Chakra Discussions

The Long Term Impact Of Neglecting the Achievements Of the Previous Acharyas

by Sarah Pillai

Posted October 23, 2005

It would seem from reading the response of Braja Sevaki, that she may have misunderstood the purpose and intent of my previous article, so please let me clarify: Firstly, I did not blame ISKCON for "wine, women and prostitution" as she put it. I simply stated that this sort of problem had been ongoing in Mayapur for many years and that it could be a serious problem in the future considering the amount of non-devotee labour needed to build the temple. To my knowledge, this problem (and other problems) has not been sufficiently addressed by the Mayapur Planning Committee.

Secondly, I'd like to draw the readers' attention the last paragraph of my article in which I stated that these concerns did not mean that the Vedic Planatarium should not be built. This temple was the desire of Srila Prabhupada and it should be built according to his desires without a doubt. However, I certainly do not think that His Divine Grace would have desired his followers to step on the heads of the residents living in Sridhama Mayapur. It is very regrettable that Braja Sevaki cannot see the other residents for what they are - dhama-vasis and Vaisnavas, rather than mundane ignorant villagers. Such an attitude towards the dhama-vasis and vaishnavas of other maths will not be auspicious for ISKCON in the long run. It will simply give the impression that ISKCON is a society whose members consider themselves to be the only Vaishnavas on the planet.

Thirdly, concerning the article by Swami BG Narasingha on "Bhaktivinoda's Vision" (www.gosai.com/krishnatalk_fs.html), I thought it pertinent to mention this because despite the many quotes from letters and conversations from Srila Prabhupada on the Vedic Planetarium, it seems that in no place does His Divine Grace mention the Vedic Planetarium as the prophesied "Adbhuta Mandira" of Bhaktivinode and Lord Nityananda. Rather, the Adbhuta mandir has been referred to as the birthplace of Caitanya Mahaprabhu by Bhaktisiddhanta since the building of Yogapith. Swami Narasingha has given a huge amount of information and evidence to support this in three article published on his website.

Finally, it's all too easy to sabre-rattle and cry "You're belittling Srila Prabhupada by saying such things!", but I fail to see how my concerns can be considered a criticism of Srila Prabhupada when Prabhupada himself never mentioned it even once. It could just as well be said that ISKCON is belittling the achievments of Bhaktivinoda and Bhaktisiddhanta by neglecting their service to the Dham. It would seem that this idea has only sprung up recently and is the product of propaganda from the ISKCON management. No doubt, we all hope and pray that the temple Prabhupada had envisioned in Mayapur will indeed be built one day and will indeed be great, but in order to make it great, is it really necessary to neglect other great achievements of the previous acharyas?

As noted above, Prabhupada has mentioned many things about his plans for the Vedic Planetarium, but can someone show a specific reference where Srila Prabhupada directly says that the Vedic Planetarium is the fulfillment of Bhaktivinode's prophecy?

If such a quote cannot be found then the Mayapur management should be honest, and retract their propaganda that they are fulfilling this prophecy - otherwise, their neglect of the achievements of Bhaktivinode and Bhaktisiddhanta will be an both an offense to the previous acharyas and an embarrassment to Srila Prabhupada.