Why Has the CPO Not Acted on the Praghosa Joke?
BY: R.A. SADHUDASA ANUDASA
Jul 23, 2011 SRIDHAM MAYAPUR, WEST BENGAL (SUN) Dear Antardwip dasa, I write to you again since my concern is still towards ISKCON's future generations. As an aspirant devotee that is concerned with the educational values offered to all of us by Srila Prabhupada, the issue about the treatment of children at the hands of Praghosa dasa, has not yet been totally clarified.
Since the spirit of Vaishnavism is one of constructive criticism, let me emphasize that in NO way do I suggest that Praghosa dasa or any of the circumstantial GBC's be sent out of Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON... by any means possible. Srila Prabhupada created ISKCON as a place that anybody willing to practice pure spiritual life should, and could take shelter of. This is declared by himself in the original documents of ISKCON's incorporation. The Holy Name and the other angas of devotional service are the only cure for the sufferings jivas of Kali-yuga. Therefore, I'll repeat again that it is not my opinion that any person willing to purify him/herself be despotically, or through hypocritical diplomacy, be literally thrown out of Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON. I question myself how ISKCON will introduce varnashrama-dharma if it cannot be implemented within itself?
I'm also glad to have had the chance to receive a message from you,
although it only happened through the agency of this site. I have written
dozens of pages of articles, and letters -- which you were also the recipient of -- about
my different concerns with the progressive development of the society of
which I'm one of its Founding Assistants as Srila Prabhupada's duly
initiated disciple. Until today I have never received any answer or
commentary from you. The email of yours that appears in the Mayapur
listing, which I have sent documents and letters to, is as follows. Kindly confirm it:
Brahmin Advisory Council - Mayapur .
Here below is the original article I wrote, and later revised for the Sun, which refers to Praghosa's "joke." It is addressed to him, the whole GBC, and now also to you. Please reply to it at your earliest convenience. I have edited it, just to remove the quotes
referring to Gopal Bhatta dasa, which I have misunderstood as if he was my
Godbrother -- the editors of the Sun kindly informed me about such mistake
also. As you can see, further progress to solve -- NOT to cover -- our
mutual mistakes could be achieved by simply correcting them. That is
exclusively what the Vaishnava personalistic behavior is all about. We are
also waiting the public apology from Praghosa dasa for his behavior, in
particular to the children involved. As you'll see in the article, we were
told that he wasn't present when apology by the GBC's was presented.
Please correct us again if that's wrong information, since you are a
personal witness to this serious incident perpetrated against our future
generations. We need to hear the personal voices of the GBC and yourself also.
After all, you are the "public" representative figures of the society, isn't?
Thank you very much for the chance to talk to you through this means.
I remain your servant in Srila Prabhupada's seva,
OPEN LETTER TO ANTARDWIP DASA, ALL OF SRILA PRABHUPADA'S ISKCON-GBC MEMBERS PRESENT AT THE CLOSING MEETING DURING THIS YEAR GAURA-PURNIMA FESTIVAL AT SRI MAYAPUR, AND THE ISKCON CENTRAL OFFICE OF CHILD PROTECTION:
SABOTAGE OF OLD AND NEW GENERATIONS
By Sadhudasa Anudasa
I have read with interest Gopal Bhatta dasa's article "Krishna Animations and Krishna Meditations", complaining about the "Little Krishna" series for children produced by ISKCON Bangalore. I also read the answers offered by Agrani Krishna dasa in his posting "Questions about the Little Krishna Animated Series."
I personally like so much the "Little Krishna" -- or "Krishna Kaumara" if
someone else prefers so -- since they are very attractive, highly
professionally skilled, and as Agrani Krishna dasa, with demons treated as based on Shastra. In my humble opinion there has NOT been in the whole
history of ISKCON a children presentation of ANIMATED Krishna so well done
in all aspects.
I have given copies to a family of Bengali devotees whose one year-old
daughter couldn't even eat anything if not watching some non-sense TV. Now
she ONLY watches "Little Krishna," and is not affected by any other kind
of TV distraction. I do believe that this animation of Baby Krishna is
highly recommended for aspirant Vaishnavas, since it assists their
children on the process of Krishna consciousness from early age.
Both commentaries submitted to this site have valid arguments, and
eventual flaws as well. Nonetheless, the conclusion is and will always be
in the readers' taste or the constitutional inferred rasa towards Sri
Krishna, Who is the Original Guru. Therefore, before making any assertion
about someone or something, I always try to remind myself that:
"Things or persons that one sees, or reads about, may NOT necessary be as
they are in actuality, but how one personally FEELS about them."
