Kṛṣṇacandra Dāsa – Śrī Vṛndāvan Dham: Since there was such a huge response on our website from the Russian Devotional Community regarding the recent exposure of Prabhvisnu Dāsa we were informed that the Russian Community is being given a different account of the incident from that which was published here on our website as well as Dandavats.com the Official ISKCON website. Below is a comparison of both versions of the GBC Executive Committees response to the incident, which should have been a simple cut n paste but as it turned out the Russian version was doctored and subsequently the Official Russian version is very different from the original Official version… One would have to wonder what the Chinese or Spanish versions would be?
It is up to the reader to draw their own conclusions on this matter…
Dear Disciples of Prabhavisnu Prabhu,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Paragraph 1 – Russian Version:
It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that Prabhavisnu Prabhu recently
resigned from his ISKCON services as initiating guru and GBC member and has
given up his sannyasa vows.
Paragraph 1 – OFFICIAL GBC EC Version:
It is with heavy hearts that we inform you that Prabhavisnu Prabhu recently resigned from his ISKCON services as initiating guru and GBC member and has given up his sannyasa vows.
Paragraph 2 – Russian Version:
Members of the GBC’s Executive Committee and a number of Prabhavisnu
Prabhu’s friends have spoken to him and come to understand his reasons for
his resignation – that he is physically and mentally exhausted due to
constant travel and managerial pressures and about nine months ago he met a
woman in Thailand with whom he is considering entering a serious
relationship. This woman is a vegetarian and runs a small clothing shop in
Thailand with her brother. Despite stepping down from his role as an ISKCON
leader, he does continue to honor his discipleship under Srila Prabhupada
and intend to remain connected to ISKCON by eventually serving humbly in an
ISKCON community somewhere in the world.
Paragraph 2 – OFFICIAL GBC EC Version:
It is always difficult when a senior ISKCON leader has serious problems in their spiritual life to know how much to disclose publicly. Please know that the GBC carefully considers how to report such incidents. On the one hand, the ISKCON community has a right to know the accurate details of what happened, especially when there is so much speculation going around, and on the other hand we have Srila Prabhupada’s admonishment to not broadcast the details of a devotee’s difficulties. So with Srila Prabhupada’s instruction firmly in mind we offer this brief but factual explanation of the situation, which is, at the moment, all we know.
Paragraph 3 – Russian Version:
On behalf of the community of devotees, we would like to express our
compassion and hope for Prabhavisnu Prabhu as he tries to deal with his
personal life and needs. By both example and precept Srila Prabhupada taught
us to be kind to all devotees, including those who face the struggles of
purification and may have to make changes in their position to become
properly situated. Prabhavisnu Prabhu has given his life to Srila
Prabhupada’s mission and rendered invaluable service to many, many devotees.
We pray he will ever remain in the association of his many well-wishers and
friends, continuing to render service to Srila Prabhupada as he has for
Paragraph 3 – OFFICIAL GBC EC Version:
Members of the GBC’s Executive Committee and a number of Prabhavisnu Prabhu’s friends have spoken to him and come to understand the reasons he gives for his resignation. This is confirmed in his recent letter to his disciples: that he became spiritually weak, and physically and mentally exhausted due to constant travel and managerial pressures. About nine months ago he met a woman in Thailand with whom he is considering entering a serious relationship.
Paragraph 4 – Russian Version:
That said, we wish to extend all compassion, help, and support to
Prabhavisnu Prabhu’s siksa and diksa disciples. Please know that you are not
without shelter. As ISKCON’s founder-acarya and preeminent diksa-guru, Srila
Prabhupada is freely giving each of you the opportunity to develop pure love
of God. That has not changed. His mercy and shelter are there for you in
every situation, his teachings still apply to you, and serving him in his
mission is still the gateway to pure bhakti. You also have the shelter of
the holy name. Please always keep your hearts open to the spiritual
protection and blessings you have been given.
Paragraph 4 – OFFICIAL GBC EC Version:
It appears that he has experienced bouts of spiritual weakness for some years. We are still in discussion with him about the details.
Paragraph 5 – Russian Version:
ISKCON has many senior devotees who are prepared to assist you through any
difficulties or confusion you may be feeling, and we from the GBC are
especially concerned for your welfare. There are also local leaders in your
area, and for those who wish to speak to someone, we have established an
e-mail address where you can write and receive a response:
Paragraph 5 – OFFICIAL GBC EC Version:
After extensive talks with his godbrothers, it seems he has not yet decided on his present course of action but wishes to seriously reflect on the matter. Despite stepping down from his role as an ISKCON leader, he does continue to honor his discipleship under Srila Prabhupada and intend to remain connected to ISKCON by eventually serving humbly in an ISKCON community somewhere in the world.
Paragraph 6 – Russian Version:
There are other devotees in ISKCON who have lost their spiritual master but
who have made the choice to remain at Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet. A good
number of these devotees have gone on to excel in both sadhana and service.
Please draw from their example. Take shelter of strong Vaisnava association
in ISKCON and form an ever deepening dependence on the holy name and the
spiritual perspectives offered in sastra. Do not become discouraged.
Paragraph 6 – OFFICIAL GBC EC Version:
Naturally we are deeply disappointed with this very troubling turn of events. It is a fall, something like that of a soldier on the battlefield. Prabhavisnu Prabhu has given forty years to Srila Prabhupada’s mission and rendered invaluable service to many, many devotees. He has preached in a number of difficult places in the world, including the Muslim country of Bangladesh and the former Soviet Union when it was still under Communist rule. He also significantly helped the preaching in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Australia, and New Zealand.
Paragraph 7 – Russian Version:
In the meantime, we are looking further into the circumstances involving
Prabhavisnu Prabhu’s resignation and how best to respond to you in the most
supportive way. We will be in touch with you again soon.
Paragraph 7 – OFFICIAL GBC EC Version:
By both example and precept Srila Prabhupada taught us to be kind to all devotees, including those who face the struggles of purification and may have to make changes in their position to become properly situated. We pray Prabhavisnu Prabhu will ever remain in the association of his many well-wishers and friends, continuing to render service to Srila Prabhupada as he has for so many years.
*** In the Official Russian Version there was no Paragraph 8 ***
Paragraph 8 – OFFICIAL GBC EC Version:
Despite this, we recognize that his disciples and other devotees in ISKCON will be very disturbed by Prabhavisnu prabhu’s spiritual difficulties. We are currently investigating the circumstances leading to his stepping down and will follow this letter with further communication when possible. In the meantime, to those who are affectedby Prabhavisnu Prabhu’s resignation, we would like to say that ISKCON has many senior devotees with whom you can speak. The GBC Body is concerned with every devotee’s welfare and has established an e-mail address where those who wish to can write their questions: [email protected]
Hrdaya Caitanya Das
Bhakti Caitanya Swami
GBC Executive Committee