ISKCON Srila Prabhupada viewed from behind preaching to devotees at pandal program in India

Published on June 7th, 2001 | by Gauridas Pandit dasa | Full size image

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San Diego GBC Attacks Devotee

I write this report with a heavy heart. I moved to San Diego a few months ago and have been attending the Temple programs regularly. Last friday night, on Nirjala Ekadasi, I was assaulted by The local GBC, Badrinarayana Prabhu…

Dear Prabhus,

Please accept my respectful obeisances. All glories to Jagat Guru Srila Prabhupada!

I write this report with a heavy heart. I moved to San Diego a few months ago and have been attending the Temple programs regularly. Last friday night, on Nirjala Ekadasi, I was assaulted by The local GBC, Badrinarayana Prabhu. I had gone to the temple with a few guests to attend the Harinam Party. When Badrinarayana Prabhu saw me in the lobby he gave me his usual bad look. I asked him if it was OK if I joined the Harinama party and he looked disturbed. Then he blurted out, “You’ve caused the movement a lot of pain.” I replied that I did not agree with his opinion and he said, “That’s the problem, you’re done, just go, just go.” I was shocked at his furious outburst in front of the devotees and guests and more shocked when he proceeded to physically push me out of the front door. I could of fought back but out of due respect and to keep the peace I didn’t.

I did go on the Harinama anyway in honor of Nirjala Ekadasi and as soon as Badrinarayana Prabhu got there he walked up to me and told me that I had a choice to either leave the Harinama Party or not be allowed at the Sunday feast. He said to make my choice as he stood there with big whoopers close to my face in an intimidating way. I said that I came for Harinama and I will stay for Harinama. He looked disappointed and said “OK, to be continued.” and he said if I came to the Sunday feast that I would be kicked out and If I came in through the back I would be kicked out through the back.

`Believe it or not the Harinama turned out to be pretty blissful for me and others. I chanted right next to Badri most of the night and did not let him bring me down.

I attended the morning program this sunday morning and I was given a paper from Badrinarayana officially restricting me from devotional services and denying my civil and constitutional rights. This letter will be printed in full below and I will respond to it for the consideration of the assembled Vaisnavas. Badrinarayana Prabhu has a reputation for rough behavior with devotees and it needs to stop. This abuse of power should be checked and for the benefit of the movement, Badrinarayana Prabhu should be removed from the GBC and relegated to washing pots for a few years.

Almost every time I attend the San Diego Temple functions I get static from Badrinarayana Prabhu. He has threathened to kick me out many times if I even mention the word ‘ritvik’. I said I would not mention it and did not but still the harassment continues. I have tolerated so many insults from him and now he is resorting to physically attacking me. Without arguments he has resorted to violence.

Prabhus, is their any justice in ISKCON anymore? Can the GBC men continue to abuse the devotees in this and so many ways? Do we have to take it to court and waste more time and energy and Laxmi? I sure hope not! But a change needs to come soon before ISKCON as we know it should be is an improbable dream.

Prabhus please advise me on the best course of action to take in this regard. Some will advise me to walk away from it. I could as hundreds of others have. But if someone doesn’t stand up for righteousness the mismanagement of Srila Prabhupada’s mission will continue and no intelligent people will want to join. So I feel I should stand and fight, with the pen, not the sword, not for my own benefit but the benefit of the others now and in the future.

I joined this great movement with Visnujana Swami to chant and be happy. I never liked politics. I pray to Sri Sri Radha Giridari and Sri Sri Radha Damodara to resolve this matter and let us get on with the real preaching work.

Letter from Badrinarayana Prabhu

Saturday, June 2nd, 2001

Dear Gauridasa Pandita Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

For the peaceful and productive execution of spiritual life, it appears that it has become necessary to spell out your relationship with the San Diego Temple.

This way you will know where you stand and can decide on how you would like to proceed. Let me begin be referencing the GBC guidelines on your situation.

6.4.7.2 “Posthumous Rtvik” Doctrine
The doctrine that Srila Prabhupada continues to initiate direct diksa disciples after his departure from this world through officiating priests (rtviks) is a dangerous philosopical deviation. It is totally prohibited in ISKCON. No ISKCON devotee shall advocate or support its practice.

By GBC directive, past advocates of the rtvic idea were barred from participating in any ISKCON functions until they rejected this idea, in writing, and agreed to respect ISKCON’s guidelines and standards. You have traveled widely pushing the rtvic system. Your claims of Srila Prabhupada inaugurating such a system are one of the mainstays of the ritvik theory. To this date, you have not recanted your heretical views. Rather, when the topic comes up, you remain adamant in your conviction of its authenticity.

ISKCON Laws give the following instructions on philosophical deviation:

8.4.8.8.2. Teaching Unauthorized Doctrines
A person who teaches members of ISKCON any teachings condemned by the Bhagavata philosophy and who does not make a retraction after having been cautioned by the GBC or another spiritual authority shall be corrected with a just remedial measure.

8.4.1. Disciplinary Remedial Measures:
ISKCON devotees (temple-resident or congregation) shall be subject to the following disciplinary remedial measures actions:

8.4.1.1 Censure / Definition
A censure is to be understood as a reprimanding remedial measure aimed at reformation of the member and prevention of further offending acts. It is the warning voice of more seroius disciplinary action.

8.4.1.3 Reasons for Censuring
An ISKCON Devotee may be censured for any of the following transgressions:

8.4.1.3.3 Spiritual Discrepancy
Conscious and serious philospical deviation from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings.

Based on GBC policy and practice in dealing with rtvic advocates in the past, ISKCON San Diego would be fully within its rights to bar you from participating in any of its activities and programs. But in the spirit of conciliation and to encourage you, we have tried to make some accomodation. Whether you agree or not, it is the view of ISKCON that you are in a diseased spiritual state. One measure of whether a diseased person is infectious is their temperature. The means for measuring your temperature, and thus whether you should associate with ISKCON devotees, is the degree to which you are able to keep your opinions to yourself, remain humble, and to respect the local standards and ISKCON authorities.

Here are the guidelines you must follow if you are going to continue to participate in ISKCON San Diego activities, programs, and events. If you can follow these requests for one year, to the satisfacton of the local temple authorities, we will then look at revising them. Lest there be any ambiguity, let me spell them out:

  1. You must keep your philosophical misunderstandings to yourself. This means that you are not to add comments, purports, stories, or lead any kirtans. During kirtans you should not impose yourself into the middle of the kirtan or get in the face of the kirtan leader.
  2. You are not to mix with new and or young devotees. This means you are not to come on harinam or ISKCON-arranged home programs etc. As a gesture of encouragement, you can come on harinam for special occasions (GauraPurnima, Halloween, 4th of July etc. with the prior permission of the temple authorities, myself or Gandarvika mataji). This is with the understanding that you will maintain a humble profile and cooperate with any instructions offered by the senior devotees, myself included.
  3. Your presence at the should be for temple programs or authorized service. You should not be “hanging out” during the day or evening.

As confirmed above, based on the past GBC action, we have grounds for barring you from temple activities. But we do not want to come to that point. We should like to try to accommodate you. All we ask is that you observe the simple guidelines offered above.

I have enclosed two copies of this letter. Please sing one and return it to me. The other is for your reference. If I do not receive a signed copy from you within one week of delivery to you, I will assume that you do not accept the above offer and thus we will have to restrict you from temple activities and programs altogether. I hope that you will decide instead to work with us.

Your servant

Badrinarayan dasa

Note: if you do not see me in person, you can give the signed copy to Gandarvika mataji or place it in my mail box at the temple.


I have read this letter and agree to follow the three points enumerated above.

Gauridasa Pandita dasa Date

* Read and approved by Malati mataji (NA GBC chair) and Anuttama prabhu (NA GBC vice-chair)

First Response to Badrinarayana Prabhu’s Letter

Dear Prabhus,

Please accept my respectful obeisances. All glories to Jagat Guru Srila Prabhupada!

I want to take this opportunity to respond to some of the statements made by Badrinarayan Prabhu. This is not my official response to him. I want some feedback from you assembled Vaisnavas to the best course of action to take within the next week. I will consult various Vaisnavas as to the ramifications and legalities of these actions. Badrinarayan Prabhu’s Statements in [ xxxx ]

[For the peaceful and productive execution of spiritual life, it appears that it has become necessary to spell out your relationship with the San Diego Temple.

