Chapter 7 - A Very Human Story -- Planting The Weed



Devotees often react to our statement that Lilamrta's portrayal of Srila Prabhupada's life is bogus and offensive with the following rationalizations:

"If all the struggles and difficulties which Srila Prabhupada went through were actually not struggles at all, but Krsna's lila, then won't that discourage devotees from struggling to serve Krsna? In other words, if devotees see that only a mahabhagavata can do something wonderful, since Krsna only works directly through him, then what is the use of my struggling? I am not a pure devotee."

"If Prabhupada set the example of struggling in Krsna's service in order to encourage us to struggle for Krsna, then what is the point of minimizing his example? He wanted us to see him struggle for Krsna. Otherwise, why would he do it? If we say that Prabhupada never really struggled, then don't we negate his personal example? Isn't that offensive and impersonal?"

"If you say that Srila Prabhupada only pretended to be struggling, so that we would follow his example and struggle for Krsna, then isn't that the same as saying Prabhupada was simply playing a role to trick his disciples into working hard. Doesn't that negate his great achievement and make him out to be a duplicitous person, another offense?"

These are admittedly powerful and logical sounding arguments, but they do not have shastric backing. Obviously, had Srila Prabhupada mystically manifested everything he needed for preaching, without ever appearing to struggle or be in want of anything, then what would have been the reaction in his disciples' minds? They would have thought: "Why should I go out and work hard when my guru can manifest a beautiful temple or a mountain of gold instantly just like Kardama Muni manifested a city in the sky?" The disciples would not want to work for Krsna but instead would want to enjoy Krsna's opulence. Such disciples, seeing this opulence, would only become envious of Prabhupada and crave those mystic powers themselves. Srila Prabhupada instead wanted to give us the desire for the humble service of the Lord. Although to some, this may appear less valuable, it is a far greater opportunity. Therefore, Srila Prabhupada only rarely manifested his mystic potency. He did not want to attract cheap followers. At the same time, he gave stern warnings that the disciple is never to think that the spiritual master is under the laws of material nature. Hence an apparent contradiction.

The pure devotee has the powers and opulences of mystic yogis given to him by Krishna directly, but he does not want our unpure minds to become enamored by it. At the same time it is a serious offense to think the pure devotee is not in complete control, but instead is under the control of the material energy. So how to reconcile this?

According to sastra (scripture), one should not view the spiritual master from the bodily platform. That would include viewing his history from the eyes of a book like "Lilamrta" which accentuates Prabhupada's bodily relationships and tends to bring him down to the level of the conditioned devotee, struggling to do his service to God. In this connection, Chanakya Pandit warns us:

"One should not get too close to the fire, a woman, the King, or the spiritual master. Neither should one remain too far away, for then one cannot get the benefits to be derived. One should deal with these four in the middle way."

This is an excellent example. Everyone can understand the example of fire, a woman, and the King. Fire is the most obvious. Similarly, women are known to be able to lead a man astray and be quite ruthless at times. Kings are known to have a man's head severed at the drop of a dime. But here the Pandit includes the guru in this example. Why? Prabhupada gives the answer in numerous places: The guru is directly connected to Krsna and thus an offense to the guru is extremely dangerous, much more dangerous than offense to the other three combined. They can only harm one's body and mind. Offense to the Guru, however, can completely check one's spiritual progress for many lifetimes. There is no way to calculate the severity of gurvaparada in terms of lifetimes, or hellfire, etc. The damage of becoming too familiar with the guru is compared to a mad elephant entering a china shop or a nicely trimmed garden. They are both utterly destroyed. Therefore, one is advised never to become familiar with the guru. One is only meant to become very well versed in, and familiar with his instructions, not his apparent bodily and mental "needs." But in "Lilamrta," Satsvarupa has described Srila Prabhupada's thoughts and emotions as though he were in a direct link to Prabhupada's head. This is extremely dangerous and offensive. Perhaps this explains why Satsvarupa is now suffering such severe headaches that he has become practically incapacitated. No devotee in his right mind should read even one page of "Lilamrta," and those copies that have already been distributed should be recovered and burned.

