Drunken Henry turns Prabhupada into a terroristHanuman das
We are quoting from the Conclusion of Henry’s book “Killing for Krishna”.
At yesterday’s Zoom meeting, we had a discussion about why people leave Krishna consciousness. One of the reasons is that Krishna simply cuts them off after they perform malicious slander of the Founder Acarya. Here is a prime example of Henry Doktorski, who tries to portray Srila Prabhupada in his book “Killing for Krishna”. According to Henry, Srila Prabhupada is a murderous terrorist who would use weapons of mass destruction to kill everybody who is not Krishna conscious.
Henry surely inherited this mentality from his guru Kirtanannda Swami.
Kill the mudhas
First of all, Srila Prabhupada doesn’t speak in this quote about the Golden age. The golden age is not mentioned anywhere in the conversation. He speaks about Vaisnavism in general. It is indeed true that followers of Krishna killed many enemies in the past. The Bhagavad-gita itself is a conversation where Krishna tries to convince Arjuna to fight and kill people who insulted his wife and took his kingdom. Ramayana also speaks about the big battle between Ramacandra and Ravana. Srila Prabhupada speaks here about Vaisnavism in general.
However, if we want to show Srila Prabhupada’s stance on violence, that we must study the complete philosophy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and his followers. We can see that Caitanya Mahaprabhu and his followers didn’t kill people just because there were mudhas. In Kali-yuga, Srila Prabhupada mentions a special kind of killing, killing the demoniac behavior by “reason and argument”:
It is not necessary to commit violence to stop the opposition from hindering a movement, for one can kill their demoniac behavior with reason and argument. Following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, whenever there are obstacles the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement should kill the opposition with reason and argument and thus stop their demoniac behavior. If we became violent in every case, it would be difficult for us to manage our affairs. We should therefore follow in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who disobeyed the order of Chand Kazi but subdued him with reason and argument. (CC Adi 17.130)
Furthermore, even outside of Kali-yuga, Vaisnavas are not “killers of mudhas” as Henry tries to portray Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada writes in Srimad Bhagavatam:
Persons who are materialistic and always engaged in fruitive activities for material profit cannot endure seeing the flourishing life of others. Except for a few persons in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the entire world is full of such envious persons, who are perpetually full of anxieties because they are attached to the material body and are without self-realization. Since their hearts are always filled with anxiety, it is understood that they have already been killed by providence. Thus Lord Śiva, as a self-realized Vaiṣṇava, was advised not to kill Dakṣa. A Vaiṣṇava is described as para-duḥkha-duḥkhī because although he is never distressed in any condition of life, he is distressed to see others in a distressed condition. Vaiṣṇavas, therefore, should not try to kill by any action of the body or mind, but should try to revive the Kṛṣṇa consciousness of others out of compassion for them. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has been started to deliver the envious persons of the world from the clutches of māyā, and even though devotees are sometimes put into trouble, they push on the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in all tolerance. (SB 4.6.47)
Killing the communist psychos
In the next paragraph, Henry continues with his malicious slander by giving the following quote:
Ok, first of all, this was a joke. People are laughing, and even Prabhupada is laughing, that was even visible from the transcription, you can listen to it by yourself. Quoting a joke of the context is another example of malicious slander of Srila Prabhupada. Henry is trying to portray Srila Prabhupada as a terrorist.
Joking aside, if we look at the full quote, Prabhupada describes in this quote communists killed millions of people in the name of communism. This was inspired by comrade Stalin. If we look at the Wikipedia, we find the following quote:
According to official Soviet estimates, more than 14 million people passed through the Gulag from 1929 to 1953, with a further 7 to 8 million being deported and exiled to remote areas of the Soviet Union (including entire nationalities in several cases).
According to a 1993 study of recently declassified archival Soviet data, a total of 1,053,829 people died in the Gulag (not including labor colonies) from 1934 to 1953 (there was no archival data for the period 1919–1934).:1024 More recent archival figures for the deaths in the Gulag, labor colonies and prisons combined for 1931–1953 were 1.713 million.
Judicial executions – According to official figures there were 777,975 judicial executions for political charges from 1929–53, including 681,692 in 1937–38, the years of the Great Purge Unofficial estimates estimate a total number of Stalinism repression deaths in 1937–38 at 950,000–1,200,000.
So, those who are mercilessly killing their own people should be killed, you can not have any negotiations with them. So, the actual full quote goes like this:
Prabhupāda: Arcye viṣṇau… [break] …when it will teach military art, with tilaka, soldiers will [chanting in marching beat], “Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa…” [laughter] We want that. Marching with military band, “Hare Kṛṣṇa.” You maintain this idea. Is it not good?
Hṛdayānanda: Yes, Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: When there will be military march of Kṛṣṇa conscious soldiers, anyone who does not believe in Kṛṣṇa, “Blam!” [laughter] Yes. The same process as the Muhammadans did with sword and Koran, we’ll have to do that. “Do you believe in Kṛṣṇa or not?” “No, sir.” “Blam!” Finished. [laughter; Prabhupāda laughs] What do you think, Madhudviṣa Mahārāja? Is that all right?
Prabhupāda: [laughing] What these Communists can do? We can do better than them. We can kill many Communists like that. [laughter] Then it will be counteraction of Communist movement.
Although Srila Prabhupada explained how to fight communists, this was not the primary reason why he established his movement. The main purpose of the Hare Krishna movement is to stop demoniac activities:
Kṛṣṇa’s business is to kill the demons, and therefore this should be a devotee’s business also. Because the people of Kali-yuga are fallen, however, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, out of kindness for them, did not bring any weapon to kill them. Rather, by spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness, love of Kṛṣṇa, He wanted to kill their nefarious, demoniac activities. This is the purpose of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Unless the demoniac activities on the surface of the world are diminished or vanquished, no one can be happy. The program for the conditioned soul is fully described in Bhagavad-gītā, and one simply has to follow these instructions to become happy. (SB 10.1.64)
London lecture – example of blatant misquoting
Notice the various dots that Henry puts in. He additionally shifts the sentences around so to prove his point:
Henry is doing here something called purposeful misquoting. I don’t believe this was done be by coincidence. He is purposefully twisting Srila Prabhupada’s words and trying to turn him into an ISIS member. Let’s see what Prabhupada really said:
Somebody was criticizing me that “Swamiji, you are introducing this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement. People are becoming coward. They simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.” So I replied that “You will see the power of Hare Kṛṣṇa movement in due course of time.” He required… Because there were two battles in India: the battle between Rāvaṇa and Rāma, Rāma-Rāvaṇa, the battle of Rāmāyaṇa; and another battle was Battle of Kurukṣetra. And in these two battles the hero was Vaiṣṇava and Viṣṇu. In the Rāma-Rāvaṇa battle Lord Rāmacandra was there and His devotee Hanumān, Vajrāṅgajī. Similarly, in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, Kṛṣṇa was there and His devotee Arjuna was there. So Vaiṣṇavas, they do not simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. If there is need, they can fight under the guidance of Viṣṇu and become victorious. A Vaiṣṇava’s one qualification is… Out of the twenty-six qualifications, one qualification is dakṣa, expert. If there is need of fighting, they can fight like very expert. That is also needed. Kṛṣṇa consciousness does not mean one-sided. Kṛṣṇa as all-pervading, the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement also should be all-pervading. It should touch everything, even politics, sociology, everything, if required. That is the aim. Because Kṛṣṇa’s mission is: yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata [Bg. 4.7], paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām [Bg. 4.8]. There is two mission: not only to give protection to the devotees, but also to kill the demons. To kill the demons, that is one side. So the devotees of Kṛṣṇa should be trained up both ways: not only to give protection to the devotees, to give them encouragement, but if need be, they should be prepared to kill the demons. That is Vaiṣṇavism. It is not cowardism. It is not cowardism. When need be. Generally, a Vaiṣṇava is non-violent. Just like Arjuna. In the beginning he was non-violent, Vaiṣṇava. He said, “Kṛṣṇa, what is the use of this fighting? Let them enjoy.” So by nature he was non-violent, but he was induced by Kṛṣṇa to become violent, that “Your non-violence will not help. You become violent. You kill them. I want.” So if Kṛṣṇa wants we shall be prepared to become violent also. And Kṛṣṇa, that is open secret, that paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām [Bg. 4.8]. Two business of Kṛṣṇa, two side. So those who are devotees of Kṛṣṇa, they should be trained up both ways, they should be prepared. But generally, there is no question of becoming violent, unnecessarily. As the modern politicians, unnecessarily they declare war, a Vaiṣṇava does not do so. No, unnecessarily, there is no need of war. When it was completely impossible to settle up the things between the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas, then Kṛṣṇa said, “All right, then there must be fight.” When Duryodhana declined to spare even a portion of land holding the sūcyagra, the point of a needle… he refused that “I cannot spare even so much land which can hold the point of a needle.” Then the war was declared. (London, July 11, 1973)
When we see the full quote, Srila Prabhupada approves vaisnavas who are soldiers, like Arjuna, society needs soldiers. But also, Srila Prabhupada explains that war should be avoided if at all possible. An example of such war was in Mahabharata, where Duryodhana stole Pandava’s kingdom and insulted their wife. He furthermore sent them to the forest for 12 years through the cheating gambling match. Even after all that, Yudhistira was still ready to make peace if Duryodhana agreed to give them 5 villages. So, we can see in the Vedic scriptures that violence is used as a last resort, and vaisnava will never attack first, rather, the war is always provoked by the other side.
Here come the whiskey empowered quotes
After this, Henry goes into berserk mode. These next paragraphs are definitely empowered by whiskey:
🤣🤣🤣🤣 So, Prabhupada wanted to nuke the infidels?🤣🤣🤣 Let us check the reference where Henry claims to get this from:
If we open this link, we find no such quote. If we go to the Wayback engine of the archive.org website, we can see the history of this page and how it was changed, if we look at the first version that appeared in 2013, we still don’t find any mention of atom bombs. Which makes Henry a pathological liar.
Anybody who was reading Srila Prabhupada’s books regularly can easily understand that Srila Prabhupada was a philosophical fighter for the Absolute Truth, not a terrorist. Quotes that prove this point are all over Srila Prabhupada’s books:
The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement declares war against such bogus incarnations. The bogus propaganda put out by people claiming to be God has killed God consciousness all over the world. Members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement must be very alert to defy these rascals who are presently misleading the whole world. One such rascal, known as Pauṇḍraka, appeared before Lord Kṛṣṇa, and the Lord immediately killed him. Of course, those who are Kṛṣṇa’s servants cannot kill such imitation gods, but they should try their best to defeat them through the evidence of śāstra, authentic knowledge received through the disciplic succession. (CC Madhya 22.9)
Henry’s attempt to portray Srila Prabhupada as a blood-thirsty maniac is not an honest mistake, rather a carefully planned slander. However, only people who can be cheated by his misquoting are people who never associated with Srila Prabhupada through his books. Henry seems to be one of them.
Thus, Killing for Krishna is a philosophically deviant book, it can be historically partially true, but at this point, I would not recommend anybody to read any book written by Henry Doktorski.
Srila Prabhupada’s stance on “killing infidels” follows the genuine non-violent nature of Caitanya Vaisnavism, and it is present throughout his books, lectures, and letters. Those people who are not lazy can find plenty of such quotes:
Please accept my blessings. Upon the recommendation of Rsabhadeva Das I am accepting you as my initiated disciple. Your spiritual name is now Asurakula Nasana Dasa, the servant of the killer of the descendants of the asuras. Krishna, He killed so many demons, so in this age of demoniac tendency, we may not kill the demons like Krishna did it, but we can kill the demoniac tendency. How is that? By this Sankirtana weapon. That is the specific contribution by Lord Caitanya, Krishna Himself, in this Kali yuga. So I am informed that you are the Sankirtana leader for Laguna Beach temple, so you should very enthusiastically lead the Sankirtana party, and in this way you will very successfully kill the demoniac tendency of the rascals. (Letter to Doug Russel, LA 18 April 1973)
If we look at the history of Vaisnavism in the last 500 years, We don’t see Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati smuggling guns, we don’t see Gaurakisora assembling bombs, we don’t see Bhaktivinoda Thakura leading death squads, and we don’t see Srila Prabhupada storing explosives in the basement of his temples. Henry’s malicious attempt to portray Srila Prabhupada as a violent terrorist who supports using weapons of mass destruction is simply disgusting. Henry would sell his own mother if he could increase the sales of his ridiculous books.
The ABC of Krishna consciousness is that every person has free will and independence to follow Krishna or to reject Him. Krishna never takes away this independence, and any amount of killing will not change that fact. Devotional service is always voluntary, and can not be forced on anybody:
As fragmental parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, the living entities have also fragmental qualities, of which independence is one. Every living entity has an individual soul, his personal individuality and a minute form of independence. By misuse of that independence, one becomes a conditioned soul, and by proper use of independence he is always liberated. (BG 15.7p)
Here the living entity is described as īśvara, the controller of his own body. If he likes, he can change his body to a higher grade, and if he likes he can move to a lower class. Minute independence is there. The change his body undergoes depends upon him. At the time of death, the consciousness he has created will carry him on to the next type of body. If he has made his consciousness like that of a cat or dog, he is sure to change to a cat’s or dog’s body. And, if he has fixed his consciousness on godly qualities, he will change into the form of a demigod. And, if he is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he will be transferred to Kṛṣṇaloka in the spiritual world and will associate with Kṛṣṇa. (BG 15.8p)
God does not interfere with your little independence. If you want to act according to the order of God, then God will help you. Even if you fall down sometimes, if you become sincere—“From this time on I shall remain Kṛṣṇa conscious and execute His orders”—then Kṛṣṇa will help you. In all respects, even if you fall down, He will excuse you and give you more intelligence. This intelligence will say, “Don’t do this. Now go on with your duty.” But if you want to forget Kṛṣṇa, if you want to become happy without Kṛṣṇa, He will give you so many chances that you will forget Kṛṣṇa life after life. (SSR 7)