- Demons in the Guise of Devotees
"Humility implies perfect submission to the truth and no sympathy for untruth.
A person who entertains any partiality for untruth is unfit to chant the kirtana of Hari
~ Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur
"NOTHING should be accepted BLINDLY; everything should be accepted with care and with caution …The TRUTH should be spoken in a straight-foward way, so that others will understand actually what the facts are …Although sometimes the truth is unpalatable, one should not refrain from speaking it." (B.G.10.4-5 Purport)
"A devotee should have intelligence to know who is deviating. Surrender by your intelligence but don’t surrender your intelligence.” (SP to Bali Mardana, 1974)
The great sinister movement
Srila Prabhupada said in his Letter to Hamsaduta: "Regarding the poisonous effect in our Society, it is a fact and I know where from this poison tree has sprung up and how it affected practically the whole Society in a very dangerous form. But it does not matter. Prahlada Maharaja was administered poison, but it did not act. Similarly Lord Krsna and the Pandavas were administered poison and it did not act. I think in the same parampara system that the poison administered to our Society will not act if some of our students are as good as Prahlada Maharaja. I have therefore given the administrative power to the Governing Body Commission. (GBC) .... You are also one of the members of the GBC, so you can think over very deeply how to save the situation. It is a fact however that the great sinister movement is within our Society. .... I have not heard anything from Krsna das or Syamasundara., so all of you may try to save the Society from this dangerous position." [Srila Prabhupada Letter to: Hamsaduta 2 September, 1970]
Srila Prabhupada is very precise with his usage of words and he says the word "movement" which is not just one or two individuals. In fact not just a movement but THE GREAT SINISTER MOVEMENT. Srila Prabhupada herein says, that there is another movement within our movement. That means there is another IskCon within Iskcon. So, Srila Prabhupada clearly differentiates between two types of Iskcon (another movement within our movement) So we actually have two Iskcons, but the other Iskcon is the great sinister movement, as Srila Prabhupada stated. And He again says: THAT IS A FACT.
They will want to crush down this movement. So this will be up to Him. Krsna or Krsna's movement, the same thing. And Krsna was attempted to be killed by Kamsa class of men and his company, the demons. So it will be there; it is already there. Don't be disappointed, because that is the meaning that it is successful. Krsna's favor is there, because Krsna and Krsna's movement is not different, nondiff..., identical. So as Krsna was attempted to be killed, many, many years before He appeared... At eighth child, if the mother produces child yearly, still ten years, eight years before His birth, the mother was to be attempted to be killed. So there may be attempt like that. And Lord Jesus Christ was killed. So they may kill me also. [Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, May 3, 1976, Honolulu]
Since Srila Prabhupada pointed out to us, that there is a great sinister movement within our Society, we also have to accept the fact, that there are great sinister "devotees" (kali-chelas) acting within our society.
Great sinister disciples:
Srila Prabhupada: "There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaishnavas in this Krishna Consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected. A false acarya may try to override a vaishnava by a high-court decision, (2/3 hand vote) but Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that he is nothing but a disciple of Kali-yuga."
"Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, Kali-cela. He indicates that there are other Vaishnavas, pseudo-Vaishnavas, with tilaka on their nose and kunti beads around their neck. Such a pseudo-Vaishnava associates with money and women and is jealous of successful Vaishnavas. Although passing for a Vaishnava, his only business is earning money in the dress of a Vaishnava". (CC.Madhy.,Ch.1, Text 218 / 220, purport)
Srila Prabhupada: Suppose if somebody, if you say that “We are Krsna conscious persons.” So one may challenge you, “First of all, explain what do you know about Krsna?” That is quite natural. If you do not know about Krsna, you have no right to say that “I belong to the Krsna consciousness movement.” You have not right to say. So your position is like that, simply if you have a tilaka and a kanthi, that does not mean that you belong to the Krsna consciousness movement. Any cheater can do that. You must know the philosophy. If one challenges, you must reply. Therefore Bhaktivinoda Thakura has sung a song indicating these cheaters. He says, ei oto ek kalir cela(?). “Here is a servant of Kali.” What kind of cela? Na te tilal golai mala (?). “He has got a tilaka and golai mala, bas, that’s all.” He does not know what is the philosophy. If you do not know the philosophy of Krsna consciousness, if you simply mark your body with tilaka and kanthi, then you are not proper servant, you are not qualified. So tilaka, mala, is necessary. Just like a policeman. A bogus man, if he dresses like a policeman, he is not a policeman. He must know what is the police law, criminal law, who is to be punished, who is not to be punished, what is criminality, what is innocence. All these things he must know.
