Krsnacandra Dasa – Vrndavan: What has ISKCON become? Why have we allowed the ‘soft sell’ spirituality of the modern day ‘new age’ guru to take precedence over what Srila Prabhupada has taught us and showed us by his perfect example?
The following transcript (Transcribed by Prabhupada Vision) and video is of Radhanath Swami giving an interview with CBS Better Connecticut in Hartford, Connecticut US.
Radhanatha Swami is one of the most ‘famous’ modern day Gurus of ISKCON and is therefore responsible to represent, as an ambassador of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna, the process of Bhakti yoga as taught by His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada and our international Vaisnava Society of ISKCON.
Yet by this interview who could tell that?
Transcription of interview:
Woman Interviewer (WI): The man you are about to meet is a modern day spiritual guru. You are watching ‘Pray Love’ many of us are on our own journey. Well Radhanath Swami was born Richard Slavin to a Jewish family in Chicago in the sixties and this is what he became, at age nineteen he decided to trek on his own spiritual journey hitchhiking all across the world where he landed in India where he was robbed at knife point, attacked by wild dogs and even held captive by a snake charmer, he said this was all part of his destiny and he is here now as the author of a new spiritual book called The Journey Home. Radhanath Swami thank you for being… I don’t know if I have met a real Swami before so thank you for being here in Better Connecticut.
Radhanath Swami (RS): I am so grateful to be with you so thank you.
WI: How does a Jewish kid growing up in Chicago become a spiritual guru now recognised and invited to dine with the President of India.
RS: Well I was a teenager in the nineteen sixties, there were many questions, there was a civil rights movement, there was the Vietnam War, and I was confused, I saw so much contradiction in the name of one loving God, I saw so much division and hatred in the name of God and in a country like America which promises us freedom I saw that there was not really any equal rights for the African Americans, I saw ego and greed in so many people’s hearts that was causing them to hurt people I wanted to find answers so I joined the counter-culture and started to demonstrate with the civil rights movement and Vietnam and eventually found that the counter-culture was not really addressing the real issues and I then I heard a statement that if you don’t have an ideal that you are willing to die for then you have nothing really meaningful to live for and I wanted to find that ideal and then I heard from Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings that we should try to be the change…
WI: (Simultaneously) Be a change you see in the world…
RS: We want to see in the world…
WI: And even though Mahatma Gandhi lived a very different life that most of us live I think that many of us, his spirit still lives on and we know what he said… In today I can just imagine people watching at home and they’re interested in spirituality and they read ‘Eat Pray Love’ and they have even seen Julia Roberts out there and her quest um… You had taken a vow of poverty… you don’t own any property… you live a very different life than say most Americans do but do you believe to become enlightened and to reach that level of peace that you have to forsake the modern world?
RS: What we have to forsake is greed and arrogance and ego and whether one is a business person or a television person or whether one is a doctor a lawyer a politician or even a Swami (gesturing himself) if we try to harmonise our body our mind with our soul… you see really everyone is looking to love and be loved, that’s the fundamental need of every living thing whatever our occupation whatever our status in society and real spirituality is to connect us with our own spiritual essence and to actually experience the love that is within us the love for God and the essence to all great spiritual paths is to be an instrument of that love by showing compassion to others and by putting time aside every day to develop good character and spiritual practice, in our tradition we chant Gods names… then we can actually be instruments of that compassion and love in whatever occupation.
WI: Well it’s an interesting story how growing up in Chicago a Jewish kid then becomes a Swami… it’s called a Blah Blah Blah…
Well that was it. That was the self realized soul and divine representative of the parampara and the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna, here on earth.
This was yet another chance for Radhanath to glorify his role as an ambassador of ISKCON yet he is being advertised as a spiritual guru. What the heck is a spiritual guru? This is nothing less than the politically correct term used by many guru pretenders in the travelling circus of the pseudo spiritualist retro new age movement.
This man’s answers had nothing whatsoever to do with Srila Prabhupada’s preaching style and level of realization… This was all the hippie new age lingo used by so many of the flotsam and jetsam of the New Age Movement.
There was no substance in his words. They were not even of the standard of someone in the New Age Movement who had completed a short course in ‘Jargon for the New Age Speaker’.
The interviewer had not much time for him at all did she? She more or less spoke over him as if there were much more important gurus for her to tout on her program. Gurus like Julia Roberts.
This interview was a disgrace and a total embarrassment to Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON.
As I have repeatedly said, this man is a self made, self styled, new age kabbalistic guru/spiritualist with absolutely no substance in him whatsoever and his only interest is self interest.
Yet this man, this charlatan, this fraud, this guru imposter is advertising himself to be a “Spiritual Guru” and is still being touted by ISKCON as a divine representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is allowed to go anywhere and peddle his kabbalistic tikkun olam ‘god is love’ trash while in the garb of an ISKCON Sannyasi guru without sanction or supervision.
Is this the type of person that we want to represent this sublime spiritual path, the Sankirtana Mission of Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupada?
So to sum this quick interview up, Radhanath was given the opportunity to glorify the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna and his real divine representative His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, but all that happened was that the viewing audience found out that Radhanath was basically a confused Jewish kid coming from a rich Jewish family in Chicago who joined the Marxist lead counter-culture and became a leftist activist who then went off on the hippie trail to India and along the way was attacked by dogs, kidnapped by a random snake charmer, nearly drowned and was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa and now was miraculously transformed into a spiritual guru.
Hmmm, somehow I think he forgot to mention Krsna and Srila Prabhupada, I think, or did he mention them??? Mmmm??? No perhaps not, as they are really only ‘incidental’ to his spiritual journey, and who could blame him. He had to use Mahatma Gandhi as he was the most famous name little Richie could conveniently ‘drop’ in this particular interview.
Of course he couldn’t mention Krsna, for that would be politically incorrect, although there was a vague reference to a God. But then he did of course say that in ‘his’ tradition (I wonder what tradition he is actually referring to?) that they chant the names of YAHWEH? Did I say YAHWEH? Well any name of God will do really… I mean to say there is only one God isn’t there…?
Please… Please… Please let us all join in the only counter-culture inside of Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON – the counter-culture of the Srila Prabhupada Loyalist! The revolution is to purge from the very core of ISKCON those who have dared to uphold the heretical position of the rubber stamped guru!
ISKCON is rotten to the core with the promotion of this apostate heresy.
For far too long have the rank and file ISKCON devotee and especially the senior disciples of Srila Prabhupada, who were present during his manifest lila, allowed this heretical Rubberstamped Guru system to be acculturated into ISKCON.
Those devotees who claim to be disciples of Srila Prabhupada must stand up and be counted for, instead of allowing a handful of disciples to make issue with this heresy. The onus is on them to rectify this untenable situation.
The younger generation have been lost to the retro hippie new age movement, the others have been lost to this rubberstamp heresy and so there are only the older devotees who claim to be direct disciples of Srila Prabhupada that must stand up and take responsibility for this heinous insult and guru/acharya aparadha to their Diksa Guru, His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.
There is no excuse!
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,