Has ISKCON become like poisonous milk?

Vidura Mahatma dasa

Has ISKCON become like milk touched by the lips of a serpent, which causes a poisonous effect on contact?

The ISKCON today is being led by deviant leaders, propagating polluted and watered-down versions of the philosophy as originally presented by the founder and acharya HDG Srila Prabhupada. These gurus were never authorized in the first place and their concocted philosophy and frequent fall-downs reveal this.

As a result of disobeying the orders of Srila Prabhupada, these big “gurus” have repeatedly fallen victim to abominable activities. One of the main perpetrators of the guru hoax has remarked:

“ISKCON gurus have usurped and misused money, and diverted other ISKCON resources for their own personal prestige and sense gratification. ISKCON gurus have had illicit sexual intercourse with both women and men, and possibly children as well.” (Where the Ritvik People Are Right, Jayadvaita Swami, 1996)

Srila Prabhupada gives ample warning in this regard:

“One should take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, who is authorized by his predecessor spiritual master. This is called diksa-vidhana.”  (SB 4.8.54 Purport)

“The guru must be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru must be accepted from the topmost class.” (Cc Madhya-lila 24.330 Purport)

“A bona fide spiritual master is in the disciplic succession from time eternal, and he does not deviate at all from the instructions of the Supreme Lord…”  (Bg 4.42 Purport)

“If one always follows the orders of the spiritual master, there is no question of falling down. As soon as a foolish disciple tries to overtake his spiritual master and becomes ambitious to occupy his post, he immediately falls down.” (SB 5.12.14 Purport)

“…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.” (Nectar of Devotion 14)

Despite these significant instructions from Srila Prabhupada, the newer, mislead devotees insist on surrendering to the bogus guru system of authorization, accepting voted-in pseudo gurus as bona fide diksa gurus. Consequently, these cheated disciples lead a cheap spiritual life while repeating the very same deviant propaganda taught to them by their voted-in gurus and the GBC. The entire institution is now ridden with cheap gurus, cheap disciples and cheap philosophy; it has degraded into nothing more than a show-bottle institution, a complete farce, where the cheaters cheat the cheated, who want to be cheated. A sharp evaluation but true nevertheless.

Those who are actually intelligent should strictly avoid this showbottle institution. It is nothing like the real ISKCON Srila Prabhupada established and it is not the place to go for one desiring to reap the real benefits of sadhu sanga.

“It is indicated that to learn the transcendental science, it is imperative that one avoid the company of undesirable persons and always seek the company of saints and sages who are able to impart lessons oftranscendental knowledge. The potent words of such realized souls penetrate the heart, thereby eradicating all misgivings accumulated through years of undesirable association. For a neophyte devotee there are two kinds ofpersons whose association is undesirable: (1) gross materialists who constantly engage in sense gratification and (2) unbelievers who do not serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead but serve their senses and their mental whims in terms of their speculative habits. Intelligent persons seeking transcendental realization should very scrupulously avoid their company.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 1.59 Puport)

Hearing from persons who have no knowledge of how to respect Srila prabhupada

          One of the main bogus gurus named Satsvarupa AKA “Satsva-bloop” wrote a long biography on the life of Srila Prabhupada, titled Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta. Upon closer inspection, this biography contained so much blasphemy of Srila Prabhupada, portraying Srila Prabhupada as an ordinary man, that an entire rebuttal of the Lilamrta was put together, comprised of a compilation of quotes from Srila prabhupada in sharp contrast with the statements of Satsvarupa, a so-called disciple of Srila Prabhupada. Aside from this, there are dozens of other ideas floating around ISKCON today which are compeltely offensive to Srila Prabhupada and/or contrary to what he actually taught. In reply to a few devotees who were repeating Srila Prabhupada’s instructions that the spiritual master lives in sound and through his instructions, one of the bogus guru apologists named Ravindra Svarupa once remarked “why don’t you just write Srila Prabhupada a letter and see if he responds?” (Ritvik debate – San Diego, CA). These offensive ideas are going on in the showbottle ISKCON on many levels, and its members are simply repeating them, like blind parrots.

