B. Rādhā-Govinda [ACBSP] – US: Hare Kṛṣṇa. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. Please accept my fallen obeisances.
Seeing Sampraśna Prabhu’s article, in which he quotes the paragraph (included below), which was written in “glorification” of Romapāda Swami as part of the biography on Romapāda’s guru page, I was thinking the extent to which some (so many) of the ISKCON devotees are that deceived in regards to their specific or another ISKCON guru, GBC, and/or ISKCON sannyāsī, (simply because of someone’s as we generally equate it, “being in a position”- though of course ISKCON leadership indoctrinates devotees to believe these things about “higherups,” including when those “higherups” are doing things that are NOT (supposed to be a) “part of the job description” so to speak).
“It is not possible to describe the entire range of his activities in devotional service even in the course of one day, what to speak of one decade, or the course of his entire lifetime thus far. One thing that can be said for certain, however, is that each and every moment of his life Śrīla Romapāda Swami is cent-per-cent absorbed in serving the instructions and the mission of his beloved spiritual master, Śrīla Prabhupāda.”
Does the person who wrote this biography NOT know the business and real estate deals Romapāda does as a sannyāsī? Do they NOT know how he lends out (huge sums of) money to gṛhasthas for purchasing houses for which he charges a large interest rate for repayment of such loans? Do they NOT know that Romapāda LENT Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda, (the presiding Deities of the NYC temple) $90,000 – yes, NINTY THOUSAND US DOLLARS, which was (of course) to be paid back to him WITH INTEREST!!!, his supposedly being THEIR sevak – or maybe he feels that They are HIS servants?),
(What devotee lends Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa money? I THOUGHT as SEVAKS, we serve The Divine Couple through our life, wealth, intelligence and worlds – GIVING to Them, NOT lending.)
Let’s pretend that Romapāda didn’t do this with Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda, and just did this “in general” with other devotees: WHY would a SANNYĀSĪ, who is given full facility for any and all of his needs/desires through the ISKCON temples – a room to stay (though many now prefer to stay at a rich life member’s house or a five star hotel), with whatever Mahā Prasāda he wants, (including whatever he orders to be specifically cooked for him), whatever his needs (or desires) fulfilled, along with ride to and from the airport – be engaged in such business and lending ventures anyway? when business, etc., is the business (duty) of gṛhasthas. A sannyāsī’s duty is deepen the level of his own Kṛṣṇa consciousness, to preach the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness to others and to give others assistance in their development of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Does the person who wrote this biographical glorification NOT realize that engaging in such business and loan sharking for a sannyāsī is NOT“serving the instructions and the mission” of His Divine Grace, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Śrīla Prabhupāda. Doesn’t it register to different devotees that sannyāsīs are NOT to be engaging in business or money lending; that this is specifically for GṚHASTHAS? – as there are some OTHER ISKCON sannyāsīs also engaging in such business ventures, and that for such sannyāsīs to be doing so, (besides some of the other “stuff” some of them do), makes a SHAM/SHAME out of the ashram.
May I also add in, though I don’t know if this is currently going on in the NYC temple, that Romapāda as GBC of NY temple knew (and never put a stop to it) that the TP of the NY ISKCON temple was renting out space every year to the NYC Fire Department for their annual NYC Firemen’s Brigade barbecue, where Gomata’s flesh was being barbecued and eaten, facilitated C/O ISKCON NY temple.
Was this also a part of Romapāda’s “serving the instructions and the mission of his beloved spiritual master, Śrīla Prabhupāda.”
Deception runs very deeply within the ISKCON waters, especially in regards to some of the aspiring devotees attributing uttama adhikārī consciousness to various people in either sannyā, GBC and/or guru positions, when many of these people at best, are aspiring to become devotees themselves, and even that may be called into question.
May we be safely situated under the shelter of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Lotus Feet, Those of our Guru Varga, the Vaiṣṇavas, and Śrī Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.