UPDATE: This article contains errors, see here for clarification.
I am humble devotee. I believe in ISKCON authorities. I never question their behavior because I am not envious.
Whatever the pure devotees do, I accept as divine. The moment I start doubting ISKCON gurus and their behavior, I become the offender, and I also risk to commit the first offense to the Holly Name.
So, I think it’s best to only glorify devotees, and that is exactly what I am going to do in this article.
Kailash, December 2016
So, first thing I want to say, that Indradyumna Swami never travels with girls. Whoever says Indradyumna Swami travels with girls is an offender.
And yes, mataji Varsana-rani Bogdanova is not Indradyumna Swami’s secretary, or anything like that. They just happened to go to Kailash at the same time.
Vrindavan, January 2017-10
Soon after trip to mountain Kailash, Indradyumna Swami was in Vrindavan again and went to visit Dauji village.
Look, same girl is there again. What a coincidence. When sannyasi serves Krishna together with other living entities, a very strong bond is created. It has nothing to do with material body. Varsana-rani Bogdanova could have been is 70 years old grandmother, it doesn’t matter. Indradyumna Swami only sees the soul, whether it is a unmarried young girl or 70 year old granny, it doesn’t matter at all.
And Chaturatma comments: “The inner circle of bliss”. In order to understand what is “inner circle of bliss”, you have to look at this video:
Although not quite close to neo power-sannyas level, Chaturatma developed his renunciation to pretty significant levels.
Nityananda Vat, March 2017
By accident again, Indradyumna Swami was again serving Krishna with Varsana-rani, and I think it looked very spiritual:
Now, instead of being envious, we should pray that all other girls have the same opportunity to associate with Indradyumna Swami. This is real nectar of life. Fortunately, Indradyumna Swami can absorb unlimited amounts of girl association.
The portrait, March 2017
Two days later, Indradyumna Swami shares another photo of Varsana-rani. I am not sure if he shared it, or he took a photo, and somebody else shared it. But I want you to know, there are 4 levels of sannyas. Prabhupada explains:
The paramahaṁsa stage is the topmost position in renounced life. In sannyāsa, the renounced order, there are four stages—kuṭīcaka, bahūdaka, parivrājakācārya and paramahaṁsa. According to the Vedic system, when one accepts the renounced order, he stays outside his village in a cottage, and his necessities, especially his food, are supplied from home. This is called the kuṭīcaka stage. When a sannyāsī advances further, he no longer accepts anything from home: instead, he collects his necessities, especially his food, from many places. This system is called mādhukarī, which literally means “the profession of the bumblebees.” As bumblebees collect honey from many flowers, a little from each, so a sannyāsī should beg from door to door but not accept very much food from any particular house; he should collect a little bit from every house. This is called the bahūdaka stage. When a sannyāsī is still more experienced, he travels all over the world to preach the glories of Lord Vāsudeva. He is then known as parivrājakācārya. The sannyāsī reaches the paramahaṁsa stage when he finishes his preaching work and sits down in one place, strictly for the sake of advancing in spiritual life. An actual paramahaṁsa is one who completely controls his senses and engages in the unalloyed service of the Lord. (SB 5.1.27p)
However, there is 5th level of sannyas, that is beyond paramahamsa, that level is called photo-session sannyas. When you start photographing young girls and posting their photos on your facebook wall, that means you went beyond paramahamsa level of sannyas.
The Key Discussion, March 2017
On this photo, taken the same day, we can see Indradyumna Swami discussing something with pandits. What are they discussing? Well, since Varsana-rani is there in the background, I think at this stage we could call her “intimate female secretary” of Indradyumna Swami. But this is not to be imitated by ordinary living entities.
They are probably discussing female secretaries in Prabhupada’s movement. Prabhupada didn’t actually ban female secretaries for sannyasis, if we study this quote:
In the name of religion you do all nonsense rascaldom, and if the leader approves, “Yes, you can do.” Vivekananda did it. Vivekananda did it. “Yes, there is no difference between eating meat and not meating eat in terms of religious system.” He preached this, and all the sannyāsīs of Ramakrishna Mission, they eat meat, they drink, they have WOMAN SECRETARY, and everything. This Chinmayananda also like that. I know his whole history. Unless one is purely Kṛṣṇa conscious, one cannot give up ALL THESE BAD HABITS. This is the test. (Morning walk — April 24, 1974, Hyderabad)
Some devotees claim that Prabhupada banned female secretaries for sannyasis only for Ramakrishna Mission, not for ISKCON. However, there is a hint by Caitanya Mahaprabhu that he could be displeased by such behavior:
Then this is a hint by Lord Caitanya that a sannyāsī who has renounced everything, if he lives very gorgeously, with good dress, and good house, and apartment… No. This is not approved by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Then what is that? What does it mean? A sannyāsī living like a first-class gentleman, smoking, and very nice apartment, and some, I mean to say, lady assistant, secretary… What is this? Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not approve. He must be, as far as possible… Whatever is absolutely necessity, he should accept, not more. Yes. That is renounced order of life, not that in the name of renounced order of life he should live at the expense of the householders, very gorgeously. No. This is not sannyāsa. It is not accepted by Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s sampradāya. (Lecture CC 20.66-96, New York, November 21, 1966)
But, let’s remain humble and refrain from judging senior Prabhupada disciples. I really don’t want to spoil the rasa between Indradyumna Swami and Varsana-rani.
