M O V I N G   F O R W A R D

With a Case for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”.

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Segment 07
Consequences of Not Following the Instructions & Orders of One’s Spiritual Master. 

To “not” follow the orders or instructions of one’s spiritual master is one of the 10 offenses to the Holy Name that is called the “mad elephant offense.”. 

Srimad-bhagavatam 5.1.5 Purport by Srila Prabhupada:

“According to Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, there are two kinds of impediments to devotional service. The first is an offense at the lotus feet of a Vaisnava. This is called vaisnava-aparadha. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu warned His devotees not to commit vaisnava-aparadha, which He described as the mad elephant offense. When a mad elephant enters a beautiful garden, it destroys everything, leaving a barren field. Similarly, the power of vaisnava-aparadha is so great that even an advanced devotee becomes almost devoid of his spiritual assets if he commits it. Since Krishna consciousness is eternal, it cannot be destroyed altogether, but advancement may be checked for the time being.

Caitanya-caritamrita-Madya, 19.156, Purport by Srila Prabhupada:

“… Offenses against the holy name are explained in Adi-lila, Chapter Eight, verse 24. Giving up the regulative principles and living according to one’s whims is compared to a mad elephant, which by force uproots the bhakti-lata and breaks it to pieces. In this way the bhakti-lata shrivels up. Such an offense is especially created when one disobeys the instructions of the spiritual master. This is called guru-avajna. The devotee must therefore be very careful not to commit offenses against the spiritual master by disobeying his instructions. As soon as one is deviated from the instructions of the spiritual master, the uprooting of the bhakti-lata begins, and gradually all the leaves dry up.”

One can say that over the period of almost 5 decades, of not following the above 2 major orders; there has been sufficient time for the “gradual drying up” of the “bhakti-lata” of those Srila Prabhupada disciples who dishonored these two instructions & orders.

I the writer of this Treatise, will not project any judgement on any particular disciple of Srila Prabhupada because I have been guilty myself; it will project the opinion, or judgement, if you will; of Srila Prabhupada and the past-acharyas, in regards to not following the orders and instructions of one’s spiritual master. This Treatise will only present the facts, for they are what they are.  We cannot go back in time and rectify our actions in the past.  If we know what the facts are, then it may be possible to live the rest of our life; in correcting ourselves, and thus, leave the past behind, and “Move Forward” with our service to our beloved Srila Prabhupada.  I have confidences that Srila Prabhupada will be pleased.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur has said,

“Scrutinizing the past, present, and future; is action in the mode of goodness.”

An aphorism that is applicable is,

“At every moment in time you are making decisions of all kinds; from insignificant to significant, and everything in between.  Hence, the decisions that you make at every moment in time, will mould your destiny.”

You cannot blame anyone for your condition in life.  You are the master of your destiny.  You have free-will.  Hence, it would be grand if all of you Srila Prabhupada disciples, who have not passed on to your next life, to use this free-will and make proper decisions, and come back and surrender to your spiritual master again, and follow his orders; all of them.  You did it once before, and you can do it again.

The First Issue that will be discussed in “Section 01”, is the fact that Srila Prabhupada did not order a particular disciple to become a Diksa-guru what to speak of the next acharya. Nevertheless, just after his passing away, 11 GBCs colluded, conspired, plotted, schemed, and made plans, without authority, to occupy the post of Diksa-guru.  This Treatise will present conclusive evidence in this regard.  Of these 11, 8 of them have been exposed to have committed wicket and evil acts, while one of them, is competing to be the next acharya, and his disciples claim openly, that he is an eternal associate of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu; and the remaining one, has removed himself from any connection to ISKCON, and pretends, that nothing had happened, in between his rounds of tennis with his women disciples, at his mansion in sunny Southern California.  

Nevertheless, this Treatise will layout the facts in regards to what will be referred to, as the “Guru Issue”; with the intent of clarifying exactly what Srila Prabhupada and other Past acharyas, have ordered, instructed, and advised, and which ISKCON leaders have absolutely neglected.

