Serpents with Silver Tongues
BY: KUTAMUDGARA DAS
Mar 11, 2011 AFRICA (SUN) There is an old saying that when the self-motivated do something that is good, they are condemned for it. And when a good person does something that is condemnable, he is praised. Bali Maharaja offered everything to Lord Vishnu and yet became bound. Lord Shiva drank his fill of halahala poison and yet became honored as the saviour of the world.
These were the wry thoughts that came to mind when I read about the usurer Romapada Swami's investigation of Bhakti Tirtha Swami ("Romapada Swami Tries to Discredit Bhakti Tirtha Maharaja"). Finally, I chuckled, a GBC member did something right -- and yet for that he became condemned. Obviously, however, the Romapada investigation had not proceeded with any sort of fervor, or Bhakti Tirtha would have been unmasked and defrocked in short order. But the GBC was so typically limp and lifeless during "Shrila Krishnapada's" tyrannical reign in Africa and America (where he introduced a fondness for third-genderism), that they were not even able stop him from using his very own Pad Squad name, a practice that they had disallowed years earlier.
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
In her article, "The Pot Calling the Kettle Black", B. Radha Govinda's voice is like a helpless call from the wilderness. It is a lonely entreaty from a Vaishnavi who has been seriously wronged. For over a decade she has issued her fervent pleas about the late quasi-swami's enormous amounts of self-adoration culminating in illicit sexual affairs. Bhakti Tirtha's abuses of Krishna's devotees were always wrapped in a shroud of mundane compassion and friendly charisma. We have no reason to disbelieve B Radha Govinda devi -- for it is seldom the outspoken who speak falsely, but most often the silver-tongued, whose fangs are masked behind a beaming grin.
Quiet investigation which holds confidential information on "the competition" and threatens to expose them, paralleled by an eager acquisition of wealth, are the politician's means of keeping the power in their hands. Entire governments are run that way, and there are those on the GBC who follow suit. Therefore we do not applaud Romapada's investigation into Bhakti Tirtha anymore than we salute a usurer swami's get-rich-quick schemes based around loan sharking.
Had sincere research against Shrila Krishnapad been carried out by the GBC in earnest, then some proper action would have been taken to curb the Black Lotus's obvious deviations. Any casual observer could have seen that here was another narcissistic swami out of control, one whose pretended selflessness and world compassion was really nothing other than self-love. Had there been a proper inquiry into this supposed representative of ISKCON -- a man who reveled in adorning himself like some Africa potentate -- then perhaps the devotees of Liberia might be alive today.
This is a Gaudiya Vaishnava Tridandi sannyasi? How much investigation did the GBC need to recognise narcissism based upon sex desire written all over one of their own good old boys?
An investigation of Bhakti Tirtha should have begun by reading his multi-volume set of jumbled self-adoration and mental speculation, Spiritual Warrior. The title's suggestion is that the book is a quasi-autobiography of someone who sees himself as a spiritual warrior. Mr. Truth campaigns to heal the world. Is not the very heading Spiritual Warrior a tip-off of the author's personal ambition? And Bhakti Tirtha lays it on thick. On the cover is the picture of Arjuna with his bow, which is evidentially how Bhakti Tirtha saw himself. But it is a picture of Arjuna not in battle, but at the swayamvara of Draupadi. Why a sannyasi identifies with this pastime is better understood by reading B. Radha Govinda's illuminating article -- or listening to his rants.
Believe it or not, Bhakti Tirtha's useless verbiage can still be heard on ISKCON websites. Listen to a reading of "Sex and the Leadership Crisis", "Lust, Sex and Leadership", "Misused Sexuality", "Cause of Misdirected Sexual Energy", "Other Esoteric Aspects of Sexuality", "The Power of Sexual Energy", "Sexual Energy and Peace", "Subtle Sex" "Sex is Sacred", "Sexuality in Marriage". And all that is just from one volume. Obviously, this was a man obsessed, just as B. Radha-Govinda alleges from her own observations spanning several years.
Self-adornment is the weakness of one who has fallen victim to sex desire, and that is why a true sannyasi finds decoration of a dead body as repugnant to all sensibilities. Yet while sermonizing about the divine nature of copulation, an activity that even cats and dogs enjoy, Bhakti Tirtha was always decked out to the hilt, replete with the de rigueur gold chain.
ISKCON authorities still revel in the hollow, valueless tomes of Bhakti Tirtha Swami as though they are some new age holy grail. To this day his books are still touted on ISKCON websites, though sales are few. In the days before the Internet he contributed to the ISKCON Newspaper, ISKCON World Review, and thereby dominated each flimsy issue with a puff piece article alongside each advertisement for each successive volume. But any sincere devotee who has not caved into the self-righteous popes of the GBC and who reads Spiritual Warrior sees what a mish-mash of hodge-podge they are. These books would have upset Srila Prabhupada immensely, and that is precisely why devotees of the ilk of Bhakti Tirtha waited for the departure of His Divine Grace to begin pulling the wool over the eyes of the rest of the society.
A warm hug, interfaith in action
Bhakti Tirtha Swami's exercises in interfaith and pretended compassion, which stand written in oblique contradiction to the teachings of Srila Prabhupada, can be heard on www. ISKCONmedia.com.
As a footnote, we who speak truthfully are called envious when we speak out against the official injustices perpetrated by the GBC against the devotees who actually believe in the teachings of Srila Prabhupada. We are accused of a longing for their positions of imagined power, and are told that we ourselves were not given such posts because our commitment does not equal theirs. A candid man is roundly condemned by the insiders. And serpents with silver tongues are glorified when Krishna consciousness takes flight.