Only Srila Prabhupada’s Teachings Required


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 59, Vol 3, 2018

The practice of going outside Srila Prabhupada's teachings to get "spiritual help" has now reached absurd levels, with even material knowledge being promoted as necessary for advancing in Krishna consciousness. The quotes in shaded boxes are from a book titled Realizing Our Empathic Nature: Connected to Krishna by GBC member and GBC-elected diksa guru HH Bir Krishna Dasa Goswami. All emphases added.

GBC promotes new teachings

Bir Krishna Goswami states that he needed something that would lead to attaining Krishna consciousness:

"I feel pain when I don't see devotees experiencing great happiness. So, I naturally want to facilitate their attainment of blissful Krishna consciousness. [...] Therefore I searched for something that would transform devotees' consciousness with respect to relationships, both internally and externally".

He therefore became a follower of Clinical Psychologist Marshall B. Rosenberg:

"led me to take the practical action of studying sociology and relationship strategies [...] My search for understanding brought me to the teachings of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) by Marshal B. Rosenberg, PhD., which deals with an individual's underlying basic needs [...] I studied NVC, attended workshops".

This also involved him attending a "10 day long" intensive training course with Rosenberg. He has subsequently spread Rosenberg's teachings to the society of devotees:

"I adapted the NVC principles of need facilitation to Krishna consciousness. In the process, I developed workshops and seminars that have been well-received in the society of devotees."

Rosenberg's teachings involve methods to "connect empathically with self and others to have more satisfying relationships".

Not Krishna conscious

However, these teachings are not Krishna conscious. Here are just 2 examples:

"Empathic communication focuses on human needs. [...] Basic bodily needs [...] Shelter [...] Interconnectedness – reciprocation, giving, receiving. Self-satisfaction – self acceptance, autonomy [...] Acknowledgement [...] we can celebrate when a need has been met, or develop a plan for fulfilling a need that is not met."

But we are only supposed to satisfy Krishna's needs, not focus on how to meet our own mundane needs:

"human energy is primarily meant for purifying the senses in order to be engaged in satisfying the senses of the Supreme Lord."
(SB, 2.5.30)

"we should endeavor to understand Krsna. We should not worry about eating and sleeping, for the needs of the body are already arranged."
(TLK, Vs. 2)

"When needs are not being met, that is what stimulates anger [...] Once the needs have been addressed, there will no longer be any impetus towards anger. [...] Being angry is not wrong. See anger as a positive."

But Srila Prabhupada states that it is only possible to give up anger by becoming Krishna conscious, and that anger is not positive:

"So angry, we can give up anger only when we are Krsna conscious. Otherwise it is not possible to give up lust and anger. It is not possible".
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 31/8/66)

"then I become angry, and by anger, I forget myself. Then my intelligence is lost, and I may commit havoc."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 29/4/66)

No outside teachings authorised

In ISKCON, the path for the "attainment of blissful Krishna consciousness" and to "transform devotees' consciousness" is only one – the path of Krishna consciousness as given by Srila Prabhupada. Even if Rosenberg's teachings were not opposed to Krishna consciousness, it would not matter, because we are not authorised to go outside Srila Prabhupada's teachings, period. Srila Prabhupada was against doing this even when one was consulting some "spiritual" subject matter, not to speak of "psychology" teachings that have zero connection to Krishna consciousness:

"There is no need by any of my disciples to read any books besides my books–in fact, such reading may be detrimental to their advancement in Krishna consciousness. [...] what need is there to read Caitanya Caritamrta translated by someone else. You are right to stop such reading."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 20/1/72)

"Brahmananda Swami has read me your letter regarding the students there reading other books. I request you to stop this practice."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 13/10/73)

This prohibition is there because:

"In my books the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is explained fully".
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 22/11/74)

"So there is nothing to be said new. Whatever I have to speak, I have spoken in my books."
(Srila Prabhupada, Conversation, 17/5/77)

Thus, the issue is not just these specific teachings being propagated by Bir Krishna Goswami, but any attempt to introduce teachings outside of those given by Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada has never stated that we need anything other than his teachings to successfully practise Krishna consciousness.


The path given by Srila Prabhupada for the leaders of ISKCON is very straightforward:

"The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am in the initiator guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching".
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 4/8/75)

Note Srila Prabhupada never states: "By teaching what I do not teach"!

Thus, the option of introducing any teachings in ISKCON outside of those given by Srila Prabhupada does not exist.

Earlier in ISKCON's history, due to a lack of faith in Srila Prabhupada, we saw ISKCON leaders going to "sadhus" from other organisations to seek "higher" spiritual knowledge. And now they are even going to psychologists, whose material knowledge is supposedly needed to help us in the "attainment" of Krishna consciousness. This deviant tendency can immediately be corrected if we adhere strictly to the POP (Prabhupada-Only Paradigm) when practising Krishna consciousness, just as Srila Prabhupada ordered–please see the previous two articles ("Reviving Srila Prabhupada's Authority" and "Rejecting Srila Prabhupada's Authority").


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