Prabhupāda Says: Of the ten types of offenses one can commit while chanting the holy name of the Lord, this offense is called nāmno balād yasya hi pāpa-buddhiḥ, committing sinful activities on the strength of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Similarly, certain Christians go to church to confess their sins, thinking that confessing their sins before a priest and performing some penance will relieve them from the results of their weekly sins. As soon as Saturday is over and Sunday comes, they again begin their sinful activities, expecting to be forgiven the next Saturday. This kind of prāyaścitta, or atonement, is condemned by Parīkṣit Mahārāja, the most intelligent king of his time. Śukadeva Gosvāmī, equally intelligent, as befitting the spiritual master of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, answered the King and confirmed that his statement concerning atonement was correct. A sinful activity cannot be counteracted by a pious activity. Thus real prāyaścitta, atonement, is the awakening of our dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
[Nectar of Instruction]
What Śrīla Prabhupāda says for the Christians is certainly true for us as aspiring Vaiṣṇava devotees of the Lord. We must be very careful not to engage in sinful behavior while subconsciously thinking that since we are an ISKCON devotee and following a spiritual program of sorts that we can get away with sinful behavior.
A simple guide is the old adage – sin once it is accidental, sin twice it’s a coincidence but sin three times it’s a pattern. If we find that we or someone we know is repeatedly engaging in sinful behavior then this is not accidental nor is it a coincidence. It is in fact a pattern of behavior or in other words the person’s level of consciousness displays third class intelligence. Our prison houses are full of people with third class intelligence and so is this material world…
The so called leaders of our Kṛṣṇa conscious society should also be seen under this light in order to ascertain whether or not they are properly situated in their Kṛṣṇa consciousness to provide any real leadership. The examples of ‘patterned’ sinful behavior are too numerous to mention and it suffices to say that Prabhavisnu Dāsa serves as the most obvious example of a repeat offender who has disgraced not only his cloth as a sannyāsa but also his position as a spiritual leader which was never more blatantly obvious than when he publically admitted his repetitious breaking of the illicit sex regulative principle. Well this is all that we have him admitting to and God only knows what else this man has done in the name of being a Rubber Stamped Guru and Sannyāsa of FISKCON.
While one is still engaged in the modes of material nature there is no possibility of atonement or making amends for one’s sins as atonement is only possible when one is engaged in pure devotional service of the Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. We have to really understand this. It is not simply a process of apologizing and being forgiven by the ones you have offended or sinned against. This is of course a step in the right direction.
The only possible way is to engage in pure devotional service which we should know is not possible until one is on the brahmā bhuta or liberated platform of spiritual realization. Not before. Not because we think we are or we want to be or we should be by now! We have to actually be on this platform and that means we are not repeatedly sinning.
Parīkṣit Mahārāja said: One may know that sinful activity is injurious for him because he actually sees that a criminal is punished by the government and rebuked by people in general and because he hears from scriptures and learned scholars that one is thrown into hellish conditions in the next life for committing sinful acts. Nevertheless, in spite of such knowledge, one is forced to commit sins again and again, even after performing acts of atonement. Therefore, what is the value of such atonement?
In some religious sects a sinful man goes to a priest to confess his sinful acts and pay a fine, but then he again commits the same sins and returns to confess them again. This is the practice of a professional sinner. Parīkṣit Mahārāja observations indicate that even five thousand years ago it was the practice of criminals to atone for their crimes but then commit the same crimes again, as if forced to do so. Therefore, owing to his practical experience,
Parīkṣit Mahārāja saw that the process of repeatedly sinning and atoning is pointless. Regardless of how many times he is punished, one who is attached to sense enjoyment will commit sinful acts again and again until he is trained to refrain from enjoying his senses. The word vivaśa is used herein, indicating that even one who does not want to commit sinful acts will be forced to do so by habit. Parīkṣit Mahārāja therefore considered the process of atonement to have little value for saving one from sinful acts. In the following verse he further explains his rejection of this process.
When Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquired how a human being could free himself from sinful activities so as not to be forced to go to hellish planetary systems after death, Śukadeva Gosvāmī answered that the process of counteracting sinful life is atonement. In this way Śukadeva Gosvāmī tested the intelligence of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, who passed the examination by refusing to accept this process as genuine. Now Parīkṣit Mahārāja is expecting another answer from his spiritual master, Śukadeva Gosvāmī.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vedavyāsa, answered: My dear King, since acts meant to neutralize impious actions are also fruitive, they will not release one from the tendency to act fruitively. Persons who subject themselves to the rules and regulations of atonement are not at all intelligent. Indeed, they are in the mode of darkness. Unless one is freed from the mode of ignorance, trying to counteract one action through another is useless because this will not uproot one’s desires. Thus even though one may superficially seem pious, he will undoubtedly be prone to act impiously. Therefore real atonement is enlightenment in perfect knowledge, Vedānta, by which one understands the Supreme Absolute Truth. [SB:6.1.9]
So again we are seeing that unless one engages in pure devotional service it is impossible to rectify ones sins through mundane processes of atonement.
The GBC and Rubber Stamped Gurus of ISKCON along with their followers are accepting sinful men and women as being engaged in pure devotional service which at the very least is stupid.
Prabhavisnu Dāsa is still lurking around Śrī Vṛndāvan Dham but since he has been sighted and brought to the attention of the general devotees on this site he is now keeping a lower profile. What does this mean? What is the program for him by the GBC and the Sannyāsa Ministry? Are they supervising his activities?
He should be supervised now and his association with his former disciples should be carefully monitored so he does not try and sucker them in to doing service for him or giving him money. He by definition is a sinful man and so he is not engaging in pure devotional service and never was. He has not been free from sinful behavior over the last five years as per GBC directive as a guru and as he has recently come from a situation where he has been associating with an unmarried non devotee woman therefore his activities must or should be supervised and restricted.
This particular case is precisely what is being described in the above captions from the Nectar of Instruction where a third class devotee who uses third class intelligence is promoted into the most sacred orders of our Vaiṣṇava community as a Sannyāsa and Dīkṣā Guru and when he openly fails – himself, his disciples, his alleged guru His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda and our ISKCON society and nothing happens to him, he is in fact supported and encouraged to come back and engage again with the stupid people he ripped off in the first place!
As is said above “One may know that sinful activity is injurious for him because he actually sees that a criminal is punished by the government and rebuked by people in general and because he hears from scriptures and learned scholars that one is thrown into hellish conditions in the next life for committing sinful acts.”
So unless devotees like this are punished by the institution and rebuked by the general devotees, especially his former disciples, then how are we as a Vaisnava society going to learn and mature? Sure we can forgive him his sensual weakness and even his many betrayals but we should recognize him for what he is – barely a kanistha adhikara devotee and a sinful one at that. He should not be given such privilege and position until he is engaged in pure devotional service. How else are we as a society going to learn from our past mistakes. It serves no one any good whatsoever to bury the past we must unearth it and learn from it not fear it or be embarrassed by it.
These words by Parīkṣit Mahārāja are not to be taken lightly, they are the absolute truth and therefore the onus is on us to apply them in our lives as our paramount duty when serving the maha bhagavat devotee His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda.