Published on March 4th, 2023 | by Madhudvisa dasa


Some of ISKCON’s Blind Spots

It is not our business to change, simply to receive the knowledge from Srila Prabhupada and distribute the same knowledge, without adding or subtracting anything, to the people we meet.

The spiritual master is the person whose mercy extinguishes the forest fire of the material world. He is the one who has the potency of awakening the dormant spark of Krishna consciousness within our hearts. He is the one who knows the art of engaging his disciples in pure devotional service. He is the one who can fan that little spark and make it into a blazing fire.

In my case that Spiritual Master is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He has been guiding me at every step for the past 18 years. He is the one who convinced me that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that so-called pleasure in the material world is simply an interaction of the senses with their objects and is on the bodily platform and can never give us satisfaction. He is the one who convinced me that I am not this material body, but that I am the eternal spiritual soul within the body. He let me know that I am covered now by the gross and subtle material bodies and he also showed me how I can uncover my original Krishna consciousness by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, following the regulative principles and engaging in devotional service. He has convinced me that my eternal occupation is to be engaged in the devotional service of Krishna.

There is no question whatsoever that Srila Prabhupada picked me up from drowning in the ocean of the material energy and gave me a glimpse of the spiritual world and has given me everything I need to make my journey back home, back to Godhead. And at every step he is inspiring me, he is encouraging me and when I go astray he is bringing me back onto the right path.

Of course I also owe a great debt to many devotees who are my siksa gurus and who have helped me in so many ways. But Srila Prabhupada stands supreme, miles above anyone else. He is the guiding light in an otherwise very dark world.

I can never repay the debt to my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, however I can try to surrender to him and serve him and follow his instructions.

I can not think of anything more offensive, or more insulting to Srila Prabhupada than to say he is not my guru and I am still looking for a guru.

Prabhupada has already saved me, he has already initiated me into the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra and at every moment over the past eighteen years he is guiding me, answering my questions and giving me more and more inspiration to serve Krishna. So I will never reject my eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Until ISKCON realizes that Srila Prabhupada is not dead, that he is very much alive in his books and in the hearts of his sincere followers, that he is still preaching, and still initiating new people into Krishna consciousness, there will only be chaos.

“He reasons ill that Vaisnavas die when thou art living still in sound. The Vaisnava dies to live, and living spreads the holy name around.”

Some of ISKCON’s Blind Spots

  1. Prabhupada is not dead
  2. Srila Prabhupada is a nitya-siddha, pure unalloyed devotee of Krishna. He was a pure devotee from birth. To claim that people like Bhavananda, Harikesh, Bhagavan, Hansadutta, Jayatirtha, Ramesvara, etc… are “non different” from Prabhupada is insanity.
  3. Prabhupada is not a conditioned soul nor does he have the defects of a conditioned soul (the tendency to cheat, imperfect senses, makes mistakes & illusioned)
  4. Prabhupada has a very special, unique position as the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON
  5. Only a pure, unalloyed uttama-adhikari can write Vaisnava literature
  6. The original books of Srila Prabhupada have an amazing degree of authority unmatched by any spiritual or religious movement. Prabhupada himself read and relished those books on a daily basis and gave all his classes from them. He never instructed or authorized anyone to change them. Rather on principle he was against change, calling it the “American Disease”
  7. Prabhupada was asked who should continue the Bhagavatam translation & he said it is not simply A-B-C, it needs a realized soul, and he did not think any of his disciples were qualified to do that
  8. Prabhupada has already given us the “ISKCON Law Book.” It is called “Nectar of Devotion”
  9. Before reading books we should see the qualities of the author. Is he a pure devotee of Krishna?
  10. It is better not to read too many books. If we are simply study Srila Prabhupada’s books over and over again everything will be revealed to us. There is no need to read any other books
  11. It is offensive for a disciple to present his own version of books already translated by his spiritual master. The clear example is given in Caitanya-caritamrta, Krsnadasa Kaviraja did not extensively describe the pastimes already described by Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakur.
  12. Energy put into writing, publishing and distributing new books means that energy can not be put into distributing Prabhupadas books.
  13. Almost every bookstore in the world carries various versions of the Bhagavad-gita. Almost none of them carry Prabhupada’s gita. We are not doing a very good job of distributing Prabhupada’s books…
  14. In Loi Bazzar, Vrindavana, one can find practically every book published in the Gaudiya Vaisnava field except for Srila Prabhupada’s books. Why? The store owners complain of the ISKCON mafia who make it impossible for them to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books…
  15. Most school, college, university & public libraries have none of Srila Prabhupada’s books. Why? Because there is no library distribution program.
  16. We Are the Sankirtana Movement. Our business is to perform sankirtana.
  17. Our business is to chant Hare Krishna & distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books. All other activities should support these activities
  18. Prabhupada is living in his books.
  19. Reading Prabhupada’s books is direct, personal association with Srila Prabhupada
  20. The only way to make spiritual advancement is by pleasing the Spiritual Master [in ISKCON that means pleasing Srila Prabhupada]
  21. Devotees of Krishna have a service mentality and are always looking for a chance to serve Srila Prabhupada, Krishna & the other devotees.
  22. It is not maya to talk about book distribution in the Bhagavatam class, rather book distribution is the only way this Krishna consciousness movement can be spread all over the world
  23. The Srimad-Bhagavatam is capable of creating a revolution in the world’s misdirected civilization. But we do not distribute the Srimad-Bhagavatam to the general public…
  24. There are envious persons and outright demons in positions of power in ISKCON. According to Srila Prabhupada they should be neglected, not respected
  25. A place where pure devotional service is performed becomes like Vaikuntha and anyone who comes into that atmosphere can not help be moved & effected by it. If there is no Viakuntha atmosphere there is some problem with the devotional service being performed in that place
  26. Devotees are joyful people who are always looking for an opportunity to fan the little spark of Krishna consciousness in others, even in other devotees
  27. Devotees see the good qualities in others, not their faults
  28. Devotees develop all of the 26 qualities of a devotee in their character
  29. Devotees enjoy talking among themselves about Krishna
  30. One who speaks differently from his spiritual master is not a spiritual master, he is not even a disciple
  31. One who does not accept the discipline of Srila Prabhupada, at least chanting a minimum of 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily & following strictly the four regulative principles, is not a “Prabhupada Disciple”
  32. It is dangerous for our spiritual lives if we hear from “devotees” who are not seriously following the process of Saddhana bhakti as taught to us by Srila Prabhupada.
  33. It is not our business to change the philosophy to suit the public. The public is in maya and have to be purified. We have to change the public so they appreciate the philosophy.
  34. Prabhupada has given us the simple process that will change the public so they will accept the philosophy. It is distributing Srila Prabhupada’s original books, performing sankirtana [congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna maha mantra], prassadam distribution and preaching the philosophy which is found in Srila Prabhupada’s books.
  35. The process of speaking the Bhagavatam is to simply repeat what we have heard in the disciplic succession without any speculation. It is a great science and seems, to a large extent, to be lost now
  36. Devotees of Krishna have a great deal of attachment to chanting the Hare Krishna maha mantra. They want to chant Hare Krishna 24 hours a day
  37. Krishna consciousness is an ever-increasing ocean of transcendental bliss!
  38. A devotee’s concept of pleasure is to be engaged in the service of Krishna & Srila Prabhupada 24 hours a day
  39. Devotees of Krishna do not want to let even a second pass without some connection with service to Krishna & Prabhupada & the devotees. They want to be engaged in service, always, 24 hours a day.
  40. The Deity is not a stone. He is Krishna and He will reciprocate with us to the degree we surrender to Him.
  41. The Deity should be worshipped with great opulence and cleanliness & according to the process given to us by Srila Prabhupada
  42. The process of Deity worship should not be changed at all & nothing new should be added
  43. Krishna only accepts an offering if it is made with love and devotion
  44. We can not offer anything to Krishna cooked by non devotees
  45. If we eat anything cooked by a non-devotee our mind will become wicked
  46. Devotees do not like to associate with non-devotees. They would prefer to be locked in a cage with a tiger to associating with a non-devotee
  47. Krishna consciousness is not a sectarian movement
  48. We are not Hindus
  49. If we particularly preach to Hindus and most of the people who come to our temples are Hindus people will consider ISKCON as a Hindu organization
  50. If we are considered “Hindu” non-Hindus will not be interested to come and ISKCON will completely fail to fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s mission
  51. Prabhupada’s godbrothers have no potency whatsoever to help us advance in Krishna consciousness, rather they may provide many obstacles to our advancement.
  52. If one accepts a conditioned soul as his guru he will remain a conditioned soul. The bound can not liberate the bound. The rescuer must be liberated…
  53. All of these blind-spots, along with thousands of others not mentioned can be removed by Srila Prabhupada. Simply we have to realize that Srila Prabhupada is not dead, he is living wit us still, we simply have to take advantage of his association & instructions.Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

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About the Author

My first contact with a Hare Krishna was a most merciful Mataji in Oxford Street, London who sold me a "Higher Taste" cook book in 1984 while I was on holidays there. I started seriously reading Srila Prabhupada's books in Australia 1985 and by 1986 Srila Prabhupada had convinced me "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and "we should surrender to Krishna." I joined the Hare Krishnas in Perth, Western Australia in 1986. Since then I have been chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and preaching as much as I can. That's my life and full-time occupation now really. I like it more than anything I've ever experienced before. Srila Prabhupada's books are so amazing... Even after reading them all many times they're still fresh and new. They are truly transcendental! That's it really. Now I'm just hankering to once again see the world chant Hare Krishna, dance and feast and float away in the ecstasy of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana movement as it did in Srila Prabhupada's physical presence. Let the whole world drown in the ecstatic flood of love of Krishna!

