USE OF FEAR FOR INSTILLING DISCIPLINE

In an article recently posted on a website, by Sanaka Rsi Das, Bhakti Vikas Maharaj Comments on the ‘Cost of Silence’ the following paragraph appears:

My understanding is that raising children with fear is not conducive to developing healthy Krsna conscious devotees. On the contrary, we aspire for fearlessness in the shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord. Srila Prabhupada has gone to great lengths to explains that Krsna Consciousness IS NOT an artificial imposition. How exactly do you see fear as a desirable element in education? Your opinion that it is advisable to use corporal punishment in the education of children is opposed to the essence of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on education.[...] read more

To Hospital or NOT to Build? That is the Controversy – part 2

If the senior disciples of His Divine Grace simply inspired devotees in the medical profession to collaborate together to manifest these facilities among themselves, then no harm, no foul. It is the duty of the grhastha community to populate the Vaisya varna and manage all the various resources required to keep society functioning properly.

To Hospital or NOT to Build? That is the Controversy – part 1

Hospital Yajna?

I was prowling the internet recently for some cyber-association and encountered a well written, straight forward presentation that raised questions about the role of ISKCON in the construction of Hospitals. I was so appreciative of how honest the article was I decided to leave a two sentence comment to that effect, not realizing that by doing so it would be automatically posted back to my Facebook wall. Two days later I discovered that I had unintentionally stirred up quite a fury of commentary about this apparently very sensitive subject. A robust exchange ensued and with great interest I read and appreciated many comments representing all sides of this controversial issue. Should ISKCON be involved in building hospitals or NOT?[...] read more

Bamboo Skyscrapers

H.H. Hridayananda Goswami’s Krishna West project is based on the simple idea that if you remove the non-essential, Indian cultural trappings of present-day ISKCON from its spiritual essence, then ISKCON will be restored to its former potency and once again become the dynamic preaching movement with high levels of recruitment it once was. According to the Krishna West mission statement, they “do everything possible to make bhakti-yoga easy, relevant and enjoyable for Western people, without in any way compromising, diluting, or diminishing the purity and power of a glorious ancient tradition.”And they aim to do this “by offering the essential spiritual teaching and practice in its entirety, without requiring students and practitioners to embrace a new ethnicity composed of non-essential Eastern dress, cuisine, music etc.” Therefore they say they are giving the people in the West “the chance to practice genuine bhakti-yoga within an external culture that is comfortable and natural for them.” The big idea behind Krishna West is that bhakti is internal whereas culture is external, and their aim is to establish a complete and mature Krishna conscious community on this principle.

In some respects, Krishna West’s approach to preaching is no different from other long-standing bridge-preaching programs like spaghetti night at the local university or the successful loft program pioneered in Australia, whose focus was to create a “hang-out” for young people so they could feel comfortable, make friends with devotees and eventually become devotees. The idea is that there is a kind of cultural rift that prevents people who would otherwise like to become devotees but due to cultural attachments won’t. Therefore, as its name implies, the program tries to “bridge” that cultural divide and make it easier for them to cross over to Krishna consciousness. Successful bridge-preaching programs generally have to deemphasize certain aspects of ISKCON’s internal culture in order to be effective.[...] read more

Nothing Can Taint The Words Of Srila Prabhupada

Q: Prabhu, how to distribute books if they are stolen from us by treacherous generals? You see, I’m angry. Isn’t spiritual knowledge so delicate in its conveyance? Don’t we become camp followers by spreading knowledge that has already tainted spots? Isn’t that a trap for others and ourselves? Prabhu, kindly help this lost soul in his confused state, that does not know what to be done and what not to be done.

A: Dear Bolo Gauranga Prabhu, whoever you are. Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada![...] read more

Chastity – What Does It Actually Mean?

