A glimpse of hope on the corrupt guru market

A glimpse of hope on the corrupt guru market

In 2016, a unique incident occurred on which could mark the start of the revival of Srila Prabhupada’s legacy.

Two days ago, I was discussing something with my friend. All my friends are staunch Srila Prabhupada’s followers. They are also very brave, independently thoughtful, the cream of the cream, and highly intelligent. When I reflected on all of these wonderful individuals, with whom I communicated in the last three years, I am really grateful to Krishna that He mercifully pulled me out of the swamp of the corrupt ISKCON Gestapo regime. If I stayed in the ISKCON swamp, I would have never met them.

Anyway, let’s get back to the main subject, we were discussing the future of Srila Prabhupada sampradaya, and we came to the topic of Garuda das ACBSP. My friend provided a photo of Garuda das giving initiation to a devotee in 2016. I was intrigued, so I checked GBC’s official spineless puppy guru-list, and I couldn’t find Garuda’s name. My friend suggested that there are many new gurus who are getting approved “under the table”. I said that this is impossible because guruship donations are money that can’t be ignored by the top shots and that at something should be visible in GBC resolutions. But search through the GBC resolution didn’t bring absolutely anything about Garuda das becoming a guru. Now I was even more intrigued.

I started praying to Krishna to empower Google to help me resolve this mystery. Very quickly, I found an amazing article written by Garuda das in which he explains the initiation he gave in a brilliant way. Due to the importance of this  text, I am reproducing it entirely

A letter on Guru (article by Garuda das)

Dear Esteemed Vaishnava Friends,

Pranamas . . . I’m writing to each and all of you to inform you that I have agreed to formally accept a Vaishnava disciple. Over twenty years I have turned away those who have approached me for dīkshā in the ISKCON fashion, i.e., authorized gurus toward whom ISKCON devotees are funneled. However, I have never accepted the idea of an institutionalized relationship between myself and anyone. And I certainly have never accepted any institutionalized shīksha relationships based on our sacred Krishna Bhakti tradition. So how then would I have accepted any dīkshā relationships approved by the institution of ISKCON?

It was easy to turn away the many devotees who had approached me over the years by saying “I’m not authorized. Go find someone who is approved by the GBC.” They were shopping for an authorized Guru, a relationship that is based on an institutional process. Their request to me was not based on a relationship with me, and thus it was easy to turn away all those individuals.

But several years ago, I had met a B.A. student at the University of Virginia (UVA). He had originally become introduced to Krishna Bhakti in his home town of New Delhi when he was a teen, and later through Mayapriya and Amitacara and their Bhakti Yoga Club at UVA. He became acquainted with my presentations of Krishna Bhakti through the Club and through temple lectures at Potomac and at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. We also had many talks as he was entering into a Ph.D. program at UVA in history. Naturally a relationship had developed over the few years of knowing him, and he asked me in 2015 for dīkshā. He explained to me that for many years he had been traveling the world, especially Europe, South Africa, and India, attending classes at ISKCON temples presented by many devotees. His claim to me was that he cannot trust anyone with the sacred Krishna Bhakti philosophy and the way of approaching the philosophy the way he can with me. He knew that my policy was generally to not offer dīkshā, but he persisted and insisted and based on our relationship, I acquiesced.

We agreed that he should wait a year, despite the fact that he’s been practicing for seven years. I wanted to see if he was just as serious a year later even after expressing such compelling reasons. A year later he was even more intensely desiring this initiation. So last week, August 2016, we had a small ceremony at my home. I gave him the name Premānanda Vilāsa Dāsa.

I have been a loyal and supportive person of ISKCON since 1972. Nothing has changed. I am not starting a new “movement,” a new sect, or anything that should threaten ISKCON at all. So no fears. And I neither condemn nor condone the ISKCON institutionalization of relationships that others may want to work with, including the guru-shishya relationship, but it will never be for me. I will never accept an institutionalized relationship with a student, nor will I accept ISKCON’s rejection of my going ahead with this dīkshā relationship, nor will I accept their retroactive acceptance of it.

