Krsnacandra Dasa – Vrndavan: Aindra Prabhu’s passing has left many of us with questions regarding not only the circumstances of his passing but also his service in the Krsna Balaram Mandir.
Being a public figure his life has been somewhat open to checks and balances and so questions arise that need to be answered. In Aindra’s case his untimely passing leaves many questions unanswered.
As his friend and operating this website I have been asked many questions by many devotees regarding some of the aspects of his life. It is in this esteem that I attempt to answer now. Following is a letter sent from an interested devotee who asks some general questions on Aindra; questions that have been on the mind of many devotees around the world.
Another question Krsnacandra prabhu. I hope you don’t mind.
Why is it that Aindra prabhu used to for example sing for someone as sinister as Jayapataka so-called swami? How is it that he didn’t shun all the gbc/gunda/criminal/demon/fake guru creeps himself if he was so opposed to them and their sinister activities?
See this kirtan below with suspected pedophile Lokanattha swami.
What are we to make of it? How are to interpret this? Are we not supposed to shun and avoid such unfeeling persons?
Last time i was in vrindavan my experience of Krishna Balarama temple was more like dating grounds for “guruklis” and just about any lusty member of fisckon. Of course there were many sincere devotees there too. It felt like Mediterranean cafe atmosphere rather than dham atmosphere around the temple. Frankly i found it difficult to get myself to go there more than a few times after i started observing the mood permeating the place. Even during the kirtan it was hard not to notice how much flirting is taking place right in front of the Lordships and Aindra prabhu himself. I am just stating what i have seen at the time and how i am able to interpret it.
Kirtan singers seemed more on the lookout for girls than trying to please Lordiships with their singing and playing of instruments.
I also noticed some single and married ladies being thoroughly infatuated and developing very unhealthy attachment (few of them I knew personally) to Aindra prabhu and he didn’t seem to be concerned about that, at least so it seemed. Or maybe he was just oblivious? Hard to say for someone like me, who didn’t know him well. I am not suspecting that he was not truly renounced, what i am questioning is the people around him and his apparent indifference to the weird symptoms they were exhibiting in relation to him and that it was not discouraged. To be precise i am referring to the unhealthy adoration here. We all know that fake gurus thrive on it but i was not sure why Aindra prabhu would not discourage it if such immature sentiment was directed to him.
I have been meaning to ask these questions Aindra prabhu directly but somehow I never got the chance to do so. Perhaps you as his good friend can shed some light on all this. Again I ask you to understand that I am just being open about how I see things and so far I very much appreciated you being forthcoming and honest with me so far which made me comfortable enough to ask even more unpalatable and troubling questions.
I have addressed these topics with some senior devotees who shared the same concerns and I was told that it wouldn’t be considered offensive I these questions were raised.
One devotee suggested that I ask this privately but since this is not only my concern it would be fair that other devotees benefit from your wise and learned answers as well.
If you choose to answer me in private instead i will not mind at all.
Your aspiring servant in service of Srila Prabhupada
Aindra was my dear friend and the questions you have raised pose no problem in answering as his friend. First and foremost Aindra prabhu was mainly interested in chanting the holy Names of the Lord and his 24 hours kirtan program, his Deities, his saddhana and of course serving Srila Prabhupada.
It is from this platform that he related to the world and the people around him. As the years rolled on his niche in the Holy Dham was firmly established especially amongst the long term residents of the Dham who loved attending his kirtan program.
As you may know he never supported the institutional aspect of Temple life even though he occupied the role of a ‘Department Head’ which he viewed as more a sign of corporatism rather than spiritual management.
His political views are very much the same as the views that are expressed on this website so I do not need to go into that here. Although please understand that he and I do not see these views as political but we see them as philosophical.
He strongly believed that the ISKCON today does not represent Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON.
With all these views he and I were on the exact same page. The only point at which we disagreed was on his speaking of intimate subject matters with anyone who asked him.
It must be noted that in the last several months of his life I managed to get through to him on this subject and he began to agree that intimate subjects should be discussed between intimate associates only. We were beginning to talk about the details of this when he left but I know in my heart that we had finally taken our friendship to a more sweet and deep level with this admission of his.
In answer to your first question;
Aindra never sang for anyone he always sung for the Lordships and he took every opportunity to glorify the Holy Name. He knew very well the nature of these individuals and he knew very well what they thought of him and still he would go. I admired that in him.
There was only a handful of this type envious ambitious jiva who attended those programs the others were innocent and being cheated by them.
We used to say that he fought with his voice and I with my pen…
Towards the latter part of his life he also wanted to involve himself in my writings and his book slowly changed over the years to the one that is presently published. I can tell you it was a far different book when it first began…
You bring up the question of matajis in Vrndavan
Many of the long term devotees residing in the Dham have found Aindra’s kirtan an inspiration to their devotional lives and helped to give their stay in the Holy Dham more purpose. This is both male and female devotees.
If you noticed over the years that many of us would naturally gather around the altar of RadhaShyamasundar which was also Aindra’s ‘heart and soul’ altar. Our focus was the Lordships and Aindra’s kritan made that all the sweeter for us.
There are two aspects to your query: the first about the Gurukuli experience and the second about Matajis.
I shall answer the mataji aspect first. I suppose it is only natural that when ones feelings are involved that these if unchecked can become problematic.
