Hridayananda is over the edge in Spiritual Discussions Posted February 5, 2009 · Report reply On Gays and Gay Marriage BY: KRISHNA KIRTI DASA Feb 04, USA — Funny how this coincides with the last email I wrote, in which I said that ISKCON should split. And then I received a number of concerned responses --some of them condescending. To the devotee who said he'd rather be a fallen devotee in ISKCON rather than a pure devotee outside of ISKCON -- being a "company man" has its drawbacks. You might actually get what you just wished for, but not in the way you imagined. Just consider this comment, as published on Dandavats, to the attached essays: "At the very end of last year in South Africa, a law was passed, sanctioning gay marriages. We cannot stop the advance of kali-yuga and we need to encourage everyone. However, by recognizing gay marriages in ISKCON, we endorse sexual activity not meant for procreation, which encourages ordinary married initiated couples to continue with fruitless sexual activities within marriage. If purity is indeed the force, shouldn’t our leaders encourage devotees to follow better and assist them in their struggle? We don’t need to give public lectures about it, but in small bhakti-vrksa groups and counselors groups, surely these things should be discussed and devotees encouraged to follow. We’ve had so many nauseating scandals. And krsna-kirti’s statement (approximate) that as time goes on, devotees who seriously want to progress will be forced to leave ISKCON is certainly a possibility we can’t dismiss lightly." (The rest of the comment can be read here) So, in finer detail, let me tell you all why I think it is a good idea that ISKCON split - one a liberal organization and the other a separate conservative organization. Ideas have consequences. HH HDG's radical ideas about sex have gone virtually unchallenged in the five years since he articulated them. That means that there are many, many devotees within ISKCON who are basing their understanding of Krishna consciousness on his views. Now we have gay blessing ceremonies. What is next? Hint: ideas motivate behavior. Because ISKCON's members increasingly disagree over fundamental precepts of our faith, the likelihood of internal conflict within ISKCON is already high and continues to escalate. If there is routine conflict, offenses will be routinely committed. When offenses are so easily and frequently committed, transcending material desire and making spiritual advancement will become all but impossible. laukika-lilate dharma-maryada-raksana stuti-bhaktye karena tanra carana vandana "To maintain the proper etiquette for the principles of religion, Lord Caitanya bows down at the lotus feet of Sri Advaita Acarya with reverential prayers and devotion." (CC Adi 6.41 trans) In an atmosphere of high conflict, it will be very difficult if not impossible to maintain the right mood for making spiritual advancement. The proper etiquette necessary to follow the principles of religion will routinely be neglected or broken. Although some devotees have asked me to "stay and fight", I believe that if like-minded others and I continue to do that, then sooner rather than later we, and our opponents, will commit mistakes that will hurt our spiritual advancement. This is where being not liberated makes a difference. Even as devotees on the right path, we are still prone to making mistakes, being in illusion, making calculations based on faulty and imperfect senses, and, yes, our cheating propensity can also mislead us, too. Yes, us non-liberated sadhakas still have a cheating propensity! All it takes is a single mistake to ruin anyone's spiritual progress. Because an atmosphere of high conflict maximizes the risk of making such mistakes, which often enough translate into offenses, separation rather than unity is therefore in the best interests of ISKCON's members and Srila Prabhupada's mission. Although there was a time when "stay and fight" was the virtuous thing to do, this has been going on for five years, now. The GBC knows about it, yet they have decided not to take any action. Maunam samiti lakshanam. The time is over for giving them any more benefit of the doubt. As there is no chance of rectifying this through ISKCON's official political channels, and the risk of creating offenses is too great, it is time for devotees who know better to strike out on their own and form their own organization. Of course, I don't expect such a thing to happen immediately. Devotee leaders who are disciples of Srila Prabhupada are just not going to leave unless they are deeply and personally offended by GBC officials. And I don't see that happening in the foreseeable future. Because of their advanced age, they will to try to avoid conflict and stay, whatever the cost. The next generation of devotees (my generation) will take over soon enough -- perhaps within the next 10 years. Because we are younger and more "idealistic", it is for us to make the decision whether to split or not. This letter is therefore not so much directed to Srila Prabhupada disciples as it is to devotees in my generation and those who are younger. Of course, like-minded others and I could be wrong about all this. Maybe we're all in maya. Who knows? However, what is indisputable is that things like blessing a gay wedding (or whatever you want to call it, "a rose by any other name is still a rose") are things that Srila Prabhupada himself clearly and unequivocally spoke out against. Do we want to live in an ISKCON that doesn't respect Srila Prabhupada's teachings and sentiments? Perhaps some do. I don't. Although I agree that Srila Prabhupada wanted ISKCON to remain together, I also believe that Srila Prabhupada would not have wanted ISKCON to become something show-bottle and sahajiya. I believe that Srila Prabhupada would prefer splitting ISKCON and having at least one group remain faithful to his teachings than seeing ISKCON remain united yet unfaithful. If anyone wants to see what a serious proposal for what a bifurcated ISKCON would look like, as made by a senior and respected ISKCON member (who wants to remain anonymous, so don't even bother asking me to tell you who he is), you can read about it here.