So, in dealing with Srila Prabhupada's life in the middle way, some of the main occurrences in his life, such as the childhood Rathayatra festival, his early enthusiasm to worship the Radha-Krsna Deities, his first meeting with his Spiritual Master, his enthusiasm to preach and publish Back to Godhead, etc., could be described. Srila Prabhupada set that example for us. He never went into a detailed description of his own Guru Maharaja's bodily history. Bhaktivinode Thakura had eight children. Should we go into his history with his family? Of course not. So why should Satsvarupa and the GBC think that they can set a new standard? Were Satsvarupa actually a liberated soul, he would have seen Srila Prabhupada's true platform. He would not have been interested in the history of Prabhupada's so-called physical and emotional "needs." Such a history is clearly viewing the pure devotee from the material viewpoint. Aside from provoking the ocean of material emotions within the hearts of women, sudras, the less-intelligent, etc., (the audience the book was geared toward), it can accomplish nothing but the destruction of our transcendental awe and reverence and faith in Srila Prabhupada.

One may argue that such mundane sentiment, since it is directed toward Srila Prabhupada, is actually transcendental and will elevate us to a higher level of devotion and even award liberation. At first this may sound logical, but it is not the conclusion of sastra. Sastra unequivocally states that the pure devotee should never be seen from the mundane or bodily-mental-intellectual point of view. Satsvarupa has projected him in this way, although the author tries to deny he is doing it in some places. If Prabhupada is seen in that way, it is compared to a mad elephant entering the garden. One's spiritual life is finished. He immediately falls down to spend his lifetime in useless speculation.

Many devotees agree with the above conclusion, but they argue that Satsvarupa has made this error unintentionally. But this is not the fact. The GBC, particularly Satsvarupa and Adi Keshava, deliberately decided that the best way to preach via an autobiography of Srila Prabhupada was to project him to the masses as a great man. This was supposedly done for the purpose of preaching, since the masses could never accept Srila Prabhupada as being the sum total of all the demigods. This kind of reasoning is external and is an insufficient excuse for committing such an offense to Srila Prabhupada. A more insidious motive is clearly evident. If Srila Prabhupada is viewed as having been chock full of human weaknesses, then, when these bogus gurus of ISKCON display their weaknesses, such as agitation, fear, sex-desire, ignorance, mistakes, illusion, etc., they will have their excuses in the apparent example of Srila Prabhupada as put forth by "Lilamrta," and the less-intelligent will be unable to distinguish between the two.

The following are some scriptural quotes which substantiate our conclusion. There are many more references; we are only quoting a few:

"When one actually engages in unalloyed, uncontaminated devotional service, he is already liberated. Krsna's devotee is not subject to material condition, even though his bodily features may appear materially conditioned. One should therefore not see the pure devotee from a material point of view. If we consider the bodily defects of a Vaishnava we should understand that we are committing an offense at the lotus feet of a Vaishnava. An offense at the lotus feet of a Vaishnava is very serious. Indeed, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has described this offense as hati-mata, the mad-elephant offense. A mad elephant can create a disaster, especially when it enters a nicely trimmed garden... One is forbidden to observe the activities of a pure Vaishnava from a material point of view. For a neophyte especially, considering a pure devotee from a material point of view is very injurious. One should therefore avoid observing the pure devotee externally but should try to see the internal features and understand how he is engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. In this way one can avoid seeing the pure devotee from a material point of view, and thus one can gradually become a purified devotee himself." (NOI, p. 60-63)

