We here at Chakra are committed to telling you the whole truth. We don't hide anything, although we have our own perspective, which is independent and not dictated to us by the GBC. At CHAKRA, although we are friends with the GBC, we only present our own views. We speak of our own free will.
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An Open Letter from Halayudha dasa:
Dear Chakra Editors:
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the Golden Age!
First of all, you are to be commended for constructing a website with the avowed aim of presenting independent Vaisnava news and views. However, after visiting Chakra, several disturbing thoughts have arisen in my less-than neophyte mind. Kindly allow me to address them here so that I may be enlightened and set straight by you. Since I fear that this letter will be ignored, I have taken the precaution of posting it to other Vaisnava news sites (some possibly not so independent) in order that this will be a public exchange. I am not seeking to offend anyone, but to express what is after all, an independent view and to clarify my doubts. Hare Krsna.
I am disturbed by the very name of your webpage. "Chakra". Is this Krsna's sudarsana chakra, your chakra, or the chakra of the erstwhile Paundraka Krsna now resurrected? If it is Krsna's, then you should know that Krsna never uses his chakra on his devotees. If it is your chakra, it will be useless against the devotees, but may end up cutting your own heads off, and if it is the resurrected Paundraka's, Krsna Himself will destroy both him and it. The name you have chosen is an implied threat to anyone who might not agree with ISKCON's official partyline. Once the partyline gave rise to the Zonal Acarya Follies which you supported, participated in and/or benefitted from. Many were "chakra-ized" in the then-acceptable manner, for opposing this deviation. Now some of that has been changed and the high seats and elaborate guru-pujas discarded. How are we to know that you will not again change the current partyline after again "chakra-izing" those who espouse a different viewpoint?
If you will choose the name Chakra, please be careful. Long ago when Durvasa Muni offended Ambarisa Maharaja and Krsna released his Chakra to kill Durvasa, we do not find any evidence of Maharaja Ambarisa doing anything but standing with folded hands awaiting whatever punishment Durvasa thought he deserved for not properly honoring him. He stood waiting for a long time, a true examplar of the ideal of "trnad api sunicena" etc. Can the same thing be said for you? You wish to invoke the Divine Chakra to rid yourselves of your enemies, but where are your Ambarisa Maharaja-like qualities? We do not read about him resorting to character- and reputation-assassination, mud-slinging, name- calling, self-justification and gloating over the illnesses of those who opposed him. The devotee is "titiksavah". Ambarisa did not see himself as a great devotee, he rather saw Durvasa as a great sage. He was humble and displayed that trait when severely tested, although he was innocent. Are the people that your chakra is supposed to protect so humble, innocent or tolerant?
You also proclaim that your site is "ISKCON-friendly". Prabhus, what is your yard-stick for measuring who is ISKCON-friendly and who is not? Over the last 20 years, many sincere, Vidura-like, regulative principles-following devotees (and as one of your writers recently declared, 'that qualifies them to make disciples all over the world') have come to you and have tried to point out your wrongs for your own good. Have you ever admitted and accepted culpability for these wrongs? Your own Jayadvaita Svami has given a concise list of the problems mentioned by all of them with varying degrees of emphasis: "ISKCON gurus in good standing have fallen". "ISKCON GBC has supported even fallen gurus and tried to paper over their falldowns." "ISKCON gurus have usurped and misued money, and diverted other ISKCON resources for their own personal prestige and sense gratification." "ISKCON gurus have had illicit sexual intercourse with both women and men, and possibly children as well." ('Where the Rttvik People Are Right'). Is someone an enemy of ISKCON for pointing out these things? Based upon our 20-history, the answer seems to be a reverberating "yes". If this were not so, why would you have "opposed, oppressed and driven out many (of these) sincere godbrothers and godsisters" (Ibid), and have to this day taken no steps towards repentance and atonement?
It appears that the mentality of opposing, oppressing and driving out, along with bannings, beatings and even murders is still present. Now, not only are lectures about tongue mutiliations being preached in our temples, but you now wish to invoke your own chakra to behead the Vidura-like truthsayers. It seems you want the soothing words of the flatterers and the head of the truth- sayers. When one of them gets sick or has difficulty, you gloat. What kind of person takes pleasure in the misfortunes of another? You publish articles praising the fact that perceived "offenders" are coming down with cancer and having to go to hospitals for surgery. Does not a vaisnava feel compassion for such a person? He is always 'karunika'. Besides, disease is always there. No one is immune, and that same person who is now gloating over the sickness of a fellow devotee of Krsna, will he not also succumb to disease? Who in this world, devotee of Krsna or not, is immune? Instead of wishing evil to befall your enemies, a very unVaisnava trait, you should humbly admit that these evils have been brought upon the society by your good selves and begin to seek the forgiveness of the numerous devotees wronged by you and do whatever is necessary to correct the situation. Do you think for a moment that the evils perpetrated upon our innocent gurukula students within the jurisdiction of some of the men you wish to protect and defend, will go "un-chakra-ized" by Krsna? It's only a matter of time, before that bomb finally explodes. None of you can diffuse it now. It has already reached 'critical mass' and passed the 'fail-safe' point.
