I am hesitant to enter into the philosophical discussion that has evolved in regards to how best to manage the Danudhara Swami conundrum because I believe Satyaraja has already done an excellent job reminding anyone who wants to have the honor to wear tilok on their forehead, that they are expected to think, behave, and carryout jurisprudence on a higher standard then a hate filled vigil anti lynch mob.
Aug 21 2006 A little misunderstanding
You have sufficiently paid for your past mistakes and itâs time for the GBC and compassionate leadership to show their forgiveness. In my own case I was recently received back among the devotees at the New Vrndaban Festival of Inspiration with great warmth and affection.
Aug 8 2006 The Missing Peace
Let's try to avoid tit for tat rhetoric and instead center our efforts on creating an atmosphere conducive for reconciliation. Focusing exclusively on the past is divisive and ultimately benefits no one. Let's instead spotlight the areas where we are in agreement. I sincerely believe that the more we engage in open and honest dialog the more we will discover that the points we disagree on are fewer than we think.
Aug 6 2006 Guru, Sadhu, Sastra
Let us remember that karma for a devotee is quickly burnt by the fire of repentance and the chanting of the holy names, what to speak of being surrendered to Srila Prabhupada and spreading the movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Those among us who are benefiting from His Holiness Dhanurdhara Swamiâs siksa, know what valuable service he is doing for us and all members of ISKCON.
Aug 3 2006 Can a child abuser live in ISKCON?
My wife Radha and I were licensed foster parents for 9 years. We took care of close to 70 children in our home during that time, many of them physically and sexually abused. My experience with these children as protector, counselor, and guide has put me in a position of understanding to some extent the plight of the Gurukulis.
Aug 3 2006 Rashomon: A Few Words on Perspective
Everyone has asked the following question, at least in some form: "How can I be certain that what I believe to be true is actually true?" Vedic philosophy arrives at such certitude through pramana, "evidence," which refers to sources of knowledge that are held to be valid. In our Gaudiya Sampradaya, there are basically three pramanas: pratyaksa (direct perception), anumana (logical argument) and sabda (scriptural testimony).
The time is ripe for accepting responsibility by taking action. Dhanurdhara Swami is trying. In fact, he is showing us how. Letâs support him in his efforts to redress his past behavior, and by taking responsible action ourselves.
Jul 31 2006 A Matter of Perspective
With the frequent use of corporal punishment even today in America, one may ask the question whether differentiating between what society considers âjustifiableâ corporal punishment and what is considered physical abuse is clear cut and concise. Have definitions of physical abuse changed over time and according to the location of the incident?
Jul 26 2006 TREATING VAISNAVAS WITH CARE–A CLARIFICATION
But more than anything else, I pray to Srila Prabhupada to keep me in the association of his sincere followers and allow me to serve them--as he would want--eternally. Because I know that in the association of his sincere followers, I will find Srila Prabhupada, my most cherished goal.
Jul 25 2006 âToo many Chiefs and not enough Indiansâ
From every angle of vision of true circumstance that I inspected this case from, the GBC and CPO have always acted with respect, and restraint toward Dhanurdhara Swami and especially with concern for the care and well being of his innocent initiated disciples. It is his so-called friends who muddy the waters by constantly causing Dhanurdhara Swamiâs dirty laundry to be aired in public forum.
Jul 25 2006 Impartial We Stand Biased We Fall
I, like many devotees around the world, have been following the chain of events and subsequent opinions surrounding the Dhanurdhara Swami case. I have patiently listened to all points presented to date by the concerned Vaisnava community and would like to make a humble attempt to put forth my observations regarding this pivotal decision facing the GBC at present.
Jul 25 2006 I beg your pardon
There is ample philosophical support that if in the course of doing their duties Vaishnavas transgress material laws the mercy of the Lord may mitigate their reactions. Some scriptural references imply that under certain circumstances devotees may not be subject to the same laws as non-devotees. However, scriptures also state that devotees would not break these laws anyways because they understand the negative implications of doing so.
Your letters were well-considered and well-articulated, and I much appreciated them. Certainly, we must seriously consider the words of sadhu, sastra, and guru in all our deliberations. We are meant to represent Srila Prabhupada, who himself represented his guru-parampara, our disciplic line from Srila Rupa Gosvami.
No one wins by Satyaraja Prabhu and me jousting online. Rather, the wounds on both sides are only deepened and the inevitable offenses increased. My fervent prayer is that Satyaraja Prabhu will turn his keen intelligence toward working with us to find a solution to this situation, one that addresses both sides of the truth, not just the side he likes.
Jul 19 2006 The most honorable position
In the end, the consistent request from gurukulis is for ISKCON not to approve DDSâs position as a transparent via medium to the Supreme Lord Krsna himself. In order to move forward as a society we need to stop the secrecy and backdoor finagling.
Jul 19 2006 Deadbeats in ISKCON
By their refusal to fulfil court-ordered child support obligations or to offer the remaining custodial parent the non-monetary contributions that would benefit the child(ren) while growing up, these people have become abusers through neglect and abandonment.
Jul 19 2006 What the Lord takes into account
As it is stated above "The Lord takes into account - how many times we all chant "Krsna Krsna" and in due course of time this chanting - executed either in praise or blame of the Lord - will allow us re-entrance into the Lord's company!!!
Jul 19 2006 But Badri — Isn’t Truth Many-Sided?
Setting aside all of this back and forth, it would be useful if we came to some mutual conclusions, especially because I have no intention of engaging in an ongoing debate. (Many others â stalwart devotees -- will soon be sending in their articles, and these will be far more convincing than my own.)
What follows is not an official GBC position paper. Rather, it is a statement of one member's personal views, expressed in response to Satyaraja Prabhu's posting on Dandavat.com titled "Time to Be Dharmic." I respect Satyaraja Prabhu's right to express his opinions. At the same time, I feel the need to balance the scale.
The GBC Executive Committee has made an interim decision that Dhanurdhara Swami will not give initiation (harinama or gayatri) in ISKCON. They have sent this proposal to the full GBC for a vote on permanent ratification.
Jul 6 2006 Wheels of justice
It is said, the wheels of justice slowly grind, and they grind exceedingly fine. And sometimes, beyond the slow wheels of "justice," it seems that it is time to "do the right thing." Silence = Death (this was the motto of Act Up, an early AIDS advocacy group). I cannot remain "silent" any longer.
Jul 6 2006 Time to be Dharmic
Now it is time to be dharmic, and to stand behind Dhanurdhar Swami, who has certainly shown his dedication to the institution. Please do not judge me too harshly for stating what's on my mind, even if it may not conform to popular opinion. I wish only harmony and happiness for the association of Vaishnavas.
Jun 30 2006 Was the head of our sampradaya a child abuser?
First, Srila Prabhupada very clearly states in one of the first purports that this was NOT the Brahma who was instructed from within by Krsna, and became the founder of our sampradaya (Brahma is a post, not a person). Prabhupada says that this Brahma with the daughter Vak is from a different kalpa.
Jun 26 2006 Regarding the zero tolerance policy
Your appeal raises a very deep philosophical question, which threatens the very existence of the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya, because the first child abuser in the creation is none other than the head of our sampradaya, Lord Brahma.
Jun 22 2006 CPO Response to Zero Tolerance Petition
So, while I support the spirit of this petition, I feel that the CPO judges should have some latitude to invoke a range of restrictions appropriate to the facts of each case.
Jun 21 2006 Letter from Dhanurdhara Swami to the devotees
Though I can't say I realize all the pain I have inflicted, I have witnessed the strong emotions of those I have harmed and know their wounds are deep. I'd like to reiterate my pledge to continue to meet gurukula alumni, beg for their forgiveness, and to offer whatever help I can.
Jun 20 2006 Proper Rectification for Child Abuser
When I was in school, I went to Jagannath Puri. I felt so pure in that environment that I chanted around 80 rounds every day for a week. But unfortunately, my mind was somewhere else. When I analyse it, chanting 80 rounds did not spiritually elevate me.
Jun 14 2006 GBC Statement Concerning Dhanurdhara Swami
The GBC is keenly aware of the controversy surrounding this issue and is actively working to reach a resolution that, hopefully, will be acceptable to Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON's youth past, present and future as well as the general assembly of vaisnavas.