For many years Aindra would ignore the matajis and their attempts to ask questions of him and to try and get his association which began to disturb the ones whose spiritual/emotional maturity was not yet developed. As the years rolled on he slowly began to give them some of his association which further enthused them to ask more questions and to obtain his association more and more.
This was a concern of his as he was very strict in his saddhana but he was also a public figure. As you know he would never allow a woman up into his rooms and was very strict on never allowing a woman to have darsan of his private Deities so he would meet them when he walked between the Temple and the Gurukula building where his rooms are situated.
This of course made his ‘association’ with women more public and brought it into the spotlight.
I am sure that both men and women became infatuated with him but that was hardly his fault. He was never with a woman alone or engaged in intimate talk with them. He of course understood their desire for his association but never crossed the line with regards to mundane association.
I personally have never witnessed any sign of sex desire in Aindra and always found his relationships based on Krsna Conscious standards.
As for the Gurukuli query:
Vrndavan Dham and Mayapura Dham were the centres of the FISKCON heretical apostate’s ploy to corrupt Srila Prabhupada’s Gurukula system in order to convert it into secular humanistic educational philosophical facilities that paid lip service to Vaisnava education.
In order to achieve this they had to corrupt and pervert the children. The rest is history.
The children of these schools were ruined. Those that were not lost to the karmi world or took initiation outside of ISKCON became lost in the sexual predator world of the new age hippie devotee lead by the new age FISKCON gurus.
The liberalist wants to tear down tradition and challenge authority, any authority except their own authority to do what they desire, even if it meant that they would indulge in their desires in the Holy Dham.
Many of the Gurukulis especially the boys/men who went to Vrndavan gurukula began to use the Temple as a field for their sexual predator natures as it was the most popular and central meeting place for devotees from all over the world.
Many saw Aindra’s kirtan as a place where they could gain some fame and be noticed or show off. There were many attempts to challenge Aindra’s authority over the kirtan. Some challenges would be to have girls sing and some would be from young men who wanted to lead the kirtan to show off to their friends.
Aindra even had threats of violence from one boy in particular, who was aggressively pushing that gurukuli girls were allowed to lead in his kirtan party slot, which only stopped after we intervened. I have a long letter that Aindra wrote many years ago about this and many other issues but I am not sure if or when I shall post it on my site.
You have to remember that it was not only Aindra’s kirtan party that was affected by the lusty activities of uncontrolled and uncontrollable teenagers. Every aspect of the Temple was infused by their activities and responses to them. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed, along with the thousands of others…
Aindra and I knew full well of the situation and all he could do was try and maintain high standards for his boys and his ashram which he did by the way.
The older generation of gurukulis are getting older and the younger generation of ISKCON children have not experience of gurukula life for there are no ISKCON gurukulas left. There are only a handful of Religious type boarding schools left in ISKCON today. The school in Vrndavan is no longer for ISKCON children and is mainly for what you can call Hindu children whose parents want an English medium Secular education and most of the boys come from families who do not follow the four regulative principles and are not ISKCON devotees.
The next query you bring is regarding adoration:
Aindra was of course adored by many. Those who did not know his inner mood would try and show their adoration like they have been acculturated in the FISKCON world of the Rubberstamped guru who must be worshipped as good as God.
He knew this and tried to stop it as best as he could. But over the last several years due to the nature of some of the devotees who were constants in his life who had begun to treat him as something more than a siksa-guru.
Aindra’s last birthday party celebration, when he was with us, was a turning point for him. If you have read my last article on his birthday this year, you would see that he came to my home the next day to celebrate his birthday in private, which is something that he actually preferred to do. We talked how he wanted to stop this public affairs which was not appropriate in his mind and he felt that it was getting out of control.
Of course he was warmed by the show of devotion of his friends and well wishers but he felt that he needed to curtail the idea of worship that was slowly developing in his life.
Over the years many devotees have asked Aindra to give them diksa initiation to which his replies varied from outrage to soft refusal, depending on the inquirer. He was for the most part very heavy when someone asked this of him.
In addition to this Aindra was one hundred percent a Prabhupada man. He would never and most certainly did not take re-initiation from anyone outside of Srila Prabhupada and he most definitely did not take initiation from a Babaji from Radhakunda as suggested by some disillusioned devotees.
To sum this up Aindra did not take initiation from anyone except Srila Prabhupada and he has no diksa disciples – if anyone says to the contrary they are misinformed or lying.
He was not indifferent to all of the problems or issues that you present; please remember he was my close friend and I am sure you get the picture that in many ways we were likeminded. Having read my website you will get to know what he knows… We both grew in our understanding and appreciation of the problems that exist within our society. We did our best to understand and seek solutions and in this I miss him terribly in my life.
His solution originally was to push on the Holy Names but as I said he grew more and more interested in my role and so we began to plot together to write more and expose the heretical positions of the present FISKCON society.
I wish that you had the chance to speak with him on these matters and I know that I am a poor excuse for a reply but I pray that at least some of your questions are answered.
Prabhu I am sorry that I have posted this as an article but I felt that it is important and shouldn’t be treated as a ‘comment’ on some other issue.
Thank you for giving me the chance to speak some of my mind and heart on my friendship with Aindra Prabhu.
If you have further questions or answers of more depth please feel free to contact me personally.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada