PVISKCON's Umbrella of Hatred
BY: PRALAMBAHA DAS
Apr 24, 2012 SOUTH AFRICA (SUN) The worst kind of friendships are those whose flimsy unions are centered around mutual acrimony. The problem with camaraderie based upon rancor is that genuine amity is never considered. And when the opposite side whom the "friends" have united together to oppose offers a price—and most people do have a price—your friend changes coats and joins the opposing team, which makes you the new enemy. There is no honor among professional fault-finders. And hypercriticism is the way of much of ISKCON's alternative press. In a nutshell, that is why aligning forces with anyone who claims to have "Prabhupada's Vision" is dangerous. Because anyone who claims to visualize that which was beheld by the eyes of the paramhamsa is deluded.
We all know that the umbrella of shared disgust for past and present corruption within ISKCON's GBC has been a dubious shelter for any number of disenfranchised devotees. The GBC has been forced to admit their stupendous blunders on dozens of occasions, and yet they continue creating new ones. Their follies are not news to any of us. But mistakes on one side are not justification for the companionship of posers who pretend to know the mind of the Founder-Acharya. The fact is that those devotees whose flimsy alliances are based upon issuing forth neatly illustrated hate mail have no knowledge of the teachings of Srila Prabhupada. Denigration just wasn't his style. Truth be told, taking a predeliction for fault finding is the mark not of a devotee, but of a demon.
ISKCON's Founder-Acharya taught us that his family of sons and daughters should be devotees who enjoy the spirit of love and trust he created. Krishna conscious friendship should be built upon positive motivations such as actually trying to please the Lord's representative through humble service and preaching His genuine message. Spite and hatred form the flimsy parasol of those whose shelter is a shared love for fault-finding. Bhakti is never a breeding ground for hatred; it is meant for developing values like love, trust and honesty amongst our spiritual peers. The violation of such hallowed principles by a GBC or guru does not give another member of the sanga the right for a life of fault-finding. A responsible devotee sets his own example by following the acharya.
Though the GBC may be reluctant to admit it, the editorial policy of the Sampradaya Sun is to point out faults that have been otherwise swept under the rug with a mind to correct them. That is not faultfinding. Genuine members of ISKCON desire a strong Governing Body that actually obeys Shrila Prabhupada's manifesto for world spirituality based upon sankirtan yagna. That motivation is quite apart from websites of angry ex-members who apparently seek to pull down the reigns of the institution wholesale through concocted pseudo-philosophies like Rtvikism.
Modern political satirist P.J. O'Rourke, the world's most quoted humorist, best sums up political managers—whether they are attired in business suits or carry dandas:
"Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race. All through history mankind has been bullied by scum. Those who lord it over their fellows and toss commands in every direction and would boss the grass in the meadow about which way to bend in the wind are the most depraved kind of prostitutes. They will submit to any indignity, perform any vile act, do anything to achieve power. The worst off-sloughings of the planet are the ingredients of sovereignty. Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us."
Or as Mark Twain put it,
"We may not pay Satan reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents. A person who has for untold centuries maintained the imposing position of spiritual head of four-fifths of the human race, and political head of the whole of it, must be granted the possession of executive abilities of the loftiest order."
Naturally as purveyors of would-be democracy—and as the lowly rank and file of ISKCON—we are peeved that 'Satan' has denied us the right of even doing a proper job of that, by voting—even though in elections Maya has a habit of winning anyway. On these points we have a modicum of agreement with the other websites. Still, an offer of sympathy to those who have been disenfranchised by heartless authorities should not mean siding up with those Kali Chelas who have a self-issued license for rabid Internet demogoguery. The Sampradaya Sun speaks to the many who understand the teachings of Srila Prabhupada, and not those who have made it a career to stir up hatred on the Internet for their own ends.
And for the life of me, I would be hard pressed to say with any degree of honesty that even a whit of understanding of what Krishna Consiciousness is all about can be be found on the site, PrabhupadaVision.com. True, the site appears to demonstrate much journalistic ability and philosophical adroitness—until you actually read it. Editor Krsnacandra das, whose talents for journalism lie somewhere between the Fashion Channel and the morning traffic report, is known for his rabid spews about something he calls 'FISKCON'. But what about his misnamed "Prabhupada Vision", which should be called PVISKCON? The reader comes away from Krsnacandra das and his PVISKCON with the feeling that it's one thing to chew the chewed, but quite another thing to masticate that which has seen so much re-cycling it's ready to be flushed!
The curious who are drawn at first by its slick appearance are turned away by its regular offering of malice and despotism, which are meant to protest malice and despotism. Solutions to the GBC's heirarchical blunders should mean that something better can be proposed. What we find on this questionable PrabhupadaVision.com is something far worse than solutions -- they are not stabbing the boil to heal it, but rather picking at the wound for the pleasure of causing pain.
Let's face it, the progress of ISKCON depends upon a proper GBC and upon extending the sampradaya through qualified initiating gurus. Yet, according to Prabhupada Vision, Srila Prabhupada's vision was to destroy ISKCON because that is what Rtvikism is -- and Prabhupada Vision is just another Rtvik site. Of course, they are also carving out their own niche by amassing a collection of so-called "proof" in support of the ISKCON Jewish Conspiracy theory. Buried in the early archives of the site are rabid Jew-hating rants, devoid of evidence, but boldly calling for all devotees to accept Krsnacandra's conclusion that ISKCON has been purposefully and conspiratorially ruined by Jews -- a foolish and loathsome conclusion to preach when one has no evidence to support such claims.
In general, we find that the landscape of Rtvik websites has been shifting, of late. The Prabhupadanugas.eu website borrows articles liberally from the Sampradaya Sun, but doesn't include a link to the Sun on their homepage along with the other Vaisnava news sites. They seem to have acquired a more pronounced affinity for the Bangalore Rtvik temple of late. At least they give proper citations when borrowing Sun articles, and overall they maintain a respectful mood in their reporting. This has perhaps discouraged the less-mannered Rtviks, who have scurried over to PrabhupadaVision.com, which reads more like a Pada newsletter every day. Not surprising, I suppose, given that Puranjana is one of the prominent Rtvik personalities holding court there.
Editor Krsnacandra das apparently hasn't figured out that all the rats fled the Pada ship for a reason… because it was sinking into the mire of its hateful "editorial" content. Why the Prabhupada Vision editor thinks that duplicating the same viscous mood will bring him success is anyone's guess. Of course, he is hedging his bets (and make no mistake, what he's doing is nothing short of gambling with his spiritual life) by importing a little quality content. Some of it he simply steals from the Sun, without attribution. The Sun editors have apparently asked him to stop, but to no avail. I for one, as an occasional contributor to the Sun, certainly wouldn't be pleased to have my articles pirated by these Rtvik scallywags and posted as value content to bolster their web endeavours. But as I say… they're gamblers. Taking the risk of offending devotee authors is just one of the many ways they're rolling the dice.
The latest imbroglio to break out at PrabhupadaVision.com came to a head just last night, with one devotee alleging that an email sent out from his account was fraudulently sent by someone connected with Prabhupada Vision, who hacked him. The Canadian RCMP in at least three provinces are now involved in the fray. This situation is apparently the result of a fight that had been ongoing between Rtvik devotees at PrabhupadaVision.com who were "discussing philosophy". Someone allegedly hacked into another prabhu's email account and sent out last night, to a long distribution list of devotees, a psychotic-sounding letter that included a statement about 'voices in his head telling him to kill people'. Scary stuff.
This is the quality of expression we find in so many of that website's published writings. One would have hoped that after all these years, the Rtviks could organize themselves into a community that's peaceful and supportive, at least of other Rtviks. The fact that PrabhupadaVision.com is headquartered in the Holy Dham of Vrindavan doesn't seem to be an ameliorating factor.
Amidst the constant free-for-all bashing at PrabhupadaVision.com that has become a hallmark of the online Rtvik community, they find time to trumpet their 'absolute' version of "what Prabhupada wanted". Forgetting that the duty of all disciples is to revere the Acharya and to serve his will faithfully to one's best ability, they presume that only they have a handle on how that is to be done. All others are mere imposters. But as sastra teaches, we must beware of those who pretend to posture alongside Shrila Prabhupada as though they alone have understood the empowered avatar's vision.
And frankly, as far as the literary content of the site is concerned, I would have been ashamed to turn that sort of poorly-phrased drivel into my grade school newspaper. You can read it for yourself… but I don't recommend it. When it comes to caustic know-it-alls with dubious websites and fancy computers, I am once again reminded of the wisdom of Mark Twain:
"Between us, we cover all knowledge; he knows all that can be known and I know the rest."