The statement above is the kind of self-analysis that prospective
transcendentalists should always observe before making conclusions on our
own. Therefore, one's conclusions should always be solidly based on how we
approach Sri Guru-Sadhu-Shastra conclusions.
Nonetheless, our eternal individuality naturally generates the problem of
misinterpreting the tenet of Mahaprabhu's Oneness in Diversity, since it
is most difficult to embrace, most particularly when one is still
affected/afflicted by impersonalism and nihilism.
In my personal opinion, I have arrived at the analytical conclusion that
during the time being, the great majority of Srila Prabhupada's duly
initiated students, as well as the great majority of students of the
second and third generations, do not fully comprehend the philosophy of
Krishna consciousness. This can be probed since until today the Vaishnava
principles of Jiva-tattva and Guru-tattva being withheld in ISKCON
exclusively, are based in Mayavada philosophy and the great majority of
ISKCON Members do NOT yet realize it.
It is Mayavada philosophy --or plain atheism-- to declare the fall down
of the living entities directly with their spiritual body from the very
personal engagement with Sri Krishna in Krishnaloka or Sri Vishnu in
Vaikunthaloka; as well as to DEIFY Srila Prabhupada in a sentimental
impersonal manner by blatantly denying his contemporary, past, or future
pure Vaishnavas —who may be, have been, or may become, empowered
incarnations also. Therefore, when there is no proper sambhanda-jnana,
neither proper abhidheya-jnana, prayojana --or proper personalism-- would
never manifest in our own.
ISKCON still continue been philosophically and managerially sabotaged
since Srila Prabhupada physical departure in 1977. Probe of it is that our
DULY officially proposal presented to Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON-GBC to
years back, to review the explicit Mayavada conceptions comprising the
GBC-Press publication "Our Constitutional Position," has been neglected by
the ISKCON-GBC after sending it for review to the Shastric Advisory
Council, although it is well known to them that such Council is conformed
by the senior members of the philosophical fallacy presented in the very
Regardless the philosophical misrepresentation on the part of Srila
Prabhupada's ISKCON circumstantial GBC, which has affected the great
majority of the ISKCON membership since the last 29 years, my humble
concern is that future generations will notice such sabotage and be
preserved from such influence. Therefore my question refers to the welfare
of the healthy moral grow of our future generations, comprised of
youngsters and children, which is in line with Gopal Bhatta Dasa'a concern
showed in his article:
"In my opinion, the ‘Little Krishna' cartoon series produced by ISKCON
Bangalore devotees and friends (which is constantly hawked in their temple
using big, color advertisements) is not worth viewing by Srila
Prabhupada's followers or their children. It may, in fact, be
counterproductive for the general public or harmful for their spiritual
progress. Such caricatures may be offensive, leading to a new generation
of foolish people who think of Krishna as a fictional cartoon hero. This
series promotes the sahajiya idea that Tenth Canto Krishna lila can be
enjoyed by any layman or child in a mundane way, without the guidance of
the Acarya and without self-purification through sadhana-bhakti."
I do not clearly understand how a five year-old child can "see" Krishna on
those videos in a "mundane way," neither how the "sadhana-bhakti" of a
five year-old child would be hampered by watching such videos of Little
Krishna, but I'm sincerely open for advise. Is it that five years-old
"karmi" children with pious deeds wouldn't benefit after "seeing" Krishna?
What is the use of performing harinama or distributing Krishna Book to
karmis then? After all, they are NOT different from Krishna Himself.
Please, with your eventual advise kindly send me references on what to do
with the "apparently awful impression" --from my own adult's aesthetic
point of view-- of almost all children's puffed dolls of Krishna or other
This is a sincere enquiry regarding the moral education of our new
generations, and how a spiritual leader should represent and withhold it.
I pray that any response is offered in whole sincerity, and trying to
avoid offending my meagre intellect, nor the intellect of some members of
the august audience of this site.
It is my sincere concern that since Srila Prabhupada is the
FOUNDER-ACHARYA of the ISKCON-GBC, his honor be upheld by its
participating members as his spiritual leaders, since they are meant to
represent His Divine Grace's spiritual guidelines in full capacity --as
his circumstantial managers for his spiritual society.
