The Politics of “ISKCON” Inevitability
by Kailäsa Candra däsa
Second of a Two-Part Series
“ . . . unless one comes to the standard of inquiring, 'What I am? Why I am forced to suffer? I do not like to suffer. I do not like to die. Why there is death? I do not like to become old man. Why I become old man? I do not want any disease. Why there is disease?' they are not making solution of these problems.”
“'G.B.C. meeting irregular. My strong disapproval. Make no changes. Inform others. Letter follows.' So you can understand that I am very much perplexed why you have done these things without consulting me in the matter? If every time someone feels something they call for changing everything, then all that I have done will very quickly be lost.”
“He who is deceived is turned into a thing.”
If you were sincere and serious when you first came into contact with Vaiñëavism, then go back to your starting point. If you the walk back the cat in your own life to that moment in time, you will see that you came to Kåñëa consciousness because you were regularly, or even constantly, asking Why? “Why am I forced to suffer? Who is doing this to me? Or, as The Mothers of Invention put it, “Who are the brain police?”
Çréla Prabhupäda launched his movement at a perfect time in a perfect place. Many have deliberated upon this after seeing how so many factors perfectly converged in the mid-Sixties in America. First of all, the United States had the First Amendment. It also had, within its essence, an aversion to totalitarianism and a yearning for freedom. For example, one of its founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, wrote, “nothing is more to be desired than that every practical obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption.”
The youth of America were questioning everything; in particular, they were questioning so-called authority. This was also, somewhat surreptitiously, encouraged in the Constitution, especially within the Bill of Rights. There was tremendous upheaval in the mid-Sixties, because America was entangled in a war that appeared to be unjustified. People were sensing that some kind of intrigue and corruption must be behind it, and, as time went on, that was verified when unpleasant facts about it were leaked to the public.
In no small part, the introduction of psychedelic drugs had spawned the hippies and their religion. They proved to be Prabhupäda's best customers. They had a penchant to ask “Why?”, and wanted to break on through to the other side. The drugs had clued them in to the existence of a Higher Reality where maybe they could stay high forever. They did not want to go to Asia in order to die horrible deaths in a foreign land for nothing. Some of them were genuine seekers of the Absolute; many of those came to His Divine Grace.
It is incumbent upon us to continue asking important questions. Why has everything been so very quickly lost? Why is what appears to be Prabhupäda's movement in such a bad place? There is a kind of malaise now associated with it, but renunciation and detachment are not the same thing as apathy. Many have become disillusioned by it to the point of apathy, and they have lost their spirit of inquiry. Kind of a drag.
But Another Version of a Fool's Paradise
“. . . when a foolish man is instructed in something very nice, he generally cannot accept it. Indeed, he actually becomes angry. . . when a fool is instructed, he does not rectify himself, but actually becomes angry.”
“. . . all fools and join together. Not like that. There should be ideal life--at least the leaders, the president, the G.B.C.. They will show the example, and they will follow. Then it is beneficial. And all of them are fools? Then it is fool's paradise. . . If we can maintain this institution rigidly according to the order, then many people will be benefited.”
“The Fool reveals The Joker, who chases in pursuit of extravagant amusements, heedless of the chaos and anarchy he leaves in his wake.”
It is a major mistake to judge a spiritual or a devotional movement—or one that purports to be—simply by its window dressing. Making judgments in choosing who or what to follow is unavoidable, but you must judge with knowledge, not as a fool. The human opportunity is a time to become enlightened and not remain a fool. The passionate and foolish cannot become devotees of the Supreme Lord, despite outward dress. Even if they have some inclination toward Vedic teachings, the passionate will worship Lord Brahmä and the foolish will worship Lord Çiva. Genuine Kåñëa consciousness is not attractive to such people, and the Kåñëa consciousness movement is not meant for them.
To be a fool in the presence of a spiritual master—one's genuine spiritual master—is always wanted. That is never a disqualification. In the society of the cheaters and the cheated, however, such a demeanor on the part of the chela, in contact with his show-bottle sahajiyä guru or his institutional guru, is a perverted reflection of the real process. Çréla Prabhupäda never approved of it. In the early days of the London temple, the foolish temple president allowed a Mäyävädé to sit on a vyäsäsana and speak flowery words. Prabhupäda condemned it when he found out about it, and that president deservedly had to eat a big slice of humble pie, promising that it would never happen again.
His Divine Grace did not want his movement to degenerate into but another version of a fool's paradise. He wanted his disciples to become men and women of knowledge and realization, not fools. Yet, after he left manifest, physical presence, his institution immediately converted into an unauthorized version of so-called Kåñëa consciousness. It did so for the benefit of just a handful of men by disregarding his clear order.
