Brahminical Culture Eclipsed by Urban Myth
BY: ROCANA DASA
Jul 11, 2012 CANADA (SUN) In recent weeks, a few of my Godbrothers have brought to my attention a discussion that was going on at the Pamho Prabhupada Disciples forum. The forum members were discussing whether they should entertain the idea of sending me a letter conveying their concerns about the Sampradaya Sun and my writings. Among the active participants in this discussion thread were friends and godbrothers Vaiyasaki das, Ajamila dasa, Praghosa dasa, and Hridayananda.
A few months ago, I had an indirect exchange with Ajamila das on the subject of Prabhavisnu's falldown. Taking exception to some of comments made in the Sun about Prabhavisnu, Ajamila offered his own critical commentary on the Pamho forum, but didn't share his comments with the Sun. However, various forum members sent me copies, so I replied to Ajamila in an article entitled, "The Platitudes of Ajamila". I later discovered that Ajamila's position was a cookie-cutter version of comments made on the Pamho form by the ex-Zonal Acarya, Hridayananda.
The idea floated on the Pamho forum about sending me a letter of complaint and concern was primarily inspired by Hridayananda, who is quite unhappy about articles published in the Sun that have been highly critical of his lifestyle and dereliction of duties as a sannyasi (see links below). Of course, Hridayananda never wrote to me directly to air his grievances. Instead, his complaint reached us through the agency of his close associate, Brahma Tirtha dasa. I had occasion to hear from Brahma Tirtha dasa on another matter, and during the course of that exchange, he made it known that Hridayananda felt the Sampradaya Sun was behaving in an unVaisnava-like fashion by not publishing Hridayananda's rebuttal to the complaints made against him. I invited Brahma Tirtha dasa to forward copies of the articles in question, as I couldn't remember having rejected anything coming from Hridayananda. I promised to review them, and to give our reasons for having rejected them. No copies of the alleged articles were forthcoming from Brahma Tirtha prabhu. But as you'll note in the Pamho postings at the end of this article, Hridayananda continues to be vexed that his self-defense went unpublished, so I will again extend the invitation -- please send us copies, and we'll review them and let you know why they were rejected, if that was the case.
The complaints reflected in the proposed letter to me (which the group decided not to send, after all) indicate that their dissatisfaction with the Sun extends well beyond the expose articles on Hridayananda. I admit that it hurts to a degree when I hear my godbrothers express such dislike for me because I act on my belief that the concept of freedom of expression and freedom of the press would meet with the approval of Srila Prabhupada. The Sampradaya Sun is based on the principle of independent Vaisnava news and brahminical commentary, and giving voice to all sincere and well spoken devotees who do not offend the true pure devotees within our Sampradaya. We promote public philosophical discourse that embraces rather than stigmatizes a variety of individual viewpoints.
Individual devotees can be trusted to find their own appropriate ways to express their particular spiritual convictions, realizations and viewpoints. We do not need to have the GBC protect us from hearing such things. What the people need from GBC leaders are the virtues of truthfulness, justice, practical wisdom, courage, vision and a kind of compassion whose effects can actually be discerned in the lives of the grassroots Vaisnavas.
Many of my critics who are "written about", including Ajamila das, demand that I make a through investigation before publishing any critical news or commentary, although of course, the editorial views shared on the Pamho forum are not researched or vetted. They are simply the opinions of devotees like Ajamila himself.
The arguments and positions that certain individuals on the Pamho forum take are reflective of the persons who occupy far more powerful positions in ISKCON than they do. Some of the Pamho participants have a particular personal position and agenda they're trying to protect. In other words, they do not want to offend the leaders that support and protect their service, or have their income jeopardized. Thankfully, this is a dynamic I don't have to take into consideration when I make my personal opinions known.
I have written many times about this principle but will again pose the question, this time to my godbrothers participating in the Pamho forum discussion: Is it not true that you yourselves, as senior disciples of Srila Prabhupada, are only too interested to hear the news -- the 'inside news' that the leaders would prefer the public (and especially their followers) not hear if it in any way taints their reputation or character? Would you prefer to know what's going on, or would you prefer to be kept in the dark? The answer is obvious.