The Second Issue that will be discussed in “Section 02”, is concerned with, “The Management of ISKCON”.  Srila Prabhupada’s mission is not managed in the manner that Srila Prabhupada instructed.  In general, instead of a democratic, decentralized institution, which Srila Prabhupada wanted, ISKCON has been transformed in to a centralized, authoritarian, and totalitarian organization.

Let us now read what Srila Prabhupada wrote, in regards to the consequences, if one does “not follow the orders of one’s Spiritual Master”.

Caitanya-caritamrita-Madya, 19.156 Purport.

“This is called guru-avajna. The devotee must therefore be very careful not to commit offenses against the spiritual master by disobeying his instructions. As soon as one is deviated from the instructions of the spiritual master, the uprooting of the bhakti-lata begins, and gradually all the leaves dry up.  Such an offense is especially created when one disobeys the instructions of the spiritual master”.

Letter to: Bali-mardana, Pusta Krishna, Los Angeles, 18 September, 1972, New York.

This fighting spirit will destroy everything, but what can I do, you American and European boys are trained up in this fighting attitude. Now put it aside and simply work cooperatively for spreading this movement all over the world. The standards I have already given you, now try to maintain them at all times under standard procedure. Do not try to innovate or create anything or manufacture anything, that will “R U I N” everything. Simply do as I am doing and be always serious and sincere to serve Krishna, and He will give you intelligence how to do everything.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi Lila, 12.10.

“The order of the spiritual master is the active principle in spiritual life. Anyone who disobeys the order of the spiritual master immediately becomes U USELESS”

PURPORT:

Here is the opinion of Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. Persons who strictly follow the orders of the spiritual master are useful in executing the will of the Supreme, whereas persons who deviate from the strict order of the spiritual master are Useless.

Letter to: Sudama, Vrindavana , 5 November, 1972, New York.

So far, the Road Show and this Yoga Village are concerned, these things should be stopped. Simply perform our kirtana. If we divert our attention in this way, the whole thing will gradually deteriorate. He is going far away. All these things are nonsense inventions. Such inventing spirit will “RUIN” our movement. People may come to see, some will become devotees, but such devotees will not stay because they are attracted by some show and not by the real thing or spiritual life according to the standard of Lord Caitanya. Our standard is to have kirtana, start temples. What is this “Road Show” and “Yoga Village?” It will be another hippie edition. Gradually the Krishna Consciousness idea will evaporate: another change, another change, every day another change. Stop all this. Simply have kirtana.”

Letter to: Ramesvara, India, 10 April, 1974.

Let us try to work cooperatively, otherwise the fighting spirit will “RUIN” our great movement.

Letter to Tamala Krishna, Los Angeles, 11 January, 1974, Bombay.

The only fear I have is that you may fight. Please do not. That will “RUIN” everything we have done. If there is any misunderstandings which arise, as they will, settle them up. You are all qualified American boys, now push on this glorious mission without letting it be hampered by personal differences. nothing else. Do not manufacture ideas.

Letter to: Bali-mardana, Tokyo, 25 August, 1970, New Vrindavana.

There are two verses in the Chanakya[1] Shloka, on how a family or an institution can be glorified or burned into ashes by one person. The Chanakya Pandit says,

“If there is one tree, [Srila Prabhupada], in the forest producing nice aromatic flowers, that one tree can glorify the whole forest by the flavor of its flowers.”

Similarly, if there is one tree in whose cavity there is a little fire, that one tree can burn into ashes the whole forest. So, this simile is applicable anywhere. In a family if there is one good boy, he can glorify the whole family and similarly if there is a bad boy, he can turn the whole family into ashes. Similarly in this institution, ISKCON, if there is a bad disciple he can burn the whole institution into ashes.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila 12.8,

“At first all the followers of Advaita acharya shared a single opinion. But later they followed two different opinions, as ordained by providence.”

