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 Upendranath Dasa

To my Godbrothers/Sisters & Followers of Srila Prabhupada 

“The Answers Lies Within”

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Segment 6


Part 2

This has been a humble, yet bold attempt to “distinguish reality, from the illusion, that has overcome the leaders of ISKCON, and also to aid the innocent rank and file devotees who support ISKCON, in waking up from their “coma”


Srimad-bhagavatam 1.1.2 Tells us What Is The Highest Truth:,

“… Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The “highest truth”, is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries, …”

In a Letter to: Jayapataka — Los Angeles February 13, 1970, Srila Prabhupada Said:

“If we are simply a little sincere in the matter of spreading this movement, Lord Krishna has already guaranteed our success.”

Similarly, in a morning Srimad-bhagavatam class in Los Angeles in 1973, that was not recorded, and on the occasion of his guru’s appearance day, at the end of his lecture, I remember hearing Srila Prabhupada say something very close to the following.  As we were sitting in front of him;, he gazed around at all of us, and said,

“Lord Caitanya’s Golden Age will surely manifest; that is Lord Caitanya’s guarantee; with or without your helpAll you have to do is determine if you are going to participate.”

So, considering “time, place, and circumstance”, we must use our intelligence, and task our brains to their full capacity, and determine how we are going to participate, and contribute, to the manifestation of Lord Caitanya’s Golden Age of Kali-yuga.  It would be a great contribution, if we reconstitute Srila Prabhupada’s Krishna-consciousness movement As It Is.

Currently, many Vaisnavas, especially Srila Prabhupada’s disciples, who may still be alive, have a helpless attitude, towards ISKCON[i], so much so, that their mentality can be described by the aphorism,  

It Is, What It Is[1]“.  

Using the meaning of this aphorism, we can say, in other words:

“At this time, ISKCON is certainly, without any doubt, a frustrating, and challenging situation.

Hence, there are 5 questions which come to mind:

  1. Do Vaisnavas believe, it cannot be changed, and therefore, must just be accepted, and one must, “just deal, with it”?
  2. Does ISKCON, over time, have an immutable and unchanging nature; and is unable to be changed?
  3. Is ISKCON unable to change its character, its capacity for tolerance, generosity, or sympathy? (See the “Aspects Of Vaisnava Theory And Practice” section, which is available on this Web-Site, which sheds light, on this question exactly).
  4. Must we express acceptance of ISKCON’s current situation, condition, state of affairs, circumstances, or status quo?
  5. Must we recognize, that ISKCON is just limited by its current nature?

If your answer to the above 5 questions, is in the affirmative, then it is the same as saying “ISKCON Is What It Is”. Nevertheless, this Essy does not accept, currently, what ISKCON “Is”; it only acknowledges that “it is what it is”, and more than likely, it is not going to change for the better; change it will over time, but this change will be for the “worst”.

The current state of ISKCON can be demonstrated in a short analogy:

“The ISKCON ship, that was supposed to take us across the ocean of nescience, is listing, and is about to sink.  It may be a fact, that the ISKCON ship, has sunk, many years ago.

This ship ISKCON, has “Two Extreamly Huge Issues”, that have for a period of almost 5 decades, ripped gaping holes, on this ship’s hull, and they have also ripped the sails off the ship’s masts. 

The ship that was to take us across the ocean of Material Existence, and return us all, Back to Krishnaloka[2]; is slowly sinking, and in the due course of time, it will have sunk to the bottom of the ocean of Material Existence. It will simply be engulfed, and overwhelmed, by the 3-Modes-of-Material-Nature[ii]“.

[1]  “It is what it is,”: s is an expression used to characterize a frustrating or challenging situation that a person believes cannot be changed and must just be accepted..

[2]  Goloka Vrndavana (Krishnaloka)—the highest spiritual planet in the kingdom of God, Lord Krishna’s personal abode.

[i]  ISKCON: The abbreviation for the International Society for Krishna consciousness; the Hare Krishna Movement. The society was founded in New York, 1966, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who came by boat, the Jaladuta from Calcutta in 1965, with just forty rupees and a trunk full of books. Sumati Morarji kindly donated his passage; Srila Prabhupada-(1896-1977) His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He is the tenth generation from Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The founder-acarya, spiritual master of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Srila Prabhupada was the widely-acclaimed author of more than seventy books on the science of pure bhakti-yoga, unalloyed Krishna consciousness. His major works are annotated English translations of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the Sri Caitanya-caritamåta, and the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. He was the world’s most distinguished teacher of Vedic religion and thought. Srila Prabhupada was a fully God conscious saint who had perfect realization of the Vedic scriptures. He worked incessantly to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. He guided his society and saw it grow to a worldwide confederation of hundreds of ashrams, schools, temples, institutes, and farm communities; Acronym for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, the branch of Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtana mission established by Srila Prabhupada in New York in 1966. ISKCON is a worldwide nonsectarian movement dedicated to propagating the message of the Vedas for the benefit of mankind. Over the years ISKCON has steadily grown in popularity and influence, and today it is widely recognized by theologians, scholars and laymen as a genuine and important spiritual movement. The hundreds of ISKCON centers throughout the world enable full-time members to live in close association, following the principles of Vedic life, and also provide a place where interested visitors can learn about the philosophy and culture of Krishna consciousness and participate in its various functions. The basis of the movement is the Hare Krishna maha-mantra Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. The devotees experience divine ecstasy in singing these holy names of God to the accompaniment of musical instruments. The ISKCON devotees, as a prerequisite for the serious pursuit of spiritual life, abstain from meat-eating, illicit sex, intoxication, and gambling. The Krishna conscious life style is based on the principles of simple living and high thinking. The devotees rise very early, about 3:30 a.m., and spend the morning hours in meditation and study. During the day, some devotees go out to public places to distribute the Society’s books and its official journal, Back to Godhead magazine. In addition to book distribution, devotees engage in a variety of activities, including teaching, artistic pursuits, farming and business.

[ii]  Three Modes of Material Nature—There are three gunas, or modes of material nature: goodness (sattva-guna), passion (rajo-guna) and ignorance (tamo-guna). They make possible our mental, emotional and physical experiences of the universe. Without the influence of the modes, thought, value judgement and action are impossible for the conditioned soul. The English word mode, as used by Srila Prabhupada in his translations of Vedic literature, best conveys the sense of the Sanskrit term guna (material quality). Mode comes from the Latin modus, and it has a special application in European philosophy. Modus means measure. It is used to distinguish between two aspects of material nature: that which is immeasurable (called natura naturans, the creative nature) and that which seems measurable (called natura naturata, the created nature). Creative nature is a single divine substance that manifests, through modes, the created nature, the material world of physical and mental variety. Being immeasurable (in other words, without modes), creative nature cannot be humanly perceived. Created nature (with modes) seems measurable, hence we do perceive it. Modus also means a manner of activity. When creative nature acts, it assumes characteristic modes of behavior: creation, maintainance and destruction. Bhagavad-gita (14.3-5) presents a similar twofold description of material nature as mahat yoni, the source of birth, and as guna prakåti, that which acts wonderfully through modes. Material nature as the source of birth is also termed the great or immeasurable Brahman. Mahad-brahman is nature as the divine creative substance, which is the material cause of everything. Material cause is a term common to both European philosophy and Vedanta philosophy. It means the source of ingredients that make up creation. We get an example of a material cause from the Sanskrit word yoni, which literally means womb. The mother’s womb provides the ingredients for the formation of the embryo. Similarly, the immeasurable creative nature provides the ingredients for the formation of the material world in which we live, the seemingly measurable created nature. The clarity of this example forces a question: what about the father, who must impregnate the womb first before it can act as the material cause? This question is answered by Krishna, the speaker of the Bhagavad-gita, in verse 14.4: aham bija-pradaù pita, I am the seed-giving father. In Vedanta philosophy, this factor of causation is termed the remote cause. It is important to note that by presenting creation as the result of the union of two causes (the material and the remote), the Bhagavad-gita rejects the philosophy of Deus sive natura, the identity of God and nature. In short, though creative nature may be accepted as the direct cause of creation, it is not the self-sufficient cause of creation. The seed with which Krishna impregnates the womb of creative nature is comprised of sarva-bhütanam, all living entities (Bhagavad-gita14.3). And Bhagavad-gita14.5 explains that when Krishna puts the souls into the womb of material nature, their consciousness is conditioned by three modes, or tri-guna. The modes are three measures of interaction between conscious spirit and unconscious matter. The modes may be compared to the three primary colors, yellow, red and blue, and consciousness may be compared to clear light. The conditioning (nibhadnanti: they do condition) of consciousness upon its entry into the womb of material nature is comparable to the coloration of light upon its passing through a prism. The color yellow symbolizes sattva-guna, the mode of goodness. This mode is pure, illuminating, and sinless. Goodness conditions the soul with the sense of happiness and knowledge. The color red symbolizes the rajo-guna, the mode of passion, full of longings and desires. By the influence of passion, the soul engages in works of material accomplishment. The color blue symbolizes tamo-guna, the mode of ignorance, which binds the soul to madness, indolence and sleep. As the three primary colors combine to produce a vast spectrum of hues, so the three modes combine to produce the vast spectrum of states of conditioned consciousness that encompasses all living entities within the universe. 

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