Reply to Sivarama Swami Podcast, 9th November, 2010


By Krishnakant

The following is a response to the above Podcast from His Holiness Sivarama Maharaja (SRS), and as usual statements from SRS shall be enclosed in speech marks “ “ thus, with our comments following underneath:

“And what really struck me was Srila Prabhupada’s boldness. Srila Prabhupada was very bold, how he didn’t hesitate to criticise others, he didn’t hesitate to point out that other gurus and swamis of who I heard or even saw, were bogus, as Prabhupada used this word, or they were rascals. These were all sort of new words, new terminology for me.  And while criticising someone else was not unusual for different types of spiritualists, who would sort of downplay others, but when I heard Srila Prabhupada then I really got the sense that what he was saying was the truth, and that was such a strong conviction, strong impression that Srila Prabhupada had on me.”

SRS is not only accepting that bogus gurus may be criticised, but is actually applauding it, remarking how when he heard Srila Prabhupada doing this, he was speaking the truth. SRS cannot therefore object to bogus gurus being criticised as long as it is truthful. Yet this is exactly what he does if the truth happens to pertain to himself and other ISKCON gurus. SRS has threatened devotees who attempt to read the truth of Srila Prabhupada’s statements presented in Back To Prabhupada (BTP) with strong sanctions, and also insisted on collecting BTP magazines back from devotees before they could read them:

"I am writing to you in regard to the magazine "Back to Prabhupada," which many of you may have received and seen […] Therefore ritviks  and their literature should be ignored  […] This same instruction is reflected in the direction of the GBC Body, the ultimate authority for ISKCON, in their 1990 law regarding ritviks and their doctrine: […] The tone of the above law makes it quite clear that persons who are in breach of it can expect to be the object of serious sanctions.”
(SRS Letter to all devotees, 17/7/08)

"I would just like to request devotees who receive such magazines to bring it in to the temple, give it to me I'll collect it, it shouldn't be around in the devotee community."
(SRS, Istagosthi, Budapest, 17/7/08)

Such an action would only be necessary if we were speaking the truth, otherwise SRS would trust his disciples, whom he has supposedly trained and transmitted divya-jnana (transcendental knowledge) to as their diksa guru, to be able to determine that we were not speaking the truth. Rather, SRS applies a hypocritical double standard, and has claimed that criticising gurus should not be done at all, since this is “offensive”, even though, as documented above, he admits that truthful criticism of bogus gurus is a completely bona fide activity.

 “And then of course my personal experience was based on, well, one is that they started giving me cassettes. I got a cassette recorder which was a new invention at that time, and I started listening to cassettes of Srila Prabhupada.”

SRS admits that his personal experience of Srila Prabhupada was based on listening to his cassettes. SRS admitted that he was already initiated by Srila Prabhupada before he even met him, and had very little contact with Srila Prabhupada even after that:

“That was the first personal contact with his Divine Grace, although I had been an initiated devotee for two years. […] For almost five years I had seen and known Prabhupada visually from photos [...] But I had never seen Prabhupada in person”
(SRS, Meeting Srila Prabhupada)

So if SRS can have “personal experience” of Srila Prabhupada by listening to his tapes, then so can everyone else. And if we can have this personal experience of Srila Prabhupada in this way, in the same way SRS did, SRS cannot claim that we must accept him as an alternative to Srila Prabhupada as our diksa guru, because one cannot have a personal experience with Srila Prabhupada as he is not physically present, and we must therefore instead accept a physically present guru such as himself. Again, another hypocritical double standard.

 “Srila Prabhupada himself had asked the devotees ‘why have you accepted me as spiritual master?’ And different devotees said different things, and Srila Prabhupada said ‘because Krishna’s in your heart and Krishna’s telling you that what He’s saying is the truth.’ And that was my personal experience. My personal experience was that I felt that Srila Prabhupada was telling the truth, and I was getting confirmation of that from Krishna within my heart. Supersoul was telling me that what Srila Prabhupada was saying was the truth, and there was this very strong active dynamic between Krishna and Srila Prabhupada.  Srila Prabhupada was confirming Krishna’s existence, Krishna was confirming to me the truth of Srila Prabhupada’s words, and it was something you couldn’t fight against. Therefore you had to become a devotee. You could only surrender, either surrender or run away, there was no way round it. And then this feeling of hearing – hearing the truth, knowing that what you were receiving was the truth, and from Srila Prabhupada we learned this word ‘the Absolute Truth’ – that was also a new concept for me. It was and still remains the mainstay of my Krishna consciousness, and what we really inherited from Srila Prabhupada.  We haven’t inherited an opinion, we haven’t inherited someone’s speculation, but we’re receiving the truth, and to make it very clear, the truth as it is, without any adulteration of any sorts. Of course, if you adulterate the truth, it’s not the truth anymore.”

SRS correctly states that accepting Srila Prabhupada as one’s diksa guru is something which is directly authorized and confirmed by Krishna. That Krishna is confirming that whatever Srila Prabhupada is saying is the truth. And that this was his experience, and the experience of others, and that one cannot fight against this. This is completely true. It was completely true for SRS and others, and it is completely true today in the same way, for many others. Only now, SRS is saying that we must actually fight against such a feeling, and indeed he is leading the fight against it! Because he claims that today it is forbidden to surrender to and accept Srila Prabhupada in exactly the same way that he did, even if Krishna is in our heart telling us to do so, just as He told SRS to do so. Instead SRS insists we must accept him (and his guru-hoaxer pals) as Diksa guru, regardless of what Krishna may be telling us! So again SRS presents a hypocritical double-standard, claiming its fine for him to have listened to Krishna in his heart, but no one today should do so, and if Krishna confirms in anyone’s heart that they should accept Srila Prabhupada in the same way He did for SRS, then effectively what Krishna is confirming must be rejected.


As documented above, SRS engages in non-stop hypocrisy. Indeed, SRS is unable to speak about Srila Prabhupada and the process of accepting a bona fide spiritual master, without engaging in such hypocrisy. This non-stop hypocrisy exhibited by SRS is the hallmark of Kali-yuga:

 “This is the age, Kali. It is called Kali. Hypocrisy, simply hypocrisy. Kali means full of hypocrisy.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 20.124-125, New York, November 26, 1966)

and therefore those who best represent the progress of Kali-yuga will easily be recognized via their constant display of such hypocrisy.

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