ISKCON's Attack on Srila Prabhupada Escalates


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 76, Vol. 1, 2023

e have continuously documented how ISKCON leaders have attacked, minimised and insidiously undermined Srila Prabhupada. Here are just a few examples:

1) HH Hridayananda Dasa Goswami ("HD"): One can reject Srila Prabhupada's teachings unless they are about "spiritual things" (BTP 22) and he "doubts" even the spiritual pastime of Draupadi being disrobed (BTP 40). Agrees Srila Prabhupada was influenced by a "traditional Indian background" (BTP 40), and claims Srila Prabhupada "mistranslates" (BTP 64).

2) HG Drutakarma Dasa: Srila Prabhupada "mistaken" on "socially unacceptable" teachings; his statements explaining sastra can be rejected if on "non-siddhanta" matters (BTP 68).

3) HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Srila Prabhupada contradicts himself and is like a skeleton from a horror film (BTP 40 & 71). See also the 5 new attacks on page 9 from a talk he sponsored.

4) HH Bhakti Marga Swami: Srila Prabhupada's books are "crass", "harsh", "embarrassing" and full of "dirty words" (BTP 67).

5) Hari Parsada Dasa: Srila Prabhupada's purports not realised (BTP 63).

6) HG Kripamoya Dasa & HG Narayani Devi Dasi: Srila Prabhupada's teachings support whatever you want (BTP 40 & 74).

7) HH Jayadvaita Swami: The chanting of Srila Prabhupada's name and pranam mantra can be disturbing, cringe-inducing, hearing-beating and meditation-spoiling (BTP 66).

8) HG Mahatma Dasa: "Controversial" statements in Srila Prabhupada's books are a "problem" and Srila Prabhupada would want them removed (BTP 69).

These individuals are all GBC gurus, other than Hari Parsada Dasa who is a "core member" of the GBC's "Sastric Advisory Council".

Now the attacks on Srila Prabhupada have gone into overdrive. All quotes in the shaded boxes are from a talk given by HD on 26/12/22.

The escalated attack

1) Any spiritual pastimes described by Srila Prabhupada may be incorrect as he does not check facts:

"Prabhupada was not a fact checker about lila details [...] Prabhupada, he wasn't a fact checker, it just wasn't, you know, I mean, because all the facts he really cared about were the Bhagavatam statements about God"

2) Karna pastime is not sastric but a tale Srila Prabhupada picked up as a kid:

"Prabhupada said that Karna was called Karna because he was born out of Kunti's ear. [...] it's impossible [...] there is a little summary of the Mahabharata in Bengali [...] that says that, and Prabhupada obviously heard that as a child. No acarya confirmation, any commentary, no sastra confirmation, but Prabhupada heard it as a child [...] and so he just went with it."

3) Srila Prabhupada is like "story-tellers" who are "casual" about lila details:

"he [Srila Prabhupada] was a bit casual about these details. Another example of this is, you know, thousands of ISKCON devotees go to Vrndavana and there are great, you know, ISKCON storytellers in Vrndavana and they tell all these stories and no one ever asks, ‘where does that come from?' [...] in other words, this very relaxed, casual..."

4) Srila Prabhupada does not understand Bhagavatam or translate accurately:

"in ‘76, he said, "Try to figure out the fifth canto, I don't know what it means." Prabhupada said, "I just gave a rough translation""

5) We need to "verify" Srila Prabhupada's teachings against "every Sanskrit word":

"we can, and actually should, go back to the Gita to verify that, ‘Yes, actually every Sanskrit word in the Gita confirms what Prabhupada said'"

6) Srila Prabhupada's preaching was like "throwing spaghetti":

"this ancient Aquarian gospel [...] Prabhupada went with it, you know, it's just like "okay, I can use that ammo". But then after a while someone told Prabhupada actually that book was written about 50 years ago by some guy in Europe and so Prabhupada stopped quoting it. He was just like, threw a bunch of spaghetti against the wall to see what would stick."

HD cannot prove his attacks

HD has no proof to substantiate these attacks on Srila Prabhupada. Points 1-3 are all based on HD assuming that lila pastimes Srila Prabhupada gave in his purports must be wrong if they are not confirmed in the Bhagavatam verses. But Srila Prabhupada does not contradict the Bhagavatam. Rather, Srila Prabhupada simply gives additional details, as the Bhagavatam does not claim to provide a complete account of the Mahabharata's almost 200,000 verses.

And point 2's claim that the origin of the Karna pastime is "obviously" something Srila Prabhupada heard as a child is just HD's speculation, as he presents no evidence for it. Point 4 is based only on what Srila Prabhupada supposedly "said" to HD and others, with no evidence for the same. Point 5 is contradicted by the fact that Srila Prabhupada specifically ordered HD to stop learning Sanskrit! See Srila Prabhupada's letter to him dated 6/8/72. In regard to point 6, contrary to what HD claims, Srila Prabhupada stated right at the outset about the "Aquarian" book that:

"we don't give any importance to that book."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 14/9/69)

Attackers glorified in ISKCON

The GBC (or anyone else) has not taken action against the individuals listed in this article for all the statements made – never mind defending Srila Prabhupada from these attacks. As usual, such defence of Srila Prabhupada is provided only by the IRM. Rather, these individuals are still considered in ISKCON to be "as good as God" gurus or spiritual advisors, despite saying such things about Srila Prabhupada. HD even boasts about his attacks that:

"I'm a loyal member of ISKCON [...] the ISKCON Communications Journal published my article on Prabhupada, in which I make [...] all these claims"


Any ISKCON supporter who reads this article cannot claim that the Society is dedicated to Srila Prabhupada, since these attacks on Srila Prabhupada are not actively censured by ISKCON's leaders. Thus, if one continues to remain a part of ISKCON, then one is also implicated in these attacks on Srila Prabhupada, due to one's support of a Society which supports those who engage in saying such things about Srila Prabhupada. BTP readers should show disciples of the GBC gurus or supporters of ISKCON this article and ask them how they can continue to support such a Society?

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