Associating with Current-day ISKCON


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 74, Vol. 3, 2022, Interactive

How can I help?

"I have been chanting the Hare Krsna mantra for about two years now and have more recently come to understand the state that ISKCON is in where it does not follow the proper directions of Prabhupada. Despite my time spent chanting and following instructions, I am still a tyro in my service.
I wanted to ask what is it that I can do to help this movement? I wish to buy books and donate my money to Krsna but I don't want to support fraudsters or a corrupt organization so I am unsure how I can fulfill this service to Krsna. I also would like Satsang, to chant with true devotees but I feel going to an ISKCON temple wouldn't be the correct place for that. What do people do when they want to serve Krsna but disagree with ISKCON? Do you know what avenues they take in order to serve Him?
I humbly ask for your knowledge on this matter and appreciate your time. Again, I am still a tyro in my search of God so I apologize if my message is uninformed or arrogant in any way."
- Kase Egras, Vancouver, Canada

Editor replies:

You are correct in not wanting to support or associate with current-day ISKCON which is unfortunately a movement hijacked by those who are deviating from Srila Prabhupada's instructions. (We have published several articles on this topic at the following link, including how one can simply practise Krsna consciousness at home:

The IRM was started for devotees who want to follow Srila Prabhupada's true teachings and serve him directly. We help devotees to do this by connecting them with the truth about Srila Prabhupada, Lord Krsna's pure representative. This involves combatting the spread of misinformation about Srila Prabhupada and his teachings which is being carried out in his name, so that devotees can avoid being cheated, and instead follow Srila Prabhupada's actual teachings. As Lord Krsna states in the Bhagavad-gita, helping those who are trying to be devotees is the highest good:

"For one who explains the supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me. There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear."
(Bg., 18.68-69)

You may read more about the IRM's mission here:

For this reason, we regularly publish and distribute free literature to anyone interested in ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada. Devotees who wish to serve, assist in various ways to distribute and publish this literature. We can also help you get the original books.

Following Srila Prabhupada = initiation

I have a question. I live in a very small town in upstate NY and am nowhere near any initiating gurus. The closest ISKCON temple is two hours away and it is impossible for me to get there. How can I practice bhakti without a guru? Can I accept Srila Prabhupada as my guru and just move forward? Read and study his books? Perform arati? Offer bhoga? What do I do if I am serious? I do not know how to proceed at this point. Any help you can offer is much appreciated."
- Charles F. Seargent Jr., New York, USA

Editor replies:

You can accept Srila Prabhupada as your guru and move forward in the way you have stated – chant 16 rounds, follow the 4 regulative principles, read his books, offer bhoga to Srila Prabhupada and Krsna, and follow all the other instructions Srila Prabhupada has given. Being serious means to accept Srila Prabhupada's orders and that is in any case real initiation:

"You have to think yourself whether you are going to take seriously this Krsna consciousness. It is your decision. Initiation is formality. If you are serious, that is real initiation. So if you have understood the Krsna philosophy, and if you have decided that you will take Krsna consciousness seriously and preach the philosophy to others, that is your initiation."
(Room Conversation & Interview, 3/7/72, emphasis above and for the rest of Interactive is added)

"The chanting of Hare Krishna is our main business, that is real initiation. And as you are all following my instruction, in that matter, the initiator is already there."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 19/8/68)

"Faith means firm conviction that "If I become transcendentally engaged in the service of the Lord, then my life becomes successful." This is called faith. And that conviction must be firm, not tottering faith. So when this faith is created, then actually the initiation begins. [...] So this firm conviction is the beginning of initiation. [...] So initiation means to be engaged in that Brahman activities. [...] So adau sraddha, when one becomes firmly convinced that "By becoming Krsna conscious, or being engaged in the transcendental loving service of Krsna, my life is successful, life will be successful," that is the beginning of Krsna consciousness, or initiation."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 29/7/68)

Please go here for more information:

And if after reading all this you still have questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Spiritual loss

"Dearest Devotee,
I have recently received an invitation to Rathayatra and am wanting to make a gift. I have in the past been only too keen to assist in the celebration of Lord Jagannatha, however I am a little concerned as to the authenticity of the GBC and ISKCON motives and wonder whether Krsna would find it acceptable. Is this festival recognised as a sincere celebration of Lord Jagannatha by ISKCONIRM today, or with all the failings and deviations presented by the GBC has the festival lost its potency? I do not wish to offend my Dear Krsna and would like to have your advice on this matter.
Hare Krsna."
- Andy Bearne, Somerset, UK

Editor replies:

In previous issues of BTP, we have provided exposés of various ISKCON Rathayatras which have become secularised and commercialised with:

• "Bollywood" style dancing;
• Non-Prabhupada books promoted;
• Stalls selling all manner of different goods;

Srila Prabhupada stated:

"Why was Gaura-Nitai and Radha-Krsna Deities put on the Ratha cart in Chicago? Who has sanctioned this? This is not authorized. It does not mean that we shall make Rathayatra a conglomeration. Everything should be done by proper sanction. [...] With regard to your question about Bengali style kirtana and mrdanga playing, one or two styles is best. To introduce more styles is not good. It will become an encumbrance. Who is that Krsna das Babaji who is teaching? If we introduce so much emphasis on style of kirtana, then simply imitation will go on. Devotional emotion is the main thing. If we give stress to instrument and style then attention will be diverted to the style. That will be spiritual loss."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 30/6/76)

When Srila Prabhupada would not even sanction putting a different Deity form of Krsna on the Ratha cart as authorised – condemning such changes as making Rathayatra a "conglomeration" – it is clear that the "conglomeration" of alternative culture and entertainment that we listed earlier being exposed at various ISKCON Rathayatras, is also not authorised. Furthermore, the use of a "Philharmonic Orchestra" and a pop band (and KwaMashu Choir) and other musical acts which have also been introduced at ISKCON Rathayatras is clearly giving emphasis to "instrument and style" over simple kirtana, which Srila Prabhupada states above is an "encumbrance". Srila Prabhupada states that the ultimate result of such emphasis on manufactured musical entertainments will be "spiritual loss".

Preaching means to also warn

"Please use your laxshmi for sankirtan."
- Andrea Nengel, California, USA

We do use laksmi (funds) for sankirtana (book distribution). But devotees have also donated money specifically for the printing and distribution of literature which preaches about, and aims to revive, Srila Prabhupada's real sankirtana movement and expose the sahajiya movement that masquerades in its place as today's ISKCON – see BTP 38 article, "Documenting the New Sahajiya Movement": Devotees do this because they see that the IRM is the only organisation dedicated to doing this all over the world in many languages.

Otherwise, without warning people about the great guru hoax that is currently going on in Srila Prabhupada's name, people who receive books on sankirtana – even assuming they receive Srila Prabhupada's books, which are the original editions of these books – risk being attracted to follow the "ISKCON" organisation that these same books promote. Which would mean they risk being cheated into accepting someone other than Srila Prabhupada as their diksa guru, as well as engaging in sahajiya deviations rather than strict Krsna consciousness, because today's "ISKCON" is not the same ISKCON that Srila Prabhupada's books promote, but a corrupted sahajiya imitation. Hence, both are required – Srila Prabhupada's books should be distributed but devotees also need to be warned to not be drawn into a deviant movement which is distributing these books to attract recruits to that same movement.

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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!