Kṛṣṇacandra Dāsa – Śrī Vṛndāvan Dham: In the following webpage of Rādhānatha Swami it is clear that he sees himself as a śuddha bhakta or pure devotee in his own right and has no tangible need of Śrīla Prabhupāda. This brings up many different scenarios for understanding the actual level of spiritual realization of the various ISKCON gurus.
1. Are they śuddha bhaktas – kripa/saddhana siddhas who have attained Kṛṣṇa darśana by:
a) Being voted in by their peers
b) Via their practice of saddhana
c) Via kripa due to the absolute causeless mercy of the Lord.
d) Via kripa from the mercy of His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Śrīla Prabhupāda
Srila Prabhupada clearly explained the [a] option as being bogus, however it is the method in which the GBC would have the members of ISKCON believe that one can attain the platform of a śuddha bhakta by being voted in by positional managerial authority. Option [b] is possible but only if one is able to chant śuddha nāma. However because they hardly chant their rounds and are enjoying the worship of their disciples while living in luxury and opulence, it is highly unlikely. Point [c] depends solely on the causeless mercy of the Lord which means anyone can obtain the mercy of the Lord and not because you want it or you have been appointed by your peers or because you chant all sixteen rounds and attend managala ārati nearly every day…
Lastly point [d] this is entirely possible but in order to do so one would have to please Śrīla Prabhupāda and that is not possible if you think you are qualified to occupy his position as Ācārya / initiating spiritual master.
When hearing and observing the various ISKCON voted in gurus, you can ascertain that they are acting and speaking as if from the same perspective or platform as Śrīla Prabhupāda. In other words that they have achieved Kṛṣṇa darśana and so have been given the authority from the Lord Himself to act as an initiating spiritual master coming in the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Sampradāya.
One must wonder how they have achieved this lofty platform of spiritual realization, role and function as a dīkṣā guru when Śrīla Prabhupāda did not order or appoint them and one would have to consider the fact that either they superseded Śrīla Prabhupāda on the internal order of the Lord Himself or that the GBC by dint of their institutional positional authority [not spiritual] have the God given capability to ‘by their order’ award any devotee who so desires, Kṛṣṇa prema.
This would infer that all members of ISKCON, once appointed to any institutional position; be it GBC, Sannyāsa or dīkṣā guru is automatically a śuddha bhakta and has Kṛṣṇa prema and so is divinely inspired and directed.
It is in this light that we can see where the present GBC and upper echelon of our ISKCON society derive their rationale for why they do not require Śrīla Prabhupāda himself and for now all they require are his books. However, it will not be long before even his books become redundant for they are already beginning to write overviews and give diacritically contrived theological dissertations on not only his work but also on the works of the previous Ācāryas.
With Śrīla Prabhupāda no longer required as their bona fides; they are now changing the siddhānta of their preaching to be more liberal and syncretic with the impersonalist doctrines taught by the New Agers, various Abrahamic religions and the Brahmavāda schools of theologies.
In the below internet preaching program of Rādhānatha Swami you can observe the workings of a devotee who mistakenly believes that by dint of his voted in status of a initiating guru in ISKCON [FISKCON] that he does not require Śrīla Prabhupāda and believes that his words are divinely inspired by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself.
It must also be noted that the question posited below was asked from the perspective of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad Gītā regarding the Lords decent in times of irreligion, where the Lord does not give the Mahā Mantra but requests one to surrender unto Him. It is in this light that the question must be answered yet Rādhānatha Swami ignores the fact that the Lord Himself descended again in this Kali yuga as Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu and gave us not only the process of surrender but also He gave us the full Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahā Mantra.
Rādhānatha Swami ignores both Śrīla Prabhupāda and Lord Caitanya and gives only the ‘Hare Kṛṣṇa ‘ part of the Mahā Mantra as the answer to the question… However Rādhānatha Swami should have acknowledged where he himself received the mahā mantra when he does not refer to Śrīla Prabhupāda or Lord Caitanya. However from his own personal writings you can see that Rādhānatha Swami obtained the mahā mantra from Gaṅgā Devī. This could be why he does not mention or give credit to Śrīla Prabhupāda or Lord Caitanya.
This is taken from one of Rādhānatha Swamis numerous self promoting websites: Rādhānatha Swami On Line
Question to Radhanath Swami: We read in Gītā: Krishna says that when there is a decline in religion and an up-rise in irreligion, he descends. Look at the world today; so much of irreligion, so many problems. There is tsunami of irreligion and problems crashing against practically every living entity in the whole planet- there’s an inundation. Where is God?
Radhanath Swami: Krishna has descended in this age in his name. And all the power of all the incarnations is within the name, because Krishna is non-different from his names. We simply have to chant with proper consciousness and reciprocate with his love that has descended in his name. When Krishna physically appeared five thousand years ago, very few people recognized him. So many people considered that he was just a powerful person. Similarly, when Krishna appears in his name—without association of Krishna’s loving devotees—we cannot understand, appreciate or reciprocate with the mercy of the name.
Who would these loving devotees be that the Swami is referring to? His fellow voted in Gurus of ISKCON or perhaps some of his various ‘teachers and mentors’ he is always singing praises to? We can take it that since he does not mention anyone in particular he is referring to himself.
Therefore to help the fallen people of this Age of Kali, the Supreme Lord appeared five hundred years ago as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He knew that the people of this age would not even be able to follow the regulative principles, what to speak of practicing aṣṭāṅga-yoga. Therefore He gave the mahā-mantra—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare—so that we can gradually be elevated to the highest position of spiritual life. [Second Chance]
When we chant the name of the Lord sincerely, from within the heart, Rādhā and Krishna reveal their eternal, unlimited, and beautiful forms of the spiritual world. They reveal it in their name. We understand that the name doesn’t represent Krishna, the name is Krishna. The name reveals the qualities of the Lord, and the loving kindness of the Lord. The name reveals the abode of the Lord; within the two syllables -‘Kṛṣ’, ’na’-, within the two syllables –‘Ha’,‘re’- is the entire spiritual world. And all the pastimes of the Lord are within the name, and are revealed through the name. There is nothing else required. Through the chanting of the names, the names actually brings us right into the pastimes and reveals our constitutional identity, our eternal personality in the spiritual world; that is the power of the name.
Anāvṛttiḥ śabdāt means “liberation by sound.” The entire material manifestation began from sound, and sound can also end material entanglement, if it has a particular potency. The particular sound capable of doing this is the transcendental vibration Hare Kṛṣṇa. Our entanglement in material affairs has begun from material sound. Now we must purify that sound in spiritual understanding. There is sound in the spiritual world also. If we approach that sound, then our spiritual life begins, and the other requirements for spiritual advancement can be supplied. [SB: 3.26.32]
It is not that we simply chant the name of God that we will become purified enough to chant śuddha nāma and therefore attain darśana of Kṛṣṇa in the Kali yuga. The chanting of the names of the Lord, as Śrīla Prabhupāda explains above, is the beginning of our spiritual lives and the other requirements are there of saddhana as given by Śrīla Prabhupāda and not that we simply chant the Holy Name and do nothing else. We have to engage in devotional service as given by His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Śrīla Prabhupāda and await the causeless mercy of the Lord.
The loose use of the ‘name of the Lord’ when understood from Rādhānatha Swami’s other preaching techniques lends itself to the listener’s understanding that any name of God is sufficient to chant in order to achieve actual, not daydreamed, Kṛṣṇa darśana.
The above ‘answer’ only displays this man’s personal ambition to be accepted as a Maha Bhāgavata devotee without possessing the necessary authority and/or qualification. He is setting himself up as a self styled Guru in his own right without the need of any authority except himself.
One would have to wonder what his motives are for separating himself from the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava tradition.
The GBC and the other Dīkṣā gurus of ISKCON, if they care to read or listen to this man, would also know that he has deviated from the teachings of Śrīla Prabhupāda yet they still promote him and allow him full access to our international society.
However, his activities are duly noted by the Lord and Śrīla Prabhupāda and so it should not be long before he too is one of the forgotten ones…
But His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Śrīla Prabhupāda will still be here and will still have ardent followers.