Jun 08, 2017 SPAIN (SUN)
The recent articles relating to child abuse and child abusers, with H.H. Bhakti Vikasa Swami defending the rights of the known child abuser, Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami, over the rights of the victims, the children abused, are most interesting and many points are being raised.
In his latest article H.H. Bhakti Vikasa Swami says:
"I plan one more article on these topics, concerning Indradyumna Swami. Then I'm finished. I am under no obligation to engage with anyone who employs lies and deception to paint me in the worst possible light. That shows very poor character, and our acaryas have warned us to avoid bad association." (Serious Accusations, But False)
There are many points to consider here in this declaration. Amongst them are, obligation, character and association.
Obligations are very important, as mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita. 1.37-38. From the Purport of text 37-38:
"Considering all these pros and cons, Arjuna decided not to fight."
So Bhakti Vikasa Swami similarly has declared, "I am finished." Had enough. Want to give up. But it is not so easy to simply say, "I am finished." In the Bhagavad-gita there are so many quotations about duty and obligations.
Obligations. We are bound by obligations. Obligations must be met.
Just by being born in this world one has certain obligations. That is the harsh reality. Like it or not. We simply cannot shun obligations at our whim. Arjuna, in the beginning of the Bhagavad-gita, refused to fight. However, one just cannot refuse to fight.
By taking initiation from a bona fide spiritual master, one has obligations. By taking sannyasa one has obligations. By accepting followers one has obligations.
By publicly defending and attempting to minimise crimes by a known child abuser, namely Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami, and by attempting to exonerate the child abuser, one puts oneself into a situation whereby one must honour one's obligations. One has obligations. Like it or not. And for one who has taken upon himself obligations, those obligations must be met.
Disregarding and blatantly ignoring the Children Protection Office's rulings, one therefore necessarily has obligations.
One has obligations when one picks up the gauntlet and makes, or takes, a challenge to say what is right and what is wrong. What is child abuse and what is not. Obligations to satisfy those children who would ask for proper accounting and proper explanation of the reasons behind such abuse and such defence of such abuse. Obligations to those children who fell under care and protection. And were abused. Obligations to society. An obligation to those you accuse of poor character. These are indeed serious allegations. One has an obligation to explain and justify and prove such allegations. An obligation to avoid bad association. And an obligation to know what is good and what is bad association. And an obligation to properly explain one's decision to defend convicted sadistic people who flay the skin off the backs of children. An obligation to explain why one enjoys the association of those sadistic, cruel, mean spirited people who delighted in the torture of young innocent children. One indeed does have obligations. And a gentleman need not be reminded of his obligations.
Such phrases as,
"I am under no obligation to engage with anyone who employs lies and deception to paint me in the worst possible light. That shows very poor character, and our acaryas have warned us to avoid bad association," do not free one from one's obligations.
Such empty phrases will certainly not free one from one's obligations. Like it or not.
I am afraid that one simply cannot just declare, "I have no obligations." It is not so easy as that. One who assumes a role in society does indeed have obligations. I ask of you, Bhakti Vikasa Swami, I demand of you, to stand and explain yourself. Be a gentleman! Honour your obligations. For if you do not, then sadly we can not grace you with the title of, "Gentleman," what to speak of Sadhu or Guru. Be a gentleman. Stand and meet your obligations. And if you cannot be a gentleman at least be a man. And honour your obligations.
"Therefore the doubts which have arisen in your heart out of ignorance should be slashed by the weapon of knowledge. Armed with yoga, O Bharata, stand and fight." (Bhagavad Gita 4.42)
Abusers and supporters of abusers can only be described as persons of extremely bad character and indeed arcaryas have warned us to avoid such bad association. One has to decide whom one wants to follow. With whom one wants to associate. And who it is that is "bad association." One has one's obligations. And a gentleman need not be reminded of his obligations.
Here is the purport of the famously oft used, and more often misused, verse to justify abuse and unspeakable atrocities perpetrated on children, the api cet sudaracaro verse. I feel it is my obligation to ask you who are reading this to read this purport. My obligation is to request you to note who has poor character; my obligation is to request you to consider with whom you associate, And certainly, at the very least, one has an obligation to read the purport of the verse Bhagavad-gita verse, 9.30 and use this verse in an appropriate situation.
From the purport.
