Ramblings of an ex-monk


IS CON: Uncovering The Life Of A Typical ISKCON Guru


One thing that bothered me in the past decade is that I witnessed a case of one brahmacari who was shunned and kicked out from the ISKCON temple I was visiting because he fell in love with one of the matajis and married her in defiance to the authorities.

The man was in love – what did they expect him to do?

Over an year ago, one of the brahmacaris told me another story of a brahmacari who fell in love with a woman and wanted to get married.
The Temple President ordered his services to be taken away, refused to even see his face, and banned him from doing any services in the temple.

Today I’m going to talk about an ISKCON Guru – a renunciant, a sannyasi, a man who took 3 initiations, the last one in which celibacy was pshh – an obvious requirement!
I’m going to discuss his divine lilas, then we’re going to see how he is treated within ISKCON today.

Prabhavisnu Swami was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1950. He first met Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in 1971 in London. In the following years, Prabhavisnu Maharaja served as the temple president of the Bhaktivedanta Manor. In 1975 he was called to India by Srila Prabhupada to act as temple president in the Bombay, Juhu Beach centre. From 1975-1979 Prabhavisnu Maharaja helped establish Krsna consciousness centres in India and Bangladesh. In 1979 Prabhavisnu Maharaja entered the renounced order of life. He was then appointed the Governing Body Commissioner (G.B.C.) of ISKCON to oversee preaching work in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma and other parts of the world. In 1987 he was requested to be the G.B.C. representative for Australia and New Zealand and to initiate disciples in: Europe, Britain, India, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.

Here’s some videos of Prabhavisnu Swami:

Prabhavisnu sitting on a throne

Here’s an excerpt of Prabhavisnu’s breaking news on The Sampradaya Sun:

Prabhavisnu Swami


Jan 05, 2012 — AUSTRALIA (SUN) — Now the news is Prabhavisnu Swami has been directly busted in Bangkok, arm in arm with his girlfriend prostitute AGAIN. This time by his own disciple of 20 years, who confronted him three weeks ago on the street after following him for some time. This disciple is an old friend of mine.

Prabhavisnu is being “confronted” today, in Canberra, by Prahladananda, the so-called “Minister for Sannyasa”. What a joke. Let’s see the cover-up job the GBC try to hatch this time.

Prabhu Visnu Swami routed his disciples for lakhs of dollars. Our once great ISKCON is scraping the bottom of the barrel and is run by goondas, thugs and the biggest cheaters of all.

Oz is reeling, as it was hushed up for three weeks (true GBC style), but now it is out and flying. The Oz zone will have to decide what to do now, but many are calling for a pow wow to rout GBC cronies and crooks.

We really need a rout of the Grand ‘ol Boys Club.

ys md

I couldn’t help but point out that The Sampradaya Sun no longer posts these kind of newsworthy content.
It appears that they have stopped covering the numerous blunders within ISKCON in an attempt to reconcile with the GBC.

Here’s the GBC Statement Regarding Prabhavishnu Swami’s Resignation:

By: The Governing Body Comission on Feb. 2, 2012
Dear Devotees of ISKCON,

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

We are writing as a follow-up to our letter dated January 13, 2012.

After several in-depth conversations with Prabhavisnu Prabhu and others, we would like to report further on Prabhavisnu Prabhu’s situation. We apologize for the delay in sending this letter out. It took time to answer the many questions being asked and to gather and digest the information.

Although it appears Prabhavisnu Prabhu strictly maintained both his brahmacari and sannyasa asramas from the time he joined in 1971 until 2001, he has admitted to a number of sexual falldowns, particularly in 2001.

Rumors that Prabhavisnu Prabhu had been in contact with a prostitute began to circulate around 2002. He was questioned about them by a godbrother (and later by a disciple), but he denied the allegations and the godbrother did not investigate the matter further. Rumors about his sexual improprieties again circulated in 2008. This time the source was identified as a life member who had told a senior devotee that he saw Prabhavisnu Prabhu with a woman in Bangkok. The Sannyasa Minister investigated, but again Prabhavisnu
Prabhu denied there was any truth to the rumor. During the investigation, when the life member was contacted, he refused to verify his allegations or discuss the matter further. While concerned, the Sannyasa Minister felt it was not possible to confirm the allegations.

Prabhavisnu Prabhu says he thought that he could overcome his weaknesses by sticking to his duties and service. Because he wasn’t successful, he says he stopped accepting new disciples from 2002 until the present (with the exception in 2004 of the spouse of one disciple).

