June 12, 1999 VNN4083 See Related VNN Stories | Comment on this story
BY PRAGHOSA DAS
EDITORIAL, Jun 12 (VNN) Dear Prabhus, in a recent article posted on this website, an individual was complaining that the GBC was not interested in reading his speculations about Srila Prabhupada's departure. Apparently there has been some effort made to make the claim that Srila Prabhupada's departure was "hastened" by malicious disciples, who painstakingly poisoned him over a period of months in order to capture power and enjoy the Position of His Divine Grace.
First, I would like to say that this speaks volumes about the level of distrust and animosity with which the Leadership of ISKCON is regarded(or disregarded) at the present moment of our history.
Bone fide leaders who are actually interested in serving the mission of His Divine Grace should not dismiss this odious business as being preposterous and "beneath" them. Quite the contrary, this should be dealt with clearly and decisively. The fact that the overall track record of the GBC body has been so ridiculous, wasteful, inconsiderate, and at times actually vicious and fallen, has generated a climate in which even the most incredulous statements can be made about them, their actions and their motives and a segment of the society will accept these statements to be reality.
Some years ago HH Jayadwaita wrote an article wherein he sought to elaborate just how or "Where the Ritviks were right".
This article enumerates an endless stream of both offensive and incompetent actions foisted upon the ISKCON society by what he erroneously called "the Iskcon Gurus".
Detailing a list of offenses that spanned a veritable cornicopia of rot, from sex with disciples, mismanagment of funds and properties that bordered on the insane to outright theft and criminal mistreatment of Srila Prabhupada's disciples and children, the maharaja laid it out for everyone to see. So there exists a kind of worldwide knee-jerk reaction by a rather large segment of the devotee world that is ready to believe almost anything stated about the GBC-provided those statements are negative! After all, years ago a devotee complained to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada that "some devotee had stolen his shoes". Srila Prabhupada immediately said "Then he's not devotee! Devotees do not steal!!"
I personally witnessed His Divine Grace on a morning walk in Vrndavana in 1976 questioned by one devotee "Srila Prabhupada, if a devotee gets initiated and then later he falls and cannot maintain the principals", Srila Prabhupada immediately interrupted him, "Then he's animal, he's animal that's all! Human life means four regulative principals!" So Jayadwaita Swami's assessment that "ISKCON Gurus" could ever have done the horrific things he accused them of represents the fundamental reason for why so many devotees could give any credence to these new allegations-certainly the most severe thus far.
However I believe that to entertain a discussion about this topic as having any real relevance to Krsna Conciousness is completely futile. The author of the article assumes that his audience has no understanding of the true position of the "Saktyavesha Avatatar". Srila Prabhupada's position and thus his appearance,lila and dissappearance are all equally and totally DIVINE. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur clearly described the true position of the Spiritual Master in an essay entitled "The Erotic Principle and Unalloyed Devotion" wherein he writes: "The Guru is not a mortal erring creature like ourselves. He is the eternal servant of Krishna whom He sends into this world for the deliverance of causless Divine Mercy, in order to help us rise out of the depths of sin to our natural state of absolute purity by methods perfectly consistent with the principles of our unbiased reason.As long as we refuse to listen to him we are doomed to misunderstand everything."
This is the description of the superexcellent position of the Vaisnava Acharya. He is the ultimate "Tadiyah" He is non- different than any other aspect of the Lord's protected paraphanalia. Protected!!! The Bhagavad Gita Clearly states that The devotee is permanently under the protection of the Daivi Prakriti. The Lord's own superexcellent internal energy!!!Mare Krsna Rake Ke Rake Krsna Mare Ke When Krsna Protects NO ONE CAN KILL!! Never has there ever been one more dear and never will there be one more dear! Never! Never! Never!
