Speak Only The Truth
By Bhakta Çré Hari Vijayaräghavan
(Edited by Kailäsa Candra däsa)
“Devotees always humbly offer respect to everyone, but when there is a discussion on a point of çästra, they do not observe the usual etiquette, satyaà brüyät priyam brüyät. They speak only the satyaà [truth], although it may not necessarily be priyam [palatable].”
“It is social convention that if you want to speak truth, you speak truth very palatable, flattering. Don't speak unpalatable truth. But we are not meant for that purpose, social convention.”
“Satyaà bruyät priyaà bruyät mä bruyät satyaà apriyam. You tell truth, but it must be very palatable. If you say truth unpalatable, then you will create enemies.”
Concocted Philosophy of Offence to the Institution
Since the disappearance of Çréla Prabhupäda from the manifest plane in late 1977, there has been a new philosophy vigorously pushed and “preached” (and, by extension, institutionally implemented) by many “ISKCON” misleaders, who are supposedly representing Çréla Prabhupäda and his Kåñëa consciousness movement. It is the philosophy of offences--meaning offences against an institutional ecclesiology, committed either by individuals or splinter groups.
Undoubtedly, that new philosophy was instituted slowly, gaining a developing hold on his movement even during the time of Çréla Prabhupäda's manifest presence. Yet, it is an undeniable fact that it was firmly rooted by late 1977. This was evidenced in early 1978, when many devotees were systematically labelled offenders—offenders of the institutional ecclesiology, of course—and de facto excommunicated from whatever was then left of the Hare Kåñëa movement.
And what was their offence? It was speaking the truth! And that truth of the deviated situation current at that time (different but even worse now) was unpalatable from the viewpoint of sahajiyä leaders, who had a vested interest in keeping it suppressed. According to their philosophy, criticism towards any of the dyed-in-the-wool institutionalists is automatically offensive, especially those who were regarded as the great leaders of the movement. Any criticism of them was considered an aparädha, and, unless repented soon, guaranteed to turn one into a demon or a black snake in due course. With historical hindsight, we can now clearly see what got really kicked out was truth.
Those fearless devotees who tried to represent it were supposed to be part of a movement representing the Absolute Truth. What a tragedy! After being ostracized, what filled the vacuum? It is not difficult to answer this rhetorical question: Lies, deceit, duplicity, falsity, pretension and dishonesty, i.e., all the unholy qualities representing the personality of Kali. The asära G.B.C. welcomed this insidious development--the same G.B.C. known as the controlling node of “ISKCON.” It also takes pleasure in considering itself the “ultimate (managerial, usually not mentioned) authority” of the Kåñëa movement.
This deviant entity, practising many similarly motivated deviations, has been faithfully representing its master, the personality of Kali, since the cataclysmic zonal äcärya scheme of early 1978. Now, as could only have been predicted, there are other satellite entities that have emerged, all originally spun off the mother ship (“ISKCON”). They are under the thraldom of the asära G.B.C, which indirectly helps these deviations thrive, because they are its foils.
Criticism, in the true sense of the term, means criticising in accordance with the teachings of the truth and the genuine representative of that truth. As will be brought forth in the next section, criticism of nonsense is the hallmark of Bhägavata practice. It has been demonstrated from the dawn of the time, and it will always be so.
Real Preaching of the Bhägavata Tradition
In the interest of philosophical discussion as per the Bhägavata viewpoint, let us now analyse a few of the innumerable evidences presented by guru, sädhu and çästra in this connection, i.e., whether or not the new “ISKCON” dispensation (of speak no evil) holds any validity:
"The Supreme Person said: My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the progressive values of life. They do not lead to higher planets but to infamy."
An intelligent reader would consider this the first verse Lord Çré Kåñëa spoke in Bhagavad-gétä. The Lord was criticising Arjuna for impurities, foremost of which is talking whimsically (vaca-vegam; prajïä-vädäàç ca bhäñase). Of course, Arjuna was put into this calamity (of pushing mundane morality) so that the Lord could preach Bhagavad-gétä. Nonetheless, one ought not to overlook the profound, confrontational manner (i.e., critical) in which His preaching was delivered.
çrotavyädéni räjendra nåëäà santi sahasraçaù
“Those persons who are materially engrossed, being blind to the knowledge of ultimate truth, leave many subject matters for hearing in human society, O Emperor.”
This teaching is practically the very first of Çukadeva Gosvämé's preaching to Parékñit Mahäräja (technically, it is the second). In this instance, Arjuna's grandson, Mahäräja Parékñit, far excelled his grandfather from one perspective, i.e., by initiating transcendental exchange via super-excellent inquiries, without a tinge of the material modes of nature. His questions were higher than mundane morality, ethics, etc. His questions were not devoid of Kåñëa consciousness.
Let's consider how the Mahäjana Çukadeva Gosvämé initiated his preaching mission, viz., by heavily criticising the materialistic persons of the society (on a related note, the next verse reveals his condemnation more graphically). Although it was not at all directed towards Mahäräja Parékñit, still we should not overlook the heavy criticism of materialistic people intrinsic to his preaching. This is fully in line with every other Bhägavata paramparä Äcärya's teaching. It had also been vividly demonstrated by Mahäräja Prahläda, the youngest and most fearless preacher in the recorded history of the world:
“Prahläda Mahäräja replied: O best of the asuras, King of the demons, as far as I have learned from my spiritual master, any person who has accepted a temporary body and temporary household life is certainly embarrassed by anxiety because of having fallen in a dark well where there is no water but only suffering. One should give up this position and go to the forest. More clearly, one should go to Våndävana, where only Kåñëa consciousness is prevalent, and should thus take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
This quotation is from Närada Muni. It describes the transcendental qualities of Mahäjana Prahläda, who is his disciple. He proceeds to quote Prahläda's conversation with his father, the great demon Hiraëyakaçipu (perhaps the greatest of all demons). Any intelligent reader will notice that Çré Prahläda's preaching begins with severe condemnation of the materialistic demeanour, especially that of Hiraëyakaçipu, his atheistic father.
Although not all of these preaching examples represent identical situations, we still see that, when Kåñëa conscious preaching is practically demonstrated, it is done without consideration of father, friend, or other upädhis (material designations). The preacher speaks the truth boldly, even though, from an illusory perspective, it could be considered “offensive.” Of course, it is not so. In such preaching, criticism of non-devotees has an integral element. There is no scope for mundane sentimentality in transcendental discourses. For the sake of conducting any genuine preaching mission, truth must be spoken, following in the foot steps of great personalities (mahäjano yena gäthäù sa pantaù), and that is what has been put forth here.
Expose Lies by Speaking “Unpalatable” Truths
The foundational lie that assisted the formation and growth of “ISKCON” is that its vitiated governing commission was automatically absolute. That lie is further augmented by false propaganda that it is endowed with an automatic, self-corrective mechanism. When their propaganda of a so-called appointment by Çréla Prabhupäda (of initiating gurus) was exposed as a lie, the eleven pretender mahä-bhägavata zonal äcäryas (all institutional gurus themselves) claimed that they were appointed by their asära commission. They were also all commissioners on it. A convenient fall-back tactic was employed, which went along with the twisted logic that the G.B.C. collective was as good as Çréla Prabhupäda, since it was originally formed by him.
Of course, the fact of it being suspended by Çréla Prabhupäda in 1972 (for actual offences) has been conveniently overlooked and suppressed, as per its speak-no-evil strategy. Since the first transformation of the zonals in 1978, the commission has been appointing or voting in or not vetoing institutional gurus via various fix-it-as-you-go methods and experiments. Those who speak what it deems unpalatable truth, calling it out on its lies (from the foundational lie to present-day deviations and everything in between), are swiftly labelled offenders (aparädhés). They are soon ostracised.
Nothing has really changed in this connection, as the precedent was set in early 1978. In order to shield their lies, “ISKCON” has been known to employ physical, emotional, and personal attacks—in effect, character assassination--against anybody speaking out in opposition to their deviations, past or current. In this way, all historical facts and truths concerning their spiritually unethical behaviour (all kinds of deviations from the teachings of the sampradäya) have been, more or less, neglected by the “ISKCON” devotee populace in general now for four decades running.
The ritviks, on the other hand, live and breath tremendous lies. To newcomers, they teach the lie that a departed guru—in this case, His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda—can be their dékñä guru, after the newcomers receive some kind of institutional “initiation” ceremony, of course. Some of them (hard-ritviks) also promote the colossal lie that, after Çréla Prabhupäda, for the reminder of the Golden Age, there will be, with absolute certainty, no dékñä-guru to emerge in his lineage. Even though soft-ritviks do not hold that fanatical view, the common theme underlying all of the Ritvik factions is that anyone who calls out their nonsense is quickly labelled an offender. Its leaders then engage in ruthless arguments against those that expose Ritvik, using ad hominem techniques, ad nauseam. Consult http://returntosquareone.com/?p=1993 for more explanation about Ritvik.
As far as Neo-Mutt is concerned, its “äcäryas” cut a crypto-Mäyäväda profile by falsely stating--contrary to the teachings of the great stalwart Gauòéya Vaiñëava Äcäryas--that impersonal existence is the origin of the conditioned souls. Of course, there are many super-excellent evidences that expose this big lie. One potent article of Kailäsa Candra prabhu which deals with this topic can be found at http://therealexplanation.org/article/how_stand.html. Interested readers are requested to consult his presentations, links for which are provided on our Vaishnava Foundation websites.
These loosely knit groups are the actual splinter groups. Although outwardly they appear to be praising Çréla Prabhupäda (“Swämé Mahäräja,” as the Neo-Mutt refers to him as), they hold enmity within against anyone who is actually representing him and his teachings, which are non-different from the Bhägavata.
As for the Solar-Smorgasbord forum, it has never actually encouraged any deeply truthful philosophical presentations due to its unspoken (but ardently adhered to) editorial policy of censorship by omission. Every article on that rag kow-tows to whatever agenda its lead editor pushes (such as endless reformation). If an article is submitted that fits the agenda, especially if it is presented in a palatable fashion, that article gets published in a jiffy. However, articles presenting unpalatable truths never see the proverbial light of the day in that forum. The forum, being named after a celestial object that eradicates darkness of the material world, is meant for revealing truth, allegedly, but it ultimately keeps its readers in perpetual darkness. What irony! What hypocrisy!
Of course, Bhägavata teachings are entirely different:
“… Çréla Jéva Gosvämé has discussed this point in his Tattva-sandarbha, that we cannot accept any manufactured ideas. Because everyone is defective by the four defects of material life, we have to accept the version of Vedas, Puräëas. He has tried to establish Puräëas as Vedic supplementary. Others, they reject Puräëas out of the Vedas. But Jéva Gosvämé established. All the Gosvämés. Just like Rüpa Gosvämé has given, çruti-småti-puräëädi-päïcarätriki-vidhià vinä, aikäntiké harer bhaktir utpätäyaiva kalpate. It is utpätä, disturbance. If you do not follow the principles of çruti, småti, puräëa, päïcarätriki-vidhi... Just like we were discussing this point, sarvopädhi-vinirmuktam. This is päïcarätriki-vidhi. So if we do not follow these principles... Without following these principles, the so-called devotional service, Hari-bhakti, utpätä, simply disturbance, simply a disturbance. Therefore we have to follow the principles laid down by the Gosvämés, ñaò-gosvämés. Vande rüpa-sanätanau raghu-yugau çré-jéva-gopälakau. And then our attempt will be successful.” Madhya 19.170].
The Bhägavata tradition of Kåñëa conscious enlightenment is centred around preaching truthfully and fearlessly. That entails calling out lies right from the gate. Needless to say, all of the above-mentioned deviant factions--all emanating from “ISKCON”--are founded on lies. As such, these groups will never tolerate any preacher within their confines who is engaged in real preaching. The only predictable thing that would happen to such a devotee is that he gets labelled quickly an offender. If he cannot be suppressed by various psychological devices--which its commissioners have mastered over the decades--then he gets de facto expelled, sooner or later. “ISKCON” history is replete with examples of paying such a price for speaking truth. A genuine, sincere devotee is never afraid to pay such a price.
That is the way—rather, it is the only way—to become liberated from the clutches of the pseudo-devotional deviations prevalent at this time. By an analytical study of guru, sädhu and çästra, we understand that such endeavours are both praised and blessed. By his valiant action of courageously speaking truth, the real devotee sets an example for others to follow. There can be no doubt about it.
What to Do?
Do you prefer to live a life of sweet lies? Or would you rather boldly face some bitter truths? As discussed in this article, the New Age no-criticism nonsense is an apa-siddhäntic practice that has no place in the Bhägavata tradition. Needless to say, those who are spearheading this sahajiyä philosophy, though they are foolishly worshipped with all kinds of undue awe and reverence (by other fools), are to be understood by all intelligent devotees as being outside the sampradäya.
They belong outside of it. They should stay there if they continue to push lies. If you find yourself in such a “devotional” society--wherein you are falsely labelled as an offender and unable to speak truth, however unpalatable (especially truths that expose deviations), perhaps it is time for you to honestly inquire as to whether or not there is an association in which you can hear, write, and preach about truth freely, openly, and fearlessly.
Om Tat Sat