DOCTRINAL CONTROVERSY AND THE GROUP
CONRAD JOSEPH (KUNDALI DAS)
In 1994-95, a long-simmering doctrinal controversy
came to a boil in ISKCON. It turned around the question, Where
did the souls in this world originally come from? Did they fall down from
Vaikuntha, the kingdom of God? Did they come here from some other place? Were
they always here? Concerned devotees were not satisfied with the stock response
of the society's leaders, which was that souls fall here from Vaikuntha, for it
seemed inconsistent with other parts of the Gaudiya philosophy. They kept
pressing the question. Eventually the issue reached an inflamed emotional
pitch. In the end, although the leaders of ISKCON never delivered a sound
philosophical explanation for their verdict, based on scripture, those who
disagreed with the official position were dubbed heretical.
Part 1 of this paper presents a case study of that doctrinal controversy. Here I show five things: (1) a significant number of ISKCON members consider it a virtue to take the founder's words as absolute, that is, uncritically or blindly; (2) the methodology ISKCON commonly uses for determining doctrinal deviation, because it is not based on rigorous epistemological procedure, is arbitrary;
(3) several of lSKCON's top scholars-and tlle GBC as a whole-have a fundamentally wrong understanding of the scriptural tradition they represent; (4) ISKCON's concept of heresy results in confusion, because it is not based on proven deviation from divine revelation or scriptural canon but on perceived deviation from the teachings of lSKCON's founder, Swami Prabhupada; (5) the inescapable outcome of these four failings is that ISKCON commits heresy against its own tradition.
In part 2, using this case study as a backdrop, I pursue a broader discussion of the dynamics within ISKCON, drawing primarily on Erich Fromm's and Abraham Maslow's theories of social psychology. I conclude by stating briefly the key step in addressing the problem of destructive group dynamics.
Though ISKCON has a bulky law book, it has no official definition of
heresy. Accordingly, we must deduce its position from the official reaction to events
deemed heretical, and from unofficial published statements of some of ISKCON's
long-standing leaders. One such leader, the late Tamal Krishna Goswami, besides
being a Governing Body Commission (GBC) member and guru, is a respected ISKCON
academic. At the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion (New
Orleans, 1996), he presented a paper entitled, "The Perils of Succession:
Heresies of Authority and Continuity in the Hare Krishna Movement." So far
the most thorough treatment of the topic in print, it subsequently appeared in
the ISKCON Communications Journal (5  [June 1997]). Citing Joseph
Tyson (1984:410), Tamal Krishna Goswami defines heresy as follows:
The word heresy is derived from a Greek word meaning "choice." It had been used to designate the particular teachings of philosophical schools, and it denoted the opinion that each one had chosen. Christian writers began to use the term and soon gave it a pejorative significance. To them it indicated that a person had chosen a human opinion and rejected divine revelation. In this sense heresy has an evil significance, and the heretic is considered evil.
All orthodox systems of Indian spirituality accept the divine origin of the Vedic scripture, so the Gaudiya tradition implicitly agrees with Tyson that heresy means choosing a human opinion over divinely revealed scriptural canon. When we look at Tamal Krishna Goswami's application of the term "heresy," however, he is inconsistent with his own stated definition. Issues that should merely be called controversy are labeled heresy. For instance, he labels a 1976 power struggle between the ascetics of ISKCON and the householders. This was a power play that involved no canonical dispute as such, though it greatly displeased Prabhupada, for it threatened schism among his followers. Another misplaced item on Tamaľs list is the controversy that erupted when some ISKCON members wanted to emphasize the esoteric aspect of bhakti, which focuses on the erotic pastimes of Krishna. That episode also incurred the extreme displeasure of Prabhupada, who considered his disciples' interest in spiritual eroticism premature, but it hardly qualifies as a rejection of divine revelation. There were two occurrences of such emphasis on premature eroticism in ISKCON's history. Confirming his misapplication of heresy, Tamal Krishna Goswami listed them both as instances of heresy.
Tamal Krishna Goswami, in summarizing the GBC's resolution, states: "Regarding philosophical controversies, Prabhupada's instructions and personal example are to be the first and primary source for ISKCON's devotees. Vedic literatures, the writings of the past acharyas, and even the current teachings of any bona fide non-ISKCON acharya must be viewed through Prabhupada's teachings." This suggests that for the GBC, Prabhupada's utterances are the yardstick for truth claims, not an epistemological analysis of the divine revelation of scripture. We will see more evidence to tllis effect.
According to the GBC's outlook on doctrinal controversy, to question, sift, and sort the statements of Prabhupada, even in light of canonical statements and the views of previous commentators in the Gaudiya line, is to risk being heretical. Instead, one should do the reverse, understand all matters by filtering them though Prabhupada's explanations. Indeed, to this effect, Tamal Krishna Goswami cites Hridayananda Das Goswami, long-time GBC member (now retired), and respected ISKCON academic with a Harvard Ph.D.: "The members of ISKCON, who live perpetually at the feet of Shrila Prabhupada, may speculate how Shrila Prabhupada's statements are true, but they may not challenge his statements, or claim that they are false. This is precisely what it means to accept Shrila Prabhupada as the founder-acharya."
Hridayananda Das Goswami, one of the main players in the controversy under discussion, has clearly articulated his orientation: the line between heresy and orthodoxy is not based on the divine revelation of scripture but on Prabhupada's utterances. To question these, or to examine any contradictory statements with a critical eye, is unacceptable scholarship, in Hridayananda's view, and unacceptable conduct for a follower of Prabhupada. And this orientation, he says, "is precisely what it means to accept Prabhupada." So, if Prabhupada said brass is gold, for example, a good disciple can try to justify how his statement is true, but does not dare have a goldsmith test a sample. Accept his opinion as your own; if it is questioned, generate arguments to bolster his words and you are the true believer. Tamal Krishna Goswami agrees witll this stance. Thus, to follow Prabhupada, in the eyes of two of ISKCON's leading lights, means to do so uncritically, blindly.
For several years prior to 1994, the question of the fallen souľs origin was high on the agenda of the GBC's Philosophical Committee. Eventually, the chair of that committee, Suhotra Swami, gave up his post, declaring that the committee was unable to resolve the question. Meanwhile, in an unrelated development, Satyanarayana Das and Kundali Das1 were both involved in translating and commenting on the Sandarbhas,2 a six-part treatise by Shri Jiva Goswami, a prominent disciple of Chaitanya in the sixteenth century and one of the principal formulators of the Gaudiya philosophy. All Gaudiyas accept Jiva Goswami's exegesis as the most systematic and conclusive work on Chaitanya's philosophy.