"The word su-durācāraḥ used in this verse is very signiﬁcant, and we should understand it properly. When a living entity is conditioned, he has two kinds of activities: one is conditional, and the other is constitutional. As for protecting the body or abiding by the rules of society and state, certainly there are different activities, even for the devotees, in connection with the conditional life, and such activities are called conditional. Besides these, the living entity who is fully conscious of his spiritual nature and is engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or the devotional service of the Lord, has activities which are called transcendental. Such activities are performed in his constitutional position, and they are technically called devotional service. Now, in the conditioned state, sometimes devotional service and the conditional service in relation to the body will parallel one another. But then again, sometimes these activities become opposed to one another. As far as possible, a devotee is very cautious so that he does not do anything that could disrupt his wholesome condition. He knows that perfection in his activities depends on his progressive realization of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Sometimes, however, it may be seen that a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness commits some act which may be taken as most abominable socially or politically. But such a temporary falldown does not disqualify him. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated that if a person falls down but is wholeheartedly engaged in the transcendental service of the Supreme Lord, the Lord, being situated within his heart, puriﬁes him and excuses him from that abomination. The material contamination is so strong that even a yogī fully engaged in the service of the Lord sometimes becomes ensnared; but Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so strong that such an occasional falldown is at once rectiﬁed. Therefore the process of devotional service is always a success. No one should deride a devotee for some accidental falldown from the ideal path, for, as explained in the next verse, such occasional falldowns will be stopped in due course, as soon as a devotee is completely situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Therefore a person who is situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and is engaged with determination in the process of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare should be considered to be in the transcendental position, even if by chance or accident he is found to have fallen. The words sādhur eva,"he is saintly," are very emphatic. They are a warning to the nondevotees that because of an accidental falldown a devotee should not be derided; he should still be considered saintly even if he has accidentally fallen down. And the word mantavyaḥ is still more emphatic. If one does not follow this rule, and derides a devotee for his accidental falldown, then one is disobeying the order of the Supreme Lord. The only qualiﬁcation of a devotee is to be unﬂinchingly and exclusively engaged in devotional service.
In the Nṛsiṁha Purāṇa the following statement is given:
bhagavati ca harāv ananya-cetā
bhṛśa-malino 'pi virājate manuṣyaḥ
na hi śaśa-kaluṣa-cchabiḥ kadācit
timira-parābhavatām upaiti candraḥ
The meaning is that even if one fully engaged in the devotional service of the Lord is sometimes found engaged in abominable activities, these activities should be considered to be like the spots that resemble the mark of a rabbit on the moon. Such spots do not become an impediment to the diffusion of moonlight. Similarly, the accidental falldown of a devotee from the path of saintly character does not make him abominable.
On the other hand, one should not misunderstand that a devotee in transcendental devotional service can act in all kinds of abominable ways; this verse only refers to an accident due to the strong power of material connections. Devotional service is more or less a declaration of war against the illusory energy. As long as one is not strong enough to ﬁght the illusory energy, there may be accidental falldowns. But when one is strong enough, he is no longer subjected to such falldowns, as previously explained. No one should take advantage of this verse and commit nonsense and think that he is still a devotee. If he does not improve in his character by devotional service, then it is to be understood that he is not a high devotee."
So will Bhakti Vikasa Swami honour the obligations he has taken upon himself and tell us truthfully why he supports a known child abuser? Will he tell us what is his position on child abuse? Will he say clearly what is his position on corporal punishment? Does he support corporal punishment? What exactly is his stance on child abusers. What is his stance on twisting children's ears. What is his stance in beating children? Has he even read the documentation provided online by the Children's Protection Office? To what level is corporal punishment child abuse? Will he answer? Will he be honourable? Will he show some respect for the cloth he wears? Bhakti Vikasa Maharaja, honour your obligations. A gentleman need not be reminded of his obligations.
I submit to those who are reading this, that Bhakti Vikasa Maharaj has painted himself in the very worst possible light by the association of his own choosing of those with very poor character. I certainly would not associate with Bhakti Vidya Purna. And I certainly would not associate with Bhakti Vikasa. Or those of his ilk.
Bhakti Vikasa Maharaj, There is a Difference between Common Sins and Vaishnava-aparada
Duty of the brahmana – Vaniquotes