Śikṣā outside ISKCON?

<< Preface >>

Since ISKCON’s turbulent early eighties, I had maintained what I saw to be an innocent and intermittent acquaintance with a Vaiṣṇava outside ISKCON. By the mid-nineties, though, that acquaintance became part of a controversy: should ISKCON leaders be taking guidance from a Vaiṣṇava outside ISKCON? Seeing the danger of setting such a precedent, I and others, at the request of the GBC, gave up the outside association.

As Śrīla Prabhupāda had warned, further ordeals were to follow: that apparently kindly Vaiṣṇava became ISKCON’s antagonist; ISKCON’s members went outside for śīkṣā and dīkṣā; and even now devotees abandon ISKCON for the promise of a brighter spiritual future.

I am unhappy to have contributed to this scenario. ISKCON has been unnecessarily disturbed, and Śrīla Prabhupāda certainly has not been pleased. For that, I have offered my apologies to His Divine Grace and the assembled Vaiṣṇavas. I have learned much from the experience.

I have written this paper after due contemplation. May the reader take advantage. Follow my latter example, that of giving up śīkṣā outside the Society. Śrīla Prabhupāda’s written and spoken instructions clearly conclude: take śīkṣā only within ISKCON.

Donate to Bhaktivedanta Library