In Defense of Rocana das and the Sampradaya Sun
BY: JAYA MADHAVA DAS (ACBSP)
Mar 03, 2012 MOSCOW, RUSSIA (SUN) A reply to Ajamila das's smear campaign.
In Ajamila's email to devotees dated February 12, 2012, he assumes what most ISKCON devotees are thinking! Here are my sincere observations:
Rocana das cares about Prabhavisnu das and ISKCON, and so do we, the SUN readers. Well, FYI Ajamila prabhu, these days most ISKCON devotees are not in any temple. Where are you getting your facts from? As far as loyalty to ISKCON is concerned, as a matter of fact, I consider Rocana das more of an ISKCON devotee then some GBCs.
Your claim that Rocana das is misleading devotees and muck racking is silly, and this is far, far from the actual truth of the matter. Question is, why you can't you see this?
Ajamila calls Rocana prabhu's journalistic observations LIES. Now we are all liars. But journalistic reports and such are not lies… investigative reporting is not 'lies'. The GBC have been caught red-handed lying over the years about so many things! Yet Ajamila das supports the embarrassing lies and PR of the GBC body in letters and as seen in ISKCON News and Dandavats.com. Both sites official mouthpieces of the GBC.
We see some GBCs not following Srila Prabhupada's exact instructions on how to manage ISKCON. (See "ISKCON's Winter of Discontent") These facts you can't hide...
For the record, Ajamila das, I met you in 1987. I was happy to meet you and we have good relations, but I could see your eliteness… subtle as it was then. I know you're a sincere devotee. So are Sun readers.
This is my observation: you always wanted to be with the BIG boys, the in-crowd, maybe unknowingly so? It seems many senior devotees wanted and want this, it's a complex. You were and are attracted to being with the elite and the GBC, and enjoy that distinction.
Yes, Rocana das and me and many others work and live outside ISKCON now. Please allow me one example of just one of the hurtful experiences I had in ISKCON. In 1987 in the UK,I did not plan to leave living in ISKCON. I was unfairly put out in the street. This was a shock to me, but a reality check. BIG TIME. The society I joined Did not care about my many years of service, and just dismissed me. That's a fact. I was evicted from the Soho Street Temple for not being a YES man for our godbrother Temple President, Bhavatashraya das (from Australia). I mention this because he was part of a mindset by the leaders /GBCs. (Like George W. Bush said, 'If you are not with us...you're with the terrorists.') A complete lack of respect for the rank and file. What the GBC forgot is we are servants and so are they. They were supposed to protect Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON and its devotees, and they didn't. Who is lying?
Rocana das prabhu worked so hard in ISKCON, just to get the door slammed in his face!
He did not plan to leave, like me and many others . He was a victim of a GBC that went off the rails. Rocana das was also burned out by the bad way he was treated in ISKCON and despite what you are saying about him, I'm sure he is a supporter of ISKCON even today… but not a corrupt GBC/ ISKCON. He is a loyal Prabhupada man, not loyal to the GBC body who deviated and allowed changes in ISKCON -- for example, at our beloved Bhaktivedanta Manor, which has become a Hinduized Church. But Ajamila, you show no anger for these deviations, do you? WHY? Would the Senior Devotees Club shove you out then ??
This elite mindset and club is a game well played by some senior devotees, and is still going on in ISKCON. Rocana das and me and thousands have suffered at the hands of the senior godbrothers, Temple Presidents and GBC who consider themselves ABOVE others. This is false, elite pride. We don't need to know anything you don't want to tell us.
What is this mentality?
Ajamila das, you insult not just Rocana das, but ALL the Sampradaya Sun readers in calling the Sampradaya Sun "NonSUNce". I say this is nonsense. In ISKCON, there is no fair open discussion anymore (Istaghosti). It's being run more and more like a mundane impersonal corporation. A mundane religion. Catholic church style all the way, with its own self-appointed Bishops. If the Sun did not exist (or other independent KC websites), I promise you we, the 99% Rank and File devotees, would not get any real truth from ISKCON or the GBC body.
In the 1980's, you did your thing and made money in ISKCON, and consider yourself with the elite. You played the game well... You and Prabhavisnu Swami owned real estate in Radlett and one of the homes , you both co-owned. I lived in it, so we paid your mortgages. We the rank and file. This is not false… I lived in one of your homes, co-owned by Prabhavisnu Swami.
Ajamila das, you mention Srila Prabhupada and how he handled falldowns. OK, but this is 2012, Prabhus, times must be addressed accordingly, not in a fantasy. Too often we have seen Gurus fall down, time and time again, and we see Gurus /GBCs behaving even now improperly, off the tracks in ISKCON… so we shut up? That's your solution, Ajamila? OBEY the GBC!
I ask you, please show me where Srila Prabhupada said that if we disagree with the GBC, we are against ISKCON. Please show me this now. Your attitude reeks of Eliteism… how dare we question the GBC?! You even admit Prabhavisnu had serious problems, made worse by neglect and mishandling of his dangerous situation, falldowns, unaccountability of his actions by his GBC godbrothers.
In truth, there is no united ISKCON anymore, who are you kidding? Just check out the empty temples. All over the world, different changed variations of ISKCON exist, and the GBC allow this! You say, 'Let's be real'. OK , you start first being REAL. You even admit Rocana das has valid points...are you playing both sides?
Reality Check: WE ARE IN ISKCON, Ajamila. We never left. Many GBC did leave ISKCON and are still in the institution. We live outside it, but are in it more than some so-called devotees in the institution.
Have you not been disturbed by the real articles on the Sampradaya Sun about the sad state of ISKCON in the West? We Sun readers and writers care about ISKCON. We are not trying to be uncooperative with the GBC… cooperation is a TWO-way street and the GBC Body is a one-way street! Their way or the highway. They are not the Ultimate Authority of anything. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is the ULTIMATE AUTHORITY.
The real causalities are the devotees who lose faith in ISKCON because of the bad behaviors and deviations of the Gurus, GBC and Temple Presidents who disobey Srila Prabhupada's exacting instructions. The worldwide community of devotees see truthfulness, honesty and humility lacking in the GBC Body. This has nothing to do with articles on the Sampradaya Sun… it's news observations are not so comfortable to deal with, but are honest. We have all suffered because of ISKCON'S white-washing and watered down preaching.