There’s More Than One Kurma dasa

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By Kurma dasa, the well known devotee cook from Australia

Dear Revered Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

This is Kurma dasa, disciple of Srila Prabhupada, cookbook writer.

Is there more than one, you ask? Yes! There are a few Kurma dasas around. There is myself, there is Kurma dasa in Mayapur, and of course there is Kurma Rupa. There may be more. I often get sent letters meant for Kurma Rupa, and maybe he gets a few of mine.

Why am I telling you this? The reason is that for some time now I have been tolerating a certain other devotee called ‘Kurma dasa’ who has has been posting salacious, Ritvik-inspired criticisms on some other websites.

This ‘other Kurma dasa’ is Ken McCleod, who, some years ago, apparently visited New Vrindavan, took initiation from Kirtanananda Swami and received the name “Kurma dasa”. He now lives in Melbourne. I know him well, he knows me, and he writes a lot of critical articles for these fault-finding websites. To avoid confusion as to the author’s identity, I have asked him humbly to stop writing these articles under the name “Kurma dasa”, but he declined. Maybe he figured he could get some mileage with that name, a bit like ’smoking ganja with someone else’s hand’, as Srila Prabhupada so aptly put it.

To make it worse (for me) ‘the other Kurma dasa’ often mentions Australia in his critiques, and this has further convinced a number of people that it is indeed Australia-based Kurma dasa the cook who is writing those articles.

I had approached the editor of one of those other websites and asked him to rectify the misunderstanding by mentioning, in the ‘by-line’ that the author was not me, Kurma dasa ACBSP. He appeared less than enthusiastic but graciously agreed, finally, to add, way down at the end of Ken’s articles “Kurma das (not the chef)”. However, many readers stop reading before they get to the end of Ken’s stuff, perhaps thinking “boy that Kurma’s really gone off the deep end…!”.

Dear readers, recently some of these articles have been quoted and discussed on more mainstream, respectable (and respectful) websites, prompting a few of my friends to question me about my allegiances. They thought it was way out of character for me to criticise devotees in print, and I explained to them exactly what I am explaining to you here: I am not the author.

So dear worshipable devotees, please let it be known that I am not a follower of so-called ‘Ritvik’ doctrine, and I am not an envious fault-finder; I love the devotees. I am a loyal member of Iskcon. I aspire for the mercy and good wishes of all the disciples, grand-disciples and grand-grand-disciples of Srila Prabhupada, ad infinitum, and beg you to not think of me as an offender of the Vaisnavas.

At your service,

Kurma dasa

website: http://www.kurma.net/
blog: http://www.iskcon.net.au/kurma/

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Comments • [comment feed]

1 NityanandaChandra

Haribol,
The same scenario also happened Madhudvisa Prabhu. I would not accept that such a great servant and cook as Kurma Prabhu could author anything anything against Srila Prabhupada’s institution. Just look at that smile, :).
Your humble servant,
Nityananda Chandra Das

Comment posted by NityanandaChandra on September 21st, 2008
2 Akruranatha

It is easy to understand your concern. Thanks for warning us.

I never saw any of the Ken McCleod “Kurma das” material, but a number of years ago (maybe 10 or so ago?) I was seeing a lot of anti-ISKCON material on the internet by one “Madhudvisa,” who of course is not our (ACBSP) Madhudvisa, but he talked about Australia and it made me do one or two double takes before I figured out what was going on.

A lot of us have the same spiritual names and we just have to learn to be alert when we read something and stay aware that it might not be the same “___ das” or “___ dasi” we think it is (and if it really doesn’t sound like them, that’s probably because it isn’t)

Comment posted by Akruranatha on September 21st, 2008
3 Danavir Goswami

Kurma dasa Prabhu has nicely expressed his desire to be known as a faithful ISKCON devotee. There is merit in this, he is not boasting but just distinguishing.

Comment posted by Danavir Goswami on September 22nd, 2008
4 Sikhi Mahiti das acbsp

There was a period of a two years or so that I would receive a lot of emails intended for a devotee with my spiritual name. So, I began adding “acbsp” at the end of my signature. The errant emails have slowed to a trickle. This seems like a good practice for the devotee online community. Maybe there are some other suggestions.

Comment posted by Sikhi Mahiti das acbsp on September 24th, 2008
5 Gauragopala dasa

Just adding to Kurma Prabhu’s concerned comments from above, who I first met just after he joined in 1971, as well as the other inspiring comments from the devotees.

It should be noted that on Srila Prabhupada’s disciple database, there is only ONE Kurma dasa ACBSP (Kurma dasa Sydney 5/1971) and ONE Madhudvisa dasa ACBSP (San Francisco 8/1968)

If anyone wants to verify who is a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, then you can visit
www.prabhupada.com/disciple.php

It’s an interesting read

Comment posted by Gauragopala dasa on September 24th, 2008

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