Ravindra Svarupa dasa [William Deadwyler] - bugus GBC Sannyas Guru

Ravindra Svarupa dasa - William Deadwyler
Ravindra Svarupa dasa - William Deadwyler

Open Letter to the GBC

Regarding the Assault of a Devotee by Ravindra Svarupa dasa


With deep regret and after much deliberation, I must sadly report the vicious attack of a female devotee by Ravindra Svarupa dasa. The incident occurred over a month ago and I was personally informed of the attack by the victim. Several other congregants were also informed of the attack by the victim. He has also "bragged" about the incident to several others, which is, in itself, deeply disturbing and suggests severe moral and ethical degradation. The devotee was assaulted in the pujari room as she was about to perform Deity service.

The devotee was running late for the offering and Ravindra Svarupa dasa verbally attacked her, screaming at her she was a terrible and offensive devotee and then violently kicked her in her buttocks. The victim has been obviously terrified. I and several other senior devotees have been working to help her. But after lengthy discussions and soul searching, we feel that the only way to address the issue is to make it public.

We are demanding the immediate resignation of Ravindra Svarupa dasa from all positions of authority within ISKCON in accordance to ISKCON's zero tolerance abuse policy. This is obviously a severe abuse of power, especially considering that the devotee is one of his disciples. As a professional educator, I have a professional duty to report all incidences of abuse. If this were to happen at my job, he would be arrested, fired and promptly sued. I feel that not only should Ravindra Svarupa be subjected to the same level of accountability as anyone else, but being in a position of spiritual leadership makes the incident even worse. I am also planning on contacting the police as well as social services.

This incident has weighed heavily on my heart. Being an initiated disciple of Ravindra Svarupa makes this letter even harder to write. I have, unfortunately, witnessed many examples of abuse of power by Ravindra Svarupa throughout my years of association. I do not believe in any way that this incident or any others represent the character of a balanced person, what to speak about the actions of a Vaishnava Guru.

I am writing this letter publicly to induce the GBC to act appropriately, swiftly and thoroughly, especially considering ISKCON's previous problems of abuse. The handling of this incident is being watched carefully by other senior devotees as well and I am also willing to report this incident to the general press. Nothing less than his immediate resignation and removal from ISKCON leadership and properties will be accepted.

I am also writing this letter to inform my dear Godbrothers and Godsisters. I feel they have a right to know about this incident and have the right to make up their own minds about how to personally deal with it. I am also writing this letter as a personal plea to the devotee community to help this individual victim. She is an amazing devotee and absolutely does not deserve to be treated like this. She is living in total fear of retribution and has been systematically harassed and threatened with being thrown out. Being a full time servant of Krishna, she has very little material resources and I am imploring the community of devotees to help her.

I am praying that the Lord will touch Ravindra Svarupa's heart and reveal to him the need of total repentance and contrition. The fact that he gloated about the incident is so horrifying to me. I have personally forgiven him for the horrible things he perpetrated against me. The subject of these actions are outside the scope of this letter. One of the hardest things is to forgive someone who doesn't feel bad about what they have done. I believe that once the Lord reveals the heaviness of the material world alongside His own Magnificence and Glory, it is easy to see how anyone could do anything. Especially considering when power, money and prestige are involved.

We are all ultimately "victims" of the material energy and those who transgress the Laws of Nature and God unfortunately suffer more personally than any suffering they cause others. I believe that everyone, what to speak of Srila Prabhupada's disciples, are there to teach us what to do and also what NOT to do. Unfortunately, Ravindra Svarupa dasa has chosen to teach me the heart wrenching lessons of the latter.


Ravindra Svarupa's Statement


Jan 4, 2007 USA (SUN) — We were interested to read the response from Ravindra Svarupa to recent Sun articles regarding Radhanatha Swami and the New Vrindaban murders.

Ravindra Svarupa explains the philosophical technicalities of the pedophile guru lineage.
"He used to be a bonafide guru, but now that he
is a pedophile we have voted him out as a guru."

For myself and many other longtime members of ISKCON, Ravindra Svarupa's article exemplified the mood of the ISKCON GBC. His response was practically a cookie-cutter product of the Zonal Acarya era mood. Anyone who dares to question the leaders is immediately charged as being a "fault-finder", and is often threatened with ejection from the community of devotees-in-good-standing. If the challenge hits a real nerve, the devotee who dared to raise the question is pounced upon by one of the literary appointees of the GBC. Like Hridayananda, Ravindra Svarupa performs like a literary 'hired gun' for ISKCON. When ISKCON's hot button is hit, these two personalities are often called upon to respond, crushing the challengers with their philosophical brilliance.

Let's keep in mind the various ISKCON leaders who have fallen down and committed horrendous activities under the guiding hand of the GBC. In addition to Kirtanananda, there's been Jayatirtha, Hansadutta, Rameswar, Bhagavan, and Harikesh, to name just a few of the bigger ones. Prior to the "official falldowns" of these individuals, if anyone had questioned or complained, as many are doing today about Radhanatha and other leaders from the New Vrindaban diaspora, they would have instantly been shot down, just as Ravindra Svarupa is attempting to shoot down Giri-nayaka and Janmastami das today.

In fact, it's ironic that Ravindra Svarupa is writing this letter, considering the fact that he likes to tout himself as being the head of the 'reform movement', which helped to officially dismantle the Zonal Acarya system. All the things he says about people who find fault in others also applied to him during his participation as a reformer in the mid-1980's. At that time the limelight was on him, and the GBC were saying similar things about him that he's now saying about other devotees. He tells us that his memory is very sharp when it comes to the New Vrindaban murder trial that took place 15 years ago, but it obviously isn't so sharp when it comes to remembering the reform era. He now pats himself on the back for his bold actions in those days, and apparently doesn't see the hypocrisy of his situation.

According to Ravindra Svarupa, Mr. Stein concluded that Radhanatha was a very saintly person, because "everyone says so". But who is that 'everyone'? The residents of New Vrindaban, who were so bewildered they didn't know they were under the direction of a violent criminal and pedophile for many years? Or was 'everyone' the ISKCON leadership, who had a vested interest in Radhanatha not being implicated in the murders?

We're supposed to accept Mr. Stein's authority as evidence of Radhanatha Swami's character. Ravindra Svarupa says ISKCON's cooperation with law enforcement on the murder investigation began in 1987. The situation wound up in 1993 with the Winnebago Crisis. Let's not forget that during the period of time when Radhanatha was fully a part of the murder investigation and aftermath, which spans almost a decade, Radhanatha was considered persona non grata within ISKCON. In fact, his preaching work in India, primarily in Bombay, was really looked down upon by the GBC, and especially by those who were preaching in Srila Prabhupada's temple at Juhu Beach in Bombay. So for Ravindra Svarupa to now say that Radhanatha was a saintly person on the basis of Michael Stein's observations at that time completely contradicts ISKCON's own position on Radhanatha Swami. Ravindra Svarupa's statements in this regard are clearly tainted by political considerations.

Ravindra Svarupa states that Michael Stein had concluded based on his investigations that Radhanatha Swami was not implicated in any of the criminal activities at New Vrindaban. Yet in today's Sun article, Factual Errors by "Anonymous", who appears to have had a lot to do with the trial, we hear a different story. This individual was directly involved with both the attorneys and the FBI, and he testified in court himself. This is his statement:

    "The U.S. Attorney and the FBI guys I spoke to were convinced there were other “fish” who escaped their nets in connection with this case"

In Ravindra Svarupa's article, he indicates that he remembers exactly what he said to Mr. Stein and to Tirtha. Of course, this is likely just a literary technique employed to make him look important and crucial to the whole circumstance at that point in time.

It's interesting to see how Ravindra Svarupa slyly insinuates that Radhanatha was "difficult", without coming right out and saying what everyone knew to be true at the time - that Radhanatha was hiding out in India. The FBI had to pressure him with the threat that he could never safely come back to the U.S. unless he showed up for a 'meeting' with them. Ravindra Svarupa covers himself on the "meeting" point by adding "or maybe an interrogation". Yes, maybe. There's no question that it was an interrogation, and Radhanatha was considered to be implicated at the time. We've already heard from persons directly involved in the murders that he was implicated -- that he was personally involved. But according to Ravindra Svarupa, we're supposed to have faith in Radhanatha Swami's saintliness based on what Mr. Stein supposedly had to say, ignoring the recent statements of people who were directly involved in the murder, who say it was Radhanatha that orchestrated Sulocana's murder.

It's also important to note the genesis of these conspiracy allegations. This was obviously not a staged attack on Radhanatha. These disclosures came as the result of what was clearly a spontaneous thread of discussion - what the court would call "excited utterances". One after another, individuals who have apparently had little connection to one another for many years have come forward with this information. So for anyone to casually brush that aside on the merit of Ravindra Svarupa's arguments would be questionable.

Ravindra Svarupa tells us that Mr. Stein accepted a plea bargain, as though that were another indication of Radhanatha's innocence. But in today's Factual Errors article, a very different scenario is provided.

We should also remember how the U.S. judicial system works. Decisions on how and when to prosecute are not made simply based on findings of innocence or guilt. Every day, government prosecutors come up against America's toughest lawyers, which ultimately means that it's not always financially expedient to carry on prosecutions beyond a certain point. Like any businessman, the judicial officers weigh the cost-benefit ratios of each case. That's how it works. You hire a good lawyer and the prosecutors have to consider the economic factors -- how much time, money and personal reputation is at stake, and what are the risks vs. the potential benefits? Let's also keep in mind that Radhanatha did not simply rely on devotee legal representation, believing his innocence would protect him. As Janmastami dasa points out, Radhanatha arranged to be protected by a high-powered lawyer.

Ravindra Svarupa states that "The government is not going to reopen its case". How is it that he has such absolute information about what the law enforcement officials will and will not do? According to the comments above, they did believe that other "fish" had escaped their nets. It's not that they had investigated and they felt totally confident that they had achieved and executed pure justice, the way Ravindra Svarupa is making it out to be. While he tries to reassure the rest of the movement that this case will never be opened again, he has absolutely no guarantee of this at all. It's just wishful thinking on his part, and dishonesty, because it can't be known to be true.

All it would take for this case to be reopened is for Tirtha to turn on Radhanatha, and for individuals like Janmastami dasa and others with direct information and evidence, who never came forward during the investigation, to now publicly disclose what they know. All it takes is for the right new pieces to fall into place. Add to that the possibilities of political expedience, wherein the right political circumstances present themselves: somebody wants to be elected, or appointed, or wants to prevent someone from being elected. This case could be leveraged by someone in the system. Thanks to new technologies like DNA testing, cold cases are being re-opened all the time now. In fact, thanks to American television, cold cases have actually become trendy.

While Ravindra Svarupa states time and again in his article how much faith he has in the American legal system and their prosecuting attorneys, he apparently has no faith whatsoever in anyone who is concerned about this whole situation, and dares to question the GBC about it. Such persons are only interested in causing "distress, agitation, and misgivings". That's their only motive. At the same time, Ravindra Svarupa makes Tirtha Prabhu out to be practically a saintly person. His narration of events during the investigation, and Tirtha's intimate conversations with him, almost sound as though he's acting as Tirtha's guru, giving him all good advice. Now he tells us that Tirtha dasa is very wonderful, because he's taken shelter of the Holy Name. Never mind that Janmastami dasa and Giri-nayaka dasa have also taken shelter of the Holy Name. That comparison doesn't matter - all that matters is that one prabhu doesn't challenge the ISKCON authorities, while the other two do.

And while Ravindra Svarupa is so moved by the importance of Tirtha having taken shelter of the Holy Name, we note that in the midst of the crisis, when Tirtha phoned him for help, Ravindra Svarupa's advice then wasn't that he simply take shelter of the Holy Name and pray to Krsna and Srila Prabhupada. He advised him to just cooperate with the prosecuting attorney, emphatically saying that "truth is the best prayascitta". Not chanting the Holy Name or praying to Krsna in his heart, but cooperating with the government authorities and turning against Kirtanananda, despite the fact that Tirtha said it would be physically dangerous to himself to do so.

Ravindra Svarupa goes on to describe how he personally met Tirtha dasa. Now how is it that he took the time, energy and obviously we assume some of ISKCON's funds, to go and visit Tirtha and observe how he was healing from his wounds after being attacked? He tells us the story of Tirtha's having said "I belong in here", in prison for my crimes. Ravindra Svarupa concludes that Tirtha had reached such a high level of purification on the basis of this statement that he deserved all forgiveness from Krsna for killing two devotees. Then he goes into using our philosophy to essentially justify protecting Radhanatha and, of course, ISKCON's prison ministry.

It would be interesting to know just how many times Ravindra Svarupa has visited "Tirtha Prabhu/master" in jail. It must have been quite often, because according to him, Tirtha "clearly exhibits the symptoms of one advanced in sincerely cultivating the Holy Name." So what are these symptoms? Tirtha can't give up everything, because the State took it all away, so he has nothing to renounce. Is this a great solution for anyone who wants to make advancement in Krsna consciousness - to be sent to jail?

It is also fascinating to note the degree of direct, personal support Ravindra Svarupa offers to Radhanatha Swami in his article. Basically, he only states that Radhanatha "clearly exhibits the symptoms of one advanced in sincerely cultivating the Holy Name." That's the extent of the detail Ravindra Svarupa provides in his personal testimony.

As part of his so-called Vaisnava "siddhantic explanation" of how great Tirtha is, Ravindra Svarupa tells us that Tirtha personifies how all devotees should approach Krsna. Yet we heard directly from Tirtha just a few days ago, and got a very different impression. Here's the person who's supposedly chanting such beautiful rounds, yet the letter he wrote doesn't indicate that mood one little bit. He didn't forgive Janmastami, and he didn't communicate any indication of remorse -- all the symptoms that Ravindra Svarupa is projecting onto this person. In his letter, Tirtha calls Janmastami a "blasphemer", which is certainly a case of pot-kettle-black. Tirtha admits that he shielded Janmastami, and given the fact that to this very day, Tirtha has not come clean and disclosed these circumstances to the public, let alone to the law enforcement officials, we can see that he is not yet remediated into the honest, blissfully chanting devotee Ravindra Svarupa would make him out to be. After attempting to defame him as a marijuana grower, Tirtha goes on to outright threaten Janmastami, suggesting that he could make arrangements to have Janmastami "interviewed" by the U.S. Attorneys Office if he continues his "moronic rantings". Does this sound to you like the mood of a humble, repentant Vaisnava simply absorbing himself in the Holy Name as he sits out his prison sentence?

Ravindra Svarupa obviously thinks so - enough so that he's willing to characterize Janmastami and Giri-nayaka prabhus as having 'wandered into the quicksand swamp of fault-finding' for having raised questions and disclosed facts about the case. Ravindra Svarupa clearly infers that Janmastami and Giri-nayaka are like the worst of the full-time fault-finders, members of the Ramacandra Puri sampradaya. Their only motive is to cause havoc within ISKCON, and this is an indication of some deep rooted mentality wherein they don't want to purify themselves. So they can just go on fault-finding all those pure souls like himself, and the GBC, and of course, Radhanatha Swami.

In his attempts to smash the ISKCON critic, Ravindra Svarupa goes so far as to describe Giri-Nayaka dasa in the same breath as even Janmastami, who by his own admission was implicated in the murders. Yet Giri-nayaka's only fault was that he asked the GBC to respond to the allegations against Radhanatha, all the while stating that he had not personally taken sides and was simply interested in understanding the GBC's position on the matter. By doing so, he unfortunately "fell into the quicksand". Ravindra Svarupa is essentially saying that fault-finding the GBC is worse than killing devotees and going to jail for life.

For Ravindra Svarupa to use the Holy Name as a weapon, and to claim that the Holy Name will not act on such fault-finding persons, is most questionable. He is essentially using the ultimate weapon against devotees. And this is his proclamation, as such a great spiritual leader -- that the Holy Name is not going to work for anyone who fault-finds the GBC.

Perhaps the most telling statement of all in Ravindra Svarupa's article is the last, wherein he essentially threatens Janmastami and Giri-nayaka with death. Having already clearly told them that they were simply fault-finders, he now reminds them that by falling further into the quicksand swamp, they may be falling into mortal danger. He doesn't suggest that their spiritual lives will be in danger… he uses the term "mortal danger", which means the death of their physical bodies. So this is really a threat. On this note, he signs off by calling himself a "fallen servant".


Ravindra Svarupa - GBC Front Man?

Jan 14, — Over the last 22+ years, Ravindra Svarupa has played a dominant front man role on the GBC. The reason is that he has bought into the game of dominant crooks in ISKCON leadership. Thus the crooks are more than happy to have Ravindra Svarupa in front defending them and washing their dirty laundry.

Ravindra Svarupa was already on the front line during 1988 to 1994 in North American GBC and Temple President's meetings. Then came the Gopi Bhava game of Tamal Krishna and his buddies in 1995, the explosion of Rittvik and poison issues in 1997, and the fall of Harikesa. Thus each of these cases has added to his dominant role.

Next came Naveen Krishna's stand that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned and Ravindra's counter declaration that Naveen was trying to poison the GBC into thinking that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned. That is when Ravindra Svarupa and Tamal Krishna became even closer.

It is important that Ravindra Svarupa be brought into the crosshairs in regard to what has taken place since the erection of the Multiple Acarya Successor System (MASS) in 1986.

Recently, Back to Prabhupada magazine quoted Jayadvaita Swami, who was complaining against the GBC, and that may mean complaining against Ravindra Swarup also. On the other hand, However, Jayadvaita Swami is with the GBC in regards to the MASS.

Giri-nayaka dasa writes in his article in regard to Ravindra Svarupa and ISKCON leaders in general:

"I listened to the seminar from Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu, explaining his pop-psychology views on fault-finding and criticizing. It is interesting, how Ravindra Svarupa's views are exactly the same as Mahatma Prabhu's, or Sita-pati prabhu's. It is clear, that those views are accepted in the ISKCON institution as standard. We all know examples with fingers pointing forth and back, and similar. Numerous examples telling us to be quiet. And always followed by warning of eternal damnation through Vaisnava aparadha."

The GBC have worked on cover-up methods for 30 years. They implanted certain ideas into our brain, and we allowed them to do so. Now they keep serving us other nonsense, such as "The Secret" pop-psycho win-all method presented by the GBC at the New Vrindaban 2007 meeting. Clearly we should find no fault in such nonsense.

