Some Comments on Tirtha's ''Words''
Note: Republished from SUN
In his recent letter from prison, Tirtha wrote:
"There are persons who object to devotees visiting or otherwise communicating with persons who are incarcerated. However, there is an authorized arm of ISKCON called ISKCON Prison Ministry, authorized by Srila Prabhupada himself. The head of this department is His Grace Chandrasekhara Prabhu. It exists as an outreach program for incarcerated persons, without discrimination as to offense, or any other material consideration. If a person contacts IPM asking for information, etc., such a request is taken seriously and all accommodation is made. With this in mind, why should anyone object if a merciful devotee attempts to rehabilitate another fallen devotee who happens to be in prison? Is this not also a part of IPM's mission? What of my own rehabilitation? Am I to be eternally condemned? Is this the Krishna conscious philosophy?"
What about Pradyumna prabhu and so many senior devotees who have been ''eternally condemned", with no merciful devotee from the GBC going to ask forgiveness from them and allowing their wise opinions to be followed by the non-existent GBC? Is this the Krishna conscious philosophy?
"Why then is a fallen devotee or a devotee due to circumstances that ends up in prison automatically excluded from spiritual rehabilitation? Where does it say in shastra that he is automatically and eternally condemned for whatever offense he has committed? Please quote chapter and verse in shastra to substantiate this claim. You cannot. Therefore why criticize someone who is working to rehabilitate prisoners who are initiated devotees? The philosophy of Krishna consciousness is based on compassion. Forgiveness is the defining characteristic of a Vaishnava. It doesn't imply we become naïve, but it means we are always ready to forgive those who may have offended or harmed us. Lord Jesus Christ forgave his tormentors while on the cross. We especially do not hold grudges and blaspheme devotees we disagree with. When we find a person who regularly blasphemes devotees, we should steer clear of such a person. Even reading their words and comments will cause us to likewise lose all of our spiritual credits."
Yes and why are so many devotees excluded from Iskcon because of their presenting the truth? Yes, where does it say in shastra that they are automatically and eternally condemned just because they don't agree with the scandalous fiasco that started in 1978 and is still going on?
Yes, please quote chapter and verse to substantiate this claim. YOU CANNOT.
Yes, the philosophy of Krishna consciousness is based on compassion when it's suitable for you to cover a crime, but the philosophy of Krishna consciousness is NOT based on compassion if the wrong-doer is opposed to the unauthorized guru system. Tirtha wrote:
"If a person has expressed genuine remorse and is truly repentant for their offenses that is the first step in their rehabilitation. At that point the devotee should be given counseling and examined to try to understand their actual heart in the matter. If they continue to show humility and sorrow for their transgression they should be accepted back. Such a person is never permanently banned from devotee association. Anyone can become deluded and make serious mistakes in their life. We should not be so cruel and callous as to never forgive them. At the very least some atonement should be given them to officially prepare a way for them to become redeemed. Even the Christians are not so hard hearted as some of the devotees pretend to be.
Still, there are some situations where a person can never fully forgive someone. If a person wishes to remain inimical toward an offender, that is one thing. However, what is the gain of taking this attitude toward persons who hope to rehabilitate such offenders? Either there is an IPM or there isn't. And if there is, it must be for all persons. With this in mind, I humbly ask all devotees to please assist me in going back home to Godhead. Please help me become spiritually rehabilitated. I accept that I am your servant and humbly request that you kindly give me some service to perform. If you wish to know more about me I have a website, Tirthainprison.com. I am available for your comments and corrections."
This forgiveness tactic is used just to strengthen the cover-up. Even Harivilasa was telling me that I should just forget PD and not be concerned about him when I asked for justice. Very deceptive tactic and I can see the similarity in both cases. It's a perfect way to cover a crime and a criminal, and engage everybody in false sentimentalism."
"In closing, too many devotees obsess over incidents they know nothing about. Many are addicted to reading accounts and stories, listening to rumors to the extent that over time they automatically accept whatever is said to be the truth. If a lie is repeated often enough it becomes the truth. Listening to gossip and spreading gossip is prajalpa. If someone genuinely needs to understand the truth of something, there is a process. Gossip and speculation only poison one's consciousness.
In the matter of events that happened 20+ years ago at NV, one should approach a reliable person who was at the core of events. You should then check that person's integrity and credentials to satisfy yourself they are telling the truth. But if the person supposedly propounding the truth is a chronic blasphemer, we should automatically doubt their veracity. Does the person follow the four regulative principles? Does the person chant 16 rounds every day? Srila Prabhupada said we shouldn't trust anyone who wasn't at least doing this much.
If you truly wish to know about the incidents I have alluded to, then you should ask the only person who knows. I am the only person who knows exactly what happened, with whom, and why. You can obtain the court transcripts to find out for yourselves. Go to NV and ask the devotees who were there during this period such as Nityodita or Sulochana’s former wife, Yamuna. Ask them if I am telling the truth. You should substantiate if I am following the regulative principles, chanting 16 rounds and eating only Krishna prasadam. You should carefully examine my character and statements to see if I have a propensity for blaspheming other devotees. You should very carefully examine everything I say. Then you can make up your mind. Not based on rumor, gossip or slanted commentaries by blasphemers. It is your choice."
Hare Krishna, Your servant,
(signed) Tirtha dasa
''In closing, too many devotees OBSESS ..." Two devotees from Spain have told me in the past these same words when I denounced the criminal PD, or when I spoke about the so-called gurus: ''you are very obsessed about this." I can see the similarity in both cases and I get the realization that this is NOT chance. They are putting those words in Tirtha's mouth as if he were actually saying them. The realization I get is that the corrupt hierarchy tells its subordinates to repeat these words to convince the investigators to avoid any investigation. These are my realizations.