Yadu dasa, Jan 26, 2009 INDIA: In “The Problems” the self-proclaimed declared themselves “official representatives of Srila Prabhupada’s mission”. But in the First Part of this documentation it was clearly shown how deviated they are from Srila Prabhupada’s Mission Statements. Their deviation was proved by producing the statutes of the Lifter. And such deviation is itself the proof that their claiming the rank of officials is an abuse of their authority. Having demonstrated that their proclamation of officialism is false, the rest they say is technically invalidated.
However, for the satisfaction of our readers who may still wonder to what extend the statements of the self-proclaimed are invalid, we shall prove the only thing that deserves to be proved: the truth.
In their “Problems” the self-proclaimed make a long list of accusations: 25 appear in the main body of the article in the form of power bullets; but apart from these there are eight more accusations accommodated in the introductory paragraphs, and twelve more in the closing paragraphs, making a grand total of 45. Perhaps there are even more, but this is the number we came up the first time we counted them. There is no doubt that they took their time to invent accusations, but they did not take the trouble to give any evidence even for a single one. It is easy to invent accusations, but it is not so easy to prove them in the light of the facts. The only thing the self-proclaimed have done is to switch on their shinning lamp of “OFFICIALDOM” in an attempt to obscure and blind the readers’ ability to ponder.
We are going to stick to the facts, so that the fact themselves shall prove the truth and the rights of the devotees related to the Hare Krishna Farm in Costa Rica; rights to defend it, rights to protect it, rights to preserve it, and rights to develop it. These rights come about in the first place because, as it has already been stated, we have not deviated from Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and are sticking to them philosophically and administratively; and in the second place because history itself is the proof. Such proof is the fact that the devotees of the Hare Krishna Community in Costa Rica have been residing at the farm, being acknowledged by the public for all practical matters, for more than 21 years. The self-proclaimed say that there are two versions, and they call their version “the official one”. There may be even a hundred versions, but the facts don’t change.
We are not interested in responding one by one, in a boring way, this litany of 45 or more accusations. We are going to make an exhaustive narration of facts, so that it can be lay down as a historical precedent, and our judges shall be our present and future readers, who are able by themselves to come to their own conclusions, and take their own steps to protect their Krishna conscious projects in similar situations.
The history of the Hare Krishna Movement in Costa Rica doesn’t begin in 1987, as the self-proclaimed pretend to distort. The history began in the decade of 1970, when Mother Sevya donated her house in the capital city (San José) and her farm of 150 acres in the countryside (Turrialba) for the Hare Krishna Movement of Costa Rica. And history is a witness that this house and this farm were sold by foreign leaders and that the money disappeared, leaving no benefit whatsoever for the local devotees in the form of real estate properties or any other economic asset. House and farm vanished into a zero.
This part of the history is something that the self-proclaimed want to avoid, because what they are trying to do today with the present Hare Krishna Farm of Costa Rica is exactly the same thing: four foreign leaders (Guru Prasad Swami, Bhakti Bhusana Swami, Manonath, and Virabahu) have sought to sell a property donated to the local Hare Krishna Community. The interest of the farm community to protect it from being sold by these leaders is precisely to stop history from repeating itself. A history not narrated by the self-proclaimed. What do these four leaders want? That we learn a new motto: “BACK TO ZERO”?!
The authority of the Hare Krishna Movement in Costa Rica (and everywhere else in the world) is Srila Prabhupada. Such authority is natural because he is the Founder-Acharya, but besides this, it has been officially acknowledged by GBC resolution # 1, of the 1975:
1- Srila Prabhupada is the Founder-Acarya and supreme authority.
The GBC has no other function or purpose than to execute his instructions.
But Guru Prasad Swami, Bhakti Bhusana Swami, Manonath, and Virabahu, the four foreign leaders who do not want to preserve the farm in Costa Rica, are not following the authority of Srila Prabhupada, who -in his last will- said :
Properties outside of India in principle should never be mortgaged, sold, transferred, borrowed against, or IN ANY WAY encumbered, disposed of, or alienated.
