Chakra Announcements

"Sharing Krishna with Muslims": Beware of this - It is not what it seems

by Satyanarayana das

Posted April 7, 2005

Dear Maharajas, Prabhus and Matajis,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

For your own protection, I request that you please beware of the so-called "Sharing Krishna with Muslims" group, which includes Airavata dasa, Nararatna dasa and Amala dasa. We strongly advise that you do not under any circumstances give your donations to this group.

Let my history with them act as a warning (i.e., I think you would agree that hearing the painful events of others is better then personally experiencing them):

Prior to my becoming the BBT trustee for the Middle East (and before I learned of the actual situation in Turkey), I was approached for a donation by this same group, headed by Airavata dasa. Wanting to help Prabhupada's mission in the Middle East, I gave a significant personal donation. I was assured and convinced that they would use this donation to print one of Srila Prabhupada's small books in Turkish (Beyond Birth and Death).

However upon receiving the donation, communication on their side suddenly began to fade. Exhaustive requests for any shred of legitimate proof that the books were printed went unanswered. They simply could not account at all for the proper use of the funds.

This soon inspired a GBC investigation in Turkey, which proved that not a single book from my donation was ever printed. Of course, by that time these individuals had stopped communicating with me altogether.

What they did do, however, was to turn their attention and donation efforts onto other innocent devotees -- as far as wide as possible.

*** Therefore, so that you sincere devotees do not experience the same painful experience that I did, I am requesting that this warning email be sent to all PAMHO users. And if you happen to know anyone else who may have been contacted by these individuals, I strongly recommend that you pass on this warning. It is especially important now since they have recently increased their personal fund-raising campaign to record levels.

For example, at the Mayapur Gaura Purnima festival just finished, one of these three persons freely handed out leaflets to so many well-intentioned and innocent devotees walking out of the temple. Those leaflets gave bank wiring instructions for devotees to wire in large donations to bank accounts around the world, with the urge that the devotees give very generously and to really "be merciful".

"If devotees could give $1000 each, it would be good" the leaflet says.

Please carefully consider the following for your own protection:

  1. These individuals are NOT working under the authority of ISKCON in Turkey (or anywhere else in the Middle East), nor are they working under the authority of the BBT in Turkey (or anywhere else in the Middle East).
  2. Our devotees in Turkey -- who *are* working under the authority of ISKCON and the BBT -- urge us, in the strongest terms, not to trust those persons or work with them in any way. Besides using these donations for their personal use, they are also severely disrupting the genuine devotional and preaching efforts going in Turkey by actively campaigning against ISKCON.
  3. To maintain a cloak of secrecy, as well as an appearance of great personal danger -- and thus to evoke your compassion and your funds -- this group represents that Turkey is a closed country and is an extremely dangerous place in which to preach. Like Saudi Arabia, for instance.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Turkey is an open, European-style country that is joining the EU (European Union). It is a place where you can openly wear dhoti and tilak, go out and preach the philosophy to the intelligent population, and where you can print our books without any problem, AS IS, at any printer, at any time.

  4. In summary, I am sorry to say that these persons will say whatever they feel is necessary to convince you to give them your money. But please know for certain they are working for their own personal interests and motives, which have nothing to do with helping or working with ISKCON or the BBT in Turkey. Exactly the opposite is true.

    Again I say all of this from personal (painful) experience, and from the pleas of our devotees in Turkey to do something about this terrible situation already (NB: Those pleas inspired the writing of this letter).

I regret having to write such a long letter about this, but I believe that a clear and detailed explanation of the situation is necessary.

Let us say it again for emphasis: We strongly advise that you do not send any of your precious funds to these people, under any circumstances. Plesae donate your precious and compassionate support elsewhere.

Thank you for your time and your attention to this matter.

Happily, there are so many wonderful and genuine efforts being made by our sincere devotees worldwide -- devotees who are working inside the divine, protected, spiritual rooms of Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON Home. So many great projects and devotees to donate to, should you desire to help.

We do need to discriminate at all times, as Prabhupada taught us to do. But I am eager to report to you a truth that was crystal clear at the Mayapur festival: Srila Prabhupada's mercy is ever-present, ever-powerful and ever-increasing. Many devotees felt such an outpouring of love during the Panca-Tattva abhiseka, during the festival kirtans, and I saw tears everywhere.

We are -- all of us -- incredibly fortunate souls.

Thank you again, and please feel free to write with any questions.

Your servant,

Satyanarayana dasa
BBT trustee
Western Pacific and Middle East