02/08/98 - 1587
Future ISKCON Guru Cooperates with Authorities
Alachua, USA (VNN) - (see also VNN story# 1560)
According to reports from Alachua (Florida) Murlivadaka das is
said to be cooperating with temple and other authorities pending
possible charges. Local TV and news media in northern Florida
have interviewed devotees and are covering the story. ISKCON has
stated that he is banned from all ISKCON property.
The recent admissions of child abuse by this headmaster of an
ISKCON gurukula school raises new questions about ISKCON's current
"guru approval system by vote" and its policy regarding some notorious
offenders. If Murlivadaka is banned from ISKCON properties, how
is it that Bhavananda is offered a room in the Sydney ISKCON temple?
Is it because the children he molested were "just" some Indian
VNN has learned that Murlivadaka had filed his "guruship application"
papers just recently after he had been recommended by a local
GBC, Virabahu das and another GBC. He had also been approved by
majority vote of 10 local board member. He would have been approved
to initiate disciples in Mayapur this year.
The so-called "ISKCON law" regarding this states:
1.2. Qualifications of Gurus in ISKCON
1.2.1. Mandatory Qualifications
The following are the minimum qualifications necessary to be approved
as a diksa or siksa guru in ISKCON.
188.8.131.52. Initiated for ten years
Must have been an initiated disciple for at least ten years.
184.108.40.206. Strict follower of vows
Must be strictly following the four regulative principles, regularly
attending the morning program, and chanting sixteen rounds daily.
220.127.116.11. No history of fall-down
Must not have had a fall-down within five years.
18.104.22.168. No tendency toward moral turpitude
Must evince no tendency toward moral turpitude in his present
or past activities.
22.214.171.124. Free from six undesirable qualities
Must be free from the following undesirable qualities:
a) attachment to kamini-kancana, "the devil" in the form of sex
objects and wealth;
b) pratistha, false prestige and personal ambition;
c) nisiddhacara, behavior contrary to vaisnava principles;
d) kuti-nati, diplomatic or duplicitous behavior;
e) puja, the desire for personal worship;
f) labha, mundane profiteering.
Someone could make the case that if the above "minimum qualifications
necessary to be approved as a diksa or siksa guru in ISKCON" were
actually applied, the list of current gurus in ISKCON would shrink
Addendum/Update - 02/10/98
The article above states: "He had also been approved by majority
vote of 10 local board member", which could be interpreted that
the ISKCON board had voted on this issue. In fact, the Alachua
Iskcon board did not vote on Murlivadaka's guru attempt. Rather
Ramiya Prabhu, (not a board member) tried to collect 10 "No Objection"
statements from various community members. At this point it is
not entirly clear how many such "No Objection" votes had been
collected. Sources had told VNN that sufficient "No Objection"
statements had been collected. The Alachua temple president and
other members of the community had sent letters objecting to Murlivadaka's
guru attempt to the GBC long before the molestation allegations
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