ISKCON’s Decline after Srila Prabhupada’s Departure


ISKCON’s Decline after Srila Prabhupada’s Departure

The following conversation of Srila Prabhupada’s clearly explains the reasons for ISKCON’s decline after Prabhupada’s departure. Though Srila Prabhupada was speaking about the failure of the Gaudiya Matha, amazingly it perfectly matches ISKCON’s own post-samadhi history, line for line. Seven sentences have been numbered for direct comparison to ISKCON.

“1) Why this Gaudiya Matha failed? Because they tried to become more than guru. 2) He, before passing away, he gave all direction and never said that ‘This man should be the next acharya.’ But these people, just after his passing away they began to fight, who shall be acharya. That is the failure. 3) They never thought, ‘Why Guru Maharaja gave us instruction so many things, why he did not say that this man should be acharya?’ 4) They wanted to create artificially somebody acharya and everything failed. 5) They did not consider even with common sense that if Guru Maharaja wanted to appoint somebody as acharya, why did he not say? He said so many things, and this point he missed? The real point? And they insist upon it. 6) They declared some unfit person to become acharya. Then another man came, then another, acharya, another acharya. 7) So better remain a foolish person perpetually to be directed by Guru Maharaja. That is perfection.” – Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, 08-16-76, Bombay

Srila Prabhupada explains why ISKCON failed after he left:

1) “Why this Gaudiya Matha failed? Because they tried to become more than guru.”
ISKCON has also failed horribly in the 30 years since Srila Prabhupada’s departure. The reason is simple: the ISKCON leaders tried to be more than their guru by manufacturing so many speculative things (zonal acharyas, voted in acharyas, suspended acharyas, etc.).
Srila Prabhupada established a system in his temples whereby his unique position as founder-acharya (samsthapaka-acharya) was highlighted through his own worship in every single ISKCON temple. Some of the specific ways in which Srila Prabhupada did this was by having his vyasasana installed in all temples, installation of his deity while he was still living (in Vrindavan), having his photo on all ISKCON altars, having all disciples worship him every morning through “guru-puja”, etc. As soon as Prabhupada departed, ISKCON leaders suddenly tried to compete with him, installing their own Vyasasanas in all temples, keeping their own photos on the altar, instituting mandatory worship of themselves through “guru-puja” in all ISKCON temples, etc. Oddly, one will not find a single instruction by Srila Prabhupada to any of these ISKCON leaders, nor to ISKCON as a whole, to implement any of these changes to his institution. Srila Prabhupada specifically instructed how worship and sadhana in his movement should be carried out. Every detail of the morning program, evening program, japa, worship, etc., was given by Srila Prabhupada for all ISKCON devotees. Yet in an instant, the ISKCON leaders decided they were more than their guru, and made all sorts of unauthorized changes to his movement.

2) “He, before passing away, he gave all direction and never said that ‘This man should be the next acharya.’ But these people, just after his passing away they began to fight, who shall be acharya. That is the failure.”
Srila Prabhupada also gave all instructions before departing. Yet he never said “this person will be next acharya” or “these people will be the next diksha gurus”. Despite the fact that he never authorized anyone to be the next diksha guru, immediately after his departure his disciples fought over the position of acharya, throwing out anyone who did not accept their chosen 11 leaders as equal to Srila Prabhupada.

3) “They never thought, ‘Why Guru Maharaja gave us instruction so many things, why he did not say that this man should be acharya?’”
After Prabhupada’s departure, the ISKCON leaders never thought “Why Srila Prabhupada did not say that these men should be acharyas?” Prabhupada gave so many instructions, yet he specifically never authorized anyone to be the next acharya and diksha guru of ISKCON. Instead of understanding the reason Prabhupada never authorized or appointed anyone, the ISKCON leaders immediately fought over who would succeed Srila Prabhupada as acharya. It is a fact that Srila Prabhupada did not say that any of the 11 appointed zonal-acharyas should be acharya. It is also a fact that Srila Prabhupada did not say that any of the present 100 mini-acharyas should be mini-acharya. “So why did he not say that this man, [insert SWAMI X here], should be acharya?” That is Prabhupada’s own question. You can take it up with him.
Tamal Krishna Maharaja, one of the 11 zonal acharya’s, explained their mood at the time of appointing themselves as successor acharya’s:
“They immediately… these eleven people are the selected gurus. I can say definitely for myself, and for which I humbly beg forgiveness from everybody, that there was definitely some degree of trying to control. There’s a degree of this in most GBC’s parts, in most temple president’s parts. This is the conditioned nature, and it came out in the highest position of all. ‘Guru, oh wonderful! Now I’m a guru, and there is only eleven of us’.”

