Let us follow the Acharya’s direction

March 31, 2010

In 1965, at the age of seventy, Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada set out on a 35-day long trans-Atlantic voyage to the IUS, carrying with him Rs.40 and a trunk load of his English translations of the Srimad Bhagavatam. He had carried in his heart for over four decades the order of his spiritual master to spread the message of Bhagavad-gita and other Vedic literatures all over the world. Although his endeavors in India so far had met with obstacles and challenges, he was resolute in his determination to serve the order of his spiritual master.
In 1965, at the age of seventy, Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada set out on a 35-day long trans-Atlantic voyage to the IUS, carrying with him Rs.40 and a trunk load of his English translations of the Srimad Bhagavatam. He had carried in his heart for over four decades the order of his spiritual master to spread the message of Bhagavad-gita and other Vedic literatures all over the world. Although his endeavors in India so far had met with obstacles and challenges, he was resolute in his determination to serve the order of his spiritual master.

In November 1977, Srila Prabhupada reached the eternal abode of Lord Sri Krishna.

Before his departure from this world, Srila Prabhupada laid out his succession plans. Srila Prabhupada had already formed a Governing Body Commission to manage the affairs of the society. Next he had to settle the issue of how initiations (diksha) will be conducted. In other words, he had to decide who will be his spiritual successor to occupy the seat of the Acharya (acharya-peeta) – an ultimate
position of spiritual and material authority.

Srila Prabhupada had taught from the Vedic literatures that an Acharya plays a prime role in the development of Krishna bhakti in the heart of a disciple. In order to play that role of an Acharya, one must have extraordinary spiritual qualifications and purity. He was now faced with the solemn task to select and authorize his successor Acharya. As per the timeless Vedic principle, that he too had taught, the Acharya must be authorized by his predecessor Acharya.

Srila Prabhupada was aware of the reality that his leading disciples, most of whom were Westerners, were young and inexperienced in age and spirituality. He was also aware that even his senior most disciples were extremely materially ambitious. And they were pressing Srila Prabhupada for the appointment of a successor acharya from among them, the ultimate fulfillment of their ambitions. They were avaricious to grab control of the worldwide Krishna “empire” that Srila Prabhupada had built with dedication and devotion to his guru and Krishna. At that point of time, the legacy that Srila Prabhupada was leaving behind was, materially speaking, worth millions of dollars. And they were pressing Srila Prabhupada for the appointment of a successor acharya from among them, for the ultimate fulfillment of their ambitions.

Under the circumstances, Srila Prabhupada did not appoint any successor Acharya. Instead he appointed eleven Officiating Acharyas or ritviks, who would initiate on his behalf and the new initiates would be Srila Prabhupada’s disciples. He issued a written directive to the whole institution explaining this system of initiation four months prior to his departure from this world.

However, soon after his departure from this world, these eleven disciples, who were all Westerners, who were chosen to play the role of Officiating Acharyas (ritviks) conspired and declared themselves, without authorization from Srila Prabhupada, to be the next Acharyas. They raised themselves to the level of Acharyas and instituted elaborate levels of worship, honor and praise that only a true Acharya can receive. Innocent newcomers were regimented to follow this, lest it would lead to guru-aparadha, an offense to the spiritual master the consequence of which is that one will not get Krishna bhakti for millions of lives!!

In the next few years after 1977, ISKCON went through several crises and had to face some major embarrassments as one by one these self-proclaimed Acharyas had disgraceful fall-downs from their
spiritual position. One of them, a sannyasi, was found to be having an affair with one of his young female disciples and eventually ran away with her! Another self-proclaimed Acharya became an authoritarian cult leader demanding unquestioning submission and punished and even murdered disloyal devotees. Yet another declared that he was “conversing with Krishna” while he was found to be indulging in drugs. And the list is long, shameful and painful. Initially ISKCON made a desperate attempt to cover up these occurrences, but in due course of time the cat was let out of the bag. The great international movement that Srila Prabhupada established to spread the pure teachings of Bhagavad-gita and Vedic literatures had been derailed.

