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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

ISKCON AND THE SIN OF GREED, Pt. 1

“Maharani” is a Sanskrit word meaning “great queen,” and I suppose our middle-aged God sister we called by that name thought of herself as such for the year or so that she lived among us under the pretense that she was an heiress. With her coarse features and stout figure, she was certainly less than regal, despite her gorgeous silk saris. However, since she was evidently the reason why her new husband, formerly Bali Mardan Goswami, had renounced the order of renunciation (“sanyasa”), she was regarded as both a prize and a cash cow. How she led all of us by the nose makes her story one of the most bizarre in the annals of the history of the Hare Krishna (ISKCON) movement.

Anyone who lived in or near the Hare Krishna temple on Henry Street in Brooklyn during 1972-1975 surely remembers the repressive, vehemently misogynistic regime presided over by the temple president, Bali Mardan, particularly before he abandoned the order of sanyasa and married a much older Japanese woman rumored to be filthy rich.  Among other indignities, women devotees had to stand at the back of the temple and could not preach.  In general, we were treated like cattle and insulted at every turn. I remember riding in a van to greet Prabhupada (our guru) at the airport and being forced with the other women to stand while all the men were seated. Only when I informed them that I was pregnant was I able to get a seat. Savages! Never one to tolerate maltreatment for long, I wrote a letter to Prabhupada informing him about the state of affairs at the New York temple and received a reply in December 1972. I was then a nineteen year-old due to give birth in early January 1973. What happened next is contained in the following account that first sent in an email to an ISKCON women’s group back in 1999:

After I received the letter from Prabhupad criticizing the anti-womenpolicies instituted by the New York temple then under the leadership of thesoon-to-be married Bali Mardan Goswami, Gopal [my so-called “husband” at the time, but since 1982 another “sanyasi” and currently a big, infamously corrupt guru with many disciples of his own] confronted me in our mice-infested hovel of an apartment and demanded to know why I did written to Prabhupada without his permission. I told him that I knew he wouldn't agree because he didn't have the guts to confront Bali Mardan, whereupon he picked up the one piece of furniture in the room--a heavy wooden desk chair- -and threw it directly at my eight-month's pregnant abdomen. Had I not instantly stepped aside (the chair put a hole in the wall went it hit), my wonderful son, whom I have raised and supported all by myself, would not be here today.
Remember this when you put your trust in "His Holiness" - the only thing holy about the man are the holes in his moral fabric. He should be serving a life sentence for attempted murder.
Tomorrow: Maharani and the multiple pregnancy and money scams. Stay tuned . . .

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 

2 comments:

DimoKo said...

It seems that you told the truth. Thanks !

planetaryeyes said...

Thanks for the link to the YouTube video of Prabhupada's performing their marriage. What bold-faced hypocrisy on the part of all three participants! It seems I gave this blog essay the right title. Good luck and happiness to you.