4) “They wanted to create artificially somebody acharya and everything failed.”
The ISKCON leaders wanted to artificially appoint themselves as acharya, and as Tamal Krishna Maharaja explained above, it was due to their desire to control, due to their conditioned nature, and due to their desire to become gurus (only 11 people, worshipped as good as God Himself). Once the 11 zonal acharya’s were artificially created to replace Srila Prabhupada, everything in ISKCON failed. The history since that time has been one disgrace after another, so much so that devotees are embarassed to let other people know they are devotees. All of Prabhupada’s wealth and assets, meant for Krishna’s service, have been looted and stolen; many wonderful temples have been closed down and sold off; and worst of all, tens of thousands of devotees have been exploited and then left abandoned by fallen “gurus” and “acharyas”.

5) “They did not consider even with common sense that if Guru Maharaja wanted to appoint somebody as acharya, why did he not say? He said so many things, and this point he missed? The real point? And they insist upon it.”
To this very day the ISKCON leaders still do not consider this point with common sense. If Srila Prabhupada wanted to appoint some people as acharya, why didn’t he say so? Srila prabhupada taught so many things, yet they think he missed this simple point, forgetting to specify who will be acharya and diksha guru after him? Prabhupada’s use of the phrase “and they insist upon it” is amazingly relevant to ISKCON today. The ISKCON leaders repeatedly insist that Prabhupada failed to specify who would be the next diksha guru. They insist upon it so much, that if you do not accept their view on this matter, then you are banned and thrown out.

6) “They declared some unfit person to become acharya. Then another man came, then another, acharya, another acharya.”
This is the perfect summary of ISKCON’s history after Srila Prabhupada. First they fought and appointed unfit people as successor acharyas. As they began to fall, in order to make it less noticeable, they tried to dilute the guru list by adding even more unfit successor acharyas. As those false gurus also began to fall, they further tried to hide it by diluting the guru list even further. I have actually heard one of the original zonal acharya’s use the “fall percentage” as evidence that the current system is doing alright. He said, “If you take all the gurus in ISKCON and calculate how many have fallen, it isn’t a very high percentage.” But that is only because they have repeatedly added new dilutions to cover the original falls. If you take the original 11 self-appointed zonal acharyas, you have 72% of the gurus who have unconditionally fallen. And of the remaining three you have one person who died in a horrible car crash and one person who advocates acceptance of homosexual marriage:

Fallen: Kirtanananda Swami
Fallen: Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
Fallen: Bhavananda Swami
Fallen: Hamsaduta Swami
Fallen: Ramesvara Swami
Fallen: Harikesa Swami
Fallen: Bhagavan dasa Goswami
Fallen: Jayatirtha Swami
Not Fallen: Tamala Krsna Goswami (died in car crash)
Not Fallen: Jayapataka Swami
Not Fallen: Hridayananda Goswami (advocates acceptance of homosexual marriage)

Thus the whole point of “adding new gurus” was just to dilute the list and make the fall percentage appear more reasonable. But if you were to take the second and third batches of added gurus (dilutions 1 & 2), and wait for the same amount of time that the first zonal acharyas had to manifest their fallen nature, you will find a similar percentage of fallen gurus in the subsequent batches. In other words, give the second and third batch of gurus 30 years, and they will also show a 70% fall down rate. This is inevitable, as going against the order of the Acharya will, without fail, lead to falldown.