On the 26th of July we welcomed 40 ladies in Kharkov/Ukraine, who had traveled all the way from Moscow, Minsk, Moldova, Crimea and various corners of Ukraine to participate in the two-week course for ladies entitled “Exploring the Roots of Spiritual Culture”. As every year we had arranged for their accomodation in a nearby hostel of a ladies’ college. Our youngest participant was ten years of age and the oldest mid fifty, and everyone was excited to embark on this transformational journey. Each and every participant received a colorful folder with printed materials and articles. We had a tight schedule with a three hours’ session in the mornings, and another 2 hours in the afternoon. Every morning we began the lessons with a role play demonstrating the topics of the previous day’s discussions. Whenever ten-year old Manjari took part, the role plays were especially heart moving and sweet.

One of the many captivating topics was chastity – what exactly does it mean? These days we often have a very shallow and superficial understanding of this most important quality, and since women in materialistic culture don’t aspire for it at all, the term is therefore almost lost and forgotten today. I distinctly remember how I was preaching at a Sunday program many years ago in Sydney, Australia, and I mentioned this term ‘chastity’ to some newcomers. One of the ladies exclaimed with a thousand question marks written all over her face: “Chastity? What’s THAT??” Also in the German language the term chastity (Keuschheit) sounds like something from the Middle Ages.[...] read more

GBC EC Uses Knowledge Filters and Loaded Dice to push FDG

In 2013 the GBC resolved that a four-man committee comprising of Badrinarayana Swami, Bhanu Swami, Bir Krishna Goswami, and Praghosa Prabhu would write a paper on the FDG issue in time for the October 2013 interim GBC meeting. No such paper came forward but instead the SAC was secretly tasked to do this. The SAC paper was presented in October 2013. But it was not well received and generally lambasted as a “hack job” of incompetents and corrupt persons with a conflict of interest, so much so that out of embarrassment its availability to the public was delayed for a year. For reasons why the SAC paper of 2013 is deeply flawed see Politically Motivated Wrongdoings of the Sastric Advisory Committee.

Because the 2013 SAC paper was obviously written with the pre-determined objective of sanctioning Female Diksha Gurus it was clearly biased and not acceptable to any fair minded lover of the truth. It was rejected by many especially the Indian Yatra. To deal with this debacle the GBC passed the following resolution in 2014 at the AGM in Mayapura. (Please note the parts I have put in bold.)[...] read more

FEMALE DIKSHA GURU PROPOSAL

Whereas, the body of ISKCON India leaders aka IIAC has taken cognizance of the continuing discussion by the GBC on the issue of female diksha gurus, specifically the recent discussions that took place at Tirupati as reported to us by our GBCs for India, as well as by Anuttama Prabhu’s letter that appeared on Dandavats.com.

Whereas, this body, earlier the IRGB, had expressed it’s serious concern to the GBC regarding their resolutions of 2005 and 2009 calling for female diksha gurus and called for further discussion and dialogue on the issue,[...] read more

Talking Down Varnasrama – 2

While Anuttama Prabhu directly shows his aversion to varnasrama, Nityananda Prabhu, North American GBC and Dallas Temple President, is more nuanced in his approach. While he acknowledges that at some unspecified time in the future, intelligent devotees will introduce varnasrama, he makes a case to keep the status quo. He has a chart which he uses in leadership seminars for non-devotees, showing nine levels of people in general, and he classifies them into three groups. The first group from levels one to four fall under Sense objects, senses, mind and intelligence. The second group is the fifth level, consciousness. The third group are from levels six to nine, Soul, Brahman, Supersoul and Supreme Absolute Truth. He uses this chart to state his case. Key quotes by Nityananda Das, “as he said it,” are found at the end of this article.

He sort of speaks in circles, repeats without getting to a direct point about where devotees stand on this chart. But his idea is that the materialists are from levels one to four and upwards from that are devotees. His vision is to bring the consciousness of the materialists to the mode of goodness using modern techniques such as his leadership seminars to non-devotees.[...] read more