Interesting quotes about being "fat" from the swami: https://vaniquotes.org/wiki/Bhaktisiddhanta_Sarasvati_severely_criticized_his_fat_disciples
Ironically, Bhaktivinode was morbidly obese the majority of his life as a Vaishnava
. There is a story where Bhalktisiddhanta criticized Bipin Bihari (teacher of Bhaltivinode) for putting his feet on Bhaktivinodes head. He claimed that his father was a nitya siddha and that he was wrong in putting his feet on his father's head.
I find all this stuff amusing as it really is hypocritical and sort of revealing of the deeply rooted daddy issues these core founders of the modern-day guadiya cult have. I mean, think about it, here is a cult that propagates and promotes being lower than a blade of grass and a servant of the servant of Vaishnavas and Bhaktisiddhanta is getting angry at his senior guru for putting his feet on the head of his father and claiming boldly that he is some eternal gopi manjari in the spiritual cow planet goloka. Meanwhile, Bhaktisiddhanta is getting angry at his fat disciples (sorry to say, but a philosophy that promotes eating a bunch of prashad sweets and sitting around chanting all day will make you fat man), while his own father is obese (no wonder the prashadam prayer was written by him!). Never mind the "you're not your body" rhetoric. If gurudev says you're too fat, you're too fat!
So which is it? Is being fat bad for spiritual life? Or is it ok for the Nitya Siddha acharyas who are meant to be an example for the rest of humanity to be fat? Being humble and a servant of the devotees and not criticizing them is important for the rest of us ass-like bhaktas (Bhaktivinode loved writing in his Krishna Samhita
about the "ass-like" Vaishnavas—which was basically anyone but the Gaudiya Vaishnava and follower of the Chaitanya saint), but the Guru's can call everyone fatty, get mad at their own guru's and promote the "purity" of their daddy?
Bhaktivinode can preach about humility and tolerance all he wants but when he claims chapter after chapter in his Krishna Samhita that anyone who is not specifically a Gaudiya—Chaitanya—hare—Krishna—chanting Vaishnava is an "ass-like" devotee, I can't see how that jives with being humble or tolerant (let alone making you any friends—except for the ones in your head). You see, the gaudiya cult is not accepting of all other faiths or universal at all. In fact, it largely claims, as per their guru varga, that it's their way or the highway if you ever hope to make any spiritual progress. Read it—it's there plain as day in their writings. Yet the cult's rhetoric ultimately asks us to not question anything and dictates that it's "offensive" and a spiritual crime to point out any flaws in it's logic, scriptures, and gurus. How does that make any sense as far as verifying anything? So we cannot point out that it's odd that the swami and his guru criticize being fat, yet their own acharya, Bhaktivinode, was visibly fat. Not just fat, but ate meat, married twice, had a mistress, dealt in politics, fathered 13 kids and seemed to, for all intents and purposes, escape his mundane responsibilities of life to play spiritual teacher. That's what it looks like from an objective standpoint. And yet, we're to just swallow up and believe that he was a "nitya siddha". He who makes the bold statements must bear the burden of proof (except, conveniently, such things can never be proven in any way at all). Bhaktisiddhanta flaunted that his dad was a nitya siddha even to the degree that he criticizes his father's guru for putting his feet on his head (a common practice in the guru-disciple relationship). Bhaktisiddhanta blasts his followers for being fat, yet his own so-called pure devotee dad was obviously fat. Even as a child I thought it was wild that you would look at the parampara pictures and everyone was thin as a stick, and randomly, Bhaktivinode was all round and buddha-bellied.
The hindu concept of Acharya, is a person who lives by example. Is it against Gaudiya Vaishnava doctrine to take care of your body (so-called temple of god)? To stay fit? If we followed in the footsteps of half of these guys we'd be living in tin-foil-lined homes and eating ourselves fat while chanting hare-krishna and pretending that life is just peachy! What to speak of the countless sanyasis that starve themselves and look visibly malnourished.
Both Butler and his Guru were very fond of being critical of their godbrothers (as in there are MANY lectures where they draw on and on about the so-called danger of hearing some other godbrother blabbing about krishna) and other "senior" devotees. Meanwhile, they would promote and bolster the so-called purity of those that it suited them to do so with: Tusta, Katyayani, Bhalakilya, Acharaya das, Tulsi Gabbard, Wailnana etc...
Run comrades. The lineage of this cult, no matter how nice and attractive it may sound at face value, is composed of delusional religious fanatics ultimately bolstering their egos. They may say their ideas are rational or they may quote some verse here and there to support some ideology, but it's all based on one false and unverifiable premise after another. Literally no consistent scriptural support for anything, down to the sikha on their head. Read these laughable explanations for it: http://www.forthepleasureoflordkrishna.com/2014/09/19/why-do-devotees-keep-a-shikha/
. If that does not leave you laughing or mildly embarrassed for the cult you joined, I don't know what will.
The fact is that people like Bhaktivinode and his son were products of their time. They were truth seekers and they certainly were faithful (fanatical). At the same time, they made a lot of shit up, covered up a lot, and were, for lack of better words, only human. They were not some "eternal associates" of cowboy krishna. They created a lot of paranoia and dogma and that is still very deeply influencing the average serious devotee. I can't speak for the Butler camps super diluted dhal version of it all, but I can tell you it's through and through a personality cult based on the belief that some germaphobe white guy living in Kailua in a tin foil-lined beach house is gods representative on planet earth. And not just any god. A blue playboy god who likes 12-year-old girls and steals their clothes and a litany of misogynistic verses and abhorrent practices and ideas that they butter over with a so-called feel-good mumbo jumbo rhetoric of chanting some random mantra that appears in one questionable and very recent scripture. They follow a saint who was a self-proclaimed epileptic and think that he is an incarnation of some made-up blue god and his super recently made up cow-herd girlfriend, Radha (no older than 1500 years old as far as any legitimate mentions of her, let alone a superior role in the vaishnava pantheon). Her lore is largely made up by Jayadev and Nimbarka and appears in erotic and pastoral poetry of medieval times. It actually appears in such words exactly at around the same time as many such works started to pop up in assorted scriptures as part of artistic movements and devotional sects both Islamic and hindu as well as Buddhist and Christian. Nevermind the fact that such erotic poetry and neo-spiritual eroticism was already explored in greek and roman works and had visibly cross-pollinated into India and back a million fold by then.
They conveniently mix and match assorted indian philosophies, scriptures and stamp it all as some singular "eternal truth" that is over 5000 years old. They throw in Jesus and buddha in there for good measure and pretend like it all make sense and belongs together. Find me a Christian who agrees. Butler devotees adopted Jesus into their pantheon because it made for an easy sell when they preach their mumbo jumbo. Just like ISKCON devotees would dress as Buddhist monks to collect alms in the streets of southeast Asian countries. Basically, they will do anything (by hook or by crook as the swami loved saying) to try to appeal to anybody. As DeWatcher has pointed out many times the underhanded methods they use to appeal to new recruits: Yoga, vege cooking, yoga-nidra, jesus, mantra/kirtan retreats and much more. You in fact will not hear about the true message of their religion (to realize your true form as a 12-year-old gopi girl servant of the erotic playboy god and his girlfriend) till much much later once they have their hooks in you with all the other ideas. They real you in and create a tight cocoon and web of ideas, half-truths, rituals and beliefs and paint a picture of peace love and happiness that is near impossible to extricate yourself from at a certain point. Your mind gets so scrambled you can barely hold a rational conversation with anyone or even be friends with anyone other than people in the group. And that is ultimately the goal. To create a bubble and insulated culture of a bunch of people who believe in one single idea and truth, against all odds. To question it is blasphemy, to point out blunt flaws and problems is taboo and everything is swept under the rug of "chant-and-be-happy pleasantries (when we all know it's not that simple), until it starts to fester and show its ugly side, once again. In most cases, by then, leaving thousands of followers confused, paranoid, stressed, anxious, and the opposite of what it claimed to be offering them. No wonder when all is said and done the average devotee will want to shut themselves in a bhajan kutir and chant themsleves to oblivion...
I recently listened to a snippete of a lecture by one sanyassi (where he draws on about Kurma avatar—the giant turtle form of vishnu) I used to follow who was going on and on about this world being a perverted reflection of what's going on in the ever-ellusive fantasy land of cow-planet goloka. He was saying that in this world our relationship with our kids is perverted, our relationships with our spouses and friends is perverted and on and on. I'd venture to say that the sanyassis very views on what's perverted is what's really perverted. I mean lets face it. Here we have a 60 year old guy who has been forcfully shaving his head and leaving a tuft of hair on the back of his head for the better part pf his life. He has been dressing in pink robes of medieval indian monks, accepting money and service in the form of massages, food, laundry and all manner of pleasantries from his female and make disciples and living the most unnatural life a human being can live and somehow everyone else is perverted in their relationships??? Holy cow... never mind butler's perverted lifestyle and what many of his close followers have reported going on behind closed doors.
Haribol—or horrible—and remember, RUN!