In the mid-1980s, the Governing Body Commission, which was dominated and controlled by similarly ambitious disciples, most of whom were Westerners, made a major modification in the Acharya system. They amended the ISKCON laws and declared that any of the disciples of Srila Prabhupada if selected through a process, could become an Acharya. The number of self proclaimed Acharyas which was eleven (in 1977 soon after Srila Prabhupada’s departure from this world) diminished to four after a series of disgraceful fall downs. However the number of Acharyas has now increased to about seventy by more unauthorized appointments! Every year a few of these selfproclaimed Acharyas fall from grace, and every year new Achar yas are appointed through an unauthorized process, disregarding Srila Prabhupada’s instruction that the Acharya has to “authorized by his predecessor spiritual master.”

Any one who has raised the question of how they have become Acharyas without authorization by Srila Prabhupada have been dealt unceremoniously by the ISKCON Governing Body Commission. Those ISKCON devotees who questioned the Acharya system have been marginalized and some times expelled from the ISKCON society. The most severe response for this questioning of the self-appointed Acharya system was in mid-1980s. Sulochana Das, one of the disciples of Srila Prabhupada, criticized the self-appointed Acharya system and started gathering evidence on what Srila Prabhupada had intended for his ISKCON society from his letters and recorded conversations. He was compiling his findings into a book titled, The Guru Business. When he was working on the last chapter of his book, one day, not very far from the ISKCON temple in Los Angeles, Sulochana Das was shot at point-blank range on the direction of one of the self-proclaimed Acharyas!!

The devotees of ISKCON-Bangalore under the direction of Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa, have taken up the struggle to fight this disobedience of Srila Prabhupada’s directions. In 1998 the devotees of ISKCON-Bangalore challenged the wrong Acharya system and formally declared to the Governing Body Commission that they shall only follow Srila Prabhupada’s directions on the Acharya system and implement what he intended for the ISKCON society. Since then the Governing Body Commission has been using the devotees of ISKCON-Mumbai to unleash a series of vicious attacks on Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa and the various projects of ISKCON-Bangalore. The devotees of ISKCON-Bangalore have also been enduring different kinds of maligning propaganda among their supporters. This is the genesis and basis of the on going law suit between ISKCON-Bangalore and ISKCON-Mumbai. The devotees of ISKCONBangalore have been protected by various court orders in order to continue their services to Srila Prabhupada and the society

And we earnestly pray that Srila Prabhupada, our beloved spiritual master, shall always guide us and protect us in our struggle to follow his will.

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Additional Explanatory Notes for the Peace Proposal by Madhu Pandit Dasa Notes

March 31, 2010

The Chairman and Executive Committee Members and GBC members,

Mayapur

Dear Maharajs/Prabhus,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Further to our offer of a peace proposal (attached separately) sent thru HH Bhakti Charu Swami on February 4th 2009, we present before you the following explanatory note on the same:

The court case between ISKCON-Bangalore and ISKCON-Mumbai is coming to a close as the trial is over and case is posted for th judgement on 28 February. Regardless of which side wins, the loser will appeal to the next court level. This will go on until it reaches the Supreme Court of India. Who knows how long this whole process will take, how much resources will be drained and how much time wasted. With this in mind, and with the supreme objective of continuing successful preaching for the satisfaction of HDG Srila Prabhupada, the Elected Governing Body of ISKCON Bangalore group of institutions has brought a peace proposal to the table.

This proposal was sent to HH Bhakti Charu Swami for delivery to the rest of the GBC. So far we have only received silence from HH Bhakti Charu Swami and the GBC to our offer. And the GBC meetings are getting over in few days. Under these circumstances we are making this offer public along with this Explanatory Note to Chakra, VNN, Sampradaya Sun, Dandavats and other
Vaishnava sites hoping it would attract the attention of the GBC members and other Vaishnavas who are closely watching this war between ISKCON Mumbai and ISKCON Bangalore.

Our dispute with the GBC began in 1998 when we came across Srila Prabhupada’s last written directive on initiation in ISKCON, famously known as the July 9th directive.

Year after year, from the early 80s we have heard from the dais of every Annual Ratha Yatra inauguration at Bangalore and every other public program, HH Jayapataka Swami being introduced as one of the eleven successor Acharyas appointed by Srila Prabhupada. Prior to 1998, being isolated in Bangalore and hardly exposed to international issues and being busy with building the temple at Bangalore, we all blindly believed the propaganda that the eleven persons had the sacrosanct appointment by Srila Prabhupada as the successor Acharyas. In fact the title of HH Jayapataka Swami was, Present Acharya.