My concern is also substantiated by the following statement from the
very 10th Canto that Gopal Battha dasa wisely defend:
na sabham praviset prajnah
abruvan vibruvann ajno
narah kilbisam asnute
"A wise person should not enter an assembly if he knows the participants
there are committing acts of impropriety, and if, having entered such an
assembly, he fails to speak the truth, speaks falsely, or pleads
ignorance, he will certainly incur sin."
(Srimad Bhagavatam 10.44.10)
OPEN QUESTION TO ALL OF SRILA PRABHUPADA'S ISKCON-GBC MEMBERS PRESENT AT THE CLOSING MEETING DURING THIS YEAR GAURA-PURNIMA FESTIVAL AT SRI MAYAPUR, AND THE ISKCON CENTRAL OFFICE OF CHILD PROTECTION:
On the day of the last meeting of Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON-GBC annual
gathering at Sri Mayapur this year, Praghosa dasa offered a farewell
presentation that in my humble opinion, exposes the whole ISKCON-GBC to a
flagrant issue of lack of spiritual leadership by the simple fact of
tolerating it, and directly participating in it after letting him continue
with his aberrant and explicitly immoral presentation.
According to the consultation made with a set of highly qualified lawyers
on the mater of CHILD ABUSE, Praghosa dasa's "farewell presentation"
involving and personally exposing youngsters and children from the
Bhaktivedanta Ashram to the whole ISKCON-GBC body, is open for a legal
case against not only him, but to all the members of the GBC as well,
since they neglected to interrupt his non-sensical, immoral, and abusive
presentation that lasted about more than 10 minutes.
I still wonder
why the ISKCON Central Office of Child Protection has apparently not taken
action into this immoral act of exposing young brahmacharis, bramacharinis
and innocent children to this morally degrading experience in front of all
the ISKCON-GBC members, who did not immediately react in their behalf as
is expected from spiritual leaders.
It seems that Praghosa dasa immediately presented his resignation, after
the reaction of some GBC members and from the children's teachers, who
immediately removed them after such non sensical presentation. However
such resignation was not accepted by the entire ISKCON-GBC members --thus
making them accomplices?
It seems that the whole ISKCON-GBC presented their excuses to the
children, promised to build a playground, and brought ice-creams to them.
However, Praghosa dasa was not present at such meeting. In my humble
opinion, there is no amount of excuses or ice-creams that would fully
erase from their memories the already seen and heard without the personal
apology and true signs of remorse from the person that perpetuated such
offense to their moral integrity.
TWO SIMPLE QUESTIONS:
1— How do you (whether Antardwip dasa, any of the ISKCON-GBC members, any member of the
ISKCON Central Office of Child Protection, or finally the very Praghosa
dasa) personally view this whole incident, and what was your first
personal thought after witnessing or enacting the whole episode?
2— How do you (whether Antardwip Dasa, any of the ISKCON-GBC members, any member of the
ISKCON Central Office of Child Protection, or finally the very Praghosa
Dasa) view this whole incident as an ISKCON member with social and
spiritual responsibilities towards the whole community of ISKCON Members?
By "ISKCON Members" I refer herein to any duly initiated student of Srila
Prabhupada through the sacred process of diksha, in their eternal and
irrevocable status as ISKCON Founding Assistants; and to all students duly
initiated by any professing Vaishnava guru that have whole-heartily
embraced Srila Prabhupada as their adi-siksha-guru amongst all of Srila
Prabhupada's contemporaries, and thus accept him as a truly empowered
incarnation for the age.
Waiting with full attention your answers, I eternally remain your servant
in the seva to Srila Prabhupada and the liberated Vaishnavas,
PS: It is possible that this event could be used in an Indian Court of Law
to show how the present Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON-GBC is misleading the
Founding Assistants and the whole society? I guess that it depends of its
answers. And what if there is NO answers?... Well! May be... some
intelligent, learned, and really concerned diksha students of Srila
Prabhupada --in their status as ISKCON Founding Assistants-- will
start gathering resources and proper media to get together, and finally
establish a coalition force to claim their inherited rights within ISKCON
management... even if to do so they have to resort to Federal Laws.
Obviously, it won't be an easy task. Particularly knowing that
pseudo-Vaishnavas are in the move... right amongst them, in disguise as
Prabhupada's followers. Songs familiar? Well, meditate in Mahabharata more
often, since you are living it right now. By the way... to which camp do
you think you belong to? Are you ready to probe it, then probe to yourself
first. You can cheat almost everybody... except Krishna and His pure