Kṛṣṇacandra Dāsa – Śrī Vṛndāvan Dham: Śrīla Prabhupāda established ISKCON to provide a vehicle so that in the kali-yuga mankind had a way to learn how to engage in pure devotional service. He gave us a process which is actually very simple and sweet. He introduced into the world of man the Hare Kṛṣṇa Maha Mantra which if chanted purely will open one’s intelligence, mind and heart to obtain the mercy of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Of course he also knew that to be able to chant purely is not such an easy thing so he gave us a system where mankind could create a social/cultural milieu where those who are interested in engaging in pure devotional service can come together to learn how to chant purely. This system, as we know, is the daivivarnasrama culture, which is the only cultural social system that will be able to withstand the degradation that lies ahead for mankind as the kali-yuga deepens.
Śrīla Prabhupāda not only gave mankind the Hare Kṛṣṇa Maha Mantra and the knowledge of how to reestablish the daivivarnasram cultural system he also established and legally incorporated the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness [ISKCON] which is the organizational framework to manage the spiritual and material development of God consciousness on earth.
Śrīla Prabhupāda established ISKCON to attract and train the first class man, which means the Brahmans of human society. He understood that the four varnas namely Brahman, Ksatriya, Vaisya and Sudra were present in mankind in the kali-yuga however they were untrained/uneducated. Therefore the organization of ISKCON was to train the intelligent class, the Brahman class of man to lead his society in particular and human society in general.
You have to pick up the truthful men all over the world and classify them as brāhmaṇa. That we are doing. “If you follow these principles, no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling, no meat-eating, you are brāhmaṇa. Come on.” His father may be meat-eater or gambler or drunkard, but he is agreeing, “All right, come on, this come. You are welcome.” Then it will be all right. You cannot abolish the truthful class of men. There are… You’ll find truthful men everywhere. So you have to pick up. So Kṛṣṇa says that, cātur-varṇyaṁ māyā, guṇa-karma… You pick up the quality of men and put them in the brahminical class, and then next, kṣatriya class, then vaiśya class, then śūdra class. But you cannot abolish that system. That is a false attempt. [Conversation. June 28,1976 Vṛndāvan]
Śrīla Prabhupāda understood that there was no way that the honest or truthful class of man could be abolished or stopped from speaking the truth. The first class man also has the psychological profile of a person who can understand the meaning behind and the purpose of, the four regulative principles of spiritual life and therefore are able to make a conscious decision to seek a higher taste which can only be found in true spiritual pursuit. The first class man changes and grows or matures with the passing of time and engagement in rāgānugā saddhana bhakti and subsequently loses their attraction for sense objects and the fleeting sensual pleasure they may bring.
Therefore he established the ISKCON society so that the truthful class, the honest class of man, could have a practical platform to be not only trained in the nature of the absolute truth but also have a sanga where like minded aspiring Vaiṣṇava devotees of the Lord can practice together devotional service and push on the Sankirtan Mission of Lord Caitanya.
Come here, read our books, and argue. Try to understand with your full knowledge, no blindly acceptance. There is reason. There is argument. There is philosophy. There is science. Everything is there. And if you accept that “Simply by chanting, I shall realize,” that is also allowed. Both ways: if you accept this simple process, that “Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and realize God,” that is also fact, and if you think, “What is this nonsense, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa?” then you read books. Both ways we are prepared. Come and take advantage of this movement. [SB.lecture.6.1.3,Melb,1975]
Śrīla Prabhupāda established ISKCON so the first class man can come and learn the Vaiṣṇava philosophy and to facilitate sādhu sanga via open and truthful discussions based on sound reasoning logic and śāstra. In such an atmosphere there is a certain morality where goodness and common sense prevails. ISKCON is designed to be such a society where religious principles are enacted via a ‘by example’ process, where the leaders of our society, the sannyāsīs, the GBC members and various senior devotees set the best example in morality, ethic, material and spiritual maturity.
The standard of morality of the Vaiṣṇava society taught and instructed by Śrīla Prabhupāda and the previous Ācāryas is very high, which is of course only natural in a religious organization which has been established to set such a high standard of example for mankind to follow.
Brahminical qualities means if you speak truth, you are very clean and you are self-controlled, your mind is in equilibrium, you are tolerant, and so many qual… You believe in God, you know scriptures practically. These qualities are for the higher class, brāhmaṇa. The first qualification of a brāhmaṇa is that he’s truthful. He’ll disclose everything even to his enemy. He’ll never, I mean to say, hide anything. Satyaṁ. Śaucam, very clean. A brāhmaṇa is expected to take bath daily thrice and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Bahyābhyantara, clean outside, clean inside. These are qualities.
The exemplary standard and example set by the leaders of our society is what gives a religious society a good reputation and standing in the society of man. Therefore the onus is on us to make sure that the leadership positions of our institution are held by devotees of proven spiritual and material maturity and of high moral and ethical caliber.
The Sannyāsa ashram is precisely for preaching the philosophy of devotional service at an exemplary standard of practice. The sannyāsa ashram is the pinnacle of the Daivivarnashram culture and it is they that set the highest standard of morality due to being free from gross sensual weakness. In India even to this day and even amongst the most degraded sannyāsīs one would never find a sannyāsī allow a woman to touch them or brush against them in public what to speak of taking photos of them or parading around with them as a draw card. Certainly there is no example of Indian sannyāsīs performing some modern wild raunchy or feminine dance style.
We can understand that in the kali-yuga such an exalted standard of purity is very difficult to attain / maintain and therefore it should be expected that a person may be tempted by the allures of material sensual pleasures, however, there should be a gentlemanly culture where should a devotee who has taken the vows of celibacy and renunciation be tempted they can step down from their position and rectify themselves through performing devotional service in a role other than a role of complete renunciation.