“Caitanya Mahāprabhu strictly prohibits that if one is not a Vaiṣṇava, don’t hear from him. Avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtam, śravaṇaṁ naiva kartavyam. “But he’s such a learned man,” or “He’s writes so nicely, correctly.” But because he’s not Vaiṣṇava, one should not hear from him. “Why? It is so nicely written.” No. Sarpocchiṣṭaṁ yathā payaḥ. Milk is very good food, everyone knows. But as soon as it is touched by the lips of a serpent, it is poison immediately. Therefore it is forbidden. And one who has no knowledge how to respect guru, how he can become Vaiṣṇava? Chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā nistāra pāyeche kebā, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says. If you don’t become a faithful servant of Vaiṣṇava, there is no possibility of your liberation.” (Lecture: Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.44 — Vrndavana, October 4, 1976)

“No learned man should be willing to hear a person who does not represent the original acarya. So the speaker and the audience were bona fide in this meeting where Bhagavatam was being recited for the second time. That should be the standard of recitation of Bhagavatam, so that the real purpose can be served without difficulty. Unless this situation is created, Bhagavatam recitation for extraneous purposes is useless labor both for the speaker and for the audience.” (SB 1.4.1 purport)

Hearing from cheap preachers or gurus will not be effective

“Avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūta-hari-kathāmṛtam, śravaṇaṁ na kartavyam: “You should not hear.” “Eh? Huh? What is the wrong there? The Kṛṣṇa-kathā is there.” No, Kṛṣṇa-kathā is there just like milk is there, but if it is touched by the lips of a serpent, it is no more to be taken. It has become poison. Unless one is situated as pure Vaiṣṇava in his dealing, in his behavior, inside and outside, he should not become a preacher because it will not be effective, neither one should hear from such person. But people in general, they can not understand, but those who are preaching, they must be very sincere, the same way. Rūpa-raghunātha pade, haibe ākuti. They should read the literatures, the instruction, just like Upadeśāmṛta, The Nectar of Instruction. We should follow, strictly follow. Then pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt. Then you’ll be able to preach and make disciples all over the world. This is the injunction. That is called gosvāmī. Don’t be cheap preacher, cheap guru. No, no. That is not good. It is not possible.” (Lectures : SB 7.9: Lecture: Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.28 — Mayapur, March 6, 1976)

Futile hearing; No chance to advance further

“Those who are not vaiṣṇava, those who are not devotees, one should not hear from them. It is useless. It is useless, waste of time. Śravaṇaṁ na kartavyaṁ sarpocchiṣṭaṁ payo yathā. Just like milk touched by the lips of a serpent is poison. You cannot say it is milk, very nice. No. Because it is touched by the lips of the serpent it is useless. Similarly, as soon as a professional reciter or a avaiṣṇava reciter, without any realization, without being a devotee of the Lord cites, recites, that should not be heard. That is restricted by Sanātana Gosvāmī. Avaiṣṇava mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtaṁ śravaṇaṁ naiva kartavyam. Because you’ll not derive any benefit. You go on hearing for thousand of years. Thousands of years, still you’ll remain where you were in the beginning.”
Lecture: Nectar of Devotion Lectures : The Nectar of Devotion — Bombay, January 10, 1973

“If one always follows the orders of the spiritual master, there is no question of falling down. As soon as a foolish disciple tries to overtake his spiritual master and becomes ambitious to occupy his post, he immediately falls down. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ’pi . If the spiritual master is considered an ordinary man, the disciple surely loses his chance to advance further.” (SB 5.12.14 purport)

