CSS – Comfortable sannyas syndromeHanuman das
Sannyas life is full of inconveniences. You have to travel a lot, facilities where you might stay might sometimes be in your comfort zone, sometimes not.
However, sannyas life was never about comfort, it was always about making sacrifices for the preaching mission.
But, for Bhakti Caitanya Swami, he wants to achieve comfort, and he is ready pay big cash for comfortable living.
And his disciples are ready to finance comfortable sannyas asrama instead of financing preaching projects.
Today, we are sharing a video and a few letters with photos, which describe comfortable living arrangement of Bhakti Caitanya Swami and the amounts of money needed to accomplish that.
Comfortable living realisations
In this video, Bhakti Caitanya Swami explains that he bought two apartments worth 100 000$ because, because before he had the apartments, his stay in Mayapur “was sometimes ok, and sometimes really wasn’t not ok.” 😀 😀 😀 This is new ISKCON theology, how pure devotees need comfy apartments so that they could be even better pure devotees. 😀 😀 😀
Before publishing this article, I contacted Bhakti Caitanya Swami so that he can confirm these emails:
Message-ID: <CAHEdfkEa38KBpwYn0=AfRPiimqxHFbGg1kFx+oEyJqVpPbe-nQ@mail.gmail.com> Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2018 11:00:33 +0000 Subject: email confirmation From: Hanuman das To: "Bhakti.Caitanya.Swami@pamho.net" <Bhakti.Caitanya.Swami@pamho.net>, Sachi Kumar Dasa <email@example.com>
Dear Bhakti Caitanya Swami, dear Sachi Kumar prabhu,
please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I will be making another video about sannyasis who own private apartments in Rasamrta Kunj, can you confirm that below letter are genuine?
ys Hanuman das
Response by Bhakti Caitanya Swami
[No response received]
Apartment funding emails
Here, Bhakti Caitanya Swami disciple discuss funding for his apartments, this was back in 2014, they are mentioning figures of 2.8 million rupees or around 43000$, these are probably amounts after down payment was made, and these amount cover only one apartment:
---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: "Sachi Kumar Dasa" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 25 Aug 2014 21:08 Subject: Mayapur Apartment Update
Please accept my respects. All glories to Guru Maharaj and Srila Prabhupada.
Disciples responded positively to this project and have written to me indicating they will be getting involved. It was very enthusing to receive such lively feedback.
We’d like to thank those devotees who contributed towards the first installment for Guru Maharaja’s apartment. We didn’t meet the full amount required. The developments head, Vraj Kumar prabhu, knowing we have a fundraising plan has kindly allowed us to pay as much as we collect on each due date. However, by the final installment we will need to pay whatever balance is due.
From 6 disciples in South Africa and 2 from Mauritius R77 213 was raised, around Rs 409000. This leaves us with around Rs 284750 still due for the first installment.
We’re happy to announce that a disciple couple along with their family and teaming up with another disciple will cover the entire third installment as an offering to Guru Maharaj. They are from Malaysia. Very encouraging.
We are still to hear from the disciples in Russia and the Baltics but they are all in the process of getting into this project. I’m sure we’ll get some feedback soon.
The handful of disciples from Finland have pledged to each contribute 108 euros. All glories to them.
From the energy being generated I feel confident we will be able to raise enough to cover the entire amount as a collective offering.
The second installment is due on December 7th 2014 and the fourth on August 7th 2015. Finally the furnishing costs estimated to be around Rs 500000 needs to be arranged. Totaling Rs 2 812 500.
Again we urge you all to contribute generously as much as you are inspired to.
Sachi Kumar dasa
---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: "Sachi Kumar Dasa" <email@example.com> Date: 25 Aug 2014 21:12 Subject: Banking Details for Mayapur Apartment
Banking details for contributions are as follows, please put your name as a reference:
Mr S Baloo
Account Number: 253767075
Branch Code: 044126
Swift Code: SBZAZAJJ
Sachi Kumar dasa
---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: "Sachi Kumar Dasa" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 26 Aug 2014 14:05 Subject: Mayapur Apartment Update
Please accept my respects. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I made a mistake in the update sent yesterday. The disciples who are covering the third installment are from Singapore and not Malaysia. Please excuse that. I generally group the disciples from those countries under Malaysia.
Also to my surprise a disciple came forward yesterday and pledged to cover the outstanding balance of the first installment.
