Roots of Deviation


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 66, Vol 2, 2020

Welcome to Issue 66 of Back To Prabhupada (BTP).

In regards to a deviation from Srila Prabhupada's orders, there are actually two parts to it:

a) All the steps one had to take in order to come to the point of the deviation;
b) The final deviation.

Focus is usually given only to b).

1) Thus, for example, consider the case of Cantos 11 and 12 of the Srimad-Bhagavatam unauthorisedly translated by HH Hridayananda Dasa Goswami ("HD"), an issue we covered in depth recently. Some have argued that since HD is a Sanskrit "scholar", his translation will be mostly accurate and so there is no harm in accepting it. Hence, it is at most a very "small" deviation.

2) However, as we covered in our document "The Authorised Bhagavatam", regardless of how "small" a deviation one considers accepting HD's translations to be, the level of deviation one had to first engage in, in order to get to the point of considering HD's Bhagavatam to be bona fide, is itself huge. As we documented, one needed to:

a) Disobey Srila Prabhupada's orders regarding the issue of future translations;
b) Consider sastra (scripture) to be a mechanical and academic document, rather than a spiritual one that requires the translator to be "very realised";
c) Reject Srila Prabhupada's authority as the Acarya and current link through whom authorised scriptures are received and explained.
d) Promote the claims of others over Srila Prabhupada's recorded statements.

And so on. These are just a few of the deviations that needed to be engaged in to arrive at the conclusion that HD's Cantos are bona fide. One can avail oneself of the full list by going here.

Thus, regardless of how "small" one feels the issue of accepting HD's deviant Cantos is, we can see that to get to the point of considering them bona fide definitely involved deviation on a huge scale.

3) Similarly, consider the case of the guru hoax. Again, some argue that it is not "too bad" since the disciples of the gurus are following all the principles, chanting, reading, and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books, etc.

4) However, let us again consider how one reaches this point:

a) Would-be gurus have decided to replace Srila Prabhupada and accumulate disciples even though Srila Prabhupada has not authorised them to act as such.

b) They have also decided to engage in a program of institutionalised maya (illusion) where disciples of would-be gurus are instructed to worship the gurus every day as if they are an "assistant to the gopis", regardless of their actual spiritual status.

c) They also rationalise that Srila Prabhupada is not "living" enough to continue as ISKCON's diksa guru, and thus they are needed instead.

d) Their consciousness is thus guided by the desire for Profit, Adoration and Distinction (PAD) and disobeying and usurping Srila Prabhupada's position. Their program is therefore to simply increase their false ego and get into more maya.

Whereas the would-be disciples of such "gurus":

e) May also have considered Srila Prabhupada to be deficient in some way, and thus instead have sought a replacement.

f) Have decided that Srila Prabhupada's orders regarding guru-tattva do not matter – and instead they will only consider what their would-be guru states. Or, as we have found in many cases, they are attracted to someone because he sings kirtans nicely, or is an 'impressive' speaker, or some other personal reason, rather than the philosophy.

g) Have decided they must treat someone as absolute even if they are not.

And so on.

Hence, we have the cause of the deviation, and the effect of the deviation, and we must consider them both. In many cases, the former can be much more deviant than the latter.

Thank you and Hare Krsna.

In Srila Prabhupada's service,


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