There’s More Than One Kurma dasa
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,
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