You also proclaim yourselves "Champions of Krsna's Army". (Drum roll, horn fanfare, please). Frankly I am very embarrassed by this trivial and childish mentality. So now you are the champions of Krsna's Army? Is that by appointment or 2/3 vote? And how do you define what constitutes a member of Krsna's army? Those who oppose you also consider themselves members of Krsna's army. As lowly as I am, I consider myself to be in Krsna's Army, too. However, it would seem that you wish to imply that only those 100% loyal to the current ISKCON GBC partyline can be a member of Krsna's Army. That is to say, only those who support the current GBC with its ever-changing policies, and the litany of evils it has perpetrated upon the Society as per HH Jayadvaita's essay, previously cited, are members of this Army. Anyone with a dissenting voice is slated for "chakra-ization". Prabhus, I reject this mentality and logic as odious and foolish. Is that not the same rhetoric we heard from the Hitlers, Mussolinis, Maos and other tyrants that anyone who opposed them were enemies of the country, the Republic, the Reich, or whatever? Now those who have a different opinion and dare to speak them, and who are opposed to the on-going control of the men who have foisted upon this society the evils spoken of by Jayadvaita Svami, are not only enemies of ISKCON, but enemies of Srila Prabhupada and of Krsna. Does anyone still buy your shop-worn rhetoric?
May I ask you, Prabhus, why the 'champions' of Krsna's Army are arriving so late on the scene? You have arrived just in time to view the bodies on the battlefield being eaten by crows and dogs. The widows (and the children) have already been raped and abandoned, the assets have already been plundered. Why are you so late? Where were you when Prabhupada was being mistreated in Vrndavana? Where were you when his request for his devotees to come to his side was being blocked? Where were you when some highly-placed individuals began to erect gold-leafed vyasasanas and have themselves installed as good-as-God with appropriate arcana, dhamas, namas, bhaktas and lilas (later to discard that self-exalting program, or have it discard them)? Where were you, the "maharathas", when our women were being systematically mistreated? And where were you, especially tell me, where were you when our own little innocent children were being physically and sexually abused, on an on-going institutionalized basis, in Prabhupada's gurukulas in the Holy Dhama? No. Not only had you not discovered you "Champion" status yet, you were activly participating in, aiding and abetting, covering up and looking the other way when all this was going on. So now you expect us to believe that you are the Champions of Krsna's Army. How naive you must think us.
What is clear is that you exist as a tool for the defense of those who are your peers and whom you must defend since your credibility and role in ISKCON's woes (as per Jayadvaita Maharaja) have also been brought into question. No. You are not about protecting the innocent brahmanas (those who are truly independent and not afraid to speak out), the women and children, the elderly and the trusting 'cow-like' devotees. Your aim is to protect those who have come under fire for their own shortcomings. Bhavananda is one of the biggest embarrassments to this Movement, and yet, just see how you continue to cuddle him. Why? Now, we all know that he is a danger to male children. This is public knowledge. Yet you insist on sheltering and pampering him. This is your mentality. Believe me, should another child be abused by him in one of our centers, the parents will own you, lock, stock and barrel. There is no court of law that will favor you, since with full knowledge of his deviant, non-human being activities, you have again brought him into contact with a trusting public, innocent male children and young male adults. Is this the type of individual you 'champions' are sworn to protect, while innocent former gurukula students are being kicked out of temples and others guilty only of the sin of speaking out are being "chakra-ized" by you? Then God help us. There are five categories of living entities that must be protected. Into which one does Bhavananda fall? What makes him worthy of your protection and defense, while those who come in the spirit of Vidura, refusing to flatter you, and pointing out your mistakes, you immediately want to "Chakra-ize"? Shame on you.
Contrary to the current partyline, the GBC is not ISKCON. No group in ISKCON is ISKCON. ISKCON is a conglomeration of many individuals voluntarily coming together for the worship of the Maha-bhagavata who founded ISKCON, and launched the Golden Age. They come united only in their love for him. The power of that love is an awesome thing that Kali is not letting you realize, because it can change the world overnight. You scorn the lovers of Srila Prabhupada because they have a differnet managerial viewpoint from yours, when your way has produced the woes Jayadvaita swami writes about. You remain intolerant of differences of opinion and with your chakra you would like to cut off "Vidura's" head.
Prabhus, it might be well to bear in mind that the devotee is 'ajata- satravah'. His enemy is unborn. If you have done no ill you have no cause to fear. But if you have, then by all means, and by hook or by crook, defend yourselves. But the truth is know by Krsna and only time separates the miscreant from his fate. This letter has been short on flattery and maybe a little long on the "sauce". However, it is the truth as I see it. It is my independent opinion. You have a good thing with your webpage. However, if it is your intent you use it to defend and protect those whom a large number of the members of Krsna's Army feel have committed offenses far more serious than speaking out, you will blow it. Hare Krsna!
Your humble servant,
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