Guru in ISKCON

Published on October 19th, 2023 | by


Saints and Psychopaths

Psychopaths pretending to be saints present a very serious problem for all spiritual traditions. There are many more psychopaths pretending to be saints than there are real saints.

If you have a true saint for a teacher, then you have a real possibility for spiritual attainments, including enlightenment. If your teacher is a psychopath, then you may become a programmed puppet, and you risk being sexually or financially abused. You also may lose your job, family and possibly even your sanity.

Eventually you risk disillusionment from pursuing any spiritual quests.

In his book, Saints and Psychopaths, William Hazlitt gives a checklist of saintly and psychopathic qualities. With some word changes so they fit better within the frame of more common Krishna conscious usage I include both lists below. In as much as Prabhupada has cautioned in Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita that there are mundane men in the dress of Vaishnavas in the Krishna consciousness movement and that we should practice upeksha and “neglect” these persons, I thought it would be helpful to post this checklist with the possibility that it may help saragrahis to gain perspective on this aspect of things.


  • Are consistent in what they say, mean, and do.
  • Follow the moral standards they teach.
  • Keep promises.
  • Pay debts.
  • Hold truth as the highest standard.
  • Insist that their close associates tell the truth.
  • Present rational, unaggressive philosophy.
  • Are attractive but don’t exploit others and ingrain dependency.
  • Wait for you to seek their help.
  • Good reputation endures and improves.
  • Things turn out well in the long run.
  • People get long-term benefit from their association.
  • Are concerned about their actions on themselves and on others.
  • Immediately apologize for errors.
  • Look for their own mistakes and will voluntarily make amends.
  • If trapped do not renounce their principles.
  • Can sit very still.
  • Encourage associates to be self-reliant.
  • Refrain from using mind-dulling substances.
  • Are comfortable being in the background.


  • Are inconsistent in what they say, mean, and do.
  • Have different rules for themselves and for their followers.
  • Break their promises.
  • Have bad debts, scheme to avoid paying, even write bad checks.
  • Have no regard for the truth.
  • Will order close associates to lie.
  • Are aggressive with philosophy and may not try to appeal to reason.
  • Are attractive and use it to exploit others and ingrain dependency.
  • Come on with unsolicited advice.
  • Good reputation fades in time.
  • Things turn out badly in the long run.
  • People are damaged by long term association.
  • Are unconcerned about their actions on themselves and on others.
  • Apologize as a last resort.
  • Ignore their own mistakes and rectify them only if cornered.
  • If trapped will do or say whatever it takes to escape.
  • Typically have variable and exotic health problems.
  • Can sit still only when the center of attention.
  • Enslave those around them.
  • Often indulge in using mind-dulling substances.
  • Are obsessed with being in the limelight.

Hazlitt stresses that the person with only one or two of these symptoms is not necessarily a psychopath, nor is the occasional occurrence of these symptoms a definite indicator of psychopathology. On the other hand, if someone has several of them to a marked degree we should not twist our perceptions but should be decisive in avoiding them.

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6 Responses to Saints and Psychopaths

  1. Manish says:

    Hare Kriahna Madhudvisa Dasa;
    Who are those in above picture, are they also psychopaths?

    • This is not my article.

      It is from the olden days, when I used to allow others to also publish articles on And others, many times, they publish rubbish articles. And really this is a rubbish article. It is quoting some mundane scholar and some IRM devotee has written this article. IRM I think no longer exists and was quite a bogus organization publishing bogus articles like this.

      So really I can not say who these devotees are and if they are psychopaths or not. It is not clear to me actually even what a psychopath is. I think this idea of psychopath is actually completely incorrect.

      This is a materialistic concept. Among the materialists they try and say that there are good materialists and bad materialists. So the ones who think they are the “good” materialists call the ones they don’t like psychopaths. They claim that these bad qualities only exist in the “bad” materialists, and because they are “good” materialists, they don’t have these qualities.

      So we do not accept this idea in Krishna consciousness. There are no “good” materialists. All materialists are bad. There are pious materialists and sinful materialists. So I guess, in these terms, the “good” materialists are the pious ones and “bad” materialists are the psychopaths.

      But for us, as devotees, we really don’t make much distinction, because the good, pious materialists and the bad sinful materialists, they both end up taking birth again in the material world. Of course the pious ones go up, to the heavenly planets, and the sinful ones go down, to the hellish planets.

      But both the good and bad materialists, they are both becoming more and more entangled in the material world, both pious and impious persons, they are generating karmic reactions that they need to return to the material world again and again to enjoy and suffer. So overall, from the point of view of the devotees, the results of the pious and impious materialists are the same, both end up being entangled in the material world perpetually taking birth and dying again. They go up and down and take so many different births, sometimes pious, sometimes sinful, sometimes in heaven and sometimes in hell, but always suffering: birth, death, old age and disease.

      So as devotees we don’t make this distinction, good and bad materialists. We just see devotees. We see actually everyone as devotees. Because everyone is eternally a servant of Krishna, we are just in various degrees of forgetfulness about our relationship with Krishna. So we don’t think that anyone is anything else than a devotee of Krishna in varying degrees of forgetfulness of his relationship with Krishna.

      Now, as to your question about the two characters in this photo…

      They are two victims of ISKCON. So you can see from my previous discussion they are devotees of Krishna. Everyone is a devotee of Krishna, just there are various degrees of forgetfulness of their relationship with Krishna. So these characters are most certainly devotees of Krishna, even the ants, they are devotees of Krishna. But perhaps the ants are better than these two characters because if the ants happen to be born in the house of a pure devotee and hear the chanting of the Hare Krishan mantra and get to eat the crumbs of the Krishna prasadam they will be liberated, go back home back to Godhead, in their next lives…

      So it is very powerful, simply by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra once offenslessly one is liberated…

      The only thing that can shortcircut the process of Krishna consciousness completely is Vaisnava apahrada… And that does not mean annoying some bogus ISKOCN guru. It means disobeying the orders of the spiritual master. And unfortunately ISKCON has institutionalized disobedience to the orders of Srila Prabhupada. In fact if you do not agree to disobey the orders of Srila Prabhupada, you can not be a member of today’s ISKCON…

      So these two characters, they are members of today’s ISKCON “in good standing”. One is very fond of the Mayavadi gurus and credits them as his main gurus, the other is a very sweet soul, but a very obedient servant of the GBC, who disobey Srila Prabhupada constantly and constantly create ISKCON laws disobeying Prabhupada’s orders.

      So this is the problem for these two characters. For the Mayavadi character there is no one in ISKCON strong enough to straighten him out and preach to him and convince him that Krishna, God, is a person and the Mayavadis he holds so near and dear to his heart are the greatest offenders to Krishna and the other sweet soul just obviously floats along, following the orders of the GBC, and becomes insidiously diverted from the pure devotional service he knows very well that Prabhupada taught him.

      So this is the problem. Not that these 2 souls are psychopaths. As I said this whole concept of psychopaths, it is bogus. This idea of psychopaths is something that has been created by the materialists who think they are “good” materialists to point their fingers at and criticize the materialists they think are “bad”. But really all materialists are the same, pious or impious, it does not matter, they are working for the same goal, both the pious and impious materialists want to lord it over the material energy, they both want to enjoy in the material world, they both want to maximize their sense pleasure and minimize their suffering. So there is no difference, at least not from the point of view of the devotees. Both the good and bad materialists are the same. They are both working for sense gratification, only in different ways, and their results are also the same, they are both eternally trapped in the miserable suffering cycle of birth and death in the material world.

      But these two characters, their position is worse than both the psychopaths and the pilus materialists…

      Because these two characters are part of ISKCON and are surrendered servants of the GBC, and the GBC are compulsively disobedient to Srila Prabhupada…

      So it does not matter what one is, unfortunately if one joins ISKCON they have a very good training system to educate their followers that “Prabhuapda is dead and gone, you need a living guru…” And the two characters in this picture are two of the “Bonafide ISKCON Gurus.” Not pure devotees, because they don’t have to be, according to ISKCON, but according to Krishna, well read Bhagavad-gita 4.34. Krishna has a different opinion.

      So this is the problem. ISKCON is about surrendering to and serving the GBC, ISKSCON is NOT at all about surrendering to and serving Srila Prabhupada and Krishna.

      If you are so foolish to try to surrender to and serve Srila Prabhupada and Krishna in ISKCON, well your days in ISKOCN are very very limited.

      So that these two characters have been able to stay in ISKCON as “Bonafide ISKCON GBC Approved Gurus”, it should tell you something.

  2. Justin Roche says:

    Interesting article.
    I live in Jersey, Channel Islands. Where there is a group of people who portray themselves as Hare Krishna Devotees.

    I think that some of the group may have read your article, but appear to have mixed up the two lists. Perhaps they were too stoned at the time. Ironically funny. But sad. Especially if you are one of their victims.

  3. Aditya says:

    What should we do about it?

  4. I find that its not hard to try to do the right thing when it comes to wanting to be better in the self, but it can be hard to try to do the right thing when it affects you personally from another person, who has little understanding if any to try to act the same. The patience for this I find hard at times. Your discernments bewteen the saints and psychopaths is decent, I must say that often I find myself to be most comfortable when I am between the two, wether this is good or bad, you can learn from both aspects of influence, this atagonization of opposites seems to be what it takes to help us learn and evolve…just a point

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