Published on April 17th, 2002 | by krishna-das | Full size image1
No More Kirtan
My name is Krishna-das. I went to several gurukulas, South Africa, Mayapura and Mauritius to name a few. I went through the same torture, neglect and abuse as the gurukulis who’ve taken suit against ISKCON. I often question myself as to why I still think myself to be an ISKCON devotee. After everything that this movement has put me through, (after it has raped my parents of their youth.
How could I join a law suit against ISKCON, a society my parents struggled to build and something that is as much a part of me as the air I breath? Today I realized why I should join this suit. It isn’t ISKCON!
In Toronto we have a small community of gurukulis. Over the past few years we’ve been growing, ever so slowly. We go for mangala arati on the weekends. We lead far out kirtanas. Infact so outrageous that we’re still sore a week after. Recently we’ve even started a Food For Life program. We purchase all of our own groceries. We prepare it all and go out and distribute it ourselves. It’s wonderful!
Our Sunday feast kirtanas in Toronto are led according to schedule. We know who will be singing as much as two months in advance. There are devotees here who specially mark their calendars eagerly awaiting our rocking kirtanas. Infact prior to our involvement I remember going for a mangala arati where even the kirtana leader himself fell asleep. Now no one in the temple can sleep when we are there, it’s so ecstatic.
But as with any success there are always envious people who will try to drag you down as a means of bettering themselves. It is a shame when they are the very people who should be protecting and supporting our efforts in spiritual advancement, our temple board. Today my heart was ripped in half as I saw one of our gurukulis forbidden from leading kirtana. This is a person who’s had so much trouble growing up in our movement. He struggled through our Mayapura gurukula. He went through some real rough times and is now on a spiritual rebound. He’s trying to better himself materially and spiritually. He was even in the process of organizing mridanga classes for our temple children. He’s one of our best kirtana leaders. But because one of the temple collectors doesn’t like his fashion sense he has been asked to stop leading kirtana.
Moments before the sandya arati he was pulled aside (he was wearing a dhoti and t-shirt with the picture of his guru on it) and told that he could not sing till further notice. When asked why, he was told that it was because he occasionally wears tank top shirts with his dhoti when he sings. “They are to revealing, inappropriate for temple dress.” By this logic Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was indecently exposing himself as he performed His Nama Sankirtana in the streets of Navadvipa Dhama wearing dhoti and chadar. I’m assuming that there must be more reason to this, but every board member we talked to referred us to another. Apparently our GBC was even involved in this decision.
This is ludicrous! We have become an organization powered by money, not Sastra or even human goodness. ISKCON is a business. It’s all a show! Whom ever brings in the money makes the decisions. This is depriving one of our gurukula youths of the opportunity to perform a service he has trained his whole life to perform. Have our temple authorities become modern day Chand Kazi’s?
Kirtana is what kept me away from suing ISKCON. Today I have finally come to the realization that what all my friends saw so long ago is true. If there are any of you reading this whom are on the Turley suit against ISKCON, please let me know how I can join and or what I can do to help. To those of you whom are waiting for that last straw to break your back, join up. Waiting only prolongs the suffering. The faster our temples are dissolved the sooner Lord Chaitanya’s mission can continue clear of this impurity we call ISKCON.
Krsna dasa prabhu; Pamho! AGTSP!
I can sympathize with what you experienced. We early devotees built the temples on the grounds of love, mercy, enthusiasm, determination, acceptance, and mutual respect; human values, even hippy values, ultimately spiritual values.
But everything has now changed in Iskcon Canada. It has become like a strict impersonal church with the “church lady” in charge of what used to be a glorious Hare Krsna revolution! It is now a private club house; very square, dare I say strangely prissy, authoritarian and rigid. Hindu-ized persons and sycophant disciples and co-conspirators of Hari Vilas, and Bhaktimarga Swami and his naive gang, with a self-serving deviant political agenda, have dominated the Toronto and also Montreal temples. There are sincere humble devotees also, but they are not sophisticated enough or aware of their own ability to seize temple control. They have virtually no say any more. Consequently, if you are not favored by the power stuctures, right or wrong, you will definitely be abused. This has grown worse and worse with each passing year since Srila Prabhupada’s real disciples were in control.
Certainly, you will be prosecuted if you dare disagree with anything the temple board dictates; they in turn, some paid salaries to keep their mouths shut, while the Hindus push forward their agendas, with Bhaktimarga Swami meekly kow-towing to their Hindu board nonsense for the sake of his increasing his own power and pampered life-style. He in fact occupies Srila Prabhupada’s rooms at the temple, and takes new devotees as his own disciples when they are really Prabhupada’s, like he is now as good as God himself, and so much better than his own Godbrothers.
I recall attending one Indian persons’s home with Bhaktimarga. The host put him on a seat, and made me, his Godbrother who joined Iskcon the same year he did, sit at his feet on the floor. He was quite comfortable with this arrangement. I never said a word, didn’t want to disturb anyone and I really could care less where I sit, but I remembered this small incident. It is indicative of the overall mentality.
Even the traditional istagosthis are completey forbidden in Canada; they don’t want you to think, and even less so, speak your mind! God forbid you should ever dare question anything, ot fail to worshop Bhaktimarga! His sycophant spies will go running to their master and you will be kicked out, and if they can’t do that to you, because of long-term social ties to the temple, you will be abused, insulted, degraded, just as Krsna dasa says he has been. Keep your mouth shut, it is like Soviet Russia. Welcome to the Krsna cult!
These are not Srila Prabhupada’s directions. He specifically ordered that NO devotees are to sit at the top, control all the resources, then the devotees below have to beg for maintenance! He also said to close the temple doors if necessary so that everyone can go out for sankirtana. Instead, Krsna dasa’s experience reflects the current scene here, and it is disgusting and rotten to the core. It is time the common devotees took matters in to their pure hands and physically threw these rascals into the street, where they have themselves gleefully tossed the majority of Srila Prabhupada’s Canadian-born disciples.