"'Acaryam mam vijaniyat.' One should consider the acarya to be as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In spite of all these instructions, if one considers the spiritual master an ordinary human being, one is doomed. His study of the Vedas and his austerities and penances are all useless, like the bathing of an elephant. An elephant bathes in a lake quite thoroughly, but as soon as it comes on the shore, it takes some dust from the ground and straws it over its body. Thus there is no meaning to the elephant's bath. One may argue by saying that since the spiritual master's relatives and the men of his neighborhood consider him an ordinary human being, what is the fault on the part of the disciple who considers the spiritual master an ordinary human being? This will be answered in the next verse, but the injunction is that the spiritual master should never be considered an ordinary man..." (next verse) "Similarly, if the family members of the spiritual master, who is the bonafide representative of the Supreme Lord, consider the spiritual master an ordinary human being, this does not mean that he becomes an ordinary human being. The spiritual master is as good as the Supreme Lord, and therefore one who is very serious about spiritual advancement must regard the spiritual master in this way. Even a slight deviation from this understanding can create disaster in the disciple's Vedic studies and austerities." (SB, 7.15.26)

"When one serves a Vaishnava unknowingly, one still gets a good result, and if one unknowingly insults a Vaishnava one suffers the bad result. A Vaishnava is especially favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Pleasing him or displeasing him directly affects the pleasure and displeasure of the Supreme pleasing the spiritual master, who is a pure Vaishnava, one pleases the Personality of Godhead, but if one displeases the spiritual master, one does not know where he is going." (SB, 4.9.23)

"It is therefore said, vaisnavera kriya mudra vijna na bhujhaya. A highly advanced Vaishnava lives in such a way that no one can understand what he is or what he was. Nor should attempts be made to understand the past of a Vaishnava." (SB, 7.13.14)

"When a devotee sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead by his meditation or when he sees the Lord personally, face to face, he becomes aware o everything within this universe. Indeed, nothing is unknown to him. Everything within this material world is fully manifested to a devotee who has seen the Supreme Personality of Godhead." (SB, 1.2.21)

Note: No one will deny that Satsvarupa appears to be glorifying Srila Prabhupada in the Lilamrta. The problem is that, along with the glorification, he has also defamed Prabhupada. In one breath Srila Prabhupada is described being completely transcendental and beyond ordinary emotions, etc., but in the next sentence he is described as being dependent on a Mayavadi, or confused, insecure, etc. This makes the whole thing contradictory, bewildering, and offensive. It takes on the characteristics of milk touched by the lips of a serpent. One naturally will start to think that a pure devotee can have mundane emotions. Before long, everyone deluded by that mentality becomes a sahajiya, a cheap imitator. They then think, "I can exhibit lust, greed, attachment, and everything else and still be an uttama-adhikari because I am pure inside." This mentality has already blatantly reared its ugly face in ISKCON, and our treatise is exposing numerous examples of this inauspicious trend.




"He was unafraid of the city's pandemonium. After all he was an experienced Calcutta man." 2, p.206 (This is not the reason Prabhupada was unafraid.)

"He had gotten first-hand experience of American life, and he gained confidence that his health was strong and his message communicable. He had learned that casual one-time lectures here and there were of limited value..." 2, p.20 (Prabhupada did not brave to learn the hard way.)

"Only seven people attended...they had misled Swamiji." 2, p.239 (Pure devotee misled?)

"His struggle to continue his mission was part of his preparation." 2, xviii Just the title of Vol. One, "A Lifetime in Preparation," subtly implies that Srila Prabhupada was not a pure devotee from birth.)


"People following the principles of devotional service can never be put into difficulty." (SB, 2.8.18)

"Those who are devotees therefore have no problems in the material world... For a devotee, everything in this world is very pleasing because he knows how to use everything in the transcendental loving service of the Lord." (SB, 4.8.82)

Note: Here Prabhupada says that although the devotees may appear to struggle and learn by their mistakes, in actuality, they are always freed from such mistakes and illusions.


"...but the request (to take sannyasa) seemed so difficult and unlikely... He went on with his duties but remained shaken by the dream." (l, p.118)

"'...Why is Guru Maharaja asking me to take sannyasa?' he thought. It was not possible now." (1, p.140)

"He felt himself operating somewhat like the materialists he had criticized in his writings, absorbed in the struggle for existence with insufficient time for self-realization." (1, p.120)

"Srila Prabhupada's obligation to his wife and children..." (1, p.xviii)

"But Abhay didn't have his heart in it. It was a duty-he had to do it to maintain his family."


