A letter in support of Indradyumna Swami – by Chaturatma Das
Hare Krsna. My obeisances to the vaisnavas. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Recent events in our society have brought up the need to examine and correct various types of horrible behavior. Yet, when this happens, it is often the tendency to “throw the baby out with the bath water”. Just as we have to carefully examine what is done by who regarding our children, we do not want to use that same critical lens to view everything without deeper examination of motive and result.
In this regards I would like to step forward on behalf of my friend and elder god brother Indradyumna Swami. When it comes to world wide preaching, huge scale festivals, steady year after year spreading of Prabhupada and Lord Chaitanya’s movement, Indradyumna Swami’s name is right there. He has an unique ability to engage, organize and present Krsna consciousness with a widely diverse cross sections of devotees from all walks of life and many various nations. All willingly and devotedly serve on his programs and do so for years on end.
The hint, or even outright suggestion any misbehavior on his part is ludicrous as far as I have seen. I don’t speak as one who is observing from a distance. I have traveled extensively for the last ten years with Indradyumna Swami. I have lived with him, preached with him, traveled across the globe with him, observed his interactions and behavior with all levels and ages of disciples and have no doubt saying he is beyond reproach. He is always surrounded by assistants, god brothers and friends. His life is an open book. He shares the same living quarters. His assistants have access to his emails, phone, texts and he has no secrets in this regards.
His devotion to children even as far back as being a temple president many years ago and seeing that kids with no parents or parents staying in distance places from gurukulas were looked after, cared for and nurtured is well known. Long is the list of children, now adults, who prospered under his care and to this day are thankful to him for that attention. Many of those children would not have had a birthday or special event in their life honored had it not been for him making note of it. Many of these children have grown, matured and accepted him or others as their guru and solidly practice devotional life.
As a parent whose daughter is his disciple, I have never had a doubt that her best interest was his concern. From the time she was 10 until now. She is now a wife, mother of two and he still shows an interest in her spiritual life. She is extremely grateful for this. She has gotten through some of the worst of teenage years by his attention. She is by no means an exception. He inspires and encourages young people world wide to take up the practices of devotional service. Equally, he does this with boys and girls. I find it interesting that when people want to slander him, they post pictures of him with young girls. As if he only gives attention to them. Yet he endlessly encourages the young boys as well. He is equal to encourage all our youth.
He is not at all afraid or hesitant to put himself in the middle of the most unlikely places for preaching the message of Mahaprabhu—Hari Nama Sankirtan. Beaches, Woodstock, and many such places of ill behaved, poorly dressed people as well as public gatherings with highly placed government leaders are equally given the chance for association with the Holy Name through his efforts.
Yet, he is not beyond suggestions or guidance in his actions. When suggestions are made, when attention is questioned, when recommendations are given, by his well wishing friends and senior god brothers, he listens. Sometimes the attention to the children is toned down. I for one hope this does not lead to neglect of this all important future generation of Prabhupada society.
As we look to clarify, protect and guard our children from abuse and exploitation, let us not confuse the actions of those who are sincerely and truly interested in the well being of our children with no ulterior or even sinister motive.
Am I a bit like Arjuna in the Gita saying so many nice words about my friend? Yes, but as Arjuna says, don’t take my word alone. Here also are many others who have seen and feel the same as myself. I for one, stand in support of Indradyumna Swami.