However we were shocked each time one of the eleven Acharyas fell down from grace, and this posed a big disturbing question as to why these persons, if they have been appointed by the pure devotee, Srila Prabhupada, are falling th down? But the July 9 Directive answered our perpetual doubt about gurus fall down. They were never appointed by Srila Prabhupada but we re appoint ed only as rtviks or Representative of the Acharya. More than anything was the deep pain in us for having become victims of this betrayal of trust.

It is a matter of undisputed evidence that several of the GBC members approached Srila Prabhupada on May 28th 1977 with a set of questions to be asked to him. One such question was, how first and second initiation would go on particularly when he was no longer with us. Srila Prabhupada’s immediate reply was, “I will appoint some of you to act as Officiating Acharya.” And to this HH Tamal Krishna Maharaj said, “Rtvik Acharya?” and Srila Prabhupada said, “Yes rtvik”. This is Guru Mukha Padma Vakya.

A great misunderstanding has been perpetrated in ISKCON that the parampara will be lost if we had a rtvik system and in order to maintain parampara we must have living initiating gurus. But Srila Prabhupada says differently on when parampara is lost or stopped:

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, if the knowledge was handed down by the saintly kings, evam parampara-praptam, how is it that the knowledge was lost?

Prabhupada: “When it was not handed down. Simply understood by speculation. Or if it is not handed down as it is. They might have made some changes. Or they did not hand it down. Suppose I handed it down to you, but if you do not do that, then it is lost. Now the Krishna consciousness movement is going on in my presence. Now after my departure, if you do not do this, then it is lost. If you go on as you are doing now, then it will go on.” (Room conversations, May 9th , 1975, Perth)

Now, here also it is stated, sa kalaneha mahata yogo nasto parantapa: “My dear Arjuna, oh, you are the great hero. Now, that Bhagavad-gita, the instruction which I imparted to the sun-god, was coming by disciplic succession. Now it is lost.” Now, we have to note down this point. Why it is lost? Why it is lost? Do you think that there was no learned man during that time? During Krishna’s time? Oh, there were many learned sages. Not only one, two, there were dozens of learned sages. But still, the Lord said, Krishna said, that “They… That knowledge which I exactly imparted to sun-god is now lost.” How it is lost? There were many scholars, and

still, how it is lost? The lost means that the purport of Bhagavad-gita is lost. (Gita lecture New York, July 13th , 1966)

We have dozens of quotes on this subject that shows how and when parampara is lost, which
requires a careful study. This is not the parampara of physical arts and crafts like music or massage therapy or wrestling – which requires a physical link of teacher and disciple to keep it going. We are talking of spiritual knowledge whose transmission, as repeatedly taught by Srila Prabhupada, does not depend on physical presence. Srila Prabhupada has set up an institution of preachers who, if they continue to speak what ever Srila Prabhupada has taught as it is, will continue the parampara.

Another standard objection about rtvik system is that it is historically unprecedented. We have prepared a list of over a dozen things that Srila Prabhupada did that are historically unprecedented and would be considered unacceptable even by other Indian Vaishnava traditions. And Srila Prabhupada has said this about an Acharya:

“Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to invent a way to capture the Mayavadis and
others who did not take interest in the Krishna consciousness movement. This is the symptom of an Acharya. An Acharya who comes for the service of the Lord cannot be expected to conform to a stereotype, for he must find the ways and means by which Krishna consciousness may be spread.” (CC Adi 7.33)

“So therefore it depends on the Acharya how to adjust things. So, my Guru Maharaja, ‘Alright go on preaching on a motorcar, it doesn’t matter.’… This is adjustment. The Acharya knows how to adjust things.” (SB class, Auckland, Feb. 20th , 1973)


Authorization is important to become a guru

March 31, 2010

The following quotes from Srila Prabhupada’s writings reveal the importance of authorization to become a spiritual master:

1. Guru cannot be self-made. No. There is no such single instance throughout the whole Vedic literature. And nowadays, so many rascals, they are becoming guru without any authority. That is not guru. You must be authorized. Evaà paramparäpräptam imaà rä… As soon as the parampara is lost, sa käleneha mahatä yogo nañöaù parantapa, immediately finished. The spiritual potency finished. You can dress like a guru, you can talk big, big words, but it will never be effective. (Srimad Bhagavatam class Feb 27th, 1977 Mayapur)

Note how emphatically Srila Prabhupada says, “…There is no such single instance throughout the whole Vedic literature.”

2. The conclusion is that a spiritual master who is authorized and empowered by Krishnaand his own guru should be considered as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. That is the verdict of Viçvanäth Cakravärté säkñäd dharitvenaçä. (CC Madhya 10.137)

Notes: Please note the words “his own guru.”

3. The spiritual master must never be carried away by an accumulation of wealth or a large number of followers. A bona fide spiritual master will never become like that. But sometimes, if a spiritual master is not properly authorized and only on his own initiative becomes a spiritual master, he may be carried away by an accumulation of wealth and large numbers of disciples. His is not a very high grade of devotional service. If a person is carried away by such achievements, then his devotional service becomes slackened. One should therefore strictly adhere to the principles of disciplic succession. (Nectar of Devotion Ch 14)

Notes: 1. Isn’t this an explanation of the frequent fall downs of several gurus currently happening in ISKCON? It is the case of those who are “not properly authorized and only on his own initiative becomes a spiritual master”

2. Srila Prabhupada talks of the “principles of disciplic succession” which is to be properly authorized and not become a spiritual master on one’s own initiative.

3. Please note where Srila Prabhupada says “one should therefore strictly adhere to the principles of disciplic succession.” Are they not guilty of non-adherence to this principle despite Srila Prabhupada’s warning to strictly adhere?

4. Präptasya kalyäëa-guëärëavasya. So the spiritual master is not self-made. It is not that if anyone comes before you and bluffs you that, “I have attained spiritual perfection, and I have realized something by some method”. No. The spiritual master, bona fide spiritual master means he has to receive the power from authority. Otherwise it is useless. No. It is not that one can become spiritual master overnight. He has to take the power from his spiritual master. Therefore it is called praptasya, Praptasya means one who has obtained, one who has got the merciful blessings of his spiritual master. We should always remember that the spiritual master is in the disciplic succession. The original spiritual master is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He blesses his next disciple, just like Brahmä. Brahmä blesses his next disciple, just like Närada. Närada blesses his next disciple, just like Vyäsa. Vyäsa blesses his next disciple, Mädhväcärya. Similarly, the blessing is coming. Just like royal succession—the throne is inherited by disciplicorhereditary succession—similarly, this power from the Supreme Personality of Godhead has to be received. Nobody can preach, nobody can become a spiritual master, without obtaining power from the right source. Therefore the very word, it is stated here, präptasya. Präptasya means “one who has obtained.” Präptasya kalyäëa. What he has obtained? Kalyäëa. Kalyäëa means auspiciousness. He has received something which is auspicious for all human kind. Präptasya kalyäëa…. Such kind of spiritual master, one has to accept, and vande guroù çré-caraëäravindam, and one has to offer his respectful obeisances to such authorized spiritual master. (purport to Sri Gurv-astakam, Jan 2nd, 1969, LA).

Notes: This quote is particularly significant.

5. So Sanätana Gosvämé is guru. Caitanya Mahäprabhu is authorizing him to become guru. This is paramparä system. Nobody can become guru all of a sudden. Self-made guru, that is not guru. Here Sanätana Gosvämé is presented as the disciple, ideal disciple. He is asking, ke ämi kene ämäya järe täpa-traya, process how to approach guru, how to ask him question. Tad viddhi praëipätena paripraçnena [Bg. 4.34]. Paripraçna means question. That is also required. But Caitanya Mahäprabhu is authorizing him. (CC lectures, Madhya lh 20.105 July ll , 1976).

6. Indian man: When did you become the spiritual leader of Krishnaconsciousness?
Prabhupäda: What is that?
Brahmänanda: He’s asking when did you become the spiritual leader of Krishna consciousness?
Prabhupäda: When my Guru Mahäräja ordered me. This is the guru-paramparä.
Indian: Did it…
Prabhupäda: Try to understand. Don’t go very speedily. A guru can become guru when he’s ordered by his guru. That’s all. Otherwise nobody can become guru. Indian woman 2: (Hindi)
Prabhupäda: (Hindi) Çädhi mäà prapannam. “I am surrendered to You. Whatever You say, I shall carry out.” That’s all.
Indian man: When did he tell you to…?
Prabhupäda: What is the business, when did he tell me? And why shall I disclose to you? It is so very insignificant thing that I have to explain to you?
Indian man: No, I am just curious when…
Prabhupäda: You should be curious within your limit. You should know that one can become guru when he is ordered by his guru, this much. (Bg class Oct 28th , 1975 Nairobi)

Notes: This conversation is also very revealing on the principles of guru parampara.

