Let’s look at Radhanath baba’s last stronghold in Europe, London. We will not find any Hospital prema there. But is a place of salary prema, according to official statistics, ISKCON UK paid out 1.7 million pounds in salaries in 2015. Let’s look at official document:
And Radhanath Swami disciple Jai Nitai das is completely fallen in love with his salary, but it also very confidential lila, he can’t disclose it to anybody.
My letter to ISKCON Soho temple president
Message-ID: <CAHEdfkHQ5PZCZzRuVRpgZEVAS2qSUDQ-FMHh8e7oPNFDM4yVvw@mail.gmail.com> Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:11:55 +0000 Subject: iskcon uk salaries From: Hanuman das To: email@example.com
Dear Jai Nitai das,
please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
My name is Hanuman das, I am private investigator. I run very popular website where I publish interesting stuff about ISKCON which you are not supposed to know about.
Devotees from UK recently brought to my attention that ISKCON UK paid out 1.7 million pounds in salaries during 2015. Reports for 2016 are not submitted yet.
My sources tell me that both you and your wife are “employees” of ISKCON, and that temple also pays you apartment. I would like to know the yearly amounts that you and your wife are receiving, both for salaries and for rent of apartment so that devotees could get a better idea where those 1.7 million pounds end up.
ISKCON should be completely transparent regarding finances, and as servants of Krishna, we don’t have anything to hide.
Of course, no ISKCON law obliges you to reply to my email but I will publish this open letter on my website. And when few thousands devotees see financial reports from the UK government website, which I will also publish, and when they see that leaders are not willing to disclose their salaries, situation could become, you know, touchy.
The reason I am writing you is because two reasons, first is that you didn’t publish this information so far, or local devotees couldn’t find it, and second reason is that it seems they are afraid to ask you directly. So, I am some kind of middle man.
I visited Soho temple few years back, and it looks very cool.
your servant, Hanuman das
[As you guessed, he never replied]
Since 60 000 pounds is top salary paid to any ISKCON uk “employee” as shown in the financial reports, and both Jai Nitai das and his wife are employees, their joint salary is probably in a range of 120 000 pounds per year. Or less. We will never know.
Another problem is, remember the old grandpa who founded this movement. He was against “paid devotional service”, and the whole term sounds ridiculous.
Prabhupāda: Just like we have got so many tenants. They are living in their own. But they have no connection with the temple, neither the temple is paying them or… No, they are earning their own way. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: In other words, if the temple provides an apartment, it’s the same as paying a salary.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: In other words, giving an apartment is the same thing as providing a salary.
Prabhupāda: All right, apartment can be… But what is this? They are given high salary. Because his service is essential—”All right, you take apartment.” Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: But not…
Prabhupāda: You take prasādam. But why salary? Where is the question of salary? Where is vairāgya, renouncement? So in all circumstances the salary process should be stopped. One who wants salary, he can work outside.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Actually, even if you don’t give a salary, if you give an apartment and you give food and you give all these other things for someone to maintain his household life…
Prabhupāda: Because his service is essential.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: But that has to be determined very strictly.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Whether his service is absolutely required? So you give him.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That is the factor. That point must be clearly acknowledged.
Prabhupāda: Hm hm. So he’s trying to practice… Because sevonmukhe, if he gives service, then gradually he’ll renounce. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ [Brs. 1.2.234]. God realization means service. The more you give service to the Lord, the more you become advanced in devotional… So one who is giving service, dedicated life, so maybe… But no salary. They may live in the temple, woman separate, man separate.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They’re… But the actual thing is that they’re being, living together in an apartment, and the temple is paying for that apartment. They’re not living separately in the temple. They’re being…
Prabhupāda: That is to be discouraged. What do you think?
Girirāja: I agree.
Prabhupāda: In Los Angeles it is very freely going on. In the name of Vaiṣṇavism they are drawing salary, living comfortably, having sense enjoyment. This is not good, not at all. So you all high officers, you think over it and do the needful.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Vairāgya should be cultivated.
