In the penultimate paragraph of his recent article Why Women Should Not Be on the Sastric Advisory Committee
Agnideva Prabhu wrote:
“Urmila dd is a senior member of the Sastric Advisory Committee (SAC), which has recently come under fire from the GBC because of it highly politicized activities, lack of neutrality and general lack of knowledge of sastra, dharma and Vedic culture.”
The following text, which has been circulating recently, gives substance to Agnideva’s assertion that all is not well in the Sastra Advisory Committee (hence forth SAC). This should come to the notice of all the devotees. Mukunda-datta Prabhu is a courageous whistle blower who is giving us an insider’s look at what is going on in the SAC.
From: Internet: “Mukunda-datta Dasa”
Date: 18-Jan-14 08:36 (14:06 +0530)
To: Basu Ghosh (das) ACBSP (Baroda – IN)  (received:
To: “Badrinarayan Dasa”
Cc: “Sivarama Swami” (sender: Basu Ghosh (das)
ACBSP (Baroda – IN))
Subject: SAC concerns
Dandavats, Guruprasada Maharaja. Jaya Srila Prabhupada.
Hare Krsna. Having always trusted you because of your sensible, intelligent, and dispassionate Krsna consciousness, I also appreciate your concern regarding the present state of the SAC. I would like to ask a favor. Despite several months of questioning the SAC chair [Yadunandana Swami] and secretary [Madana Mohana Das] about the ways in which its recent FDG paper was mishandled, I have not received clear, relevant, timely, and accurate explanations from them. Neither has anyone from the EC replied to the (below) list of concerns, which I shared with EC beginning on 31/12/13. I had also asked SAC members (on 8/1/14) to share it with the larger GBC body; SAC has not complied.
Thus, I now feel it optimal—and my moral obligation—to inform the GBC myself, since the GBC has to be informed of SAC wrongdoings. Any decisions following from such tainted papers are likewise tainted.
I know you had previously expressed concerns about both the SAC constituence as well as its most recent paper, and as a GBC member, you can post the concerns I’ve listed below to the GBC conference. If you would, kindly do so now. I apologize if this creates any botheration for you; I only hope my input helps you all to make adequately informed decisions regarding both the SAC generally, as well as its last FDG paper too.
Thank you for your attention, concern, and kind cooperation. I am copying this email to Badrinarayana and Basughosh prabhus, whom Yadunandana Swami has identified as being involved. I hope this meets you well. Hare Krsna.
Your humble servant,
Mukunda Datta dasa
These concerns should be shared among the entire GBC body:
Over the last year, I (Mukunda Datta dasa) have lost faith in the current SAC led by chairman Yadunandana Swami and secretary Madanamohana prabhu, who fail to answer the substance of my questions about why my input was excluded from our recent paper on female diksa-gurus. This led to my withdrawing from the project (see below). Frankly, I sense the current SAC and its recent paper are both contaminated by partisan interests, partly because of the following:
1. Brijabasi Prabhu and I withdrew from the SAC paper only after we were denied our rightful—and any meaningful—voice within it.
2. Each of us separately identified various problems in the paper, but amidst suddenly imposed and restrictive conditions, a last minute SAC policy change (from consensus to majority rule) left us virtually no time to append any adequate response to the majority paper.
3. SAC leadership had significantly restricted both the scope and the objectivity of its FDG research from the very outset, while refusing to identify its de facto methodology when so requested.
4. Pre-existing SAC demographics were stacked so as to favor only one conclusion; I noticed a goal-oriented methodology operating by default—as if the outcome was considered a foregone conclusion, rendering SAC
research but perfunctory.
5. Ultimately, no views questioning (nor research potentially jeopardizing) immediate FDG implementation were accommodated in the SAC paper. Secretary Madanamohana prabhu was supposed to have incorporated all members’ input, but all of his drafts of our paper either ignored or distorted virtually all of my input, which he hasn’t explained in substantial detail when asked to do so.
6. Of the four most senior SAC members, two are FDG candidates. Others ignored this conflict of interest when it was questioned early in our discussions. Among other qualities SAC members should demonstrate, the SAC mandate also explicates: “Apolitical” and “Not unduly ambitious for position or achievement, either socially, politically or academically.”