Whatever the motivation that brought them to a position of power, whether they be a sannyasa, guru, GBC, or all three, by dint of the fact that our ISKCON leaders have taken positions of responsibility out of their own free will and aspirations, they are open to critical analysis. Because they're empowered in their positions by all the members of ISKCON and all the followers of Srila Prabhupada to take on these responsibilities, they are open to the scrutiny of those they lead.
I fully appreciate the principle of leadership and the need for it. But within the Vedas (and this is reflected within every successful organization), there is recognition of and an appreciation for the need of having an empowered leader do the kind of service or work that is required in order that the society function smoothly. Along with that, the leader must appreciate that whatever name, fame and position they take, the public is very interested to know that they're performing up to expectations and according to their promises and vows. If they don't, then it impacts the persons who have empowered them.
Those who put leaders into positions of power don't mind them having some benefits or perks. But if they transgress, if they go outside the bounds of their role and duty, they should expect to get a reaction. In our case, as Vaisnavas and representatives of the Founder-Acarya, we are obliged to live by the Vedic injunctions and statements made by our previous Acaryas, and most particularly, by Srila Prabhupada. And Srila Prabhupada, as we all know, was a very strict follower. He followed to perfection his Spiritual Master. He embraced the principles that his Spiritual Master personified. He attributed all the success he had obtained upon rendering his service to the fact that he is following the footsteps of such a great Acarya.
Srila Prabhupada, in serving humanity and especially his disciples and followers, spoke and wrote his instructions and purports to give us the required information we need in order to pursue the ultimate goal of life and gain some kind of peaceful situation, as much as possible in the material world, so we could execute our Krsna consciousness. In order to do that, Srila Prabhupada created ISKCON, he created islands of Vrindavan -- not simply religious temples where the general public could go, but asramas where one could execute Krsna consciousness in the association of the devotees. And this is a very important foundational principle articulated by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His direct disciples, the Six Goswamis, and all the Acaryas since that time -- that to be able to properly follow these strict principles and to keep oneself pure enough to be motivated to execute the science of bhakti, living in these communities is the best option. I personally did that for over 20 years, until such time as I was excluded, in a sense excommunicated, because the leaders decided to follow their own particular path.
The path they wanted to follow was that they had the ultimate managing authority or ability, that they, as the GBC, and their representatives and disciples, would be above and beyond any criticism whatsoever. They are trying to this very day to embed that understanding within the society, and to instill a mood of blind, absolute obedience. Of course, history since the time Srila Prabhupada departed, and even prior to that, shows that they are prone to make huge mistakes. On the principle of blood-oath, fall-on-the-sword loyalty, they were asking us to follow asiddhantic, bogus understandings of the philosophy and how to manage the Founder-Acarya's mission.
Now, I'm going to tip-toe past the graveyard of post-samadhi ISKCON leaders, wherein lie the graves of casualties of deviation and maha offenses. The reader can google copiously documented accounts of the sordid atrocities. You can, if you wish, chose to view them as fallen foot soldiers in the fight again maya, but better to learn some valuable spiritual lessons by seeing what actions and attitudes to avoid for fear of suffering the same fate. Everyone is endowed by the Lord with their own free will, which ultimately includes ignoring and disobeying the divine teachings of the great Sampradaya Acaryas. But rather than encouraging us to understand mistakes of the past so we can learn from them, the paramount principle decreed by the almighty GBC is that the ISKCON grassroots may not criticize or fault-find any of the leaders or those the GBC favor. Of course, it is a well known reality that through the infamous ISKCON grapevine the forbidden news becomes public soon enough, and the cover-up artists eventually look deceptive and foolish. We have seen the drama unfold over and over again.
One particular urban myth has become the most-often quoted within ISKCON by those who wish to avoid the truth-telling, preferring instead the well-worn drama just described. I feel free to categorize this story as an urban myth because nowhere do we find documented evidence that it actually took place. Exactly how this particular drama may have actually transpired, and how close reality is to the way in which the story is now often quoted, we can't be sure.
I am referring to a Srila Prabhupada's lila episode that concerns the then GBC of Australia, Madhudvisa Swami. This principle character was discovered having illicit liaisons with the opposite sex. The details of the expose got out by means of other senior GBC's, and Srila Prabhupada found out about it. Prabhupada instructed the blabbermouth culprit to stop publicly criticizing Madhudvisa. Srila Prabhupada preferred to offer him an opportunity to come back and serve the mission as a respectful householder. Madhudvisa initially chose to accept Srila Prabhupada's kindness and for a short time assumed the position of the in-charge of ISKCON New York. Unfortunately, this arrangement didn't last long.
To my knowledge, no one has produced the actual transcribed statements Srila Prabhupada made during a recorded conversation with Madhudvisa, thus this particular parable of Srila Prabhupada's dealing with Madhudvisa remains anecdotal. Given that fact, Srila Prabhupada's reaction to this particular circumstance should be placed in the category of 'personal recollections of the devotees'. Unfortunately, with the help of underlings like Ajamila dasa, this story is regularly told and exploited, amplified and no doubt embellished by self-interested parties who directly benefit from the adoption of their own interpretation of the story. Presently, no one is more likely to take shelter of this myth than Hridayananda. He enjoyed the honor of being the main PR spin-meister for the Zonal Acaryas, and may very well have concocted this version of the story himself.
The polished version of the Madhudvisa Story, now ISKCON folklore, serves as the brahmastra of censorship decrees. The cadre of hanger-on past notorieties hope that this culturally embedded, orally transmitted "old elders" tale will eclipse the many teachings in our Vaisnava Sastra as purported by the Founder-Acarya of ISKCON, which unsentimentally condemn the un-bonafide lifestyle of so many leaders. In a paranoid climate, what individuals like Hridayananda fear is that The Enemy wants to take away their lavish lifestyle.
It's quite likely that this Madhudvisa pastime did take place, but the interpretation of its significance and the spiritual lessons that it contains can be seen from many viewpoints. I see it as an exhibition of the pure compassion of the Sampradaya Acarya towards his sincere disciple. Srila Prabhupada had trained up and empowered his Madhudvisa Swami, which resulted in many great preaching achievements, and was trying to reciprocate by attempting to save Madhudvisa from Mayadevi's clutches, re-engaging him in his service.
Of course, the present GBC leaders could apply this lesson to thousands of disenfranchised Godbrothers and sincere followers who, for a multitude of reasons, have left the shelter of ISKCON. These trained-up, dedicated prabhus could contribute greatly to preaching programs for the glory of their beloved Srila Prabhupada. Instead they are written off, forgotten and ignored. Only to the fallen leaders or their close friends does their version of the Madhudvisa lesson apply. Historical memory recalls that so-called leaders, for the most trivial of actions or words, have heartlessly bad-mouthed, banned, ex-communicated and ostracized thousands of their own godbrothers and sisters, going right back to the time Srila Prabhupada accepted maha-samadhi.
Even though they now admit their ruthless bogus programs caused many to reluctantly flee their oppressors, the perpetrators have made no tangible effort to mitigate their mistakes by going out to meet or preach to those they have wronged. They have made no attempt to save and re-engage those who find themselves outside the shelter of Srila Prabhupada's communities, and have suffered accordingly. This would be the proper lesson to be learned and applied from the Madhudvisa pastime. Over the last twenty-five years, I have never once been contacted or approached by a leader of ISKCON with the aim of getting me to re-engage. I have only been publishing the Sampradaya Sun for 8 years, so the excuse that I am incorrigible doesn't apply to the previous 17 years.
I was recently informed that an honorable friend was motivated to visit me. It so happens that this Prabhu is a high-ranking ISKCON member, a sannyasis, a guru. When he asked the local Vancouver temple authority if he and his assistant could stay at the temple, but in his brahminical honesty informed him that he would be visiting with me, the temple authority refused his request. Keep in mind that I was a pioneer participant in helping to establish the Vancouver temple. I joined Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON years earlier than anyone involved in the temple management today. But this is how small and shallow the leaders have become.
For the most part, my godbrothers who are active members of the Pamho forum, many of whom I've served with intimately in the past, don't exhibit an iota of compassion or sympathy, commonly found in a true Vaisnava. They couldn't care less if I'm suffering from lack of Vaisnava association. My historical lens recalls some of the forum participants' own past struggles outside the halls of ISKCON. In brief, they experienced a very difficult time maintaining their Krsna consciousness, and consequently returned to the society. Their service and inclination was not in the managerial realm, therefore they were afforded some facility. In other words, my past friends know first-hand, by personal experience, the suffering that I have to endure by being excluded from the local society of devotees. But unlike Srila Prabhupada's example with Madhudvisa, they have no compassion for someone who insists on speaking freely in public, when the focus of such independent brahminical commentary constitutes, to their minds, "fault-finding the leaders".
