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Re: Compare BAG's Views with the Views of The International Society for Krishna

Jan 13, 2003 02:05 PM
by Bhakti Ananda Goswami " <>

Dear MR. Caldwell and Theosophists,

There are about 3/4 BILLION Vaishnavas who worship Sri Krishna-Vishnu 
and Paramatma, many millions of the Madhvite Branch, more millions of 
the Gaudiya lineage related form of Vaishnavism, and within that 
tradition, there are countless masters and their initiated disciples. 
Prominant among the modern Gaudiya Vaishnavas who preached out side 
of India, the first ever to engage western scholars was Srila 
Bhaktivinoda Thakura. His Son Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was 
the Master of my own Bhakti Shastra and diksha Master A,C, 
Bhaktivedanta Swami, a man well respected as both a scholar and a 
saintly person during his long life of selfless devotional service. 
Years before coming to America, AC Bhativedanta Swami founded an 
inclusive Vaishnava Mission at Jhansi, which he called the League of 
Devotees. His co-founder in this mission was Dr. Acarya Prabhakar 
Mishra. The vision of this mission was not only inclusive as far as 
the Vaishnava lineages were concerned, but was truly to promote non-
sectarian inter-faith alliances for mutual education, edification and 
spiritual enrichment, as well as humble service to God and 

Years later when A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami came to the United States, 
he founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness 
(ISKCON). He was at an advanced age at the time, and as a trusting 
soul from a very different society, he encouraged western young 
people to reform their lives and take up the practice of Bhakti 
Yoga. He did not micro-manage these people, but trusted anyone and 
everyone to take up the cause of self-improvement and social 
reformation. Seeing many disaffected and homeless young people 
drifting in the America of the 1960s, he tried to give everyone and 
anyone shelter by allowing ashrams to be established under the legal 
umbrella of ISKCON. These centers were actully run by the young 
westerners who established them. Hundreds of such ashrams sprang up 
around the globe wherever he preached his mission of revival and 

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami was translating the many volumes of Sanskrit 
Bhakti Shastras and left the running of these ashrams and growing 
communities to the young people who established them. When he passed-
on, some of the self-appointed leaders of the various communities 
continued to pursue their own ideas and objectives in opposition to 
the ideas and objectives, and the saintly personal example and 
standards of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. Many of his informal and 
formal disciples refused to involve themselves with the ISKCON 
organization because of the philosophical and moral deviations in 
these particular leaders of the organization. 

Among the many thousands of serious students of Srila Bhaktivedanta 
Swami, many have gone on to distinguish themselves as world leaders 
in Indology, science, human services and other fields. His work 
providing previously untranslated Vaishnava Literatures to the world 
was unmatched and has led to major changes in the whole field of 
western 'Hindu' studies. For example the Oxford Centre for Vaishnava 
and Hindu Studies, the Smithsonian Institution Matsya Project, the 
top academic Journal of Vaishnava Studies, the world-class research 
work of the Bhaktivedanta Institute and numerous other worlds-best 
projects are a result of Bhaktivedanta Swami's scholarly efforts. 

His social reform and human services projects have also born amazing 
fruit world-wide. Many of the fine people involved in these successes 
are members of ISKCON, so I do not want to give the impression that I 
think all, or even a large number of ISKCON people are philosophical 
or moral 'deviants'. However, when I first joined here, I posted a 
biography and on the esoteric news site it was also CLEARLY STATED 
that I am not affiliated with ISKCON. There are MANY Bhaktivedanta 
branch Vaishnavas such as myself, who are not afilliated with ISKCON. 
So when I have CLEARLY stated that I have NO AFFILIATION WITH THIS 
GROUP, why are you presenting this group's links here in connection 
with my name ? 

If their corporate understanding and attitude was compatible with my 
own I still wouldn't join them. The fact that I am not a member of 
their organization speaks for itself. Considering that I clearly 
revealed my lineage and affiliations with Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta 
Swami, Acarya Prabhakar Mishra and the World Vaishnava Association, 
and publicly denied ANY affiliation with ISKCON, your posting of 
these links here is reprehensible. Again it is like having my gender-
studies related biography link posted here. What was the reason ? 
What was the relevance ? Shall I start looking for things to post 
about the other members here, or to create inuendo or guilt-by-
association for them ? Shall I start digging-around for things 
to 'use' against any of you ? Shall I post links to organizations 

I gave reference to the BBT translations of my Sanskrit Master, A.C. 
Bhaktivedanta Swami. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust is not ISKCON. The 
Bhaktivedanta Institute is not ISKCON. I am not ISKCON. The Oxford 
University Centre For Vaishnava and Hindu studies is not ISKCON. 

Hundreds of millions of Vaishnavas who worship Krishna-Vishnu are 
not ISKCON. So please 'Theosophists', stop your campaign to post 
things here in association with my name, which have nothing to do 
with me. You insinuated that I am a practitioner of black magic, you 
have dragged-in the whole gender issue twice, you have joked that I 
use crack, you have insinuated that I am a sexist or Roman Catholic 
prostelytizer. Can't you just accept me as I have honestly presented 
myself ? Are you all so used to 'blinds' and dishonesty and 
occultism that you cannot just accept someone who is being honest at 
face-value ? 

One of my strongest objections to some of the leaders of ISKCON is 
that they have polluted Vaishnavism with Theosophy-related Western 
Esotericism, which they brought into ISKCON from their hippie days 
NEW AGE experiences. So before you go damning ISKCON, just realize 
that this global organization is the main conduit of theosophical 
thought into Vaishanavism today. I have been battling this corruption 
of authentic Vaishnavism with Western Esoteric Speculation for over 
30 years. As an historian of religion, I value what is authentic and 
uncorrupted. Any archeologist likes an undisturbed site ! Any 
textual scholar wants to study an uncorrupted text ! I don't want to 
study Vaishnavism, early Christianity, Egyptian Religions, Judaism, 
Buddhism etc. forced through the sieve of HPB of some other modern 
esotericist's speculations. I want to study the real thing. 

So please do not assume that anything coming from the esoterically 
influenced leaders of the ISKCON organization in ANY way represents 
my perspective. 

one of hundreds of millions of Vaishnavas NOT AFFILIATED WITH ISKCON, 

Bhakti Ananda Goswami

--- In, "D. H. Caldwell <info@b...>" 
<info@b...> wrote:
> Compare BAG's Views with the Views of The International Society for 
> Krishna 
> If the reader wants to know more about where BAG is coming from in 
> his views on "God", etc., one might compare and contrast his views 
> given on Theos-Talk with the views given on the website of The 
> International Society for Krishna. 
> A careful reading of the following 9 web pages will show how much 
> similarity or disimilarity is found between BAG's views and those 
> given at

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