9 Responses to Some of ISKCON’s Blind Spots

  1. Sheena Maharaj says:

    I absolutely agree with everything you have said here. I attend an ISKCON center in Sacramento and many devotees there are of the mindset that I need to seek a different “living” Guru because they believe Srila Prabhupada is only a shiksha guru. I had been praying to Krishna and Srila Prabhupada for initiation for many years. Then I had recurring dreams of Srila Prabhupada giving me initiation. I saw the entire ceremony in one dream and received the name Hari Nama Dasi. In another dream Srila Prabhupada blessed my chanting beads (same ones I’ve been using) and rolled them in His Lotus hands and blew His divine breath upon them and gave them to me. Whenever I call upon Him He is always there for me. He answers my questions in divine and transcendental ways and I constantly feel His presence with me. I was dreaming of Him before I ever knew who He was and even had dreams of serving Him and Krishna together. I was on a stage seated directly next to Srila Prabhupada and was making red flower garlands while He was giving a lecture. Srila Prabhupada is my eternal spiritual master and I love His Divine Grace as my Gurudev unconditionally and eternally. My mind heart and soul cannot think of or accept anyone else as my spiritual master for I have found my eternal Gurudev no matter what anyone says or thinks. I am so thankful for this site and this article. Hare Krishna Hari Bol! 🙏🙏

  2. Martin says:

    Hare Krishna! Very nicely said. People often confuse Hinduism with Bhakti Yoga. Sadly this relationship, while attracting Hindu’s does not always attract people from other religions. This teaching is a blessing and as this age further progresses into darkness it will be much needed for people to have any true salvation. For the candle sticks which are the worlds religions today have become dim and do not shed fully the light of Truth.
    This spiritual science of Bhakti Yoga when practiced properly will strip away the ignorance which veils the minds of many enabling them to SEE and HEAR clearly.
    It should be noted that this spiritual science is available for all people regardless of education, religion or societal position.

    Thankyou ever so much for this website. Thankyou for your tireless efforts in spreading such wisdom. You are a blessing to many people.

    Hare Krishna — 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. jack says:

    this was the most relavent topic i could find to post this on so you would notice it. how come prabhupad’s only sane desciple is disreguarded by all these big Krishna sites and ISCKON? his name is jagad guru siddhaswarupananda paramahamsa and im sure you know about him.

    thank you and Hare Krishna

    • Santosh says:

      Hare Krsna Jack,
      This Siddhaswarupananda you are talking about follows his own process of meditation.He is totally on his own,doesn’t follow Srila Prabhupada.
      I consider him to be bogus.He is into gross deviation

      • Yes Prabhu. Siddhaswarupananda, or “Jagat guru Chris Buttler” — Whatever you want to call him — Is completely bogus. He had some association with Srila Prabhupada but never surrendered to Srila Prabhupada and has his own bogus philosophy…

        • Mike says:

          All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
          He most definatley surrendered to bhaktivedanta his every possession and all of the disciples he already acquired before finding bhaktivedanta’s pure teachings and once initiated and eventually moved on to spread krishna, he always sent all his disciples to be initiated by bhaktivedanta up to the point that bhaktivedanta left his body. Its well documented. They encourage the reading of bhaktivedanta’s original books and I have to disagree with you labeling siddhaswarupananda paramahansa as bogus but, if you follow bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada only you’re undoubtedly on a path to perfection.
          Haribol 🙂

  4. Vyasasan das says:

    Dear Madhuvisa Prabhu

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

    Very nice writting, full of realization and depth. I believe you are doing the society of devotees a great service by your devotion and dedication to Srila Prabhupada. You are like a Ksatriya Warrior (or one who gives protection from harm), and with your mighty pen in hand you are cutting through the dense fog of delusion. All Glories to your courage, strength, and fine intelligence.

    Your Servant
    Vyasasan das

  5. Vipin Kumar Chaturvedi says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu ji,
    All Glories to Srila Prabhupada,
    What you have pointed out is absolutely correct and we all pray to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna so that every one related to this wonderful family may realize this and adjust their actions—this is the only way we can restore Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON and his vision. In the meanwhile I do believe that we follow his divine grace’s instructions and purify ourselves so that we do not waste time and hopefully become an instrument of His desire to serve Srila Prabhupada and his associates.
    A humble Vrijvasi

  6. Bhakta Mark says:

    Hare Krishna!

    What a great post!

    You are truly devoted to Srila Prabhupada and I thank you for defending our eternal spiritual master.

    Your servant,

    Bhakta Mark

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