There are two main projects here in the Pacific Northwest -- the ISKCON Vancouver temple and the Saranagati rural community. We have three GBC's locally: Gopal Krsna Swami, Hari Vilas dasa and Bhakti Marga Swami, who "manage" through the agency of their disciples and supporters. We also come up against local Godbrothers and sisters who have aligned themselves with Radhanatha Swami, such as Yadubara das and his wife Visakha. At Saranagati, the community leaders have welcomed and accommodated Ritviks, B.V. Narayana followers, and even an alcoholic sahajiya ex-swami, what to speak of Jagadisa, the ex-everything who blasphemed Srila Prabhupada. All types of individuals who are banned even in most ISKCON temples are welcome at Saranagati -- but not a critic of ISKCON gurus like Radhanatha.
So on the basis of the Madhudvisa story, which I call an 'urban myth', all the injunctions that one can find and the statements made by Srila Prabhupada in regards to fallen sannyasis and gurus and so on are set aside, and superimposed over them is the Zonal Acarya version of this story. And on the basis of that story, myself and many others who have disagreements with certain activities of the leaders, and believe it's the responsible thing to inform the general public about the dangers that lie before if they follow such people -- we are ostracized and excluded. Such truth-telling is the ultimate act of treason and the paramount exclusion motivation in ISKCON.
The people who do the serious falldowns are really the main cause of damage to ISKCON's public reputation, and are the ones who break the hearts of their followers. But the GBC policy is to mercifully forgive and forget by inviting them to participate again. Most recently, we have watched the fall and bounce-back of Prabhavisnu Swami, and in the past the infamous ex-Swamis and fallen GBCs like Bhavananda. Let's not forget the Swami Guru Emeritus, the Mad Satsvarupa. There are so many other examples of those who were forced to give up their positions due to transgressions, but are shown mercy by their powerful friends on the GBC. Yet anyone who criticizes them, who has the audacity to inform the grassroots devotees or the public of their transgressions -- they are excluded completely.
Obviously, my particular service to my Guru Maharaja is to publish the Sampradaya Sun. Granted, even in the material karmi world, journalism is a high-risk occupation. In the totalitarian, third-world dictator- run societies, journalists are often executed, because despots seek to maintain the public myths that they are greater than God. Their false egos are humungous, and their reputation and power depends on people maintaining an illusion that their beloved leader will save them. Consequently, truth speakers who interfere with this propaganda are cast as mortal enemies. Such was the case when the young boy Prahlada Maharaja informed his demoniac father, Hiranyakasipu, that he wasn't the supreme personality.
One only needs to read the list of members at the Pamho Prabhupada Disciples forum to see the long list of godbrothers who remain part of ISKCON by refraining from broadcasting their criticism of the leaders. Of course, many of them, like Praghosa dasa, have been known to level their own heavy criticism publicly on occasion… but not so much, or so often as to be ejected by the GBC masters. The truth is that most if not all of these senior insiders have their ears perked for the latest scandal within ISKCON. Naturally they prefer to be in the sacred circle of the well-informed insiders, and they're still inclined to read the Sun to get their daily newsfeed. But in order to qualify to be "let in on the secrets", they have to be seen as publicly defending the leaders in forums like Pamho.
The loyal members of the GBC bureaucracy are obliged to be seen by their masters as cleaning the stables and barking like guard dogs. When the GBC engage in official cover-ups, which are laced with exaggerations, half-truths, and mis-statements of fact, they can count on the support of their loyal supporters, who regularly populate forums like Pamho and Dandavats. Apparently these "members in good standing" have reconciled the notion that the personal benefits of pleasing and protecting their over-lords overrides the sinful reaction for supporting dishonesty and duplicitous diplomacy.
Godbrothers/sisters of the leaders consciously choose to be part of the ISKCON machine, and these willing cheerleaders feel justified in their support of known deviates within the leadership ranks, on the principle that they are better off spiritually to be included by the GBC and controlled within the Vaisnava community, then rejected. And in many if not most cases, their material wellbeing is part and parcel of the equation.
