Attacking Srila Prabhupada's Transcendence


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 71, Vol 4, 2021

We have previously exposed in BTP 6 the unauthorised biography of Srila Prabhupada by Satsvarupa Dasa ("SD") titled Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta. Our exposé can be read here.

In this biography, SD went out of his way to insidiously imply that Srila Prabhupada behaved as an ordinary human with all the regular frailties, fears and insecurities. Hence, to drive the point home, in the introduction SD wrote: "I invite the reader to enjoy the very real, human life story of Srila Prabhupada" (all emphases in article added). However, GBC Strategic Planning Team member Vraj Vihari Dasa ("VVD") thinks that SD did not go far enough in portraying Srila Prabhupada as just being "human". Because SD still called his unauthorised biography Srila Prabhupada "Lilamrta", whereas VVD complains:

"I wasn't so keen on the title, ‘Lilamrta' [...] if we think that it's just a lila of Prabhupada's we might neglect the fact that he actually had two heart attacks, he actually had only 40 rupees in his pocket [...] that human side of him [...] if we just think it's lila and he's just transcendental to everything, I think it minimizes the greatness of Srila Prabhupada."
(VVD Talk, 7/11/21)

Thus, VVD feels that even the title of this book may not be so appropriate, for it implies that all of Srila Prabhupada's activities are "lila" (pastimes) or transcendental, whereas VVD contends that Srila Prabhupada was not fully transcendental to everything. But this is the opposite of what Srila Prabhupada taught:

"Therefore, one is forbidden to regard the guru as an ordinary human being (gurusu nara-matir... naraki sah). The spiritual master, or acarya, is always situated in the spiritual status of life. Birth, death, old age and disease do not affect him."
(SB, 10.4.20, purport)

Yet, VVD presents himself as a specialist in teaching others about Srila Prabhupada's books, listing such activity as a "special interest" of his.

But this undermining of Srila Prabhupada's transcendence is very mild compared to the attack launched by GBC voted-in guru HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami ("BVKS"), who compares Srila Prabhupada to an imagined horror character from a film by Alfred Hitchcock titled "Psycho":

"There is the rtvik sampradaya [...] it reminds me of a Alfred Hitchcock movie [...] it's not a very nice example, but it shows the strange mentality that, there's a man, and you see him talking to his mother [...] through the film, but you only see her from the backside and at the end of the film you see from the front side, and she's dead. [...] not recognising the fact that Srila Prabhupada has passed away from our mortal vision"
(BVKS Lecture, 8/11/21)

BVKS considers that, if like the IRM, whom BVKS calls the "rtvik sampradaya", one continues to associate with Srila Prabhupada as one's guru even though he has physically departed, then this means that it is like talking to someone who is "dead". This depiction of Srila Prabhupada as a "Psycho" guru who is "dead" is similar to other guru hoax supporters who have called Srila Prabhupada a "zombie" guru, just because we accept his transcendental position that despite his having left physically, he has not left spiritually. To understand just how offensive this Hitchcockian depiction of Srila Prabhupada is, consider Srila Prabhupada's Vyasa-puja ceremony. Srila Prabhupada's disciples all read their offerings directly to Srila Prabhupada at this ceremony. Yet, according to BVKS's reasoning, since Srila Prabhupada has passed away from our mortal vision, they would be uselessly talking to a "dead" person, just like the man in BVKS's Hitchcock movie who was talking to his dead mother. But Srila Prabhupada having passed away from our mortal vision makes no difference to being able to associate with him:

"Although according to material vision His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada passed away from this material world on the last day of December, 1936, I still consider His Divine Grace to be always present with me by his vani, his words. [...] we must take advantage of the vani, not the physical presence."
(Cc., Antya-lila, concluding words)

Thus, it is BVKS who does not recognise that despite Srila Prabhupada's having disappeared from our material vision, it makes no difference to spiritual life. We saw in the previous article how BVKS's lust to be a guru had literally made him lose his mind, as he had lost his memory. Now we see this same guru lust push him to attack Srila Prabhupada's transcendental status, as this poses a direct threat to his guru position.

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