Succumbing to Guru Temptation


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 69, Vol 2, 2021

In Kali-yuga (the current age), as we have noted before, we need to see what people do rather than say, since hypocrisy is the currency for this age: "Kali means full of hypocrisy" (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 26/11/66). Back in 2004, GBC member Badrinarayan Dasa ("BAD"), as he was then, opposed the GBC authorising diksa gurus, and we featured his opposition in the BTP 20 article "GBC Also Has No Faith in ISKCON's Guru System". He wrote to the GBC Executive Committee ("EC") as follows:

Subject: Nomination of HH Janananda Prabhu as Diksa Guru: "Hare Krishna. I am abstaining as usual, until we have some good support and monitoring systems in place for our gurus. Having gurus crash and burn every few years is the main cause of ISKCON's diminshed [sic] reputation and strength and I don't see what we have put in place to break this pattern."
(Email from Badrinarayan Dasa to secretary of EC, 2/2/04, 18:12 -0800, PAMHO, 7786126, emphasis added)

Thus, BAD opposed the GBC making diksa gurus because the GBC had no system in place that would "break this pattern" of ISKCON's diksa gurus who would "crash and burn every few years". And since the time BAD voiced this opposition, this pattern has not 'broken' because ISKCON gurus have still continued to crash and burn every few years right until the present day, as a selection of ISKCON guru case studies from the past 16 years demonstrates:

2004: Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami "inappropriate dealings with a woman [...] physically intimate" (Satsvarupa Letter, 10/5/04)

2004: Prithu Dasa "failing to follow our spiritual principles [...] a period of massive depressions" (Resignation Letter, Prithu Dasa, 21/10/04)

2005: Suhotra Swami "difficulties maintaining proper behaviour in the sannyasa ashrama [...] lust" (GBC Resolutions 2005, No. 402)

2007: Satsvarupa Dasa – "his book "Sanatorium" [...] withdraw [...] contains explicit sexual scenes and references." (GBC EC, 7/7/07)

2007: B.B. Puri Goswami"exploiting the obedience of his female disciples [...] sexual abuse [...] equally serious deviations" (GBC EC, 17/9/07)

2009: Paramgati Swami "made sexual advances to a male devotee." (GBC EC, 2009)

2010: Umapati Swami"behave inappropriately with several male disciples [...] behavior was of a sexual nature." (GBC Statement, 2010)

2012: Prabhavishnu Swami"a number of sexual falldowns" (GBC EC Statement, 2/2/12)

2013: Mahanidhi Swami – "inappropriate interactions with a female disciple." (GBC EC, 3/8/13)

2017: Bhakti Visrambha Madhava Swami – "inappropriate and erratic behavior" (GBC Resolutions 2018, No. 317)

2020: Nanda Kumar Dasa"a relationship with one of his female disciples." (South Africa Co-GBCs & South African National Council, 7/11/20)

And BAD himself is now urging yet another ISKCON guru to resign with said guru having already been partially suspended from acting as a guru:

2021: Lokanath Swami"There has been a great deal of recent discussion on the Internet and social media about Lokanath Swami, regarding an incident of sexual abuse of a minor that occurred in the Eastern United States in 1990. [...] While the case undergoes further investigation and decision, Lokanath Swami is restricted from coming to North America nor initiating any aspiring disciples based in North America [...] Please note: Badrinarayan Swami [...] chose to personally write to Lokanath Swami and urge him to resign." (ISKCON North American Leadership Council, 8/5/21, emphasis added)

Of course, these are only the incidents we know about – in the article on page 3 of this issue, the GBC's chief advisor admits that gurus crashing and burning have been covered up by the GBC in the past for up to 15 years! So maybe the real full list of those who crashed and burned will only be known by around 2030! Or maybe not even then, since this assumes the GBC is unable to permanently cover up gurus who have "falldowns".

Yet, despite this guru "crash and burn" syndrome continuing, which BAD stated "is the main cause of ISKCON's diminished reputation and strength", and why he criticised the GBC making diksa gurus, BAD was still happy to allow the GBC to make himself a diksa guru just last year! Thus, regardless of his opposition to the GBC making gurus while gurus continue to "crash and burn", the lure of being worshipped as good as God appears to have been too strong for BAD to refuse.

Ironically, the one system that could be "put in place" to "break this pattern" of gurus crashing and burning is the very one Srila Prabhupada himself ordered – of ISKCON continuing to operate with himself as ISKCON's sole Acarya and diksa guru. As we document on page 3 of this issue, Srila Prabhupada never ordered any successor diksa gurus that could crash and burn in the first place!

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