Battle Over ISKCON Bangalore

Sometime back there was a News article posted on ISKCON News entiltled “Bangalore Splinter Group Wins Court Case”. And a rebutal letter written by Sriman Nara Narayana Visvakarma Prabhu, which we think is still relavant today, as the battle continues…”

Although Bangalore represents a minority of ISKCON it is actually uniquely faithful to the direct written order of the Founder Acharya of ISKCON that the GBC be elected representatives of the temples, not unaccountable dictators with despotic powers.

Comments on ISKCON News Article
By: Nara Narayana Visvakarma

Apr 21, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (SUN) — On April 20, 2009, ‘ISKCON News Weekly’ published an article entitled, “Bangalore Splinter Group Wins Court Case. “Bangalore, INDIA – In the latest development in the longstanding feud between the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)”

Both parties are ISKCON, the Bombay faction deviated from the teachings of the Founder Acharya by creating a group of self-appointing managers who even claim ecclesiastical power and who wield illegal dictatorial powers over the innocent membership of ISKCON.

The actual GBC is meant to be an elected body representing the heads of the independent temples who the GBC are meant to represent. The Bombay ISKCON GBC as well as the Bangalore GBC were created by the Founder Acharya of ISKCON in 1970. Since that time, few temples besides Bangalore and their 28 affiliate temples have recognized the elected status of the GBC, and have actually held GBC elections. The GBC suing Bangalore, has not legal status to exist, and has clearly deviated from the charter under which they were created in 1970.

Bangalore is being sued for obeying the order of the Founder Acharya of ISKCON. Nothing more and nothing less.

“…and a breakaway group of devotees who took over the prominent ISKCON temple here, a City Civil Court issued a ruling in favor of the splinter group on Friday, April 17. The decision seems to be a blow to ISKCON and its leadership in India, although sources close to ISKCON leadership in India indicate that the organization plans to appeal the decision.”

Although Bangalore represents a minority of ISKCON it is actually uniquely faithful to the direct written order of the Founder Acharya of ISKCON that the GBC be elected representatives of the temples, not unaccountable dictators with despotic powers.

Members of the Bangalore-based breakaway group left ISKCON in 1998, when they adopted the philosophy that ISKCON Founder-Acharya A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who passed away in 1977, would continue to be the sole initiating guru even after his physical departure. This doctrine, informally known as ritvikism because adherents claim that the individual conducting the initiation be regarded only as a ritual priest, or ritvik, is regarded as a heresy in traditional Vaishnava praxis.

ISKCON is not obliged to follow “Vaishnava praxis”. ISKCON recognizes no authority past present or future other than the Founder Acharya of ISKCON, which he founded to propound his own views of Krishna consciousness without reference to any other authority outside of his own teachings.
The objection by Bombay ISKCON of the so-called “rittvik” philosophy is actually a planned distraction from the real issue at stake….that the GBC is meant to be an elected body under the direct control of the temple presidents of ISKCON. They know that if they were subject to election, that the almost endless frauds that they have committed by use of their dictatorial powers would come to an end.

It is also strictly at odds with ISKCON’s position that Prabhupada instructed his disciples to themselves become gurus after his disappearance and thus continue the disciplic succession in the conventional manner.

The Founder Acharya instructed his disciples to become gurus when they had factually reached the perfectional platform. There is no indication that ISKCON has been able to produce even one guru on the perfectional platform, and it can be understood that ISKCON has deviated from the direct written instruction of the Founder Acharya of ISKCON to initiate only through representational priests, not by gurus who have not reached the perfectional stage of bhakti.

In 1990, ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (GBC) ruled that ritvikism was “a dangerous philosophical deviation” and prohibited its teaching and practices in ISKCON.

The ISKCON GBC in question had no authority to vote or act, as they themselves were meeting illegally due to the fact that they were not elected by the Temple Presidents. Their vote against the written instructions of the Founder Acharya was to distract from the fact that they themselves have no legal status to represent ISKCON, or for that matter, anyone;

In 1999, following Bangalore temple president Madhu Pandit Dasa’s high profile defection and his presentation of ritvikism to the GBC, that body examined his argument and found it “to be erroneous in its conclusion as well as specious and sophistical in its conduct.”

The GBC due to being in clear violation of their founding charter, “the direction of management” that is countersigned by twelve witnesses as well as the signature of the Founder Acharya have “sanctioned” Madhu Pandit das for obeying the written order of the Founder Acharya of ISKCON.

