Stepping Out Or Stepping Down?
Posted June 26, 2006
It's with great pleasure that I read the formal letter of Dhanurdhara Swami's decision to step down from his "role" in ISKCON and now operate outside the political confines of ISKCON. I consider ISKCON no longer "Prabhupada's body" but more like a sinking ship, which for some reason many are clinging to as if it were the be-all and end-all when it comes to spreading Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy. I truly hope that people can see beyond this. If ever there was a time to support Maharaja and assist him in this new chapter of his life of preaching, it is now.
The past may be a shadow that never fully leaves him, but once again, Maharaja has humbly submitted himself to the desires of those who feel that he should step aside; another show of humility and his wish not to cause more frustration for those who can't seem to forgive. It is disheartening that even as he makes this bold step and leaves to walk away -- still following his heart to preach, as his guru maharaja has instructed him to do (albeit outside of his guru's religious institution) -- this won't be good enough for some.
I applaud him for leaving, and I hope that others will follow. Scandals may still hover over some other devotees of high stature -- including, perhaps, a few gurus and sannyasis. Nevertheless, if Dhanurdhara Swami needed to be the whipping boy, so be it. He's taken it like a Vaisnava, as is to be expected with a devotee of his calibre. What a shame that the GBC couldn't have assisted him more, perhaps making all the facts known to the public. Things might have unfolded differently.
Nevertheless, there is devotional life after ISKCON, believe it or not.