In 1973 Srila Prabhupada arrived in La Guardia Airport and was escorted to an area that had been set aside for him downstairs in the Baggage claim. He took a seat there and was immediately surrounded by eager reporters seeking an opportunity to question him. One such gentleman placed a microphone in front of His Divine Grace and queried, "Your excellency, at what age did you first fully realize God?" Srila Prabhupada looked upon this sincere soul, smiled and said, "Well, that would be a little difficult to explain, but for your understanding perhaps 4 or 5 years old!" It has become fashionable for many individuals to attempt to "explain" His Divine Grace and reveal what Srila Prabhupada must have meant when he would say this or that. Even his directives and managerial instructions for ISKCON have fallen prey to those who "really know what he meant". But myself I always took him at his word- literally. So when he says 4 or 5 years old, he means 4 or 5 years old. When he tells us in Bhagavad Gita that both he and his spiritual master had the good fortune to take birth "in such acharya families" and then later on, met by the arrangement of the "transcendental system", I take it literally! Bas! Does anyone doubt that the appearance of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada on the immediate day after Janmastami was anything less than the Superexcellent continuatuion of the Superexcellent Pastimes of the Supreme Person Sri Krsna Himself. The celebration of the Appearance of the Lord to be followed by the celebration of the Lord's Divine Grace the very next day for the next 10,000 years!!!!!!! To think that such a calculated and Superexcellent Gift from Lord Krsna to this planet could end so pathetically belies a total misunderstanding of the Reality of Krsna Himself. Every potency, known and unknown, is manifested within the Holy Name. Krsna is His Name!! Golokera Prema Dana Hari Nama Sankirtana The Holy Name descends to this world from Goloka Vrndavana. He is transmitted far and wide by His Internal Associates and Pure Devotees. The Vaisnava Acharya is the embodiment of full absorbtion in and service to the Holy Name. He never-ever ever ever ever comes under the influence of Maya. He is never subjected to the capricious whim of the external energy! His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami is and always was eternally liberated. That means his entire lila here in this nightmare called the material world, while to some may have appeared "ordinary" was never anything less than the Superexcellent Mercy of Lord Krsna upon the conditioned souls of this world! That is not sentiment-That is fact and all scripture proclaims it!!
Srila Prabhupada gave us the Maha Mantra. He gave us the Narasimha Prayers to be chanted after each and every arotrik. He said "Go forth and announce: Akamah Sarva kamo 'va Moksakama Udaradhi Tivrena Bhakti Yogena Yajeta purusam param. Listen up people. Whether you have no material desire-you are full of material desire- or you want liberation from material desire come to Krsna!! Surrender to Krsna He will accept you! He will protect you!!Protect! So Srila Prabhupada had thousands of disciples inspired to "FEARLESSLY" preach the Holy Name all over the Globe under the "Protection" of the Lord but when all is said and done, a few malicious and clever disciples were able to outsmart the Supreme Personality Of Godhead in one of His rare "Distracted" moments and slip His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada some poison and achieve their childhood dream of taking over a religious cult! Hare Krsna!
Some may argue that "Well of course we know that Srila Prabhpada couldn't actually be poisoned Praghosa!" Of course we know his position. Do you think your estimation of Srila Prabhupada exceeds our own? That is not the point. The point is that these men thought it could be done! That is the point." Well my response to that is very simple. You could never prove that they indeed did make the foolish attempt. So why bring it up? If there was indeed some foolish attempt on the part of any devotee to harm Krsna's dearmost servant they are already living in hell! But accusing them of such malicious intent overlooks a very basic fact. History has recorded that Srila Prabhupada asked Tamal Krsna Goswami, Bhavananda Goswami,and Jayapataka Swami to initiate disciples on his behalf. He also left them on the GBC as Secretaries. So you are saying: Either Srila Prabhupada did not know what they were up to or 2. He knew but either did not care and callously left the balance of his 5000 disciples in the hands of pure evil just before leaving us or was too "helpless" to actually do anything about it. Each of these proposals is absurd on it's face and if studied more deeply are actually seen as MaHa-Aparadha!!And I do mean Maha-Aparadha! To imply even remotely that Srila Prabhupada suffered a diminished "awareness" due to his physical condition and was thus incapable of knowing what his disciples were up to at that time begs a direct question and merits an honest answer. If Srila Prabhupada was incapable of "knowing" what was in the heart of his envious disciples at that time, when he was actually right there with them, then why in the world would you bother to pray to him now!! Why would you have any confidence that he would be "conscious" of your prayers now? And if Srila Prabhupada did know that this was going on, yet chose to ignore it and leave and in the process literally abandon the balance of his enormously sincere disciples, why would you try to convince anyone of the "Mercy" or "Compassion" or dare I say it LOVE of the Supreme Lord and His Pure Devotee.
Devotees at that time all over the world were endeavoring with superhuman sincerity to induce Lord Krsna to let His Divine Grace remain with us. You would have us believe that His Divine Grace ignored the desperate pleas of his disciples and left this world in a state of utter disappointment and revulsion. It is my humble opinion that if indeed Srila Prabhupada was given poison, He could have been given enough to eliminate a blue whale, washed it all down with melted lead, exhibited nothing more than a belch, and remained with his loving, tenderhearted and determined servants for as long as Lord Krsna wanted!
So I believe that to imply that Srila Prabhupada was chased out of this world or left in disgust is erroneous at best and Maha-Aparadha at worst. Sober devotees should avoid ever confusing His Divine Grace with "mortal erring creatures like ourselves" lest our faith in the "Full Protection of the Lord" be destroyed. Hare Krsna!
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