Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it all!

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harsi
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by harsi »

When reading your response: "I left ISKCON when I was thrown out of ISKCON." one could have the impression that you still miss the time of being in Iskcon as it was not really your desire to leave that society of people or so called devotees of Krishna. I just wonder how you think that this would have been worked out as in the meantime it became clear to me that some of your spiritual conclusions and the way you explain spiritual matters and the Supreme seem to not have much in common with that what Iskcon stands for. How do you think would that have evolved if you would still have been a member of that society? What were according to your opinion the real causes that those in ISKCON took such kind of drastic measures to "throw out" one of their most famous members and financially a very generously as well.

If that was indeed so, 'they were truly idiots', to say it with the words of Gorbachev as one can read in an interview in Spiegel Online, and besides that some very ingrate one's. How can you behave in such a way with the hand which may feed you financially over such a long period of time?! That resembles with a planed coup d'état at a week point of ones life. I just read this days in Gorbachevs memoirs, which appeared in German a few years ago, how he became also very disappointed that the man who he most trusted in his government and personally selected for the post of defence minister turned aggainst him in the famous coup from August 1991 to overthrow his power and establish the backward directed rule of a branch of his political party by force. The same happend to you when the man who you most trusted, Brahma Muhurta, whom I have known and valued also personally since the time he used to engage me on my Sunday visits of the Heidelberg temple in the early 1980ies in the production of the magazine "Wie Es Ist", the German version of "Back to Godhead", turned aggainst you and caused you so much anxiety and pain. But most others in your team of intimates in Iskcon conducted themselves no less bad. I just remember what Gurushakti wrote on COM about the meeting he had with you in France. Or Raktambara and Mukhya, the admistrators of COM, who deleted at that time your account there. Other ones to whom the word 'idiot' may apply in this regard. But what can one say "nothing is so hard as man's ingratitude," as the proverb goes.

Now regarding the money earned by means of some shady bussiness like doing speculations at the stock market, which may, according to the opinions of some people, have broken some 'regulative principle' it is indeed so that "there's nothing wrong with money," or "money is not to be sniffed at," as another proverg goes. That must have thought also those who accepted that money you offered within ISKCON. I read somewhere that Prabhupada also accepted it for the building of his temples and printing of his books although he was informed that in some cases it was some kind of "dirty money" which was earned by all kinds of shady ways by some of his disciples. I heard that even by drugs or in later years by all kinds of bumper stickers and similar things. He defended the opinion that money used in service of Krishna becomes spiritualized and thus 'clean' according to his definition.
tgcarr29
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by tgcarr29 »

Dear Hari:
I don't know a lot about you, but it appears that a lot of the bad stuff about you online is from ritviks, who need to make failures of as many ISKCON gurus as possible. To one of the groups you are just another statistic in their body count of the fallen. Delving deeply into circumstances is not a thing which appears to interest these critics. Therefore it is completely unimportant to them that no charges were ever filed, nor that you were never indicted of or convicted of anything. Maybe the greatest "crime" of all would be your marrying your therapist, to them. So I wouldn't necessarily feel the need to defend myself to such an extent, but your level of candor is fairly remarkable among the alleged downfallen.
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by Hari »

I didn't marry my therapist.

But thank you for your comments!
tgcarr29
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by tgcarr29 »

Dear Hari:
I'm sorry, it seems that the virus of being ill-informed about you is catching. Anyhow, it was described somewhere, probably "Back To Prabhupada," magazine as you "running off with therapist and cash" etc. Whatever the story, I think the ideology motivates how they frame it, which is generally to put ISKCON gurus in the worst possible light, not that there haven't been a few who appear to have engaged in criminal behavior, and even went to jail in at least one case. I like what you're doing now. To go off the topic, have you ever heard of Steve Bohlert, aka Subal Das? He's written a couple of books on Universal Radha-Krishnaism, as he calls it. He seems headed in the same open-minded and open-ended direction as you, and may be even less interested in being a leader, though you may disagree with that. Anyway, neither of you has crowned himself guru of the world.
Sanaka Kumar das
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by Sanaka Kumar das »

I must confess I’ve started this post a few times over the last year and again left. I did wish to contribute to clarifying the situation around those memorable 1998 events but simultaneously felt like my voice would make no difference. Anyway, I thought, people would consider me just ‘another follower’.

