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.
Return to Child Abuse Page
Here are Bahudaka's comments on Bhurijana's text:
It is false and totally inaccurate that there were any suspicions about Sastra at the time he went to Vrndavana. On the contrary, he was considered to be the best bramachary in the temple. The circumstances that led him to Vrndavanna however, are interesting. My eldest son known as Bhakta dasa / Gurupada dasa was home for the summer from Vrndavanna. He was writing a letter to a friend of his and he mentioned a "club" that he and a few other boys had formed. I happened to see the letter and asked him about this club. He was relunctant to tell me but did at last explain that they had knowledge that Anantarupa (a teacher in Vrndavanna) was molesting boys and their club was formed to get evidence on him. They planned to put microphones in his room etc. My son was 12 or thereabouts at that time. He begged me not to tell the authorities. I was naturally upset and confused about what to do. As it happened Jagadisha visited Vancouver shortly thereafter and with some misgivings, due to my son's request, I told Jagadisha about this situation. He began shouting that we can't get good men for the gurukula and begged me to give Sastra for Vrndavanna. He also declared he would investigate the suspicions about Anantarupa. The investigation of Anantarupa exonerated him (falsely) and Sastra went to Vrndavanna.I believe this was in 1982.
Sastra was considered to be a very valuable man and at the time he went to Vrndavanna we had absolutely no suspicions that he was a molester. In fact, we reasoned that our children would be well looked after in Vrndavanna with such a trusted man from Vancouver there.
The first I heard about Sastra's transgressions in Vrndavanna was at the famous reform meeting in New Vrndavaan in the fall of 1985. Dhanardan Swami asked to speak to me and informed me that Sastra was involved in some "emotional affair" with a boy. They had found a letter. There was no report, or at least it was not reported to me that there was any sexual activity discovered. Sastra came back to Vancouver and after some time was engaged in the gurukula by BalaKrishna who was the headmaster of the gurukula. Bhurijana knows perfectly well that the gurukula was a separate administration from the temple and answered to it's own GBC, Jagadisha. I had no direct authority over the gurukula and in fact in the years 1985 and 86 I was so involved in the reform movement as Chairman of the North American presidents that I was rarely in Vancouver and fully preoccupied with my duties as a Reform leader.
Sastra is the type of pedophile that is intelligent, charming and manipulative to both children and adults. He kept his child victims quiet not by threats of violence but out of guilt and false loyalty.
My daughter had been engaged to Sastra for years and she still wanted to marry him although we told her that there had been some suspicious activity in Vrndavanna. Sastra appeared most contrite and swore it was a silly infatuation that wouldn't happen again. His reputation was such in Vancouver that even this incident in Vrndavana did not diminish his stature amongst the devotees and he managed to regain the our trust.
So we (my wife and I) allowed the marraige to go ahead which may have been the greatest mistake of our lifes and for which we later twisted in sorrow and guilt for many years. Our daughter suffered greatly by being married to this man even briefly.
It was only six months or so after the marriage that Sastra molested a twelve year old boy who told my daughter about it. She told us and we insisted that she come home and that Sastra go to a therapist. After he talked to the therapist we talked to the therapist who told us that Sastra was a pedophile and explained to us what pedophiles are like and how they operate. Needless to say the whole family was in shock and pain and my second son soon informed me with great difficulty that Sastra had molested him. With two boys ready to talk and with our full encouragement and support the police were contacted and charges were laid. Sastra was convicted and sentenced to six months in jail.
Once we had clear reports of Sastra's molestations we made sure he was charged. For this we were somewhat shunned by some devotees in Vancouver as we had broken the veil of silence. Bhurijana was a senior man in the gurukula staff in Vrndavanna where there were many many molesters in operation. Sastra was one of many. Did Bhurijana arrange for charges to be laid against any of the molesters or did he object when they were transferred to other temples? Did he object when Sastra was not charged in Vrndavanna or when he was sent back to Vancouver? Did he make sure that a written report was sent to the Vancouver gurukula about Sastra's behavior in Vrndavanna? Strange now he should point the finger at myself; once I had definite information of molestation I made sure the offender was charged.
Moreoever, my son Kunjabehari, who testified against Sastra, does not speak well of Bhurijana's treatment of him in Vrndavana. Interesting that Bhurijana has attempted to embarrass me with his posting as I think he will be most embarrassed if my son chooses to describe the mental abuse he suffered from Bhurijana. Bhurijana was more a participant than a witness in the Vrndavana gurukula abuses.
Both my sons are coming home soon for Christmas and I will invite them to write their stories about Vrndavanna. The real story comes from the children and it is from them that we must hear. Get ready to be devastated though. I have heard most of their stories but I still cringe to hear them and I feel very much a failure and a fool that they suffered so much .
In my original letter I thought it was clear that I included myself as an adult and leader in ISKCON who failed my own and other children. I have received many expressions of sympathy and sorrow about what happened to my children. Bhurijana apprently feels no remorse for what happened to my sons, whmo he knew well, as he has not expressed any. I found a mood of concern and sorrow when I talked with Bir Krishna Swami, Rabindra Svarupa and Guruprasad Swami who I hope better represent the current mood of the GBC towards past abuses.
your servant, Bahudak dasa
© Copyright November, 2003 by oldchakra.com. All rights reserved.
about this website or to report an
error, write to email@example.com