Allegations surfaced again around the time Prabhavisnu Prabhu resigned a few weeks ago.

In conversations with GBC representatives, Prabhavisnu Prabhu has informed us that in addition to the problems mentioned above, in 2011 he met a woman in Bangkok and began a relationship with her. She runs a clothing business and is not a devotee. He informed us he is undecided about his long-term plans, but he is considering marriage. He also told us he is exhausted by his responsibilities and the amount of travel his service has required of him, and acknowledges that he overstepped himself in accepting the sannyasa-asrama at such a young age. (The GBC has since instituted much longer waiting periods and much stricter monitoring for sannyasa candidates.)

His actions have betrayed the trust of others and caused pain and distress to his disciples and other devotees, and for that he expresses great regret. When a leading devotee falls from his vows and betrays others’ trust, it calls on the devotee community to respond with compassion and support both for those whose trust has been broken and the person suffering the weakness. The GBC is in communication with Prabhavisnu Prabhu’s diksa and siksa disciples, offering them support, and with Prabhavisnu Prabhu himself, trying to help him in his spiritual life.

The GBC is also aware that Prabhavisnu Prabhu had a duty to ISKCON not to misuse money collected in the Society’s name during his time as a guru and sannyasi. After our initial review, we are yet to find any misuse of funds. Prabhavisnu Prabhu appears to have channeled donations he has received in his position as an ISKCON leader to ISKCON projects either locally where he was visiting or especially to Bangladesh and Nepal for the development of ISKCON there. He also provided funds to a trust in Vrindavan for a house
there. That house is used primarily for brahmacaris, though he has stayed there during his visits to Vrindavan and is one of four trustees of the property. He informed us that any money he spent for other purposes was drawn from an inheritance he received from his father.

Gurus and sannyasis are required by ISKCON law to provide financial statements for ISKCON monies received and disbursed each year, and after reviewing these records and interviewing devotees in positions of leadership under Prabhavisnu Prabhu, this seems to be the case.

There may be questions still needing to be answered. The GBC will continue to look into the matter, but we hope this information will help the devotees understand the situation more clearly.

Prabhavisnu’s actions severely violated his vows. Sadly, he betrayed the trust of others, and caused pain to devotees around the world who have been inspired by him and followed him in devotional service. Spiritual leadership requires honesty with oneself and others. His inability to live up to the standards he vowed has been disappointing and disturbing. Spiritual life is difficult, and as Srila Prabhupada warned, even stalwarts can fall prey to the allurements of illusory pleasures. The GBC has learned the wisdom of responding to such difficult situations carefully and with humble hearts, and we try to respond according to a person’s willingness to admit his deviations and feel remorse.

In that regard, Prabhavishnu prabhu has apologized to the ISKCON society, the GBC, and to his followers and disciples. He has expressed his regret and acknowledges that his actions have caused pain. He has also stated his desire to continue to serve Srila Prabhupada in a humbler way. And rightly, given the circumstances, he gave up his positions as guru, sannyasi, and GBC member.

While acknowledging his serious deviations, we pray he will rectify himself under the guidance of senior Vaisnavas and again choose a noble, if humbler, path of service. The GBC wishes to acknowledge the pain this causes those who have been serving with and under Prabhavisnu Prabhu while at the same time acknowledging, as we feel Srila Prabhupada would, the extensive service Prabhavisnu Prabhu has rendered in some of the most challenging parts of the world.

Hare Krsna,

Your servants,

Hrdaya Caitanya Das
Bhakti Caitanya Swami
Tamohara Das,
GBC Executive Committee

Another report states:

News has been coming out of Australia that GBC and Sannyāsa Guru Prabhavisnu Swami has been again caught with a Prostitute in Bangkok, Thailand by a senior disciple of his. The incident apparently occurred three weeks ago and has been kept under wraps all this time.

Prabhavisnu Swami took the renounced order [sannyāsa ashram] in 1979 and was soon made a member of the GBC with Thailand being one of his first zonal assignments; he became the GBC of Australia in 1987. He is well remembered in Australia as being a strong advocate for Book Distribution. However, he is also known for not being able to control his sexual desires and this recent incident is the second incident to be brought to the attention of the GBC body. The first incident in the 90’s, also in Bangkok Thailand, was kept hushed up but he was reprimanded and according to some reports he was reprimanded by the GBC and was made to stop initiating disciples for a period of time.

In this latest incident, it is claimed that he was confronted by one of his long time disciples when he was observed walking in the street arm and arm with a prostitute. It must be noted that it is rather disturbing that an ISKCON Sannyāsa Guru is visiting prostitutes in Thailand and especially in Bangkok which is notorious for its prostitution trade since the 60’s with a high percentage of sexually transmitted disease what to speak of a high prevalence of HIV /AIDS among sex workers which has increased since 2005 due to public indifference.

As far as we could find out so far; Prahladananda Swami the Sannyāsa Minister and Janananda Goswami have been dispatched to Australia to do ‘damage control’ and ‘confronted’ the Swami on the 5th of this month. The Australian Yatra who are slowly becoming more educated with regards to the corrupt ways of the GBC and ISKCON Gurus are now in up roar at yet another fall down by a Sannyāsa Guru.

This was the reaction of one angry mother after discovering ISKCON’s Guru hypocrisy:

Well sure my heart goes out to all those god brothers and sisters of mine who still hold a candle for Prabhavisnu but I will not think good of him ever again. For years I battled on washing dishes, cleaning nappies and cooking for my husband as he worked his butt off and gave so much of it to Prabhavisnu. How much did we do for him over the years I cannot imagine! How much we went without because guru Mahārāja needed money for his service in Katmandu or to build his house in Vṛndāvan or his preaching in Russia when we needed money for our family! How many times did I buy secondhand stuff for us all because gurudev needed more money?

We heard that he is in Thailand somewhere with his girlfriend? What is that all about? His girlfriend who he has yet to drop the big question? Who is this woman and how did they meet? How did a sannyāsī guru meet a woman, a shop keeper? Did he meet her at a pub or in her shop? Why does it matter? Well it matters to us because he was our guru, a pure devotee who Krishna had sent to us to take us back home to Godhead. Now he is pillow talking with some woman who we don’t know whether she is a devotee or not? It matters because I know some of my godsisters who refuse to accept that he is less than a pure devotee and they still do puja to him and offer bhog to him, of course it matters! I am sure she is not a devotee so how is this possible I want to understand. Please tell me my dear god sisters how can you still think he is a pure devotee?

When we got married we had to ‘associate’ for six months under the hawk eyes of the Temple President along with the rest of the Temple! But he can sneak around and have a girlfriend who has no idea he wants to marry her? How is it he can do as he pleases and we couldn’t???? Why is he allowed to do what he wants without the constraints of the regulative principle of illicit sex? Who are his authorities now? How different is he now to us? We are both initiated devotees of ISKCON and he a guru and sannyāsī was with a karmi woman? To think we have been teaching our children to worship him for all these years and for him to be their guru?!? What do you have to say for this now my god sisters and brothers? Ramai Swami? Devamrita Swami! What do you say to my children? Well I will never let you near my children!!!

Oh please give us a break will you if you think that he is as pure as the driven snow! We heard about his visiting prostitutes way back and we refused to believe it then but we now know we were the ones who were ripped off by him and the GBCs! So please spare me the agony of listening to you bleat on about how he is still a pure devotee who is enjoying some līlā with his Thai gopi girlfriend.

You may say okay mataji calm down don’t be offensive! But will you give me back all those years and all that we sacrificed for him? Okay I am angry and will deal with it I have to for my kids and my husband’s sake but I am angry and you have no right to say to me to calm down. I will calm down but in my time and my way.

I want to say to all the bhaktas and bhaktins out there to stop listening to any of the disciples of these gurus, like my husband and I were they are all in some stupid illusion that a mundane guru is a pure devotee. Nothing they say is true and they are all full of it. I know I am not committing an offence because our gurudev is a pervert and they all said he was a freaking pure devotee! We said he was a pure devotee! How can you believe the disciples?

To tell you the truth why should you listen at all to any GBC or Temple authority? They all knew about Prabhavisnu and covered it up for years! They are as bad as he is. I can tell you, don’t on any terms support the GBC or Temple President until they get honest with us and stop lying all the time. Do not give any money to any guru under any circumstances. Take shelter of Prabhupāda and no one else as these people will rip you off like Paul Barrow did us.

You know Prabhavisnu was our savior after our whole yatra was destroyed by the poofter Bhavananda who was exposed and now look what happened both the bona fide spiritual masters that ISKCON offered us are now exposed as being sexually deviant. What do we expect to follow as the GBC and gurus make plans for our spiritual future? To hell with them!

Here’s the resignation letter by Prabhavisnu Swami:

To the members of the GBC and devotees of ISKCON,

Dear Maharajas and prabhus,

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

It is with deep regret that I wish to inform you that I have resigned from all positions of leadership within ISKCON, including GBC member, sannyas, and initiating guru. This is because in recent times I have not been able to maintain the required spiritual standards for those who hold such positions.