7. Madanamohana prabhu’s only complete draft of the paper wasn’t available for all SAC members themselves to read or edit as planned—until about 24 hours before its 1/10/13 submission deadline. Then SAC inclusion policy
was suddenly changed to majority rule, thereby effectively sidelining any dissenting voices.
8. For what it is worth, since August 2013 I’ve had the impression that I haven’t been included in all consequential SAC discussions; however, this tangential suspicion is significant mainly because it coincides with so many validated concerns.
9. On 16/10/13, Yadunandana Swami explicitly stopped sending me SAC emails (citing my supposed breach of a confidentiality clause in the SAC mandate) after I shared my views in reply to a godbrother. My SAC email resumed
weeks later (partially or not). When asked since October 2013 what specific allegations justified his action, he didn’t give all the pertinent details requested. Although he has since indicated his exact allegations, in context, his decision appears to have been ulterior, as it better matches a political motivation than my alleged breach of SAC confidentiality.
10. Especially amidst violation of its mandates against partisanship, to only enforce Yadunandana Swami’s interpretation of the SAC mandate on SAC confidentiality doubles as a virtual gag-order that effectively conceals genuine wrongdoings within SAC. Complying with it thus thrusts an unjust moral dilemma upon its victims, who must decide whether obedience is better than truth.
11. As my questions became increasingly pointed, Yadunandana Swami then announced his resignation from SAC, in a pre-planned decision he said was unrelated to the FDG project.
12. Notably, SAC secretary Madanamohana prabhu lately speaks (on 19/12/13) of disbanding SAC altogether, amidst various opinions from other SAC members in recent emails I’ve received.
13. I have not received substantial answers about my disfranchisement from either Yadunandana Swami or Madanamohana prabhu, despite my suggesting exactly how to clarify my concerns.
14. This (and more) seems to leave the SAC in a fairly doubtful state, with many unanswered yet crucial questions about its modus operandi. This is separate from issues about the specific content of its recent FDG paper—though it definitely impacts that as well.
Not at all confident that the recent SAC paper established a fair, objective, and carefully researched conclusion on all the topical questions we were assigned, I didn’t want my name associated with
it–especially since I was tacitly denied a voice in it. SAC diligently suppressed both important questions and dissent in its consequently imbalanced and perhaps politically motivated paper. Given that my research was excluded amidst the above factors, to imply that I declined to sign the paper only because I felt a need for further research is misleading. Under the circumstances, it seems my duty to relate the truth of my firsthand experience within SAC to our authorities, as Yadunandana Swami recently advised me. I wrote the EC with essentially the above list on 31/12/13, but it has not replied, nor has anyone in SAC, since my 8/1/14 request that SAC members inform the GBC of these concerns.
One legitimately wonders how each SAC member can substantially contribute to SAC amidst what amounts to implicit censorship, if SAC protocol remains until it is alleged violated (and even then isn’t explicated in much detail), if it is moreover subject to sudden and drastic changes without notice, and if member participation requires bending truth to fit the majority opinion–as has now become the SAC policy.
I remain happy to participate in SAC, though I sense it could use more oversight or even reformation, in order to prevent future abuses.
Your humble servant
Mukunda Datta Dasa
Comments of this text by Bharata Das
The SAC is supposed to a neutral, apolitical committee of senior devotees notable for their sagacity, deep knowledge of sastra and realization. Instead it has become a political instrument to push forward at any cost Female Diksha Guru. Except for Srila Prabhupada disciples Urmila Dasi, Drutakarma Das, Mukunda Datta Das, and Narayani Dasi all the rest are unknown junior devotees who have been especially chosen to be on the SAC for the simple reason that they pass the pro-FDG litmus test, no other qualification required. The list of shame, that is, of corrupt SAC membership is as follows:
Chairman – Yadunandana Swami. Secretary Madana-mohana Das. Members: Urmila Dasi, Drutakarma Das, Narayani Dasi, Adi-purusa Das, Isvarakrsna Das, Caitanya-carana Das, Sarvajna Das, Vinoda-bihari Das.
