The Jackass and Clown Show - 2


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 75, Vol. 4, 2022

From the previous article, we can reach a momentous conclusion regarding the path of "Krsna consciousness" or bhakti-yoga as it is offered today in ISKCON. It consists of the following 3 steps:

1) Since it is a fact that one does need to accept a bona fide spiritual master to advance, as stated in Bhagavad-gita, 4.34, in ISKCON this is implemented to mean that to make spiritual advancement one must accept a GBC voted-in guru.

2) Such a guru must be accepted and worshipped daily as being "Saksad-hari", or as good as God, regardless of them not actually being on this level.

3) Thus, the basis of ISKCON's guru system is to regard its gurus as "that which is not", which is literally the definition of maya:

"Maya means ‘that which is not.'"
(The Science of Self-Realization, Chapter 5)

Thus, it means that, ironically, in today's ISKCON, the whole process of spiritual advancement is based entirely on maya. (All emphases in article added.)

Maya child abuse project

It is therefore not surprising to find much of the movement itself implicated in a big case of maya. The ISKCON Child Protection Office ("CPO") issued a decision against ISKCON guru and sannyasi Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami ("BVPS"), via a lengthy and damning report on 28/10/22 (henceforward "the Decision"). This decision has been accepted in full by the GBC and stated:

"Despite there being at least two previous CPO cases highlighting BVPS' abusive/harmful behaviour, other sannyasis, gurus, senior devotees, and yatras, continued to support, protect, and defend him, as well as give him a high profile. [...] encouraged their disciples to send their children to his school, disregarding serious complaints of abuse dating back to the 1990s, [...] The support and endorsement that BVPS received from his seniors and peers enabled him to become the child abuser with the longest span of activity in the history of ISKCON. Their public support of him was in essence a seal-of-approval of BVPS."
(CPO BVPS Decision, 28/10/22, page 9)

Thus, the many decades of child abuse were facilitated as a group effort on the part of ISKCON. As a result of being stripped of his sannyasa status, BVPS is now currently referred to by his pre-sannyasa name, Anirdesya Vapu Dasa ("AVD").

Other GBC gurus exposed

A number of ISKCON leaders have publicly apologised for not having "detected" that AVD was a child abuser. However, as observed by the Decision, it was much more than that. Rather, GBC voted-in gurus were publicly promoting AVD as being on the same level, or even above, themselves, spiritually, even many years after AVD had been restricted from initiating disciples in 2007. For example:

"these individuals who are sitting here: HH Jayadvaita Maharaja, HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami Maharaja, HH Indradyumna Swami Maharaja, [...] for me they're all worshipable personalities. We're friends but I see them all as being so superior to myself"
(HH Bhakti Brnga Govinda Swami ("BBGS") on his Vyasa-puja celebration, 13/1/18)

"our gopi-gana. It's not a joke but our group of devotees. [...] So here are three of my closest friends [referring to BBGS, HH Sivarama Swami and HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami]. [...] I enjoy their association [...] such elevated Godbrothers. [....] I'm the low man on the totem pole [...] I get all the dust from the lotus feet of my senior Godbrothers."
(HH Indradyumna Swami at BBGS's Vyasa-puja celebration, 5/1/19)

For ISKCON leaders to claim they are blameless because they did not "know" AVD was a child abuser does not work, because, at the same time, they did claim to know that AVD was supposedly very spiritually advanced and promoted him as such. The latter action is them actively telling the world that AVD is definitely not a child abuser.

Hence, this highlights how spiritually deficient the other ISKCON GBC gurus were, that they did not even have the ability to discriminate between a cheater and a very spiritually exalted personality. Yet, the ability to engage in such discrimination is the business of ISKCON:

"Our business is to point out who is not a saint."
(Srila Prabhupada, Morning Walk, 10/4/74)

But, according to the Decision, and the conduct of other ISKCON leaders, the business of current ISKCON would appear to be:

"Our business is to point out child abusers as saints"!

The abuse of absolute power

We noted in the previous article that the bona fide guru is supposed to be treated as good as God, and such a person effectively has absolute power:

"An authorized spiritual master is as good as Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If Hari is free to act as He likes, the empowered spiritual master is also free. As Hari is not subject to the criticism of mundane rules and regulations, the spiritual master empowered by Him is also not subjected."
(Cc., Madhya-lila, 10.136, purport)

Now, granting such absolute power to one who is actually on the absolute level, such as Srila Prabhupada, is not an issue, as that is the bona fide way in which to regard the bona fide spiritual master. But granting such absolute power to one who is non-absolute, which is the very basis of the GBC guru system, will naturally lead to abuse on a mass scale, as has appeared to have happened here. AVD was able to take full advantage of the absolute power of his GBC guru position to help perpetrate his abuse, according to the CPO:

"The panel stressed the severity and hypocrisy of the abuse were made even worse given BVPS' position and respected stature in ISKCON as an initiating Guru and Vedic-lifestyle preacher."
(ISKCON News Article, 14/11/22)

In addition, a supposed testimony of a follower who engaged in sexual relations with AVD claimed:

"I had even learned that if a pure devotee touches you, that one becomes purified by that touch. More than anything, I wanted to please the spiritual master (BVPS), and by doing that to ultimately please Krsna."
(Testimony Against BVPS, 2022)


When an institution such as today's ISKCON is based on maya, then the potential for horrendous maya, such as the AVD affair, will always be present.

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