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Srila Prabhupada, His Movement & You

by Hansadutta das

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Correspondence #4

From Bhakta dasa, Bangkok, Thailand
9 March 1994

Dear Das Dasanudas Prabhu:

Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

Yesterday I received five copies of the Every Town & Village. It is so nicely done in all respects. The glorification of Srila Prabhupada is sincere and direct. It carries real potency. Yesterday I also received a copy of the ISKCON Journal from Badrinarayana Prabhu. It is the GBC publication to justify the right of neophyte devotees to accept the position of acharya/spiritual master. Although they quote all Prabhupada's words, they use those words to promote themselves instead of Srila Prabhupada. Their publication left me feeling numb and disturbed, whereas the "ET&V" left me feeling inspired and full of hope. Really a world of difference.

Hansadutta Prabhu has made so many very excellent arguments. I especially appreciated the comparison with counterfeit money as being very appropriate. While counterfeit money looks quite genuine to the innocent, it is in fact poison, because it carries none of the support of the government. Self-made gurus are just the same.

Prabhupada repeatedly says, "UPON MY ORDER BECOME GURU," but he never gave the order. He said "Initiate for me." That simple order was never followed for one minute by anyone, and therefore they are in so many ways disconnected from the pure flow of mercy.

All those who love Prabhupada or at least who recognise that Prabhupada is a direct expansion of either Lord Nityananda or Srimati Radharani see clearly. Others seem to think Prabhupada was just some lucky Indian just like them. Because he plays the role of a humble, fallen soul should not bewilder anyone. We must look at what he did, then his supreme high position is understood.

I have been so busy lately, and my computer has crashed too. So I have not yet begun writing. I think about it all the time, and will get to the task soon, by the Lord's grace.

Have you heard any news from Bhima?? I would love to know what has happened in Mayapur. Hope this finds you in blissful spirits. I remain,

Your servant,
Bhakta dasa

From Das Dasanudas devi dasi,
9 March 1994

Dear Hansadutta Maharaja:

Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I have just received a phone call from Bhima. Seems that ISKCON is up in arms against your publications. He had left a stack of magazines with Rasabihari in Loi Bazaar to sell to devotees, but GBC passed out the order to the Krishna Balarama's temple president to warn Rasabihari that they would be black-listed if they would have anything to do with the sale or distribution of these magazines. So they have withdrawn the magazines from their shelf. At the same time, Rasabihari has been selling and continues to sell other books, such as Sridhar's group and Krishna Balarama Swami's nonsense books. But your magazines are too threatening. Lokasaranga Swami also does not dare to distribute. He has been told, since having been seen hanging out with you and the Nam Hatta devotees in Vrindaban last November, that he will be kicked out of India, should it be discovered that he is collaborating. And the Greek-German boy and Sudarshan das (Shyamapriya) refuse to distribute also (they asked Bhima for a donation of 2 lakhs).

Bhima said it looks like he will have to stay on a week longer in order to distribute the magazines. But I suggested to him to let Vrindaranya join him. He agreed, and I have spoken with Vrindaranya about it. He will book his flight for the 17th of March and prepare his visa first. Bhima leaves Vrindaban for Mayapur on the 19th, arriving in Mayapur on the 20th, then returning to Vrindaban on the 25th (arriving 26th).

From Dinadayadri dasi,
Ferndale, Michigan
15 March 1994

Dear Hansadutta Prabhu:

Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

I'm not sure if you received my letter of February 14, 1994, so I'm writing again to request more copies of Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You. My friend Karunika told me she was so deeply touched by this book that she and her husband, Dean, phoned you after they read it to offer you their support. These are very good people and enthusiastic preachers who unfortunately have suffered much mistreatment within ISKCON and have distanced themselves from the association of devotees, like so many of us have had to do to protect our sanity. So when people like us read your heart-piercing presentation of the inner truths about Srila Prabhupada's movement, we are moved to tears and we become filled with hope instead of despair. I am so encouraged by Karunika's reaction to your book (I have been trying to discuss the same issues with her for years but could not get through, I supposed because of my own impurity) that I would like to distribute more copies to other friends and see if we can get something good going here in the Detroit area. There are many other good devotees around here with resources and enthusiasm who have simply been languishing in materialistic life-styles for years because there is no pure force to draw them together (i.e. Srila Prabhupada is covered up and not very much manifest at the local ISKCON temple).

