Srila Prabhupada’s Words Expose Ambition


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 61, Vol 1, 2019

Below, we continue our analysis of how consulting Srila Prabhupada's words can save one from being misled by those cheating in his name. All emphases added.

The world needs my music

The previous article exposed HG Sankarshan Dasa ("SAD")'s "jagad-guru" claims. In keeping with his jagad-guru mindset, which means guru of the entire world, SAD has also declared himself "blessed" with the knowledge that can save the planet, which he intends to transmit by now becoming a famous singer:

"having gained the asset of the highest perfection of knowledge, he has re-entered the music scene to share with the world unique, revolutionary wisdom".
(SAD's music website)

"I have been blessed with the knowledge which can bring a new unparalleled era of peace and happiness to our beleaguered planet. This is why I want to make these songs even more popular than the Beatles. Please help me by sharing them".
(SAD's music website)

These songs are mainly his own compositions about Krishna consciousness, and he boasts that his music, rather than Srila Prabhupada's books, will activate the greatest paradigm shift in history:

"Our Sweet Lord – Sankarshan Das. This album is in a league all of its own, meant for transporting you into the realm of deathless, eternal bliss and revolutionizing the entire universe, sparking off the greatest paradigm shift of peace, love, and happiness that the world has ever known."
(SAD's music website)

And he is asking his followers to use subterfuge to make his music famous:

"Speak not as a devotee [...] Speak as a nondevotee who really appreciates the song. [...] Let's make this song truly go viral. We want millions and millions and millions of viewers for this song."
(SAD video, published 19/1/19)

Not authorised

SAD claims:

"I was personally trained by Srila Prabhupada, and I don't give any interpretations. I have many letters, he personally trained me."
(SAD Lecture, 5/7/18)

So do these letters from Srila Prabhupada authorise SAD to achieve global stardom via his songs? Again, all one needs to do is read them. SAD only received a handful of letters, and in reading them, we find:

a) Srila Prabhupada never told SAD to write his own songs and try to become a famous singer.

b) Rather, SAD was told:

"So continue enthusiastically as you are doing and Krishna will surely bless you. Follow the regulative principles strictly, chant your 16 rounds faithfully, study our literatures, go for street Sankirtana, etc. All these activities will make you fixed up in Krishna's service and eligible for going back to home, back to Godhead."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to SAD, 7/9/71)

Thus, SAD was instructed to only continue doing what he was doing at that time, which were the regular, standard ISKCON activities of sankirtana, etc.

Do not do it

Indeed, SAD was specifically told to avoid his tendency for playing guitar and writing songs:

"Your question is whether you can utilize your inclination to play the guitar and write songs about Krishna in devotional manner of activity. Several times I have replied this question, I do not know why you are not learning these things. [...] this playing guitar and writing of songs is not very important thing. You can write and play, but one cannot take it very seriously. [...] That songs writing we cannot regard very seriously. That will spoil the whole thing. But you can utilize your propensity to write poems and articles for BTG, for singing in the kirtana, like that."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to SAD, 18/12/72)

Thus, the instructions given to SAD make it clear that, in addition to not being authorised to embark on his music career, he was actually told to not do these sorts of things. Indeed, he was warned that such activity can "spoil the whole thing". Therefore, SAD is told to instead control these desires by singing in kirtana and writing for BTG (Back To Godhead, the official ISKCON magazine). That is, in keeping with the previous letter Srila Prabhupada had written to SAD, which we quoted in the previous section, Srila Prabhupada again repeats the same order he gave SAD then, to only engage in standard ISKCON activities.

Don't act on desire

This letter prohibiting SAD's desire to become a famous singer was written only 13 days before the "jagad-guru" letter to SAD mentioned in the previous article. In that latter letter, Srila Prabhupada referenced this desire of SAD to be a famous singer, along with his desire to become jagad-guru:

"You have got some desire to become a famous preacher and famous Vaisnava singer and also jagad-guru. This is a spiritual desire, so it is not like any material desire and it is all right to desire for Krsna in this way."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to SAD, 31/12/72)

But, as just quoted, Srila Prabhupada had already stated that this desire of SAD to engage in playing guitar and writing songs and to become a famous Vaisnava singer was not to be acted on. Therefore, Srila Prabhupada's statement that having the desire to become a famous Vaisnava singer or jagad-guru is permissible, does not in and of itself mean that Srila Prabhupada has sanctioned one to act on that desire and become a famous singer or jagad-guru. This validates the conclusion of the previous article, that Srila Prabhupada did not ask SAD to "become jagad-guru".


SAD has engaged his followers to fulfil his personal ambition of achieving stardom through his music. However, again, if only they would bother to read the very letters SAD boasts he received from Srila Prabhupada, they would see that he has not been authorised by Srila Prabhupada to do this. Thus, whether it is SAD's personal desire to be a jagad-guru or a famous Vaisnava singer, or any other claims by other ISKCON leaders, just the simple act of reading Srila Prabhupada's words can save one from being cheated.

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Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!