On the other hand, I didn’t want any of you to hear about this from anyone else before hearing about it from me. Guru brothers and sisters who already have heard about this from me have generously supported Premananda Vilasaji and me in this and have told me that Premananda Vilasa would have every privilege to participate in temple sevā for which he would be qualified as a twice initiated disciple afforded to any ISKCON initiated disciple.

But I’m sure there will be others who will object, and will perhaps even harshly shun Premananda Vilasaji or myself, as I have experienced and witnessed too often in ISKCON as a collection of devotees who can too easily become intensely judgemental, demeaning and depersonalizing for the sake of putting the institution of ISKCON above and beyond any personal, ethical, and even spiritual considerations.

Feel free to express any feelings whatsoever about this to me directly. I will value them for sure. And thank you for your attention to this.

Daso ‘smi premni,

Garuda Das

Analysis

I quoted Garuda’s article below and added my comments.

Pranamas . . . I’m writing to each and all of you to inform you that I have agreed to formally accept a Vaishnava disciple. Over twenty years I have turned away those who have approached me for dīkshā in the ISKCON fashion, i.e., authorized gurus toward whom ISKCON devotees are funneled. However, I have never accepted the idea of an institutionalized relationship between myself and anyone. And I certainly have never accepted any institutionalized shīksha relationships based on our sacred Krishna Bhakti tradition. So how then would I have accepted any dīkshā relationships approved by the institution of ISKCON?

Here, you can see that Garuda das is confirming exactly the same thing outlined by Krishna Dharma das in the recent articles we published: Gestapo Dandavats website publishes heresy by mistake and Approved ISKCON husbands and approved ISKCON gurus. It is the disciple’s sole responsibility to select his guru. Disciple will also reap all the consequences of such a decision. And this is the natural and beautiful way how sampradaya works. As soon as institution starts approving gurus, gurus become dependent on the administrative body for the renewal of their guru license and if they “misbehave” by speaking “too much truth”, they can become “suspended gurus”.

Garuda das is not interested in being a puppy of the GBC, neither he is interested in the ISKCON machine to bring him more and more disciples. Since is he a scholar, professor and preacher of Bhagavad-gita for the last 20 years, he is more than qualified to formulate his stance on various subjects. For example, he stood up against book changes, which he could never do if he were an ISKCON puppy, spineless, institutional, guru-list guru.

It was easy to turn away the many devotees who had approached me over the years by saying “I’m not authorized. Go find someone who is approved by the GBC.” They were shopping for an authorized Guru, a relationship that is based on an institutional process. Their request to me was not based on a relationship with me, and thus it was easy to turn away all those individuals.

This is gold, the above statement of Garuda das is very important. Therefore I made it all bold. 🤓 If somebody will reject you as a guru because you are not “authorized” by a corrupt GBC body, that means that person doesn’t have a real relationship with you. The only thing more stupid than institutional guru is an institutional disciple.

But several years ago, I had met a B.A. student at the University of Virginia (UVA). He had originally become introduced to Krishna Bhakti in his home town of New Delhi when he was a teen, and later through Mayapriya and Amitacara and their Bhakti Yoga Club at UVA. He became acquainted with my presentations of Krishna Bhakti through the Club and through temple lectures at Potomac and at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. We also had many talks as he was entering into a Ph.D. program at UVA in history. Naturally a relationship had developed over the few years of knowing him, and he asked me in 2015 for dīkshā. He explained to me that for many years he had been traveling the world, especially Europe, South Africa, and India, attending classes at ISKCON temples presented by many devotees. His claim to me was that he cannot trust anyone with the sacred Krishna Bhakti philosophy and the way of approaching the philosophy the way he can with me. He knew that my policy was generally to not offer dīkshā, but he persisted and insisted and based on our relationship, I acquiesced.

This is the beauty of natural Krishna consciousness. As we practice Krishna consciousness, we first read all Srila Prabhupada’s books. Then we try to find some senior devotee who is properly initiated into Srila Prabhupada’s lineage, who is well versed with the science of Krishna consciousness. The choice is exclusively ours. The choice of such a guru if he will accept us as a disciple is exclusively his. If we made a bad choice, and our “guru” falls down, that means we made the wrong choice, that’s all.

But corrupt GBC decided to interfere in this God-given natural process with their line of retarded gurus. Such gurus preach that Lord Caitanya ate mushrooms, keep female secretaries, own multiple luxury properties and preach retarded Gestapo ideology that “we should not criticize anybody”.

Above all, arrogant and delusional fake guru-approvers claim every guru who is not approved by them is not a valid follower of Srila Prabhupada.

We agreed that he should wait a year, despite the fact that he’s been practicing for seven years. I wanted to see if he was just as serious a year later even after expressing such compelling reasons. A year later he was even more intensely desiring this initiation. So last week, August 2016, we had a small ceremony at my home. I gave him the name Premānanda Vilāsa Dāsa.

Although I am in the BBT book market, I will quote Bhagavad-gita from the 3.21 from 1972 version: Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.

Garuda das is one great man. He had the guts to do the right thing. He has shown by his own example the right way to form a genuine guru-disciple relationship free of the GBC tyranny. One of the goals of this website is dismantling fake spineless guru approval process and GBC authorized puppy guru-list.

I have been a loyal and supportive person of ISKCON since 1972. Nothing has changed. I am not starting a new “movement,” a new sect, or anything that should threaten ISKCON at all. So no fears. And I neither condemn nor condone the ISKCON institutionalization of relationships that others may want to work with, including the guru-shishya relationship, but it will never be for me. I will never accept an institutionalized relationship with a student, nor will I accept ISKCON’s rejection of my going ahead with this dīkshā relationship, nor will I accept their retroactive acceptance of it.

Read the above paragraph again and again until you recognize the lion guru smashing nonsense and rejecting to become a useless puppy of the GBC body.

On the other hand, I didn’t want any of you to hear about this from anyone else before hearing about it from me. Guru brothers and sisters who already have heard about this from me have generously supported Premananda Vilasaji and me in this and have told me that Premananda Vilasa would have every privilege to participate in temple sevā for which he would be qualified as a twice initiated disciple afforded to any ISKCON initiated disciple.

🤩 Truthful guru tattva, Garuda das has nothing to hide because he didn’t do anything wrong. GBC can’t really can’t perform a ban or Gestapo squeeze on him because he is well known. Thus, Garuda das can be known as the guy who single-handedly defeated the GBC body. Of course,  Gestapo body commission members didn’t learn anything from this incident. They will pretend that Garuda das doesn’t exist, and they will continue with their spineless, puppy guru approval process.

Still, the example is here, for all the future generations of genuine gurus and genuine disciples. In parallel, ISKCON’s puppy guru process will continue for those who wish to remain institutional disciples. Krishna is so wonderful, he offers everybody a choice. You can go to  Back to Godhead, or you can really go Back to Godhead. Option B is more expensive though.

But I’m sure there will be others who will object, and will perhaps even harshly shun Premananda Vilasaji or myself, as I have experienced and witnessed too often in ISKCON as a collection of devotees who can too easily become intensely judgemental, demeaning and depersonalizing for the sake of putting the institution of ISKCON above and beyond any personal, ethical, and even spiritual considerations.

Don’t you worry Garudaji, 99.9% of ISKCON institutional disciples and institutional gurus will shun you. Because you have done something revolutionary, you thoroughly shook their worldview, and that is something they don’t want.

Feel free to express any feelings whatsoever about this to me directly. I will value them for sure. And thank you for your attention to this.

You see, this is how real guru behaves. Standard ISKCON guru would conclude with the following sentence: “I am right because I am the guru, don’t express any feelings to me unless they are supportive feelings, otherwise your feelings are offensive and I am not interested in them.

Conclusion

We definitely need more senior devotees, especially Srila Prabhupada disciples to start performing genuine initiation ceremonies, that is the only way to defeat ISKCON’s puffed up Gestapo guru circus.

Resources:


Shares