Nineteen years ago an American devotee named Kaviraj (Scott Knowles) asked me, “You are very spiritually qualified, why don’t you initiate disciples?” I replied, “Not now, I must wait for the right time.” He then asked, “When will that time come?” I told him, “It may be the year two thousand.” But man proposes and God disposes, and providence prevailed, and we started initiating sooner than the predicted year. False propaganda was raised against me by my god-brothers, forcing me to desert them and to found Bhagavat Dharma Samaj. I needed help to spread my Guru’s mission, so I began initiating candidates then. My situation is similar to the way Lord Brahma tried to deceive Lord Krsna. As Brahma used the power given to him by Krsna to defy Him, similarly the power given to my god-brothers from our Guru was misused by them. They used their broad political influence over my Guru’s movement to defame us, regardless of our devotional sincerity. As it is very difficult to change one’s nature, therefore their tactic of defaming sincere devotees is no surprise, and is not recognized in the eyes of God. The laws of God are stated in the ancient scriptures as the Yajnavalkya Smruti states:
smrutyor virodhe nyayas
tu balavan vyavaharatah
artha-sastrat tu balavad
dharma sastram iti sthitih
“In legal decisions where political and spiritual laws differ, the spiritual laws are superior and take precedence. This is the authoritative conclusion.”
But when low-class people are in charge of Vedic tradition, they knowingly ignore such Vedic injunctions and show off their sovereignty. As Brahma imposed his mysticism on Lord Krsna in an attempt to belittle Him, similarly my god-brothers imposed false allegations against us, staining our reputation, while claiming that spiritual justice has been done. This tactic of falsely taking a superior position over one more qualified is a regular practice for them, and is denounced in the scriptures. Standing on the religious principal of Truth, Lord Brahma repented his mistake. But low-class impudent people stand on no religious principles, and will never regret their mistakes, even after learning the proper scriptural rules. They only externally make a show of a high spiritual position to usurp people’s wealth. Here is a history to help illustrate such knavish consciousness. Once, a merchant came to Vrindaban and opened a grain shop. He would regularly visit the temple, listen to spiritual discourse, give charity, and act religiously. Seeing his religiousness, everyone respected him, thinking he was a good devotee. One day he brought his son along to the temple to listen to the discourse. There, the lecturing Swamiji said, “If a cow is seen drinking water or eating food, she should not be stopped.” The merchant’s son was very guileless and took this statement to heart. The next day while tending the shop, a cow came and started eating his grains.
Remembering the statement of the Swamiji, the son did not prevent the cow from eating. A little while later the merchant arrived, saw the cow eating his grains, and beat her with a stick, thereby sending her away. He then scolded his son stating, “Why didn’t you stop the cow from eating the grains?” The son replied, “You were there when the Swamiji said to never stop a cow from eating or drinking.” Hearing this the merchant said, “What a nonsense! You should not care about scriptural knowledge outside the temple. After hearing, you should leave it there with the Swamiji. It is not practical in the real world. I go there arid follow some religiousness to gain respect. But in my heart I truthfully do not follow spiritual life.”
This class of people are called khala, “wicked”, and are said to be very dangerous in civilized human society. As it is stated in the Canakyastakam, 26:
sarpah krutah khala krurah
sarpat kruratarah khalah
khalah kena nivaryate
“By nature a snake is cruel and so is the wicked person. But the wicked person is more dangerous, because a snake’s venom can be eradicated by chanting mantras or taking medicine, but how can anyone stop a wicked person from acting evil? There is no remedy.”
The Canakya Niti states, sthana-tyagena durjanah, “Wise men leave that place where wicked association is present for a peaceful atmosphere. “It is difficult to make spiritual advancement without a peaceful atmosphere. Without it, even if practiced for a long time in a spiritual group, one cannot make any spiritual advancement. Unless one follows the commands of the scriptures, one’s heart cannot change. Simply changing one’s dress is not considered in God’s eyes; He only considers how our heart has changed by spiritual practice. When one’s heart is changed, only then do our attitude and dealings change with other spiritualists and materialists alike. To know the scriptures and not follow them does not earn spiritual merit or realization.
[Srimad Bhagavatam, Tenth Canto, My Mission, KBS0034]