However there should be a strict morality and ethic acculturated into our society that one must not remain in the position of the renounced order of life, if they are actively engaging in sensual fall down. The need to be honest and truthful in this matter should be very much valued and engrained into our society so that a devotee knows very well that it is NOT okay to be performing the role of a sannyāsī and simultaneously be engaged in gross or subtle sensual pleasures or any illicit activity.
My father was a keen follower of Cricket as he came from a time when Cricket was a gentleman’s sport. Hence he abhorred the modern day Cricketers who, he said, were not gentlemen. He would explain to me that only a true gentleman should play such a sport and to cheat in order to win was most definitely ungentlemanly.
The example he would give was when [if you know the sport] the batter was facing a ball from the bowler and he struck at it with his bat, and the ball nicked the edge of his bat and was caught by the wicket keeper behind him – he was given out and would have to leave the field. However in modern times should that nick go unnoticed by the fielders or umpires then the batter would pretend as if it never happened. They would stay at the ‘crease’ as if nothing happened while waiting the umpire’s decision, so much so that the authorities would place cameras and microphones to be able to detect the nick of the ball should there be one, as they could not trust the batters to be honest and truthful.
This of course infuriated my father who was used to batters who played ‘for God and country’ and so even if there was only God and themselves that bore witness to the nick – these gentlemen of sport, these gentlemen of the Empire would stand up straight, place the bat under their arm and walk off the field. The audience upon seeing this, knowing full well that only the batter and God had bore witness to the incident gave a standing ovation to this glorious warrior of the playing field.
I remember learning from this opinion of my father and used it in my life as a yardstick so to speak of proper behavior, however since becoming a devotee I have learnt that this logic, this principle, this morality was not only true for my past life it was an important guiding principle of our Vaiṣṇava society to help us learn proper Vaiṣṇava etiquette.
As I grew I did many things and worked in many fields having trained as a psychologist and counselor I held many positions in welfare, justice and drug abuse and was continually engaged in activity and discussions on morality, ethics, criminality and justice etc which is very much part of the modern western Christian based what to speak of professional culture.
It is to my absolute disappointment up the point of bewilderment that I have found that in the association of aspiring Vaiṣṇava’s in ISKCON, the one place where one would expect to find gentlemen and women, the one place where justice, morality and ethic of the highest order would be expected to be found, I found a distinct lack.
In our ISKCON society to call a thief a thief or an emperor naked or a fallen sannyāsī fallen, is considered wrong which is of course the exact opposite of my upbringing and life as a non devotee. In a society where one would expect that there was no need of microphones or other recording devices to observe the wrongdoings of our leaders we find that there is an absolute requirement to build this into our society so the thieves rogues and rascals are recorded. However it appears that even if this is done, that there is unequivocal evidence, the offender simply has to deny any wrongdoing and they are fervourantly supported by not only their followers, friends and accomplices but also the institution itself seeks to cover up their wrongdoing. On top of that they seek to vilify, black ball and threaten – up to the point of killing anyone, who calls 911 and reports a crime or advocates an end to corruption.
Seriously – what kind of culture is this that the GBC and the Rubber Stamped Guru’s have created? Is this a Vaiṣṇava society based on the absolute truth lead by gentlemen and women? Or is this a criminal society where morality, ethics, common sense and the principles of the Vaiṣṇava Ācāryas who lead by example is of very little or show-bottle value?
Seriously – where in mundane society do you have to push and push and push for a leader or boss or CEO whatever to stop taking photos of half naked little girls? Where would you find that all his employees or constituents come out in arms to protect such a man? Where would you have a disgraced Roman Catholic Priest who left the Priesthood to have a girlfriend still have his ex parishioners slathering at the mouth to protect his honor and worship him as their family priest?
The fact is you wouldn’t. Why? Because they have what is known as morality and ethic and a value system that is way better than the one that the Rubber Stamped Guru’s and the GBC have inflicted upon our Vaiṣṇava society.
But what is the most difficult to believe, is how come the disciples of such leaders allow themselves to be acculturated with such a low class filthy mentality where they twist and corrupt our Vaiṣṇava science of pure excellence in spiritual values and morality in order to protect the criminal element and influence? A system where the first, second, third and fourth classman has the lowest position? All the positions of the varnas are servants of each other; they all act in truth according to their duty and psychosocial positions. None of them are criminals and perverts. The criminal and perverts belong to the less than sudra class, the mlecca and candala class of man. This is where you can expect criminality, immorality, unethical behavior and injustice to be practiced and endorsed by the people and the leadership.
How far has our Vaiṣṇava society deviated from the original purpose for which His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda established for his ISKCON society? How can ISKCON lead humanity in God consciousness if it is lead by low class people of very little morality and a criminal value system? How can the preachers of our society who bring people to Kṛṣṇa consciousness show by example if they themselves have such low ethic and morality to worship and venerate leaders of low class morality and threadbare spiritual acumen?
The answer is it is not possible. They are cheaters. Both the leader and the follower are cheating themselves and others. In ISKCON today or should I say in FISKCON today there exists devotees who are content to practice a form of devotional service while remaining in the mleccha and candala platform. As we know even the kannistha adhikāra devotee has common sense, high morality and value system.
The choice is yours to follow the GBC and the completely superfluous Rubber Stamped Gurus of FISKCON’s immorality, unethical behavior and low class value system or to follow Śrīla Prabhupāda by living and serving in his ISKCON society. Many devotees have already made that choice. What will you do?