Prabhupada’s ISKCON–How It Was Destroyed
When it became painfully obvious to most of us that these men were in fact not pure then they began their system of watering down the position of acarya. Gurus do sometimes fall down, they said. In other words they sometimes cheat, make mistakes, are illusioned and have imperfect senses. This philosophy did not come into being overnight because NOBODY in 1978 would have accepted it but was gradually introduced… Janardana das (02-01-01)
Recently there has been much discussion on what constitutes a spiritual master. Some say that the spiritual master must be a fully self realized soul. Others say that this is not necessary and that the spiritual master can be a conditioned soul subject to the four defects, that is, he makes mistakes, he is prone to be illusioned, he has imperfect senses, and he has the propensity to cheat others.
During Srila Prabhupada’s physically manifested presence every devotee in ISKCON understood that in order to receive transcendental knowledge purely one must have a spiritual master who is himself pure. Everyone understood this and accepted Srila Prabhupada as just such a person. After Srila Prabhupada’s departure his eleven “disciples” who assumed the role of acarya without written authorization stated that they were such pure souls. This was how they justified sitting in big Vyasasanas and accepting worship and guru dakshine.
When it became painfully obvious to most of us that these men were in fact not pure then they began their system of watering down the position of acarya. “Gurus do sometimes fall down”, they said. In other words they sometimes cheat, make mistakes, are illusioned and have imperfect senses. This philosophy did not come into being overnight because NOBODY in 1978 would have accepted it but was gradually inserted into the teachings bit by bit.
Persons would come to Krishna Consciousness, learn the philosophy, chant Hare Krishna, be given some nice material facility and then slowly they were pressured to accept such a fallen spiritual master or else lose the facility that was given them. Because most devotees are pretty much materially exhausted when they become interested in spiritual life, for them to lose their material facility, i.e. their rice bowl, it is extremely painful. The choice becomes obvious to them. They must accept one of these “spiritual masters” and it has to be the one of them that is the master for their “zone.”
Those of us who were not so incapable of living on our own, or in other words had some material talents, gradually left. This created a vacuum of talented people who were qualified to be administrators but could find no satisfaction in worshipping men like Kirtananda, Bhavananda, Tamal Krishna, etc., which you were forced to do or be ostracized. The deterioration of the society therefore began. (Notice I do not call these men Maharaj. Maharaj means “great king”. Calling them Sudras would be a complement.)
These “gurus”, forced to make do with what they had, devotees with little or no qualifications were put into positions of authority. Their only qualification is that they wholeheartedly bought into the system. Those who didn’t were labeled fallen and envious.
Even if there were some persons who had some expertise they had to believe that these self appointed “gurus” were as good as God. Many of them stayed on because their material qualifications brought them added prestige. During this era, both during Srila Prabhupada’s physical presence and immediately afterward, the society he created, ISKCON, enjoyed a great reputation. Slowly but surely this good name decreased. Many devotees began to leave, joined other camps (the so-called) Gaudiya Math, or, for myself, just went out and got a job. For me personally this was very difficult not because I had trouble finding work, that was no problem, but because I had a small daughter to raise as my wife had then recently passed away. After a short stint in New Vrindaban which proved to be a disaster because Kirtanananda didn’t like my management style (I wouldn’t call him Bhaktipada but instead called him Maharaj which we all did when Srila Prabhupada was present and I thought this was a great honor. He, however, thought this was a severe offense.) Fortunately I left before anything bad happened to me or my daughter and went back to work in Michigan my late wife’s home state. While my sisters-in-law were very loving and helpful in assisting me to raise my daughter I regretted the fact that my daughter would not be able to live in the association of devotees.
I prayed to Krishna what to do and an opportunity came to serve the devotees in Dallas, Texas. Naveen Krishna was president at the time. He saw that I had some ability and gave me service and some facility. Room and Board and Gurukula for my daughter. I was so thankful to Krishna for answering my prayers. Of course in time I could not get along with Tamal Krishna and his system of management and received an offer from Badrinarayana to assist him in San Diego as an accountant. I had met Badri years before when he was temple president in Ann Arbor and was given the same facility that I had in Dallas. Room and Board and gurukula for my daughter. Badri even went so far as to make an announcement that Janardana has come to keep us from going to jail.