The main Vedic concept of how to politically organize human society, preached by Srila Prabhupada and his Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, was the basis of the varnasrama conception. They didn't emphasize that humanity be governed by joining a religion such as present day ISKCON. The pillars of varnasrama are the brahmanas, the kshatriyas, the vaisyas, the sudras, and the lower members of society such as the mellechas and yavanas were also accommodated. Varnasrama principles state that the brahmans are beyond the national law, therefore the kshatriyas, the monarchs, the ones in control were forbidden by sastra to persecute the brahmanas. To do so is demoniac or Kamsa-like.
The brahmanas were essentially the deputed truth-sayers of society. Brahmins were authorized by God to broadcast the truth, the 'news'. They would analyze the actions of the kshatriyas and the vaisyas and the sudras, and would advise the general public as to the best course of action according to sastra, and according to their analysis of what is actually happening. In previous ages they could recite powerful mantras to bring about the death of deviant leaders.
In our study of the Bhagavad-gita, which of course is the main pillar of our philosophy, we find the principle that Krsna drives home to Arjuna, which is that he's being a sentimentalist. The people in his society that he held dear – the wives and daughters, his leaders, his guru, his grandfather, and the senior members of the government -- he had a great deal of sentiment towards them. Yet he was faced with expressing the ultimate form of criticism -- physically fighting and killing them. Now, Arjuna didn't want to do that, out of personal sentiment. But of course, we all know what Krsna says -- fight for the sake of fighting. Do not allow sentiment to cloud your understanding of the Absolute Truth. He did not at that point in the unfolding of history propose engaging in any sort of arbitration talks, or give Arjuna some psychological analysis and advice -- Krsna imparted to Arjuna the Absolute Truth. Here it is, you either follow the truth, or not. Krsna made it clear that He had orchestrated this battle and it was part of His lila, and He wanted Arjuna to actively participate.
Along the same lines, Srila Prabhupada was an essential part of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtan Movement, he was a direct descendant in spreading Krsna consciousness. If you want to be part of Lord Caitanya's lila, then you follow Him strictly. We struggling sadhana-bhaktas, aspiring devotees, are obliged to follow in his footsteps. And Srila Prabhupada was outspoken when it came to anything and anyone, including his own godbrothers who did not embrace the principle of spreading Krsna consciousness in the manner his guru demonstrated and encouraged. This is what Srila Prabhupada was participating in, and his godbrothers weren't, therefore he had public words of criticism for them based on that principle.
So I try to keep to that principle, personally, as do other sincere Godbrothers/sisters who ignore the GBC's total ban on criticism and openly speaking one's mind. When I think I'm observing deviations, then I feel it's my duty to make comment, especially when the events appear detrimental to the spreading of Krsna consciousness and the activities would not be approved of by our Founder-Acarya or any of the other Sampradaya Acaryas. In the Science of Krsna Consciousness, we are taught to follow strictly because if we don't, we don't get the promised desired spiritual results, just as in any scientific experiment. Therefore, I find it quite disturbing that instead of highlighting the laws and the rules, the sastra, our society leaders chose to recite sentimental stories. The devotee population seems ready to embrace these isolated personal pastimes that took place during Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON lila period, and swallow whole the inaccurate remembrances and self-serving myths, which cloud the absolute dictates of sastra purported by the bona fide Acaryas.
The ultimate issue is that our ISKCON leaders don't comprehend the significance of truth-telling as an important managerial principle. The ideal "free" news media is dedicated to reporting to the public all the need-to-know news so that they can make informed decisions. ISKCON's GBC has mandated that every newcomer is expected to, in due course, without external pressure, chose of their free will an approved guru. If this is the policy, then these searchers have the right to all the information available on the candidates. Old-timers like myself can recall many circumstances where the insiders knew full well that their associates were not qualified to initiate, but because there was a ban on publication, these bogus gurus continued to initiate uninformed and thus unsuspecting candidates. We are speaking of literally thousands of disciples who had to suffer unimaginable emotional trauma as a result of guru falldowns. Those who allowed this to happen didn't have to experience such anxiety themselves because they were initiated by a bona fide Sampradaya Acarya, thus they had little or no sympathy for the unfortunates.