He condemned the idea of anything like an Äcärya Board within the G.B.C.. He condemned any and all imitation of uttama-adhikäré by someone who was still required to follow vidhi-bhakti, what to speak of kaniñöhas, miçra-bhaktas, or sahajiyäs. He never indicated that the post of initiating guru in his movement would not be available to any and all of his disciples, once any such initiated disciple became qualified and received the order.
If the argument is made that the movement was still attractive back in the day--even after the First Transformation (a mind-boggling deviation) had been implemented--that argument is quite superficial. It is accepted by fools only. The current version of “ISKCON,” now in the throes of Hinduization (its third transformation) remains a bit attractive--superficially. It still gives a newcomer the A-B-C-D of spiritual and devotional life, and such will continue to be the case. It still offers tasty food, congregational chanting, well-dressed Deities, and other quasi-Vaiñëava counter-cultural accouterments.
Nevertheless, does “ISKCON” offer leaders who show an ideal example? Is anyone coming to it being benefited in a lasting way? Do such people actually become men and women of knowledge? Or are all the fools joined together in little more than a joint mess?
You need to make these inquiries. Devotees who pointed out the dishonesty in the beginning did not endear themselves to the upper echelons of that First Transformation. Instead, those critics, some of whom later became whistle-blowers, were forced to endure a tidal wave of negative emotions directed their way, with anger and contempt leading the charge. One was murdered. “ISKCON” leaders would not tolerate being corrected.
For all practical purposes, none of the eleven pretender mahäbhägavats were keen to be corrected in anything even by one of their other ten comrades. Any and all criticism was considered envious and simply a form of harming Prabhupäda's movement from within. As such, the “ISKCON” leaders of the late Seventies and early Eighties failed to rectify the deviation and get the movement back on the tracks.
That same angry reaction is still present today, although it is usually not as manifest. It may be vented if someone touches an institutional raw nerve (read, root issue), but that is painstakingly avoided within the cult itself. If a black swan were to emerge and damage control thus required, then the all-pervading anger lurking within the walls of “ISKCON” will be evoked once again, but probably not before that.
Only a handful of people are benefiting (via wealth, adoration, distinction, power, and many other perquisites) from this post-modern version of an unauthorized, sahajiyä cult. It will continue to protect its interests. Touch that deviation, and its anger touches you back. Neither theistic transcendentalists nor the public at large are being benefited by this new version of a Fool's Paradise, but few will risk pointing out its flaws.
“(He) was called 'Living Encyclopedia,' he could talk with anyone on any subject. He was so learned. So, we should be like that as far as possible. No compromise! Rämakrishna, avatäras, yogés, everyone was enemy to guru mahäräja. He never compromised.”
“No compromise. . . You may be the president; that doesn't matter. But, because you are not Kåñëa conscious, you are rascal. There is no compromise . . .”
“Between the idea and the reality,
There are transcendentalists interested in the Absolute Truth; if they are advanced, they are only interested in the Absolute Truth. Others are interested in relative truth, opinion, and concoctions about truth, although, in most cases, they are completely faithless that Absolute Truth even exists. For them, compromise is, more often than not, considered valuable. For transcendentalists, it is not only considered anything but valuable; compromise is also considered counter-productive to their interests.
The Absolute Truth is neither attained nor determined by votes, majority opinion, consensus, or compromise. It is Absolute. When all else in this world ceases to exist—and, please note, everything in this world will eventually be destroyed—the Absolute Truth remains. Such is the case now, has always been the case, and will continue to be so forever.
Here and there, His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda employed “compromise” in a neutral way, as if having some kind of limited applicability. Here is one example:
“By way of compromise, she requested her son to make His headquarters in Puré so that she would easily be able to get information about Him. The Lord granted this last desire of His beloved mother.”
However, these were the exceptions. He did not want compromise to enter into his movement. We must separate what is an adjustment and what is a compromise. They may appear to be interrelated and joined at the hip, but, in point of fact, they are different. A time, place, and circumstance adjustment is, by its very nature, meant to be temporary. It is not meant to be institutionally enshrined.
Compromises are integral for getting anything legislated in democracies, in whatever paradigm they function, e.g., in America, within a plutocratic duopoly. There is contention about almost every proposal. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, even the vote to go to war against Japan was not unanimous (it was almost so, but it was not). Compromise can have that kind of limited value in the material world.
It does not have that value, however, in genuine transcendental lines. Real authority is not subject to compromise, and the guru-paramparä must represent real authority, the only authority that has the power to promote spirit souls to liberation from saàsära. That is wanted, and it cannot be watered down. The guru himself—or his style, so to speak--may be strict and conservative or a bit liberal, but he never compromises. The spiritual system is standard and remains inviolable.
Devoted transcendentalists want nothing to do with the shadow world of constant compromise. Indeed, when there is an äçrama established—when it actually functions as a real äçrama—it is a shelter from that shadow world. It is a shelter from the constant conflict intrinsic to all the concocted cultures and so-called civilizations of Kali-yuga. In such cultures, one who wants to make a living and enjoy material life is forced to make one compromise after another. That way is diametrically opposed to genuine spiritual life, and that way of constant compromise degrades those who engage in it.
After Çréla Prabhupäda left the scene, a heavy-duty concoction came down the pike. It was entirely unauthorized. It appeared, superficially, to leave no room for compromise whatsoever, but, most ironically, it was itself founded upon compromise. Not only was it without real authority, without the approval of Prabhupäda (and specifically against some of his primary orders), it had to come up with a way to satisfy eleven conflated egos, all absorbed in self-apotheosis, who believed themselves to be initiating spiritual masters of the highest order. Sahajiyäs all, but a compromise had to be found in order to accommodate these driven individuals.
The zonal äcärya scam was implemented with great pomp. You had to accept or you had to hit the road. The propaganda underpinning it was all wrong, but it was shoved into everyone's face. These men were appointed to be guru by Prabhupäda. False, but there could be no compromise. These men were all pure devotees. Egregiously false, but you had to accept--or you were labeled envious. The Magnificent Eleven were the only devotees who could initiate new people into Lord Caitanya's movement. Actually, that imposition has many dimensions of falsity to it, but it was implemented with great fanfare in the temples. So many rituals. So much show-bottle. So much compromise.
The fact is that, if you now prosecute Kåñëa consciousness outside the walls of “ISKCON” (the only way it can be done), then you have to make many compromises—or so it seems. Doing the needful in order to survive and make a living is not the same as compromise. The sahajiyäs would like you to think that it is. They would like you to believe that your compromises are non-different from theirs, but do not be duped by them. Stand up to them, at least within yourself. Go against the grain. Even if you are the only one, do not compromise with them.
“The fact is that I am the only one in India who is openly criticizing, not only demigod worship and impersonalism, but everything that falls short of complete surrender to Krishna. My guru mahäräja never compromised in His preaching, nor will I . . .”
The politics of inevitability utilizes compromise in order to implement its mentality. The politics of inevitability destroys facts, destroys historical accuracy, and uses lies, half-truths, and slanders whenever it is believed to be effective. It is shot through with compromise, along with muddled intelligence. If you are Kåñëa conscious, you will not make compromises with it in any way. You are not meant to fall for its shadow of the real thing.
The Politics of “ISKCON” Inevitability
“That is predicted by Lord Caitanya that, in every town and village, Hare Näma sankértana will be well received.”
“So let us join together to expand this great mission of Lord Caitanya, Who predicted that everywhere--as many cities and towns and villages are there on the surface of the globe--His Holy Name would be glorified on account of His transcendental gift to the fallen souls of this Kali Yuga.”
“Got the world locked up inside a plastic box.”
A false premise (the minor premise) underlies the chief “ISKCON” syllogism. Fanaticism is what “ISKCON” inevitability is all about. There are other beliefs that buttress that “ISKCON” syllogism, such as the wrong idea of an Automatic Self-Corrective Mechanism (ASCME) incorporated into the Governing Body Commission.
Superficially, the “ISKCON” movement may appear to be identical to what it was in the late Sixties and most of the Seventies, but its pulse is now entirely different. The majority of the devotees were then seekers of truth, but the Absolute Truth is no longer a friend to “ISKCON.” Facts also tend to be enemies of the politics of inevitability, especially historical facts. However, “ISKCON” is not so concerned about that, because It believes!
Here is the syllogism: Lord Caitanya's Hare Kåñëa movement will spread anywhere and everywhere across the globe, to every town and village. “ISKCON” is the chosen representative of Lord Caitanya's disciplic succession. Thus, “ISKCON” will spread to every town and village of the world and fulfill the prophecy of Lord Caitanya. The cult believes it's got it all locked up. Its politics of inevitability allows for every means to be used to fulfill its inevitable destiny. The only sin is failure (to realize its destiny), but that cannot transpire, because it's a lead-pipe cinch that it's going to fulfill Lord Caitanya's prophecy.
Anyone who impedes that “ISKCON” lock can and must be dealt with in any way that results in him or her being crushed, i.e., everything is authorized which assists “ISKCON” and disadvantages any doubt about its destiny. All the other cults and personalities will run out of steam, and “ISKCON” will, so to speak, be the last man standing.
Perception determines a reality of the moment only on the external plane. That ultimately leads nowhere and has no real staying power. Such perceptions of inevitable triumph permeate the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” gerontocracy, believing, as it does, that Higher Destiny is on its side. Such is not the case.
