Friday, March 26, 2010

2 Letters of Concern to Bhagavan

2 Letters of Concern to Bhagavan

Copied from FB Forum and reposted here w/ comment threads below:

Friday, March 26, 2010 at 1:01pm

Dear Bhagavan Prabhu,

I want you to know that we have been discussing what you have been publishing and also remembering you in your "glory days." Both of us have nothing but the warmest regards towards you, even though, as you can imagine, we are rather startled by what you are putting forth, especially as it pertains to Srila Prabhupada, and hence this letter. I hope you do not interpret this as either one of us being fanatics or unbalanced or even unloving. Nothing could be farther than the truth. He has asked me to publish it, but on my own page, rather than yours, for the benefit of the devotees who are rather startled and confused by what you have said. That is why personally, i would have wished that you would just admit that you are no longer a proponent of Krsna Consiousness as taught by Srila Prabhupada, and let the devotees take it from there. This way you do not have to defend your philosophy as being what Prabhupada would have authorized were he still here.

Your friend ........ (name omitted for privacy)

Dear Bhagavan Prabhu,

Please accept my obeisances. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I am taking the time to write to you as a consequence of my reading your recent public statements delivered to me by our nice Godsister and mutual friend, .......... Devi Dasi.

You have resurfaced in the public domain with some very unsettling comments dealing with the role that sense gratification plays in the lives of aspiring devotees. I will be happy to address these comments in time if you welcome this. However I feel it incumbent upon me to address the most important element in the entire business as I view it: your presenting your views as objective Truth, all the while protesting that this is in fact just your own "realizations" that inform your present way of living and you are NOT trying to win converts to your present "convictions", neither urging others to embrace your considered "realizations" or seeking validation of your convictions by anyone's tacit or enthusiastic consensus.

Objectively recognizable Truth is "authored" by Lord Krsna Himself. And "devotees" of the Lord are naturally accustomed to rely exclusively upon Him to determine what is or is not absolute truth in any and all matters.

What is more, at the least, amongst the devotees - the full purport to each and every word of Lord Krsna, and His incarnation as Lord Chaitanya, and the disciplic succession of perfectly pure Acharyas that have delivered these elucidating purports to Lord Krsna's words - was, is and will remain the Divine Purports of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

I would at this point-in the most affectionate and kind way as his possible, urge you to essentially take a step back from placing any further comments in the public domain on the subjects you have broached inter alia - sex life, Srila Prabhupada and his lifelong example of pure devotional service and your own ideas on all of this. I ask you, as your friend to close down your blog and communicate with me personally - as your longtime friend and brother.

While I am sure you will not agree with me in your present state of mind - but I can assure you that your mind has become your most dangerous enemy at this present time. I could list a host of reasons for my saying this - but I simply could not bear embarrassing you any more than you appear to do quite confidently on your own.

You cannot offer as the source of your so-called "realizations" on sex life vis a vis the teachings of Lord Krsna, material science or common sense, ANYTHING that has been clarified for us LONG AGO by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

Everything I have reviewed from your comments essentially falls within the category of speculative supposition of the most specious nature.

And what is the single most egregious aspect of it all is your attempt to substantiate your views - with the most incorrect depictions of Srila Prabhupada and our Acharyas as something quite less than the way in which Srila Prabhupada's devotees actually recognize both he and they to be. In your present state of mind - you might position this last statement as symptomatic of my being guilty of the very kind of "fanaticism" that cannot be substantiated with the same kind of "realization" that you ascribe to your own hard won "knowledge" on matters pertaining to the so-called need for a much valued "balance" between the temporary pleasures of the senses and the real pleasure of Krsna Consciousness. However - I feel safe in assuring you that an objective critical analysis of His Divine Grace - will show him to be the complete antithesis of your depiction of him.

Without a mutually shared value in the absolute position and teachings of Srila Prabhupada and the Bhagavad Gita - we cannot really discuss coherently.

Devotees approach all such discussions bearing in my mind this statement from Srila Prabhupada in Bhagavad Gita:

"The process of speaking in spiritual circles is to say something upheld by authority. One should at once quote from scriptural authority to back up what he is saying."

So devotees always proffer the precepts of Krsna Consciousness by simply relying upon the direct statements of Lord Krsna and Srila Prabhupada and we view his "example" of the activation of those precepts as being pristine and perfect - from the moment he arrived in this world - until his final moment with us; his final utterance of "Krsna!!!!"

You are mistakenly forgetting that you were initiated as Bhagavan DAS and from the moment you crossed that line - you willingly renounced any reliance upon any other authority - be it your mind or any other rascal "authority" to settle the questions that arise as a consequence of the tension that can arise between matter and spirit. Knowledge is described by Srila Prabhuapda as "knowing the difference between matter and spirit and the controller of both". As Srila Prabhuapda's "initiated" disciple - we may slip in our efforts to remain fixed in the shelter of his fully liberating instructions - but our restoration and final satisfaction lies in returning to the faith and enthusiam that brought us "to the fire with our banana, grains and commitments" in the first place. Inventing a new slant on the truth as it pertains to matter and spirit and the difference and/or controller of both will never cut it for us. Especially those of us who were at one time blessed with even a glimpse of the unbelievable happiness derived from full and unfettered service in the samkirtan party of Srila Prabhupada!!

You are speaking in my humble but loving estimation - "realizations" that are so far beneath the man and devotee I know - I can only think that you are under the influence of some form of intoxication and as "Friends do not let friends - drive drunk" this long time loving friend of yours, simply refuses to sit by while you severely sully yourself in the eyes of your well-wishers - chief of which is none other than our mutually greatest "Well Wisher" His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

Kindly consider my comments, shut down your blog for the time being and call me. Let us discuss this all threadbare if need be. But not publically. As initiated disciples, Srila Prabhupada guides as as to how we are bound to represent him. In his commentary to Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.47 says, "The disciple and spiritual master are never separated, because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple as long as the disciple follows strictly the instructions of the spiritual master. This is called the association of vani (words). Physical presence is called vapuh. As long as the spiritual master is physically present, the disciple should serve the physical body of the spiritual master, and when the spiritual master is no longer physically existing, the disciple should serve the instructions of the spiritual master."

So we are called to repeat his teachings exclusively - on all matters - and try our best to exemplify them to the best of our ability. If we fail to exemplify them due to some personal lapse of faith or determination - we should do our best to right ourselves but we should never reject or twist his teachings to justify our lapse. If we dare to do this, we do ourselves the greatest harm. If we broadcast our self-serving spin on the teachings of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, daring to secure validation for our faithlessness or defiance - we will only harm ourselves and those who support us with their own commitment to faithlessness.

As your friend, I offer only this much on this matter in the public domain.

Most sincerely

your god-brother (name omitted for privacy)

Copied Comment thread:

Veda Sastra
In the second letter never had Krishna represented so unattractively .
March 26 at 4:26pm ·

Ilona Puspanjali
What you mean Veda Sastra? "In the second letter never had Krishna represented so unattractively"? Please elaborate
March 26 at 4:43pm ·

Subhadra Hemphill
I have to say, he makes some important points...and it sounds like he really does care for you.
March 26 at 5:09pm ·

Dhanaysaree Rampersad
i was really confused, but the second letter has really reinforced what Prabhupada taught us.
March 26 at 7:50pm ·

Andrew Hahn
well its not like your initiating disciples.I think its good to speak your mind no matter what.iskon devotees can sometimes rely too much on what is proper and in turn become very cold towards others realizations or struggles,,,though it does make sense it is easier that way.the easy way would be to accept everything in scripture but its better to ... See Morebe honest with ourselves and each other-something that has sadly been demolished by blind following...i cant however say that you guys-the prevous gurus in iskon didnt bring this upon yourselves due to the possible want of all accepting every word you had to say
March 26 at 11:52pm ·

Veda Sastra
I mean to say as it was nicely explained by the letter responce to it ,this is not healthy communication of Krishna consciousness ,neither by the tone or contents .
It is an iron blade of coldness that cuts through without even providing sufficient reason or spiritual enlightenment .
March 27 at 1:59am ·

Ilona Puspanjali
Thank you Veda.
March 27 at 3:44am ·

Adhoksaja Krsna
Pure devotion is born of pure faith. Srila Prabhupada says in Bg 3.31 "In the begginning one may not fully disharge all the injunctions of the Lord ...but one who carries on without consideration of defeat or hopelessness will surely be promoted to the stage of pure Krsna consciousness." Our practice may not be pure but let's at least hold on to our faith in that purity being the goal and in due course we will surely achieve it.
March 27 at 11:41am via Facebook Mobile ·

Veda Sastra
Very true ,thank you.
March 27 at 12:52pm ·

Dhritarastra Tulasi
For each individual soul honesty if necessary. But we should use that honest analysis of ourself to see & understand what we want to do to improve our thoughts, words, & deeds toward following as close as possible according to our realizations the highest standard shown & taught by Srila Prabhupada...But we should not judge others as this knowledge... See More is for SELF- Realization. We use this knowledge to help purify ourselves & hopefully help & assist others on this path.. Devotees want encouragement we are to old to be worrying about what others are doing & have done..We have all made mistakes big & small. We must be honest about that & continue to move forward & not lose track of the goal. Even if we get KNOCKED back we must still keep our eye on the goal, no matter what our situation was in the past or is now.
March 27 at 8:26pm ·

Andrew Hahn
very true-I agree 100 percent I agree and apologize if I have made any offense toward anyone-just making the point that history repeats itself and the current iskon should be warey of the past mistakes that have been made.accepting blindly may or may not render one has been said that it depends on the purity. in actuality I think it depens on how we forgive learn and love.That to me has been a realization of the mode of goodness and passion
March 28 at 1:32am ·

Dhritarastra Tulasi
i lived as a brahmacari from 1976 till around 1986 & i loved it.. Of course eventually i had my own car, bank account & no temple authorities & realized i was not really a brahmacari. To live in the temple we must follow the rules & regulations or as i realized i should not live in the temple. But i feel that living that life style does not make ... See Moreone a blind follower.. Many devotees had a good experience & @ some point realized they needed their own space & that seems natural.
i don't feel that most of Srila Prabhupada disciples who lived in the temple or the few who still do are blind followers...Most of us were very doubtful of authorities in general, but tried to co-operate because Srila Prabhupada asked us to.. But @ somepoint chose to be independant of temple authorities as we either disagreed or just wanted to expand our lifestyle. or both. Many new devotees also have that mood. So if someone chooses to live in a temple that is their choice which they deemed necessary to start their spiritual life, & that can be good for them. I spend time in Vrindavan & i am impressed with many new devotees as they seem very sincere. Due to Srila Prabhupada's mercy the mercy from Lord Chaitanya is spreading out to everytown & village & to individuals eveywhere. Do we still have issues with Iskcon ? yes, but the sankirtan movement can not be stopped as predicted by Lord Chaitanya. When i was last in Mayapur and saw thousands of devotees chanting & dancing i thought here is our leader, the Pancha-tattva. This sankirtan movement will go on with or with out me. We are dealing with Lord Chaitanya... it was a very comforting moment.
March 28 at 4:59am ·

Andrew Hahn
hey prabhu.i experienced the bramachari life as well and i personally never came across any blind following at the temple i stayed at.unfortunatelly threw the years following ive met many heavy handed former straitedgers etc.friends of mine have had death threats for certain puvblications etc.needles to say my rose colored glasses have been worries though i still participate within iskon temples etc.
March 28 at 1:34pm ·

Dhritarastra Tulasi
i know many horror stories that devotees went thru. From 1984 i lived much of that time in Vrindavan until 2002. I regularly heard devotees complains from around the WORLD. We have to keep on moving step by step toward KRishna. It is like a big obstacle course. Sort of reminds me of a Bruce Willis Movie.. A ridiculous amount of obstacles he goes.

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