Official PR Statement concerning Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
Posted May 2, 2004
This is a response authorized by His Holiness Satsvarupa das Goswami from leaders and senior disciples in his community. He has assigned us to communicate with the public in response to a letter that was posted by electronic mail to many senior and other devotees in ISKCON and that appears to have originated from someone named Hari,who may be located in the UK, dated April 26, 2004.
We would like to unequivocally state that we take seriously any allegations, inquiries, or declarations regarding Satsvarupa dasa Goswamis past or present personal life, conduct, spiritual standards, and devotional practices. As his Communication Management Office, we accept the responsibility of responding, after consulting with him, to questions and concerns on his behalf. We will respond directly to designated authorities in ISKCON, such as the GBC and its approved ministries. We will also respond on a case-by-case basis to individuals writing in an unofficial capacity to discuss their devotional lives.
We are in receipt of information from both Satsvarupa Maharajas doctor and counselor that clarifies his current health condition and recovery process. This information will be provided within professional limits and with regard for Satsvarupa Maharajas right to privacy. Furthermore, information regarding his devotional standards and practices will be provided to approved authorities.
This office feels that the allegations in the letter from Hari are distorted and lack context. We encourage the recipients of the mass mailing to bear in mind that the reported events are conveyed by an anonymous source and as such remain unsubstantiated and anonymous allegations. Instead, we submit that for a period of time while Satsvarupa Maharaja was living in Ireland and undergoing his most serious health crisis, an unacceptable bond developed between him and his counselor at the time. Unfortunately, this is not an unusual occurrence and is known as transference and counter-transference.When both client and counselor realized the detour, they discontinued counseling and permanently closed their relationship. It is regrettable that the counseling work underway was thus interruptedwork that was beneficial to Satsvarupa Maharajabut it was obvious to both of them that closing the relationship was an appropriate and mature decision.
This office disagrees with the statement that the GBC chairman, Praghosa Prabhu, and the sannyasa minister, His Holiness Prahladananda Swami, failed to investigate the allegations. Rather, both the chairman and the minister made appropriate inquiries to all of the individuals named in Harisletter and, after reaching their conclusion, took action. They administered prescriptive modifications and recommendations on ISKCONs behalf and for Satsvarupa Maharajas benefit, which Satsvarupa Maharaja has accepted, including that he not initiate disciples for the foreseeable future.
We believe that the ramifications of the mass mailing could be spiritually damaging to both ISKCON and to Satsvarupa Maharajas substantial recovery. It is our prayer that devotees who know or who are close to Harireach out to and reason with him or her. In keeping with the teachings and life example of Satsvarupa das Goswami, it is our duty as Vaisnavas to offer compassion and spiritual guidance to a devotee in distress.
Please send correspondence to any one of us at email@example.com. If you would prefer to contact any of these representatives directly, please send us a request and we will supply contact information.
Kirtan Ras das
Narayana Kavaca das