Sunday, August 3, 2008

Maws, Morons & Oxymorons

I received a lot of interesting feedback from my last post, "Secret GBC Resolution Revealed." Most readers thought it was funny and really enjoyed it. Satire exaggerates and highlights the shadows of reality to the point where you gotta laugh at it.

One old friend and godbrother wrote me: "too funny 'maws.' we won't make it to the pisswall at this rate, but at least we'll die laffin on the way there..."

Another godbrother commented that he read half-way thru the post before he suspected it might be a farce. He still wasn't sure if it was true or not, so he looked up the word "Maws" in a dictionary, because English is not his native language. Well, English is my native tongue, but i also looked it up when i was creating an acronym for the Mayapur Perpetual Worship Scheme:
maw |mô|
1. the jaws or throat of a voracious animal like a wolf hound.
2. the mouth or gullet (stomach) of a greedy person.

Do i really think the GBC body should be compared to the jaws of a wolf? The short answer: yes. Because what Srila Prabhupada gave to each and every one of his disciples was his mercy and his love. He deputized the GBC to administer this love on his behalf. How do you administer love? There's only one way: by creating TRUST. Love cannot exist without trust. Trust is always the foundation for love in any relationship.

And what has the GBC done since the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada? From practically the moment he left this world, the zonal acaryas used their power, manipulation, deceipt and despotism to create DISTRUST amongst and between their godbrothers and godsisters. Now that the years have gone by, the zonals have been replaced by the reformers. But have they brought back the spirit of love and trust to Iskcon? If they have, then why are 95% of Prabhupada's disciples-- his spiritual children-- still unwelcome and missing in action?

(To any idiots who want to know if this percentage has been verified by a "survey," no it hasn't, But Prabhupada initiated around 5,000 disciples. How many do you see hanging around Iskcon these days? In most temples, none or very, very few. That means 95% or more are missing. And it's not because they're all "in maya.")

Does anyone in Iskcon's leadership ever ask why those devotees--their godbrothers and godsisters-- have gone away? Or how Iskcon could make them welcome or encourage them? The answer to that question is an all-pervasive silence. Or, if anyone is preaching and criticises the GBC, they pass a resolution to gag that person.

Will a war criminal ever call for his own trial? Does a greedy, voracious politician ever give up his position? Can a moron sit down and write poetry?

Maws was an attempt to satirize the characters within Iskcon who act more like caricatures than acaryas. If i had written such a piece 25 years earlier, clearly my life would be endangered. Even now, some fundamentalist disciple might read these posts and seek me out to avenge his guru's honor. So let me clarify (if only to protect my own life). I'm not saying the GBC men and women are inherently evil. Most if not all are dedicated devotees. But i am saying that they have failed the basic test and responsibility given to them by Srila Prabhupada. That is the duty of the GBC to set the example for love and trust between devotees.

Either by comission or by omission, the leaders of Iskcon have miserably failed Srila Prabhupada on this most fundamental issue. They have acted not as brahmanas but as kripanas (misers) and even worse, not as servants but as oligarchs who lord over others.

Does anyone claim that the spirit of trust can be found in Iskcon? Or that there is a social model anywhere in Iskcon where artificial hierarchies of haves and have nots does not exist? Let me know, because i haven't seen it, and i've been around a long time. I see the opposite wherever i go. In a few places there is a standard of etiquitte being practiced, but even there, the mentality of "us and "them" predominates. And "us" usually translates to no more than the "I, me and mine" of a respective leader and his surrogates.

OK, but where's the oxymoron i mentioned in this post's title?
a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction
ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Greek oxumōron, neuter (used as a noun) of oxumōros ‘pointedly foolish,’ from oxus ‘sharp’ + mōros ‘foolish.’

The sharply foolish meme here is the notion that the GBC represents Srila Prabhupada's spirit of love and trust. Yes, that is the GBC's reason for existence-- to apply Prabhupada's spirit justly and wisely in the society of devotees. But when you put the words together-- Prabhupada's spirit and the GBC -- you get a perfect oxymoron, a self-contradictory conjunction. The GBC produces mistrust, the opposite of what it was created to produce. A living contradiction to the spirit of love and trust embodied by Srila Prabhupada.

The credibility that was invested in the GBC has become so devalued that only its own members take themselves seriously. Even many of their own disciples see thru their incompetence. After more than 30 years of negligent, often abusive, and always abysmal leadership, the best offering the GBC could now make to Srila Prabhupada is to resign en masse. That is something that would make him happy, although they will never do it.

If they did, they could call a general meeting of all devotees, especially the disciples of Prabhupada who left or were forced to leave Iskcon but who still honor and worship Prabhupada in their own hearts. Let them sit together with the self-retired GBC and together find a way to deconstruct the legal, corporate, religious labyrinth that the GBC concocted with their own ideas to fortify their own control. And let the devotees find some hope to rediscover the original purpose and mood Srila Prabhupada had in his pure heart when he brought Krishna consciousness from Vrindavan to Second Avenue. That's the spirit of awareness and love for Krishna and mutual trust and respect for each other. Love and trust. Without them, Iskcon is just another intolerant religion that promises substance but delivers only style. And creates opportunities for maws, morons and oxymorons.


Carlo Ananda said...

Wonderful post. So inspiring that it prompted me to post something on my blog following in your mood.

Madhava Gosh said...

>Can a moron sit down and write poetry?

So, pass your own test and write some poetry. If you can't...

Carlo Ananda said...

Jauvana has written plenty of beautiful poetry that even a moron can read and appreciate. Check out his lyrics for his songs on his CD, "Jivatma Express"

jauvana said...

Madhava Ghosh,
I admit to being a moron sometimes. where's your writing? i went to your blog and could not find anything. Share with us...we're thirsty for original thinking and expression. You can't get away with just one liners.