I have become physically and mentally exhausted due to constant travel and managerial pressures. It has been especially draining for me to try to solve disputes amongst devotees, as I am by nature a non-conflictive type of person.

I have travelled almost constantly throughout my life since childhood and now I feel the need to settle in one place where I find the climate and culture to be agreeable my physical and mental nature. I am considering staying in Thailand as I find it to be such a place, and as I have also developed some affection for a person there who is decent, kind-hearted, diligent and humble. If that works out for me then I certainly hope to render some service to ISKCON there. If not, then I would hope to try and live in an ISKCON temple or community, perhaps in South India.

I am very sorry to have let you all down. I have never asked to be put in any of these positions of leadership, but by Krsna’s arrangement they have been conferred upon me. I have tried my best, but somehow I no longer feel able to continue in such capacity. Nevertheless, I have always been very happy in ISKCON from the moment I joined till the present. It has been a great honour for me to have had the opportunity to render some service to Srila Prabhupad’s movement, and to have had all of your association. I hope to be able to continue to maintain contact with devotees, visit ISKCON temples from time to time and render service to ISKCON in the future.

Once again my deepest apologies to you all. Kindly forgive any mistakes that I have made or any offences that I may have committed to any of you.

I hope this finds you in good health and Krsna conscious mood,

Your unqualified servant,

Prabhavisnu das

An insightful comment under that article states:

It would appear that in 1977 (January) Srila Prabhupada decided that there should be no more new sannyasis in ISKCON:
“If you talk in the modern society they will laugh: “What nonsense this man is… ‘By sex life one becomes conditioned.’ “ They cannot understand. Hare Krsna…This should be strictly outlawed, no more sannyasis. And those sannyasis who have fallen, you get them married, live like a… No more this showbottle, cheating. It is very ludicrous. Even there is a promise that “We shall not fall down again,” that is also not believable. What is the use?”(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, 7/1/77)
“And this kind of hypocrisy–they have taken sannyasa and mixing with woman. This is not to be allowed. If you want woman you get yourself married, live respectfully. We have no objection. But this hypocrisy should be stopped. There have been so many fallen down. First of all there will be no sannyasi anymore. I have got very bad experience. And at least, we are not going to create new sannyasis. And those who have fallen down, let them marry, live like respectable gentlemen. I have no objection.(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, 7/1/77)
However, few months later Srila Prabhupada personally authorized three sannyasa initiations which took place on May 29, 1977 at the Krsna-Balarama temple in Vrindavana, India. The following persons received sannyasa at that time: Bhakti Caru Swami, Bhakti Prema Swami, and Bhakti Caitanya Swami. All together Srila Prabhupada gave sannyasa to at least 60 disciples, of which only 5 are still situated in this ashrama or have kept it until the end of their life. The other 55 gave up sannyasa, usually after a relatively short period. That means over 90% of disciples who received sannyasa from Srila Prabhupada fell down. The cost of these fall downs to our movement have been very, very substantial. Perhaps it is indeed time to stop giving sannyasa in ISKCON.

Here’s a comment made on the Gaudiya-repercussions website before it was probably killed off by the GBC:

Will the Great Devotee™ give back the money he scammed out of his flock?

I personally know a devotee who bought him a house in Vrindavan and gave him hundreds of thousands of dollars. How many other fools gave this person large amounts of cash? He must be set for his retirement with his Thai lady in paradise.

Let’s see how genuine his remorse is when he hands over the cash.

Do any of these bastards resign on their own accord because of personal shame or do the Transcendental Personalities™ who have appearance days rather than birthdays have to be busted before they fess up and step down?

So how does ISKCON treat a fake guru who pokes hookers in Bangkok?

This article gives an insight into it:

Bangkok Swami performing abhiseka in the altar





Here’s Prabhavisnu giving a lecture in Bangkok. Notice the brahmacaris sitting in the background.

Bangkok Swami preaches to brahmacaris








More praise for Bangkok Swami.

After constantly being surrounded by sweet-voiced damsels for his entire life,
Prabhavisnu Swami finally gave in at the age of 70, and decided to get married to a 54 year old woman.

Prabhavisnu's marriage ceremony

On one hand, we have ISKCON authorities shunning and ostracizing brahmacaris who fall in love with and marry brahmacarinis. On the other hand, we see the way ISKCON handles a sannyasi who does something even worse.

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