Was Hridayananda Listening?
BY: ROCANA DASA
Oct 20, CANADA (SUN) By clicking on the link below, you'll be able to hear from Srila Prabhupada directly on his Morning Walk in Mayapur during the Mayapur Festival, in 1976. This was Srila Prabhupada's last real attendance at the Mayapur Festival/GBC meeting, and it was an opportunity for him to have all his key men around him on his morning walk. Due to his ill health, the morning walk took place on the roof of the building at Mayapur where Srila Prabhupada had his quarters. In the recording, the noise we hear is the devotees walking and Srila Prabhupada's cane on the cement roof.
Keep in mind that this was 1976, and Srila Prabhupada had been giving sannyasa for about eight years. Jayapataka was one of the first, because he went to Indian very early. A lot of his early sannyasi godbrothers had already fallen down from sannyasa by this time. Jayapataka joins in this conversation, expressing his opinion. Hridayananda is also there, expressing his opinion in a joking manner. But if you listen very carefully to what Srila Prabhupada has to say, I think you'll find it very interesting.
You can also read the article I wrote about this morning walk, in "Talks With the Sampradaya Acarya, which was written almost to the day, three years ago. Interestingly enough, after writing my article yesterday about Hridayananda, this morning the first random audio file that came up on my MP3 player was this Morning Walk conversation. I felt Srila Prabhupada wanted me to share this with the readers, particularly the very first part of the Morning Walk. You can listen to the audio file here, and read the transcript here.
When Srila Prabhupada started on his subject, and I have a feeling that the sannyasis present wanted to change the subject as soon as they could. It was an uncomfortable time for them, because Srila Prabhupada was basically saying if you're in the west there's no use taking sannyasa, and if you're a leader and you've taken sannyasa and you're just pretending to be a sannyasi, but you're not qualified, then what kind of leader are you?
So you can listen for yourself, and I think you'll find it's very appropriate for the subject we're now discussing, Hridayananda das Goswami's keeping to sannyasa standards. And if you stay tuned to the Sampradaya Sun for the next little while, you'll find that we have another topic coming up which this whole concept of sannyasa also applies to.
There's so much talk about implementing varnasrama, and everyone seems to think that means establishing the varnas, but Srila Prabhupada had already established the asramas, and the asramas are something we can apply immediately, beginning with the sannyasa asrama, then the grihasta and brahmacari, and to a certain degree the vanaprastha, although ISKCON has not accommodate, facilitated or even defined the vanaprastha asrama. anyway, many of the sannyasis that we see in ISKCON today – not everyone, but many of the leaders are not at all coming up to the standard of sannyasa that's defined in sastra, exhibited by Srila Prabhupada, what to speak of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur.
In our whole lineage, the sannyasis were very strict. There's no precedent, there's no permission, there's no excuse for these ISKCON personalities in sannyasa garb to be doing what a lot of them are doing: they have bank accounts, they fraternize with women, etc. Everything in ISKCON is geared towards the institutional entry point. In other words, you have to have so many qualifications according to the Sannyasa Ministry to be admitted into the sannyasa order and be recognized by ISKCON, even though many of us are due to take sannyasa and are automatically qualified, because that's the sastric standard. We can decide when and if to take sannyasa, or not. But in the ISKCON institution, the whole idea, then once you've entered, once you've gotten this accepted designation within the institution, then there's no oversight -- there's no way that you can be called to question if your activities are not based on the principles of sannyasa. We've seen this with Satsvarupa, Hridayananda, Umapati, so many that I know of. And it's so obvious, yet they can just go on with impunity, because the GBC leadership is so weak as to be non-existent. And people like Hridayananda know this. So unless he's caught in a very compromised situation, he can pretty well do whatever he wants, and he's done that already.
So thank you for reading and listening carefully to Srila Prabhupada on this matter.