In contradiction to this instruction from the last will, these four leaders have created the Lifter, and declare that their objective is:
Dealing in real estate properties, selling them, mortgaging them, leasing, and disposing of them IN THE BROADEST POSSIBLE WAY.
Therefore, if they are not following the official instructions from Srila Prabhupada’s last will, their authority cannot be official. And if the authority of these four leaders is not official, the position of their subordinates (who helped them to publish “The Problems”) can not be either.
By these two reasons stated above in black and white -or red and blue- it can be understood that what these four leaders are doing is executing a coup d’état to the Hare Krishna Movement; it is a coup d’état to the instructions of Srila Prabhupada. Claiming official status while creating bylaws such as the Lifter’s statutes, which don’t tally with Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, is a perfect formula for hijacking the Movement. Fortunately Srila Prabhupada has given us his great wisdom to avoid this: it is called the Order of Decentralization.
Thus, the fuss of the self-proclaimed to be the “official voice” of Srila Prabhupada’s Movement in Costa Rica, is nothing but a LIE.
The self-proclaimed say that the farm was donated to Bhakty Abhay Charan Swami, but this is another LIE, because the farm was donated to the Hare Krishna Community of Costa Rica. The proof is that if it would have been donated to Bhakty Abhay, it would have been put directly in his name, but this never happened.
To receive the donation of the farm the devotees created “Comercial Govinda”, of which Bhakty Abhay was only one of the associates. The other associates were: Mrs. Vera Cecilia Gonzalez Volio (who was herself the owner of the farm), Mr. Alvaro Castro Herrera (husband of the donor) and Jose Rafael Huezo Hunter (or Rama Laksman, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada’s residing in Costa Rica since circa 1976).
The farm was originally put in the name of “Comercial Govinda” which was an association of devotees, created specifically -as stated above- to receive the donation. The farm was never put in the name of Bhakty Abhay, because it was never a donation for him. The farm was a donation for the Hare Krishna Community. And to make it sure, the donor herself, as a member of the Hare Krishna Community (where she is known as Radha Govinda Devi) included herself as part of the recipients of the donation.
Thus it is clear that the farm was never donated to Bhakty Abhay Charan Swami (or Angel Perez Franco), and therefore it is proved that the first statement of the self-proclaimed in their so called “Official History” is nothing but another LIE.
The farm was donated with a very specific objective: to established there a Hare Krishna Community. And it is for this reason that the devotees have been living at the farm even before the donor completed the legal procedures for the donation. If the farm would have been a personal donation, a personal gift, to somebody from Spain (Mr. Angel Perez Franco or Bhakty Abhay Charan Swami), there would be no reason why local devotees are the ones residing at the farm ever since.
(These are not only arguments for eliciting the sympathy of the Vaisnava readers of the Sampradaya Sun or other forums, but they are also legal arguments that Guru Prasad Swami, Bhakti Bhusana Swami, Manonath, and Virabahu, have absolutely no way to rebut, and which may be useful to devotees in similar situations. The case is already in court; if they say the truth, the case is over; if they lie, it is perjury, which is punishable by law.)
It is equally important to stress that the farm was never a donation to the ISKCON world- headquarters in Mayapur. It was donated to the local devotees, in other words, to the local Movement in Costa Rica, so that it could have total patrimonial independence, as per the directions of Srila Prabhupada already demonstrated in the Order of Decentralization and other documents.
If the farm would have been donated to the world-headquarters of ISKCON, it would have been put immediately in the name of ISKCON, but that never happened. The reason is obvious. The farm was never the property of any group that could be called “international”, it was never the property of the “international ISKCON”, nor was it the property of the “international GBC”. The farm was donated exclusively for local purposes and for the organization of the local devotes.
The tradition, that is to say, the change of possession from one owner to another, was from the donor to the devotees of the Hare Krishna Movement of Costa Rica, who arrived to live at the farm from the beginning, and who have been residing there continuously since 1986 up to the present moment. This tradition proves who the legitimate owners are, never mind that Guru Prasad Swami, Bhakti Bhusana Swami, Manonath, and Virabahu, have claimed it otherwise.
The truth is that the farm was donated to the Hare Krishna Community and to nobody else. And the proof of this is, as mentioned before, that the members of the Community have been residing at the farm for more than 21 years, in a peaceful way, publicly acknowledged by all the resident of the area.
Due to the influence that -at that time- Bhakty Abhay Charan Swami enjoyed among the members of the Hare Krishna Community as the spiritual guide, in an act of trust all the shares of Comercial Govinda (in whose name the farm was registered) were put in the name of Bhakty Abhay. But the farm continued to be, obviously, the property of the Community, and the Community continued residing there as always.
When Bhakty Abhay had to leave the country, he, through Comercial Govinda, translated the deed of the farm to Yamuna Jivana (president of the Hare Krishna Community of Cartago for eight years) and to Guru Prasad Swami (an international leader). But later, through manipulations, and helped by his lawyer Bernardo Chinchilla (Sacinandan Das, disciple of Narayan Maharaja), Guru Prasad Swami managed to put the farm exclusively in his personal name, and in no time he “sold” it to Bhakti Bhusana Swami and Manonath, so that these two accomplices would sell it to a third party, and in this way put an end to the Hare Krishna Community of Cartago, whose existence constitute the real purpose for which the farm was donated.
This is the sequence of facts by which Guru Prasad Swami, Bhakti Bhusana Swami, and Manonath, supported by Virabahu (all foreign leaders in Costa Rica), are illegitimately claiming the property of the whole farm, with the stated purpose of selling it. These are the facts, and whatever is said contrary to this, is a LIE.
In 1970, when Srila Prabhupada created the GBC, he created it with the following document entitled the Direction of Management, or DOM. Due to its importance we quote it here in its entirety. After it we analyze it in connection with to the Costa Rica Farm.
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS, INCORPORATED FOUNDER-ACHARYA:
HIS DIVINE GRACE A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA
DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT
I, the undersigned, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, disciple of Om Visnupad Paramhansa 108 Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaj Prabhupada, came in the United States in 1965 on September 18th for the purpose of starting Krishna Consciousness Movement. For one year I had no shelter. I was traveling in many parts of this country. Then in 1966, July, I incorporated the Society under the name and style the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, briefly ISKCON. The lawyer was Mr. J. Goldsmith. Gradually the Society increased, and one after another branches were opened. Now we have got thirty-four (34) branches enlisted herewith:
[The document enumerates here the 34 centers, and continues as follows:]
As we have increased our volume of activities, now I think a Governing Body Commission (hereinafter referred to as the GBC) should be established. I am getting old, 75 years old, therefore at any time I may be out of the scene, therefore I think it is necessary to give instruction to my disciples how they shall manage the whole institution. They are already managing individual centers represented by one president, one secretary and one treasurer, and in my opinion they are doing nice. But we want still more improvement in the standard of Temple management, propaganda for Krishna Consciousness, distribution of books and literatures, opening of new centers and educating devotees to the right standard. Therefore, I have decided to adopt the following principles and I hope my beloved disciples will kindly accept them. There was a meeting in San Francisco during the Ratha Yatra festival 1970 and many presidents of the centers were present. In that meeting it was resolved that an ad hoc committee be set up to form the constitution which is taken into consideration. My duty was to first appoint twelve (12) persons to my free choice amongst my disciples and I do it now and their names are as follows:
[The document enumerates here the 12 devotees, and continues as follows:]
These personalities are now considered as my direct representatives. While I am living they will act as my zonal secretaries and after my demise they will be known as Executors.
I have already awarded Sannyas or the renounced order of life to some of my students and they have also got very important duties to perform in this connection. The Sannyasis will travel to our different centers for preaching purpose as well as enlightening the members of the center for spiritual advancement. The Sannyasis will suggest for opening new centers in suitable places and the GBC will take action on it.