But at least you, Hari, can attest that I’m not exactly your ‘follower’. At least, not in the way a ‘follower’ is generally understood. My relationship with you – an issue well worth addressing, at some later time - is a mystery even to me, perhaps as much as you yourself are a mystery. I do treasure our relationship dearly, but not at the expense of other relationships. So I haven’t split ways with ISKCON either though admittedly, I see it very differently from how I used to see it earlier. I hold no official positions within that glorious organization and have no plans to ever accept any, but I’m still around and still willing to extend whichever little help I can. I’m often asked to give classes and the like, so I’m happy to still be perceived as a well-wisher, which I definitely am. So one can hardly find any objective reason to consider me any ‘more’ a follower of yours than that of ISKCON; actually, it may rather look the other way round.

Anyway, it’s funny how it dawned on me just now, while writing, that among those who signed the agreement drawn during that historical meeting in Nice, France, I was perhaps the only one who was not representing any organization, was not a party to anyone or against anyone, and had no interest of his own. I was present, shall I say, as kind of witness whose only interest was a fair deal. Just an observer to a scene of truce after the battle.

Now, I don’t want to say, by indulging in this fit of self-aggrandizement, that others didn’t care for that fair deal. I’m pretty sure this was the main motive of yours, as well as of some others – first of all, Bhakti Vijnana Gosvami, still Vaidyanath at that time. He was the pusher behind the scenes, and if not for him, the meeting would have hardly taken place at all. He obviously had no interest of his own, and only God knows how much the effort cost him. Sesa was another such person. From what I felt, I don’t think their motive was just fear for the glorious organization they represented, although some did think it was.

So after ceremoniously appointing myself the Only True Witness, informed and disinterested, now I feel almost like duty-bound to state, even if no one cares, that your description of this VTF financial controversy – and of other events, for that matter - is accurate, to the best of my knowledge.

It’s so frustrating sometimes to see how precious little we can do for each other. But we can at least try to do justice. So doing justice to you would be admitting that what was done to you & Co was just awful. Ordinarily, people get impressive criminal sentences for such things. And you probably were not even the ‘worst’ victim. The worst case was perhaps of – hmm – let us call him B. I see no problem using his actual name – to me, he’s an unsung hero with justice to be done to as well. But you seem to be discrete about certain things, so I leave this up to you.

Actually, for one who is not willing to listen to your version which is lucid enough, your case is perhaps just too ‘explosive’ to expect much clarity from – it’s so laden with controversy, emotion, clashing interests, rumors, suffering, and what not, possibly even intentional misinformation, - so trying to see through it is as effective as seeing through a tornado. So I suggest benefitting ourselves by shifting focus to the other guy’s case.

His story is simple and transparent. He started that stock market business which eventually became a huge income-generating scheme pumping out millions for ISKCON-related projects. Later it became a teamwork relying heavily on your vision and guidance, but he remained the front man legally in charge. So externally, he was perceived as the one responsible for the loans taken and debts incurred, and by the time this VTF controversy broke out in the wake of Russian economy crash those debts amounted to more than 10 million. Not in roubles, of course.

Some of the creditors were what they call ‘serious’ guys. In Russia, everyone knows that category of people who can screw your head off your neck and say it’s just the way you used to be since your very birth. But due to their incredible seriousness everyone, including police and courts, believes their version of truth. So when the Russian economy collapsed and the company went bankrupt our dear B. had to spend his unhappy, impoverished last years hiding from those people and as we know, ended up committing suicide.

According to a paper with bank data which I still have from that meeting in Nice, the company donated or invested in ISKCON-related projects at least 50% more than the debt mentioned amounted to. The profits generated from some of those investments constituted like another 50%. And that definitely was not everything that was given. In other words, those debts might have been covered long ago. Why this was not done I do not know, but this perhaps just reflects his priorities, or the priorities all of you had at that time. Anyway, this was the risk he himself wished or agreed to take - in other words, the choice was his.

However, when the last funds of this bankrupting company were saved by transferring them out of the collapsing country to the VTF account, those two loyal ISKCON members in charge of the account chose to use them in the interests of ISKCON and against their owners’ will. In that way, our dear B. was deprived of his choice over financial matters, including dealings with his creditors.

Of course, it’s easy to rationalize that anyway, those funds – though a significant few million sum - were not enough to cover the debt, and that anyway even he himself would not have spent them for that purpose. This reasoning by itself might be right, but the point still is - that was not his choice anymore. So instead of him sacrificing himself he was sacrificed by somebody else.

The only reason I am not wondering why anyone in his sound mind would be willing to implicate himself in the possible consequences of such an act is that I know from my sad experiences that Krsna does take care to put you in a circumstance where you yourself have to take a similar decision just to understand it better, and finding myself taking such decisions is about the last thing on Earth I would desire.

Honestly, I tried my best to understand the logic behind this decision. Some of the explanations sounded very strange – like a sannyasi is not supposed to own money. Well, we can all rejoice they stopped just short of taking away his wife which sannyasi is also not supposed to have (although she marched into the picture later). The normal logic would be to take his sannyasa away, and not the money nor the wife. That’s the only thing you have given him – the title or post, of swami, guru, GBC, BBT, or whatever. So this is what you can take back, if need be – and even if your decision is faulty, it’s still your dharma, but why would you encroach upon that which was never allotted to you by anyone. Besides being common sense, this is also the philosophy of Gita and Isa Upanisads.

The way I was brought up makes accommodating such things difficult. I still have a memory from some early childhood when I brought home three roubles and reported having found them in the street. My parents, thank them, responded by asking, ‘Have you put them there?’ to which I naturally replied, ‘No’. ‘So go and put them back in place’. Although I cannot boast of following this golden rule consistently I would consider it safe to take to when one wakes up in the morning and accidentally finds some few millions in the account he was essentially just sleeping on.

All this said, I still would not exclude the possibility it was Krsna’s will. He likes to play tricks, and this famous ‘Hari’ trick is one of His favorites. Who knows. Time will show.

I personally lost nothing in this transaction, but still probably everyone can feel I was annoyed, so what to speak of those whose only assets were disposed of in such a gracious manner. Retrospectively, I have no difficulty understanding how those who did it might have been driven by the best intentions and how the immense burden of responsibility for the decision and the short time they had for it might have contributed to the confusion affecting their best judgment. Given the fact that they did go out of their way to correct the situation later, in Nice, I tend to feel this was the case. However, at that time it was hard to feel so. Besides, no one knew then what the consequences will be. They also had other consequences to think about – like what would happen to those ISKCON projects that used to be fed by the VTF money. So although the situation had changed, they followed the habit of transferring VTF money to ISKCON accounts. Following habits is natural in times of confusion – that saves you from the need to think much.

The main cause of the confusion, however, was likely the ‘Oath of Loyalty’ which every sannyasi and guru of ISKCON is supposed to make. For those who may not be familiar, it boils down to a simple idea – if officials representing a noble cause of ISKCON receive some donations and later change their minds by choosing not to continue as officials anymore, the donations should remain with the noble cause and not with the personalities involved. The idea seems to be transparent and laudable – just to make sure the individuals, especially anonymous, who donated presumably to that noble cause, are not deceived.