The mood in San Diego was much better. The teachers there were learned and sincere devotees and because Ramesvara had recently fallen down everybody was pretty much taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada. This soon, however began to change. New “gurus” were soon added and the same oppressive atmosphere grew again. Several years passed and my daughter was reaching the age of puberty. I thought the best thing for her now was to live in a girl’s ashram, which San Diego temple didn’t have. At this time Mother Laksmimoni had relocated to Florida for reasons at the time I did not know. Although her and Mother Akuti’s program was not perfect I think they did a terrific job in educating my daughter. Not only academically but in learning the basic principles of Krishna Consciousness: rising early, chanting japa, distributing books, etc.
Thinking that it was safe to leave my daughter in their care I went back to California doing service for the San Diego and Laguna Beach temples. After awhile I began to think that this is a terrible way to run a business let alone a worldwide spiritual movement. One of the devotees who was my next door neighbor was found to have been molesting his own daughter. The temples were filled with thieves and no matter how many accounting systems were put into place the mismanagement could not be checked. I pulled my daughter out of the ashram and left OZCON for my third and final time. Shortly thereafter Yashodananda Prabhu gave me a copy of Hansdutta’s book, “Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You”.
I am not the type of person who becomes emotional easily, but I shed tears incessantly, realizing then that Srila Prabhupada’s instructions had been disobeyed and that I personally, by supporting the betrayers, had been part of it. It was at this time that I went on my crusade. Not so much because I thought it would do any good but because Srila Prabhupada had done so much for me, and at the very least I could tell Yamaraj that I tried to do something to make up for my lifetime of offenses and selfishness.
Since 1978 none of what goes on in OZCON does anyone ANY good. At least not by the management. Before Srila Prabhuapda’s untimely departure he wanted to go to Gita Nagari and establish Varnashram. Part of varnashram is that you train up administrators also known as ksatriyas. OZCON has no interest in training ksatriyas because the first thing a ksatriya will do is expose corrupt brahmanas and OZCON wants no part of that. Ksatriyas are competitive by nature. In my personal experience my father taught me a love for sports, because he knew that if I developed a desire to compete and taste victory this would keep me out of trouble. This lesson I learned from him has helped me extremely in life. Not that I am not still a nonsense most of the time but exercise and sports have definitely helped me in life and on some occasions I have had a chance to teach some of the things I’ve learned from my coaches and senseis.
This occurred in the gurukulas both in Alachua and San Diego. Nobody in the OZCON management complained to me at that time. In fact several of my former students and their parents have thanked me. Now we come to Danavir who says that sports are a great deviation. Maybe for someone being trained as a brahmana sports are unneccessary. BUT AGAIN, NO ONE COMPLAINED TO ME FOR TEACHING SPORTS WHEN I WAS STILL A MEMBER OF OZCON?!!!
It just proves the point that if you go along with their corrupt philosophy that gurus fall down you can do ANYTHING. And if you take shelter of Srila Prabhupada then EVERYTHING you do is nonsense. This is their blatant hypocrasy. If you have trouble with your spiritual life but believe in their unworkable guru system you’re alright. If you take shelter of Srila Prabhupada then you are a nonsense. What Is This?????
Srila Prabhupada spent twelve years travelling and preaching about Lord Caitanya and His divine mission. The self appointed “gurus” of OZCON have had 24 years and are at the point of destroying it. It shows you how great Srila Prabhupada is that after 24 years they still haven’t quite destroyed it although they are determined to do so. I am happy to teach sports and martial arts to any gurukula students who wish to learn. Some of my former students are much better at it than I will ever be and I am happy to see that. I am presently living in Thailand studying Muay Thai which is Thai kickboxing. Martial arts teachers and students are some of the nicest people that you would ever want to meet. I feel honoured to have their association.
Your servant, Janardana das