- Hansadutta Das
(commonly known as 'the Hare Krishnas' or ISKCON).
Early disciple of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Hare Krishna Founder-Acharya
Hansadutta became an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada in March, 1967 [ [http://www.hansadutta.com/ART_WSP/hansa.html Hansadutta biographical sketch] ] . Hansadutta's first wife, Himavati devi dasi, was also initiated around this time [ [http://sangalog.blogspot.com/2004_08_15_sangalog_archive.html Letter to Hansadutta from Srila Prabhupada] ] . He assisted with the pioneering of the Hare Krishna movement, opening centers and preaching in Canada: Montreal and Vancouver; Europe: Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Russia; in USA: Boston, Berkeley; and in Asia: Turkey, Cairo, Afghanistan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia.
He is one of the leaders in publication (printing and distribution) of Srila Prabhupada's books, particularly in European languages, heading up the sales of books in Germany and North Europe, [Vedavyasa das, "A Time of Expansion", "Srila Prabhupada and His Disciples in Germany", published by Mandir Media Group, 1996 ISBN 84-86883-14-8] and in 1974 was appointed by Srila Prabhupada to serve as lifetime trustee of the
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. ["Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Resolution", 15 September 1974, Vrindaban, Bhaktivedanta VedaBase Ref 74-09-15]
He was also appointed as a member of ISKCON's
Governing Body Commission, ["Direction of Management", July 28, 1970, Bhaktivedanta VedaBase, also published online at [http://www.bhaktivedantas.com/ART_NAMHATTA/DOM.php The Bhaktivedantas Inside Nam Hatta] and [http://iskconconstitution.com/node/101 ISKCON Constitution] ] and took turns serving as Srila Prabhupada's personal secretary.
In 1976 Hansadutta took up the order of sannyasa. [Hari Sauri das, "A Transcendental Diary - Vol 1", March 16th, 1976]
While preaching in Sri Lanka in the year 1977, Hansadutta created a public sensation with his answer to a challenge by Dr. Abraham T. Kovoor, president of the Sri Lanka branch of the Rationalist Association, which exchange was published in the Colombo (Sri Lanka) "Sunday Times". [ [http://esotericteaching.org/content/BTG/uncompressed/html/132_1978_13-03.html#5 "Prove It!", "Back to Godhead Magazine", Vol 13, No 03, 1978] ] Srila Prabhupada requested the exchange be included in his own publication of the title "Life Comes from Life". [Letter to: Hamsaduta, London, September 10, 1977, Bhaktivedanta VedaBase Ref SL_771010_C1]
In July 1977, Hansadutta was one of eleven disciples selected by Srila Prabhupada to become rittvik representatives of the Acharya. [Letter to: All GBC, All Temple Presidents, 9 July 1977, VedaBase Ref 77-07-09 or otherwise known as the [http://www.hansadutta.com/ART_NAMHATTA/SPMAY09.html#Letter Letter of July 9th, 1977] ] Shortly after the departure of Srila Prabhupada on November 14, 1977, it was announced that the eleven disciples had been designated as gurus [ [http://esotericteaching.org/content/BTG/uncompressed/html/131_1978_13-0102.html#10 "Notes from the Editor", "Back to Godhead Magazine", Vol 13, No 0102, 1978] ] , and as part of ISKCON's Zonal Acarya system, Hansadutta initiated disciples primarily within zones assigned to him, namely North America, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Philippines.
Rock Album: Nice but Dead
Hansadutta recorded an album called "Nice but Dead." [http://books.google.com/books?id=Dw3-xD05wnoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPA68,M1] The title seems to be a reference to the body, described [http://www.hansadutta.com/HAMMER/ham4.html#Nice here] as "nice but dead": according to the Hare Krishna religion, only the soul is alive, while the the body is at best "nice but dead". It cost $35,000 dollars to record and has been described as "a collection of guitar accompanied potshots at other gurus". [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE0DA1530F933A15752C1A96E948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all]
Expelled from ISKCON
In 1980, Hansadutta was arrested [ [http://www.culticstudiesreview.com/csissueidx/toc2001.1/grprept2001.1_harekrishna/grprept_hk_newsarticles/news_CO_1986.htm Problem of Violence - Hansadutta Arrested] ] for possession of illegal weapons.
July 8, 1983, the Governing Body Commission of ISKCON passed a resolution removing Hansadutta from ISKCON [ [http://www.dandavats.com/wp-content/uploads/GBCresolutions/GBCRES98.htm GBC Resolutions '98] ] .
In 1984, Hansadutta married his second wife, Laksmi devi dasi, by whom he has three children - Radharani, Krsna Govinda and Hansa Gopa Kumar.
In 1992 Hansadutta learnt that in fact he had never been excommunicated; ISKCON had merely removed him from his GBC role and the rosters of the society. In that very same year, ISKCON GBC sent Hansadutta a letter, "14 Guidelines for Welcoming Hansadutta Back to ISKCON", stipulating 14 terms and conditions which he must comply with in order to return to the Society. In response, Hansadutta published an exchange of letters between GBC godbrothers and himself under the title [http://www.harekrsna.org/pada/documents/excommunication.htm Excommunicated, Uncommunicated, Incommunicado] (1993).
=Rittvik representative of the Acharya= At the same time, in 1993, Hansadutta published a collection of essays, letters and articles under the title [http://www.hansadutta.com/ART_NAMHATTA/SPMAY.html Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You] , in which he presented arguments and evidence in support of continuation of the
parampara(disciplic succession) by rittvik representation of the Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami (Srila Prabhupada). At this time Hansadutta redirected all his former "disciples" to regard Srila Prabhupada as their spiritual master, and began to initiate new disciples on behalf of Srila Prabhupada, as "rittvik representative of the Acharya". [ [http://www.hansadutta.com/ART_NAMHATTA/SPMAY22.html Letter to New Initiates] ]
In 1997, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. and ISKCON of California, Inc. initiated legal action against Hansadutta, seeking court declaration that Srila Prabhupada's Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (California, 1972) was not a legal entity and/or Hansadutta was not a legal trustee of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. ["Complaint for Declaratory Judgment Regarding Validity of Assignment and Existence of Trust", Case No BC170617 in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles, p.15, May 5, 1977] On
November 13, 1998, Hansadutta agreed to a stipulated court settlement that effectively terminated any claims he might have had to being a trusteeof the Bhaktivedanta Book Trustconditional upon receipt of an undisclosed cash settlement and license to publish the original, unrevised books of Srila Prabhupada. [ [http://www.vnn.org/world/WD9811/WD30-2583.html BBT Legal Case Ends, Joint Announcement] ]
In 2003, Hansadutta suffered a heart attack [ [http://devotees.krishna.org/Articles/2003/06/024.html Heart Attack Report] ] . He is living now in Cloverdale, California and continues to serve Srila Prabhupada as rittvik representative of the Acharya.
Books (printed in hard copy, weblinks below for free online versions): --
1983 - [http://www.bhaktivedantas.com/HAMMER/ham.html The Hammer for Smashing Illusion] , based on a translation of "Moha-Mudgara Stotra", more popularly known as "Bhaja Govinda" by
Shankaracharya. 1984 - [http://www.bhaktivedantas.com/KIRTAN/k.html Kirtan: Ancient Medicine for Modern Man] .
1985 - "Fool's Paradise". ISBN 0-933593-05-8-(pbk)
1985 - "The Book: What the Black Sheep Said". ISBN 0-933593-03-1-(pbk)
Papers, Compilations of Essays, Letters and Discussions
The following papers by Hansadutta address controversies in ISKCON, namely the rittvik controversy, Hansadutta's own alleged excommunication from ISKCON, and the influence of Narayan Maharaja of the
Gaudiya Mathon ISKCON members: --
1993 - [http://www.bhaktivedantas.com/ART_NAMHATTA/SPMAY.html Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You] .
1993 - [http://www.harekrsna.org/pada/documents/excommunication.htm Excommunicated, Uncommunicated, Incommunicado] .
1994 - [http://www.bhaktivedantas.com/ART_NAMHATTA/GOPIMANIA.html Gopimania] .
* [http://www.hansadutta.com Hansadutta's website]
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