Posted July 3, 2006
I am writing to implore everyone to read the posting from Jayadvaita Swami "Scapegoat" It is the best posting to date I have read by a leader in Iskcon. I had been intending to write an article agreeing with Dhanadhuras statement that he felt himself a victim of the gbc. I am sure he was....this does not however excuse his separate behavior towards students......and I also implore every single devotee in the world, leaders and simple disciples to read with an open mind the thoughts expressed by the students of the gurukulas.
For the sake of our individual souls and for the sake of our group consciousness and karma, full, complete, compassionate attention must finally be given to this blight on our institution. The wrongs committed and the 30 year lethargy in addressing these wrongs. For myself I am embarrassed to admit that I have been a part of this lethargy. I looked at the good and did not scream and rail endlessly when devotees were laughing about how "everyone was having sex in the woods in New Vrindavana". I spoke up, asked questioned, but then allowed myself to be shut down. This was my choice to not make waves, a great regret. Now, years later I understand the truth. Any woman, 12 years and up, not married, was fair game to any man when she walked in the woods. Look around you today....look at a female 12 years of age in your community, these girls where married to men in their 30's and 40's, and if not married, were labeled prostitutes and fair game to any demon in a dhoti who wished to have them. All while temple presidents, gbc's, anyone with a whisper of knowledge about this, laughed.
Now if we allow ourselves the truth, the basic principle of Krishna, sat, cit ananda......grievous wrongs were done to our children, Krishnas children. We are all, everyone of us accountable....everyone of us. Including new devotees who refuse to investigate the truth. If there is to be ananda in this body Krishna, Iskcon, we must be open and heartfelt about out part in this. It might be painful, but pain is the process of growth in this world of duality.
As Shakuntalas recent post about Kulilmela says, the society of Iskcon is brimming with wonderful, talented, compassionate youth. But where are they in our leadership? They are given bit parts, where the situation can be controlled by the gbc (dear editors please to not edit this with capital letters, it is not deserved) The same devotees, my age, my friends, those that do not take the time to read the reports from the Child Protection Office, those who do not sympathetically, with an open heart ask student after student, please tell me of your personal experience, I am seeking the truth, those "older" devotees, are still holding onto control. It is sad for Iskcon, it is sad for me, who no longer wishes to be a part of this.
The "Big" devotees run all over the world attempting to counter the 'evil' godbrothers of Prabhupada leaving their own houses to burn, their children in it. Taking action only if they will look bad if they don't. We are all missing our opportunities for personal growth. This is Krishnas mercy that we are given the opportunity to see reality outside of our own minds, to join our hearts with others of faith. To learn from our past. To make amends. And most importantly to correct. I heard someone speak lately about the good always being followed by the bad and vice a versa. The earth is balanced this way for a reason. This gives us the opportunity to step back and take note...to learn to do things better. The speaker referred to it as "the self correcting heart". We the individual, and we the body of individuals, the institution, must take this time to correct our hearts. Dhanadhuras request to personally hear those with grievances against him was a great start. An example that I hope his godbrothers will follow. Not just those who were directly involved but all of us... Those on the leadership accountability teams, those giving lectures, those in the kitchen, those cleaning the toilets. There is an expression "hearing from the horses mouth". Why don't we ask those that were there, on all levels? What are we afraid of?
My answer is we are afraid of the truth. We are afraid of admitting our imperfections. Not to others, for those not under the influence of Iskcon, our faults are self evident. But admitting the truth to ourselves, this is the hardest, this is uncomfortable, the hardest thing we might do in life, and conversely the most important. Let us not let these untimely deaths go to waste. Let us reflect, repent and correct.
obeisances and love, ekaBuddhi