GURU OR GUNDA?

August 23, 2010

Once upon a time, long ago, the earth was ruled by a king named Prithu. King Prithu was celebrated to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The king before him, King Vena, had been a demoniac and tyrannical despot. As such, due to his unpopularity, the wise sages of that time, seeking the benefit of the common mass of people, killed him by a curse. Not wishing to take up the reigns themselves, they prayed to Lord Vishnu for a good ruler, upon which Lord Vishnu Himself incarnated as King Prithu.

When King Prithu took over the reins of the kingdom, the citizens were suffering due to drought and under production of grains, vegetables and fruits. As the ruler, he summoned mother earth and questioned her regarding the reason for these problems. She replied that since the earlier king had stopped all sacrifices for Lord Vishnu, she was forced to curtail her production. Following her advice, King Prithu performed several Asvamedha Yajnas to make the kingdom prosperous. Due to his pious acts, the kingdom began to flourish on a level equal with that of heaven. King Prithu became celebrated even in the heavenly kingdoms.

When King Prithu was performing one such Yajna, King Indra, envious of the fame and glory of King Prithu, decided to play spoilsport. He disguised himself as a sannyasi in saffron robes and approached the Yajnashala. Since he was in saffron robes, no one stopped him. Taking advantage of the situation, he stole the horse specially meant for the Yajna and started running away from there. However, King Prithu’s son noticed him and pursued him. Finally, when threatened with a battle which would take his life, Indra relented and returned the horse to King Prithu. Resuming his real dress, he begged forgiveness from King Prithu, who readily did so.

However, from that day, it is said that frauds who wished to dupe the people, took on the garb of sannyasis. Until this incident, no one ever dared to commit the fraud of donning the garb of a sannyasi for some hidden motive. And the Srimad Bhagavatam, which relates this incident, mentions that Kali Yuga is full of such frauds who don the saffron robe just to dupe innocent people.

Now switching back to the present, ISKCON is an organization which was started in the year 1966 by His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada – a genuine, bonafide Sannyasi in the Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya. Srila Prabhupada’s stupendous achievement of starting the movement with only Rs 40 and building it up to 108 centers all over the world with more than 5,000 followers in a short span of 11 years, while contributing immensely to the literary and philosophical world with his most authoritative translations and commentaries on the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, Sri Isopanishad, Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Sri Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, Sri Sikshamrita etc., leave no doubt about his being an empowered representative of the Supreme Lord. Unfortunately, with his passing in 1977, the pristine movement he established, seems to have become afflicted by the “fraud sannyasi” syndrome. Riddled with accusations of child abuse, murders, drug abuse, illegal accumulation of weapons etc., this great movement seems to have been hijacked by gundas posing as gurus.

Gunda Gurus attack sadhu Case 1: Jadurani Devi Dasi

Jadurani Devi Dasi, Judy Koslofsky, an art student in New York City, joined the ISKCON temple in the mid sixties. She created some of the most remarkable paintings of Krishna used extensively in ISKCON publications, even today.

Later she moved to Los Angeles ISKCON Temple and was working as an illustrator for the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (the book publishing trust that Srila Prabhupada established). At this time, one of her god-brothers (Srila Prabhupada’s disciple) explained to her that Srila Prabhupada had appointed only ritviks or Officiating Acharyas contrary to what the gurus we recl aiming. After study ing the transcriptions of the recorded conversations during Srila Prabhupada’s last days in Vrindavan, she became convinced that “these gurus were bogus; and they have stolen Srila Prabhupada’s Movement.” She began to speak openly to the devotees in LA temple.

Nandini DD (Nori J Muster), an eye witness to the incident reports: “Upstairs in the LA temple balcony, one morning, I heard a woman screaming outside. I ran to the window and saw two men chasing Jadurani down Watseka Avenue, toward the traffic on Venice Boulevard. The first grabbed her white sari, which was falling from her shoulder. The other tackled her and held her down on the sidewalk while another man opened the door of a waiting car. They forced her in and the car sped away. I ran outside as devotees gathered on the street and learned that Jadurani had been ejected for blaspheming Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami (one of the eleven self-appointed gunda gurus), saying that he wasn’t a “real” guru like Prabhupada.” (Betrayal of the Spirit by Nori Muster, pg 85, University of Illinois Press).

Rameshvara Swami (one of the self-appointed gunda gurus) staying in Los Angeles had ordered Jadurani to be exiled. She then took shelter of a friend-devotee in Pittsburgh.

She later went to New Vrindavan, West Virginia to paint some pictures for the temple there. After some time, she again started preaching revolution: that the eleven self-proclaimed gunda gurus were fraud gurus, as they had not been authorized by Srila Prabhupada. Kirtanananda Swami, (one of the self-appointed gunda gurus overseeing the New Vrindavan temple) who heard of Jadurani’s outspoken rhetoric, told his two overzealous female disciples, Isani and Paryani DD, “Do the needful, but don’t tell me about it.”

The next day the two women attacked Jadurani without warning, behind the temple and knocked her down. They kicked her in the head, shattering her glasses. Then they jumped on her chest and beat her in the face with their fists. Another male devotee walking past the temple heard the screams. He ran around to the back and saw that the two women were beating Jadurani. He rushed over and pulled off the attackers. Blood was pouring down Jadurani’s face, blinding her. Isani, one of the attackers, screamed, “Tear her blood soaked sari and give it to us. We will put up a flagpole. We want to show people what happens when you speak against our guru, Srila Bhaktipada (the honorific title given to the gunda guru Kirtanannada Swami by his disciples)!”

(Excerpts from Los Angeles Times reporting the th beating incident, Feb 15 , 1981 and from the
book, Guru Business by Sulochana Dasa)


Gunda Gurus attack sadhu case 2: Sulochana Dasa

The most severe response for this questioning of the gunda gurus was in 1986. Sulochana Dasa, one of the disciples of Srila Prabhupada, criticized the self – appointed gunda gurus 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 gunda gurus, Kirtanananda Swami6!! Later Kirtanananda Swami was convicted in 1991 and sent to prison in North Carolina to serve a thirty year sentence.7
Gunda Gurus attack sadhu case 3: Yasomatinandana Dasa

Yashomatinandana Prabhu had joined ISKCON during Srila Prabhupada’s physical presence and he had the good fortune to meet His Divine Grace personally. Srila Prabhupada said that he should preach in Gujarat and he was happy to see that many educated Indians were also joining the movement. He is now currently the president of ISKCON in Ahmedabad. He has been serving in ISKCON for our three decades. During the implementation of draconian Zonal Acharya system he was one of the victim of the gundaism of Guru specifically His Holiness Jayapataka Swami, one of the eleven guru fraudsters who unauthorizedly took over Srila Prabhupada’s position as acharya of ISKCON. Yasomatinandan prabhu, vehemently opposed the zonal acharya system. He was physically attacked with sticks by disciples of Jayapataka Swami in the holy dham of Mayapur when he voiced his dissent against the guru fraudsters, they even went to the extent of chasing him all over Mayapur and under threat forced him apologize to Jayapataka Swami.

Gunda Gurus attack sadhu case 4: 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 gunda 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 gunda guru system in ISKCON along with Madhu Pandit Dasa, the Temple President of ISKCON, Bangalore. In 1999, the Governing Body Commission comprising solely of the gunda gurus expelled him from the ISKCON society. A group of about 250 hired gundas, 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 gundas 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!

Gunda Gurus attack sadhu 5: Madhu Pandit Dasa and ISKCON Bangalore

His Grace Madhu Pandit Das, a Civil Engineering graduate from IIT Mumbai (honored as one of the most distinguished alumnus of IIT Mumbai), took charge of the ISKCON Bangalore center in 1983. At that time, the center was just a fledgling one, running from a small rented house in Bangalore. Being the visionary that he was, His Grace Madhu Pandit Das gradually built up a team of more than 60 full time dedicated missionaries and raised several crores of Rupees to build one of the most recognized monuments of Bangalore city – the ISKCON Sri Radha Krishna Mandir in Rajajinagar, Bangalore, which was inaugurated by the then President of India. All this was done by his commendable efforts with no help or support of any kind – either financial or moral – coming from the gunda guru camp of ISKCON. A genuine follower of Srila Prabhupada’s true ISKCON, he built up a formidable reputation for being an intelligent, discerning, sincere, honest and upright devotee. In fact, in a very short time, he was acclaimed as the best Temple President in the whole of ISKCON for his very high spiritual and managerial standards.

All this changed in the year 1998, when His Grace Madhu Pandit Das started questioning the gundagiri tactics of the gurus of ISKCON. Overnight, he was labeled a traitor and fraud and expelled from the very movement whose reputation in the country had multiplied manifold because of his single handed efforts. Despite the gunda tactics of false court cases and baseless allegations of fraud, he commenced the Akshaya Patra program in 2000, which has gone on to become the most respected and the largest such effort in providing free mid day meals to hungry children in the government schools of India, reaching out to more than 12 lakh children every day in 18 locations in the country. The gunda guru camp with all its might and reach, has been unable to even reach half the effort of this single individual. However, the gunda gurus camp has left no stone unturned in their attempt to malign and derail his yeoman effort. This despite the fact that this program has won the appreciation of even Barack Obama and Bill Clinton! However, their gunda tactics are being gradually exposed as they lost one case after another in a humiliating manner in the Supreme Court of India and the lower court in Bangalore. Still, undeterred and shameless, they continue their gunda tactics, now resorting to a widespread misleading fraud campaign on the internet. Even this is bound to fail. Truth will prevail and the gunda gurus’ fraud will stand exposed in the days to come.

More details: www.madhupanditdasa.com

www.madhupanditdasa.info

Advertisements

Strugglefortruth

March 19, 2010

IskconBangalore

The pains of this struggle for truth have been borne silently by the devoteesof ISKCON-Bangalore for the last nine years. So far we have been trying our best to contain this within the institution.

However, it has become necessary today, unfortunately, to disseminate the sensitive information of purely internal nature in this paper. Our adversaries are exploiting our silence by perpetrating false and maligning propaganda against the devotees of ISKCON-Bangalore, even more vigorously than ever before, in order to demean our cause, and sidestep the real issue.

As supporters and donors of this organization, we believe it is your right to be informed by us of the real issues that have transpired in this matter. In this second issue, we present more details concerning the developments in
ISKCON post 1977.


Peace Proposal by Madhu Pandit Dasa

March 19, 2010

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

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)

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.

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)


Peace Proposal

March 19, 2010

The Governing Body members of ISKCON-Bangalore have presented a peace proposal with a single intention of ending the dispute between ISKCONBangalore and ISKCON-Mumbai so that all the resources, time and energy of devotees are used for the service of Krishna and mankind. This proposal was sent on Feb. 4th, 2009 to HH Bhakti Charu Swami, one of the senior members of ISKCON Governing Body Commission. The peace proposal is as follows:

Dear Bhakti Charu Maharaj,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thanks for calling Madhu Pandit Prabhu several times in your efforts to bring in some settlement of the dispute after your meeting with Sravanananda Prabhu in the USA. Besides your efforts, Yasomatinandan Prabhu and recently Shankabrit Prabhu and Amiya Vilas Swami have been desiring that we sit and talk. Also Jagatchandra Prabhu from Cochin whom you know well and one
Muralidhar Prabhu from Hubli have been trying to build bridges between the parties at the ground. Two days back Shankadhari Prabhu from Madurai also sought a sitting with a few of our governing body members to move in the direction of some settlement.

Madhu Pandit Prabhu had sent you a proposal by email after speaking to you in Bombay for which so far we have not received any response. That proposal did not envisage handing over all the properties under us to the control and ownership of the GBC but was a ‘live and let live’ proposal. Hence in the wake of these several further indications for a compromise we are responding with a second proposal where all properties also will be subordinated to the control of GBC.

The Governing Body Council of the ISKCON Bangalore group of temples/trusts/institutions (hereafter referred to as IB group) which was recently elected as per Srila Prabhupada’s “Direction of Management”, discussed at length and has the following offer to the GBC. This offer is made whether we win or lose in the current court battle for control of Bangalore temple lest it be thought that this offer is made under pressure of losing and is open for minimum 45 days ( only 24 days left for court verdict to come) and maximum as much as and if extended by us at the end of 45 days.

OFFER:
1. We will subordinate our entire group of organizations with all its properties legally under the direct control of GBC Body (not to ISKCON Mumbai) on par with other ISKCON temples around the world or in any manner GBC decides. But the group will continue to maintain managerial, functional and structural independence as it is existing now and the elected body of IB group of temples will manage these trusts/societies/institutions and its properties. The GBC shall have full freedom to independently audit the accounts of the IB group. The GBC shall unleash legal control only in case of financial impropriety with regard to the properties managed by the elected body of the IB Group legally under the GBC provided:

a. The GBC rescinds the resolution that system of initiation through officiating acharya system after Srila Prabhupada’s Samadhi, as per July 9th,1977 directive issued by Srila Prabhupada, is a deviant doctrine/practice.

b. GBC passes a resolution that the officiating acharya system as per July 9th,1977 doctrine can be practiced by the IB group. A committee of best lawyers in the country from both sides shall approve the legal effectiveness of its IRREVERSIBILITY and continued ADHERENCE by GBC. (Both these have to be done in a sound manner so that the GBC cannot go back on it after transferring legal control over properties currently held by the IB group.)

c . IB group will expand its preaching through its temples by co-existing with present temples at a respectable distance from each other, both locationally and philosophically. The nomenclature of these temples can be different to distinguish then from existing ISKCON temples. These new temples opened by IB group will work directly under the elected body of the IB group, which in turn will legally subordinate itself to the larger GBC.

d. No criticism in public of each other is permitted. Debates and discussion on mutually accepted topics can be pursued in approved forums with the objective of further narrowing down the differences over a period of time. Jointly pre-approved statements of conviction of each group and differences will alone be stated to the public, by the rank and file devotees of both parties. For the outside world there will be only two different groups who think differently on what Srila Prabhupada desired for spiritual succession.

e. Mumbai ISKCON and all ISKCON temples/projects/trusts/funds in the world should also subordinate themselves legally to the control of GBC in the same manner expected of from IB group. HH Radhanath Swami’s organization/trusts/ funds also should legally come under the control of GBC.

f. GBC should perpetuate itself through elections by electing new GBC members from among the temple presidents all over the world every three years as per the “Direction of Management” issued by Srila Prabhupada in 1970.

g.. Elected representatives from among IB group temple presidents should also be given proportionate representation in the GBC based on number of IB group temples approved by the IB group and the GBC. IB group will elect them and fill up those allotted number of the GBC position for IB group.

h. There shall be Guru puja and Vyasa puja only for Srila Prabhupada in all ISKCON temples. All persons who preside over the initiations should be called ‘Officiating Acharya’ in both camps. Then the only difference in two camps are that one camp hold that the new initiates are disciples of person presiding over the initiation, and the other camp holds that the new initiates are Srila Prabhupada’s disciples. For the outside world it is only a different understanding of ‘officiating acharya.’ Officiating Acharya was the unambiguos nomenclature ordered by Srila Prabhupada for those who were to perform initiation in ISKCON in his conversation on May 28th 1977 when the GBC representatives met Srila Prabhupada with a specific question on initiations “particularly when you are no longer with us”

i. All the leaders of IB group and ISKCON should declare their personal assets to the GBC body every three years starting immediately through signed affidavits. (IB group leaders have already done it and even published in leading newspapers of Bangalore.)

j. BBT shall promote original unchanged edition of all Srila Prabhupada’s books that existed before the samadhi of Srila Prabhupada by supply to all their customers who place orders and supply changed versions only on specific request of customers. The current practice is reverse of this. Just a change with regard to which edition BBT will actively promote.

k. All fight ends and in parallel we expand preaching under a single GBC body as Srila Prabhupada wanted. Looking forward for the GBC response at the earliest. Best wishes, Your servants in service of Srila Prabhupada /Members of Governing Body of IB group. Amitasana Dasa, Chitranga Chaitanya Dasa, Chanchalapati Dasa, Jai Chaitanya Dasa, Madhu Pandit Dasa, Rajiv Lochan Dasa, Satya Gourachandra Dasa, Stoka Krishna Dasa, Suvyakta Narasimha Dasa, Vasudev Keshava Dasa.