We note that the chairman Yadunandana Swami is principle for the so-called “Bhaktivedanta College” a non-traditional (not according to parampara standards) co-educational school where the sexes freely mix. As one former student described it “its not just a school, it’s a date.” However, I do not want to digress into bashing that school, though perhaps in a future article we shall. The point being that this school and its principle are very left of center, another way of saying, a weak link in the parampara. So with him as chairman of the SAC what outcome could be expected regarding any paper the SAC would do on the topic of Female Diksha Guru? As Mukunda Datta Prabhu puts it, it was a foregone conclusion and the SAC imprimatur was just a perfunctory show.
We also note that Adi-purusa Prabhu is also a member, he works for Prasanta Mataji’s VIHE and does what she tells him to do. Considering that Prasanta Mataji is a major player in the Women’s Ministry with major ambitions to become a guru herself then we can see why he was chosen.
Caitanya-caran Das another unknown has recently published a spat of articles on Dandavats. Just wanted to let innocent readers know so that they can “consider the source” before reading his texts.
As for the senior devotees we always wondered why Drutakarma Prabhu was on this committee. He is certainly not known as a learned scholar of Krsna’s Vedic culture and civilization although he does know something about archeology. We need people with deep knowledge of Vedic culture to be on SAC, that is not Drutakarma Prabhu.
To give an example, in the 2005 pro-FDG paper that he co-wrote for the SAC along with Purnacandra Swami, Drutakarma made a statement to the effect that the Pancaratra is recent in comparison to the Vedas. In actually Pancaratra is part of the Vedas and is mentioned in the Chandogya Upanishad as the practice followed by the “Ekantas” those who are one pointed in worshiping Lord Krsna. This point about the origin of Pancaratra was explained in great depth by both Yamunacarya and Vedantadesika from Sri Sampradaya. So while Drutakarma Prabhu may be ISKCON’s “bone” expert he is not knowledgeable in many important aspects of Vedic culture.
Another troubling fact about Drutakarma Prabhu is that he is closely aligned with Hrdayananda Dasa Goswami. As the Spanish saying goes “tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.”
Let us not forget the ladies — Umila and Narayani Matajis, neither of whom are known as deeply learned scholars. (There main qualification seems to be their gender.) This fact especially in regards to Urmila Mataji has been recently demonstrated by Agnideva Prabhu in his article cited above as well as by other devotees especially Bhaktilata Mataji. On several occasions Bhaktilata Mataji made a fool out of Urmila dd like the time Urmila claimed that if a devotee lady follows Stri-dharma it is material. Bhaktilata Mataji showed with abundant evidence that according to sastra that a Vaisnavai who follows Stri-dharma goes back to Godhead. How then could something material get us back to Godhead? Urmila dd could not respond. Ironically Urmila dd brags on her Face Book page that the GBC often asks her for advice. If this is the case then that answers a lot of questions about the performance of the GBC.
However, the fact that these two women are not actually qualified is not my point, but rather that they are dishonest. As Mukunda Datta Prabhu points out in his letter both Urmila dd and Narayani dd have strong ambitions to be gurus. The SAC was tasked to write a paper on the FDG issue. So this becomes a very clear conflict of interest on their part. When there is a conflict of interest an honest person will recuse themselves from the matter. They did not. Instead they actively participated in writing the SAC paper to further their own ambitions. Didn’t we learn our lessons with materially ambitious and dishonest men in the past? Is there some rule that says that we must now also have an equal number of materially ambitious and dishonest women to make trouble in ISKCON and disturb Lord Caitanya’s preaching mission?
We also note that the SAC chairman Yadunandana Swami considered confidentiality of SAC business to be more important than the honesty and the neutrality of SAC. In this way he hoped to hide the corruption in SAC because such corruption should be confidential knowledge and kept away from the public. Things are so bad at the SAC that because of distrust in regards to the neutrality and sagacity of the GBC’s SAC, ISKCON India has created its own SAC to get competent advice on important matters. And, on the basis of this advice the leadership of ISKCON India is strongly opposed to implementing Female Diksha Gurus in ISKCON.
In conclusion the Sastric Advisory Committee has in the very short time of its existence become thoroughly corrupted. It needs to be completely overhauled and the tainted members removed. If these persons are left to remain then the effect will be the same as leaving a trace of yogurt in a pot and filling it with new milk – in the morning you will have a new pot of yogurt.