Prabhupāda: Vairāgya… Caitanya Mahāprabhu says clearly that niṣkiñcanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya. The bhagavad-bhajana, to become devotee of the Lord, means he’s disgusted with this material world. For him, bhagavad-bhajana. Just like if I become disgusted with something, I require some change, similarly, bhagavad-bhajana is for him who is absolutely disgusted with this material world. And anyone who has got little interest in material enjoyment, he’s not fit for bhagavad-bhajana. He’ll have to accept again this material body, either he becomes Brahmā or becomes an ant in the stool, according to his karma. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa jantur deha-upapattaye [SB 3.31.1]. He’ll have to develop certain type of body according to his desire of enjoyment. This is nature’s law. Then where is the question of going back to home, back to Godhead? Why so many varieties of life? There is Brahmā, and there is ant in the stool. So vairāgya-vidyā-nija… Vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ [SB 1.2.7], janayaty āśu vairāgyam. And vairāgyam means jñānam ca. When one is in full knowledge that “To remain in this material world is useless for me”—jñānam—”I am simply wasting my time by repetition of birth and death,” then he can have vairāgya. “Stop this!” If this sense is not awakened, there is no bhakti. It is not so easy. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati [Bg. 18.54]. That is vairāgya. So vairāgya-vidyā… Otherwise why big, big persons, they renounced everything? Bharata Mahārāja, young man, the emperor of the whole world, gave up everything. Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally teaches, young man, good, beautiful wife, young wife, so affectionate mother, so much honor in the society, Nimāi Paṇḍita, so beautiful body… Tyaktvā sudustyaja-surepsita-rājya-lakṣmīm [SB 11.5.34]. Surepsita. Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s position was, even the demigods, they desired such family life. But He still gave up. That is teaching. Therefore Sarvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya says, vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhak…, śikṣārtham: “to teach others.” He understood that in order to teach others vairāgya-vidyā… He is the Supreme Person. Vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti-yoga-śikṣārtham ekaḥ purāṇa-puruṣaḥ: [Cc. Madhya 6.254] “That He was, Supreme Lord. Now He has appeared as Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya.“Śarīra-dhārī: “He has accepted one body as Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya.” So these things should be stopped, that they should live comfortably with husband and wife, children, and take salary from the… You decide. This is not to our… Besides that, in our BBT it is clearly written that “Fifty percent for printing book, and fifty percent for…” So you cannot violate this. Those who can give voluntary service, “Welcome.” Otherwise we don’t require. At least they should not be given any salary. That is very bad. This is against principle. (Conversation: April 28, 1977, Bombay)
And remember, if you are on the sheep level of consciousness, your job is to give donations, not to ask questions. And never ever read Prabhupada’s conversations, this is harmful. This philosophy is firmly established by Radhanath baba. If you want to know temple president’s salary, that is “offensive”, you should not inquire about that. Rather, you should engage more in your bhajan and chanting Hare Krishna. 😄 And 99% percent of ISKCON sheep fall for this trick.
And if some lost sheep ever starts thinking by their own head, if such glitch ever happens, then you will be told that “Prabhupada said many things on many occasions” and therefore you should ignore Hanuman and his quote. But that’s a lie, Srila Prabhupada never approved salaries.
- Official financial statements submitted to government, ISKCON UK, salaries are on page 32: http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Accounts/Ends49/0000259649_AC_20151231_E_C.pdf
- Full financial reports for previous years: http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Showcharity/RegisterOfCharities/DocumentList.aspx?RegisteredCharityNumber=259649&SubsidiaryNumber=0&DocType=AccountList
- Prabhupada on salaries: http://vaniquotes.org/wiki/In_all_circumstances_the_salary_process_should_be_stopped
This article originally appeared on Lasting Impression website