that it is admitted that the system for worshipping ISKCON gurus is based on maya (illusion). One may wonder how one could possibly justify a system which is accepted as nothing but cheating? We had noted that HH Sivarama Swami had tried to claim that such a system was fine as long as the person appeared to be following Srila Prabhupada. But he also admitted that this could be the case for any person, regardless of the “level of advancement he is at in Krsna consciousness”. So, this is not actually a justification since it is fully accepted that a person who may not be saksad-hari should still be accepted as such, i.e. maya, or “that which is not”.

HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami, the other person whom we quoted admitting to this system of cheating, has in conjunction with his confession, tried to offer two justifications for the same. All quotes in the shaded panels below are from the same article submitted by Bhakti Vikasa Swami in the 2012 Srila Prabhupada Tributes book, from which his original admission was quoted. One justification was to claim:

“Srila Prabhupada, my disciples annually celebrate a function to honor me, which they call Vyasa-puja. I trust that you are satisfied with that, for you have stated, “My glory will be when my disciples are worshiped all over the world.””

Yet, when consulting the fine print at the end of his article, we find that this “quotation” which Bhakti Vikasa Swami presents as coming from Srila Prabhupada, is not a documented quotation from Srila Prabhupada, but only what a disciple claims he remembers Srila Prabhupada telling him. In addition to not satisfying the POP (Prabhupada-Only Paradigm)’s standard of documented evidence from Srila Prabhupada, this “evidence” offered by Bhakti Vikasa Swami does not even satisfy the standard he himself puts forward for accepting Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. For, in the same article, he also states:

“Please grant me and all your aspiring followers the intelligence to understand that, although subsequent to your departure our knowledge and awareness of the extensive Vaisnava culture and literature have inevitably increased, there will never be any question of “going beyond” what you have given us. It is you who are saving us all, and you live forever in your books. Please awaken in us the realization that in your books you have presented everything we need to know for becoming fully Krsna conscious.”

Thus, Bhakti Vikasa Swami is basing his whole justification for the system of cheating that constitutes the worship of himself and other ISKCON gurus, on “going beyond” what Srila Prabhupada has given in his books — which Bhakti Vikasa Swami strongly asserts should not be done. So, even the justification for the system of cheating worship is itself another form of cheating from Bhakti Vikasa Swami!

A second justification Bhakti Vikasa Swami gives, is as follows:

“Srila Prabhupada, my disciples annually celebrate a function to honor me, which they call Vyasa-puja. […] Yet there is a clear distinction between Vyasa-puja in my honor and Vyasa-puja in honor of Your Divine Grace.”

But, in practice, Bhakti Vikasa Swami has admitted that he is to be worshipped in the same manner as Srila Prabhupada:

“...’through the parampara. I’ll take you to my guru and then he takes you to his guru’, and like this the mercy comes down, and we bring people in and offer them up. […] And the guru is the sum and substance of all the demigods and actually the guru is … the Vaisnava guru is even more important than the demigods in as much as they both accept worship. […] And I’m saying that and I am a Vaisnava guru. […] So the acarya that Krsna is speaking about when he’s instructing Uddhava, that ‘the acarya is as good as Me’, not be disrespected in any way, is the forest rishi guru. And of course this applies to all those, all Vaisnava gurus.”
(Bhakti Vikasa Swami, Reply to rtvikism, 9/2/2009)

He is clearly claiming that he is an acarya who should be worshipped to the same standard as Krsna — just like any other acarya in the parampara, including Srila Prabhupada. Bhakti Vikasa Swami is, therefore, teaching that there is to be no distinction between how he is to be worshipped and viewed by his disciples, and how the disciples of Srila Prabhupada would view and worship Srila Prabhupada.

Thus, there is no justification for this cheating, maya system of ISKCON guru worship. There is only cheating which one attempts to justify simply with more cheating.

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