What Happened to the the Hare Krishnas?

Hare Krishna Brahmacaris Chanting Crossing a Bridge in a Park

This website is dedicated to the Founder and Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who has dedicated his life to giving us, the fallen conditioned souls, a chance to achieve the greatest goal. He presented the timeless Vedic texts of India in English so clearly and unambiguously that even we, the most sinful and fallen persons, have a chance to understand the topmost goal of human life… To develop pure love for Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

During the past twenty-seven years I have spent a great deal of time trying to convince people to read the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, my eternal spiritual master.

One of the most common questions people ask is “What happened to the Hare Krishna’s?” Many people remember the devotees colorful chanting, festivals and book distribution which were so common in the seventies, but have now practically disappeared.

This website will shed some light on why the Hare Krishna’s disappeared.

Srila Prabhupada’s Conclusion

Srila Narottama dasa Thakura says, chadiya vaisnava seva nistara payeche keba: Unless one serves a Vaisnava he cannot be delivered. The spiritual master initiates the disciple to deliver him, and if the disciple executes the order of the spiritual master and does not offend other Vaisnavas, his path is clear.

Consequently Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu requested all the Vaisnavas present to show mercy toward the two brothers, Rupa and Sanatana, who had just been initiated by the Lord. When a Vaisnava sees that another Vaisnava is a recipient of the Lords mercy, he becomes very happy. Vaisnavas are not envious. If a Vaisnava, by the mercy of the Lord, is empowered by Him to distribute the Lords Holy Name all over the world, other Vaisnavas become very joyful–that is, if they are truly Vaisnavas. Why should a Vaisnava be envious of another Vaisnava who is successful in spreading the Holy Name of the Lord? An actual Vaisnava is very pleased to accept another Vaisnava who is bestowing the Lord’s mercy.

A mundane person in the dress of a Vaisnava should not be respected, but rejected. This is enjoined in the sastras (upeksa). the word upkesa means neglect. One should neglect an envious person. A preachers duty is to love the Supreme Personality of Godhead, make friendships with Vaisnavas, show mercy to the innocent and reject or neglect those who are envious or jealous.

There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaisnavas in this Krishna Consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected. There is no need to serve an envious person in the dress of a Vaisnava. When Narottama dasa Thakura says chadiya vaisnava seva nistara payeche keba, he is indicating an actual Vaisnava, not an envious or jealous person in the dress of a Vaisnava.

A jealous person in the dress of a Vaisnava is not at all happy to see the success of another Vaisnava in receiving the Lords mercy. Unfortunately in this age of Kali there are many mundane persons in the dress of Vaisnavas and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has described them a disciples of Kali. He says, Kali-cela, he indicates that there is another Vaisnava, a pseudo-Vaisnava with tilaka on his nose and kunti beads around his neck. Such a pseudo-Vaisnava associates with money and women and is jealous of successful Vaisnavas. Although passing for a Vaisnava, his only business is earning money in the dress of a Vaisnava. Bhaktivinoda Thakura therefore says that such a pseudo-Vaisnava is not a Vaisnava at all, but a disciple of Kali-yuga. A disciple of Kali cannot become an acarya by the decision of some high court. Mundane votes have no jurisdiction to elect a Vaisnava acarya. A Vaisnava acarya is self-effulgent, and there is no need for any court judgement. A false acarya my try to override a Vaisnava by a high-court decision, but Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that he is nothing but a disciple of Kali-yuga. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, Ch 1, 218-219)

Srila Prabhupada Ki Jaya!


Series NavigationPreface >>
Posted in: Introduction

About the Author:

11 Comments on "What Happened to the the Hare Krishnas?"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Subala HsV says:

    Prabhupada said: when fire is burning, the language might
    not be perfect but the feeling of emergency Will in it self explain
    the faulty language messages :+)

  2. SUBHALAXMI says:

    Dandavat Pranam Prabhuji

    I don’t know about Australia but in India we are doing our level best to distribute Srila Prabhupadas books and conducting various programmes, festivals to promote Krishna conciousness. Hare Krishna movement is very much there in India. Earlier people had a concept that Krishna is the only God, this is a new idea developed by Iskcon. But now people know that whatever we say we say according to Vedic scriptures. What happened in Australia ?

    Your servant

    • madhudvisa-dasa says:

      Hare Krishna Subhalaxmi

      What happened in Australia, and in ISKCON worldwide, is when Srila Prabhupada left our material vision the leaders of ISKCON disobeyed the orders of Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada did not appoint any successor acharyas. But Prabhupada’s ‘leading disciples’ disobeyed this order and forcibly and unauthorizedly took the position of acharya in Prabhupada’s ISKCON without the authorization and qualifications required to be acharya. So it ended in disaster in Australia and in ISKCON world-wide. The original ‘zonal acharya’ in Australia was Bhavananda, ‘Visnupada…’. Who was so outrageously not qualified. A raging homosexual and child molester. Preaching that the highest most confidential position of Krishna consciousness is having sex with the guru…

      “Visnupada’s” first business was to drive away from ISKCON any Prabhupada disciples who were not prepared to surrender to him and serve him. So most of the Prabhupada disciples were driven out and he collected a new batch of his own disciples…

      After some years his outrageous sex life and child molesting was exposed too many times and he was finally forced to step down from the Acharya position in 1987 and of course that destroyed his disciples. Because once you surrender to a bogus guru and find out he is bogus that breaks your heart and you can never surrender again. And Krishna consciousness requires surrender. But surrender to an actual pure devotee of Krishna, not a child molester.

      Then ISKCON appointed another “acharya” for Australia, “Prabhu-Visnu Swami”. He turned out to be a very avid prostitute hunter and over a period of more than ten years he was caught many times seeing prostitutes in Bangkok and Thailand but with the help of the GBC he was always able to cover it up and continue his guru business and his prostitute hunting. Everyone in the GBC was completely aware of the situation but they allow that sort of behavior with ISKCON gurus as long a the don’t get caught or if they do get caught they can cover it up…

      But eventually it became too outrageous and he could not cover it up any more, although he was trying to. If he had his way he would still be accepting disciples and collecting money from them and spending it on his prostitutes in Bangkok and Thailand. But eventually there were too many complaints and he had to step down. So that was another generation of Australian devotees destroyed.

      So this is what happened in Australia and what happened to ISKCON all over the world. Bogus unqualified and unauthorized “acharyas” took Prabhupada’s place and destroyed themselves and destroyed their disciples and destroyed ISKCON.

      In India you also have bogus, unauthorized and unqualified ISKCON gurus there, but the Indians are more accepting of bogus, unauthorized and unqualified gurus and it is not so much of a surprise to them as it is to us Westerners who generally speaking actually want a guru who is qualified to take us back home, back to Godhead. Generally in India they accept gurus as a social thing, not very seriously, so they do not care so much about the qualifications of the guru.

      Also so far in India there have not been such public and dramatic falldowns of the ISKCON gurus there. But it will come also of course. And once the disciples realize their guru who they have surrendered to and given their life to is just a bogus materialist interested in sense gratification it is the end of their spiritual life usually.

      That is why it is so essential that we accept a real bona fide pure devotee uttama adhakri as our spiritual master… Like His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada for example…

      Of course not all the ISKCON gurus are outrageous sex chasing materialists like Australia’s Bhavananda and Prabhu-Visnu Swami. Many of them are pukka Mayavadis. But because the Mayavadis can not actually experience any transcendental bliss from their spiritual activities ultimately they have to again fall down to the material platform. The more ‘respectable’ falldown for the Mayavadis is taking to mundane welfare work like opening schools and hospitals and feeding hungry people, etc, but of course ultimately they will become crazy sex searching demons like our Australian gurus. The Mayavadis are offenders of Krishna. That is stated many times by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and the offenders of Krishna gradually loose all their good qualities and gradually can not follow any religious principles and ultimately become completely demonic materialists. And your Indian ISKCON is completely infected with so many Mayavadis. The Mayavadis like ISKCON because it is a very big organization and there is a big ‘captive audience’ in the temples they can preach to and make disciples from. So the Mayavadis pretend to be bhaktas and join ISKCON because that is really the best and easiest place for them to collect disciples. Of course having a Mayavadi as your spiritual master is a very unfortunate situation indeed…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Jagannatha Suta Das (IDS) says:

        Hare Krishna,
        Prabhu I am not really into politicking, so am not really into this web site. I feel a really advanced vaisnava will feel compassion and forgiveness for all living entities no matter what situation they are in or have been in. Srila Prabhupada came to show us that is the only way, because without his loving compassion on us lowly lust dogs where would we be, he tolerated so much in his time here, but still he did not criticise he only gave pure unadulterated Krishna Consciousness, and the opportunity to render service to Krishna. What ever service was rendered in ISKCON no matter how tainted by material desire will never be forgotten by Krishna. I know full well the history of ISKCON, but I do not want to ruin my own spiritual life by trying to over think the past, let us move forward for Sriila Prabhupada’s ISKCON he will be so indebted to us for working together through such a turbulent time, and with Srila Prabhupada’s mercy we will get Krishna’s mercy, then we can qualify ourselves to go home back to godhead. Srila Prabhupada said you cannot become Krishna conscious outside of ISKCON, so I will tolerate, tolerate tolerate for Srila Prabhupada.

        Jagannatha Suta Das (IDS)

        • madhudvisa-dasa says:

          Hare Krishna Jagannatha Suta Prabhu

          Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

          Yes Prabhu, Srila Prabhupada said you can’t become Krishna conscious outside ISKCON but the reality is today’s ISKCON is way outside Prabhupada’s ISKCON. So if you are in today’s ISKCON you are way, way out of Prabhupada’s ISKCON and you will never be able to become Krishna conscious there. If you just analyze how much of the teachings of Srila Prabhupada you have to reject to become part of today’s ISKCON you will very soon realize that it is completely outside Prabhupada’s ISKCON. So I do not really want to burst your bubble Prabhu but you are not going to be able to become a pure devotee of Krishna surrendered to today’s ISKCON.

          You know in today’s ISKCON they preach that Prabhupada’s original books, the books that spread the Hare Krishna movement all over the world, the books that Prabhupada personally read daily and gave all his classes from, are maya, and if you might want to distribute Prabhupada’s original books they will throw you out of ISKCON. If you were so bold as to repeat simple points from the teachings of Srila Prabhupada like someone who can not control his senses even is not qualified to be a spiritual master they will throw you out of ISKCON. As I have written elsewhere if you want to worship the Deities the way Prabhupada teaches us to worship the Deities they will throw you out of ISKCON. If you just mention that Krishna consciousness is not Hinduism they will throw you out of ISKCON. There are hundreds of cases where you can just repeat what Prabhupada says and they will throw you out of today’s ISKCON…

          You know even if you take very seriously the idea that we should chant the Hare Krishna mantra constantly and if you take your beadbag with you everywhere and try and chant Hare Krishna all the time like Prabhupada instructs us to the ISKCON devotees will call you a fanatic and try and discourage you from chanting Hare Krishna all the time. There are hundreds of ways that today’s ISKCON is completely inimical and opposed to Prabhupada. Of course there is a sort of blindness in ISKCON and you may not be able to see these things but if you actually take the time to read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books you will find the real mood of pure devotional service in them, and it is quite different from the mood of today’s ISKCON.

          So yes Prabhu Prabhupada showed us the way but these rascals who claim to be appointed by Srila Prabhupada as his successors are showing us a very, very different way. That is the problem. And if we can not recognize that and if we are lead by them down a completely different path then our destination will be very nasty. It is very foolish not to learn from the mistakes of the past. Something went horribly wrong with ISKCON after Srila Prabhupada left our material vision and if we are to move forward then we have to understand very clearly what went wrong. Otherwise we will not be able to move forward.

          Today’s ISKCON gurus are doing exactly the same thing as the zonal acaryas and the other gurus who came after them who all ended in a very nasty way. And you know it is a sign of insanity if you continue doing the same thing and expect to get a different result. So the same thing that happened to the ISKCON gurus in the past will happen to today’s ISKCON gurus because they are still doing exactly the same thing as the previous ISKCON gurus did…

          If you just pretend nothing happened and pretend that everything is wonderful then you are going to end up in exactly the same place as the tens of thousands of other sincere devotees who have joined ISKCON since Srila Prabhupada disappeared. Which is not a very good place to be…

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

      • Joselito Kardenas says:

        hare krishna Prabhu. Thank you so much for the continued emails you send to me. i just want you to know that i am reading it if not all. hare krishna! all glories to srila prabhupada! all glories to all devotees!

  3. Subhalaxmi says:


    My heart is broken. Truly speaking I was not knowing anything about these incidents.
    I read a lot about Bhavananda Swami.
    But nothing like this before.
    Have u left Iskcon ?
    It is true that in India majority of people dont know who is a spiritual master. people take
    initiation without knowing the meaning of initiation without any concept of God.
    By Srila Prabhupadas mercy I have never come across any bad situation rather I have learnt a lot from Gita Academy. I am still doing my Bhagavat Gita classes.
    As per your information even if Iskcon is contaminated still we are able to see the right path through Prabhupadas books.
    My parents have taken initiation from Iskcon
    I have seen personaly that how seriously they practised continuously for three years. They strictly follow Prabhupadas instructions. we all follow these instructions.
    If it is true that there are bogus gurus in Iskcon then this is also true that whatever we are learning we are learning from Prabhupadas books. If my intention is not bad then no bogus guru can mislead me.
    We all know Prabhupada is still preaching us through his books. Moreover there are still many Prabhujis in Iskcon ( like you) who really admires Prabhupada and want Iskcon to work properly. Initiation is not a mere social act for us. we know its essence and importance in our human life. Most importantly if my love for Krishna is pure then Prabhupad will definately show me the right path.
    As you have mentioned in an article that we should ignore such malpractices because we are living in kaliyuga. we should use our energy to serve Prabhupada, Krishna and also in distributing Prabhupadas books and also in preaching.
    Please prabhu join us and save Prabhupadas Iskcon from these sinful activities.

    Your servant

    • madhudvisa-dasa says:

      Hare Krishna Subhalaxmi

      Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

      Yes, you are correct on all points.

      If we do actually take shelter of Srila Prabhupada and read his books and actually follow the instructions he gives us while reading the books then Prabhupada will protect us and no bogus ISKCON guru will be able to deviate us from serving Srila Prabhupada and Krishna.

      As far as India and Indians, it is very degraded at the present moment, but still in the hearts of the Indian people Krishna consciousness is very much there. Krishna consciousness is natural for the Indians. They are only able to take birth in India, punya-bhumi, because of heaps of pious acts in their past lives, so they are really very pious and should be very great devotees of Krishna. But unfortunately the original Indian Vedic culture has been destroyed because India has been under the control of other countries for so many years. The Mohamadans for a long time, I don’t know actually but something like 800-1000 years and then the British for something like 200 years. And the British did so much damage to the Indian Vedic culture. Much more so than the Muslims. The British came to the conclusion that if the Indians remain following the Vedic culture they will not be able to rule them so they went about purposely trying to destroy the Vedic culture in India, so the British could rule India.

      Since the British time because they preached so strongly that any traditional Indian thing is bad and old-fashioned and useless and everything British is wonderful and new and modern this idea has stuck with most of the Indians and most of them have given up the traditional Vedic lifestyle and are trying for the hedonistic life they see the Americans leading. So the general Indian population at the moment is full of completely crazy materialists trying for more money and more sex and trying to be better Americans than the Americans…

      But still in their hearts Krishna consciousness is there, and as you see with your parents simply a little association with Srila Prabhupada and they can become very sincere devotees. It is only Srila Prabhupada that will tell us to do these things like getting out of bed before 4:00 AM in the morning, offering Mangal-Aroti, chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on beads daily and strictly following the four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication. No other guru will demand these things of his disciples, generally they can not follow these principles themselves.

      But the amazing thing is when we hear Srila Prabhupada ordering us to get out of bed before 4:00 AM, chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and follow the four regulative principles and when we surrender to Srila Prabhupada and try to follow these seemingly impossible instructions then by Srila Prabhupada’s unlimited mercy it is very easy for us to follow the regulative principles and we find it very ecstatic chanting Hare Krishna, so much so that what to speak of 16 rounds, we don’t want to stop chanting Hare Krishna when we get to 16 rounds. 16 rounds is nothing.

      So while everything I said about India is correct, still the Indians are very fortunate people and taking birth in India is the most auspicious birth one can take in the whole universe. Not just on this planet. There is only one India in the whole universe and in India we find Mathura, in Mathura we find Vrindavan, and in Vrindavan we find Krishna. So in the whole universe Vrindavan is only in India. Of course a pure devotee can make Vrindavan anywhere, but that is a bit different. Anyhow for those greatly fortunate souls who take birth in India Krishna consciousness is natural for them and they simply need to get the association of a pure devotee of Krishna like Srila Prabhupada and they can very easily awaken their dormant Krishna consciousness.

      We Westerners are not so fortunate, however because of Srila Prabhupada’s great mercy and because of Lord Caitanya’s great mercy which Srila Prabhupada is spreading all over the world we have become fortunate also, by Prabhupada’s mercy. Actually Srila Prabhupada found it easier to preach Krishna consciousness in the West than in India. In India the people have been spoiled by so much bogus philosophy preached by the Mayavadis for so many generations. And you know that is great poison: Mayavadi bhasya sunali haya sarva nasa “One who hears the Mayavadi philosophy is doomed. He will never be able to take to Krishna consciousness.” So it is this Mayavadi contamination really that is the greatest problem for India, and for the whole world of course, it is everywhere, not just in India. But in India it is so strong so Prabhupada found that the Westerners were more open to accepting Krishna consciousness than the Indians.

      But anyhow the Indians are the most fortunate souls in the universe and if they take the opportunity of associating with Srila Prabhupada by reading his books they will be very easily able to wash off the Mayavadi contamination and very easily be able to awaken the dormant Krishna consciousness within their hearts. And they will be protected from bogus gurus and Mayavadis form ISKCON and other places…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Jaigovindadas (Joe Rael) says:

        Hare Krsna Prabhuji:

        Thank you for the wonderful guidance you bring in the name
        of Srila Prabhupada.
        I was just question about the back to Prabhupada movement, is that you also?
        I recieve magazine from them once per month.
        I am happy I never was initiated into Iskcon although I am firm believer in Krsna and Srila Prabhupada.
        Thank you

        • madhudvisa-dasa says:

          Hare Krishna Prabhu

          No I do not have anything to do with “Back to Prabhupada” magazine.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

  4. Subhalaxmi says:

    Dandavat pranam prabhuji

    Thank you for being so patient in answering my questiions. Yes prabhu we do 16 mala japa,
    we do bhog arpan to Bhagavan, also follow mandetory rules and regulations like no gambling no meat eating no illicit sex no intoxication. People in India specially who
    know about our Hare Krishna tradition do have a respect for us for the reason that they know we do not compromise as far as following Prabhupadas instructions is concerned. But those who really dont know about our tradition they think we are insane why doing 16 mala daily? Why dancing in front of Deities? They keep asking but dont bother to hear the answers. Also there are people who get scared while talking to Hare Krishna devotees anticipating that they will have to stop meat eating smoking and many more things so for them grapes are sour. So people who are coming and joining us to know Krishna are very fortunate to hear Prabhupadas instructions.Its so magical that we dont need to do anything apart from organizing things properly. As far as preaching is concerned Prabhupad has already done everything for us. We just need to handle those matchless peace of articles and books in appropriate manner.
    As far as mayavadis are concerned they are oppotunists and because of their poor knowledge in Vedic lit and Gita they say Bhagavan is nirakar nirvisesh. But on the other hand they are worshipping idols of demigods. They dont know Krishna is the supreme personality of Godhead and he is swakaar and swavishesh.
    mayavaad was mainly spreaded through sikh community , brahmo samaj and arya samaj in India.
    Well said Prabhuji, Indians are trying to be better Americans than the Americans in terms of illicit sex, late night party live in relationship, break up, frustration and so on.
    But we overlook the good qualities of those Americans who took Srila Prabhupadas words into their heart and changed the world of devotion.
    At present we need more and more qualified devotees to carry on Prabhupadas mission and show the world the power and essence of Mahamantra.
    Please come back to save Prabhupadas Iskcon.
    Your servant

Post a Comment