7. The process of understanding spiritual or transcendental knowledge from the realized person is not exactly like asking an ordinary question from the schoolmaster. The schoolmasters in the modern days are paid agents for giving some information, but the spiritual master is not a paid agent. Nor can he impart instruction without being authorized. (Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.43 purport).

8. Ätreya Åñi: How many qualifications does a spiritual master have in terms of being a spiritual master?
Prabhupäda: One qualification: he is a devotee of God. That’s all.
Ätreya Åñi: Also is he designated? Prabhupäda: Huh?
Ätreya Åñi: Does he have to be designated by the former spiritual master? He has to be devotee…
Prabhupäda: Oh, yes, oh yes.
Ätreya Åñi: …surrendered and designated. That is…, identifies disciplic succession: both surrender and designation. (Room conversation, San Deigo, June 29th , 1972)


The Rulers, the Accused and the Judges are all the same!

March 31, 2010

It is interesting to study the composition of the 37-member Governing Body Commission that took the decision on expulsion. Out of 37 members, 32 members were playing the role of self-appointed Acharyas. And Madhu Pandit Dasa and Adridharan Dasa were questioning how they became Acharyas when Srila Prabhupada had only appointed the ritviks or Officiating Acharyas to conduct future initiations! The accused, the rulers and judges were all the same group of persons. How can one hope to get justice in such a system!!

The devotees of ISKCON-Bangalore under the direction of Madhu Pandit Dasa, have taken up the struggle to fight this disobedience of Srila Prabhupada’s directions. In 1998 the devotees of ISKCON-Bangalore challenged the wrong Acharya system and formally declared to the Governing Body Commission that they shall only follow Srila Prabhupada’s directions on the Acharya system and implement what he intended for the ISKCON society.

Since then the Governing Body Commission has been using the devotees of ISKCONMumbai to unleash a series of vicious attacks on Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa and the various projects of ISKCON-Bangalore. The devotees of ISKCON-Bangalore have also been enduring different kinds of maligning propaganda among the supporters of ISKCON-Mumbai which has been further intensified in recent times. Their technique has to been to divert the attention of the supporters of ISKCON-Bangalore from the real issue which is the flawed guru system.

What was Srila Prabhupada’s plan for initiation in ISKCON after his time? Who will be the Acharya in ISKCON after Srila Prabhupada’s time? These are the issues that have led to the on going law suit between ISKCON-Bangalore and ISKCON-Mumbai.

The maligning campaign that agents of ISKCON-Mumbai have hurled is that the court cases filed by ISKCON Bangalore are a veiled attempt by Madhu Pandit Dasa to retain unchallenged control on the properties of ISKCON-Bangalore. The sacred objective of the struggle to follow the will of the beloved spiritual master has been side stepped and a mundane intention has been projected as the real intention of the devotees of ISKCONBangalore.

To demonstrate our earnestness in this struggle to implement Srila Prabhupada’s directions in ISKCON about the Acharya system and to put to rest any speculations of our intentions, the devotees of ISKCON-Bangalore have offered a Peace Proposal to the International Governing Body Commission. As part of this proposal, the devotees of ISKCON-Bangalore have offered to subordinate themselves and offer all the properties of ISKCON-Bangalore under the control of the International GBC if the ISKCON-Bangalore group of temples are permitted to follow the Acharya system that Srila Prabhupada outlined in the July 9th, 1977 directive. See separate box on the Peace Proposal and Explanatory Notes of the Peace Proposal (page 15 to 24).

We earnestly pray that Srila Prabhupada, our beloved spiritual master, shall always guide us and protect us in our struggle to follow his will.


Case study 4: Devotees of ISKCON Bangalore

March 31, 2010

In 1998, the devotees of ISKCON-Bangalore for the first time came in touch with the institutional directive issued by Srila Prabhupada four months prior to his passing away 1977, outlining the system of conducting initiation through the ritviks or Officiating Acharyas. ISKCON-Bangalore consisted of about 75 devotees at that time and a good number of them were educated in reputed Indian colleges and universities including IITs and IISc.

Madhu Pandit Dasa, a civil engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, was impressed by the books of Srila Prabhupada and later in 1981, while still doing his M.Tech, he joined ISKCON. He soon became the Temple President of ISKCON-Bangalore. Under his leadership, the small temple with about five devotees operating out of a rented two bedroom house in an obscure location off Chord Road, Rajajinagar, Bangalore, has now grown to become an iconic temple with hundreds of dedicated missionary devotees.

In 1998 the devotees of ISKCON-Bangalore first came to know of the disobedience of Srila Prabhupada’s directions that have become deep rooted in ISKCON movement with regard to the Guru system. Soon after that, the devotees fiercely debated among themselves to ascertain the veracity of the ritviks or Officiating Acharyas system. When they were convinced that that was the system intended by Srila Prabhupada for his movement, they declared to the world that they would not accept the selfappointed guru system.

In February 1999, Madhu Pandit Dasa and Adhridharan Dasa, then Temple President of ISKCON-Calcutta, prepared an elaborate Powerpoint presentation went to Mayapur, West Bengal, to present the arguments before the Governing Body Commission. Madhu Pandit Dasa made a presentation before a gathering of 37 Governing Body Commissioners. The deliberations did not last for more than 45 minutes. The next day the GBCs resolved that Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chanchalapathi Dasa, Vice President of ISKCON-Bangalore and Adridharan Dasa were unfit and hence they should be expelled from ISKCON!


How has ISKCON dealt with anyone who has raised the question about the unauthorized self-appointed Acharya system

March 31, 2010

Case study 3: Adhridharan Dasa

Adhridharan Dasa, Sunil Awatramani, came in touch with ISKCON in 1975 when he was a student in Miami, Florida. He soon joined ISKCON and later Srila Prabhupada appointed him as the Temple President of ISKCON, Calcutta. He too became aware of the selfappointed gurus in ISKCON. He was also aware of the potential risks of speaking out the truth openly. Hence he remained silent for some time.

In 1998 he began speaking vociferously about the flawed guru system in ISKCON along with Madhu Pandit Dasa, the Temple President of ISKCON, Bangalore. In 1999, the Governing Body Commission expelled him from the ISKCON society. A group of about 250 hired men, disguised as ISKCON devotees, armed with sticks, choppers, knives and hammers mobbed the temple in Calcutta and physically threw Adridharan Dasa out of the temple8. The group of devotees acting under the direction of ISKCON-Mumbai, took control of the temple forcefully, doctored the accounting documents, fabricated a false case of misappropriation of funds, complained to the Calcutta Police and brought an arrest warrant against him!

Adridharan Dasa hails from a respectable family and was the ISKCON Temple President in Calcutta for over twenty years with no history of misappropriation of funds. But over night he was branded an undesirable element of ISKCON to be dispensed with!
5 According to some estimates about 40 self-appointed gurus have fallen from grace in the last 30 years and some of them under very disgraceful circumstances.
6 Nori J Muster’s Betrayal of the Spirit (pg 137) and John Hubner and Lindsey Gruson’s Monkey on a Stick (pages 319) describe the incident of Sulochana Dasa’s murder.
7 Nori J Muster’s Betrayal of the Spirit (pg 183) describes the status of Kirtanananda Swami as on 2000.
8 Asian Age (29.04.2001), Telegraph (29.04.2001), Times of India (28.04.2001) and a host of other regional language dailies carried reports of these incidents.


How has ISKCON dealt with anyone who has raised the question about the unauthorized self-appointed Acharya system

March 31, 2010

Case study 2: Sulochana Dasa

The most severe response for this questioning of the selfappoint ed Acharya system was in 1986. Sulochana Dasa, one of the disciples of Srila Prabhupada, criticized the self – appointed Acharya system and started gathering evidence on what Srila Prabhupada had intended for his ISKCON society from his letters and recorded conversations. He was compiling his findings into a book titled, The Guru Business. When he was working on the last chapter of his book, one day in 1986, not very far from the ISKCON temple in Los Angeles, Sulochana Dasa was shot at point-blank range on the direction of one of the self-proclaimed Acharyas, Kirtanananda Swami6!! Later Kirtanananda Swami was convicted in 1991 and sent to prison in North Carolina to serve a thirty year sentence.7