As was stipulated by the ad hoc committee, the function of the GBC will be as follows with particulars:
PARTICULARS OF THE GOVERNING BODY COMMISSION
“The purpose of the Governing Body Commission is to act as the instrument for the execution of the Will of His Divine Grace. And further,
The GBC oversees all operations and management of ISKCON, as it receives direction from Srila Prabhupada and His Divine Grace has the final approval in all matters.
His Divine Grace will select the initial 12 members of the GBC. In the succeeding years the GBC will be elected by a vote of all Temple presidents who will vote for 8 from a ballot of all Temple presidents, which may also include any secretary who is in charge of a Temple. Those 8 with the greatest number of votes will be members for the next term of GBC. Srila Prabhupada will choose to retain four commissioners. In the event of Srila Prabhupada’s absence, the retiring members will decide which four will remain. The commissioners will serve for a period of 3 years, and they may be re-elected at the end of this period.
The chairman is elected by the GBC for each meeting. He has no veto power, but in even of a vote tie, his vote will decide. The same will apply for votes cast by mail between regular meetings.
Throughout the year, each of the commissioners will stay with His Divine Grace for one month at a time and keep the other commissioners informed of His Divine Grace’s instructions.
The primary objective of the GBC is to organize the opening of new Temples and to maintain the established Temples.
Advice will be given by the GBC in cases of real property purchases, which will be in the name of ISKCON, INC. (Trucks or other vehicles will be purchased in the name of the local president).
Removal of a Temple president by the GBC requires support by the local Temple members.
The GBC has no jurisdiction in the publication of manuscripts, which will be handled by a separate committee; profits to be returned to Srila Prabhupada.”
[Here end the stipulations of the ad hoc committee, in which Srila Prabhupada was a member. Srila Prabhupada continues:]
So far my books are concerned, I am setting up a different body of management known as the BHAKTIVEDANTA BOOK TRUST. The trustees of this body are also members of the GBC, but their function is not dependent on the GBC.
ISKCON Press was created for the exclusive publication of my books and literatures and should be continued in that way.
During my absence no one shall live in my apartment.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami [Signature by Srila Prabhupada]
Date: July 28th 1970 [Hand written by Srila Prabhupada]
Witnessed by: [Legible signatures, with both spiritual and legal names]
(Robert F. Corens) Rupanuga das Adhikary
(William R. Ehrlichman) Bhagavan das Adhikary
(Kelly Gifford Smith) Karandhar das Adhikary
Date: July 28th, 1970 [Hand written but not by Srila Prabhupada]
At the World Head Quarters
3764, Watseka Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90034
The importance of the DOM is that Srila Prabhupada says that it is to form the constitution, and he adds which is taken into consideration. This words “which is taken into consideration” means that it was meant to be enforced from that very moment. And to emphasize the importance of adhering to these directions, Srila Prabhupada himself sets the example, when he says: “My duty was, etc.” The document was written in such a way as to have full legal force. The original consists of five sheets, all with enumerated lines (the first four pages have 32 lines each, and the last one has 28).
In this document Srila Prabhupada institutes that the GBCs have to be elected by the vote of the Temple presidents, and that they should be in office for a period of three years.
Analyzing these statements form the DOM, we cannot but conclude that Guru Prasad Swami, Bhakti Bhusana Swami, and Virabahu are exercising an illegitimate authority for three reasons: 1) They have not been elected by the temple presidents; 2) They have not permitted elections every three years; 3) They have remain in power in this anomalous way for 20 years or so.
Under these circumstances, according to the directions given by Srila Prabhupada in the DOM, they are as illegitimate as if the President of the United States would become the president without being elected and would remain in office for 20 years without permitting elections: A total violation of the law, to the constitution, and to the rights of the American people.
Therefore, on the authority of the DOM -which Srila Prabhupada refers to as the basis of the constitution- the authority of Guru Prasad Swami, Bhakti Bhusana Swami, and Virabahu, is invalid because it is totally bereft of legitimacy.