The actual reality is that “ISKCON” is gliding powerfully downstream with Fate, and Fate is only on the underside of the coin of Destiny. Fate can be overwhelming on almost all levels, no doubt, but devotional service goes against the current of Fate, not with it. This needs to be understood, and then our duty becomes obvious.
That duty especially needs to be realized now. If the “ISKCON” reality of the moment is not exposed, checked, and uprooted, the cult will become stronger and stronger. What will that mean? It will ultimately mean war on a scale of destruction unparalleled in the history of this age of quarrel and hypocrisy. Many millions of innocent people will have to unnecessarily lose their lives in a technocratic reign of terror if and when future “ISKCON”—which has no legitimate link to the Madhva-Gauòéya Vaiñëava sampradäya—is successful in controlling a world religion under-girding a quasi-Vedic government.
There is not a smidgeon of hyperbole in this statement, but the “ISKCON” acolytes will dismiss it as nothing more than paranoia. They will say: Where's the evidence? Such a draconian future cannot be envisioned without evidence, but there is plenty of evidence. Just look at the many millions of people slaughtered or starved on the altar of Communism, which also engaged in the politics of inevitability.
How many thousands were burned at the stake during the reign of the Inquisition? It had a similar view of its Church as ultimately triumphant. The politics of eternal inevitability, applied to so-called religious institutions, is only a different version of the politics of inevitability applied to mundane movements. Actually, the theocratic was worse, although it did not take as many lives as the Third Reich or the Soviet Union did.
The most ancient Bible is circa 400 A.D., and there are only some remnants of it. During the middle Gothic Era of Scholasticism, which could be considered the height of Church power, people in general were not allowed to read the Bible. It was then the exclusive domain of the ecclesiastics, until the printing press came along and steadily changed that.
How can anyone now believe that an unbroken chain of disciplic succession stretches back to Iesus Kristos? Lord Caitanya's movement “is not bogus, like communism, socialism and so many isms going on in the world today but is purely spiritual, authorized by the disciplic succession tracing all the way back to Krishna Himself, Who spoke this science of life five thousand years ago on the battlefield of Kurukñetra” (Letter to Kértiräj, 12-2-75).
Genuine Kåñëa consciousness offers, in the line of Lord Caitanya, a hope “to fulfill the prophecy of Lord Caitanya that His Holy Name will be sung in every city and town all over the globe” (Letter to Gurudäs, 5-6-70). This prophecy can only be fulfilled if His movement is spread in its pure and honest form, as only that can overcome the Satanic pandemonium which dominates the world today:
“Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu has forecast that this Hare Kåñëa Mantra will be heard in every nook and cranny of the globe. He is God, so it will happen. That is a fact. So, if we take advantage, then we may take the credit, but, if we do not, someone else will.”
This is the Truth of Inevitability, the Truth of Eternity in this world for this time and the future. Here are other excerpts from Prabhupäda's letters to further establish it:
“Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said that this chanting of the Hare Kåñëa mantra will be heard in every nook and cranny of this globe. He is God, so there is no doubt about it. So, if we are intelligent, we will take advantage of this opportunity and get the credit. If we do not, someone else will.”
“. . . He has said that this K.C. movement will spread to every nook and corner of the world—so there is no doubt it will happen. He is God, so how can He be wrong? So it will happen. So, if we are intelligent, we will assist and get the credit. Otherwise, someone else will.”
“With these examinations, I wish to encourage all my disciples to very carefully learn this philosophy of Krishna Consciousness, because there (are) so many preachers who will be required to bring this message to all of the corners of the earth. Caitanya Mahäprabhu has predicted that this movement of Krishna consciousness will one day be spread into every village and town, and everywhere there will be found chanting of Hare Krishna.”
“. . . as Lord Caitanya has predicted, His Name will be chanted and praised in every village and town throughout the world.”
Purity is the force, and purity entails honesty. Purity will make The Prophecy finally come to fruition. Force of arms is what it will previously come down to if the “ISKCON” concoction is allowed to weasel its way into political power and control so-called kñatriyas from behind the curtain. We have warned about this.
Your author is not a post-modern Cassandra in doing so. “ISKCON”--worming its way toward inclusion in a one-world religion via its interfaith initiative—will try to have you believe that there's nothing to worry about. Nevertheless, people are catching on, but more is required to stop the juggernaut of ecclesiological deviation.
Discriminate between Fate and Providence, and see which side “ISKCON” is on. The fulfillment of Lord Caitanya's prophecy will be the real sign of Inevitability and Eternity, but never accept a show-bottle imposition as its stand-in. The price to pay in that event will be too severe if we allow ourselves to do so. The greatest show-bottle on earth must be exposed and checked. Soon. Confidence is high that it can be stopped.
“ISKCON” influence must be terminated,
OM TAT SAT
Quotes from the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are copyright by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust