Sri Radha Govinda, Amsterdam NL

Sri Radha Govinda, Amsterdam NL
Sri Radha Govinda, Amsterdam NL (Personal Deities)

03 May 2009

The Root of the Problem -- Lest We Forget

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, at the time of his departure, requested all his disciples to work together with the governing body and conduct missionary activities cooperatively. He did not instruct a particular group of men to become the next acaryas. But just after his passing away, his leading secretaries made plans, without authority, to occupy the post of acarya, and they split into eleven factions over who the next acarya would be. Consequently, all eleven factions and the supportive GBC body were asara, or useless, because they had no authority, having disobeyed the order of the spiritual master. Despite the spiritual master's order to cooperatively execute the missionary activities of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness, the eleven unauthorized factions began fighting and competing with one another and with their godbrothers and that is still going on after thirty years with no conclusion.... The members of the self-appointed acaryas’ party and their offshoots who occupy the property of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness 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.

"Why this Gaudiya Matha failed? Because they tried to become more than guru. He, before passing away, he gave all direction and never said that 'This man should be the next acharya.’ But these people, just after his passing away they began to fight, who shall be acharya. That is the failure. They never thought, 'Why Guru Maharaja gave us instruction so many things, why he did not say that this man should be acharya?’ They wanted to create artificially somebody acharya and everything failed. They did not consider even with common sense that if Guru Maharaja wanted to appoint somebody as acharya, why did he not say? He said so many things, and this point he missed? The real point? And they insist upon it.They declared some unfit person to become acharya. Then another man came, then another, acharya, another acharya. So better remain a foolish person perpetually to be directed by Guru Maharaja. That is perfection." (Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation,16 August 1976, Bombay)


Atmavidya Das said...

Quite amazing. We all know that history does repeat itself. But you made it very
clear just what a close resemblance that can be. Just by updating some names
and figures. Taking into account that the members of the Gaudiya Math were so
much more qualified than the so-called leaders of ISKCON could ever dream to
be, I take your entry as one more substantial reinforcement: To move on whole-heartedly and with no mental luggage. While that ain’t easy it is certainly pos-

Carlo Aananda said...

Thanks for the comment, Atma. This is one of several pieces which appeared in the Sampradaya Sun but not on my blog. While some of the writings are extremely critical they are to the point. They are the truth plain and simple. therefore, for the record I want them on my blog. In the last year or so I've been blessed with sufficient clarity to move on without, as you say, mental luggage. I know when I'm not wanted. How log must we bang our heads against a closed door? That closed door notwithstanding, I take an interest on how Prabhupada's movement is being (mis)managed just like I take an interest on how Krsna's property is mismanaged by the world's political order who are actually demons in the dress of the ruling order. Being alert for the master's property is the meaning of servant. Krsna lila repeats itself. It is dynamic, endlessly applicable and proof that no one in material consciousness can outguess Krsna.

Atmavidya Das said...

Nicely put, Ananda. In particular, that moving on and being alert for the master's property do not need to exclude each other.

Unknown said...


Already quite some years back the GBC recognized the mistake of the acarya follow up and dismantled the system. If the preaching has considerably improved and expanded since then is for you to judge.

The acarya follow up may have been one root of the problem but apparently not the only one, or main one. If so, ISKCON would flourish now.

Ritviks claim that the root of the problem is that the final order of Srila Prabhupada is not followed and make the point that Srila Prabhupada is the diksa-guru for the remaining 9,500 years to come. See the famous 9th July 1977 letter.

But then, even if we would all be diksa disciples of His Divine Grace, would then the problems be solved ?

Srila Prabhupada founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Development of Krishna Consciousness, individually and collectively, that’s it. A lack of it is the deepest root of the problems…

Mahaprabhu das (Amsterdam)

Carlo Aananda said...


You write:

Already quite some years back the GBC recognized the mistake of the acarya follow up and dismantled the system. If the preaching has considerably improved and expanded since then is for you to judge.

No, they did not dismantle the system, they just made some cosmetic changes and carried on by expanding it from 11 to more voted-in members. I know this very well because I was one of the ones voted-in. I also attended many GBC meetings as the chairman of the Sannyasa Assembly. Not to speak of me having the ears of many of the top leaders when they would meet in India. Fact is, they still have acaryas in all but name. If they had changed the system why are 95% of the godbrothers excluded from meaningful discussion? Why are the GBC meetings closed in direct contravention of Prabhupada's last instructions to discuss together, the GBC and the godbrothers? (see Gurukrpa's testimony).

In any case, I challenge anyone to show me where in Prabhupada's books and teachings is a guru or a sannyasi elected by votes. Anyone who actually takes the trouble to read up on the subject will find the exact oppsite! When Jayadvaita Svami was visiting me in Amsterdam a couple of years ago I asked him the same question. His reply was a weak, "The GBC does nort appoint gurus, rather they give a no-objection." Yeah, sure, just look around Iskcon temples and see how the mood of the present system works.

I've been telling you and and others all this for years and I know it is very difficult to accept that such cynicysm and cheating exsists at the very top of Iskcon. It took me years to accept it and internally process it so I am not surprised by your disbelief and fear of vaisnava-aparadha. Still, as time goes by I am hopeful that devotees like yourself, and others in the new generation (who have no vested interest in the organization) will see things as they are. Is it not becoming clearer as the years go by?