Jan 27, 2017 INDIA (SUN)
I experienced mixed feelings while reading the article "Who is Giridhari das?" Although the author deserves kudos for raising his voice against this shameless deviation going on in name of preaching, he speaks as if he had made a new discovery. I wonder if the author himself lives in Brazil and knows well the local devotees and leaders. His reporting Giridhari das to Hridayananda das Gosvami is pathetic, and shows how deluded the author himself is. That is as ludicrous as reporting Meghanada to Ravana. Sounds like the author doesn't know that Hridayananda is a pioneer in introducing all kinds of deviations and that Giridhari das is one of his most obedient sons and gives him great pride when he shows how nicely he learnt everything, as in the mentioned video.
The author also expresses doubt whether most devotees and leaders there agree with Giridhari das, since no one bothered to reply to his complaints. Here again the author sounds as if he is very surprised and oblivious to the fact that what is passing in the name of ISKCON in Brazil is a bottomless can of worms where Srila Prabhupada's instructions and standards have no place. Giridhari das at least has the guts to publicly declare what nearly every Hare Krsna in Brazil thinks and practices, that too with the full blessings of their gurus and authorities. As the old adage says, as the king, so the people. Of course, for them Srila Prabhupada is no authority, as Hridayananda taught them so well by publicly emending, correcting and denying his instructions so many times. All of them promise to follow the regulative principles at the moment of initiation, but they cross their fingers behind their back and give their own interpretation to each of the principles to avoid their literal meaning, as Giridhari das teaches us in his videos. Cases like this make me wonder when ISKCON will have the sort of excommunication system as other religious groups have.
One of the leading initiating gurus in Brazil once told me the same thing straight away – that no one can say that to have free sex with one's wife is illicit and that no scripture says so. This is what they usually tell their disciples in privacy, although they may avoid cameras and written statements to spare themselves from being publicly exposed, as Giridhari das is being now. Factually, many devotees there continue to worship Paramgati dasa as a bona fide spiritual master, even after he was removed from his position as sannyasi and initiator guru due to his sexual advances towards an underage boy. They are so out-spaced that everyone there still calls Hridayananda "Acaryadeva" – although such titles have been banned decades ago –, think that he is a maha-bhagavata and believes that he was personally appointed by Prabhupada as his successor.
Similarly, the author also speaks as if he didn't know that Hridayananda himself is also a pioneer in performing gay marriages, despite Srila Prabhupada's clear statement that this is abominable. His complaint to the GBC is also like crying in the wilderness, since Giridhari das himself is a member of the GBC, and is probably the kind of man they want, as birds of the same feather flock together.
Since Srila Prabhupada's instructions in this regard are absolutely unambiguous, by claiming that the scriptures don't say that sex in only meant for procreation, Giridhari das is openly affirming that Srila Prabhupada's books are no scripture and that his statements don't need to be taken into consideration. This he also learnt from Hridayananda, who is very fond of disagreeing with Prabhupada and making clear that he knows better than him, as he did when he publicly declared that he doesn't believe that Draupadi was disrobed, although Prabhupada himself told this pastime. As Giridhari das also doesn't give credit to Srila Prabhupada's words, he gives Kardama and Devahuti as an example to try to justify his free sex philosophy, but he ignores the following purport in which sex without procreation purposes is obviously ruled out:
"Kardama Muni was sexually stimulated, and he enjoyed his wife for many, many years in that part of Mount Meru. But his sex indulgence was praised by many, many Siddhas, beings who have attained perfection, because it was intended to produce good progeny for the good of universal affairs." (SB 3.23.39 purport)
Giridhari das also overlooks the fact that Kardama and Devahuti are prajapatis, not ordinary human beings, and that they were appointed by Lord Brahma to populate the universe. The devil quotes scripture. It is indeed shocking that Giridhari das presents himself as a Bhagavad-gita teacher, while in the mentioned video he seems to deny the existence of the following verse:
"I am the strength of the strong, devoid of passion and desire. I am sex life which is not contrary to religious principles, O lord of the Bharatas [Arjuna].
"The strong man's strength should be applied to protect the weak, not for personal aggression. Similarly, sex life, according to religious principles (dharma), should be for the propagation of children, not otherwise. The responsibility of parents is then to make their offspring Krsna conscious."
Of course, here again, like Hridayananda, Giridhari das wants to impress upon his public that he knows the Gita better than Srila Prabhupada and can interpret the words dharma-aviruddha in his own way to say that "religious sex" has nothing to do with procreation. According to the human rights, he can do that, after all, as Prabhupada used to point out, there are so many hundreds of commentaries on the Bhagavad-gita. Unfortunately, unauthorized commentaries never helped a single soul to progress even slightly in Krishna consciousness. So Hridayananda and Giridhari das think that just like Prabhupada has his own opinion and interpretation, they can have theirs, right? Wrong. Srila Prabhupada always made it clear that he is not adding anything but is just repeating the words of the previous acaryas. And who are the acaryas who say that religious sex is only meant for procreation? First of all, Sridhara Svami, the famous commentator of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, whom Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu venerated so much and about whom He proclaimed:
"One who does not accept the svami [husband] as an authority I consider a prostitute."
(Caitanya-caritamrta Antya 7.115)
In his commentary on the above quoted verse from the Gita, Sridhara Svami clearly defines the words dharma-aviruddha as sex exclusively meant for procreation. As Giridhari das doesn't accept the Svami, it is no surprise that he is publicly advertising illicit sex like a prostitute. Moreover, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti and Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana say exactly the same thing in their commentaries on the same verse. These three acaryas' commentaries were the basis for Srila Prabhupada's purports, and all of them agree on this point. The available translations can be read at the end of this article.
The idea that sex has nothing to do with spiritual life is actually nothing new. Many other bogus gurus came up with this idea before. In the same way, more than a hundred years ago, Rama Krishna and Vivekananda were also preaching that food has nothing to do with spiritual life, and therefore one can eat meat without worries. This kind of "preaching" will be always very appealing to a large class of fools. At least Giridhari das is frank enough to admit that he is a follower of the material nature – implying mostly rajas and tamas – as he repeatedly says that it is totally "natural." As for the real transcendentalists in ISKCON, they are followers of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, not the material nature. They follow bona fide guru, sadhu and shastra, instead of denying them to follow the lower modes of material nature.
At the end of the article, it seems that the author finally comes to his senses and reaches the right conclusion – such preaching is nothing but a stratagem of Kali to destroy Srila Prabhupada's mission and establish demoniac principles instead of sanatana-dharma.
Anyone can find many more quotations in the Bhaktivedanta Vedabase Folio, therefore I am just giving a few here for the sake of the sincere readers, not for Giridhari das and not for Hridayananda, for they are hopeless cases and have their own agenda – to replace ISKCON with their concocted New Age cult called "Krishna West," in which regulative principles are an Indian thing that can be ignored.
"A householder may have wife, may have sex life, but that is for having children only, that's all. A householder does not mean he gets license to legalize prostitution. That is not householder. Householder can simply have sex life to beget nice child, that's all, no more. That is householder life; completely controlled. Householder does not mean whenever he has got this machine and he can use it. No." (Bhagavad-gita 6.46-47 -- Los Angeles, February 21, 1969)
"You have got one wife or one husband, and that is also restricted: only for begetting child you can have sex life. So many things. The whole idea is restriction. Not that 'Because I have got a wife it is a machine for sex life.' No, no. A marriage mean, that does not mean. Marriage does not mean like that. It is restriction." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.9-11 -- New Vrindaban, June 6, 1969)
"But the proposal that marriage will solve the question of lust, is not practical. Neither wife should be accepted as a machine for satisfying our lust. The marriage tie should be taken as very sacred. One who marries for subduing lust is mistaken."
(Letter to: Hayagriva -- Seattle 7 October, 1968)
"As sense control is the beginning of pious life, illicit sex is the beginning of sinful life. One should not engage in illicit sex, or sex for any reason except having a child with one's wife. Marriage is meant for begetting children, and in that sense it is a religious institution. Lord Krsna confirms this in the Bhagavad-gita (7.11): dharmaviruddho bhutesu kamo 'smi. "I am sex that does not contradict religious principles." (Second Chance 13: Ajamila Begins His Degraded Life)
"For instance, we say, 'No illicit sex.' The Vedic system teaches that one who wants to have sex must get married and live according to religious principles. Then the husband and the wife can satisfy their desire for sex by begetting good children. There is no prohibition against sex; it is allowed. But not illicit sex. Engaging in illicit sex means you increase your attachment for sex, not Krsna. Therefore it is forbidden." The Quest for Enlightenment 7a: The Yoga of Pure Attachment)
"So that means illicit sex, sex without the, I mean to say, intention for begetting a nice child, that is illicit sex. "
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.56-62 -- Surat, January 3, 1971, at Adubhai Patel's House)
"So they are passing, 'Yes, you can have homosex with man.' They are getting man-to-man marriage. You know? They are performing the marriage ceremony between man to man in the open church. What class of men they are? And they are priest. Just see. Such degraded persons."
(Morning Walk -- May 13, 1975, Perth)
"Priest should be ideal character. And they are advocating homosex. So where is the ideal character men? If the priestly class they are going to hospital for drinking habit, and they are allowing man-to-man marriage and homosex, then where is ideal character?" (Room Conversation with Director of Research of the Dept. of Social Welfare -- May 21, 1975, Melbourne)
"My Dear Lalitananda dasa,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated May 13rd, 1975 and have noted the contents. I am very sorry that you have taken to homosex. It will not help you advance in your attempt for spiritual life. In fact, it will only hamper your advancement. I do not know why you have taken to such abominable activities. What can I say? Anyway, try to render whatever service you can to Krishna. Even though you are in a very degraded condition Krishna, being pleased with your service attitude, can pick you up from your fallen state. You should stop this homosex immediately. It is illicit sex, otherwise, your chances of advancing in spiritual life are nil. Show Krishna you are serious, if you are. I hope this meets you in good health."
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
(Letter to: Lalitananda -- Hawaii 26 May, 1975)