Situation Of The Vaisnavas In Europe
by Giridhari das
Regarding the situation of the Vaisnavas in Europe
It has come to our attention that Harikesh das, aka Harikesh Swami or akaSri Visnupada, who has been the leader of the International Society forKrishna Conciousness-Iskcon in northern Europe and many other places inthe world, has been removed from Iskcon leadership for several severedeviations from the proper conduct of a spiritual master. We want to makethe following statement in order to protect our interests as living andpreaching followers of the Vaisnava faith in Europe.
Harikesh, the management of Iskcon worldwide and in particular in northernEurope, has been rejected by us since 1984. Because of the mismanagementand mistreatment of many members by Harikesh das and other Iskcon leaders,many Vaisnavas have left Iskcon and incorporated several new religiousnonprofit trusts in Europe. We want to protect the good name of ourfounding father, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and also our sacredtradition. Iskcon leadership including Harikesh das has been outstandinglyknown not to follow their own rules of transparency. Also they do notrecognize other branches of the same Vaisnava family. They are sectarianand offensive to other Vaisnavas outside of their institution. They havebehaved very offensively against the most prominent members and authoritiesof Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition. They disobeyed the founder of Iskcon to letlocal men manage and centralize the whole world management in the hands ofa few individuals. Iskcon is manipulated by a very small group of mainlyNorth Americans. They expelled whoever opposed their non-transparentmisuse of the movement. Harikesh's misbehavior and fall down as well asthe same sad occurrence of Jayatirtha, Hansadutta, Bhagavan,Drishthadyumna, Jagadish, Sundara Rupa etc. (just referring here to thosefrom Iskcon Europe) are not surprising. These are the natural karmicreactions of misuse of a spiritual function.
Iskcon has no forum for constructive critique and filled many of theleading posts with opportunists, seeking to go the same path of theprevious leaders. There is nobody in Iskcon now with the authority to fixthe situation. That is why, long ago, many Vaisnavas who previouslybelonged to Iskcon and other Vaisnavas from the same roots in Indiaestablished separate Vaisnava missions in the world. Today there arehundreds of temples of different Vaisnava missions in the world with noconnection to Iskcon.
We carefully pray to the press and the civil authorities to discriminatebetween the sad history of Iskcon management and other sincere Vaisnavagroups all over. We also appealed to Iskcon leaders for the last 14 yearsto remove their corrupt and abusive leaders on numerous occasions. Werequested them to work conjointly with all the disciples of the founderAcharya Srila Prabhupada in order to save the heritage and good name ofIskcon. But so far, Iskcon has done a lot to ruin the reputation of theirfounder and of the Vaisnavas. Iskcon authorities refused to accept theinvitation of the World Vaisnava Association (http:/owplaza.com/wva) toaccept a common ground with other Vaisnava missions belonging to the sametradition and following the same scriptures. We are very sad andembarrassed that we have to make this public statement in order to protectourselves.
Those who signed under this statement:
Vrinda Institute Miami Florida
Hungarian Vaisnava Hindu Association (Magyar Vaisnava HinduEgyesület) Hungary
Hindu Kultura Háza (The Houses of Hindu Culture)
Gaurangas Kulturtreff - Germany
Bhaktivedanta Parivad - Switzerland
Oesterreichisches Institut fuer Selbstverwirklichung - Austria