However, this hardly was the case at hand since the ‘donors’ were not anonymous and not even ‘donors’ either – rather, they clearly and unanimously stated the money was not intended as a donation for the official in question but rather as an asset they themselves wished to exercise their will over. Little by little, this and other inconsistencies dawned on some ISKCON officials, though others among those few whom I have met remained unreceptive.

Alas, it was too late, the train was gone and the money spent, the passions inflamed and the battle conchshells sounded. Fortunately, the reason came to prevail, and the initiative of Bhakti Vijnana and some others bore fruit in the form of that meeting in Nice where an attempt was made to admit and correct the mistakes that happened. Some of the corrective measures did take place and some eventually failed, due to various reasons, but the overall impression of the affair once again convinced me, more or less, that misunderstandings happen in this world much more often than instances of just pure ill-will. It also opened my eyes to the hopelessly heterogeneous nature of ISKCON management – as variegated as the rest of the world. While the mainstream line turned out to be satisfactory after all, the opinions within it differed greatly, and while some individuals seemingly underbehaved others acted like real sadhus. So nothing new under the sun… To err is human; to forgive, divine.

I do not know why the statement clarifying Hari’s innocence was never issued by some formal ISKCON entity – though it was supposed to. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason was not an ill-will, once again. At that time tension around the assets forcibly taken from the BBT was still very strong as well as the tendency to suspect others of shady maneuvering behind the scene, so it was natural not to hurry too much with such statements. But time has shown who is who quite clearly, and I’m still naïve enough to think this statement might work out. At least, now I’ve contributed towards this end whatever I could, and I’ll probably try to remind some others of this issue at some opportune time.

Lastly, I must shyly admit I am not the best informed person in the fiscal matters discussed. There are others who know the facts better, the most informed person being perhaps Hari. I am writing for just those who may not be willing to listen to his version with a very, very faint, unlikely hope that mine might be more acceptable to some. I was not directly involved in those financial transactions although some of my closest and most trusted friends were. So that’s essentially how I gathered my understanding. Needless to say, everyone is welcome to use whatever is stated here in any surroundings, ISKCON or otherwise. There is nothing private here. Do feel free to ask any questions or request clarification on any points. I also beg to correct me if I misstated something, albeit unintentionally.

I hope to continue to take part in this noble congregational effort to distinguish reality from illusion for the welfare of all.

Thanks for your kind attention.
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harsi
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by harsi »

Thank you Sanaka Kumar, your stepping forward in this regard is very much appreciated by me as well, I think, by many others concerned.
Truth has a way of coming out: slowly, surely, inevitably it finds its way by which the story of what really happened back than in 1998 is reconstructed.
Please tell us the name of this poor guy who invented at that time the scheme of multiplying "Krishna's" money. He deserves, I would say, that his name is mentioned and glorified within our Forum.


Image

Goloka Dhama in Abentheuer, Germany, the place where this whole unpleasant story for all concerned started to roll.
Although one could say on the Whole, (I write with capital letter on purpose) nothing is made and done (?!) that does not have a purpose, at least in retrospect ...
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by harsi »

.
In this connection I would like to relate a telling story I was reading the other day in a book by a well-known German author. It is a story taken from real life. In a town in Japan there was living the Zenmaster Hakuin. He was highly regarded and the people came to him to accept spiritual instructions. Now it so happened that the young daughter of his neighbor became pregnant. When her disgruntled parents scoldet at her and asked her who would be the father of the child, she responded finally it would be Hakuin, the Zen master. Than the parents were running indignantly to Hakuin, were reproaching, blaming, him and were telling him disgustedly that her doughter would have confessed to them that he would be the father of the child. All that what Hakuin replied was: "is that right?"

The whole scandal spread like a wildfire acros the whole city and beyond the city borders. The master lost his reputation. He wasn't perturbed (bothered) by that. Nobody was visiting him anymore. That also didn't affected him either. When the child was born, the parents of the daughter brought the child to him. "You are the father, so please take care for him." The master looked and took care lovingly after the baby. One year later the doughter confessed to her parents remorseful that the real father of her child was the young man from the grocery store from next door. Totally contritely the parents went again to Hakuin to apologize and beg for his forgiveness. "We sincerely regret, we come to take the child back. Our doughter confessed to us that you were not the father." "Is that right? should Hakuin have answered and gave them the child back. The moral of the story is that the master responded to both (good and bad) news the same. "Is that right?" or "Is it so?" as the German original says. He accepts and permits the present moment the way it is, if good or bad, and therefore he is not being dragged in the human drama. For him only the present moment counts and that present moment is how it is. Our life unfolds, we live - now.

Image..Video: Krishna Kshetra leads a Krishna Bhajan - Kirtan Mela, 6.9.2012, Limbach-Oberfrohna, East Germany.
Sanaka Kumar das
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by Sanaka Kumar das »

Don't mention it, Harsi-ji. If it was of any use, you better scold me for not doing this earlier. Lazy bones.
I'm still reserved about the name. Visnupad was mentioning him earlier in some post but not using his name, so this is why I follow the suit. I believe there might have been some reason, so I leave it up to him. Kamalamala, of course, knows everything as well, so you may ask him. I'm just a newcomer here, don't feel sure.
Maybe I misphrased things a little in my post. Although he started the business, it became big-time with Visnupad's guidance.
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it all!

Post by kamalamala1 »

Hi Sanaka jee
I read your post most of things you mention is right but i want point that
Unfortunatly the reasons why Vaidyanath organized that meeting in France was not his own free will out of his kindness but the act to save his own skin.
He was captured by the B-s creditors and they forced him :001 to organize anything just to get there money.He did it out of deep fear to save himself not at all out of love to Hari or to anyone.That all/
Maybe he is trying to show his kindness by wards but in acts he didnt yet ,let see wath he will do in future .
They had no capacity to understand and apreciate wath Hari did for them in that time and still doing ,maybe in future they will understand how wrong they was.
By the way i like very much wath Hari wrote.
"In essence, I declare our capacity to find spirit within on our own through our conscious awareness, to connect to the divine as a natural right without impediments, and to express our loving service and healing energy as we wish. I declare our personal responsibility for our choices without requiring these choices to be in line with another person's opinion, some book, or a belief system. If and when we find information from external sources to be relevant to us, we take it. Where these sources have no relevance to our personal experience or where they attempt to restrict or limit our capacity to experience, I reject them. I am not interested in the idea that we require to have someone bring us to God, neither will I embrace not being good enough as the reason why I must deny my personal energy and capacity. But all of this is to be found in all of my lectures."
This is much better then the slave mentality wich was in Iscon.
Althought for so called gurus slave mentality is a good thing for there spiritual buissness.But i believe some of them is good people and soon or later they will
really apreciate Haris statments,and the harm of making people there slaves.
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it all!

Post by kamalamala1 »

About falling down or off.
This very stupid definitions concoted by all kind of sects to make people feel bad,
since they some how doesnt agree with there concept, to feel people forever guilthy,and by this confirm themselfs as only right guyes.

Actually if we are looking acording scriptures, Sanyasy doesnt have to have money or any prperty but we know well that Prabhupad and now most of all Iscon Sanyasis have property and money also .
I am personally doesnt at all care about this statuses and all kind of things.
But for Iscon guyes it should be clear that nobody was in ISCON Sanyasi according to Manu Samhita, including Prabhupad since they all had money and property.
(This by the way doesnt make for me Prabhupad less saint.)
But in Hari bhakti vilasa also writen that if one is pure devotee of Lord Vishnu
or Lord Shiva he is automatacally considered Sanyasy,and one who is enaf clever
can understand why it is so.
Since Haris devotion and contact to Lords is abvious and it was and is so deep,
then where can this questions come?
Actually he shows the best godly quality of humans to not cheat people making them brainless slaves zobis but letting them develope/
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