As a result, the GBC strongly reaffirmed its repudiation of ritvikism as a dangerous deviation, and specified that “no one who espouses, teaches supports in any way, or practices ritvikism can be a member in good standing of ISKCON.”

As non elected despots in clear violation of the written orders of the Founder Acharya, the GBC are not in good standing with the direct written directives of the Founder Acharya of ISKCON. They can hardly be seen as having the authority to reject persons or ISKCON branches who choose to obey the written orders of the Founder Acharya that this illegal GBC has chosen to disobey and cause others to disobey;

The GBC rulings also singled out Madhu Pandit, along with a handful of other Indian leaders who had defected to the ritvik camp, noting that in “openly deviating from fundamental tenets of the Society’s teaching” they were “deemed as unfit to be members of ISKCON India.”

Madhu pandit and the others were singled out for following the written orders of the Founder Acharya that this illegal GBC chose to disobey.

In response to the sharp repudiation, Madhu Pandit acted quickly, filing multiple legal suits against ISKCON in a bold and explicit takeover attempt of the prestigious ISKCON Bangalore temple and related assets. Ownership of the temple has been in dispute since then, with Friday’s ruling being the culmination of nine years of the lawsuits slowly winding their way through India’s backlogged court system.

Should the illegal GBC dare to openly and publicly reveal the founding document under which the very term and body of GBC was founded, they would have no way to explain the fact that they are violating the very core instruction of that document by claiming to be “above and beyond” the electoral powers of the temples that the Founder Acharya wanted to control them.

They cannot prove their legitimacy, nor can they explain why they egregiously disobey their very clearly stated founding document.

Interestingly, as ISKCON News weekly reported, in March Madhu Pandit had sent a letter to ISKCON’s leadership proposing that the two camps settle their disagreements – ostensibly including the multiple lawsuits he filed against ISKCON in India – by adopting a compromise situation within which their divergent views can be accommodated. It is unclear, however, how Friday’s ruling will bear on the state of that truce proposal.

Both sides of this issue claim to be following the direct written orders of the Founder Acharya of ISKCON. Since the orders in question comprise only a few written pages in legal format, it would be interesting to see the legal obedience vs non obedience of these simply legal orders by the Founder Acharya as represented by these two conflicting parties;

Having examined these controlling documents create in legal format by the Founder Acharya, I can say that of the two parties, Bangalore is clearly committed to implementing these orders of the Founder Acharya of ISKCON without change or compromise and that the opposing party has taken great pains to avoid obedience to these exact same orders of the Founder Acharya of ISKCON.

Pasted from http://www.harekrsna.com/sun/editorials/04-09/editorials4407.htm

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bh. Mark
    May 31, 2011 @ 09:25:01

    “ISKCON is not obliged to follow “Vaishnava praxis”. ISKCON recognizes no authority past present or future other than the Founder Acharya of ISKCON, which he founded to propound his own views of Krishna consciousness without reference to any other authority outside of his own teachings.”

    Srila Prabhupada will ask you: How dare you? Why do you think he (and ISKCON) does not accept the authority of the previous acharyas?

    The Direction of Mangement story is a different case – that’s all right. GBC did not have any document that revoke the DOM. Only some resolution and conservation that is shown as proof. But this so called proof is not vaild in my logical understanding.

    But please don’t say, that Prabhupada or ISKCON did not accept any authority past present or future other than Prabhupada. Prabhupada accepts the authority of the parampara!

    Yours Sincerely

    Bh. Mark

    Reply

    • The Hare Krishna Movement
      May 31, 2011 @ 17:02:29

      Hare Krishna ! Mark Prabhu

      ISKCON is not obliged to follow “Vaishnava Praxis” other than Srila Prabhupada who is in fact the current direct link in the disciplic sucuession, parampara. The problem that I believe the author is
      alluding to is the fact that ISKCON is not following the directions of the Founder Acharya His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. They are going here and there for their instructions, They went to Srila Prabhupada’s Godbrothers after Srila Prabhupada’s departure, to the gaudia math, to HH Narayana Maharaja, HH Shridhar Maharaja etc. etc. and they did not follow the clear instructions in the July 9th letter, nor is the current ISKCON GBC following the DOM that Srila Prabhupada wrote. ISKCON Bangalore is trying to follow Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, and is being curcified for it. I believe the early Christians were similarly feed to the Lions, for trying to follow Jesus’s Instructions.

      Reply

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