Struggle for Truth
Posted June 9, 2010
This is in response to the inaccurate and misleading Public Notice issued on May 21, 2010 in some newspapers by the agents of ISKCON-Mumbai.
The information provided therein is false, and has been released with the mischievous intention of misleading the public at large. We issue the following clarification.
Claim on ISKCON-Bangalore Temple Property
The City Civil Court, Bangalore on April 17, 2009 declared, “The Plaintiff (ISKCON-Bangalore registered in 1978 under Karnataka Societies Registration Act) is declared as the absolute owner of the ISKCON Temple and land at Hare Krishna Hill, Chord Road, Rajajinagar, Bangalore 560010 and is in possession and enjoyment of them, being an independent legal entity.” Further the court decreed, “ISKCON-Mumbai are restrained by means of permanent injunction from interfering with the ISKCON-Bangalore peaceful possession and enjoyment of the temple properties or attempting to take possession or control them.” Aggrieved by this order the agents of ISKCON-Mumbai are putting up such mischievous Public Notices to tarnish the image of ISKCON-Bangalore.
Claim on properties of other trusts functioning from ISKCON-Bangalore temple
ISKCON-Mumbai had made a claim on the properties of various independent entities/institutions/trusts functioning from the ISKCON Temple in Rajajinagar before the City Civil Court. The Court disallowed their claim. ISKCON-Mumbai appealed the order before the Honourable High Court of Karnataka. The City Civil Court’s order was confirmed by the Honourable High Court of Karnataka in Writ Petitions W.P.No.12106/2005 and W.P.No. 13748/2005. It is not challenged and hence it is final.
Housing Project at Kanakapura Road
It is hereby clarified that ISKCON Charities and India Heritage Foundation, two separate institutions/trusts are engaged in the housing project on it’s property that is meant for raising funds to set up a Krishna Lila Theme Park at Kanakapura Road. This project was presented to the Government of Karnataka as a tourism project and was cleared by the State High Level Clearance Committee, vide Government Order No. ITY 52 TTM 2005, Bangalore dated 28-06-2005.
As individual citizens of this country, the missionaries of ISKCON-Bangalore, have every right to legally create any number of independent institutions in the form of associations or trusts for developing distinct activities in pursuance of the vision of the Founder Acharya, Srila Prabhupada and in the service of humanity. All these separate institutions are compliant with all the laws of the land. Further each of these institutions are formed as charitable trusts with no personal gain to any of the trustees who are all dedicated, voluntary and full-time missionaries.
Hence it is misleading propaganda that ISKCON-Bangalore, the society registered in Karnataka is engaged in any real estate business activity.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation
The Akshaya Patra Foundation, which runs the mid day meal program, feeding about 12 lakhs school children all over India is an independent institution. ISKCON-Mumbai is also behind the recent spate of attacks on this program just because hundreds of missionaries of ISKCON-Bangalore are the main work-force behind this noble programme.
Attack on Leadership of ISKCON-Bangalore
The present senior leadership of ISKCON-Bangalore consists of full-time dedicated missionaries who have put in 15 to 30 years of service in Srila Prabhupada's Hare Krishna movement in Bangalore. Till 1999, ISKCON-Mumbai had recognized the leaders of ISKCON-Bangalore for their commitment to service, integrity and organizational skills. In 1999, the devotees of ISKCON-Bangalore became involved in a theological debate, internal to ISKCON, and took up a stand contrary to that of ISKCON-Mumbai’s. This theological debate has been raging in the ISKCON Movement all over the world. Soon after this, the agents of ISKCON-Mumbai have been vilifying the leadership of ISKCON-Bangalore, now for nearly a decade.
ISKCON-Bangalore society avows allegiance to Srila Prabhupada, the Founder Acharya of ISKCON and the institution he personally founded in 1966, ISKCON Inc. New York. ISKCON-Bangalore does not align with ISKCON-Mumbai’s disobedience and disregard of Srila Prabhupada’s own written directive on the succession of Acharya within ISKCON. Contrary to the explicit directions of Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON-Mumbai has been involved in promoting and perpetuating the system of self-appointed fallible persons as successor Acharyas of Srila Prabhupada and as “God’s representatives on earth.”
In the last 30 years of ISKCON’s history, post Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance in 1977, nearly fifty such self-appointed successor Acharyas have had the most dishonourable and disgraceful fall downs from spiritual grace and extreme deviation from their spiritual vows. Their saga constitutes the unfortunate annals of ISKCON’s dark history, post 1977. Though painful to say, the truth is that the misuse of power and authority of these self-made Acharyas that resulted in scandals of abuse of women and children by sannyasis and even murder of those devotees who opposed the system proves a radical departure from the pure path of Krishna bhakti taught by the most revered and saintly Srila Prabhupada.
The perplexing and staggering fact is that the ISKCON world leadership has not been able to contain the perpetration of the same over three decades. This is so because almost all of the leadership are occupied by the self-appointed Acharyas themselves. Bogged down by the power, wealth, flamboyant lifestyle provided by submitting disciples (contrary to the principles of austerity or tapasya, taught by Srila Prabhupada) they have been unable to take corrective action. These repeated occurrences have brought immense disrepute to ISKCON world over; it has disillusioned thousands of ISKCON followers; resulted in ISKCON losing temple properties and a long list of organizational woes.
The devotees of ISKCON-Bangalore, for the last 12 years, have vigorously taken up the cause of implementing the directions of Srila Prabhupada on the matter of spiritual succession within ISKCON movement after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance. We have been demanding reforms to abolish the flawed and self-appointed Acharya system prevalent in several ISKCON temples and implement Srila Prabhupada’s own direction on spiritual succession. The devotees of ISKCON-Bangalore have been affirming that Srila Prabhupada is the only Acharya within ISKCON institution at all times and that the spiritual leaders after him are only Shiksha Gurus (instructing gurus), and not Acharyas who are revered “ as God’s representatives” .
ISKCON-Mumbai has refused to acknowledge the authenticity of the cause of the devotees of ISKCON-Bangalore and their allegiance to Srila Prabhupada in trying to follow his instructions for spiritual succession in ISKCON. On the contrary, the agents of ISKCON-Mumbai are camouflaging this fundamental issue and falsely portraying, over the past decade, that the leadership of ISKCON-Bangalore is interested in holding control of the assets of ISKCON-Bangalore temple by fraudulent means. In 1999, the agents of self-made gurus of ISKCON-Mumbai attempted to forcefully take physical control of the temple in Rajajinagar and the funds of ISKCON-Bangalore society (that are being properly rendered in the service of God and mankind) by expelling over 150 dedicated missionaries. Having no other alternative, the devotees of ISKCON-Bangalore were forced to take protection from the courts to defend against ISKCON-Mumbai’s attacks. After ISKCON-Bangalore won the court case, ISKCON-Mumbai have intensified their ongoing maligning campaign against the leadership of ISKCON-Bangalore.
We call upon the public to ignore such mischievous propaganda meant to disturb the activities of ISKCON-Bangalore and other legally independent institutions like ISKCON Charities, India Heritage Foundation, Sankirtan Seva Trust, Goloka Seva Trust and The Akshaya Patra Foundation.
Issued by: Jai Chaitanya Dasa
Secretary, ISKCON-Bangalore, Hare Krishna Hill, Chord Road, Bangalore 560010
Trustee, ISKCON Charities & India Heritage Foundation.