By GBC EC
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
It is with heavy hearts that we inform you that Prabhavisnu Prabhu recently resigned from his ISKCON services as initiating guru and GBC member and has given up his sannyasa vows.
It is always difficult when a senior ISKCON leader has serious problems in their spiritual life to know how much to disclose publicly. Please know that the GBC carefully considers how to report such incidents. On the one hand, the ISKCON community has a right to know the accurate details of what happened, especially when there is so much speculation going around, and on the other hand we have Srila Prabhupada’s admonishment to not broadcast the details of a devotee’s difficulties. So with Srila Prabhupada’s instruction firmly in mind we offer this brief but factual explanation of the situation, which is, at the moment, all we know.
Members of the GBC’s Executive Committee and a number of Prabhavisnu Prabhu’s friends have spoken to him and come to understand the reasons he gives for his resignation. This is confirmed in his recent letter to his disciples: that he became spiritually weak, and physically and mentally exhausted due to constant travel and managerial pressures. About nine months ago he met a woman in Thailand with whom he is considering entering a serious relationship.
It appears that he has experienced bouts of spiritual weakness for some years. We are still in discussion with him about the details.
After extensive talks with his godbrothers, it seems he has not yet decided on his present course of action but wishes to seriously reflect on the matter. Despite stepping down from his role as an ISKCON leader, he does continue to honor his discipleship under Srila Prabhupada and intend to remain connected to ISKCON by eventually serving humbly in an ISKCON community somewhere in the world.
Naturally we are deeply disappointed with this very troubling turn of events. It is a fall, something like that of a soldier on the battlefield. Prabhavisnu Prabhu has given forty years to Srila Prabhupada’s mission and rendered invaluable service to many, many devotees. He has preached in a number of difficult places in the world, including the Muslim country of Bangladesh and the former Soviet Union when it was still under Communist rule. He also significantly helped the preaching in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Australia, and New Zealand.
By both example and precept Srila Prabhupada taught us to be kind to all devotees, including those who face the struggles of purification and may have to make changes in their position to become properly situated. We pray Prabhavisnu Prabhu will ever remain in the association of his many well-wishers and friends, continuing to render service to Srila Prabhupada as he has for so many years.
Despite this, we recognize that his disciples and other devotees in ISKCON will be very disturbed by Prabhavisnu prabhu’s spiritual difficulties. We are currently investigating the circumstances leading to his stepping down and will follow this letter with further communication when possible. In the meantime, to those who are affectedby Prabhavisnu Prabhu’s resignation, we would like to say that ISKCON has many senior devotees with whom you can speak. The GBC Body is concerned with every devotee’s welfare and has established an e-mail address where those who wish to can write their questions: GBCEC.Secretary@gmail.com.
Hrdaya Caitanya Das Bhakti Caitanya Swami Tamohara Das, GBC Executive Committee