Once, on Second Avenue, Srila Prabhupada was quoted as saying; “They don’t really understand what I’m saying. If they really understood, they would kill me.” (‘Vrindaban Days: Memories of an Indian Holy Town’, by Hayagriva Swami). Srila Prabhupada established ISKCON with great spiritual ambitions. “If all my disciples would fully cooperate with me, then we could take over the whole world in eighteen days”, he said. Srila Prabhupada envisioned, that by the mercy of his guru and the whole ‘parampara’, ISKCON would fulfill the prediction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that Krsna’s Holy name would be spread all over the world in every town and village. In order to achieve this Srila Prabhupada preached very vigorously attacking all the pillars of the sinful demoniac civilization.
In order to show the spotlessness of the Krsna conscious philosophy and lifestyle Srila Prabhupada had to show all materialists that their illicit sex, slaughtering cows and other animals, intoxication, gambling and all their views of science, religion, sociology, psychology, political systems, economy etc. are completely wrong and based on very demoniac structures. Thus everything that sinful materialists stood for and were proud of was challenged and exposed by him. It was and is clear that if the mass of people accepted Krsna consciousness then all demoniac plans would be ruined. This threat was felt by some during Srila Prabhupada’s time and it is no doubt more obvious these days when thousands and thousands of people all over the world are committing themselves to the practice of Krsna consciousness.
In the beginning, ISKCON was mostly understood as something exotic and the devotees’ lifestyle of a strict sanctified vegetarian diet, celibacy, their dress, chanting, beliefs and worship of Krsna was considered as something very extraordinary. But after more than 40 years of ISKCON’s existence literally millions of Srila Prabhupada’s books have been distributed and no doubt these books are influencing people’s ways of thinking. Nowadays, thousands of people are giving up meat eating and are interested in following a more healthy lifestyle, thousands of people are searching for higher spiritual values, changing their attitude towards nature’s exploitation, lessening their consumerism and many people’s faith in the major established religions, modern science, politicians, pharmaceutical industry, banking system, democratic bombing of Islamic countries, TV, press and other media, in other words, their faith in the whole materialistic system is weakening day by day. All these social changes are surely not playing in the cards of those who want to control and exploit them.
Therefore ISKCON’s teachings as given by Srila Prabhupada are undoubtedly a serious danger for the Kali-yuga rulers. In our country we have a saying–to ignore someone is sometimes worse for him than to kill him. Srila Prabhupada is presently not on this planet so to kill him personally is not possible for those who would like to do so.
But to ignore his teachings is technically possible especially if someone has an authority and all propaganda tools are in his hands. Srila Prabhupada personally said that ISKCON cannot be destroyed from outside but only from within. Therefore those who want to destroy ISKCON must infiltrate into its realm. In this regard we remember one of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s ‘bhajanas’ called ‘Baula Sangita’ where he sings:
“dekhte vaisnaver mata, asalo sakta kajer bela
sahaja-bhajan korchena mamu,
sange lo’ye parer bala”
“By looks he appears to be a Vaisnava, but in actuality his conduct is that of a ‘sakta’, one who worships the principle of the material energy in order to enjoy her.”
It is a question whether certain persons in the ISKCON’s leadership are directly ‘kali-celas’, or just so naive that they don’t realize how they are being used by him. There are some in our movement, who are supposed to be in leading positions, and are externally promoting themselves as Vaisnavas but according to their actions are directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously promoting the philosophy and lifestyle of those who are worshiping matter. Even though these people are in most cases not moving openly against Srila Prabhupada, they tolerate or even invite mundane ideas to influence ISKCON’s devotee society thus showing silent agreement with the gradual brushing-off of Srila Prabhupada and his teachings from the ISKCON movement. In this way ISKCON’s influence on general society dramatically changed by the “innovations” invented by these people and their gross ignorance of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions.
If we want to remove some solid sediment from the pot the best way to do it is to first dilute it with water and then to spill it out. This diluting of everything on which Prabhupada’s ISKCON is based on is going on, on a large scale nowadays. Practically all of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on how his movement should operate are being compromised or wholly ignored. By many members of the society today, book distribution is seen as just some uncultured annoyance to the society and in many places devotees are not encouraged to distribute books anymore. Some leaders are claiming that book distribution is not effective today and there should be no direct preaching to the society. Some authorities are even recommending to newcomers that they not read Srila Prabhupada’s books. And there are even those who are claiming that Bhaktivedanta purports should be changed, scratched out or explained in different ways.