Now, in case your camera jams, you can always ask your female secretary to jump in and fix it.
If you are a sannyasi, and some kid doesn’t speak your language, female secretary can jump in any time. That is the benefit.
Preparing to leave Vrindavan, but not alone - April 2017
As Indradyumna Swami prepares to leave Vrindavan, question is what will happen with Varsana-rani. Will she be emerged into the ocean of separation from her beloved guru. When will Indradyumna Swami have a chance to photograph her greenish/brown eyes again?
Don’t worry, this story has a happy ending.
Australia - April 2017
Indradyumna Swami then went to Australia, I peeked into that album, and I got worried, there was no Varsana-rani there, did Indradyumna Swami leave her in Vrindavan? Well, at least I found one interesting photo, I always wondered how Prabhupada said over 1000 times in his books how women need to be chaste and shy. I always wondered how Indradyumna Swami trains his female disciples in shyness, now I know:
Prabhupada gives details:
So Bhīṣmadeva also advised that the shyness of woman, lajjā, is the control. If you break that shy, what is called, shyness, then there will be disaster. That is the control valve naturally given. And woman’s shyness is one beauty, beauty. We have got practical experience. And command also. We have practical experience in our life. You have seen that my friend came, Dinanath Mishra. They were our neighbor. So one day we were sitting on the corridor of the house. One sweeper woman, she wanted to come within, but very shyful, with a covering of the head, although with broomstick and bucket, she was waiting because we were sitting both side. So she was feeling little shy not to enter the house. So we decided to move so that she may come. This example is given. She is a sweeper, not very respectable, maidservant or sweeper, but on account of her shyness we had to welcome, “Yes, we are moving. You come in.” Just see. This is psychology. Therefore Bhīṣmadeva, at his dying stage, he advised that woman’s shyness is the valve to control. If that shyness is broken, then it will create disaster. Puṁścalī. This is the psychology. So things are changing nowadays everywhere, not only in India, in other countries also. But this is the psychology. So all these examples are given. Why? Just to control the mind. In Hindi there is a proverb that “Money and wife, you should always keep in control.” There are so many examples. (Lecture SB 05.06.04 - Vrndavana)
A Far distant corner of the world - May 2017
If you are sannyasi, is there any better place to reunite with your confidential female disciples than in some far distant corner of the world, like Omsk, southwest Siberia
Indradyumna Swami says “with Varsana-rani Bogdanova”, who I am not to believe this, Indradyumna Swami is pure devotee after all:
This is technically called female initiation assistant:
“My guru, best friend, father, lover, the coolest person … sheesh, I am trippin’ again”:
“Prabhupada, I upgraded my sannyasi asrama, and now I am finally happy.”
Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine - May 2017
Still having fun:
I don’t know about you, but I see love in these eyes. And I feel there could be trouble if you fall in love with a sannyasi:
The closer you are to the pure devotee, the more mercy you get:
ok, this is turkey shoot, I usually have to work very hard to obtain evidence for cute, female sannyasi assistants, but in this case I find unending stream of evidence:
North Carolina - Meeting the guru, may 2017
Indradyumna Swami meets his “female secretary strategy” guru, one and only, Sacinandana baba. Sacinandana baba is very famous since he is traveling with his secretary around the world for the last 10 years, and Indradyumna Swami is just starting with parakiya rasa, so there is a lot to learn. And my moto was always, “If you gonna learn something, learn from the best”:
Poland - July, 2017
Indradyumna Swami is back to Europe, Poland tour is in full swing, secretary decided to play the “shy card“:
More translation work:
Together in US of A, Land of the free and home of the brave, September 2017
How Varsana-rani Bogdanova ended up in USA with Indradyumna Swami? Well Bogdanova is very common lastname, which appears in both USA and on mountain Kailash, she is probably from USA. Or maybe she came to serve Krishna with Maharaja, which is, of course, completely transcendental:
If your secretary is very cool, she can translate from english to english:
Back to Vrindavan with Maharaja - October 2017
You know what, this is getting boring, it would be more challenging to find a place where they are not together:
In this article, I proved beyond reasonable doubt that Indradyumna Swami is greatest brahmacari that ever lived. I also proved that sannyas doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t serve Krishna with beautiful unmarried girls. Real spiritual love is above all gender and asrama designations. All glories to real love!
The more photos you share on facebook where you travel around the world with girls, the better brahmacari and sannyasi you are. It is as simple as that.
We need more brave pioneers to open new frontiers, so, I will use this opportunity to ask all ISKCON sannyasis to start traveling around the world with girls and share a lot of photos on that subject matter.
“Neo sannyas level” - Suggestion to the GBC
Dear members of the GBC body,
Now that we have entered PPB era, as Devamrta Swami wonderfully explained it, things are changing. We have almost 10 sannyasis with girlfriends and there has to be some way of giving them award to recognize their achievements.
I propose to introduce title called “Neo power sannyas level” for all sannyasis that can travel with their girlfriends on 4 continents during one year.
Rules would be simple, girl must be young and unmarried, 70 year old grandmothers will obviously not work, and travel has to include Mountain Kailash.
Please let me know which form I need to fill up so that this could be discussed on next Annual GBC meeting in Mayapur.
I know you were pretty busy with lasagna-man and discussing how to conquer the world with jeans, but I think this topic is very important also.
I know Indradyumna Swami will not reply to my email, he is too busy, all those girls need to be organized properly, he is not even answering to his disciples, what to speak of me, so I will try to contact him through common friend:
Dear Patita Pavana prabhu,
I know you are good with Indradyumna Swami, and that he answers to your emails, can you please forward this message to Indradyumna Swami:
Dear Indradyumna Swami,
please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I couldn’t fail to notice your extraordinary level of renunciation, especially in relation to Varsana-rani devi dasi, who travels with you everywhere, including mountain Kailash. I would also like to be so renounced, but I am lacking the techniques and small tips which would enable me to pull this off.
I heard that mixing raisins and walnuts is good for brahmacarya, together with drinking hot milk before bed. Do you have any other tips for aspiring brahmacari?
Before taking sannyas, I would also like to travel around the world with girls, so that I can see if I will be powerful enough. Can you borrow me some girls and give me some service regarding your festivals, I wouldn’t like to rush the whole thing, I would first like to see if I am ready for sannyas.
your servant, Hanuman das
Reply by Indradyumna Swami
My dear Godbrother Patita Pavana:
Thank you for your inquiry. Varshana-rani dasi, the devotee lady with the red arrows on the Lasting Impressions page, is my Russian translator. Literally everywhere I serve I require a Russian translator. And a good one, for obvious reasons. Throughout the year I am surrounded by Russian devotees who serve with me on my many festival programs. For example; 200 plus Russian devotees serve with me during the 2 1⁄2 month period of the Polish Festival tour. And again they served with me during our recent 6 weeks, Discover India” tour in the USA. And they are with me here in India now for 5 weeks on our Kartika Parikrama. In the months to come these same 200 Russian devotees will accompany me to China and back again to the USA. Varshani rani serves as my translator. Nothing more, nothing less. More important is that she is part of our stage show. She is a main actor in all 3 dramas that we put on in all the countries mentioned above. She is NOT a secretary. I hardly have any dealings with her aside from her translating. Yes, she comes on harinams, as do all my disciples wherever I am.
It should be noted that I also have a Russian male secretary – Mahavan das – who travels with me most places I go. Ananta Vrindavan das ( our photographer ) is also Russian. I also travel with a male Russian cook ( because of my cancer ). So 4 males and 1 female. Again, Varshana rani only translates. And she always stays separately from the rest of us.
Why doesn’t Hanuman das show photos of the 4 other permanent Russian assistants traveling with me - who are all male - unless he wants to create a dishonest story and spin fake news?
There are plenty of photos of Srila Prabhupada with my respected godsister Yamuna dasi, who cooked and traveled with Srila Prabhupada for years here in India. There are even photos of her walking close to Srila Prabhupada in England. There are also photos of Srila Prabhupada with Visakha dasi, who photographed him for years here in India and elsewhere. There are many other women who served in close proximity to Srila Prabhupada over extended periods of time. They always conducted themselves properly. And so do the women who travel, or serve, with me.
Yes, there is a video of devotes girls dancing in front of me in a kirtan in a temple. I didn’t plan that, or authorize what they did. In fact, I chastised them afterwards. There is a video of me ‘stage diving’. It’s many years old. I don’t do that anymore.
Again, because of the nature of my services [ large worldwide festival programs ] I am surrounded by the same 100-200 Russian devotees much of the year. A detractor of mine could select photos of any of them and surmise that Indradyumna Swami is associating too much with any one person.
Theoretically, any of the above mentioned devotees could have red lines drawn to their heads. These detractors are using tricks to create a certain impression which is dishonest and untrue. I openly invite them to travel with me and see things as they are. I have nothing to hide.
Your servant, Indradyumna Swami
My video reply to Indradyumna Swami’s email:
This article originally appeared on Lasting Impression website