In the DOM Srila Prabhupada declares that the main objective of the GBC is to organize the opening of new temples and to maintain the established ones. But Guru Prasad Swami, Bhakti Bhusana Swami, Virabahu, and Manonath are all confabulated with their lawyer Bernardo Chinchilla (Sacinandan Das, disciple of Narayan Maharaja) to close and terminate the Temple and the Community of the Hare Krishna Farm in Costa Rica.
In the DOM Srila Prabhupada orders that in regard to buying real estate properties the GBC can give advice. But in Costa Rica the so called GBCs (Guru Prasad Swami, Bhakti Bhusana Swami, and Virabahu) are not trying to help buying a property; they are trying to sell a property; and they are not giving advice; they are imposing their decision (or whims), as demonstrated already through the creation of the Lifter and the misappropriation of the farm, through a series of simulated transactions.
Then, who is representing Srila Prabhupada and who is not? The local devotees who want to preserve the farm for the purpose it was donated, or the foreign leaders who want to sell it?
The main accusation the self-proclaimed make against the Community of the Hare Krishna Farm in Costa Rica is that we are not the representatives of Srila Prabhupada’s wishes. As far as the truth about this is concerned, we have circumscribed ourselves to prove -with facts and documents- that such an accusation falls directly on the shoulders of Guru Prasad Swami, Bhakti Bhusana Swami, Manonath, and Virabahu.
We have proved it with documents because we have quoted Srila Prabhupada’s Last Will (June 4, 1977), the Order of Decentralization (letter to Karandhar, December 22, 1972), the Mission Statements (1966) and the DOM (July 28, 1970). All these documents -written and signed by Srila Prabhupada-clearly establish the legitimacy of the local devotees and their right to self-government.
Regarding the facts that go against the self-proclaimed, we have shown their creation of the Lifter and the statements in their statutes. In contrast to such illicit behavior, the devotees of the Hare Krishna Community of Cartago are morally and legally strong, by the double fact that: 1) the farm was donated to the Hare Krishna Movement of Costa Rica with the specific purpose of establishing a community right there, and 2) the Community have been residing in the place for more than 21 years.
There are many other documentary proofs, but we want to quote only one more:
“Once a temple has been opened it must never be closed”.
(Srila Prabhupada’s letter to Murari, December 31, 1970)
Then, from where does Guru Prasad Swami, Bhakti Bhusana Swami, Manonath and Virabahu, get the idea for not preserving the temple and the Hare Krishna farm in Costa Rica?
Obviously, they did not get it from Srila Prabhupada’s instructions.
While trying to justify the selling of the farm, the self-proclaimed cannot muster enough courage to even use the word selling. Please note carefully how they announce it to us, and please enjoy the political eloquence of their flowery language:
“For the sake of the organic development of these families and for the harmonious integration between them and the institutional policies of Srila Prabhupada, and with a profound desire of walking and growing together as a community which values differences, trying to achieve unity in diversity, but at the same time without compromising the principles established by Srila Prabhupada, practical solutions have been offered by the authorities of our institution. [...] As a consequence of inauspicious activities in a place which once upon a time was a sacred Dham, and due to the almost nil functionality and practicality to develop a community that will show to the world the Vaisnava values, and also for the reason of not facilitating the preaching mission of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the authorities of ISKCON-Costa Rica (GBC members) have contemplated a change in the administrative strategy to infuse more dynamism to the preaching mission in a healthy, safe, and transparent environment, by opening a new preaching center (Temple) and by acquiring a new farm that in all fronts will exhibit more auspiciousness than the current one, and in this way be able to begin to implement one of the most cherished desires of our Founder-Acharya, which is the establishment of God conscious rural communities all over the world”.
We identify the GBC alluded in this long-winded speech: Guru Prasad Swami, Bhakti Bhusana Swami, and Virabahu. And what they have contemplated is to sell the farm, but they are afraid of saying it directly in simple words, because it is in direct contradiction to Srila Prabhupada’s instructions. Their “change in the administrative strategy” is only rhetoric, which means “changing Srila Prabhupada’ instructions”, so abundantly demonstrated in this document, the Legitimacy.
They say that they want to create God conscious rural communities. But “to please” Srila Prabhupada first they have to destroy the rural community which already began at the Hare Krishna Farm in Costa Rica. This kind of destruction already happened once in this same country, when they sold the 150-acre farm donated by mother Sevya in Turrialba, more than 30 years ago, and with the money from the sale not even a square inch of land was bought anywhere else.
Should we clap at the decision of such leaders? A beautiful farm was donated by Mother Sevya -150 acres; 30 years ago- sold and disappeared. (O.K, we were immature, and we did not know how to protect it.) Another beautiful farm is donated by another lady… And these four foreign leaders (Guru Prasad Swami, Bhakti Bhusana Swami, Manonath, and Virabahu) claim legal ownership through multiple manipulations, through multiple illegal maneuvers, and they expect that we trust them, and again clap when they speak of selling?
No, this time we cannot remain silent, because we are not the same as 30 years ago. We have grown a little bit, we have suffered a little bit, we have seen a little bit, and we have matured a little bit. To remain silent at this stage of our life is offensive.
We know Srila Prabhupada’s instructions: the DOM, the Order of Decentralization, the Mission Statements, the Topmost Urgency letter, and his Last Will. And we know ISKCON history. We can not remain indifferent to all this.
To our loyalty to Srila Prabhupada, to our adherence to Srila Prabhupada’s directions, to our right to self-government instituted by Srila Prabhupada; to our frank way of presenting the truth and calling the things by their name -saying that a lie is a lie, that a deviation is a deviation, and naming the persons who have deviated- to all this the self-proclaimed label as:
1) Bad education, impoliteness, 2) Disloyalty, 3) Fall down from the spiritual standard, 4) Dubious and troublesome behavior, 5) Non devotional, 6) Philosophical deviations 7) Destruction of our community, 8) Antagonism, 9) Desecration of sacred dham, 10) Aggressive, 11) Highly offensive, 12) Offensive, malicious and unfounded publications, 13) Offensive campaign of slander 14) Diminishing the faith in the GBC, 15) Underlying consciousness of doubting the GBC, 16) Planting the seed of mistrust to GBC, 17) Collective mistrust to GBC, 18) Constant antagonism to the authority of the GBC, 19) Refusal to accept the authority GBC; 20) Threats to devotees and GBC leaders, 21) Not being representatives of Srila Prabhupada’s Movement, 22) Not obeying the guru 23) Not having guru 24) To cause disintegration 25) To cause chaos 26) To cause anarchy 27) Wanting to become the owners of the whole farm, 28) Being squatters, 29) Rejecting plans by different devotees from around the world, 30) Rejecting dynamic projects, etc.
All these accusations are false, made cowardly in an anonymous way, and all of them have been answered in this document, our Legitimacy. In the Hare Krishna Movement the original guru is Srila Prabhupada, and we adhere to his instructions. Therefore, the accusation of not having guru is obviously false. In this Movement whoever obeys Srila Prabhupada has him as his o her spiritual authority. It is that simple.
Regarding the devotees from around the world who have made plans for the farm, they are none others than Guru Prasad Swami (from the United States), Bhakti Bhusana Swami (from Germany), Virabahu Das (from Venezuela), and Manonath Das (from Italy) assisted by others (like Tirtharaj) who are their subordinates. And the “dynamic projects” they talk about are simply selling the farm, for which they already took the first step by putting it illegitimately in the name of the Lifter. Are these four leaders, who are not following Srila Prabhupada’s directions, worthy of trust?
Our knowledge about Srila Prabhupada’s directions, and our conscience and commitment to be loyal to the Founder-Acharya of this Movement, have forced us to raise our voice to defend his directions and to defend our rights. As an answer we have received this litany of injurious accusations. We leave it to our reader to be our judge, and to reach a verdict based on the evidence documented here.
Continues in the THIRD PART