BY: KRSNA DAS - 6.3 2017
Kirtan Culture, Kirtan Standards and the Sahajiya Deviants
Who sets the standards?
The Founder Acarya of the Hare Krsna Movement, ISKCON, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami sets the standards. From what instruments to use, and from whom one ought hear the Holy Names of Krsna.
Happening Album, 1966 – The Hare Krishna Movement:
"As far as possible, chanting from the lips of nondevotees should be avoided, as much as milk touched by the lips of a serpent causes poisonous effect."
Generally speaking, Srila Prabhupada uses the harmonium, kartalas and mrdanga in his bhajans, kirtans and recordings. And this is the standard amongst the members of ISKCON. Or used to be.
There were a few exceptions where other instruments were used, as on the Radha Krsna Temple album. One who claims to be a follower of Srila Prabhupada follows the standards.
In Vrindaban there are many sadhus, babajis and residents who have a certain way to worship Krsna. There are many discussions concerning vaidhi bhakti and raganuga bhakti and one's spiritual form and rasa lila dancing.
There are those also who roll around on the ground, in a false display of spiritual ecstasy.
Srila Prabhupada in his books, lectures and conversations goes to great lengths to discuss what is a sahajiya. For let us not skirt the issue. We are talking about sahajaism here!
There are standards. There are rules. And there are deviations! And once one allows deviations to enter one's heart, spiritual disaster follows.
Whatever a great man does, common men follow. Bhagavad Gita 3.21.
A follower, an initiated follower, John Richardson of The Rubettes, (Sugar Baby Love) of H.H. Sivaram Swami, now known as H.G. Jayadeva prabhu has made some videos.
Take a look at this video on YouTube:
We are doubtlessly witnessing the beginning stages of a fledgling sahajiya movement growing within ISKCON.
ISKCON News: Happy Gaura Purnima! - 'Mahaprabhu' A New Mantra Choir Piece Released [ Article]
(There are other such videos online).
And while some sentiment may be there and while using modern media is to be lauded, it is definitely a deviation from the standard.
Just because one took initiation from Srila Prabhupada does not mean that one gets carte blanche to do whatever one likes. No. There are rules. There are standards. Even for those who wear the attire of a sannyasi. Even for leaders! Even for those who wish to be a guru. Even for followers of such leaders or gurus!
Srila Prabhupada did not want us to think of ourselves as gopis and getting confused about our spiritual identities and making a mockery of spiritual life and confusing mundane sex life with gopi bhava. Let us not take the whole process cheaply. The sahajiya tendency is there.
Singing the Hare Krsna mantra to melodies composed by hedonistic rock stars such as Mick Jagger is dubious at best and completely bogus at worst. A deviation. A major deviation.
Never open the door to a little vice lest a greater one enter with it. The sahajiya tendency is there. And from deviations grow disastrous misunderstandings which can be passed on from generation to generation. And are being passed on!
Srila Prabhupada picked up a lot of aimless, wandering young men and women who did not know what was going on. By good fortune, by the unlimited compassion and mercy of the spiritual master they were picked up. They were aimlessly wandering without cause, purpose or even food sometimes. Srila Prabhupada supplied everything. So for those hapless souls to now talk about madhurya rasa and prema and bhava AND concoct some new behaviours AND deviate from set standards as laid down by the Founder Acarya, Srila Prabhupada, their guru, is a travesty to Srila Prabhupada and is having disastrous consequences.
By unlimited good mercy and compassion they were given a life. Not just a life. A spiritual life! And now they invent, concoct and change the set standards. This all leads to sahajaism.
Sivarama Swami came from a certain culture as did HG Madhuvisa as did H.H. Tamal Krsna Maharaj. From a very similar culture. All cut from the same cloth. And now Sivarama Swami has taken it upon himself to adulterate the process as given to him by Srila Prabhupada. What exactly is his intent?
Malati devi dasi mentions that H.G. Madhuvisa prabhu jumped out naked from a tree. HH Bhakti Caru Swami mentions that Tamal Krsna Maharaj was living in a forest. (See footnotes below)
Before, certain ISKCON leaders left ISKCON and took their followers with them. Now the leaders are staying and corrupting ISKCON from within.
Singing the Hare Krsna mantra to rock 'n roll melodies is symptomatic of a greater problem gnawing away at the foundations of ISKCON. Sahajiayaism!
Never open the door to a little vice lest a greater one enter with it. Sivarama Swami does not realise the harm he is doing to himself and hundreds, perhaps thousands of others. And perhaps he never will.
"Milk touched by the lips of a serpent causes poisonous effect."
"The devotees brought Srila Prabhupada up there because this Mr. Gottlieb had heard the mantra and gotten members of his commune to start chanting. So the devotees thought to bring Srila Prabhupada there to just capture them all. When he arrived there is a little path that has to be walked up.
"All of a sudden from this tree a little fellow jumps out only wearing his long hair and beard. He didn't have anything else on.
That person later came down to San Francisco and showed up in the temple with his big beard and some clothes on. He was staying around. After a week they told him that if he wanted to stay there he had to shave up. The next day he came and had shaved up his head but he still had the big beard. Later he shaved off that beard and later became Madhuvisa Prabhu. ".............."
(Later on in the talk)
"He [Srila Prabhupada] was introduced and stood up and was preaching as if the place was totally packed. It was a beautiful lecture, basic information but spoken so authoritatively. Afterwards he said, all right, are there any questions? This same person who had asked about how many pure devotees, asked, because he had a doubt. If I start this process and I don't finish it, what happens?
Prabhupada nodded, he liked the question. He said that it's like a spiritual bank account. In your material bank account you can lose money, but in the spiritual bank account, you can't lose. Whatever you deposit, it remains. Let's say that you don't finish or you decide to go somewhere else, that spiritual bank account remains. When you come back, immediately you start from that platform. He said, is that all right? The young man said yes. That person was initiated as Tamal Krishna."
"Among them was Tamal Krishna Maharaj. He joined Srila Prabhupada in 1968. Srila Prabhupada went to a place where the young Americans were living in the redwood forest near San Francisco. He was .............. ....... living in the forest"
HH Bhakti Charu Swami on HH Tamal Krishna Goswami