Hearing from bogus sources becomes a source of death

“Vedic literature is like the milk ocean of knowledge. Cream or butter is the most palatable essence of milk, and so also is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, for it contains all palatable, instructive and authentic versions of different activities of the Lord and His devotees. There is no gain, however, in accepting the message of Bhāgavatam from the unbelievers, atheists and professional reciters who make a trade of Bhāgavatam for the laymen. It was delivered to Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and he had nothing to do with the Bhāgavata business. He did not have to maintain family expenses by such trade. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam should therefore be received from the representative of Śukadeva, who must be in the renounced order of life without family encumbrance. Milk is undoubtedly very good and nourishing, but when it is touched by the mouth of a snake it is no longer nourishing; rather, it becomes a source of death. Similarly, those who are not strictly in the Vaiṣṇava discipline should not make a business of this Bhāgavatam and become a cause of spiritual death for so many hearers.” (SB 1.3.41 purport)

Srila Prabhupada’s real instructions are not being repeated or heard properly

“After receiving the spiritual master’s mercy, one must repeat his instructions, and this is called śravaṇa-kīrtana-hearing and chanting. One who has not properly heard from the spiritual master or who does not follow the regulative principles is not fit for chanting (kīrtana). This is explained in Bhagavad-gītā (2.41): vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana. One who has not listened carefully to the instructions of the spiritual master is unfit to chant or preach the cult of devotional service. One has to water the bhakti-latā-bīja after receiving instructions from the spiritual master.” (CC Madhya 19.152) 

 Bona fide disciples of Srila Prabhupada are being banned by so-called big devotees

“Śrī CaitanyaMahāprabhu has said: asat-saṅga-tyāga,-ei vaiṣṇava-ācāra. The first business of a Vaiṣṇava is to give up the company of nondevotees.  A so-called mature devotee, however, commits a great offense by giving up the company of pure devotees.” (CC Madhya 19.157)

Bogus gurus and leaders have acted most duplicitously in their dealings with devotees

“Kuṭīnāṭī, or diplomatic behavior, cannot satisfy the ātmā, the soul. It cannot even satisfy the body or the mind. The culprit mind is always suspicious; therefore our dealings should always be straightforward and approved by Vedic authorities. If we treat people diplomatically or duplicitously, our spiritual advancement is obstructed.” (CC Madhya 19.159)

Activities those who have not heard properly have nothing to do with pure devotional service

“If one is misled by unwanted creepers and is victimized, he cannot make progress back to Godhead. Rather, he remains within the material world and engages in activities having nothing to do with pure devotional service.” (CC Madhya 19.160)

Associating with a society of devotees still requires some discrimination

“Similarly, it is recommended that one associate with devotees, but there must be some discrimination. Actually, a sādhu, a saintly person, must be saintly in his behavior (sādhavaḥ sad-ācārāḥ). Unless one adheres to the standard behavior, one’s position as a sādhu, a saintly person, is not complete. Therefore a Vaiṣṇava, a sādhu, must completely adhere to the standard of behavior.” (SB 7.7.30-31 : purport)

Associate with those fixed in the standard understanding / character

“One who approaches the Supreme Lord to render devotional service, but who is proud of his personality, envious of others or vengeful, is in the mode of anger. He thinks that he is the best devotee. Devotional service executed in this way is not pure; it is mixed and is of the lowest grade, tāmasaḥ. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura advises that a Vaiṣṇava who is not of good character should be avoided. A Vaiṣṇava is one who has taken the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the ultimate goal of life, but if one is not pure and still has motives, then he is not a Vaiṣṇava of the first order of good character. One may offer his respects to such a Vaiṣṇava because he has accepted the Supreme Lord as the ultimate goal of life, but one should not keep company with aVaiṣṇava who is in the mode of ignorance.” (SB 3.29.8 : Purport)

“We should befriend and offer special respect to persons who are developed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Other living entities are undoubtedly part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, but because their consciousness is still covered and not developed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we should renounce their association. It is said by Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura that even if one is a Vaiṣṇava, if he is not of good character his company should be avoided, although he may be offered the respect of a Vaiṣṇava. Anyone who accepts Viṣṇu as the Supreme Personality of Godhead is accepted as a Vaiṣṇava, but a Vaiṣṇava is expected to develop all the good qualities ofthe demigods.” ( SB 3.29.16 : Purport)