PURPORT:

“The words daivera karana indicate that by dint of providence, or by God’s will, the followers of Advaita Acarya divided into two parties. Such disagreement among the disciples of one acarya is also found among the members of the Gaudiya Matha[2]. In the beginning, during the presence of Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Astottara-Sata Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, all the disciples worked in agreement; but just after his disappearance, they disagreed. One Party strictly followed the instructions of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, but another group created their own concoction about executing his desires. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, at the time of his departure, requested all his disciples to form a governing body and conduct missionary activities cooperatively. He did not instruct a particular man to become the next acarya. But just after his passing away, his leading secretaries made plans, without authority, to occupy the post of acarya, and they split into two factions over who the next acarya would be. Consequently, both factions were asara, or useless, because they had no authority, having disobeyed the order of the spiritual master. Despite the spiritual master’s order to form a governing body and execute the missionary activities of the Gaudiya Matha, the two unauthorized factions began litigation that is still going on after forty years with no decision.

Therefore, we do not belong to any faction. But because the two parties, busy dividing the material assets of the Gaudiya Matha institution, stopped the preaching work, we took up the mission of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Bhaktivinoda Thakura to preach the cult of Caitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world, under the protection of all the predecessor acaryas, and we find that our humble attempt has been successful. We followed the principles especially explained by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura in his commentary on the Bhagavad-gita verse beginning vyavasayatmika buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana [Bhagavad-gita2.41].

According to this instruction of Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, it is the duty of a disciple to follow strictly the orders of his spiritual master. The secret of success in advancement in spiritual life is the firm faith of the disciple in the orders of his spiritual master. The Vedas confirm this:

[SU 6.23],

‘To one who has staunch faith in the words of the spiritual master and the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the secret of success in Vedic knowledge is revealed.”

The Krishna consciousness movement is being propagated according to this principle, and therefore our preaching work is going on successfully, in spite of the many impediments offered by antagonistic demons, because we are getting positive help from our previous acaryas. One must judge every action by its result. The members of the self-appointed acarya’s Party who occupied the property of the Gaudiya Matha are satisfied, but they could make no progress in preaching.

Therefore, by the result of their actions one should know that they are asara, or useless. whereas the success of the ISKCON Party, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which strictly follows guru and Gauranga, is increasing daily all over the world. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura wanted to print as many books as possible and distribute them all over the world. We have tried our best in this connection, and we are getting results beyond our expectations.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila 12.9,  

“Some of the disciples strictly accepted the orders of the acharya, and others deviated, independently concocting their own opinions under the spell of daivi-maya.”

PURPORT:

This verse describes the beginning, of schism[3]. When disciples do not stick to the principle of accepting the order of their spiritual master, immediately there are two opinions. Any opinion different from the opinion of the spiritual master is useless. One cannot infiltrate materially concocted ideas into spiritual advancement. That is deviation. There is no scope for adjusting spiritual advancement to material ideas.

Srila Prabhupada wrote in his Laws of Nature: An Infallible Justice, Chapter 1, God and the Laws of Karma[4], The Position of Krishna,

Similarly, you have to accept the spiritual master’s order as axiomatic, (self-evident or unquestionable). There can be no argument. In this way you can make progress. You cannot argue about things that are inconceivable to you. You will only fail. You have to accept the Vedic injunctions and the orders of the spiritual master as axiomatic truth. This is not dogmatic, because our predecessor spiritual masters accepted this principle. If you argue with your spiritual master, you will never reach a conclusion. The argument will go on perpetually: you put some argument, I put some argument. … That is not the process.”

To recap, lets list the underlined words that Srila Prabhupada said above, so that you can refer to them easier in your deliberation:

“According to this instruction of Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, it is the duty of a disciple to follow strictly the orders of his spiritual master. The secret of success in advancement in spiritual life is the firm faith of the disciple in the orders of his spiritual master.”

“The devotee must therefore be very careful not to commit offenses against the spiritual master by disobeying his instructions. As soon as one is deviated from the instructions of the spiritual master, the uprooting of the bhakti-lata begins, and gradually all the leaves dry up.  Such an offense is especially created when one disobeys the instructions of the spiritual master”.

“This fighting spirit will destroy everything, but what can I do, you American and European boys are trained up in this fighting attitude. Now put it aside and simply work cooperatively for spreading this movement all over the world. The standards I have already given you, now try to maintain them at all times under standard procedure. Do not try to innovate or create anything or manufacture anything, that will Ruin everything. Simply do as I am doing”.

“Here is the opinion of Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. Persons who strictly follow the orders of the spiritual master are useful in executing the will of the Supreme, whereas persons who deviate from the strict order of the spiritual master are Useless.”

“All these things are nonsense inventions. Such inventing spirit will Ruin this movement.”

“Let us try to work cooperatively, otherwise the fighting spirit will Ruin our great movement.”

“The only fear I have is that you may fight. Please do not. That will Ruin everything we have done.”

“Do not manufacture ideas.”

“Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, at the time of his departure, requested all his disciples to form a governing body and conduct missionary activities cooperatively. He did not instruct a particular man to become the next acharya. But just after his passing away, his leading secretaries made plans, without authority, to occupy the post of acharya, and they split into two factions over who the next acharya would be. Consequently, both factions were asara, or Useless, because they had no authority, having disobeyed the order of the spiritual master.”

“One must judge every action by its result. The members of the self-appointed acharya’s Party who occupied the property of the Gaudiya Matha are satisfied, but they could make no progress in preaching. Therefore, by the result of their actions one should know that they are asara, or Useless”.

“Some of the disciples strictly accepted the orders of the acharya, and others deviated, independently concocting their own opinions under the spell of daivi-maya.”

“You have to accept the spiritual master’s order as axiomatic (self-evident or unquestionable. There can be no argument. In this way you can make progress.”

“Any opinion different from the opinion of the spiritual master is Useless. One cannot infiltrate materially concocted ideas into spiritual advancement. That is deviation.”

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FOOT  NOTES:

[1] Canakya: Was an ancient Indian teacher, philosopher, economist, jurist and royal advisor. He is traditionally identified as Kauṭilya or Vishnugupta, who authored the ancient Indian political treatise, the Arthashastra, a text dated to roughly between the 3rd century BCE and the 3rd century CE. As such, he is considered the pioneer of the field of political science and economics in India, and his work is thought of as an important precursor to classical economics. His works were lost near the end of the Gupta Empire in the 6th century CE and not rediscovered until the early 20th century. Chanakya assisted the first Mauryan emperor Chandragupta in his rise to power. He is widely credited for having played an important role in the establishment of the Maurya Empire. Chanakya served as the chief advisor to both emperors Chandragupta and his son Bindusara.


[2] Gaudiya Matha—a Vaisnava institution, originally with 64 temples in India and elsewhere, founded by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura for propagating the sacred teachings of Lord Caitanya throughout India and the world. It was first established in 1918 as the Sri Bhaktivinoda Asana. In 1919 he re-established it as the Visva-vaisnava-raja-sabha, an institution originally established by Srila Jiva Gosvami and re-instituted by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. The organization ultimately came to be known as the Gaudiya Matha. Its influenced waned after the passing of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.


[3] Schism— a split or division between strongly opposed sections or parties, caused by differences in opinion or belief


[4] Karma—1. material action performed according to scriptural regulations; 2. action pertaining to the development of the material body; 3. any material action which will incur a subsequent reaction; 4. the material reaction one incurs due to fruitive activities; This Sanskrit word means ‘action’ or, more specifically, any material action that brings a reaction binding us to the material world. According to the law of karma, if we cause pain and suffering to other living beings, we must endure pain and suffering in return; One of the five tattvas, or Vedic ontological truths: the activity or work which the embodied living entity performs with the karmendriya, as well as the resultant reaction. The soul receives the due reaction to work by taking his next birth in a subhuman species, or the human species, or a superhuman species. Or the soul may be liberated from birth and death altogether. All this depends upon whether the karma performed within this lifetime is ignorant, passionate, good or transcendental. Karma dedicated in sacrifice as directed by Vedic injunctions raises the quality of a human being’s work. Sacrifice culminates in activity dedicated only to Lord Krishna’s service. Such transcendental karma is called naiskarma.

o.

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