So please, Prabhu, let me know as soon as possible or have someone else let me know how I can obtain more copies of Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You. If they are out of print, perhaps we could help get more copies published. One of the people I want to send a copy to is Naranarayana; I know he is going to love it and feel proud to be your friend.

If more copies are not immediately available, may I have permission to make a few photocopies to distribute? I pray this meets you in good health and transcendental bliss! Hare Krishna!

Your servant,
Dinadayadri dasi

From Kelilalita devi dasi,
Port Angeles, Washington
23 March 1994

Dear Hansadutta das:

Hare Krishna! Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Thank you for your letter. I was happy to read how enthusiastic you are for purely distributing the holy name and glorifying Srila Prabhupada. Your ideas for preaching seem practical, and I'm sure Krishna will give you all intelligence to carry out your plans.

As far as my mailing list goes, I promised everyone that I wouldn't give out their names. In the past, several others had also requested my list, so I wrote my subscribers to see if they minded. A large enough majority said no, so I just decided not to give any out. It's not so hard to understand why. I'm sorry I can't help you in this way.

I'm doing fine. I feel Krishna has something planned for me up here in the far Pacific Northwest. It's exciting and scary at the same time to see how things are all going to come out.

Last weekend I went to Victoria to visit the devotees. They have a big house close to the university. There are 7-8 people who live there. They go on hari-nama every Saturday and have a Sunday feast with about 40 guests. It's a homey, personal atmosphere--nice preaching.

I hope this finds you and your family happy in KC and always at the lotus feet of our beloved spiritual master, father, friend and guide, Srila Prabhupada! I wish you well in your efforts.

Kelilalita devi dasi

The following is from a devotee in Mayapur who wishes to remain anonymous. It is his reaction to the incident described in the following pages:

28 March 1994, Sri Mayapur

Dear Hansadutta Prabhu:

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

The beating of the Singapore devotees is most deplorable, and I heard from three different sources how disgusting the devotees were when they witnessed the beating that took place. Even the mother of one 16 year old boy told me that her son saw everything, and he approached Mukunda Maharaja, asking him to stop the nonsense, but he didn't say anything. Of course, the boy lost the little respect and consideration he had for Mukunda. Actually, it is a fact that by their own actions they are killing themselves.

To become angry means defeat
Hansadutta das comments: On July 9, 1975, in Chicago, Srila Prabhupada said, "To become angry means defeat. If two persons are in argument, the man, the one party, he becomes angry, that means he is defeated. Why one should become angry? It is the argument, logic. They should continue. And to become angry and to go away, that means defeat." The following is an account of what recently happened to some devotees while distributing Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You while in India during the Mayapur Festival.

From Das Dasanudas devi das,
May, 1994

Dear Hansadutta Maharaja:

Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Here is an account of what happened in Mayapur (Mayapur Festival, 1994):

On the 19th of March (a Sunday) Krishna Lila flew into Calcutta from Singapore and stayed one or two nights at the home of his music teacher there, until Bhima came down from Vrindaban on the 20th to meet him. On Monday, the 21st, the two of them, accompanied by one Indian devotee named Lalu (a resident of Vrindaban and the nephew of a well-known Sanskrit acharya in Vrindaban), took the train down to Mayapur for the day.

This was Krishna Lila's very first trip to India. It was also his first trial at book distribution.

They arrived at Krishna Nagar (30 km from Mayapur) some time around 11:30 am. From the train station they took a three-wheeler to Mayapur. The three-wheeler stopped about 100 metres from the front gates of ISKCON, on the main road. Krishna Lila and Lalu got down and immediately entered the compound, slinging their heavy book bags over their shoulders. They went straight to the guest house, slipping magazines under every door and proceeded outside, giving out magazines to everyone they met. They were distributing only to foreigners, not to local devotees. Within ten minutes they had distributed 150 magazines and headed back to the three-wheeler for more. They entered through the gates again and began to give out the magazines.

But when Krishna Lila was passing out the magazines in the prasadam area, the temple commander, Jayaram, came up to him and said, "What are you doing here? You can't do this. Who gave you permission?" Krishna Lila said, "No, someone at the gate said it's all right," and he continued to hand out magazines. Jayaram walked off towards the gate to check it out, but then returned and said they had to go outside. "No, no, you can't distribute here. Give me, and I'll distribute for you." Innocent Krishna Lila gave him a stack of magazines. (Later Jayaram admitted that he had brought the magazines straight to the GBCs to read.) Jayaram told them to go outside to distribute. So Krishna Lila and Lalu went just outside the main gates.

When Krishna Lila had finished giving out all his magazines, he went back to the three-wheeler to get more, and after a few minutes, Bhima and he both walked to the gates, looking for Lalu, but Lalu had apparently gone back inside the compound. Krishna Lila then went down to the river and passed out the rest of the magazines. Bhima waited at the three-wheeler.

Krishna Lila again went to the gates, looking for Lalu, but there was no sign of him, so Krishna Lila entered the gates, went around the guest house and prasadam hall, looking for Lalu. When he came out, Lalu was near the gates, being beaten up by five or six Bengalis. They were slapping him on the face and hitting his chest and back, asking him, "Where is Bhima das? Where is Bhima das?" But Lalu replied, "He's in Calcutta." Then they saw Krishna Lila and grabbed him. They began punching on his head, especially on the ear and face, as well as his chest, a few guys going at him all at once. One of the guards brought a stick, and the guy who had been whacking Krishna Lila's ear took hold of the stick and starting beating his thighs. Krishna Lila tried blocking with his hands, and the stick was beating his fingers. Afterwards, Krishna Lila said that all the while, he did not feel any pain, but saw Srila Prabhupada in his mind. He was chanting, "Krishna! Krishna!" The guy who was beating him with the stick shouted, "Stop! Stop calling Krishna! Stop calling Krishna!" (Later this was to stick out in Krishna Lila's memory.) These men were all Bengali ISKCON boys. The same guy then asked, "Are you Bhima das?" Krishna Lila retorted, "What! You think Bhima das is so small??"

Meanwhile, the rickshaw drivers saw the commotion from outside the gates and ran towards Bhima, who was waiting by the three-wheeler, unaware of what was going on, but anxious why it was taking Krishna Lila and Lalu so long inside. He was outside the gates, about 100 metres away. The rickshaw drivers came running and shouted in Bengali, "Go to Jog Pith! Go quick! Your friends...beaten...pain... Go! Go! Quick!" But they did not linger, seeing the commotion was spilling out from the gates. Immediately his own driver demanded payment of the fare and left the spot.

Several men came running and grabbed hold of Bhima's arms and neck and began beating him on the head and pulling him in three different directions--two men on each arm, two from behind. Bhima yanked his left arm free and so doing pulled off someone's watch. Momentarily they became confused, looking for the watch on the ground.

That's when the devotee who had been tormenting Krishna Lila came running, screaming from 30 metres away, "I'll kill you! I'll kill you! I've got a gun! I'll throw your body in the Ganga, and nobody will know!!" He whipped out a gun from beneath his dhoti and brandished it in Bhima's face. Everyone was more or less stunned.

Bhima asked, "But what have I done?" The Bengali boy accused, "You're giving out these magazines!" Bhima said, "But I'm not giving any magazines out. I've just arrived here. You can see my bag. I've just arrived in the Holy Dham, looking for a place to stay." The Bengali boy was uncertain, but he ordered Bhima to be brought to the office. So six or seven men all began to drag him, but he said, "Look, you don't have to drag me like an animal. I'll go with you." The Bengali boy signalled to the others, who then let go. At that moment, a Gurukula boy ran up to them and was asking, "What happened? What happened?" They told him, "He's (Bhima) against Prabhupada." Bhima picked up his bag and walked with them to the office.

Krishna Lila and Lalu were already in the office, and the temple commander, Jayaram, was questioning them. Jayaram asked, "You people have no permission. Why you are coming and doing this?" Krishna Lila answered, "You gave us permission. You said we can distribute outside the premises. We were outside the gate." Jayaram said, "No! You can't do there! I said you can come after the festival." When Jayaram saw Bhima, he asked, "Who are you? Are you Bhima das?" But Bhima avoided him, saying that he had just arrived in the Holy Dham and had not been distributing magazines. They looked inside his bag, but did not find any magazines. Back and forth, more questions.

Krishna Lila said, "Okay, we're sorry all this happened. But why you people start beating devotees? You gave us permission, then you people come and beat devotees." To his surprise, Jayaram then said, "No one beat you!" To the others Jayaram said, "Did anyone beat him?" They all said, "No, no. No one beat them." That was too much for Krishna Lila. His face, hands, chest and thighs were red, swollen and bleeding. He showed his bleeding hands and thighs to Jayaram. Jayaram backed down a little, saying, "Oh, we'll call a doctor for you. I'm sorry. There must have been some misunderstanding." Then one of the Bengali boys present there said, "He (meaning Krishna Lila) beat up one of our devotees, so they beat him up." Krishna Lila protested, "Who would come to your temple--only three of us--and start to beat up your devotees?" Again Jayaram said, "We'll call you a doctor." The Bengali devotee who had pulled out the gun earlier agreed. But Krishna Lila said, "No." He put his palms together and said, "We'll be only too glad if you will let us go now."

Jayaram agreed to let Krishna Lila and Lalu leave. But Lalu could not find his shoes. In the delay, Bhima was held back. He was frightened that someone might recognise him. Just then, the temple president of Krishna Balarama Mandir in Vrindaban passed right by him, but somehow or other did not take notice of him. Bhima wanted to leave out the back entrance, in order to avoid being seen, but two Bengali boys were assigned to watch him and make sure he did not leave. Just then, Bala das from Mauritius, called out, "Hey Bhima!" However, the Bengali boys did not notice. Bhima spoke to Bala, "Please don't give me away. There's been some trouble here. Why don't you walk with me outside and speak with me." But Bala said, ", no." And he disappeared. Bhima again tried to walk off, but the Bengali boys became upset, shouting, "No! You can't go!" So Bhima walked into the office and said to Jayaram, "Look, what's going on here? Why am I being held?" Jayaram said, "You can go. The others have gone already." So Bhima started to walk off, but the Bengali boys again stopped him. They were determined to hold him. So Bhima went back into the office and asked Jayaram to call them off. Finally he walked off, out the back entrance and met Krishna Lila and Lalu on the main road.

By that time, it was 1:30 pm. The same three-wheeler brought them back to the train station. All the way to the station, they kept looking back, worried that someone might be following and try to gun them down along the way.

They jumped onto the next train to Calcutta. They found a hotel, bought a new pair of shoes for Lalu, went looking for something to eat, and then Krishna Lila went back to the home of his music teacher, where he stayed another two nights, before flying back to Singapore. Bhima and Lalu stayed two nights in the hotel, then caught the train to Vrindaban.

For nearly two weeks after the incident, Krishna Lila heard continuous ringing in his ear, and his face and body were decorated with cuts and bruises. He told his wife that he had fallen from a train.

The devotees did not go to the police in Mayapur, because it is known that the police have been bought off by ISKCON. They were frightened to be detained for further questioning and then who knows what might have happened. There are stories of what happened to Killan in Vrindaban and others.

When Bhima had left Vrindaban to go to Calcutta, a devotee in Vrindaban had gone to Krishna Balarama Mandir and overheard the Bengali devotees there say, "Oh, so Bhima has gone to Mayapur? He must be dead by now."

Krishna Lila and Lalu managed to distribute some 350 magazines. Another fifty had been taken by Jayaram, and later another fifty were confiscated. Later Bhima left magazines with several persons in Vrindaban to distribute slowly.

From Dinadayadri dasi,
Ferndale, Michigan
2 May 1994

Dear Hansadutta Prabhu:

Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you very much for the generous shipment of books you recently sent me (ten each of Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You and Excommunicated, Uncommunicated, Incommunicado, plus two copies of Every Town & Village, Vol. 7, No. 4). Although you did not send an invoice or ask for payment, please find enclosed my donation of $101 for your Nama Hatta World Sankirtan Party.

I would very much like to develop a Nama Hatta style community of devotees in this area and have been intensely desiring this for the past several years. Therefore I feel that your very potent books have been sent by Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna to help me fulfill this desire. Since trying to come back to Krishna consciousness in 1991, after eight years of foolishly trying to forget spiritual life by indulging in material sense gratification (I left ISKCON in 1983, because I couldn't cope with the pain of seeing Srila Prabhupada minimized within his own movement), I have found it very difficult to find like-minded devotees to associate with who aren't too much distracted by various mundane pursuits. Most devotees around here are quite apathetic about spiritual life, so I am hoping that together we can rediscover the fire Srila Prabhupada originally ignited in our hearts for serving the mission of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. I am no better off than anyone else and recognize my dire need for Vaishnava association to help me overcome the bad habits I have picked up in the past ten years. Regrettably, I just can't seem to find the strength at this point to once again take up practicing Krishna consciousness purely all by myself; hence my plan is to try to create some good association for myself with the help of your books to get started.