Sachi Kumar dasa
2016 progress report and apartment completion
Here we can see more emails where progress reports are sent to Saci Kumar dasa about the completion of apartments:
From: Date: 2016-02-01 22:50 GMT+05:30 Subject: More pictures To: Sachi Kumar Dasa <email@example.com>
- Second room
Second living room
Second living room
Batroom’s ceiling (no ceiling yet)
There is additional email from 2016, where they discuss when they can move in, and Prahladananda Swami and his apartment are also mentioned:
---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Sachi Kumar Dasa <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 2016-02-02 0:06 GMT+05:30 Subject: Back Up Accommodation To: "Lila Vrindavan Devi Dasi(Mayapur, India)" <email@example.com>
Hare Krsna mataji,
Vraj Krishna Prabhu sent me photos of the apartments present condition. It looks very unlikely that it will be in suitably livable condition by the time Guru Maharaja arrives unless Vraj Kumar prabhu has some special plan in place that we can’t understand. Thank you for the messages and information prabhu.
I think it’s best we arrange some alternative plan for Guru Maharaj. Any idea if Prahladananda maharaj is also expecting his apartment to be ready?
Prabhu mentioned you’re trying to rent some place near the temple and he also said he has a spare room in his apartment that can be used.
I will tell Vraj Kumar prabhu that based on the current condition we are working on back up accommodation to be safe.
I sent email to Bhakti Caitanya Swami to confirm these emails:
Questions and answers
Are there any exceptions, Is it possible in any way for a sannyasi to have his own place?
If he is building preaching project for Prabhupada, temple for example, yes, he can have his own room in such complex. This is like a free room, without rent. But it is understood that it is not his own private property, but he can use it while he is advising this project.
In a congested city, small temple might not have a place for a sannyasi, they can rent an apartment for their sannyasi guests, but again, that apartment doesn’t belong to a visiting sannyasi, it belongs to the temple.
Additionally, Rasamrta Kunj is not preaching project, it is residential area.
How other sannyasis will react when they find out that other sannyasi bought himself an apartment?
Well, it’s a bad example, junior sannyasi might start to think: When, I become senior, when I will have many disciples, I will also get myself an apartment.
But disciples have duty to bring comforts to guru?
Yes, you will not leave your guru or a sannyasi to sleep on the street, so that he can manifest his renunciation, you will give him facilities if you have them, but that place where he is staying should not become his private property used exclusively by him, if some other sannyasi comes, they can also use this facility.
So, giving comforts should not be confused by property ownership. If a temple or preaching center has facilities for guests, sannyasis can sure use it, but sannyasis should not waste money on obtaining private properties.
Now, when it become somewhat acceptable that sannyasis have apartments, how will this develop in the future?
Most probably, a nightmare scenario slowly unfold in ISKCON. That nightmare scenario will look like this: Sannyasi gets up in the morning in his luxury apartment, breakfast is made by his female secretary, who is not living with him because he is a sannyasi. But she lives in the next house in the same street. Then, sannyasi and guru sits in his BMW SUV and goes to work. His workplace is temple, where he preaches about how bhakti is in the heart and that is all what is necessary. And sannyasa is also in the heart. He explains to the people, that sannasa actually means to have merciful heart, and we should not judge sannyasis bgy external behaviour.
After morning lecture, sannyasi sits in his BMW, and returns home, where he is handling email and managing society together with his female secretary.
This scenario is not far from reality, we already have sannyasi with apartments and sannyasis with female secretaries.
But, it is duty of a disciple to give comfort to his guru?
Giving Comforts is ok, giving properties to sannyasi is not ok. When sannyasa asrama breaks apart, this movement is finished.
If sannyasis obtain apartments, how will this affect their preaching?
Grhastas generally respect sannyasi because he is more renounsed than them. If he is similarly attached and entangled in maintaining nice comfortable living, grhastas might lose respect.
Main function of sannyasi is to wake up grhastas from the illusory struggle for material existence. Then need to wake them up from the absorption in their home, job, maintenance. How can sannyasi do that if he is also absorbed in owning and maintaining a home? How will sannyasi preach? “You should not be attached to home”, when real sannyasi tells you that, it has power, but when sannyasi with private apartment tells you this, it doesn’t have much power.
Additionally, if sannyasi lives very convenient life, how will he inspire brahmacaries to surrender to the mission of Srila Prabhupada and distribute books? Traveiling around and distribution books is sometimes very inconvenient.
Brahmacaries might also start requesting comfortable apartments to distribute books.
Pure devotee is not interested in his personal comforts, neither he is interested in spending money for his personal comforts.
The pure devotee does not endeavor for anything which is against the principles of devotional service. For example, constructing a big building requires great energy, and a devotee does not take to such business if it does not beneﬁt him by advancing his devotional service. He may construct a temple for the Lord, and for that he may take all kinds of anxiety, but he does not construct a big house for his personal relations. (BG 12.16p)
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)
And, when you give donation to a sannyasi, don’t forget to check if he is maybe 10 times richer than you already. In that case, you can ask him to give you donation instead. 😀 😀 😀