Word got out that Kundali and Satyanarayana's view on the origin of embodied souls in this world, reflecting Jiva Goswami's teachings, was that no one falls from the spiritual realm, but rather the souls were always here in the samsaric material world. Not knowing any of the evidence or reasoning from these two authors, another reputed ISKCON academic, Drutakarma Das, circulated a vitriolic e-mail to the GBC members on August 24, 1994 making serious charges against them. His message revealed a fervor that did not invite discussion: "To kill Shrila Prabhupada's teachings (by whimsically explaining them away) is to kill Shrila Prabhupada. So let him [Satyanarayana] go and publish his nonsense interpretations elsewhere. At least we will know that we have preserved Shrila Prabhupada's teachings intact and insured against that thing Shrila Prabhupada most feared, that we would change or relativize what he taught us." From his words it is clear that Drutakarma, like Tamal Krishna Goswami and Hridayananda Das Goswami, believes that to question Prabhupada's words is to "relativize" his teachings, a vile deed. Conversely, the height of virtue and righteousness must be to take Prabhupada literally and without question.
Did Prabhupada teach this to his disciples? Was this his mission in coming to the West? Did he try to establish a cult of personality? He wrote more than 60 books, and his recorded lectures and conversations are in the hundreds. More than 4,000 of his letters are archived, and there are several films of him as well. So there is no shortage of data we can examine to see what most typifies his orientation, his personality, and his character. Such an examination shows that he taught that scripture, not quoting and counterquoting his own words, is the litmus test for truth claims: "The proces s of speaking in spiritual circles is to say something upheld by the scriptures. One should at once quote from scriptural authority to back up what he is saying" (Bhagavad Gita 17.15, purport). Prabhupada's view accords with Tyson's definition of heresy. Then how and why did some of his most learned followers end up with the very opposite idea of what he was all about?
Drutakarma's vitriol raised the controversy to an emotional pitch that precluded any equitable procedure or due process. He backed the leaders into a corner over the translation efforts of Kundali and Satyanarayana. He also authored an unpublished manuscript, "Once W e Were with Krishna," which was circulated via the Internet. In it he laid out his understanding of what came to be called "the jiva issue." Kundali and Satyanarayana were prevailed upon to respond to both his e-mail and his book. Lnitially, they refused, sensing that a philosophical discussion was hopeless. Eventually, however, a further missive from Drutakarma Das appeared in an Internet discussion group for ISKCON members. In an attempt to exalt Prabhupada's greatness and show love for him, Drutakarma made claims implying that Prabhupada had started his own line of disciplic succession, the "Prabhupada Parampara," or "Prabhupada Sampradaya," which is something Prabhupada never claimed for himself. Rather, he insisted that he did not add or subtract anything from his predecessors.
At this point, Kundali and Satyanarayana resolved to respond to Drutakarma and to clear up the jiva issue for posterity. In the spirit of open debate, they decided to write a book refuting Drutakarma's idea that the souls in this world originally fell from the spiritual world. They would do this via an epistemological analysis and show that Prabhupada's final conclusion on the question agreed with his predecessors in the Gaudiya lineage. The book was called In Vaikuntha, Not Even the Leaves Fall.
In researching Prabhupada's statements about the origin of the soul, Kundali and Satyanarayana found that at different times he in fact had given three different kinds of responses to the question:
1. Typically, his answer was that all living entities were once with Krishna, but misused their free will and opted out of that perfect situation. As a result they fell from the spiritual kingdom to the material world. Now, in the human form of life, they have the chance, by perfecting their bhakti, to return to Krishna's kingdom.
2. At other times, notably when Prabhupada was not responding directly to the jiva question from disciples but addressing it in the context of a lecture or in his writings, he was emphatic that no one falls from Vaikuntha (Bhag. 3.16.26, purport): "The conclusion is that no one falls from the spiritual world, or Vaikuntha planet, for it is the eternal abode."
3. Sometimes Prabhupada discouraged dwelling on the question: "What does it matter how you got here? If you are drowning, the important thing is to get out of the ocean. Solve this problem. Later you may understand how it happened." In a variant of this category of response, Prabhupada sometimes compared it to arguing whether the fruit fell from the tree because the bird flew off the branch or the fruit fell first, causing the bird to take off; in other words, the question was a fruitless speculative enterprise.
In short, on some occasions Prabhupada said that the souls did fall from the Kingdom of God; on others, that they did not; and sometimes he discouraged dwelling on the issue at all.
One naturally assumes that all three versions cannot be the conclusive truth under the Gaudiya view; but how to ascertain the correct one? Despite the assertions of Tamal Krishna Goswami, Hridayananda Goswami, and Drutakarma, quoting Prabhupada back and forth will never solve the problem, because those who are fortified with counterquotes in support of the version they favor will simply not accept the opposing view. A better approach would be to turn to epistemology. This would be impartial and conclusive. As Will Durant (1961) pointed out, epistemology is more a part of science than philosophy proper, because its purpose is to validate truth claims.4 So in efforts to settle possible heretical deviation, epistemology is indispensable.
To Kundali and Satyanarayana, therefore, their task seemed simple. They had only to apply the standard epistemological proofs to each of Prabhupada' s three replies to the jiva question and see which one had the support of scriptural canon. It was not a matter of lacking faith in Prabhupada, relativizing him, or one-upmanship over the institution's leaders. It was a matter of reconciling Prabhupada with revelation and rendering a service in resolving a controversy they did not even start. As it happened, the very text they were working on, the six-part exegetical work of Jiva Goswami, mentioned earlier, details the Gaudiya epistemology in Tattva Sandabha, the first of the six-part treatise. Jiva Goswami explains that the Gaudiya epistemology is essentially a triad composed of scriptural testimony (shabda), inferential reasoning (anumana), and direct perception or experience (pratyaksha).
Scriptural testimony, which for Gaudiyas is the same as divine revelation, is considered infallible because it is not of human origin and is therefore free of the four human defects-making mistakes, being deceived, cheating, and having imperfect senses. Reason (anumana) and sense perception (pratyaksha) are not considered as reliable because, having human origin, they are subject to the four defects. It is important to note, however, that despite these defects, Jiva Goswami does not reject reason and direct experience as sources of knowledge. While they are not as reliable as revelation, they are valid means of knowledge. His point is that though not totally reliable, they are not totally invalid, either-they just cannot stand as independent means but must work in concert with revelation.
Indeed, to properly understand revelation, so there is no inconsisteney between different statements in the scriptures, reason (anumana) is essential.
Consequently, Baladeva, another major formulator of Gaudiya thought in
the nineteenth century, was careful to mention in his treatise on Vedanta
Sutra that while revelation is the source of understanding, we must not
leave out reason. Commenting on Sutra 1.1.3, Baladeva writes: "Uha,
or right reasoning, is that by which we find out the true sense of a
scriptural passage by removing all conflicts between what precedes and what
follows it. But one should abandon all mere dry speculation."5
Dry speculation means attempting to understand the subject matter without referring to the revelation of scripture, whereas right reasoning is the attempt to reconcile the various utteranees of scripture, resulting in a clear understanding. Prabhupada taught this epistemological method to his disciples:
The devotee in the first or uppermost class is described as follows. He is very expert in the study of relevant scriptures, and he is also expert in putting forward arguments in terms of those scriptures. He can very nicely present conclusions with perfect discretion and can consider the ways of
devotional service in a decisive way. . . . The first-class devotee never deviates from the principles of higher authority, and he attains firm faith in the scriptures by understanding with all reason and arguments. When we speak oj arguments and reason, it means arguments and reason on the basis of revealed scriptures. (29-30; italics mine)6
As for sense perception (pratyaksha), the third epistemological proof, that too has its role. In the Bhagavad Gita (9.2) Krishna declares that because bhakti gives "direct pereeption of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion." Revelation, then, when properly understood and applied via reason, culminates in direet experience, the final measure of any truth claim. Thus, the three methods of knowledge work together, with revelation essentially guiding the other two.
As the quote above shows, Prabhupada was aware of and taught proper epistemological procedure. Further, implicit in his encouragement to subject Chaitanya' s teachings to the cold light of reason (vichara) is the invitation to do the same with his own words as well:
Nyaya-kovidah means nyaya-nipuna. Bhagavad-dutas, those who are gosvamis, they place everything with nyaya, or logic. Their instructions are not blind, dogmatic. Naya-kovidah. Everything, what is said by Krsna or His representative, they are not dogmas. Those who are not representative of Krsna, they wilI say simply dogmas . . . in Bhagavata religion, Bhagavata-dharma, there is no dogma. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Bhagavata- dharma, the Chaitanya-Charitamrita's author, Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, says, therefore, that caitanyera dayara katha karaha vicara. Vicara means you just try to understand the gift of Lord Chaitanya by logic, vicara. Don't follow blindly. Following blindly something, that is not good. That will not stay. But one should take everything with logic . . . the servants of God, they put everything in logic. Caitanyera dayara katha kara- ha vicara. . . . Study the Chaitanya's philosophy with logic and argument. . . . Don't go by sentiment.
Also, in commenting on Gita (4.34), the central verse supporting the rule of surrender to the guru, Prabhupada writes: "In this verse, both blind following and absurd inquiries are condemned." In the same purport, he stresses that a disciple must seek "a clear understanding" via submissive service and questioning the guru. From this and the passage above, we see that the dogmatic orientation implicit in the statements of Hridayananda Das Goswami, Tamal Krishna Goswami, Dmtakarma, and others is not Prabhupada's outlook. His rational and epistemologically sound approach rules out the method of anyone who advocates that the primary category of proof is Prabhupada's statements, not scriptural canon, and that a follower's task is simply to reconcile scripture with Prabhupada rather than reconcile Prabhupada with scripture.
Such a mindset suggests literalism, dogmatism, fanaticism, and the inevitable confusion these traits bring, because like any other thinker in history (or any scriptural text), Prabhupada said many things that require intelligent consideration and reconciliation in order to derive a clear understanding. This means his utterances cannot have equal weight in every context. Literalism flies in the face of Prabhupada's own stated aim, which was to inspire a class of thoughtful, reasonable people who would assimilate the Gaudiya philosophy so well they would eschew all dogmatism in establishing its tenets.
How can a sincere disciple validate all Prabhupada's statements when he gives three different answers on the same question? Even the most zealous blind follower is hard put by this requirement to go three ways at once. Indeed, Tamal Krishna Goswami, Drutakarma, and Hridayananda Das Goswami could not go three ways themselves; they favor one of the three answers, though in every case their verdict was reached without applying the Gaudiya epistemology. The GBC body could not go three ways either, or it would not have had a philosophical committee working on the issue for several years, nor would it have an official ruling favoring only one of the three options-a ruling, we shall see, in which it does not acknowledge the aforementioned "conclusion" of Prabhupada that no one falls from the spiritual world, or reconcile this with its verdict.
Also relevant is why among ISKCON members there is a general failure to understand and apply Gaudiya epistemology properly, despite Prabhupada explaining Jiva Goswami's version. Part of the confusion is because, typically, when ISKCON members discuss reason and sense perception, they equate "fallible" with "invalid," and from this basic miscalculation, distort their whole approach to epistemology, and, ultimately, to Gaudiya Vaishnavism itself. They strive to eliminate, or at least undermine, two out of the three proofs and leave only revelation.
This tendency is seen in another essay that appeared in the ISKCON Communications Journal entitled, "Doubt and Certainty in Krishna Consciousness."8 The author, Suhotra Swami, also a GBC leader, guru, and former chair of the GBC's Philosophical Committee, initially argues correctly for the interrelationship between revelation and reason, but quickly sets this aside and proceeds to undermine reason, instilling in the unsuspecting reader a disdain for reason rather than a heightened awareness of its utility and importance when combined with or guided by revelation, which is the actual Gaudiya standpoint. There is an interesting subtext to this practice. Since shabda, or revelation, loosely interpreted, also means "hearing from authority," eliminating reason and sense perception takes on a special significance in the ISKCON context, especially since followers are not supposed to question the authority of divine revelation, for to do so brings their faith into question. Before long "authority" in the scriptural context is used interchangeably with "authority" in the organizational sense-human authorities. This occurs in Tamal Krishna Goswami's application of the term in his paper on heresies of authority, and the same is implied in Suhotra Swami's essay on doubt and certainty. According to him, ultimate authority for an ISKCON member is not divine revelation, as upheld by Jiva Goswami and other recognized Gaudiya masters. Suhotra Swami's last sentence in his opening paragraph unwittingly redefines authority, putting the guru and other devotees on a par with revelation: "Therefore, when a devotee of Krishna is asked about the certainty of his beliefs he usually answers by quoting authority: guru (the spiritual master), shastra (the Vedic scriptures) and sadhu (other devotees respected for their realization of the teachings of guru and shastra)." Thus, Suhotra Swami does not explain Gaudiya epistemology at all, but substitutes a new triad in its place. Instead of the triad Jiva Goswami taught-revelation, reason, and direct experience-he posits revelation, guru, and respected saintly persons. He elevates guru and respected devotees (which includes GBC members, among others) to an equal footing with canon.
There is an explanation for this confusion. Suhotra Swami's triad is part of the Gaudiya system, but it is not part of epistemology proper, a distinction one fails to make. In the tradition, trinity functions as a frame of reference in the sense that one may confer with a more experienced lawyer for insight about the law but should recognize that his expert opinion is not itself the law; it should be in accord with the law, but one does not blindly assume that it is. Similarly, even after applying the proper proofs for truth claims-scriptural canon, reason, and experience-one may still want to confer with a guru or a saintly person, to seek confirmation that one has applied the method correctly and arrived at the right conclusion. That is the proper utility for the triad Suhotra Swami advocates as the actual epistemological method. For him, revelation, guru, and "respected saintly persons" are all equal and interchangeable authorities. Accordingly, if challenged, a devotee invokes authority to justify his beliefs rather than explaining them with logical arguments, which is an abstruse way of saying a devotee blindly follows authority.
These leading devotees are not atypical examples within ISKCON. Their writings are read across the society, yet no readers challenge the philosophical blunders they propound. This in turn suggests that for a large segment of Prabhupada's followers, their guru became what Erich Fromm called "the voice of swallowed authority," an authority so idolized-and so feared-that none dares examine his words with a critical eye, even when he is teaching precisely such an analytical approach to life itself: "Don't follow blindly. Following blindly something, that is not good. That will not stay. But one should take everything with logic . . . the servants of God, they put everything in logic. Caitanyera dayara katha karaha vicara. . . . Study Chaitanya's philosophy with logic and argument. . . . Don't go by sentiment."
Sentiment is the very thing in evidence here, substantiated by a twisting of the Gaudiya teachings. I suggest that the mindset reflected in the words and attitudes of Tamal Krishna Goswami, Hridayananda Goswami, and Drutakarma Das, and indirectly in the words of Suhotra is endemic in ISKCON. The same confusion is reflected in the GBC resolution regarding the book that Kundali and Satyanarayana wrote to air their side of the controversy.
To assess the book, the GBC formed a nine-member subcommittee. The chair was Ravindra Svarupa Das, another highly respected ISKCON academic as well as a reputed ISKCON reformer. Out of the nine, however, only two members, Ravindra Svarupa and Jayadvaita Swami, read the book they were to pass judgment on. These two told the others what to think, and the committee voted to ban the book. In ISKCON two members of a jury can hear a case and decide the verdict. In this case, the jury was composed of top leaders in the society and no one of them protested the ethos involved. That committee in turn informed the GBC body what to think, and the body ruled on the issue in 1995, telling the whole society in turn what to think. GBC resolution number 79 for that year reads as follows:
1. Vaikuntha is that place from which no one ever falls down. The living entity belongs to Lord Krsna's marginal potency (tatashtha shakti). On this we all agree. The origin of the conditioned life of the souls now in this material world is undoubtedly beyond the range of our direct perception.
We can therefore best answer questions about that origin by repeating the answers Shrila Prabhupada gave when such questions were asked of him: "The original home of the living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the spiritual world. In the spiritual world both the Lord and the living entities live together very peacefully. Since the living entity remains engaged in the service of the Lord, they both share a blissful life in the spiritual world. However, when the living entity, misusing his tiny independence, wants to enjoy himself, he falls down into the material world" (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.54, purport).
No ISKCON devotee shall present or publish any contrary view as conclusive in any class or seminar or any media (print, video, electronic, etc.). 2. In resolving philosophical controversies, the teachings, instructions, and personal example of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada shall be the first and primary resource for ISKCON devotees. We should understand Vedic literature, the writings of previous acharyas, and the teachings of current bona fide acharyas outside ISKCON through the teachings of Shrila Prabhupada. Where we perceive apparent differences, we may attribute them to our own lack of understanding or (more rarely) to "differences among acharyas." When acharyas apparently differ, we shall defer to what is taught by His Divine Grace, our Founder-Acharya. 3. The GBC rejects the speculation that Shrila Prabhupada, while teaching about the original position of the jiva, did not mean what he said. The GBC finds this speculation unwarranted, poorly supported, unintentionally offensive to Shrila Prabhupada, and, as a precedent, dangerous.
The GBC therefore directs that, effective immediately, the book In Vaikuntha, Not Even the Leaves Fall shall be prohibited from sale and distribution at all ISKCON centers and by all ISKCON entities. The GBC members and temple presidents shall be responsible for carrying out this resolution. The GBC appreciates Satyanarayana Dasa's willingness to withdraw the book.
One readily sees the singular consistency between the GBC's attitude and the examples already cited from Tamal Krishna Goswami, Hridayananda Goswami, Drutakarma Das, and Suhotra Swami-emphasis on Prabhupada's words without any pretense of canonical support. Rather than actual philosophy, Prabhupada's name is invoked, making it difficult to disagree with those invoking it for fear of being perceived as argumentative with the founder, which is believed to be a mode of conduct unthinkable to his authentic follower. To question too keenly can instantly ruin the credibility of a questioner, regardless of the true motive or the actual content of the inquiry. Credibility is not all that may get ruined. Those with power may feel justified in teaching a lesson to punish the offensive questioner in any way they see fit. The clear point is that the entire GBC body labors under a conception that to question Prabhupada, or to appear to disagree with him, is heretical. It appears that ISKCON's top leaders learned to parrot Prabhupada's words, and are unable to apply his teachings in terms of the Gaudiya norms.
Moreover, not content to merely suppress the opposition, the next year the GBC published an official rebuttal to the banned book. No doubt the ethos of airing to the public only one side of a debate says something about the inner workings of ISKCON. The book, called Our Original Position,9 had three authors, Gopiparanadhana Das, a Sanskrit scholar and translator, widely regarded in ISKCON as an authority on Gaudiya philosophy, and the aforementioned Suhotra Swami and Hridayananda Goswami. In the preface, Hridayananda Das Goswami reveals the book's slant when he declares that it is not his aim to resolve the issue, but "simply to restore within ISKCON the proper spiritual culture within which we may study the issue. The proper spiritual culture is to submissively accept the statements of our Founder-Acharya as fact, and then try, through devotion and service, to realize the purport of his statements."
According to Hridayananda Das Goswami, it is not proper spiritual culture to cleave to Gaudiya epistemology in studying the issue, but to accept as fact whatever Prabhupada said, even if he gave three different replies to the same question. Yet none of the three authors could accept all three replies as equally valid, for their book echoed the verdict of the GBC resolution. So it is not even a matter of accepting unequivocally all three versions of what Prabhupada said, but rather of accepting the one approved by ISKCON authorities: ignore divine revelation, ignore reason, ignore Prabhupada's "conclusion," or be guilty of heresy.
Kundali and Satyanarayana opted to stick to canon and the philosophical approach to Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Their research turned up no scriptural statements supporting the view that soul fell here from the spiritual world. On the other hand, there are numerous statements saying that residents of the spiritual world cannot fall down to the material world. (Ironically, even the GBC resolution states this before proceeding to contradict itself.) The souls in this world, as stated in Gita 13.20, are here "beginninglessly" (anadi). They never fell here from elsewhere. Hence, the word "fallen" in the expression "fallen soul" refers, not to some past event, but to the soul's existential condition in this world, which is a fallen situation.
The banned book, based on research in more than 80 works covering all schools of Vaishnavism and consistent with the Gaudiya epistemology, agrees with the second of Prabhupada's answers cited earlier-"The conclusion is that no one falls from the spiritual world, or Vaikuntha planet, for it is the eternal abode." Kundali and Satyanarayana felt, therefore, that when they agreed with the authority of the scripture and with the expressed conclusion of Prabhupada, and when both these versions made logical sense, then the charge of heresy leveled against them was a terrible blunder, a rationalization for some other motive, a testimony to the deep-seated irrational dynamics and political rivalry within ISKCON, or perhaps all three. Whatever the truth of the matter, by disagreeing with "the conclusion" and by not practicing proper epistemological procedure, the accusers fit the charge of heresy more than the accused.
ISKCON's handling of the above controversy seems to hint at a more wide-spread condition in the organization, and the following excerpt from an e-mail sent by Bhakti Tirtha Swami to his fellow GBC members confirms this impression:
If we just go back and reflect on our last Mayapur meeting. Our major problems that we all had to deal with were all leadership oriented. For example, abuse of philosophy; abuse of financial resources; abuse of children; abuse of women; abuse of cows; spiritual weaknesses; lying; and yes, corruption. Some of you remember, at one point in the meeting, I brought up that just writing in one hour's time, I listed approximately 15 terms we were using in our discussions that were all battle tactic terminology. . . such terms as, wiping out the opposition, attacking them first, destroying them once and for all, our second plan of attack, eliminating the competition, getting something on the person, etc. . . . we were spending most of our energies in a combative mentality.10
This leader paints a bleak picture of the inner workings of ISKCON. He reveals a mindset that, perforce, can only negatively influence attempts at problem solving from the leadership on down. Language such as "combative mentality" reveals that, in general, the leaders see issues in terms of power, not truth; this'shows how the llandiing of something like thle jiva issue could be politicized and subsequently bungled.
Exploring the deeper implications of the GBC's "battle tactic" mentality is vital, because leadership sets up the atmosphere that prevails in a group, so insight into the leadership's mindset is a good gauge of the overall mindset. Another reason to diagnose the group's condition is that even when leaders resolve to address the problems in their organization, they often make the mistake of treating the symptoms rather than the root cause. Therefore, the problems tend to recur, each time in perhaps a slightly different guise. Indeed, diagnosing group behavior calls for a great deal of integrity and realism, and a determination to go beneath the surface causes and beyond cosmetic solutions. Leaders should not be satisfied with mere relief if they want a cure. Such an attitude is usually hard to come by among committed members of a group, especially when that group claims lofty spiritual ideals.
Both the leaders and followers tend to have blind spots about the number and severity of their problems. They usually lack the critical eye required for self-analysis. Their denial leads to cover-ups, typically justified as being in the best interest of the group. For example, members of ISKCON may rationalize their hush-ups as being "for the preaching," though such measures almost always backfire with greater consequences than frank honesty from the outset.
strategy groups use to protect themselves from the truth while trying to appear
realistic, aware, and proactive is to openly admit the group's shortcomings,
then hurriedly redirect attention to a "more positive picture" -the
grand achievements of the group-thereby avoiding deeper issues that need
addressing. A common variation on this tactic is to exalt all who bring good news and condemn all who bring bad
news. Good news about the group
is seen as tacit proof of the messenger' s dedication to the cause, no matter
how exaggerated (or untrue) the information may be. Bad news, no matter how
accurate, means the messenger harbors ill will for not giving a rosy picture.
Such messengers are rarely seen as loyal opposition, expressing love and
concern for the group. Recognizing this limitation in the corporate world,
companies sometimes call in outside consultants for problem solving.
There is no shortage of data and theories for diagnosing problems of group dysfunction today. Since the industrial revolution and then the phenomenon of Nazism, we have been challenged to understand what transpires in whole societies and organizations that enables a range of offenses against human dignity, even within well-intentioned groups. This phenomenon came to be called "groupthink," when the views held by members of a group in the name of doing good, even in the name of religion, are so insular and at odds with civilized norms and basic moral values, or even the ideals of the group itself, that its members are able to do unethical or evil things that they would never do as individuals.
A number of social scientists have tried to penetrate to the roots of this problem. In his preface to Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences,11
Maslow attempts to describe how and why spiritual institutions end up working against their lofty ideals:
Most people lose or forget the subjectively religious experience, and redefine Religion as a set of habits, behaviors, dogmas, forms, which at the one extreme becomes entirely legalistic and bureaucratic, conventional, empty, and in the truest meaning of the word, anti-religious. The mystic experience, the illumination, the great awakening, along with the charismatic seer who started the whole thing, are forgotten, lost, or transformed into their opposites. Organized Religion, the churches, finally may become the major enemies of the religious experience and the religious experiencer.
Maslow saw that when the organization favors "big R religion" (organized religion's emphasis on the legalistic and bureaucratic), it may turn followers into depersonalized, unreasoning, mechanical performers, into ciphers. The results are the opposite of what the group claims to strive for. Members become very much like the corporate worlďs "organization man." This trend never culminates in authentic religious experience; rather, it enslaves and cripples the spirit of the would-be devout. Prabhupada warned his followers about this, echoing his sixteenth-century predecessor, Rupa Goswami, who cautioned that while too lax practice of bhakti is inadequate, a too mechanical approach destroys it. In 1972 Prabhupada wrote to a leader who favored increasing centralization and bureaucracy:
The Krishna Consciousness Movement is for training men to be independently thoughtful and competent in all types of departments of
knowledge and action, not for making bureaucracy. Once there is bureaucracy the whole thing will be spoiled. There must be always individual striving and work and responsibility, competitive spirit, not that one shall dominate and distribute benefits to the others and they do nothing but beg from you and you provide. No.
Thus, despite ISKCON's numerous visible achievements, despite capturing market share in the areas of conversions, acquiring properties, and so on, Bhakti Tirtha's message indicates that the institution is moving in the direction indicated by Maslow, the opposite direction from that intended by the founder.
There are implications for both the leaders and the followers who succumb to the authoritarian atmosphere of "might makes right" and gaining power. Erich Fromm (1994)12 outlines the devastating effect of authoritarian systems and how they dehumanize both the perpetrators and the victims. As a social psychologist, he considers the inner workings of the group paramount in shaping the person, more so than the ideals the group espouses. When it comes to religion, Fromm argues that the doctrines and beliefs of various sects are not as important as the dynamics within the group itself, of which there are essentially two kinds: authoritarian and humanitarian.
In the authoritatian system, the institution looms large over the lives of its members, including even the leaders, undermining individuals' capacity to think for themselves and subverting the voice of conscience, which is replaced by the voice of "swallowed authority." Power is to be respected more than truth and no distinction is made between rational and irrational authority figures. Regardless of any other variables, those who have titles, positions, and power assume that they must win in all conflicts of opinion with subordinates. This gives rise to the battle tactic thinking Bhakti Tirtha mentions, "wiping out the opposition, attacking them first, destroying them once and for all, our second plan of attack, eliminating the competition, getting something on the person, etc." Consequently, institutional agendas; coercing others to the will of the leaders; closing ranks against all opposition, real or imagined; and punishing socially and economically those who rock the boat all take precedence over reason and the cornerstone values of truth, love, and justice. In this depersonalized atmosphere, people become objects.
In contrast to the impersonal authoritarian setup, Fromm believes that the humanitarian atmosphere fosters individuality, people's inherent creative and productive potential. It encourages the flowering of the individuaľs powers of reason, sense of conscience, and respect for human dignity, and a heightened concern for truth, love, and justice. He considers these vital elements in any claim to religious life, regardless of theology, creed, ritual, and any other sectarian concerns.
In the humanitarian system, when there is conflict, reason is the main technique for resolving it, and there is concern for due process. It is unthinkable to manipulate the life of another human being or bend a person to one's will, especially in Goďs name. Indeed, Prabhupada didn't bully or coerce his disciples; he reasoned with them. He indicated the important role of reason when hle advised in letters to his disciples that disagreements between them should be settled through discussion.
In the authoritarian system, however, there is a "combative mentality." In case of a conflict of interest, those with power cannot risk rational, equitable proceedings. They may try to appear to do so, but they reaIly believe they have to win at any cost, fearing that any other outcome means a loss of face for themselves and a loss of power. So, as seen in the handling of the doctrinal controversy of the "jiva issue" detailed in part 1, truth and justice suffer. lronicaIly, in this situation both the leaders and the followers are victims, because when we dehumanize others, we dehumanize ourselves as well. We lose touch with our humanity and become victims of the same affliction found in bureaucratic mazes the world over. In "The Sickness Unto Death," Kierkegaard gives an insightful description of this condition he caIls "loss of self“:
The biggest danger, that of losing oneself, can pass off in the world as quietly as if it were nothing; every other loss, an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc., is bound to be noticed.13
Such people are unaware that they are self-alienated. They go on thinking, feeling, willing, and acting as if normal, but something vital at the core is missing - a conscience. Not surprisingly, therefore, "being lost to oneself“ is on Krishna's list of demonic symptoms in the Bhagavad Gita (16.9). Clearly, when a religious institution fosters this condition, we have what Maslow feared, the transformation of religious experience into its antithesis. In ISKCON, for example, people assume the right to say who is a true Prabhupada devotee, when it turns out they themselves have neither the spirit nor the intent Prabhupada wanted in his followers.
Another destructive consequence of authoritarianism is that sycophancy is elevated to a virtue. Indeed, it becomes a vital survival skiIl. The upshot is that the organization ends up with two kinds of corrupt people, those corrupted by power and those corrupted by weakness. The weak are corrupt because their will has atrophied, become too crippled to address the abuses of power. They learn to go along to get along, in effect endorsing and enabling the dysfunctional situation, invariably out of fear of punishment economically and socially, usually through isolation from the group.
ISKCON members have ample reason to fear exclusion from the group because they vow to follow four regulative principles-no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication, and no illicit sex (meaning no sex unless for procreation). These last two principles prove difficult for most members, even within the group. Outside the group, they prove virtuaIly impossible. This is one reason isolation from the group is a major concern for ISKCON members. This fear can go unnoticed, yet it can cripple the will, easily causing individuals to endure things they would not ordinarily, such as being victims or perpetrators of the transgressions in Bhakti Tirtha's e-mail.
We know that people corrupted by power cannot be authenticaIly religious, but what about those corrupted by weakness? Can people with crippled wills achieve true religious experience? Theologically, of course, a believer will not claim to know how Goďs grace wiIl be apportioned. Psychologically, however, Fromm (1978), quoting Freud, notes: "Feelings of powerlessness are not authentic religious feelings." Following Freud, Fromm criticizes the kind of dynamic in which a crippling of the will is imposed by religious authorities, "thereby causing the impoverishment of the inteIlect." The Bhagavad Gita begins with Arjuna in a state of powerlessness, of fear and trembling, but by the end, specificaIly through Krishna's influence, he became firm and free from doubt, ready to cope with life's challenges, which is authentic religious experience.
Another vital factor in a group is the coercive power of peer pressure. Fromm argues that as individuals, our innermost nature is not usuaIly irrational, but we can become irrational when influenced by the group mind or the demands of irrational authorities. He holds that group psychology is very similar to individual psychology. Thus, the group mind, which he terms the "social unconscious," is the social equivalent of the individual unconscious, which operates in the background of conscious awareness yet exerts a powerful influence over personal motivation and behavior.
In the group context, owing to what Fromm calIs "man's sheep nature," the social environment is a compelIing force to conform, to fit in and be "normal." To survive, to avoid peers punishing us socialIy and economicalIy, we learn to twist our perceptions and to act as expected, rather than from our own conscience. We don't just act but also learn to think and to feel as approved by the group. Over time we become "social characters" rather than our authentic selves. This becomes habit, and it is rationalized in the conscious mind as a virtue; in this way, it goes unnoticed. A new convert to ISKCON naturally wants to be accepted, and that means conforming, and so begins the process of becoming inauthentic to oneself, of tuning out the voice of conscience, and a diminished capacity for critical thinking.
Fromm considers the pressure the group mind exerts on the individual the most powerful technique of coercion, an unconscious force that gains control over the individual. Sadly, this condition can be amplified in systems of authoritarian religion, because believers are doubly motivated to avoid rocking the boat, fearing both social backlash and a loss of spiritual felIowship. For an ISKCON member there is an added fear: incurring the displeasure of a key authority figure-the guru. Displeasing the guru could mean the end to one' s bid . for spiritual ,.]vaciou, bdug =t into untold lifetime of birth and suffering in the material world. The resultant fear is analogous to something familiar to many, the fear of eternal damnation that afflicts fundamentalist Christians. It is quite likely that this is at the heart of devotees', even ISKCON's best intellectuals', inability to think analytically about Prabhupada's utterances, as shown in the handling of the jiva issue. They get stuck on "Prabhupada said" rather than learning to philosophize properly according to his teachings. Having substituted his thoughts for their own, when they quote and counterquote him out of fear of putting his words under scrutiny, they actualIy think they are discussing philosophy and thinking analyticalIy.
In the Gita (16.1), at the top of Krishna's list of "divine qualities" is fearlessness (abhayam), followed by "purification of one's existence" (sattva samshuddhi), indicating a progression where freedom from fear is a foundation and not an outcome of spiritual progress. This makes sense, because just to have proper understanding of scripture, for example, a person needs to be without fear so as to freely weigh the variables in the instructions of divine revelation. However, an authoritarian atmosphere, or the subtle coercion of the group mind, or swallowing uncriticalIy the guru's words (or divine revelation) works against this freedom. Fear causes panic, a condition that impairs the faculties and prevents clear thought about the nuances involved in grasping spiritual wisdom. Fear impairs us even in practical matters, not only abstract issues. Then, out of fear, people may bulIy and coerce those who are not fearful, to "save" them and get them back in line.
point Fromm makes is that typically in authoritarian religion sin is no longer
disobedience to God but disobedience to powerful church authorities. Reality is
defined by the group mind or by the leaders, not by each individuaľ s critical
assessment of the data in his or her life. The more one conforms, the more one's
volition and reason become crippled; yet those who conform are rewarded by the
group, hailed as sincere, loyal to the cause, spiritually advanced, and so on.
They are rewarded with promotions in the hierarchy, alI of which reinforces the
illusion of spiritual progress. They become attached to the respect and the
perks, adding yet another impediment to their capacity to function rationally.
Those who don't conform are presumed sinful in some sense.
In the big R setup, spiritual progress is no longer a matter of self-transformation but of getting on the corporate fast track. In this system, then, it is questionable whether those who emerge as leaders are in fact spiritually awakened. More likely they are just the best conformers, the ones who turn out least threatening to the system, though their leadership position is seen as a sure sign of their spirituality. In truth, they are more self-alienated than self- realized, having shown a proven capacity for suppressing the voice of conscience, perhaps too long ago to remember; like the naked emperor in the children's fairy tale, they are unaware of their condition.
One particularly insidious outcome of this scenario is that people wilI be masochisticalIy servile to those above them in the hierarchy and sadistically domineering to those below, which, again, is dehumanizing to both perpetrators and victims. This accords with Maslow's view that the opposite of religious experience becomes the reality after the founder passes. Indeed, Prabhupada warned his folIowers that after his passing chaos would ensue. He held that personal ambition is the cause of the chaos. Maslow believes a misplaced emphasis on the big R issues is the cause. Fromm would agree with both these reasons, but points to a still deeper cause that seems to make chaos unavoidable even if no personal ambition is a factor. In his view, no matter how sincere the successors to the founder of a religion may be, they will still inadvertently take the organization to a "new promised land."
Fromm believed that the instinctive response of alI successors to the founder of a religion is a move to consolidate power. This may not initialIy have any untoward motive; the new leaders simply do not live in the same experience or spirituál state as the departed founder and so are not as securely anchored in their spirituality. Yet they want to do their level best to have a smooth transition, to show that collectively they can fill the shoes of the founder and thereby bind the faith of the flock to the new leadership. From this understandable motive, they naturally move to consolidate power, for how else can they convince the masses that things will go on as usual? Paradoxically, embedded in this seemingly reasonable effort is the seed of the chaos Prabhupada and Maslow cautioned about.
The instinctive move to consolidate power then prompts leadership to give a misplaced emphasis in the group dynamic. Instead of striving to establish the aforementioned humanitarian atmosphere as their first priority, they may emphasize the externals, the bureaucracy, the "power over" mode of dealing with one another, Maslow's whole list of big R concerns. This in effect diminishes the quality of life in the organization. In Psychoanalysis and Religion, 14 Fromm sums up the impact of the move to consolidate power:
It is the tragedy of all great religions that they violate and pervert the very principles of freedom as soon as they become mass organizations governed by a religious bureaucracy. The religious organization and the men who represent it take over to some extent the place of family, tribe, and state.
Here, Fromm alludes to the coercive power of peer pressure to override our volition and shape us into automated social stereotypes. About such people, Mark Twain said: "They think they think." 15 In reality, they think the thoughts they ought to think, those approved by the family, tribe, or state. The religious bureaucracy and community replace these influences, perhaps more effectively, because, unlike in the family, tribe, and state, in the religious community people believe their eternal salvation is at stake. For all these reasons, Prabhupada wrote, "Once there is bureaucracy the whole thing will be spoiled."
Fromm further notes:
They [the new leaders] keep man in bondage instead of leaving him free. It is no longer God who is worshiped but the group that claims to speak in his name. This has happened in all religions. Their founders guided man through the desert, away from the bondage of Egypt, while later others have led him back toward a new Egypt though calling it the Promised Land.16
This new direction does not call for a new official doctrine replacing the founder's teachings, although that may also happen. However, in ISKCON, taking a Frommian perspective, bhakti may no longer mean something enacted between the individual and God; it may come to mean something enacted between the individual and ISKCON. Thus the mission is deviated from its original spirit, for the people who speak in the name of cooperation and love for the founder, really believing that they are doing him the optimum service, actually divert his followers to a new promised land in his name.
A progression emerges, linking the ideas of Fromm, Maslow, and Prabhupada into a causal chain: an innocent move to consolidate power, then the struggle to hold on to power, and finally the succumbing to the seduction stemming from that very power. In his analysis of group evil, M. Scott Peck (1985)17 traces how personal ambition can suddenly enter the minds and hearts of people who may not have entertained any such private agendas previously. He makes the point that an administration, like a living organism, has a blind, unreasoning instinct to survive. Those with power want to keep it, usually with the best intentions, but in wresting to hold on to power, they become attached to a position and may begin to compromise their respect for human dignity, demanding rather than commanding respect. The result is a decline in the inner workings of Bhakti Tirtha's group, for both leaders and followers.
This analysis suggests that the chaos Prabhupada warned about, and confirmed by Bhakti Tirtha's e-mail, could be entirely owing to ignorance of group dynamics. The new leaders simply didn't know that their top priority as successors should be maintaining a live-and-let-live humanitarian ethic. People may enlist in groups with the best of intentions but unwittingly get side-tracked along the way. This assessment may disappoint some ISKCON critics who are perhaps keen to see sinister motives as the sole cause of the society' s present predicament, and the leaders as contemptible individuals. They may think that such an analysis gives an excuse to the guilty and ill-intentioned; however, it does not mean other factors such as personal ambition were not operative as well, perhaps even before Prabhupada's passing. Thus, we might consider whether Fromm, Maslow, and Peck offer some insight into a root cause of the problems destabilizing ISKCON.
These observations suggest that even if every leader were selfless and sincere from the very beginning, free of any ulterior motive, nevertheless an inadvertent slide into the authoritarian mode or big R religion might still have taken place, owing to an instinctive move to consolidate power. Hence the chance that ISKCON could have charted a different course than the one it has followed since 1977, the year of Prabhupada's passing, seems unlikely.
Given Prabhupada's warning about chaos after his passing, given ISKCON's sorry state of affairs as summed up in Bhakti Tirtha's letter, and given the views of Maslow about the pitfalls of big R religion, along with Fromm's analysis about how and why new leaders of religious groups invariably deviate from the mission, the question naturally arises: What is the solution to the type of group dysfunction just described?
If the root cause is alienation from self, loss of conscience, and an escape from responsibility by giving over one's volition to the group, then the remedy is to reclaim what has been lost. In the words of Scott Peck:
The plain fact of the matter is that any group will remain inevitably potentially conscienceless and evil until such time as each and every individual holds himself or herself directly responsible for the behavior of the whole group, the organism of which he or she is a part.18
Such group members give more consideration to the dictates of conscience than to external authority. They will not easily do things that will compromise their se1f-respect, their integrity. Peop1e are 1ike the bricks that make up the institution; if the integrity of each brick is sound, the edifice they make is likely to be sound. So the cure for loss of conscience is to take the step that will oblige one to hear the voice of conscience and reso1ve to become a person of integrity.
In other words, ail members of a group should be taught about the pitfails of group dynamics and the leaders should knowingly strive to eliminate the tendency in the group setting for people to fail into the roles of leaders or sheep. They must strive to make a society of leaders, according to individual capacity, and to inspire every member to become conscientious, civic-minded, and responsible for the entire group. In short, ISKCON's 1eaders should train members to be "independently thoughtful," as the founder wanted for the Krishna Consciousness movement.
Bhaktivedanta, A.C. The Beginning. Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1996. -. The Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1993.
-. Collected Lectures on Srimad Bhagavatam. Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1993.
-. The Nectar oj Instruction. Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1991.
-. Shrila Prabhupada Siksamrta. Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1992. -. Srimad Bhagavatam. Mumbai: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1987.
Tyson, Joseph B. The New Testament and Early Christianity. New York: Macmillan, 1984.
1. Kundali Dasa is a well-known sodal critic of ISKCON. See Kundali Dasa, Our Mission, 4 vols. (New Delhi: ABHAYA Books, 1995-1999).
2. Satyanarayana Dasa and Kundali Dasa, Tattva Sandarbha oj Srila Jiva Goswami (Vrindavan: JIV AS, 1995).
3. Satyanarayana Dasa and Kundali Dasa, In Vaikuntha, Not Even The Leaves Fall (Vrindavan: JIV AS, 1994).
4. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy (New York: Washington Square Press, 1961).
5. S. C. Vasu, The Vedanta-Sutras of Badarayana with Commentary of Baladeva (New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1979).
6. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, The Nectar oj Devotion (Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1982), 29-30.
7. Lecture, Calcutta, 6 January 1971, in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Collected Lectures on Srimad Bhagavatam (Los Angeles: BBT, 1993).
8. ISKCON Communications Journal (2) (Dec. 1995).
9. Hridayananda Dasa Goswami, Suhotra Swami, and Gopiparanadhana das Adhikari, Our Original Position (Stockholm: ISKCON GBC Press, 1996).
10. E-mail sent to a GBC Internet discussion group, 16 May 2000.
11. A. H. Maslow, Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences (New York: Penguin, 1994).
12. Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom (1969; reprint, New York: Holt, 1994).
13. S. Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death (London: Penguin, 1989).
14. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978.
15. Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth (NewYork: Harper and Row, 1991).
17. People oj the Lie (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1985). See also The Road Less Travelled and Beyond (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997).
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Konat dobro sobě
Materialistická propaganda a meč rozlišování
Bibličtí proroci jako investigativní novináři
Tři druhy rozhovoru a několik řečnických triků
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