Chakra Discussions

"I am a Prabhupada man.
I just don't trust him."

by Gopakumar das

Posted April 7, 2004

"What Prabhupada has told me to do I do not think is best for me. I think his judgment in this regard was flawed. I have decided to neglect this order. I have also institutionalized my distrust of Pradhupada's judgment in this matter, and created a campaign to disseminate my distrust. In fact, anyone who does follow Prabhupada's instruction in this regard shall be excommunicated from ISKCON and isolated and criticized. If you want to be loyal to Prabhupada you have to follow what ISKCON deems proper. In this case this means neglect this instruction Prabhupada gave."

This is an apt paraphrase, in my opinion, of the GBC conclusions and behavior regarding Srila Prabhupada's desire at the end of his manifest lila. At the end of his acarya lila Prabhupada that if anyone should have philosophical questions after his departure they should approach Srila B.R. Sridhara Maharaja of Navadvipa for siksa. GBC later rationalized that because Srila B.R. Sridhara Maharaja's preaching appeared different from Prabhupada's preaching then Prabhupada's suggestion should be ignored. It was this rationale that was flawed, seeing that Prabhupada himself felt differently. Prabhupada wrote to H.H. Govinda Maharaja, "What Sripada Sridhara Maharaja has directed, I take it on my head. He is always my well-wisher. After the departure of Prabhupada (Bhaktisiddhanta), it is appropriate that I should accept his direction." Now the GBC has upheld a policy that no one can take instruction outside of ISKCON. This is clearly a departure from Srila Prabhupada's desire. Prabhupada did not require everyone develop faith in Sridhara Maharaja. He simply opened the door for that possibility.

What ensued after the GBC's decision to separate from Sridhara Maharaja was an onslaught of criticism that brought His Divine Grace B.R. Sridhara Maharaja to tears. Such a vilification campaign has never been remedied to the degree that it was issued. Furthermore, for those devotees who accepted Sridhara Maharaja's siksa and developed faith in him there was an ultimatum: Reject him or leave. These individuals have been left to start their own missions for preaching and were then criticized for doing so. In fact, they were forbidden to sell Prabhupada's books and have since been criticized for writing their own. Now that some of them have manifested the sakti to preach and change people's hearts by the grace of their Gurus they are being dealt with anew. The mistake of their banishment has never been rectified.

Prabhupada was intimate friends with Sridhara Maharaja. Although he said, "This is B.R. Sridhara Maharaja, whom I consider to be even my siksa guru, so what to speak of the benefit that you can have from his association." And "go to someone who will be competent to act as siksha guru. This is Sridhara Maharaja." he was not a siksa disciple in the sense that we would be. What he was trying to say is that Sridhara Maharaja's words are authoritative. He was saying that even he, Prabhupada, accepted the knowledge and realization of his beloved Godbrother. Prabhupada's did criticize his Godbrothers and B.R. Sridhara Maharaja was no exception. But in the final days of his lila he apologized for any offenses against them. It is not appropriate to dig them out. But if one does dig out the critique, it should be noted that none of it could override these strong and clear statements in glorification.

In the name of loyalty to Prabhupada, Prabhupada is being greatly defied and many have been affected and offended. When will the GBC right its wrongs in this regard? When will the hypocrisy behind the statement, "I am a Prabhupada man!" be removed?

(All unlabeled quotes can be found in the Vedabase. Many more glorifications are there too. Please seek these out. Visnu Maharaja's Our Affectionate Guardians can also be read online)

Gopakumar das