This way you will know where you stand and can decide on how you would like to proceed. Let me begin be referencing the GBC guidelines on your situation.

6.4.7.2 “Posthumous Rtvik” Doctrine
The doctrine that Srila Prabhupada continues to initiate direct diksa disciples after his departure from this world through officiating priests (rtviks) is a dangerous philosopical deviation. It is totally prohibited in ISKCON. No ISKCON devotee shall advocate or support its practice.]

Gauridasa Pandita Dasa:

These words are made up by the GBC. Srila Prabhupada does not continue to initiate after his departure. We initate on his behalf! Srila Prabhupada’s letter to all GBC’s and temple presidents dated July 9th 1977 spells out the system he wanted for ISKCON after his physical departure and yes he said he wanted his ritvik system to continue. The only way that the movement can be united is to keep Srila Prabhupada in the center and follow his instructions to the July 9th Letter!

You have not consulted the evidence and witnesses in this matter before making your erroneous opinions. I was a witness to the evidence and I will be glad to fill you and the rest of the GBC in, as I have been trying to, for the last 24 years now! If you are so sure about your opinions then why can’t we debate them again as we did in the GBC meeting in 1990 in the San Diego Temple room? The conclusion of that debate, which was voted on by the NA GBC as well as the majority of devotees present, was to continue the discussion. Instead the GBC cancelled the debates and banned any devotees who wanted to discuss it with the above cited resolutions. Like Srila Prabhupada said after his displeasure with the politics of the 1976 GBC meetings, “Resolutions, revolutions, no solutions!” The 1990 debate is on Videotape.

[By GBC directive, past advocates of the rtvic idea were barred from participating in any ISKCON functions until they rejected this idea, in writing, and agreed to respect ISKCON’s guidelines and standards. You have traveled widely pushing the rtvic system. Your claims of Srila Prabhupada inaugurating such a system are one of the mainstays of the ritvik theory. To this date, you have not recanted your heretical views. Rather, when the topic comes up, you remain adamant in your conviction of its authenticity.

GPD: Your language is improper. But simply stated I say what Srila Prabhupada said which is documented. At the same time I do not as you alledge go around grabbing every one I see and start preaching ritvik. I believe it needs to be worked out at the GBC level not by the bhaktas and bhaktins. Find one who will testify on your behalf. You are making up allegations to try to justify throwing out another devotee from Srila Prabhupada’s mission. That’s sinful. I’m sorry.

[ISKCON Laws give the following instructions on philosophical deviation: 8.4.8.8.2. Teaching Unauthorized Doctrines
A person who teaches members of ISKCON any teachings condemned by the Bhagavata philosophy and who does not make a retraction after having been cautioned by the GBC or another spiritual authority shall be corrected with a just remedial measure.]

GPD: First you must prove that the so-called doctrine is not Srila Prabhupada’s teachings; then you must prove someone was preaching it. Then a ‘just remedial measure’ may be issued by the GBC. I have never preached anything that was not taught by His Divine Grace. It strikes me funny though that the GBC don’t even follow their own rules but you expect us to follow your every command. One resolution is not to use styrofoam cups etc. at the temples. Later I saw you personally handing them out at the feast. Why the double standard here?

[8.4.1.3.3 Spiritual Discrepancy
Conscious and serious philospical deviation from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings.]

GPD: I have not deviated from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. You have and that is why the movement is suffering now. Reinstitute the bonafide ritvik system and watch it grow as it did in the 70’s.

[Based on GBC policy and practice in dealing with rtvic advocates in the past, ISKCON San Diego would be fully within its rights to bar you from participating in any of its activities and programs. But in the spirit of conciliation and to encourage you, we have tried to make some accomodation. Whether you agree or not, it is the view of ISKCON that you are in a diseased spiritual state. One measure of whether a diseased person is infectious is their temperature. The means for measuring your temperature, and thus whether you should associate with ISKCON devotees, is the degree to which you are able to keep your opinions to yourself, remain humble, and to respect the local standards and ISKCON authorities.]

GPD: This is ridiculous. What is the opinion of ISKCON? A few of the GBC leaders that control everyone else? The majority of devotees and all who know me personally know that I am quite healthy and happy in Krsna Consciousness. Otherwise how could I continue with all of the mistreatment you keep giving me?

[Here are the guidelines you must follow if you are going to continue to participate in ISKCON San Diego activities, programs, and events. If you can follow these requests for one year, to the satisfacton of the local temple authorities, we will then look at revising them. Lest there be any ambiguity, let me spell them out:

[1.You must keep your philosophical misunderstandings to yourself. This means that you are not to add comments, purports, stories, or lead any kirtans. During kirtans you should not impose yourself into the middle of the kirtan or get in the face of the kirtan leader.]

GPD: What ever happened to freedom of speech? And now it’s against ISKCON Law to be enthusiastic in the Kirtan?!

[2. You are not to mix with new and or young devotees. This means you are not to come on harinam or ISKCON-arranged home programs etc. As a gesture of encouragement, you can come on harinam for special occasions (GauraPurnima, Halloween, 4th of July etc. with the prior permission of the temple authorities, myself or Gandarvika mataji). This is with the understanding that you will maintain a humble profile and cooperate with any instructions offered by the senior devotees, myself included.]

GPD: You cannot prohibit people from participating in the public forum nor the private without just cause such as causing a disturbance. As far as associating with any new devotees; I have not seen any in the temple for quite a long time.

[3.Your presence at the temple should be for temple programs or authorized service. You should not be “hanging out” during the day or evening.]

GPD: I don’t have time to ‘hang out’ anyway. I have a life and a business to tend to.

[As confirmed above, based on the past GBC action, we have grounds for barring you from temple activities. But we do not want to come to that point. We should like to try to accommodate you. All we ask is that you observe the simple guidelines offered above.]

GPD: You have no grounds for barring me but you would like some. You want to tie my hands and tape my mouth and think that this is OK, but I am not your puppet.

[I have enclosed two copies of this letter. Please sing one and return it to me. The other is for your reference. If I do not receive a signed copy from you within one week of delivery to you, I will assume that you do not accept the above offer and thus we will have to restrict you from temple activities and programs altogether. I hope that you will decide instead to work with us.]

GPD: I always try to work with you want to dictate rather than cooperate. Let’s be reasonable and try to please Srila Prabhupada; not simply kick out, kick out.

Your servant
Badrinarayan dasa

GPD: Are you really my servant? Or are you my master? I pray that the Truth be understood by the GBC and Srila Prabhyupada’s ISKCON will flourish and grow as it should.

Hoping this meets you all well and advancing in Krsna Consciousness.

Your servant,
Gauridasa Pandita Dasa

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One Response to San Diego GBC Attacks Devotee

  1. bhakta jarek says:

    Please accept my most humble obeisances dear Gauridas Pandit das Prabhu! Jay Srila Prabhupada! All glories to the Prabhupadanugas!

    For me personally I am finally totally convinced by the revelation of the Final Order of the Acarya. And it is truth, what your oppressor said (I know it was 9 years ago, but unfortunately not changed for better till now) as far as stating that Your testimony (YOU ARE A WITNESS Prabhu!!! To all what happened there in Hrishikes, And Vrindavan n 1977, when the Great and Kind Master of the Universe, His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada was living His transcendental Body)is one of the mainstays, I woukd say here instead of his blasphemy, of the Ritvik Order revelation! I want to personally thank you Prabhu, as for me You, with the exemplary, Vaishnava behaviour of your very self is what made me finally accept(except, that I was forced to do it by the mercy of Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga!) the obvious fact, that His Divine Grace want His mission to be continued through the means of the ritvik system He kindly settled for the next 10 000 Glorious Years of the Golden Times! You Prabhu, and the Prabhupadanugas from all over the World are one of the brightest site of the Times, if I am allowed to make such an comment at all, as a miscrient who took so long to obey the Acarya’s order, and to even work before much against it as well!
    Your servant and eternal debtor, bhakta jarek


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