martes, 20 de julio de 2010

Krishna Talk 110 - Heresy, Inquisition, Jihad, Fatwa and the Hare Krsnas

Krishna Talk 110 - Heresy, Inquisition, Jihad, Fatwa and the Hare Krsnas
by Swami B.G. Narasingha

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What do heresy, the Inquisition, jihad and fatwa have in common with some
Hare Krsnas?


If you have done your homework and watched a few documentaries then you will
know that back in the Middle Ages heresy was no laughing matter. The
Inquisition (between 1184 CE and the 1800's) charged hundreds of thousands of
innocent people with heresy and condemned them to death by being burnt at the
stake. Similarly, the words 'jihad' and 'fatwa' conjure up images of Iraq and
Afghanistan where innocent people are put to death by being decapitated and
thousands of men, women and children suffer great tribulation under the
draconian rule of fanatical clerics and their henchmen.

But the Hare Krsnas — we're different, aren't we?

Or are we?

Well, I would say that overall, most Hare Krsnas are different. But
unfortunately a mentality similar to the Inquisition and the jihadists lives
on in the minds of some so-called Hare Krsnas who are more like those
suffering from NPD [Narcissistic Personality Disorder] than inspired
representatives of Krsna. Sadly, this unpleasant truth became evident when
leading figures in the Hare Krsna Movement conspired and ordered the death of
one of their own members in 1986. The victim was an outspoken critic of
leaders in the movement. His name was Sulocana – all but forgotten
now…'the one whose name should not be uttered'.

The murder made headline news in Los Angeles in the summer of '86 and sent
a shock wave around the movement. Leaders, GBCs, gurus and sannyasis
scrambled to make sure they were not implicated until justice finally found
its mark and the hit man and several of those involved in the murder went to
prison. Twenty-four years later all are free and back on the streets,
chanting on their beads…all except for one – the man who pulled the
trigger, Thomas Drescher. He is still doing his morning sadhana behind bars.

If you have read the horrifying book, "Monkey on a Stick" then you will
know that things were very bad in the Hare Krsna Movement during that era and
that several murders (solved and unsolved) took place at New Vrndavana and in
other parts of the world during those years — all within the movement.
These murders had one thing in common — the victims were outspoken and
rebellious and they crossed their leaders.

During the Dark Ages in Europe, if one crossed the Church or voiced any type
of dissent it was as good as signing one's own death warrant. There are
similarities between the Church and the Hare Krsnas, though  things are not
as severe now as they were then. To criticize leadership in the Hare Krsna
Movement has always been the shortcut to being ostracized, ridiculed,
isolated, even excommunicated — everything just short of being hung, drawn
and quartered. You know… "Give the dog a bad name, then shoot him!"

But there is another development in the air and that is to single out those
who have a different understanding of the philosophy of Krsna consciousness
– to condemn them as offenders and demonize them by any means. This has
been going on for years. It is not surprising that in many cases, the
dissenters that throw off the yoke of 'Ultimate Authority' are often
found to have the correct philosophy. "God so much loves the little man,
the meek, the speaker of truth."

But that matters little in the halls of religious imperialism and papal
bureaucracy where those suffering from narcissistic behavior patterns may
even pass as the infallible acarya.

But hey! What's new? In the time of Srila Bhaktidsiddhanta, his life was
threatened several times due to his outspoken presentation of the truth. He
spoke out boldly against those who misrepresented the philosophy of Krsna
consciousness even if it put his life in danger. And today, threats of
violence and even murders take place amongst members of the same
mission/sampradaya! I think I know this as well as anyone. I have always been
an outspoken preacher and that tendency has brought me threats of death and
violence on more than one occasion.

The Hare Krsna Movement (with all its different missions and branches) is
very big and has many, many members around the world. But it is miserably
weak and undernourished when it comes to proper conception/ proper spiritual

My last Krsna Talk article "Sriya Suka" made me quite aware of this once
again. After the article was released, it wasn't long before I received a
flurry of emails denouncing me as a maha-aparadhi (great offender), as
'envious' and many things worse than that. In these emails I was
thoroughly condemned and warned to "prepare to be devastated"! What
'devastated' was supposed to mean, I don't know for sure. I assume it
meant that soon, Lord Krsna would smite me down for my evil deed of using my
brain and researching sastra – and all because my article disagreed with
the view of a popular guru of our times who claims that Sukadeva Gosvami was
the pet parrot of Srimati Radharani.

I had to pinch myself. Was this for real? Was I being condemned, as in a
heresy trial four hundred years ago? Was I next in line to be burnt at the
stake? My accusers would have happily settled to see my neck in a noose, but
fortunately for me emails can't kill.

Disagree with the Church in medieval times and you were a dead man. Disagree
with a Muslim cleric and a fatwa for your assassination may be issued.
Disagree with a Hare Krsna guru who has the most disciples and you find
yourself in a world of excrement – criticized, ostracized, ridiculed,
isolated, condemned, excommunicated or even dead, if you don't watch your

I know for a fact that mine is no isolated incident. Many devotees have been,
and continue to be, dealt with in the same way if they dare think for
themselves – what to speak of disagree with the 'All-knowing, omniscient
guru'. This however is not a good sign for a spiritual movement.

Unless the Hare Krsnas can learn to discuss philosophical points of view
without fearing that their guru is under attack, or that they have to
sacrifice life and limb to protect the guru from being questioned — then
you can expect the worse for the future of the Hare Krsna Movement.

If that is the case, then the Hare Krsna Movement will surely deteriorate (as
other movements before it) into becoming nothing more than a mundane cult of
dogmatic principles with an elite clergy vying for wealth, fame and
followers, but devoid of any true spiritual knowledge or inner experience of

The solution? Abandon the thinking that your guru is the only guru and that
anyone who differs from you or your guru is automatically a maha-aparadhi or
a demon. This is the mentality that consumed Iskcon in the 1980's and
caused their demise. This same mentality is now present in some groups of
Hare Krsnas that originally left Iskcon to make a fresh start, but who have
ended up creating a community of Hare Krsnas with the same woes! A step in
the right direction at this point would be for Hare Krsnas to start learning
how to think and to question and not to be afraid of the truth. Krsna lives
in the truth, so why settle for anything less?










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