Hari Hurrah


Oct 12, USA (SUN) — I had to do a re-write on this reply following the very excellent postings by Shiva dasa, who covered many of the points I intended to make. I have been receiving emails and blog posts asking me to put an end to the 'bickering' between Hari dasa and myself. Hari dasa is perceived to be a very busy sort of guy, unlike myself. While he is championing his guru and the siddhanta, and working to control his righteous anger, I am apparently frittering away my time with this website, which some of my critics suggest I should put aside while I get busy doing some "real preaching". For the naysayers, I have included content at the end of this editorial that may help to ease their anxiety on my behalf.

As I have previously stated, I have engaged in this “chewing the chewed” exercise because I feel it is important for the readers to witness the mindset of a typical ISKCON disciple. If in the future some readers consider joining the ISKCON institution, it means they will inevitably and quickly be pressured into choosing one of the GBC certified diksa gurus. At least our readers will have been somewhat educated, and will know how they will be expected to think and act. I realize that this doesn’t apply to everyone, but let's face the facts: Hari dasa is the rule, not the exception.

I am participating in this exchange out of sense of service to Srila Prabhupada, and with the hope that our readers should get all the facts. One should know that joining the “religion” isn’t the only alternative. Don’t be duped by all the a-siddhantic rhetoric which would have you believe there's an absolute need to take diksa initiation in order to link up with the eternal Sampradaya. Taking diksa always remains a viable, shastrically sanctioned option, but at this time in our history I feel it is wise for all seekers to proceed cautiously in this regard.

During Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON lila period, many fortunate persons like myself were swept up in the transcendental pastimes. We took initiation without hesitation and without much deep understanding of just who our spiritual master was or what his pastimes were about. We were undoubtedly very fortunate. To spiritually capitalize upon our good luck, it was incumbent upon us to discover the truth about the extra-ordinary status Srila Prabhupada enjoyed within our Sampradaya. Gaining enlightenment as to the true nature of his progressive lifetime lilas, particularly the ISKCON and Antya lila, is required in order to take full advantage of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s unlimited mercy.

Unlike Hari dasa, I’m of the opinion that modern ISKCON cannot accommodate or cultivate this level of realization. Collectively, they are doing a lot of good things in terms of overall spreading of the Sankirtan movement. In order to take advantage of what is transcendentally offered and reject what is artificial, one must develop a degree of discrimination that requires taking personal responsibility to educate oneself by carefully studying the Sampradaya Acarya’s teachings. One must be intelligently inquisitive and solicit or pray for the help of Caitya Guru so as to accurately determine who is truly representing Srila Prabhupada. Agents of ISKCON such as Hari dasa sincerely believe they have all the answers. As such, they appear enthusiastic, thus convincing. But in the case of Hari dasa, we find that just beneath the surface lies blind fanaticism which causes him to ignore the transparent truth and historical facts. He never tries to address the specific questions concerning HH Bhakti Tirtha Swami's actions and words. Instead, he lays down new-age slogans such as “past is past, I prefer to stay in the present and hope for a bright future. People change (hopefully for the better) and I know many made mistakes, but most rectified such”. Shiva dasa has brilliantly dealt with this “train of thought".

Please keep in mind that the blizzard of excuses coming from Hari dasa are actually coming from his institutional authorities and revered teachers. This is ISKCON-speak. He didn’t just make it up. We’ve grown accustomed to this dialectic nonsense talk, which has gone on for many years now, with the occasional updated version. It originates from the ISKCON asana-sitters. No original thoughts coming from Hari dasa’s intelligence have been found within his recent articles on this matter. His latest outbursts, each of which he declares will be his last hurrah, are simply a stream of platitudes and classic ISKCON put-downs. For those who have been around many blocks for many years, this tired verbiage is brain-numbing and so over used. It is peppered with the usual "Prabhupada said this and that", which has no relevance to the subject at hand.

Hari dasa pretends to be the gallant defender of his Guru and ISKCON. In reality, he is more of a Don Quixote character. While I have many wonderful things to say concerning the transcendental ISKCON, I recommend that we all be very wary of the filthy cloud of pollution hovering on our horizon, casting a shadow over the sun of our Spiritual Master's perfect transcendental movement.

For the Naysayers:

Those who disagree with my personal opinions, and with the editorial mood of HareKrsna.com and the Sampradaya Sun, typically express their frustration by making the following claims:

    1) this website is not a preaching project
    2) the site is seldom visited and therefore insignificant
    3) instead of harassing my Godbrothers, I should be "preaching to newcomers"

Here are a few facts for the consideration of our cynical and pessimistic critics:

    1) The HareKrsna.com website regularly receives between 900,000 and 1 million hits per month. To our knowledge, this makes us one of the top two of all Vaisnava websites currently online.

    2) When compared to the Internet average for typical visitor time spent on a website (during a unique session), we enjoy a 350% increase above that average.

    3) While we have always had a large and steady devotee reader base, each month the great majority of our site traffic comes from newcomers who visit HareKrsna.com, spend a relatively long time in the site, and cruise around enjoying a diverse amount of content on philosophy and sadhana. Following is a list of the keyword search phrases that brought visitors to the site in just the last ten days.

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