One issue I would request you to address when you get the Inside Nama Hatta newsletter going is the tampering with Srila Prabhupada's books by ISKCON that I have seen mentioned in your Every Town & Village and elsewhere (VVR and PADA). I would like to know if it is possible to document these changes by printing the original passages alongside the changed ones with comments about any philosophical ramifications of the changes. Even if the changes made so far aren't that significant and don't change the original meaning, I'm sure you would agree that this is a very dangerous precedent, and a great affront to Srila Prabhupada's divine vani. I very strongly feel that this policy of changing Srila Prabhupada's books must be stopped and that all changes should be returned to their original form.

Thanks again for all your help and inspiration, Hansadutta Prabhu. I pray that your endeavors to re-establish Srila Prabhupada as our true Sampradaya Acharya meet with all success, for the sake of us all.

Your servant,
Dinadayadri dasi

P.S. If ISKCON is reluctant to give specific information regarding changes made to Srila Prabhupada's books, do you think legal channels should be investigated to force them? I find the thought of legal recourse very distasteful--it reminds me of the Gaudiya Math's crooked path, which Srila Prabhupada was so critical of.

From Hansadutta das,
Cloverdale, California
2 May 1994

Dear Bhakta das:

Please accept my most humble obeisances. Thank you for your letter and check for $108.00 donation. Today I received the letters and article you sent to Das in Singapore. Please forgive me for not replying you sooner. Veda Prabhu had donated the cost of a computer and printer, and I am just now using it to type my first letter to you. Needless to say, this computer technology boggles my mind. Anyway, I will give it my best shot.

May 20, 21 and 22nd we will have our first festival here. It would be nice to have a week-long festival every year here at the campground, or even two weeks. Devotees could come and go at their leisure, like Kumba Mehla at Prayag, India.

Since three weeks now we are going Friday night to Santa Rosa for sankirtan in the park at downtown Fourth Street. At 6:00 pm we take everyone to a rented space above a popular book store and conduct a standard program of kirtan, lecture and prasadam. The first week, about 15 punks, freaks, misfits and varnasankara type young people attended our program. The second week, the attendance doubled. Chitsukananda's son (23 years old now) showed up, beaming from ear to ear that some devotees had finally appeared in his neighborhood. Gauridas and his wife Sacimata have moved to our place, and because of him I was inspired to move my miserable, lazy body into sankirtan gear. I have become too lazy and lethargic, but Krishna is so kind upon me, He has sent someone to help me get going.

As for trying to bring the ISKCON hard-liners to their senses, it is as impractical as trying to convert a typewriter into a computer, IMPOSSIBLE!

The future is in simply going out to the street or door to door, chanting the holy name and inviting people to participate in Bhagavad-gita classes and prasadam distribution. All these sophisticated plans and dreams of big preaching are really only products of our aversion to doing the simple task of presenting ourselves as the servant of Srila Prabhupada and the Holy Name. I was very enlivened to be in my element again, like in the old days. This is what we were trained to do, and this is what Krishna and Srila Prabhupada want us to do, and this is what the young, misguided generation of punks and misfits need to see and hear. It was good for us, it is good for them. It was what Lord Chaitanya did personally as an example, so we must do this. This is what Prabhupada also did for us, so we can continue the tradition in his name, to recruit.

I was thinking there is no need to open any centers, but new devotees should be kept in the consciousness of being traveling mendicants for as long as possible, as we were in the early days. I am convinced that there is a whole new generation of young people out there, starving for Krishna consciousness. It is up to us to appear on the scene and vibrate the Holy Name and the message of Srila Prabhupada. These youngsters see us like father and mother. We are not young anymore. We are old. That has a certain gravity, which we did not have before. Also, so many of our immature kinks have faded away. I feel a new wave, a renaissance coming on. What do you think?

We must abandon thinking and lamenting over the past. We must not expect anything from the god-brothers. Only Srila Prabhupada can help us. No one else can help us. No one has ever helped us, except Srila Prabhupada.

I hope that you are well, and that we will be able to see you soon here in USA. Also, I will practice the computer communication skills and be more in touch with you. Obeisances, and Glories to Srila Prabhupada. My obeisances to Guru Kripa Maharaja.

Your humble servant,
Hansadutta das

From Dhanesvara das
5 May 1994

Dear Hansadutta:

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Thanks for your participation in the Directory. I am happy to run your personal listing, but I cannot run your ads. I am keeping the editorial content to that which is in keeping with the "official" ISKCON. Sorry, I know you won't agree, but although I like you as a friend, I disagree with the tactic you are taking on all this. I also do not subscribe to the rittvik philosophy. I hope that you will reconsider what you are doing.

I offered some advice to you several years back when we talked in LA sitting in your car. Remember? Why not just try pursuing a low profile and simple sadhana? Stop crying "poor me." After all--you're the one who has created the whole situation! Try to re-read Srimad-Bhagavatam, Fourth Canto about Lord Shiva's rift with Daksha--maybe some lesson in there that you can appreciate.

Your friend,

Dhanesvara das

From Basu Ghosh das, Bombay, India
8 May 1994

Dear Veda Guhya Prabhu:

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

It has been many months since we met at Vrindaban on the occasion of the annual observance of Srila Prabhupada's disappearance. Since then, I honestly had meant to write to you many times, but it didn't happen. I hope you will pardon me for that. Not only did I want to send you the enclosed pictures of yourself that I took at the temple, but I wanted to express my "humble" (I know I'm a puffed up rascal) opinions on the " rittvik idea."

I continue to hesitate to accept the idea, not based only on my own reflection on the issue, but also from discussions that I have had with learned scholars (some of whom are not in ISKCON and not in our Sampradaya) and devotees.

Of course, it is a fact that Srila Prabhupada never appointed a successor. It is also an unfortunate fact that many unqualified persons became "guru" in ISKCON and created havoc for their "disciples" as well as themselves.

I know that there are logical points on both sides of the issue. But from my philosophical inquiries and "investigation" into this, the conclusion seems to point to some kind of "living guru," one who is present or "prakat" before our vision (although it may be material vision). The reasoning is that:

1. It is the accepted tradition to accept both "diksha " and "shiksha" from a "prakat" guru. It is accepted not only in Gaudiya Sampradaya, but in all of the other three Vaishnava Sampradayas. We have no example of a "rittvik" guru in Vaishnava history.

2. Srila Prabhupada's writings "taken on a whole," quite clearly indicate the need of a "prakat" guru. It is therefore that he has written in the Upadeshamrita that a kanishta or a madhyama devotee can also initiate. Otherwise, he would have, in all his wisdom, clearly indicated that a "rittvik guru" would have been the most acceptable alternative.

3. A great, powerful acharya adapts Krishna bhakti and Krishna consciousness to desh, kal and patra (time, place and circumstances). Agreed. However, the basic tenets (viddhis or methods) are not changed. There are many examples in history of this.

Srila Prabhupada was quite clear on how a disciple should "surrender" to the guru and how he must "follow his instructions." To the best of my very limited understanding, the problems (that have created a doubt about the position of the guru) have arisen from a violation of the "position" and/or "responsibilities" that go along with being a guru. Sorry to use this corny cliché, the rittvik guru answer to this problem seems to be the case of "throwing away the baby with the bath water."

How, then, to stop the abuse of the position of guru? This would seem to be the question. Of course, the GBC is charged with the responsibility of "monitoring" the ISKCON institution. The ultimate responsibility seems to rest with them. On a subjective level, we must be able, by "composite" understanding of Vaishnava Siddhanta, to distinguish between someone who is sincerely guiding innocent and ignorant souls on the path of Krishna bhakti and a cheater who is only after name, fame and sense gratification and makes a show of being a guru to obtain these material objects.

The "cheating guru" profession seems to be as old as any other profession. Hence Srila Prabhupada's pointing out that a sincere person is sent to a sincere guru (by Krishna within the heart as Paramatma), and one who wants to be cheated will be sent to a "cheating guru." But why eliminate the guru? There may be different levels of teachers in the educational system--but teachers are required nonetheless for all types of students. The function of the guru is like that, is it not?

Anyway, Prabhu, I very much enjoyed visiting with you last year--especially the nice prasad. Once again I am coming to the USA. I am leaving tomorrow from Bombay to the Middle East, London and then Washington D.C. is my first destination in the US around the end of June. Maybe I can visit you at that time, and then you can really give me the sauce!

I hope this meets you and your family in the best of health and jolly spirits.

Your servant,
Basu Ghosh das

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Srila Prabhupada, His Movement & You - Correspondence 4/Inside Nam Hatta
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