To Disrespect Sadhus is a Mistake

by Sriman Suresh Das

11 June 2006

In responding to "Spiritual Integrity at Any Price" by Dhirasanta dasa, I agree in principle, and he has many good ideas and sentiments. Unfortunately, ISKCON leaders and temple management have repeatedly turned away sincere efforts and support for devotees and our society over the years from such sadhus as Srila Sridhar Maharaj, Srila Narayan Maharaj and Srila B.V. Puri Maharaj, just to name a few examples.

Our leaders have always maintained a very arrogant and puffed-up attitude towards other Vaishnava societies, considering our way to be the only way and that we already know everything -- not dissimilar to the attitude of so-called "born again" Christians. Individually as well as collectively, we have not only turned away good advice, support and help, but have been offensive and rude towards other Vaishnava societies and teachers, who would have gladly helped us find the right ways to act and behave according to Vedic and Vaishnava principles.

We may have differences on the highest platforms of thought, but on rudimentary principles of etiquette and morality how is our way really any different from the other teachers mentioned? Nevertheless, they have been excluded and prevented from speaking at our temples or advising our devotees. Do we really believe that all our godbrothers and godsisters, who have left our society and gone to these other teachers, are stupid fools, and that possibly something worth listening to might not be there?

The reaction to our offensive behavior, which we have committed to other advanced Vaishnavas, has now come back to haunt us in the form of disintegration of our temples, influence and importance in society.

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