“In Bhagavad-gītā there is reference to bodhayantaḥ parasparam, “discussing among themselves.” Generally pure devotees utilize their valuable time in chanting and discussing various activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa or Lord Caitanya amongst themselves. There are innumerable books, such as the purāṇas, Mahābhārata, Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā and Upaniṣads, which contain countless subjects for discussion among two devotees or more. Friendship should be cemented between persons with mutual interests and understanding. Such persons are said to be sva jāti, “of the same caste.” The devotee should avoid a person whose character is not fixed in the standard understanding; even though he may be a Vaiṣṇava, or a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, if his character is not correctly representative, then he should be avoided. One should steadily control the senses and the mind and strictly follow the rules and regulations, and he should make friendship with persons of the same standard.” (SB 3.29.17 : Purport)

Associate with a society of bona fide devotees

“One should not hear anything about Kṛṣṇa from a non-Vaiṣṇava. Milk touched by the lips of a serpent has poisonous effects; similarly, talks about Kṛṣṇa given by a non-Vaiṣṇava are also poisonous.” One must be a bona fide devotee, and then he can preach and impress devotional service upon his listeners.” (SB 6.17.40 : Purport)

Nondevotees in the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Society / Associating with them

“There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaiṣṇavas in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected. There is no need to serve a jealous person who is in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava. When Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava sevā nistāra payeche kebā, he is indicating an actual Vaiṣṇava, not an envious or jealous person in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava.” (Cc Madhya-lila 1.218 purport)

“If one thinks that there are many pseudo devotees or nondevotees in the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Society, one can keep direct company with the spiritual master, and if there is any doubt, one should consult the spiritual master. However, unless one follows the spiritual master’s instructions and the regulative principles governing chanting and hearing the holy name of the Lord, one cannot become a pure devotee. By one’s mental concoctions, one falls down. By associating with nondevotees, one breaks the regulative principles and is thereby lost.” (Cc Madhya-lila 19.157)

Compromising one’s philosophy with nondevotees

“One may also try to be a cheap Vaiṣṇava by chanting in a secluded place for material adoration, or one may desire mundane reputation by making compromises with nondevotees, compromising one’s philosophy or spiritual life, or one may become a supporter of a hereditary caste system. All these are pitfalls of personal sense gratification. Just to cheat some innocent people, one makes a show of advanced spiritual life and becomes known as a sādhu, mahātmā or religious person. All this means that the so-called devotee has become victimized by all these unwanted creepers and that the real creeper of bhakti-latā-bīja has been stunted.” (Cc Madhya-lila 19.159)

“The word jīva-hiṁsā (envy of other living entities) actually means stopping the preaching of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Preaching work is described as paropakāra, welfare activity for others. Those who are ignorant of the benefits of devotional service must be educated by preaching. If one stops preaching and simply sits down in a solitary place, he is engaging in material activity. If one desires to make a compromise with the Māyāvādīs, he is also engaged in material activity. A devotee should never make compromises with nondevotees. By acting as a professional guru, mystic yogī or miracle man, one may cheat and bluff the general public and gain fame as a wonderful mystic, but all this is considered to be dust, straw and grains of sand within the heart. In addition, one should follow the regulative principles and not desire illicit sex, gambling, intoxicants or meat.” (Cc Madhya-lila 12.135)

Must accept Srila Prabhupada, the bona fide spiritual master by simply agreeing to be directed by him

Without accepting a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, one cannot find out the real purpose of devotional service. Therefore one has to accept the shelter of a bona fide spiritual master and agree to be directed by him. The first business of a pure devotee is to satisfy his spiritual master, whose only business is to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ: if one can satisfy the spiritual master, Kṛṣṇa is automatically satisfied. This is the success of devotional service.  (CC Madhya 19.168)


This page is a progressive compilation of quotes from Srila Prabhupada’s books on the subject matter of association with devotees. Additional quotes are occasionally added.