Now at this years GBC meetings they have passed a new resolution calling for all of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples to come forward and be “diksha gurus” – the final dilution to cover their original mistake of appointing unfit people as zonal acharyas. This brings up a serious flaw in their line of thinking. When you make a mistake, and you realize it is a mistake (as with the appointment of the zonal acharyas), what should you do? You should stop and undo the mistake, and then move forward. Anyone with common sense can understand this. But rather than stopping the zonal acharya’s and removing their acharyaship (i.e. undoing the first mistake), they instead chose to add MORE acharyas to cover the first mistake. When this was shown to be a second mistake, they added EVEN MORE acharyas. And now that it has become a joke, they are trying one last dilution – everyone come forward and become acharya. Having admitted that the appointment of zonal acharyas without authorization from Srila Prabhupada was “the greatest disservice to the movement”, they must stop and undo this great mistake. But their solution is to dilute more and more. If you have clear water, and if a drop of red ink falls in it, the entire cup of water will become red. To make it go away some people will try to keep diluting it by adding more and more clear water to the already dirty red water so that it becomes less noticeable. But when the drop of red ink is instead poison, it doesn’t matter how much clean water you add, it will always be poisonous. Violating the instructions of the Acharya is spiritual poison. No matter how much dilution they do, it will always remain as poison.

Prabhupada’s Conclusion:

After pointing out six reasons for the failure of the Gaudiya Matha (and subsequently ISKCON), Srila Prabhupada gives the solution:

7) “So better remain a foolish person perpetually to be directed by Guru Maharaja. That is perfection.”
Prabhupada’s solution to the problems faced by the Gaudiya Matha and ISKCON is simple. “Remain perpetually directed by Guru Maharaja, that is perfection.” Already he has outlined the six mistakes that the Gaudiya Matha and subsequently ISKCON made upon the departure of the Acharya. Now his solution to those mistakes is to simply follow the directions of the Acharya. If the acharya’s instructions are followed, then ISKCON will again rise from its present state of failure and spread throughout the world. In case anyone has forgotten the Acharya’s instruction on this matter, here it is:

“I wish that each and every Branch shall keep their independent identity and cooperate keeping the Acharya in the centre. On this principle we can open any number of Branches all over the world. The Ramakrishna mission works on this principle and thus as organization they have done wonderfully.” – Srila Prabhupada (letter to Kirtanananda, 11 Feb. 1967)

Srila Prabhupada wanted to remain as the Acharya of ISKCON, just as Ramakrishna is the Acharya of the Ramakrishna mission. He never said, “Once I depart, replace me with 11 zonal acharya’s because I am dead.” Ramakrishna had been dead for years and years – yet still he was the center of their movement. Srila Prabhupada wanted to follow the same system where he is kept at the center as the Acharya (not being obscured by 11 zonal acharyas, nor 100 mini-acharya, nor 1,000 micro-acharyas). Working on this principle, the Ramakrishna mission as an organization “has done wonderfully“. Compare that to Prabhupada’s analysis of those who manufacture false acharyas:

“They wanted to create artificially somebody acharya and everything failed.”
So the choice is there for everyone: do you want to manufacture false acharyas and have everything fail (as has happened since Prabhupada departed), or do you want to keep Srila Prabhupada in the center as the Acharya and have ISKCON do “wonderfully” as an organization. The GBC refuses to even hear anything on this matter, and as such is the greatest block for the advancement of ISKCON today.

In the “Pyramid House Confessions” (recorded in 1980, at Topanga Canyon), Tamal Krishna Maharaja, one of the 11 zonal acharyas, stated the following:

“Actually Prabhupada never appointed any gurus. He appointed eleven ritviks. He never appointed them gurus. Myself and the other GBC have done the greatest disservice to this movement the last three years because we interpreted the appointment of ritviks as the appointment of gurus… You cannot show me anything on tape or in writing where Prabhupada says: ‘I appoint these eleven as gurus’. It does not exist because he never appointed any gurus. This is a myth.”

Thus it is very clear by their own admission that Srila Prabhupada never appointed anyone as diksha guru or successor acharya for ISKCON. Since they have admitted that Prabhupada never appointed any gurus, let us look again at Prabhupada’s 5th point in the original quote:

“They did not consider even with common sense that if Guru Maharaja wanted to appoint somebody as acharya, why did he not say?”

If Srila Prabhupada had wanted to appoint somebody as acharya, why didn’t he say so? It is proven that Prabhupada did not tell anyone to be acharya. Thus, as per Srila Prabhupada’s own logical statement above, he did not want to appoint somebody as acharya. Yet, ISKCON leaders have gone ahead, against the desire of Srila Prabhupada, and have appointed nearly 100 of them. This again shows how they are “trying to be more than their guru”, Prabhupada’s first point for why they failed.

Pasted from http://www.prabhupadanugas.eu/?p=7929

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