The Absolute Truth is non-different than Lord Sri Krsna. Is Krsna going to needlessly hurt his devotee? What really causes harm to the living entity is ignorance, or a poor fund of knowledge. The Sankirtan Movement is rooted in this truth… distribute without discrimination the Holy Name and truth of the Bhagavad-gita. Open the floodgates of mercy of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
The leaders of our ISKCON mission naturally wish to have their followers and the public see them in a favorable light. But there is no substitute for living according to the principles and programs of the Founder-Acarya. True sannyasis, Vaisnavas and bonafide disciples are obliged to give up anything which is not approved by our Sampradya Acaryas.
The fear that one will be publicity humiliated due to deviating is a service or tool to the society, but this requires freedom of the press. Individually you have limited power -- just the power of free will. But within a society, the leaders are given added powers by their constituents to make decisions that seriously affect everyone, both positively as well as negatively. If there are no checks and balances, then havoc is assured.
Because ISKCON has not introduced democracy and has controlled the news media as best they can, there is no check on power. If it were not for the power of the Internet, matters would be much worse. In the early days of authoritarian paradise in ISKCON, protesters had to print, mail and hand-out their thoughts and opinions, which could easily be thwarted by the powerful dictators. ISKCON leaders of today can only "officially" ban reading the Sampradaya Sun, but this approach only works on the most frozen chosen followers. Once the sincere soul hears the truth, then the impotent leaders can't un-ring the bell.
I stand by my foundational principle that anyone who disagrees with anything found on this website is free to challenge it. I'm not proclaiming my positions as being on the absolute platform. You have heard my personal opinions. I feel I have a God-given right to express myself so long as my tone is not fanatical or ranting. I have created at great labor and sacrifice this venue, so that my opinion and that of other sincere souls can be shared with those who chose to hear. Regular readers know that I have published many articles that are critical of something I've personally written, or published.
I recently heard Srila Prabhupada state in a lecture that he chose the name "International Society for Krishna Consciousness' because he believes that Krishna Consciousness should be introduced in the context of a society. That we don't have any limitations: no national borders, no distinctions of creed, class, country, gender or religion. But we can clearly see that the GBC is hell-bent on turning the Sampradya Acarya's preaching mission into a western church and/or an eastern Supreme Guru and his Ashram of faithful followers. There is a battle brewing between these two factions, which are two sides of the same counterfeit coin of religiosity.
And while it agitates the mind of some devotees, the Sampradaya Sun remains committed to exposing this downward spiral to the bottom.
Following is the Pamho forum posting from Ajamila dasa:
Dear assembled Vaisnavas
I was thinking that it would be useful if we gave Rocana some constructive
feedback. If the feedback comes from a conference body like this one, it may
have sufficient impact to bring about a positive change. In particular, the
words of HDG as he posted herein are a good and fair analysis to which no
one on the conference objected but rather all seemed to agree. Please
correct me if I'm wrong. This whole idea is just an idea for now, but it will
be acted upon only of there is no objection from anyone on this conference.
Here is a draft of the letter to Rocana:
Dear Rocana Prabhu
The members of the PAMHO ISKCON Prabhupada Disciples Conference would like to give you feedback as to the questionable modus operandi of your website. Some discussion took place on the conference on this topic and here is a statement by H.H. Hridayananda Goswami which reflects the mood of the conference members:
"Regarding the naturalness, and the inevitability of a media owner filtering content, we should consider:
1. Basic, virtually universal principles of decency and fairness were violated in this case.
2. Prabhupada's specific teaching on Vaishnava etiquette was also violated.
3. If a media owner receives vicious, scandalous criticism of a public figure, the media owner should exercise due diligence in investigating that vicious, scandalous criticism before publishing it to the world. This principle is understood even among non-devotees. That is why some media are respected, and others are considered trash.
4. Srila Prabhupada himself powerfully reacted with outrage in the case of Madhudvisa Prabhu. Prabhupada did not approve of publicizing the difficulties of a Vaishnava sincerely engaged in service. If one argues that in this day and age, the truth must be known, then Vaishnava etiquette places special demands on one's fairness and diligence. One must make every possible effort to ascertain the truth before publishing vicious, scandalous reports.
Not only did Rocana Das not exercise due diligence, he did the opposite: he blatantly refused to publish information that would have corrected or balanced his vicious reports.