The last 30 years were in light of their ideas, and those questioning their decisions and actions were labeled as fault-finding Vaisnavas, and even as Ramacandra Puri fault-finding Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

They implemented ideas of anti-fault-finding, and they used all that was necessary to make sure that everybody must submit to their ideas -- their way or the highway. They did it perfectly, as they wanted to do it. Nobody stood in their way, all opposition was removed. But observe the results. 30 years after Srila Prabhupada's vision of all other religions being gone, the only religion gone is GBC religion. Well, judging by the results, they must have done something wrong! "

Let us call for devotees all over the world to shed light on Ravindra Svarupa dasa.

Gadhadhara dasa



From: (Stephen Voith)
To: pratyatosa1@hotmail.com (Pratyatosa Dasa)
CC: angel108b@yahoo.com
Subject: Yes, I quite agree!

Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 23:27:19 -0400 (EDT)

Dear Prabhu, thank you for the insight!

You have stated the obvious: 'Tis folly to be wise where ISGONE is bliss. (ISGONE: Int'l Society for Godless Ostriches Nearing Extinction). Anyway, don't waste valuable time trying to convince the Prabhupada-killers. How much success could Christ's followers have made preaching to avid (rabid?) supporters of Judas (& friends, family, sympathizers, well-wishers, apologists, sociologists, etc.)? Know what I mean? These guys have rationalized torturing their (former) gurudeva to death, so what won't such madmen proclaim?

Hey, I explained years ago that the main murderer of Srila Prabhupada and his movement, one Ravindra Svarupa dasa (aka Rabidog Svarupa, aka Robin Braindeadrotweiler Svarupa Prabhu, aka Ravandraksa Svarupa, etc., etc.) had not only harbored dangerous child rapists at centers under his (inauspicious) auspices (such as child-murderer, Murli (surly) Vadaka (aka Murlivadakoit), Hans Bickel, etc., but that this raksasa had also embezzled mucho moula from the farm, cows, cowherds, Prabhupada, etc. and had also allowed cows to be horrbly neglected and abused, and his and their explanation (three year later) was NOT a denial (of the facts), but simply a rationalization.

Criminals always act this way. You catch them, expose them, bring in incontrovertible proof about their egregious plots, schemes and conspiracies, and when they can no longer avoid the public trouncing, they finally patheically admit it (what EVERYBODY FULLY KNOWS AND BELIEVES BY NOW!), and then go on to justify it--or, as in the case of the well-publicized Sulocana murder (Monkey On a Stick), where the press and law enforcement are heavily breathing down their backs---then they forge a phony reform, sanitize the whole mess by some political double speak and superficial repentence act, and then, when they perceive the heat is no longer on 'em, they go back to busness as usuaL AS WAS DONE BY RAVINDRA HIMSELF in "Monkey On a Stick". He was their big, big reformer to go to bat for Tamal Gunaweed, Satsvaruppa, and other gay, homo former LSD buddies... If you want a good look at their real bankrupt nature, I have a videoclip taken at Rathayatra, NY, 1997, and for over 6 minutes RS is silent as I ask him about his false reforms, child molest coverups, embezzlements, guru murder, etc. in front of hundreds of people, and no shame, no reply, no response, except typical smirking, which intensified the more I dwelled on the murder of Srila Prabhupada, and coverup thereof...

As far as your point about the demons (false gurus) should worship the gurucoolies, and not vice versa, well that's true if the children have the right conception. And it was certainly true when they were young and pure. Even Srila Prabhupada said that--and he said it was the others responsibility to ensure that they (GKs) remain pure, and grow up with the correct conception (ie. Prabhupada/Krishna consciousness!) Anyway, there exist a million examples of precedents where the demons and raksasas insist that the devatas worship themselves, such as Hiranyakasipu subjugating the demigods and attempting to enforce his own worship on to his son, Prahlada M. Or, of course Kamsa wanted to stop sacrifices, and hinder worship of the demigods, and Ravana wanted to steal heaven away from the devas, etc. so naturally the envious guru-killing, child-swallowing raksasas of molestcon want to first abuse, kill, torture, even cannibalize the poor children, and then blame them for their own atrocities, and demand full worship also. what better proof exists of their demonhood?! know what I mean? Please read SP's last letter to Arundhati dd, dated 30 July, '72. therein His Divine Grace explains that the children are in fact suppposed to be worshipped by their 'superiors'; that's becuse the children THEMSELVES are "Vaikuntha chidren", and not the other way around.

Get it? And, it's obvious, moreover, that if the guys (and gals) had followed SP's instruction, they too could have become redeemed as Vaikuntha children (quote unquote), and the fact that they did the opposite of "worship" these fine, God-sent souls, proves your point that they are not qualified tosit in the seat of guru or intrctor guru, or any position of respectability at all. Bhagavad Gita states : "The learned and GENTLE sage sees with equal vision..." learned always carries with it the responsibility of GENTLE also; otherwise such knowledge (and possessors thereof) become the most dangerous and calamitous thing in society ("milk touched by lips of serpants...") Recall please the pastime of Lord Balarama chastising the father of Sri Suta Gosvami (Romaharsana Suta), when the latter was puffed up before the All-merciful Lord. Lord Balarama admitted at that time that He and His brother had advented themselves just to rid the world of such dangerous persons who pose as learned but don't display the concommitant quality of GENTLENESS...

Ys, Sanatana dasa


From: Alex J.
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2009 10:03:54 +0000

Subject: "...the rare mystic power to be two persons at the same time."

As I read the article on Sampradaya Sun, I thought about the sort of rationalizations and self-talk that might take place in the mind of someone who, for example, considers themselves a follower of Hridayananda. I had an experience with a follower of Hridayananda, some years back, that I found quite painful. I still think about it, on and off. And it does not feel fully resolved to me. Though I feel better about having finally honestly confronted the person, some time ago.

As I think back to that experience, with that person, and to the pain I felt, I wonder about the sort of inner tensions that might have been present in the person that I interacted with. When we take Krsna Consciousness to heart, we put all of ourselves into it, we invest our identity, our time, our heart, our hope. We want to give ourselves fully and not hold back.

In my own interactions with Ravindra Svarupa, I certainly felt an inner tension. I "understood" that I should surrender, but my heart and gut said: "No!". Then I would explain to myself that this was just maya, and that I was just unwilling to "surrender to the process" or whatever. And the tension would increase. The more I interacted with him, the less I wanted to surrender to him. The less I wanted to surrender to him, the more internal tension and self-blame. Eventually, even though it did not make sense in my then paradigm, I just didn't care anymore. I remember thinking something like:

"Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm, a bad person and an aparadhi, or whatever. Maybe I'm in maya, but I know I don't want this. I don't want to be part of this. This is not what I signed up for. This is not what I want!"

In 1995, I grabbed onto KC in desperation, like a drowning man grabbing onto a floating piece of wood. I felt like I was fighting for my sanity and my life. Gradually, as many of the self-destructive patterns that had gotten me to that point started to diminish, little by little, through applying Srila Prabhupada's teachings, I could see that I was in a sick environment.

In an Amazon review of the book Anti-Freud, a reviewer quotes Karl Kraus' line "Psycho-analysts are the disease posing as the cure".

I had experience of stuff in ISKCON that really felt like that, like a disease disguised as a cure, or as medicine mixed with poison. When I first came in contact with KC, I experienced a rapid improvement in my experience of my own life. I started to feel better, fast. And even in the midst of a very stressful and intense life situation, I felt safe, protected, loved by God, and nourished. Externally there was chaos around me, but inside I could feel some fragment of KC, and that fragment warmed me like a fire in winter.

Then gradually, correlated with my increased and closer contact with the ISKCON organization, things began to plateau, and eventually seemed to start to get worse. For a while I attempted to rationalize it to myself as "anartha-nivritti", some kid of inner churning. And in a way I guess it was. It's like I was being asked: "What do you really want? Do you want THIS?" No, I did not want it.

Imagine a man who is poisoned with many toxins. His body is saturated with them. He comes in contact with medicine, but the medicine is itself mixed with poison. At the beginning, he gets better. The active ingredients in the medicine start to counteract the poisons within him, and he feels better than he's felt in years. He keeps taking the medicine, and gradually, the toxins within him are counteracted. He's ecstatic: "Thank you!" But, the longer he takes the medicine, the longer he's ingesting a new kind of poison, and poison that normally, even in his most confused state, he would not imbibe, he would see it for what it is: poison. And the more he takes the medicine, the more mixed-in poison he's taking in, along with it. This new poison begins to accumulate in his tissues. His progress slows. He starts to develop problems that he didn't even have before starting the treatment. What the hell is going on? I know it says "medicine" on the bottle, but what is really inside?

The last few years of my life, since 2004 or so, have been about separating the medicine from the poison, or the sand from the sweet rice. Little by little, I seem to be getting better again, and once again feeling like I'm moving in the right direction.

All the best, Alex

Dear Alex

Yor problem is, that you have taken a bogus guru, not listening to the supersoul within your heart, who is called chaitya guru.

Why not listening to the supersouls advice within the heart? Why to reject the supersouls instruction? Why not listening to your heart? Initiation takes place first within the heart, later from the outside gurus.


Srila Prabhupada: Because Krishna is situated in everyone's heart. Actually, He is the spiritual master, caitya-guru.

Vishnu - the super soul within the heartSrila Prabhupada: Therefore God is called caitya-guru, the spiritual master within the heart. And the physical spiritual master is God's mercy. If God sees that you are sincere, He will give you a spiritual master who can give you protection. He will help you from within and without, without in the physical form of spiritual master, and within as the spiritual master within the heart.

O'Grady: The problem is to find this friend. The problem is to find this spiritual master.

Srila Prabhupada: No, there is no problem. The problem is if you are sincere. Yes. That is stated. Because actually you have got problems, but God is within your heart. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrid-dese arjuna tistahati. God is not far away. God is within your heart. So if you are sincere, then God will give you spiritual master. If He knows that now you are sincere, then He will give you a spiritual master.

O'Grady: O.K. Thank you. That I know.

- Room Conversation with Irish Poet, Desmond O'Grady--May 23, 1974, Rome

"Because Krsna is situated in everyone's heart. Actually, He is the spiritual master, caitya-guru. So in order to help us, He comes out as physical spiritual master." (Lecture, 28/5/74)

"Therefore God is called caitya-guru, the spiritual master within the heart. And the physical spiritual master is God's mercy." (Room Conversation, 23/5/74)

"Regarding your question of Paramatma: you are fortunate enough for your sincere service, Krishna as Paramatma Who is sitting within your heart is now dictating. Krishna is so kind that He wants to help us as Spiritual Master in two ways. He helps us from within as Caitya Guru and He expands Himself externally as Siksa Guru (as instructor) and diksa Guru (initiator). So the principle is that whatever you are instructed by the Caitya Guru internally may be confirmed by the instructor or initiator externally. Then your progress will be complete." (Srila Prabhupada Letter to Sivananda, 05-21-69)

At this stage, Krsna, or the Supersoul, dictates from within, while from without the devotee is helped by the spiritual master, who is the bona fide representative of Krsna. From within He helps the devotee as caitya, for He is seated within the heart of everyone. Understanding that God is seated within everyone's heart is not, however, sufficient. One has to be acquainted with God from both within and without, and one must take dictation from within and without to act in Krsna consciousness. This is the highest perfectional stage of the human form of life and the topmost perfection of all yoga.

'Tanhara carana age kariye vandana mantra guru.' Who gives mantra is diksa-guru. Ara yata siksa-guru-gana, there is siksa-guru and all [Vaisnavas] are siksa-gurus who are giving bhajana-siksa, who are giving the glories of devotion. [So there are different types of guru:] diksa-guru, siksa guru who gives Krsna-tattva and all other things, then bhajana-guru, and also caitya-guru. Krsna Himself is caitya-guru.

"One who is sincere and pure gets an opportunity to consult with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His Paramatma feature sitting within everyone's heart. The Paramatma is always the caitya-guru, the spiritual master within, and He comes before one externally as the instructor and initiator spiritual master. The Lord can reside within the heart, and He can also come out before a person and give him instructions. Thus the spiritual master is not different from the Supersoul sitting within the heart. An uncontaminated soul or living entity can get a chance to meet the Paramatma face to face. Just as one gets a chance to consult with the Paramatma within his heart, one also gets a chance to see Him actually situated before him. Then one can take instructions from the Supersoul directly." (SB 4.28.52 : PURPORT )

"Well initiation or no initiation, first thing is knowledge... knowledge. Initiation is formality. Just like you go to a school for knowledge, and admission is formality. That is not very important thing." (Srila Prabhupada Press Interview, 10-16-76, Chandigarh)

"A disciple's relationship with a bona fide diksa guru is eternal, but getting handed beads and throwing grain and a banana in a fire is merely an empty ritual that is over as soon as the ashes are scattered. The Lord in the heart always knows our sincerity and as Caitya guru will reveal Himself and send guru according to our degree of sincerity.

1. SB 7.2.47 purport, "the intelligence gets inspiration from the Supersoul (dadami buddhi-yogam tam) [Bg 10.10]. In the synonyms to Cc Madhya 11.117 Prabhupada translates the word "prerana" as inspiration, yanre—in whomever; krpa—mercy; kari'—bestowing; karena—does; hrdaye—in the heart; prerana—inspiration; krsna-asraya—shelter of Lord Krsna; haya—there is. He translates the verse, "The man to whom the Lord shows His mercy by inspiring him within the heart takes shelter only of Lord Krsna…" In classical Sanskrit prerana means "motivation" or "instigation;" in Hindi, and Bengali it means "urge," or "inspiration."

Cc Adi 1.100 elaborates. The synonyms: diya—giving; bhakti-rasa—devotional inspiration. Translation: "the Lord instills the mellows of transcendental loving service into the heart of a living being," and by implication inspires the devotee.


March 10, 2002 by roy-barrios

This seems like a simple question since so many devotees have taken initiation. But I have asked a few devotees and they seem not to really understand what is real initiation. So this is my humble attempt to try to understand what is real initiation.

It seems that initiation is two fold, but that’s when we look at it from the material point of view. First we have the initiation ceremony or ritual. The ceremony seems fairly simple to understand that it is a formality of the guru accepting the disciple and the disciple accepting the guru. That is, of course, a very serious commitment and never to be taken lightly. Now we must ask what does formality mean?

I use the word formality because a devotee asked Srila Prabhupada “how important is formal initiation?” And Srila Prabhupada said “formal initiation means to accept officially to abide by the orders of Krsna and his representatives, that is formal initiation.”

Also Srila Prabhupada said “initiation or no initiation, first thing is knowledge. Initiation is a formality. Just like you go to school for knowledge and admission is formality, that is not a very important thing.

So now we have a glimpse of what is the ritual or formality or initiation. So now we must ask what is beyond this; what is real initiation. To try to shed some light on this, let’s examine some purports by Srila Prabhupada from the Caitanya Caritamrta.

First He says the spiritual master awakens the sleeping living entity to his original consciousness so that he can worship Lord Visnu. This is the purpose of diksa or initiation. Initiation means receiving the pure knowledge of spiritual consciousness. [Madhya-Lila 9.61,purport]

Second He says diksa actually means initiating a disciple with transcendental knowledge by which he becomes freed from all material contamination. [Madhya-Lila 4.111, purport]

So it seems that real initiation deals with the giving of transcendental knowledge from the guru and the receiving of transcendental knowledge by the disciple. And also important and which binds the initiation and fulfills the commitment is our sincerity, determination and our submission to the guru.

Also to understand initiation further, Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati one said: “Submission to the Absolute is not real unless it is also itself Absolute. It is on the plane of the Absolute that the disciple is required to submit completely to the good preceptor. On the material plane, there can be no such thing as complete submission.” So now it seems that we must also understand that this real initiation is absolutely on the transcendental platform.

So from this we can see what is real initiation. When I ask myself who is giving me this transcendental initiation, the answer keeps coming up Srila Prabhupada. I recommend that you ask yourself the same question.

So in closing we must pay all obeisances to the savior of the universe, Srila Prabhupada, for His purports of transcendental knowledge.


What exactly is -- initiation??

750520mw.mel Conversations 383020/530501
Devotee (3): Srila Prabhupada, if one goes to the temple, if one attends the temple regularly and inquires from the devotees about the devotional principles, and because of some reason, it's not necessarily... it's not convenient for him to live in the temple at that time, and he is living with people...
Prabhupada: No, no, you live in temple or without temple, if you follow the instruction, that is wanted. If you live without temple and chant sixteen rounds and observe the regulative principle, that's all right. It doesn't require that you should live in the temple. And if you live in the temple and do all nonsense, then what is the use of living in the temple?
Devotee: Is it wrong to think of initiation then? Or initiated also?
Prabhupada: Their "thinking" means they are not fixed up. That very word suggest that they are not fixed up. Oh, initiation can take place anywhere.


[In the above convesation we see Srila Prabhupada stressing that initiation can take place anywhere.
Many devotees think that initiation has to take place ONLY in a temple with the fire sacrifice, all your family members,TP, GBC sanction, etc. Yet here Srila Prabhupada states that initiation can take place anywhere.
Why is that?
Because initiation means it is an affair of the heart when the aspirant decides he or she wants to be guided by the Param para disciplic sucession as delivered down thru eternal time. When THAT time comes, THAT moment in time is considered "initiation". Then a formal initiation can take place later, even decades later or  11 years, as was Srila Prabhupada's personal case.]

761210DB.HYD Lectures 240636/530501
So anyway, from 1922 [when he first met Bhaktisiddhanta maharaj] to 1933 practically I was not initiated, but I got the impression of preaching Caitanya Mahaprabhu's cult. That I was thinking. And that was the initiation by my Guru Maharaja. Then officially I was initiated in 1933 because in 1923 I left Calcutta. I started my business at Allahabad. So I was always thinking of my Guru Maharaja, that "I met a very nice sadhu." Although I was doing business I never forgot him.
[So above is the proof by Srila Prabhupada himself. He states that he first met Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaj in 1923, at which point he considered himself "initiated" even though he waited until 11 years later for the formal initiation, due to business concerns which took him out of Calcutta and away from Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaj.]
761016iv.cha Conversations 452898/530501
Interviewer: What is the procedure of the movement? Do you initiate yourself all the disciples or do your other disciples also do that? Prabhupada: Well, initiation or no initiation, first thing is knowledge. (break) ...knowledge. Initiation is formality. Just like you go to a school for knowledge, and admission is formality. That is not very important thing....  So our this movement is successful...
[In this conversation Srila Prabhupada states that  for initiation, the first thing is knowledge, not the bananna throw into the sacred fire. First we have to be convinced about what we are hearing and doing, then that conviction becomes our desire for initiation within the heart by following the teachings laid down by the acaryas in our sampradaya.]

 "The Supreme Lord is not obtained by expert explanations, by vast intelligence, or even by much hearing. He is obtained only by one whom He Himself chooses. To such a person, He manifests His own form." (SB 10.13.54 PURPORT)




Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

All glories to His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada!