Bhakti Charu Swami (bogus guru)


Bhakti Caru Swami Criticises Srila Prabhupada's Household Life



From IRM-Newsletter Issue 60

by Adridharana das, Calcutta


Bhakti Caru Swami Criticises Srila Prabhupada's Household Life
 
The catalogue of offences against Srila Prabhupada by our GBC continues. Now Bhakti Caru Swami (BCS), who loves to paint himself as someone who is always promoting Srila Prabhupada, has launched an attack on grhastas (householders), sparing not even Srila Prabhupada, who was also married before he came to preach in the West. In preaching to a devotee, we are told BCS said the following:

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"In certain circumstances, Srila Prabhupada sometimes spoke very openly about brahmacarya. Nobody criticized him for that. Similarly, Guru Maharaja, following Srila Prabhupada's footsteps and example, spoke to a devotee yesterday about brahmacarya.


He told him, "Don't think of women. Actually, when a man thinks of woman, he becomes weak."

He added, "To get involved with a woman is completely useless. You can ask any mature woman, and they'll also tell you that, because they KNOW that when men become involved with women, it makes them weak. At the same time," he continued, "we are not supposed to run away from them.  We have to confront them. We must respect them, otherwise that is another attachment. They are spirit souls in a certain body, and they are, in spite of themselves, playing a certain function, namely that of attracting men."

He said "the grihastha asram is not practical for dynamic preaching. Look at Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura. And look at Srila Prabhupada: He became involved in preaching after he got out of householder life."
(Text PAMHO 6457480,
Fri, 31 Jan 2003 04:32 +0200, Candrasekhar Acarya (das) BCS)
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Firstly, we can see that this anti-women/anti-family bashing from ISKCON sannyasis is still alive and well in today's supposedly 'reformed' and 'family/women/children'-friendly ISKCON. Just more evidence that the 'Zonal Acarya' bogus Guru culture is still running ISKCON. But more to the point we see that Srila Prabhupada directly contradicts BCS' offensive speculations against both marriage and himself:

I want that some ideal families of Krishna Consciousness should be established in your country, so that people can see that our movement is not one sided or dry.  So we do not want dry renouncers.  Krishna Himself married so many wives as a Ksatriya.  Caitanya Mahaprabhu although He was to take sannyas at the age of 24 years, still He married twice within 20 years.   Lord Nityananda Prabhu also married.  Advaita Prabhu and Srivas Prabhu, they were also householders.  So to become married is NO impediment for advancement in Krishna Consciousness.  One should be vigilant only that he is not diverting from Krishna Consciousness.  One has to follow the footprints of the great Acaryas then everything is all right. I was also a married man – my family is still existingSo you should always remember that marriage is NOT impediment.”  (SPL Madhusudan, 10 March 1969)
 “They (women) have also come to Krishna, we cannot reject them.  Therefore I have advised my students to get themselves married.  I was householder, my Guru Maharaja was life-long brahmacari.  But we are doing the SAME work of preaching Krishna Consciousness, so what is the difference, grhastha and brahmacari?”  (SPL Danavir, 17 December 1972)
Here, Srila Prabhupada is clearly saying that marriage is NO impediment to preaching, despite BCS' speculations to the contrary. But of course, even more offensive is BCS' brazen criticism that Srila Prabhupada only “become involved in preaching after he got out of household life”. That means that Srila Prabhupada, according to BCS, did NO PREACHING before he left his family. That is, he was simply some ordinary grhasta completely wrapped up in his family affairs, who had to wait until be became an old man before he could “become involved in preaching”. BCS may take pleasure in criticising and putting Srila Prabhupada down like this, but thankfully the truth is somewhat different, as told to us by Srila Prabhupada himself:
Srila Prabhupada’s Practical Example of  Preaching IN Household Life:
"So during my householder life I was printing this paper and almost distributing free, and some of them were paying me subscription, and some of them not.  But I was trying my best at my cost." (SPL Rayarama 68-06-12)

"I was publishing that BTG paper even from my grhastha life, from 1944." (Room Conv., May 20th 1975, Melbourne)
Interviewer: Were you a businessman?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, I was connected with some chemical industry.  I was manager in a big chemical industry.  Then I started my own business.  In this way I was family man.
Ramesvara:  But at the same time, Srila Prabhupada was always Krsna conscious.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes.
Bali-Mardana:  And He was writing.
Ramesvara: And also he was writing transcendental or spiritual books even at that time. 
Bali-Mardana: 1944
[...]
Srila Prabhupada: This Back To Godhead was started in 1944, when I was still a family man.
(Interview with Newsday newspaper, July 14, 1976)
"It is very encouraging to learn that you are so enthusiastic to sell BTG. I consider sale of BTG so valuable because in the beginning I worked for BTG day and night alone in India. I still remember the hardship for pushing on this BTG. In the beginning, when I was householder, I did not care if somebody paid or not paid; I used to distribute liberally. But when I left my household life and I was living alone sometimes in Vrndavana and sometimes in Delhi or sometimes travelling for pushing on BTG, they were very hard days. Therefore, when BTG will be published not in hundreds of thousands, but in millions, that will give me great solace."  (SP Letter to Madhudvisa, 14/4/70)
 "After he passed away, I started the fortnightly magazine BTG sometime in 1944 and tried to spread the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu through this magazine.(Concluding words, Antya-lila, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta)


"At our first meeting, he ordered me to preach Krsna consciousness in the West.  I was then 25 years old, a married man with two children.  I tried my best to carry out his orders and started managing BTG magazine in 1944, when I was still in household life." (Science of Self Realisation, chapter 1)
 
“So I was thinking very seriously, and then, as late as 1944, I started my paper, “Back To Godhead.”  Gradually, in 1954, I retired from my family life and began to live alone in Mathura Vrindaban.”  (SPL to Hanuman Prasad Poddar, 5 February 1970)
 
 

So BCS, whose main contribution to 'preaching' is to travel around the world stealing Srila Prabhupada's disciples and taking lavish worship meant for Srila Prabhupada alone, has the temerity to say that Srila Prabhupada “working day and night alone” for BTG, having started, written, published and sold his own magazine, is NOT an example of him 'preaching'.

The GBC's offensive attitude towards Srila Prabhupada knows no bounds, it seems. Having shown their contempt of Srila Prabhupada via their deeds, having usurped his position as the Guru of ISKCON, they are now also happy to verbalise this offensive attitude. We have already seen their recent so-called 'Vyasa-Puja glorification' (Please see IRM Newsletter 58 - "GBC Publically Dishonors Srila Prabhupada”).


GBC Publicly Dishonours Srila Prabhupada

The deviation by ISKCON's so-called Gurus is becoming more and more bizarre as they become increasingly adventurous in their campaign to be fully-fledged successors to Srila Prahupada. The following are excerpts from this year’s 'official' GBC Vyasa-puja book, which is supposed to be the annual festival of *glorification* of Srila Prabhupada:

a) *** ISKCON guru casts doubt on Srila Prabhupada’s legacy ***

In a strange ‘offering’ in this year’s GBC Vyasa Puja book, ISKCON 'Guru' and GBC Devamrta Swami offers some shocking suggestions for a “post-Prabhupada’s books” ISKCON. Considering that Prabhupada’s books are destined to be the lawbooks for ISKCON and humanity for the rest of the next 9500 years, we are amazed that this concept has arisen in ISKCON many thousands of years before it should even warrant consideration!

What is particularly shocking is the doubt the Swami casts on the legacy that Srila Prabhupada has left. We quote from his ‘offering’:

“During your physical presence your books were our be-all and end-all. Now, have we entered, consciously or unconsciously, a new era of ISKCON known as “PPB”—that is, ‘post–Prabhupada’s books’?"

“More than a few seasoned devotees and supportive academics opine that indeed it’s time to move on. Maybe, while maintaining our eternal gratitude to you, our founder-acarya, it’s now necessary to evaluate what you have left us and distil whatever part of that legacy should accompany us into the future of a different world and a different ISKCON. Therefore, amidst the perennial onslaught of time and change in the material world, I clutch at your feet and seek your clarification, since you are the most expert strategist in Lord Caitanya’s contemporary army. And because you cling most tightly to the lotus feet of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, you are the most divinely pragmatic."

"1. What are your expressed desires for your books in relation to the future of ISKCON?
2. How do you see your books in relation to both training future ISKCON devotees and enlightening the present nondevotee population?
3. Amidst the burgeoning potpourri of Gaudiya Vaisnavism outside of India, do you still assert that your books are sufficient for bringing us to the zenith of bhakti?
4. What should we do and feel about purports that seem to clash with current scientific, gender, sociological, and political notions and niceties?
5. How are we to commingle the previous acaryas’ literatures with your books, especially since you certainly mention other sastras in your purports?
6. Can your books withstand time? That is, are the purports and language dated—if not now, then in the future?
7. Is emphasis on distributing your books, by whatever method, outmoded? Isn’t ISKCON without emphasis on mass distribution a breath of fresh air for us?
8. Without a doubt you urged your disciples to write books. What is the relation between our books and yours, within your ISKCON society and beyond?
9. Should our senior devotees take the lead in demonstrating lifelong dependence on your books for their spiritual sustenance and delight? Is there a danger that by doing so they could inhibit their spiritual maturity?"

“I can’t stand on the shore of the ocean of milk, yet for the sake of ISKCON’s future and my own well-being I beg you for clarification: Is it pie-in-the-sky and reactionary to pine for a time when we will all be on the same page (into the same books) again, ‘like the good old days’?"

“Would we gain anything significant and lasting if ISKCON’s leaders, in both word and example, rallied to exalt your books as the main basis of our cultural unity? And if you deem such voluntary austerity a laudable goal, then how can we avoid setting off a wave of insensitivity and brashness to attain it (like the good old days)?"

“Maybe there is no one answer to these questions. Perhaps, for your practical pleasure, we should accept the reality of a highly pluralistic ISKCON society, and learn to live with it. If that is your desire, I am ready to accept it."

In summary then, we have an ISKCON guru - who by definition must be 100% surrendered in mind, body and words to the desires and instructions of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada - asking whether:

a) Srila Prabhupada’s books can bring us to the highest point of bhakti
b) Srila Prabhupada’s books are outdated
c) Distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books is an outmoded concept
d) Dependence on Srila Prabhupada’s books will inhibit one’s spiritual maturity
e) Srila Prabhupada’s books are the basis for cultural unity within ISKCON

b) *** ISKCON Guru Tired Of Seeing Srila Prabhupada As Absolute ***
"Prabhupada was full of human characteristics. He could be humorous, gentle, even whimsical at times in the way he expressed himself; [...] I must confess that I sometimes grow tired of rigid hagiography that doesn't accommodate Prabhupada’s humanness but emphasizes only that he was absolute or legendary."
Satsvarupa dasa Gosvami (GBC Vyasa Puja Book 2002, Pg 36)

Here we have another GBC 'Guru' 'glorifying' Srila Prabhupada by opining that he prefers Srila Prabhupada be depicted more as a relative non-absolute, non-legendary human being, who would even be 'whimsical'. However Srila Prabhupada attributes behaving 'whimsically' as a characteristic of the 'Demoniac Nature':

"The word kama-karatah is very significant. A person who knowingly violates the rules acts in lust. He knows that this is forbidden, but still he acts. This is called acting whimsically. He knows that this should be done, but still he does not do it; therefore he is called whimsical. Such persons are destined to be condemned by the Supreme Lord."

(Bhagavad Gita,16:23, purport, description of the Demoniac nature in the Chapter entitled "The Divine and Demoniac Natures")

So the word 'whimsical' is hardly the best way to describe how Srila Prabhupada expresses himself. Please remember that Satsvarupa is also the person who has written the so-called 'biography' on Srila Prabhupada, which he describes as a 'very real human story'.

What is most shocking about all this nonsense is that both Satsvarupa and Devamrita consider their thoughts as examples of offering 'glorification' on the most blessed event of their Guru Maharaja's Appearance Day. In other words, not only is it bad enough that these supposedly 'loyal Prabhupada men' are expressing these things, but they feel that the most appropriate time to do so is as an act of 'glorification' of Srila Prabhupada.

With bewildered so-called ‘gurus’ spouting this sort of nonsense, is there any wonder the ISKCON Revival Movement (IRM) is growing from strength to strength all over the world?! And now it should be clear to everyone why the IRM had to publish its own Vyasa-Puja book, which was open to everyone to offer *genuine* glorification of Srila Prabhupada.

On a different note, we also find the following interesting offering from this year’s GBC Vyasa-Puja book.

c) *** HH Sivarama Swami confirms IRM analysis ***

One year ago, in our news item “Bhaktivedanta Manor Promotes Sai Baba in British Media” (Newsletter 50), we warned of the consequences of disobeying Srila Prabhupada’s instructions as regards associating with atheists, false gurus, mayavadis, and supporters of Sai Baba just for cheap popularity. Specifically, we quoted Srila Prabhupada as follows:

"They are clearly rejecting all these bogus rascals like Sai Baba...Actually these rascals are simply creating magic and jugglery. Even during the time of Krishna, Paundraka was there and Krishna immediately cut off his head.That is the only punishment for them, to immediately cut off the head of such rascals who pose themselves as God. They are simply cheating the people" (SP Letter to Riddha, 76-06-15)

"In this regard, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura warns all devotees engaged in broadcasting the Krishna consciousness movement NOT to speak to the impersonalist mayavadis who are always determined to oppose such theistic movements...It is BEST TO AVOID association with them COMPLETELY and never ask them about anything confidential because they cannot give good advice. NOR SHOULD WE EXTEND INVITATIONS TO MAYAVADIS AND ATHEISTS NOR ACCEPT THEIR INVITATIONS...It is the negative injunction of this verse that we should refrain from giving anything to or accepting anything from the Mayavadis and atheists." (Nectar of Instruction, Text 4, purport)

Choosing to disobey these instructions, Bhaktivedanta Manor in the UK, which is the largest ISKCON temple in Europe, whose GBC is Sivarama Swami, decided to invite “all these bogus rascals” who are “always determined to oppose such theistic movements” with the express purpose of:

“gaining goodwill amongst a large section of the Hindu community” (quoted from an email sent by ISKCON’s Romapada das to the Pandava Sena youth group on Wednesday September 5, 2001).

A press release issued by ISKCON UK’s press officer Bimal Krsna das announced to the national media that:

“The rally will be addressed by some of the most senior spiritual leaders of the Hindu faith including HH Swami Divyanand Teerth, Jagadguru Sankracharya of Bhanpura, HH Swami Chidanand Saraswati Maharaj, HH Sri Sri Sri Saidas Baba, and HH Sadhavi Dr Sadhana...” (Bimal Krsna das, ISKCON press release, September 8, 2001).

We noted in Newsletter 50 that according to the Sai Foundation:

"Sri Saidas Baba is the Chairman of Sai Foundation which is dedicated to both the Shirdi Sai Samsthan of Shirdi and Satya Sai Organisation of Puttaparthi. Sri Saidas Baba has been playing an active role in spreading the message of love and peace of Shirdi Saibaba and Sathya Saibaba."

The same Sai Baba recently accused of fake miracles and homosexual molestation. We refer our readers to the abovementioned letter from Srila Prabhupada.

Lo and behold, Sivarama Swami - the ‘Guru’ and GBC of Bhaktivedanta Manor - under whose leadership this unauthorised invitation to mayavadis and atheists was made - again received instant karma for disobeying Srila Prabhupada’s orders. (We say again because as highlighted in our newsletter no. 28 story "Would-be Gopi Receives Instant Karma", we noted how he had received a just reaction for his unauthorised abandonment of Srila Prabhupada for Narayana Maharaja, with many of his disciples and his yatra also defecting to Narayana Maharaja). This is evidenced from his Vyasa-Puja offering wherein he details what happened as a result of inviting these mayavadis to come and speak at Krishna's temple:


“In July, a well-known Hindu organization launched a worldwide yatra on the grounds of Bhaktivedanta Manor. To preside over the function, they invited many spiritual leaders. [...] When I saw the mélange of spiritual dignitaries, I had second thoughts. On the stage were to be two yogis, a guru, a Sankaracarya, and myself - compromising association! I inquired about the scheduled speeches and was assured I would have equal time. After consultation, I decided to make the best of the situation and participate."

(Here Sivarama Swami honestly admits that he compromised himself by allowing ISKCON to be involved with inviting these Mayavadis to speak at Krishna's temple - something Srila Prabhupada warned us in the Nectar of Instruction purport above NOT to do - and that therefore he simply had to 'make the best of the situation'.)

“Then, sitting beside me, the Sankaracarya, a small chubby man my age, with an ignoble tendency to fidget, spoke, regularly alternating between Hindi and English. In addition to eloquent servings of mish-mash common to the other speakers, His Holiness made philosophical points clearly targeted at his hosts - namely, the ISKCON devotees and, more specifically, Their Lordships Radha-Gokulananda."

(Please note that it was the ISKCON management for Bhaktivedanta Manor, for whom Sivarama Swami is the GBC, which had invited these persons to hold a function at THEIR temple so that they could attack the owner of the temple - Their Lordships, Radha-Gokulananda! We can see the immediate consequences of dis-obeying Srila Prabhupada.)

“In response he diligently continued to churn the mish-mash, but true to form he returned to his Mayavada siddhanta to exclaim, “The names of God are immaterial, for above name and form is the formless eternal . . [...]This is what Caitanya Mahaprabhu meant when He said mayavadi-bhasya sunile haya sarva-nasa. [...] Through his speech he made one more classical jab, describing the Ultimate as pure knowledge and the worship of Deities as a temporary means to Brahman. [...] I felt that you, Srila Prabhupada, our Society, and of course Krsna had been grievously offended."

(Of course they had. That is why Srila Prabhupada told us how to avoid such a situation by not inviting these people in the first place. And Sivarama Swami omits to mention that as the GBC for the temple which hosted this event, he is indirectly the architect for this offence.)

"The Sankaracarya replied, “What I have said is all right . . . ”

“No!” I interjected smiling, “In Krsna’s temple you have said that Krsna is a subordinate manifestation of Brahman. You said the Absolute Truth is, in reality, nirguna. That is both impolite and against the Vedic conclusion.”"

(It was Sivarama's team which invited such a Mayavadi to come to Krsna's temple to speak against Krsna. This invitation was both impolite and against the Vedic (Srila Prabhupada's) conclusion that such persons should not be invited.)

"But there was one last thing to say. I smiled at him, “But Swamiji, you know what Adi Sankara said". [...] “bhaja govindam bhaja govindam bhaja govindam,” and stopped. [...] “Gazing into his eyes, speaking very audibly, I continued, “mudha-mate.” The Sankaracarya jerked - shocked. In a public assembly I had implied he was a mudha! [...] Perhaps I was guilty of inhospitality to a guest - an unfortunate transgression of etiquette. However, I did not want to tolerate grievous offenses to the Lord - a major spiritual transgression."

(Yet it was Sivarama's leadership which had paved the way for this grievous offence to be committed and broadcast in Krishna's temple. So Sivarama was actually guilty of having transgressed the etiquette of not obeying the orders of his Guru, Srila Prabhupada.)

”Sure enough, in a moment the Sankaracarya leant over to me and said, “Excuse me, I must go to the toilet.” He rose with his escort of followers and reassured me, “I will be back. I will be back.”

But I knew he wouldn’t be back. The organizers were unsure why the Sankaracarya left untimely in his Mercedes, retinue and all. They were puzzled, I was happy.

(Sivarama claims he was happy that he had effectively driven away his Mayavadi guest. Then why disobey Srila Prabhupada and allow him to be invited in the first place? So Sivarama's Vyasa-Puja offering to Srila Prabhupada is to boast how he attempted to rectify a problem which had been self-created due to directly disobeying Srila Prabhupada's instructions!)

The moral of the story is that, as always, it is simply best to obey Srila Prabhupada, and all these problems and offences would never arise. A virtue which, as we have documented, is in short supply, especially from the unauthorised 80 GBC appointed substitute 'Gurus', of which, of course, Sivarama is a leading member.



Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!
All glories to His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada!