The Tradition Of Debate (Pt 4) (Classic)


Part Four  

The infiltration of Nastika-vada [atheism] into ISKCON. 


[Na- not.  Astika- believer in Vedic religious principles, vada- philosophical tenet i.e., an atheist or an unbeliever in the sacred Vedic principles.]  

“Atheism means defying the authority of the Vedas and decrying the great Acaryas 
who teach Vedic scriptures for the benefit of the people in general.” (1) Nectar of Devotion, Ch. 7. [Boston, MS, USA. ISKCON Press, 1970 

Srila Prabhupada had often warned about the necessity of keeping the purity of His movement and not to introduce concocted or manufactured ideas. One of the negative results of the various deviant philosophies postulated and introduced by some members of the GBC in the last 19 years has been a rise in nonsensical and disrespectful comments and philosophies against the Sampradaya-Acarya, Srila Prabhupada, the previous Mahajanas and saintly acaryas, such as Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, Arjuna and the exalted saintly Vaishnava acaryas.  We reproduce here a few samples of comments made by some of the members of the GBC Acarya board and some other GBCs to illustrate the great danger of disobedience and disrespect to the current Sampradaya-Acarya, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.  It is significant that the Vaishnava Vedic tradition prohibits a student from becoming impudent or disrespectful towards his guru or the previous Acaryas or saintly personalities. This is technically called guru-aparadha and when this mentality is pushed further it is called guru-mara-vidya. Srila Prabhupada explains thus: 

Yasomatinandana: “Spiritual master gives knowledge, and then a disciple is eternally indebted to spiritual master.” 
Srila Prabhupada: “Yes.” 
Hrdayananda: “Jaya.” 
Yasomatinandana: “It is not that, like mayavadis, they serve the spiritual master in the beginning and then they…” 
Srila Prabhupada: “Then they…” 
Yasomatinandan: “Themselves become” 
Srila Prabhupada: “Throw him away, Go away. I have now learned.’ Guru-mara-vidya, to the knowledge of how to kill guru. Guru-mara-vidya. Their, the philosophy is that you cannot rise up. You take a ladder. But as soon as you rise, throw away the ladder. No more. No more needed. That is mayavada philosophy. Our philosophy is dhyayan stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam. ” 
Yasomatinandana : “Three.” 
Srila Prabhupada: “Eternally… We should always remain servant of the servant. Never we shall think that’ I am better than My Guru Maharaja.’ That is fall down. Hare Krsna. Hare. .. Our Juhu Beach is very nice.” 
Yasomatinandana: “Yes, Prabhupada.”(2) Morning Walk Conversation December 5, 1973 Los Angeles, Ca, USA [Los Angeles, CA, USA, Prabhupada Folio, 1991] 

“…We are reading every day, Yasyaprasadad bhagavat prasadah. As soon as this poison will come ‘suppress Guru and I become Brahman’ everything finished. Spiritual life is finished. Gaudiya Matha finished that, violated the orders of Guru Maharaja…”(3) Srila Prabhupada conversations, Apri1 20, 1977 Bombay, India. 

Gurusu nara matib…yasya vai naraki sah  

One of the unfortunate results of the disobedience of the Acarya’ s order, impudent imitation of the Acarya, the unauthorized changes to the sacred books of the Acarya, and the distorting the original and pure teachings of the Acarya, is that gradually one starts to think of the empowered Acarya[s] as an ordinary man or subject to the conditional defects of an ordinary man. Some of the comments and statements reproduced below are examples of that unfortunate mentality. We have purposely withheld the names of the individuals who have made these comments to keep this in good taste.  It should be noted that there are many more comments, but we do not wish to unnecessarly increase the bulk of this presentation. These Citations are not necessarily in chronological order. 

Enlivened Spiritually! 

“Prabhupada wants to become enlivened spiritually, you know, by some spiritual activity”! (4)  GBC representative, November 11, 1977, Vrindavana, India 

Purge all the envious Godbrothers out! 

“This new Guru process will purge all the envious Godbrothers out of ISKCON!” (5)   ISKCON Guru and GBC representative to two other GBCs Mayapura, India. Gaura Purnima. March 1978. 

Let them all leave we have our own disciples now! 

Devotee to ISKCON Guru: Are you not concerned that many of Prabhupada’s disciples/devotees have left and have been upset over the Vyasa-Asanas and the imitation of Srila Prabhupada? 

ISKCON Guru: Let them [Prabhupada’s disciples) all leave. We’ve got our own disciples now!” (6) ISKCON Guru from Australia to Gurukula teacher, August 1978, Vrindavana, India. 

Who cares for whom? 

ISKCON Guru “Who cares for Madhva and Ramanuja, we [the GBC] are followers of Srila Prabhupada..!.”(7) Prominent ISKCON Guru, Sanskrit scholar and GBC to a Gurukula teacher, Late February 1979, Vrindavana, India 

More than Prabhupada? 

” All the things that Prabhupada wanted done are now being done more than when Prabhupada was here” (8)   ISKCON Guru and GBC representative late February 1979, Morning Srimad-Bhagavatam class, Vrindavana, India. 

Not accepting reality. 

“It is no longer practical, now that Prabhupada is dead, that Prabhupada is not here, just to emphasize Prabhupada. I mean this is not accepting reality… Wait a minute, who has got those tapes…?”(9)  ISKCON Guru from Dallas, Texas, Late February 1979, GBC meeting in Krsna-Balarama temple guest house, Vrindavana, India. 

Don’t say so much ‘Prabhupada said’! 

“You should not say so much ‘Prabhupada said’ you should say Goswami Maharaja said”! (10) ISKCON Guru from Dallas, Texas to a senior Prabhupada disciple, 1980. Central USA. 

Very human! 

“I invite the reader to enjoy the very real human life story of Srila Prabhupada.” (11)   ISKCON Guru from Potomac, Maryland, Lilamrta, Vol I, pg. xix. 

It is not in Prabhupada’s books. 

” We cannot accept these quotations from the books of the Goswamis because they are not in Prabhupada’s books.” (12)  GBC representative GBC meeting late February 1979, Vrindavana, India 

Spiritual mistakes. 

“Our mistakes are spiritual” (13) ISKCON Guru and GBC, 1981 Northeast USA. 

Criticizing the Mahajanas. 

” Examples of great devotees having difficulty” 
” Lord Brahma was affected by sex attraction for his daughter” 
” Arjuna had difficulties in the beginning of the battle of Kuruksetra, but it was due to his losing sight of Krsna.” 
“…At the same time the association of materialistic persons who are attached to money and women should be strictly avoided.  Even Bhismadeva, who was one of the great Mahajanas. or authorities in understanding Krsna Consciousness, was affected by this materialistic association. This manifested at the assembly when Draupadi was insulted by Duhsasana.” (14)  GBC of lSKCON- GBC report from Dallas, Texas, USA, August 1980. 

Srila Prabhupada as ordinary man! 

“Entering the room I see Prabhupada as ordinary, in my unloving eyes”! (15) ISKCON Guru from Potomac, Maryland and former GBC, December 14, 1985. 

Srila Prabhupada an idol! 

“…Oh, the murti [Srila Prabhupada’s murti] looks like an idol.” (16) ISKCON Guru from Potomac. Maryland, USA, and former GBC, December 14, 1985. 

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura: A lousy manager! 

“Even Bhaktisiddhanta, He was a lousy manager.”(17)  Late ISKCON Guru from Dallas, Texas, and former GBC, Dallas, Texas, Central USA, Mid 1980s. 

Is Krishna-lila Mythology? 

“I confessed I battle constantly with doubts whether Krsna-Lila is mythological!”(18)   ISKCON Guru from Potomac, Maryland, USA, and former GBC “Here is Srila Prabhupada” pg. 56. 11.00 a.m. 

Great persons who considered themselves great offenders. 


“Examples of great personalities who considered themselves great offenders:  

I. Lord Balarama, after killing Romaharsana Suta. 
2.Parasurama, after killing the ksatriyas. 
3.Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, who refused to take mango, saying,” No, I am offender.” 
4.Srila Prabhupada, who begged forgiveness in his last days for offending His Godbrothers. 
5.Narottama dasa and Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who lament in their songs not exactly for having committed offenses, but for wasting their lives in material life.”(19)  ISKCON Guru from Potomac, Maryland, USA, and former GBC, ‘Guru Reform Notebook’, pgs. 24-25 

Guru acts demonically! 

“If a guru becomes openly inimical to Srila Prabhupada or ISKCON; or otherwise acts demonically.”(20)  ISKCON GBC, GBC report, March 1995 page 6, ‘Removal’ 

Send Him a letter and…? 

“Why don’t you send Prabhupada a letter and please tell us what he [Srila Prabhupada] replies.” (21)  ISKCON Guru-from Philadelphia, PA, USA, GBC January 1990, San Diego, CA, USA right in front of Srila Prabhupada’s divine murti. 

Even Srila Prabhupada made mistakes? 

“…Oh, even Prabhupada made mistakes. He even made mistakes…”(22) ISKCON Sannyasi to two Srila Prabhupada disciples, ISKCON Tucson, AZ, USA, September 1992. 


Was Srila Prabhupada a paramahamsa? 

“…How do you know that Prabhupada was a paramahamsa? How do you know that I am not a paramahamsa! (23) ISKCON Guru and GBC to two senior Prabhupada disciples, Rathayatra, July 1993, Calcutta, India. 


Even Srila Prabhupada could fall down. 


Devotee: So what is this philosophy that you are claiming that pure devotees can fall down? 
ISKCON Sannyasi: Oh yes, in the Caitanya-Caritamrta, it says that even a Maha-Bhagavata can fall down? 
Devotee: But do you see any examples of that? 
ISKCON sannyasi: [silent]   
Even Prabhupada could have fallen down! 
Devotee: “Do you mean to say that according to your philosophy, if all living entities can fall down, could Prabhupada have fallen down?” 
ISKCON Guru: “Oh yes that is always a possibility. Even he could fall down.” (24) (25) ISKCON Guru from Kansas City, Kansas, USA, to a senior Prabhupada disciple, August 1994, ISKCON Los Angeles, CA, USA. 

No Personality Cult! 

“… We should not make the Prabhupada centennial into a personality cult…” (26) ISKCON Guru and GBC, 1995. 


No one can stop us. 

Devotee to an ISKCON guru and GBC: “How is it that the GBC is allowing changes in Srila Prabhupada’s books?” 
GBC-Guru: ” We [the GBC) have the authority to change Prabhupada’s books and the BBT and the Archives have to do it No one can stop us!” (27) ISKCON Guru from South America to a local devotee, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 1995.


Last but not least.  Personality of Kali infiltration. 

“The personality of Kali has infiltrated the highest places in this movement!” (28) ISKCON Guru from Bhubaneswara, Orissa, India, to a senior Prabhupada disciple. Badger, CA, USA, Fall, 1992 

Srila Prabhupada clearly warns all of His students not to think of the spiritual master as an ordinary man. The strongest warning in all of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings is found in the Srimad-Bhagavatam: 

 “Therefore a devotee who engages in the service of the Supreme Lord and who constantly thinks of Him should never be considered to have a material body. It is therefore enjoined. gurusu nara-matih: one should stop thinking of the spiritual master as an ordinary human being with a material body. Arcye vishnau siladhih: everyone knows that the deity in the temple is made of stone, but to think that the deity is merely a stone is an offense. Similarly to think that the body of the spiritual master consists of material ingredients is offensive. Atheists think that devotees foolishly worship a stone statue as God and an ordinary man as the guru. The fact is however, that by the grace of Krsna’s omnipotence, the so-called stone statue of the deity is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead. and the body of the spiritual master is directly spiritual.”(29) HDGACBSP Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.3.2. [Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Los Angeles, CA, USA. 1976] 

And what is the position of a so-called Vaishnava who finds fault with an empowered pure devotee like Srila Prabhupada. 

“The same principles can be applied to demoniac persons, even though they may be in the Sampradaya of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Without receiving the Lord’s special power one cannot preach His Glories all over the world. Even though one may celebrate himself as a learned follower of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and even though one may attempt to preach the holy name of the Lord, if he is not favored by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu he will find fault with the pure devotee and will not be able to understand how a preacher is empowered by Lord Caitanya.”(30)… HDGACBSP Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Madhya-Lila 11. 103 [Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Los Angeles, CA, USA 1976] 

But why would anyone even attempt to find fault with or deprecate the position of an exalted Acarya, especially someone like Srila Prabhupada and the previous acaryas [mahajanas]. 

 “Influenced by an envious temperament and dissatisfied because of an attitude of sense gratification, mundaners criticize a real acarya. In fact, however, a bona fide acarya is non-different from the Personality of Godhead. And therefore to envy such an acarya is to envy the Personality of Godhead Himself. This will produce an effect subversive to transcendental realization.” (3I)   as in item # 30 Adi-Lila 5.36. 

As indicated earlier in this essay, a student is forbidden to look upon his spiritual master as an ordinary man. On this occasion of Srila Prabhupada’ s centennial celebration in 1996, we sincerely hope and pray that the leaders of our ISKCON movement will sincerely reflect upon the seriousness of the past deviations and numerous concoctions and make the necessary attempts to correct the profoundly deviated philosophies which have affected the entire movement and unfortunately resulted in unnecessary dissensions, divisions and factions and many devotees to become driven away from Srila Prabhupada’ s movement. The proponents of a debate or disputation should try to first consider rooting out the atheistic [nastika] influence from their own backyard before they proceed in the debate arena. 


1. The GBC should re-establish the exclusive worship of the Sampradaya-Acarya, His Divine Grace AC. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in all ISKCON temples, schools and properties. 

2. The GBC should establish that all temple altars and photographs and all pranama prayers should be exclusively reserved for Srila Prabhupada and the exalted pure devotee purva-acaryas of His eternally pure disciplic succession. 

3. The GBC should immediately and publicly abandon its “Asura Guru-vada”, the concocted and false theory that a bona fide guru may “take on demoniac qualities.” A properly and carefully worded statement from the GBC of ISKCON stating that there is no such thing as a fallen guru or a demon guru and a full public clarification that the bona fide acaryas of the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya-parampara are never contaminated. 

4. The GBC should issue a public apology from all its current members and the ISKCON gurus for all the false philosophies and bogus concoctions that they have propagated and institutionalized for the last 36 years.  In addition, the original eleven, or the remainder thereof, should personally and physically approach all of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples and followers and apologize to the thousands of devotees who have been mercilessly driven away from the shelter of Srila Prabhupada’s movement. In addition a public apology should be signed by all of them and printed in full in the pages in all ISKCON media for the GBC’s participation in the said bogus philosophies and concoctions. 

5. The GBC should pass an immediate resolution that all of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples and followers are fully welcome in any of Srila Prabhupada’s temples and communities, even if they have disagreements with GBC policies or philosophies. 

6. The GBC should have a full public accounting and disclosure of all the moneys that have been collected and spent on projects such as the Prabhupada Samadhis, the guru-daksinas, Guru travel accounts, etc. 

7. The GBC should put an immediate stop to all the unauthorized changes in Srila Prabhupada’s books, and all the books of Srila Prabhupada should be returned to their original first printed edition as ordered by Srila Prabhupada in June of 1977. 

8. The entire GBC and the administrators of the ISKCON Gurukula system should issue a full public and written apology to the hundreds, if not thousands of children, who have been abused and/or neglected in the so-called gurukula system after 1977. 

9. The GBC should conduct a full-fledged, open, thorough public inquiry into the Guru appointment hoax that was widely propagated throughout the ISKCON society in the aftermath of Srila Prabhupada’s departure in November of 1977. Any and all GBC and Gurus should answer all relevant questions.  The proceedings of this public inquiry should be recorded and made available to every ISKCON devotee and congregational member.  Then we may have the sufficient information to conduct a proper discussion, disputation and or debate. 

This paper is presented as a centennial offering at the lotus feet of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and the current Sampradaya-Acarya of the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya-Sampradaya, as a humble attempt to reunite His Divine transcendental movement. We apologize to any devotees who may feel offended by any of the statements or inferences in this publication. We sincerely hope that this will be a prelude to future intelligent fruitful discussions.  


Completed on Monday July 29, 1996. Purnima [Full Moon], of the month of Varnana, Gaura-Paksa [bright-half], the disappearance day of Srila Sanatana Goswami and beginning of Caturmasya. 

Note re- references. Citations and quotations used under authority of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, Fair Use Exception. 

Nama Om Visnu Padaya Krsna Presthaya Bhutale 
Srimate Bhaktivedanta Swamin iti Namine 

Namaste Sarasvate Deve Gauravani Pracarine 
Nirvisesa Sunyavadi Pascatya Desa Tarine 

Sri Krsna Caitanya Prabhu Nityananda Sri Advaita 
Gadadhara Srivasa adi Gaura Bhakta Vrinda. 

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare 
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.