Hanuman ex-Swami on H.H. Gopal Krishna Swami

Jaya Narayana Das, Delhi, India

Old time devotees will recall the once-staunch French Canadian sannyasi Hanuman Swami. He has been away from the Hare Krishna movement for decades now, but in the following video we find that in his old age he has reincarnated as a new age counselor of sorts. He is a self-proclaimed "psycho-therapist, hypno-therapist with a special interest in brain washing, mind control and transpersonal psychology." Now called Henry Jolicoeur, he cuts an almost comedic profile decked out in a suit and tie and speaking in his tough-sounding French Canadian English in front of his impressive library. But what he discusses is no laughing matter. He does make sense and his words carry too much weight to be cast off out of hand.

In the video that follows, the ex-swamirants against Gopal Krishna Maharaja, the long-standing ISKCON guru and India GBC. Henry Jolicoeur's evidence for his tirade is quite strong, he has in hand a letter from Gopal Krishna Swami's sannyas-widow Smt. Ekayani devi dasi. Ekayani and her sister Indira were very early disciples of Srila Prabhupada who joined at 26 2nd Ave., NYC, while still in high school. Even in her teen years, Ekayani was a skilled oil artist and painted some very wonderful portraits of Lord Krishna at ISKCON's first temple. She and her sister were both enthusiastic preachers and delightful members of Prabhupada's early gathering at ISKCON's first center.

No one can deny that Mother Ekayani's letter as read by Henry Jolicoeur is heart rendering. Her missive is a plaintive cry, which tells of how Gopal Krishna attacked her with a wooden chair while her belly was swollen in her eighth month of pregnancy. She speaks of how she raised their "wonderful son" single-handedly with nary a penny of support from ISKCON or her ex-husband swami. Which staunch devotee will not be reduced to tears hearing her tale?

Henry Jolicoeur also has some sound advice for Gopal Krishna Swami, which other ISKCON leaders in India may also consider. He advises ISKCON gurus with their penchants for big thrones not to be too ostentations, thereby making themselves into targets for acts of extremism.

Shri Gopal Krishna Swami enjoyed much close association with Srila Prabhupada. He should have learned from his frequent contact with the pure devotee that Prabhupada was kind and caring for not only all his disciples, but even his ex-family members. His Divine Grace never neglected his ex-family members even as a sannyasi. Hanuman ex-Swami's contention that something is very wrong when a man leaves his wife and infant son in order to become a jagat guru unfortunately rings quite true. Indeed, something is amiss when one feels the need to pose as an ocean of Vaishnava compassion on one hand, while thoroughly disregarding one's own innocent child on the other.

We come away from Henry Jolicoeur's video asking ourselves, why are there so many broken hearts in ISKCON? Could not the so-called leaders have abandoned their rabid desire for self-aggrandizement for just a few moments to think about the needs of those who surrendered their very young lives to serve Hari, Guru and Vaishnavas? Does one man's need for power equate with destroying the spiritual lives of others?

For Ekayani, now Esther, there is little that can be done to repair the damage and soothe the pain that has festered in her heart for forty years. And the same goes for literally thousands of other innocent and devoted souls who were cast aside from a movement they gave every breath of their youthful lives to. They were ignominiously ejected because of a few megalomanical peers and their dire need for self-importance. In retrospect, Henry Jolicoeur, the ex-Swami, poses some very valid points.

We hope that the upcoming generation of ISKCON devotees will learn a lesson from this heart-breaking film. What some members of the guru squad do not seem to realize is that most devotees could care less for the ostentation, power and fame that some self-appointed "leaders" long for. Most devotees actually believe the simple and straightforward philosophy of Krishna consciousness. These pure souls only wish to serve Hari, Guru and Vaishnavas without any desire for reward or adulation. For them, unlike many "leaders", initiation into Krishna consciousness was not a free ticket to a life of free lunches and paid vacations.

The problem is that those who are infected with the virus for profit, distinction and adoration cannot consider that others might not be similarly diseased as they are. Hence they view others in the movement who have made a little advancement as threats to their position and seeing them in this light, these megalomaniacs work to censure the innocent members. For this reason eleven envious and insecure, though otherwise ordinary, men were allowed to wreak havoc upon ISKCON and seriously diminish its potency during the years when the sankirtan movement should have become a world force. And to some degree, the disease for undue recognition continues to this day. Indeed, to this end Henry Jolicoeur is correct. The guilt and the shame of many of the leaders within ISKCON is great, even for those deluded swamis and GBC's who think they are born of a higher pedigree than everyone else. And as far as this sideline observer is concerned, some serious prayaschit -- heavy penance -- is in long overdue for each one of those who have been guilty of censuring the innocent, because Krishna in His form as Time waits for no man. The days of our lives are winding down.

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