Seeking The Essence

Clearing Life's Webs and Weeds….

Jiva Jago! (A Humble Request)

Srila Prabhupada with gurukulis in Dallas Texas

I posted a version of this article on Chakra May 25th, 2006 in response to the announcement by Shakuntala of the suicide of Ananda McClure.

To Dhanurdhara Swami: To increase the honor and integrity of ISKCON I humbly request you to voluntarily renounce all honorific titles, disciples and public ministry and retire to a more reserved life of prayer and penitence. Dedicate yourself to repairing the damage in which you played a major role. Help to heal our wounded Society. I am wholeheartedly convinced that this course of action would be the best “preaching” you could do in this lifetime. I pray you find the courage and conviction to do the right thing.

To my fellow Gurukulis: Let us remember to show compassion, even to one who shares responsiblity for so much pain and suffering. Our request should not be that Dhanurdhara be completely ostracized from all congregational activities. According to our beliefs, it is through prayer, association and repentance that even the lowest among us can find redemption. For 15 years, we have been consistently asking that Dhanurdhara no longer be: allowed to speak publicly, ordained with honorific titles, authorized to accept disciples, and designated as one of ISKCON’s most exalted personalities. During this sad time, let’s not become overwhelmed by anger or blinded by revenge and instead remain sober and steadfast in our approach.

To the GBC (and other ISKCON Leaders): Please take Ananda’s suicide as an occasion to reflect on your collective decisions regarding Dhanurdhara Swami. Take a moment to understand what message you send to the rest of the world through such decisions. I appreciate the difficult choices you must often make and sincerely hope you can be strong leaders and shining examples for our Society.

To the greater Vaishnava Society: This is an opportunity for us to understand the importance of offering genuine love and support to those among us who may be struggling in their lives. Encourage them to find the help they need. As we can see, sometimes it does mean the difference between life and (an untimely) death….


August 27, 2006 - Posted by | Dhanurdhara Swami, Gurukula, Gurukuli, Hare Krishna, ISKCON


  1. Dear Chaitanya Mangala Prabhu,

    Please accept my humble obeisances. Hare Krishna.

    Thank you for sharing your perspective, and for publishing this blog.

    I am an initiated disciple of HH Dhanurdhara Swami, and am naturally a little hurt to hear your opinion that my guru should “voluntarily renounce all honorific titles, disciples and public ministry and retire to a more reserved life of prayer and penitence.”

    I recognize that there is considerable, painful history between yourself, many gurukula alumni and my guru, and I hope to be very sensative to that. Many good friends of mine were born into ISKCON, and several suffered extreme and terrible trauma in Gurukula, so I have a bit of insight into their pain and suffering as well as its long-term consequences.

    At the same time, I’d like you to know that HH Dhanurdhara Swami has made a more positive contribution to my life and well-being than anyone else in the world, and I am deeply grateful to him for the great sacrifices he has made to help me. If he chose to “renounce” me as a disciple, I would be devastated (although it might make his life easier, since I may not always be the easiest person to deal with…). In fact, I know many many very good people who feel as though Dhanurdhara Swami has impacted their lives in very positive ways over the years. I hope you might also be sensative to that.

    I was wondering if maybe we could dialogue about this?

    I am completely uninterested in hostile argument or confrontation. I’d like to build a bridge with you, with the aim of gaining mutual respect and understanding. I’m naturally uncomfortable being in a society where there is so much hostility towards someone that I love and respect very deeply. I also see that it is a very sensative point for some that Dhanurdhara Swami has taken on the service of being a guru, and that he has initiated a small handful of disciples. If people feel offended that I am his disciple, my hope is to try to work towards resolving such feelings.

    I have seen a number of comments you have made publically – in statements more recent than this article – in which you call for people to focus their energy on creating dialogues with the aim of positive resolution. If there is any way you think I can serve this important purpose, please let me know – I’d really like to help.

    My email address is at11579 (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you find some time, it would be nice to hear from you.

    Thank you very much.

    Very respectfully submitted,

    Akincana Krishna das

    Comment by Akincana Krishna das | August 28, 2006 | Reply

  2. Dear Akincana Krishna prabhu,

    Hare Krishna.

    Thank you for posting your comment. I appreciate the mood in which it was written.

    As you may have noticed I started this blog very recently. It began with the idea that it could serve as a place where I’d put my writings on gurukuli related issues. This would in turn give others easy access to them. Very quickly I see that it can be used in many more ways.

    You touch on many important points and I am open to exploring them with you. Please know that it may take me a few days to properly respond because I’ve been summoned for jury services by the Superior Court of Los Angeles.

    Duty calls!

    Comment by chaitanyamangala | August 28, 2006 | Reply

  3. Dear Akincana Krishna prabhu,

    Please know that I sent you a response to the email address you provided.

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    Comment by chaitanyamangala | August 30, 2006 | Reply

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