By Madhudvisa dasa
GBC’s Attack on Bangalore is All About the Money
Sep 09 2011, Australia — ISKCON claim they are trying to eject Madhu Pandit Prabhu from ISKCON Bangalore because of a philosophical deviation but we have examples in the past where ISKCON temples have separated themselves from ISKCON and have followed a path different from the one chalked out by the GBC.
The exact same situation occurred in Singapore where the devotees in the temple decided to accept the ritvik ideas and operate separately from the GBC. ISKCON did not try to get the temple back but just let them go on serving Srila Prabhupada.
There was no money there so they are not concerned about this. In St. Petersburg in Russia ISKCON had their biggest and best temple and when Harikesa blooped he took that temple and a million dollars and in that temple he preached a completely bogus philosophy. As far as I know ISKCON made no serious attempts to get the St. Petersburg temple back. At least not for many years. I do not know what is the situation there now.
There are so many examples of the local ISKCON devotees deciding to take a path different from the one being dictated to them by the GBC and ISKCON just lets them take the temples and follow their so-called deviations. Another example is Colombia in South America.
ISKCON tried to throw out the leader, Paramadvaiti Swami, but the devotees in Colombia decided to keep Paramadvaiti Swami and threw out ISKCON. So now all the ISKCON temples in Colombia belong to his preaching mission Vrinda and according to ISKCON they have deviated. But ISKCON has never tried to get the Colombian temples back Of course they have no money…
So ISKCON is not acting against Madhu Pandit because he is deviating from their philosophy. It has nothing to do with philosophy at all. In reality the GBC knows that if the local devotees are against them and if they want to take over the local temple (which they have built themselves) there is nothing at all that ISKCON can do about it.
Ultimately the temples consist of a group of devotees in a particular place. And the GBC can not force them to surrender. If they want to work under the direction of the GBC voluntarily then the GBC can direct–but if collectively the devotees decide to reject the GBC and follow some other path then there is nothing at all ISKCON or the GBC can do to stop them and they know this very well. ISKCON has a lot of experience with this.
The St. Petersburg devotees decided to reject ISKCON and follow Harikesh, the Colombian devotees decided to reject ISKCON and follow Paramadvati Swami and Singapore and Bangalore decided to reject the GBC and follow Prabhupada and there is nothing at all ISKCON or the GBC can do to stop this.
So why it is that ISKCON is so intent on getting control over the ISKCON Bangalore Group–even though they know it is not possible really unless the temple devotees are on their side? And the temple devotees are not on their side–they are Prabhupada men and ISKCON says “Prabhupada is dead–you need a living guru.” So there is no way they are going to agree with ISKCON / GBC…
Still ISKCON is desperate to get control of the ISKCON Bangalore Group. Why? Because it is rumored they have assets and funds in excess of 3000 crores. This is an unimaginable amount of money. As far as my dull brain can work out that is 30,000 million rupees which is around $650 million dollars US. So well over half a billion dollars.
ISKCON, on the other hand, is very much cash-strapped. They are now desperately hoping that Madhu Pandit will surrender to them under the fear of criminal proceedings because they can not imagine how they will raise the $5 to $10 million dollars they will need to meet Madhu Pandit’s challenge in the Indian Supreme Court. Of course he has very deep pockets but ISKCON has no money actually.
So seeing this more than half a billion dollars in the hands of Madhu Pandit is driving the leaders of ISKCON completely crazy.
Madhu Pandit Prabhu and the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore are very intelligent devotees who are dedicated to Srila Prabhupada. I think there is no one who would disagree with this. On any metric you want take the ISKCON Bangalore Group is very successful in following the instructions of Srila Prabhupada.
They have huge book distribution, prasadam distribution, a wonderful standard of Deity worship, very dynamic preaching programs, very good management, sincere devotees completely dedicated to strictly following the four regulative principles, chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, rising before four every morning to attend the Mangal Arotik and being fully engaged 24 hours a day in serving Srila Prabhupada and Krishna.
ISKCON, in their money-induced craziness are now openly declaring that they want to see Madhu Pandit and all the ISKCON Bangalore devotees behind bars on criminal charges. This is insanity. This is Vaishnava aparadha on such an unimaginable scale.
And what is ISKCON’s complaint? They claim that Madhu Pandit and the ISKCON Bangalore devotees have embessled money from the ISKCON Bangalore Group for their own personal benefit. Firstly there is an English saying that, “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.” Virtually every ISKCON temple is a center for embellishment where money is collected on behalf of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and it is siphoned off by various leaders and others for their own sense gratification.
Every ISKCON temple has a whole batch of leaches clinging onto it and sucking out all the money they can get. And they are criticizing Madhu Pandit for the crime that they are so expert at themselves? It may be a question of atmavan manyate jagat. They may be thinking that “I am taking so much money from ISKCON for my benefit so ISKCON Bangalore has hundreds of millions of dollars so Madhu Pandit must be also taking some of this money for his personal benefit.”
However, from my experience with Madhu Pandit Prabhu and the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore Group they appear to be 100% convinced that the money they are dealing with belongs to Krishna and Srila Prabhupada and they really believe Srila Prabhupada when he says “If you take even one penny of Krishna’s money for your own sense gratification you will go to hell.”
So I don’t think Madhu Pandit or the devotees of the ISKCON Bangalore Group are taking any of Krishna’s money for their own sense gratification. They are simply managing it very expertly on behalf and for the benefit of Krishna and for pushing on the mission of Srila Prabhupada.
ISKCON never achieves anything at all because as soon as there is any money at all it gets sucked off by some leach calling himself a devotee and then there is no money again… If the ISKCON Bangalore devotees were sucking the money out like the ISKCON devotees do routinely in every temple then how could they have expanded their preaching so dramatically as they have over the past five or ten years?
So at least from the information I have I am quite convinced of the genuine nature of Madhu Pandit Prabhu and I am sure his motivation is to serve Srila Prabhupada, to please Srila Prabhupada. He is a very successful businessman and he has attracted a lot of other very intelligent and successful businessmen to join him in the ISKCON Bangalore Group and together they are using their materialistic business and management skills in the service of Krishna.
So there is nothing wrong with being a businessman or a manager if you manage or do business for Krishna. This is what Krishna told Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. Arjuna was a fighter, a ksatriya, his business was to fight. So Krishna engaged Arjuna in fighting. So under Madhu Pandit Prabhu’s expert management he has engaged hundreds of intelligent young men in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and together they are expanding the preaching of Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON Bangalore group.
As I say I could be wrong, but I can not detect that Madhu Pandit Prabhu or the very sincere group of Prabhupada disciples he has serving in the ISKCON Bangalore Group are in any way motivated by the idea that they will be able to suck money out of the temples for their own sense gratification.
That is the claim that ISKCON is making. Practically they are saying all ISKCON Bangalore devotees are criminals stealing Krishna’s money. But I think there is nothing further from the truth. As I said before it is very dangerous for people in glass houses to throw stones.
So in conclusion this is not a philosophical disagreement at all.
There have been many such philosophical disagreements in the past in ISKCON and ISKCON has generally just let the disagreeing party have the temple and go on with their service in the way they want to serve. Of course in the past none of these temples had any money at all really.
But the ISKCON Bangalore Group has assets of over half a billion dollars. And ISKCON has nothing. So they are envious of the success of the ISKCON Bangalore Group. And if they get control of ISKCON Bangalore they will just suck out the money like big, big leaches and kill the project like they have done to Prabhupada’s temples all over the world.
ISKCON is very expert in turning pure gold into worthless sand. Prabhupada gave the pure gold and now just a few decades later ISKCON only has a hand-full of sand… Obviously Madhu Pandit does not want ISKCON to turn the gold in the ISKCON Bangalore Group that he and the devotees have worked so hard to develop into sand…
Madhu Pandit Prabhu as the leader of the ISKCON Bangalore Group has as his duty to protect the temples and the devotees from these leaches who not only want to suck the money out of ISKCON Bangalore but also want to suck out the blood and service from the three hundred plus full time Prabhupada disciples who are pushing on the preaching work of the ISKCON Bangalore Group for Srila Prabhupada.
If ISKCON can take over ISKCON Bangalore they will immediately declare: “Prabhupada is dead. You need a living guru. SURRENDER TO ME!” This will kill the ISKCON Bangalore Group.
So Madhu Pandit is something like a Vedic King and his Kingdom is the ISKCON Bangalore Group and he has to protect it. That is his duty. So a king, a ksatriya in his duty has to engage in so many diplomatic activities and it may not be always possible for him to be strictly 100% truthful.
He has to act in a political way to achieve his objectives. If one looks hard enough at anyone he can find some imperfections. This is the material world. However there is no question whatsoever Madhu Pandit Prabhu and the Prabhupada disciples of the ISKCON Bangalore Group are working together very nicely with central point being Srila Prabhupada. They are Vaisnavas, they are devotees–even if ISKCON may have some disagreement with them they must respect them as Vaisnavas, as devotees. Otherwise they will have to suffer greatly for this severe Vaishnava aparadha.
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!