Mar 14, 2017 FRANCE (SUN)
I got the information that, AT LAST, the GBC has decided to fire Nitai Gaurasundara das from the Paris temple presidency after the next Ratha yatra. So, it looks like a miracle and it's maybe time to remember some of those countless Nitai Gaurasundara pastimes in the French yatra. I will give you only a few of them to try to make you understand why the French yatra is so down.
First, you must know that during many years, when Param Gati Swami was GBC in France, he was so weak and easy to manipulate that, in fact, the real GBC was actually Nitai Gaurasundara! When Param Gati Swami fell down (or more exactly, was caught) in 2007 or 2008, I don't know exactly how things turned but I know that before this event, the choice of the new Paris temple, with the laksmi given through the mercy and the work of a European ISKCON Committee, was mainly done and imposed by Nitai Gaurasundara.
Although better places for this temple were possible and desired by many devotees, we have now a nice place, it's right. But to go there, we have to cross the most dangerous suburb in France. And the temple room is about 20 m2, the altar included. It is actually very difficult to have much ambition with that… So, nobody is coming anymore to the temple except the Indian community that lives very close.
Before, in the early 2000's, Nitai Gaurasundara made a big collection for buying Paris a new temple, mainly among the Indian community in England, but he wanted to do that alone and did not want to give precise reports on it to anyone. The result was that Nitai Gaurasundara succedeed in collecting much laksmi... but... one day, all this laksmi (hundreds of thousands of euros) suddenly disappeared! Nitai Gaurasundara's official version was that a crook stole this money through a kind of financial speculation they both decided to involve this laksmi in. Indeed, this crook has existed but acknowledged to have stolen a very little amount of money. Now, Nitai Gaurasundara has a house in Normandie that he says he rents. I know that when I was in French yatra, when there was some doubt about this leader, his words were enough to kill definitively those doubts and were considered as proofs by themselves. No further inquiries were necessary... and we could not speak! I guess that it is more or less the same today.
In 1999, laksmi was given (lended) to Nitai Gaurasundara to allow him to buy his own camping-car, and this money was of course supposed to be given back by him in due course of time. Very
little time after, Nitai Gaurasundara announced that he will not be in capacity to pay back this money and became very angry, for I did not consider him as a kind of hero because of the way he frankly announced this fact. In Nitai Gaurasundara's scale of values, we were supposed to glorify him because of his frankness! Of course, it was better than to lie... But at this time, it reminded me of people who consider that they deserve reward because they did not steal from you or did not destroy your car... those kind of people exist! I've met some!
After I left the French yatra in 2000, devotees in Paris had to move to the next grhasta's house. It became very difficult for devotees to live there. Deities were on the chimney, the house was very little, etc... but it was not enough for the temple president! He let the devotees go for weeks and months without electricity or water, without laksmi (he was coming only on Sunday to take the temple laksmi) and with the water closets full and out of service. It ended one day with the devotees putting on Nitai Gaurasundara's head a full bucket of devotees' excrements. One of them was a very humble and exemplary devotee.
I will finish this very little sample of Nitai Gaurasundara's heroic pastimes with a story:
In 1998, the Paris temple had an agreement with a person for free markets in Paris. The concept was that devotees could sell their products (prasadam and paraphernalia) but had at the end to give some cultural participation. So, they will chant Hare Krsna! On the day of this free market, Nitai Gaurasundara and his team were supposed to be on the plaza at 1 pm... So, at 12.30, I asked Nitai Gaurasundara: "Don't you go?" "Yes yes!" At 2 pm I saw him still in the temple... "Prabhu! Don't you think you are going to be late?" At 4 pm: "I don't understand prabhu....." Nitai Gaurasundara: "DON'T BE IN PASSION, PRAHLADA!!!!! "
The result was that Nitai Gaurasundara left very late, found the place with much difficulty and reached the place at 8 pm and so, could not sell any product and could only do the bhajan. Some days after, he came and asked me to phone the lady who was organizing this free market and to demand she give us another free market, but without the cultural participation. She had a debt towards us because we didn't have the possibility to sell our products the previous time! So, Nitai Gaurasundara asked me to put pressure on her. I replied that I agreed to phone her, but not to put pressure on her. It was not her fault if Nitai Gaurasundara had been 7 hours late with absolutely no reason! Hearing that, Nitai Gaurasundara started to scream at me like an animal... I phoned very gently the lady, who told me the same thing that I told to Nitai Gaurasundara. And because he had already put pressure on her at the end of the previous market, she did not want to see us anymore.
Later, Nitai Gaurasundara said to the whole yatra that we lost this free market because Prahlada Nrsimha das burned it out... It is his way to act. To put his own mistakes on others. Like that, his image stays spotless! He also steals many times others' credit.
To finish and really make you understand why almost everyone left the yatra… Serving the yatra meant serving Nitai Gaurasundara, for he is always above you. In 1997 or '98, the Rolling Stones were in Paris, playing in the Stade de France (football stadium). So, Nitai Gaurasundara imagined that the devotees could go there, put up tables and sell prasadam outside and around the Stadium. I humbly told him: "Well... prabhu... I think it would be better to check before... The Rolling Stones are a very serious company and I guess everything is packed up and booked up since a long time! I am afraid you will not get one meter..."
Again, Nitai Gaurasundara screamed at me, like every time he finds an obstacle. He made the devotees cook a huge amount of prasadam for 2 days, day and night! Of course, the devotees went to the place, did not find one square cm to sell their prasadam, and came back one hour and half later with it!!! The chief of the cooks said: "Never again! I am completely disgusted!"
But Nitai Gaurasundara is half devotee, half politician. So like any politician, if you meet him one hour or one day or some minutes each day for a couple of week, he will convince you that he is a wonderful and very competent person... And many French devotees are so naive and slow
that it could work a very long time in spite of the evidence!
And of course, Bhakti Caru Swami was an unconditional Nitai Gaurasundara supporter.