QUOTE (Brainiac @ May 20 2009, 10:43 PM)
QUOTE (Ananda @ May 20 2009, 09:29 PM)
Yea, it's the same old everywhere, in different flavors. It incidentally also happened to me in Gaudiya Math. Wherever there are absolute beliefs and fundamental values, this response pattern seems to be integral.
Mind you, and I always meant to ask, much of the criticism you received after leaving TGV came from IGM-types, did they not? If not from some Western-oriented TGVs themselves. How did the Vaishnava community at Radhakund itself treat you or react to your leaving?
Well I have never formally stated my departure from GV to them so I wouldn't know exactly what people are thinking (insider news don't seem to be reaching me), but you'll remember the response I received at Vilasa Kunja from the fundamentalist wing. I received an ultimatum from a small coalition of members and was booted out of my own forum. (I built the forum and own the domain
.) Prior to that I had communicated my desire to see it continue in some shape regardless of my personal decisions, and even offered to do a software upgrade to have it stable for the future. You have an account, go there and read for yourself.
You may or may not have heard of the reaction from Sanatana Das Babaji after I closed my ties with him individually as a guru in a frank face to face conversation. He told me how my offensive attitude towards him would destroy my creeper of devotion, and that I had no idea how much damage I was doing to myself by looking at him in a negative light and observing faults in him. Throw in the resulting divorce and the resulting complications with our house project and all, and I'd say it's a decent level of repercussion there, even if not from a large audience.
And you'll remember my exit from Bhakticharan Das Babaji's hospices (parts two
). I have no idea what he or his cronies are talking about me, I'm only too glad to have never encountered the man again after slipping his worshipable lotus photo back to him through a crack in the door on demand, as I refused to give him more money for payback of the loan scam loop he was running with me, and as I wasn't too interested in seeing the man's face by opening the door. (And I was on my way out to take the first leak of the morning when he showed up and parked outside my closed door for a fair half an hour.) The general advice from friendly devotees is to not criticize the guru. Should you attempt to explain the situation, you are in effect criticizing the guru, so it's a dead end there.
Trust me, it's every bit as black and white there. You're dealing with people who are conditioned to this absolute theologized outlook since their decades, and many since their childhood here. Add in a large spoonful of Bengali emotional fervor and mix with near-ecclesiastic belief in the guru's absolute nature, deal with the absence of rational ingredients from a Western education, and it's overall about as accommodating and flexible as a stone wall.