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“But recent actions of Narayana Maharaja followers and disciples have made it necessary for us to take steps to protect our community and congregation.”

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Los Angeles ISKCON Policy on Narayan Maharaja's Followers
ISKCON Authorities in L.A.


Dear members of the Los Angeles ISKCON community,

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! On Thursday, May 7, Los Angeles ISKCON temple managers and some senior Srila Prabhupada disciples held a special committee meeting to decide the policy of Los Angeles ISKCON toward the Gaudiya Matha sannyasi Narayana Maharaja, his disciples, and his followers. Those attending the meeting were Arcita Dasa, Bhagavata-krpa Dasa, Drutakarma Dasa, Govinda Datta Dasa, Gunavati Devi Dasi, Kriya Sakti Devi Dasi, Mayapur Sasi Dasa, Nirantara Dasa, Rabindranatha Dasa, Svavasa Dasa, and Vedapravartaka Dasa.

Those attending the meeting agreed that Narayana Maharaja's words and actions were actively hostile to ISKCON, its leaders, and its founder-acarya Srila Prabhupada. They agreed that his teachings contradict those of Srila Prabhupada in important areas.

The committee noted that the temple has nevertheless tried for the past five years to maintain a policy of tolerance for persons who have some affiliation with Narayana Maharaja, so that they could at least visit the temple to see the Deities and take prasadam.

But recent actions of Narayana Maharaja followers and disciples have made it necessary for us to take steps to protect our community and congregation. The objectionable actions by Narayana Maharaja followers include: (1) Coming into the temple community to pressure the temple congregation and membership to attend lectures by Narayana Maharaja, meet with Narayana Maharaja, and take initiation from Narayana Maharaja, knowing that this is against ISKCON policy. Those refusing to go along with them are badgered and accused of being offenders to a pure devotee. (2) Making plans to put "moles" within the temple community, for the purpose of subtly spreading their ideas. (3) Attempting to deceive temple authorities as to their real intentions, if it serves their purpose. (4) Enlisting Prabhupada disciples within the temple community to publish and distribute their literatures. (5) Putting forward Narayana Maharaja as a guru equal or superior to Srila Prabhupada for ISKCON members.

The committee agreed that the above actions by many Narayana Maharaja disciples and followers show that as a group they (1) cannot be trusted, and (2) cannot refrain from using Los Angeles ISKCON temple properties as recruiting bases for Narayana Maharaja.

For those reasons, those in attendance voted unanimously that anyone who has taken initiation from Narayana Maharaja can not live in the temple apartments or work in any of the temple departments. All except one member of the committee voted that anyone who has taken initiation from Narayana Maharaja cannot come onto Los Angeles ISKCON property. Specifically, they cannot come into the temple, the temple restaurant, or the temple gift shop.

Those in attendance also voted to apply the same sanctions to disciples of Srila Prabhupada and other persons not initiated by Narayana Maharaja who associate with him and/or support him.

In the case of initiated disciples of Narayana Maharaja, the above sanctions will be applied without exception, and in the case of followers of Narayana Maharaja not initiated by him, each case will be individually considered. But the intention of the committee is to be very strict in excluding any followers and supporters of Narayana Maharaja, whether initiated by him or not, from the Los Angeles temple community properties.

These actions are being taken in connection with ISKCON laws, excerpts of which follow:

8. 2. 1. 4. The GBC reminds all ISKCON devotees of Srila Prabhupada's instruction that in general we should avoid the association of his Godbrothers and other spiritual groups unless one has permission from a GBC member for some specific purpose. Intimate siksa association is prohibited from non-ISKCON spiritual masters.

8. 2. 1. 5. Devotees who live and work within ISKCON must be initiated in ISKCON, except one previously initiated by a recognized sampradaya who later wants to join and serve in ISKCON under the approval and direction of the local GBC.

8. 2. 1. 7. In obedience to the instruction of Srila Prabhupada, the GBC directs that the members of ISKCON should respect all senior Gaudiya Vaisnavas outside ISKCON, but should not intimately associate with them, personally or through printed or recorded media, for guidance, teaching, instruction, or initiation as their presentation of Krishna consciousness often differs from that of Srila Prabhupada in emphasis, balance, and other aspects of both teaching and practice.

7. 2. 4. Devotees who live or serve in ISKCON may take initiation only from ISKCON approved gurus.

7. 2. 4. 1. ISKCON members who in violation of ISKCON law take initiation from gurus who have not been approved to initiate in ISKCON shall not be permitted to serve within ISKCON. If the non-approved guru has an institution or ashram outside ISKCON, then according to standard etiquette, his disciples should serve within the institution of their guru and should not serve within ISKCON.

In addition to being in compliance with ISKCON law, the committee's policy decisions are also in line with a recent policy letter to the Los Angeles ISKCON community from Badrinarayan Dasa (GBC for Los Angeles ISKCON) and approved by Romapada Maharaja (North American GBC Chairman). The letter says to Narayana Maharaja disciples and followers: "At the local temple administration's discretion, you will no longer be able to attend ISKCON programs, events, and functions. " (Letter dated May 19, 2001).

Disciples of Narayana Maharaja and others who come under the terms of the committee's policies, which will be carried out by the temple administration, will be asked to voluntarily comply with the policy decisions, and if they do not, they will be subject to legal action by the Los Angeles temple.

In addition to the actions stated above, those in attendance at the June 7 meeting are asking the Governing Body Commission to enforce its laws, and censure or excommunicate members of ISKCON who are associating with and supporting Narayana Maharaja.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada.

© CHAKRA 27-June-2001

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