At the top of this list, there is the mother of all warnings, comprising of three viruses, that he most feared would invade the body of ISKCON. He warned us that ISKCON could only be “ruined/destroyed”, from within, and that there were three conditions that could cause this; of which, anyone, could ruin or destroy ISKCON, what to speak-of, if more than one:
- Personal ambition,
- And Impersonalisum.
Kundali Dasa, has written extensively on the state of affairs in ISKCON, what happened, what went wrong, and even gave many presentations on how it could be healed. He also presented very nicely how these three viruses have invaded the body of ISKCON, especially personal ambition. Even before he came to Vrindavana to live in the 1990’s, he wrote a Srila Prabhupada-Vyasa-puja offering, warning the leader of the pitfalls of Personal-Ambition. This article is posted on this website.
In this essay, I would like to take a closer look at sahajiyaism. While any one of these diseases could in itself destroy ISKCON, I sincerely believe that all three have contributed to its degradation. Is it possible that sahajiyaism has taken deeper root in ISKCON than we normally acknowledge, or even think about? I think so.
Many persons think that “sahajiya” is a term applied to those who pervert the sexual context of a conjugal relationship with Lord Krishna, and use it for their personal sense gratification. While these deviants can rightly be called sahajiyas, the literal meaning of this Sanskrit word is “easy.” Therefore this word has a much broader implication, and needs to be looked at with this in mind for this is the most insidious way that it invades one spiritual life.
Anyone who preaches in a way that presents Krishna consciousness as an “easy” process can be understood as preaching sahajiyaism, knowingly or unknowingly. This website will have none of this, if that is what you are looking for. This aspect has in the past been looked at, only from the viewpoint of the victim. We would normally say that such a devotee is committing spiritual-life suicide if they are a sahajiya. This lets the preachers, who taught him/her this notion, off the hook. Is it possible that the preachers are guilty of spiritual-life murder? Instead of the victim committing spiritual-life suicide? I certainly think so, and you can take that to the bank.
In this regard Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, has written about such a person who preaches like that.
It is commonly known, that the rasika teacher that Bhaktivinoda Thakura is referring to believes that he is doing no wrong to teach rasika openly, and without discrimination. He does not feel that he is “evil”, “wicked”, or “foolish.” I heard one story, when I lived in Vrindavan in the 1990 decade, which illustrates an extreme episode of such a thing:
“One well-known rasika guru in Vrindavana, who is luring away many ISKCON devotees to his camp by such rasika preaching, was riding in a car with a female person, who had only been involved in the Krishna conscious philosophy for a few months. This guru asked her if she was initiated yet. When she said no, the rasika guru, said something about how she was a special soul, and other flattering comments. And without hesitating, he immediately initiated her on the spot. He gave her a manjari name, and revealed to her, that it was her spiritual identity, and that she should now meditate on walking along the Yamuna River, and on the other side she would see Radha and Krishna, and that she should meditate on serving them.”
This is a par-excellent example of spiritual-life murder.
On the other hand, some persons preach in a way that causes those to whom they preach, to have a purely sentimental understanding of the process of devotional service. When placed under the microscope of our overall philosophy, we see that these devotees’ understanding and belie,f is consistent with sahajiyaism.
They simply think that it is an “easy” process. Just join ISKCON, and follow their programs, and you will AUTOMICTICALLY get a FREE ticket to Vaikuntha. That it is “easy” to achieve the ultimate abode, Vaikuntha. They preach some mechanical or sentimental, just do this and just do that, just stay in our institution, have hari-nama kirtan at your deathbed, and you will go back to the spiritual world in your next life, no problems. The ISKCON gurus, when one of their disciples dies, they reinforce this, by telling their other disciples, that the disciple that just died, went back to the spiritual world, and is now with Krishna. I kind you not; I heard them preach and talk like this.
What baffles my mind, is that this kind of preacher does not feel that he is “evil”, “wicked”, or “foolish”. These preachers who create this sentimental view of Krishna-consciousness, do not feel that they are presenting an easy process for attaining the ultimate abode. These persons may actually believe they are right, and are not doing anything wrong. What a pity!