"He is never shaken, despite the most grievous sufferings." (BG, 6)

"Attachment for household paraphernalia and for Lord Krsna go poorly together." (SB, 2.4.2)

"Devotees are certainly liberated persons. Therefore, 0 greatest of the brahmanas, they cannot possibly be absorbed in family affairs." (SB, 5.1.2)

"A self-realized man is no longer obliged to perform any prescribed duty, save and except activities in Krsna consciousness." (BG, 3.18)

"Nonetheless, they performed all prescribed activities just to set examples for the people in general." (BG, 3.20)

Note: This last statement is the reason that Srila Prabhupada remained in household life: To set the example for us. But Satsvarupa does not make that clear in his "biography." He tries to interpret Srila Prabhupada's activities in a mundane way, making him seem "human" and thereby leading all the readers to hell. Satsvarupa is directly indicating above that Srila Prabhupada had not yet advanced to the point of being transcendental to family attachment. Try and see how offensive this is.


"A mendicant, Prabhupada was temporarily dependent on the good will of his Mayavadi acquaintance, with whom he regularly conversed and from whom he accepted shelter."

"Now his last hope was Sri Padanpat Singhania... He was Prabhupada's final hope."

"He decided to phone Carl Yeargens and ask him to help. Hearing Swami's voice on the phone-it was an emergency!" (2, p.61)

"Robert Nelson couldn't give Prabhupada the kind of assistance he needed."

"As the Gaudiya Math broke down, he was also affected. Under the present circumstances how could he carry out his spiritual master's order to preach. Previously the main obstacle to his preaching had been family commitinents, but now the obstacles were compounded. Now he had to wait helplessly for the outcome of this struggle." (2, p.97)

"A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami had to face starkly that he had not one friend of stature in the US. Suddenly, he was as homeless as any derelict on the street. In fact many of them...were more secure he. They were ruined but settled." (2, p.96)

"Where was he going? He didn't know. He had come onto the street without knowing where he would was no place to stand wondering where you will live or is there a friend you can turn to." (2, p.95)

"This is what it meant to be working without government sponsorship...without a patron. It meant being vulnerable and insecure." (2, p.96)

"Paramahamsa Maharaja: 'When Abhay arrived, he appeared very poor, starving. He had no means.' Abhay told him how his business had failed and how he had willingly left his family and was now destitute." (1, p.164)

"Kumar Jain: 'I felt pity also because of the conditions under which he would come.'" (1, p.185)


"Krsna, by His grace, will supply whatever we need in executing our devotional service...even if we do not ask for them." (SB, 8.6.14)

"When a devotee needs something, the Supreme Personality of Godhead supplies it." (SB, 7.10,54)

"A Krsna conscious person does not take shelter of any person, man or demigod." (BG, 3.18)

"A Vaishnava guru is never dependent on the contributions of his disciples." (Adi, 7.91)

"Hiranyakasipu did not know that Prahlada Maharaja was the most fortunate person within the three worlds because Prahlada was protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Such are the misunderstandings of demons. They do not know that a devotee is protected by the Lord in all circumstances." (SB, 7.8.12)

"A person in full Krsna consciousness is not unduly anxious to execute the duties of his existence. The foolish cannot understand this great freedom from all anxiety. For one who acts in Krsna consciousness, Lord Krsna becomes the most intimate friend. He always looks after His friend's comfort, and He gives Himself to His friend, who is so devoutly engaged working twenty-four hours a day to please the Lord."


"Forced by conditions he accepted as Krsna's mercy, Prabhupada sat patiently..."

"But in the ten months since Calcutta, he had been moved by force of circumstances, or as he understood it, 'by Krsna's will,' from one place to another."


"The first sign of a Mahatma is that he is already situated in the divine nature. He is not under the control of the material nature." (BG, 9.13)

Note: This is an example of contaminations in "Lilamrta" which are more subtle and difficult to perceive. At first glance, these statements appear innocent enough. C)n close analysis, however, it says that Prabhupada was being forced to act by material nature, but that he "took it" as Krsna's mercy. Again, any neophyte can think in this way. Just as Krsna descends by His sweet will, so also the pure devotees act by their sweet will which is always the same as Krsna's will. They are never under the control of material nature. They are not even in contact with matter. They do as they please, the same as Krsna does. A correct wording for the above-mentioned concept would be: "He had moved, by his desire to serve Krsna, from one place to another." Then it is clear that Srila Prabhupada is not being forced by material nature. These kinds of subtle contaminations in "Lilamrta" are too numerous to detail to the full extent in this book.


"He sat on the couch while I swept with the vacuum cleaner, and he was so interested in that..."

"...came upon a verse in which Lord Krsna said something that startled him... Abhay shuddered as he read the verse. It seemed to speak directly to him. 'But what does it mean? Does it mean,' he thought,' that Krsna will take away all my money? Was that what was actually happening? Was that why his business plans were failing?... (1, p.88)

"His spiritual emotions were so turbulent that he wasn't thinking of going to Jhansi. He wanted to take a train to... Anywhere." (1, p. 163)

"Abhaya spent his time in Jhargaram chanting the Holy Name and becoming settled in detachment from his family."

"...yet without his spiritual master's physical presence, he felt small and very much alone. At times like tills, he questioned the wisdom of having left his family and business." (1, p.222) (In one letter Prabhupada said about his Guru Maharaja: "I have never for a moment left his association because I am following his instructions.")

"But to Abhay, Calcutta and the British were not alarming, and he even held a certain fondness for his Scottish teachers. Although he looked up to them with a mixture of awe, distance, and some tension, he admired their moral uprightness and their gentlemanly, courteous behavior with the boys."

"Although Prabhupada's home had suddenly become an insane terror, the street at its door was also a hellish, dangerous place. He was shaken." (2, p.95)

"America seemed so opulent, yet many things were difficult to tolerate. The sirens and bells from fire engines and police cars seemed like they would crack his heart." (2, p.37)

"He had taken quite a shock and now he was leaving the arena of David's madness." (2, p.95)

"Abhay was baffled; so much work had been undone. He felt he had worked so many months for nothing." (1, p.135)

"But his first attempts to arrange a meeting were unsuccessful. Frustrated at being put off by Mrs. Morarji's officers, he sat down..." (1, p.276)

"He had little idea of what to do as he walked off the ship onto the pier. 'I did not know whether to turn left or right.'" (2, p.8)

"When Abhay left Bharati Bhavan, with its six-foot-high lettering 'League of Devotees' painted across the outside wall, he felt sad."

"But he found the Swami just the opposite-very straightforward and even cutting in his speech and his mouth turned down at the comers, making him look mournful." (2, p.232)

"Prabhupada looked grave, almost sorrowful." (2, p.89)

"But it was embarrassing for him when he could not pay..." (1, p.186)

"...and Abhay and the others felt ashamed."

"Bhaktivedanta Swami's neighbors observed him coming home dead tired in the evening." (1, p.283)

"The next morning Prabhupada didn't get up. He was exhausted... For the first time, it became apparent that he was overexerting himself." (2, p.259)

"He stayed until around 11:00 and then he became drowsy. The party was over." (2, p.269)

"After some time, the drive became tiring for Prabhupada, and he dozed, his head resting forward." (2, p.172)

"One day, while delivering Back to Godhead to various addresses in the city, Abhay suddenly began reeling, half-unconscious, overcome by the heat." (1, p.194)


"Sometimes a representative of the Lord engaged in preaching work meets various so-called difficulties...although apparently very severe, the devotees of the Lord feel transcendental pleasure because the Lord is satisfied." (SB, 2.8.6)

"A pure devotee of the Lord does not live on any planet of the material sky, nor does he feel any contact with the material elements. His so-called material body does not exist, being surcharged with the spiritual current of the Lord's identical interest, and thus he is permanently freed from all contamination of the sum total of the mahat-tattva." (SB, 1.13.55)

"People following the principles of devotional service can never be put into difficulty." (SB, 2.8.18)

"Those who are devotees therefore have no problems in the material world... For a devotee, everything in this world is very pleasing because he knows how to use everything in the transcendental loving service of the Lord." (SB, 4.8.82)

"In the liberated stage, oneness with the Supreme Lord means that one has no realization other than happiness. (SB, 3.28.37)

Note: Since this book is primarily for experienced devotees, we are not going to refer to the many hundreds of thousands of quotes that clearly show that pure devotees do not ever manifest the above emotions and turmoils. They may appear to, hey may even say something to that effect, but the fact is that pure devotees are not in touch with matter. If they appear to exhibit such frailties, it is only to win the hearts of the fallen souls around them. After all, few would come forward to offer service to a superman. Such truths should not have to be spoken so openly, but it is necessary to make them clear in order to get his poisonous book, the "Lilamrta," recovered and burned.


The author, and those who worked with him on the "Lilamrta," have committed a horrendous offense to Srila Prabhupada. If they had tried this same "interpreting the mind" trick with some famous materialist who had died, they would be liable to get hit with a devastating slander lawsuit from the materialists' heirs. So just consider the gravity of what has happened-and is still happening-to Srila Prabhupada's reputation from the distribution of this slanderous book, the "Lilamrta." The descriptions in this book of the "problems" Srila Prabhupada seemingly underwent are not at all becoming to him, even though they draw out false empathy or even sympathy from the less-intelligent. The Mahabhagavata's disciples are never expected to take such quotes and apparent situations and put together a book which tugs on the heartstrings of all of its readers, while at the same time tugging and ripping out the devotional creeper.

Srila Prabhupada descended to this place and displayed the opulence of Krsna even amidst the most disturbed, atheistic, and inimical conditions. This world, with very little exception, consists mostly of impious men, religious fanatics, pseudo-seekers, demons, and so many frustrated persons who can have absolutely no faith in anyone. We all came to Srila Prabhupada, by his causeless mercy, from a category comparable to these. Just as Krsna and Lord Caitanya, when They descend, appear to fools as ordinary human beings, similarly, to the gross materialists, Srila Prabhupada certainly appeared to be a rather helpless mendicant with a cane, etc. Yet we, his disciples, are meant to know that he actually had the power to deliver the Ganges and all holy places from sinful reaction (SB,9.9.6). He had the power to surpass all the perfections of the yogis and make the whole universe tremble (SB, 4.8.78). Does this so-called "Lilamrta" invoke these realizations about our spiritual master? Or does it instead allow you to view him from two points of view, to empathize, and at times, even sympathize with him as he struggles to eke out his livelihood.

"Lilamrta" does not just make passing references to Prabhupada's apparent struggles, fully explaining how these things, in actuality, were the Lord's plan to glorify His devotee? No. Instead it highlights his so-called "inabilities," '-emotional and mental turmoils...... failures and setbacks," with the obvious purpose of weaving a web of heart-rending, tear-jerking sentimentality that can, and does, lead the readers into seeing Srila Prabhupada as an ordinary struggling man, just like the new "gurus," as being as good as, or better than, Srila Prabhupada. The "Lilamrta" is one of the reasons why this abominable mentality is even possible. Imitation thrones also assists the delusion. Equal worship is another strategy. "Lilamrta" is a contamination at nines so subtle, and so poisonous, that it works on the subconscious without a careless devotee even being aware. This book, and the books of Sridhar Maharaja will both produce results on the same level. Both have the same poisonous effect on one's soul. "Lilamrta" teaches that an uttama-adhikari can be an ordinary, struggling man, and Sridhar's books subtly teach impersonalism (Chapter Six). As many of these books as possible should be recovered and destroyed. If not, the authors will be subject to sever punishment, both in this lifetime, and for many future lifetimes to come. And the innocent victims reading these books may have their material existence extended as well.

Comments, inquiries, and donations toward this book may be sent to Steve Bryant (Sulocana dasa) 2124 Kittredge #32, Berkeley, CA, 94704. Thank you.