Instead of bringing Krsna’s holy name to the streets of the cities, today’s trend in many places is to gather somewhere outside aloof from the masses to gratify our own senses, mind and false ego by theatrical musical performances accompanied by chanting of Mahamantra. Many of these events lack understanding of how to really actively serve the Holy name by distributing Him to those who never heard about Him and how to engage them also in this service. Elsewhere ‘prasadam’ distribution has been changed to mundane welfare food distribution and many persons involved have sold themselves out to the sweet government money and are propagating it as a great service to humanity. The standards of cooking, and persons involved in it makes any spiritual benefit from this activity very doubtful. Although Srila Prabhupada’s ‘murti’ is still being worshiped by different leaders in the corners of their hi-tech conference halls, his other important instructions regarding establishing ‘varna-asrama dharma’ with self-sufficient farm communities and ‘gurukulas’ teaching ‘sastric ‘ syllabus are being moved to the side. The manner of Srila Prabhupada’s preaching to the politicians, scientists, business people, religious leaders and other important persons of the society is not revered and adopted by many of them at all. Even the elementary moral and social instructions which were left to us by Srila Prabhupada are not followed by those who are in positions where they should show an example to others.
Thus we are sad witnesses of how some of ISKCON’s dignitaries, introducing themselves as Hindus or at best as the Hindu monks, are embracing different politicians, religious leaders, bankers, Hindu heroes and other similar people (who themselves are guilty for the world’s mess) , being caught up by their verbal show of spiritual interest without some solid preaching to them. We are doubtful whether their mutual praise of ISKCON is sincere or just another chess move in their race for power where they feel that they simply have to be counted in, in the growing Hindu influence in the western world. We are witnessing how by meeting with all kinds of humanists, altruists and pseudo spiritualists, different Mayavada and impersonal ideas are being incorporated to the lives of inexperienced devotees. We see those whose behavior is not on the level of cultured humans, deciding about others’ lives or are being promoted as the cultural icons or mentors in our movement. In this way the illicit sex, intoxication, divorces, homosexuality, free mixing between men and women, wearing of non- devotional clothes are promoted as something acceptable. We see women in our movement who are being influenced by modern feminism, no longer good mothers and good housewives but bad managers and bad independent spiritual leaders.
We see struggling devotees on the dilapidated farm communities with no support from the leading circles while some leaders themselves are encouraging devotees to stay in the cities, make money and take academic education. In the meantime they are shaking hands with different kinds of Hindu or western business people who themselves play an important role in the urban slavery based on massive exploitation and dependence on demoniac machinery. The most detriment of this trend of ignoring our founder acarya and diluting his orders is, in our opinion, the impact of all these changes on future generations of devotees. If Srila Prabhupada and his orders are forgotten, who and what will future generations follow? If this crippled version of so called Krsna consciousness will prevail then ISKCON which is meant to save the world in its darkest hour will dissolve in a tangle of Hinduism or worldly spiritualism and become just another mundane religious sect which is most probably the aim of those who are involved in this ISKCON’s mission drift and are attacking the solid ground on which Srila Prabhupada’s original ISKCON was based on.
Interestingly enough, by introducing the academic approach to see and solve the issues in our movement these people are creating an environment of relativism where all ideas, however strange they may be are getting their scope and should be looked at. In such an ambience all efforts to rectify the situation in pursuance of Srila Prabhupada’s orders are seen as odd and bothersome. And what is more absurd is that those who are trying to save Srila Prabhupada’s movement and are stepping against this greatly offensive attitude of not following the instructions of our founder acarya and whole guru ‘parampara’ are themselves accused as being offensive, critical, orthodox, fanatical, short-sighted and are being marked as a harmful elements in the movement. Such is the situation where those who want to kill Srila Prabhupada and his movement by ignoring his instructions are gaining power.
Actually, we are not afraid of the destruction of all of Srila Prabhupada’s work. We firmly believe in Lord Caitanya’s prediction. And we are firmly convinced that despite all demoniac efforts to harm the expansion of this movement and its ideas, Krsna consciousness will still spread like wildfire. This short article is just a show of our disapproval to the present situation in many spheres of ISKCON and our insignificant endeavor in helping to promote Srila Prabhupada’s pure teachings and to protect them in this perpetual battle between ‘suric’ and ‘asuric’ views which is going on in this universe from time immemorial.