A Question of Assimilation

April 4th, 2017

Andrew Whitlock

“It’s really a question of assimilation…Srila Prabhupada has given clear instructions on everything. Iskcon in 2017 keeps these instructions hidden, masked, unclear. This has been the case since 1977, but as time moves on, communication becomes more advanced, so today we have all available information at out fingertips…” A.W.

When you place all the evidence on the table, all the pages of information, a story unfolds. If you’re a writer you’ll know what I mean. The evidence of who should initiate Iskcon devotees after Srila Prabhupada left the planet, is actually very clear.
The first clue is given by the murder of Steve Bryant

Steve Bryant (Sulocana Das) was murdered May 22nd, 1986, 1:00 a.m., Los Angeles, two days after publishing his book “The Guru Business”. The book describes in some detail how the Leaders of the Hare Krishna movement deviated from the pure path as taught and exemplified by its Founder and Acarya, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

When you send a hitman out to kill someone you’re doing it for a significant reason. Steve Bryant was an intelligent young man and a smart writer and he knew the truth, first hand. You can read all the facts in his book “The Guru Business”

He wrote: “The entire history of mankind is full of stories of how money, women, power, prestige, honour and worship have corrupted the best of men, even highly advanced spiritual persons.
The great acarya is such a person that even in the midst of these dangerous situations he is not overcome by them. But unless one is such a great acarya on the level of the Goswamis, Narottama dasa, Baladeva, Bhaktivinoda, Bhaktisiddhanta and Srila Prabhupada, then one had better avoid these temptations as far as possible. The guru is a preacher. He delivers Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and gives the holy name of Krsna. Not that he is the enjoyer of the assets and adulation of his disciples…”

And so it was with the Zonals. If these men had followed Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and had taken some time to become qualified after Srila Prabhupada left the planet, there would be no questions about initiation.
There was no need for them to start initiating their own disciples, chasing Srila Prabhupada’s disciples from Iskcon temples and property.

Srila Prabhupada had left us everything. A solid foundation, Temples, farms, the BBT and more than a billion dollars.

So there was no rush, there was time to slowly and thoughtfully consolidate the movement.
To me it is quite clear that Steve Bryant was correct and because he knew the truth, he was silenced.

There is a clear record that there were problems with a number of these men who became Zonals even while Srila Prabhupada was still present.
One room conversation provides key evidence of what Srila Prabhupada had to deal with…

Room Conversation — April 22, 1977, Bombay
Prabhupada: So many complaints.
Tamala Krsna: Therefore change is good.
Prabhupada: No, you become guru, but you must be qualified first of all. Then you become.
Tamala Krsna: Oh, that kind of complaint was there.
Prabhupada: Did you know that?
Tamala Krsna: Yeah, I heard that, yeah.
Prabhupada: What is the use of producing some rascal guru?
Tamala Krsna: Well, I have studied myself and all of your disciples, and it’s clear fact that we are all conditioned souls, so we cannot be guru. Maybe one day it may be possible…
Prabhupada: Hm.
Tamala Krsna: …but not now.
Prabhupada: Yes. I shall choose some guru. I shall say, “Now you become acarya. You become authorized.” I am waiting for that. You become all acarya. I retire completely. But the training must be complete.
Tamala Krsna: The process of purification must be there.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes, must be there. Caitanya Mahaprabhu wants that. Amara ajnaya guru hana [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. “You become guru.” (laughs) But be qualified. Little thing, strictly follower…
Tamala Krsna: Not rubber stamp.
Prabhupada: Then you’ll not be effective. You can cheat, but it will not be effective. Just see our Gaudiya Matha. Everyone wanted to become guru, and a small temple and “guru.” What kind of guru? No publication, no preaching, simply bring some foodstuff… My Guru Maharaja used to say, “Joint mess,” a place for eating and sleeping. Amar amar ara takana (?)(Bengali): “Joint mess.” He said this.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation — April 22, 1977, Bombay.

Steve Bryant concludes:
“The problem, therefore, seems to be that since Srila Prabhupada was the only example of a guru and acarya that the devotees knew, they naturally presumed that whoever was to be a bona fide guru would have to exactly imitate him in every way. Failure to do this would render one suspect of not being up to the standard set by Srila Prabhupada…
To imitate him does not make one as good as him, just as imitating Siva or Krsna does not make one equal to them. And just as the imitators of Siva cannot drink an ocean of poison, nor the imitators of Krsna lift Govardhana hill, the imitators of Srila Prabhupada have not been able to maintain ISKCON as Srila Prabhupada did, with the result that the majority of Srila Prabhupada’s dear disciples have left his movement, while the movement itself has been shaken to its very foundation by feuds, rivalries, and schisms. Yet, it is not that there is anything wrong with ISKCON having diksa-gurus, but that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way we have pursued it.”

To be continued…A.W.


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