It is neither inevitable nor natural that a Vaishnava media owner engages in such behavior against everything taught by Prabhupada and by Lord Caitanya Himself. In the CC and Caitanya Bhagavata, Mahaprabhu Himself gives the most dire warnings against precisely the type of behavior exhibited by the Sampradaya Sun." end of HDG quote
The members of the ISKCON Prabhupada Disciples conference humbly implore Rocana Dasa to kindly observe the proper Vaisnava behaviour when attempting to better Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON. We acknowledge that both Rocana and the members of the ISKCON Prabhupada Disciples Conference want a 'better' ISKCON. But it is also acknowledged that Rocana's methodology of achieving a better ISKCON is far more destructive than constructive.
We urge Rocana Prabhu to 'co-operate' with ISKCON leaders, acknowledging that our beloved guru Srila Prabhupada specifically stated that our love for him would be exemplified by how much we 'cooperate' together for the sake of spreading Krishna consciousness all over he world.
We look forward to hearing your comments.
In service to Srila Prabhupada and his ISKCON. Hare Krishna!!
Ajamila Dasa acbsp
Following is Praghosa dasa's forum response to Ajamila's proposed letter:
PAMHO AGTSP HARE KRSNA
I STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH THIS. HE WILL SIMPLY PUBLISH YOUR LETTER – THEN USE IT TO OPENLY SLANDER YOU. THEN HE WILL ESPECIALLY YOUR MENTIONING HRDAYANANDA MAHARAJA! HE WILL POUNCE ON THAT ONE LIKE THE COUNT OF MONTE CHRISTO WOULD A PIZZA IN PRISON!
THERE ARE STRICT RULES AGAINST PREACHING TO THE FAITHLESS. WHATEVER YOU OFFER HIM HE WILL INTERPRET AS TELLING HIM THAT HIS EFFORT IS DRAWING DISSENT AND TO HIM THAT WILL ONLY SERVE TO CONVINCE HIM FURTHER THAT HE IS ON THE RIGHT
HE AND HIS SITE ARE BETTER LEFT TO STEW IN THEIR OFFENSIVE POT. DOING SOMETHING JUST SO YOU PRETEND TO HAVE TRIED IS A POOR REASON TO DO ANYTHING. ESPECIALLY IF YOU KNOW IT WILL NOT PRODUCE A DISIRABLE EFFECT.
And here is Vaiyasaki prabhu's reply to Praghosa:
I think we can all be indebted to Praghosa prabhu who in his letter clearly
reveals how he personally values the relationship among godbrothers
far above gramya katha. It is a course of action we as Vaishnavas should all
My only concern, Praghosa Prabhu, is whether you feel the same towards your
godbrother Rocana Prabhu as you do for Bhakti Caru Swami. And if you will
follow your own advice for determining what Rocana does or does not stand
Unlike Dandavats.com, which is becoming more like a propaganda site where
censorship rules, Rocana has an uncensored site. I don't think he
takes responsibility for everything that is published on his site.
But he does allow people to air their grievances. On the other hand, 50 percent of Rocana's site is dedicated to presenting sastra, which appears to be a concern of Rocana prabhu. So which Rocana do we not like? The one that allows free speech or the one that promotes sastra?
In a pure Vaishnava environment we opt to censor demoniac aparadha,
although Sri Krishna allowed Sisupala to finish his tirade before Sudarshan Chakra
But today we live in a demoniac environment. Therefore, free speech and an
uncensored society allows devotees to preach. Otherwise, we would be shut
Practically speaking, devotees should be grateful for an uncensored environment which allows them to preach. Of course, that allows nonsense to be spread also. But it's a lot better than being shut down and sent to jail. It's a trade off that benefits our movement.
Even Prabhupada remarked after receiving his permanent visa to the USA, "If your government knew what I was coming to do they would never have given the visa." (paraphrased)
In grateful service, Vaiyasaki Das
Moose-Iko Bhava: Become a Moose Again - Jul 07, 2010
The Philosophical Root of the Problem - Dec 19, 2009
Loving Exchanges: Domestic or Divine? - Dec 01, 2009
Our Business is to Point Out Who is Not a Saint - Nov 21, 2009
In Support of Aniruddha - Nov 10, 2009
Hridayananda's Progressive Deviation - Nov 08, 2009
Aparadhi to the Sannyasa Order - Nov 04, 2009
Vaishnava Aparadha or Bona fide Criticism? - Nov 02, 2009
Apologist for the Avant-Garde - Nov 01, 2009
Was Hridayananda Listening? - Oct 20, 2009
Becoming a Mouse Again - Oct 19, 2009