"The Ācārya, the authorized representative of the Supreme Lord, establishes these principles, but when he disappears, things once again become disordered. The perfect disciples of the Ācārya try to relieve the situation by sincerely following the instructions of the spiritual master. Unfortunately, when the Ācārya disappears, rogues and non devotees take advantage and immediately begin to introduce unauthorized principles in the name of so-called svamis, yogis, philanthropists, welfare workers and so on." (SB 4.28.48 purport)
"The word pakhanda used in this verse is sometimes pronounced pasanda. Both of these words indicate an imposter who presents himself as a very religious person but in actuality is sinful. Indra took up the saffron-colored dress as a way of cheating others. This saffron dress has been misused by many imposters who present themselves as liberated persons or incarnations of God. In this way people are cheated." (SB 4.19.12 purport)
"When the devotee has an interest or will different from the interest of the Supreme Lord, his mentality is that of a separatist. When the so-called devotee desires material enjoyment, without reference to the interest of the Supreme Lord, or he wants to become famous or opulent by utilizing the mercy or grace of the Supreme Lord, he is in the mode of passion." (SB 3.29.9 : PURPORT)
Great sinister gurus:
"One should not accept a spiritual master without following his instructions. Nor should one accept a spiritual master just to make a fashionable show of spiritual life." (NoI 5 : PURPORT)
"Kirtanananda may be eager to address in the Harvard university but recently he has lost his link on account of disobedience. You sing every day morning that by the mercy of the Spiritual master one can please the Lord and one who has not pleased the spiritual master cannot have any access in the realm of Krishna Consciousness. Very recently Kirtanananda has developed a different consciousness of Maya which is called misuse of one’s minute independence offered by Krishna. By misuse of one’s independence one at once becomes a victim of Maya and thus he loses all importance in Krishna Consciousness. So it is my definite opinion that his lecture anywhere now will bear no spiritual sequence. He must rectify his mistake before he can play in our Society any important role. By lips he says that he is a surrendered soul but by action he is thinking differently." (Prabhupada, Delhi 6 October, 1967 : 67-10-06 )
"All these are pitfalls of personal sense gratification. Just to cheat some innocent people, one makes a show of advanced spiritual life and becomes known as a sadhu, mahatma or religious person. All this means that the so-called devotee has become victimized by all these unwanted creepers and that the real creeper of bhakti-lata-bija has been stunted." (Madhya 19.160 : PURPORT)
"The prakrta-sahajiyas generally chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, yet they are attached to women, money and intoxication. Although such persons may chant the holy name of the Lord, they are not yet properly purified. Such people should be respected within one’s mind, but their association should be avoided. Those who are innocent but simply carried away by bad association should be shown favor if they are eager to receive proper instructions from pure devotees, but those neophyte devotees who are actually initiated by the bona fide spiritual master and are seriously engaged in carrying out the orders of the spiritual master should be offered respectful obeisances." (NOI 5)
Note: this discription seems to fit Radhanath.
“By false religious sentiments they present a make-show of devotional service, indulging in all sorts of immoral principles, & still pass as spiritual masters & devotees of God. Such violators of religious principles have no respect for the authoritative acaryas, the holy teachers in the strict disciplic succession; & to mislead the people in general they themselves become so -called acaryas, without even following the principles of the acaryas.
These rogues in human society are the most dangerous elements &, for want of religious government, they pass on without being punished by the law of the state. They cannot, however, avoid the law of the Supreme, who has clearly declared in Bhagavad Gita that envious demons, in the garb of religious propagandists, shall be thrown into the darkest regions of hell (Bg. 16.19-20). It is confirmed in Sri Isopanisad that the pseudo religionists are heading toward the most obnoxious place in the universe after finnishing with the spiritual mastership business, which is simply for the matter of sense gratification.”
“Anyone, if he is a pure devotee he can deliver others, he can become spiritual master. But unless he is on that platform he should not attempt it. Then both of them will go to hell, like blind men leading the blind.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, 14/12/71)
Infiltration by Demons:
raksasah kalim ashritya
This idea of beings from other realms taking birth on Earth with agendas is not unheard of. In the tenth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, Sri Vishnu instructed the demigods to take birth ahead of Sri Krishna in order to assist Him in His pastimes.
The other way around, however, it seems that asuras (demons) also either take birth as residents of Bharat, or that they express their influence through earthly beings, as we can see in the case of Duryodhana and other evil kings.
"Rakshasa means almost man-eater. For their self satisfaction they can eat even their own sons. They're called raksasas. No sense. My sense gratification should be satisfied, never mind, you go to hell. This is the age. We create a machine that everyone comes and becomes smashed in that machine and my sense satisfaction is there. Although I'll never be happy by such sense satisfaction. This is going on. You can know that this world is now managed by the raksasas. They don't mind what is happening. They're prepared to sacrifice everything for fulfilling their whimsical nonsense. They're called raksasas. They are very much enamored by this material civilization. They cannot understand and they will never try to understand because they are raksasas." (SPL66-036)
Demons disguised as Devotees:
Srila prabhupada: "There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaishnavas in this Krishna Consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected. Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, Kali-cela. He indicates that there are other Vaishnavas, pseudo-Vaishnavas, with tilaka on their nose and kunti beads around their neck. Such a pseudo-Vaishnava associates with money and women and is jealous of successful Vaishnavas." (CC.Madhy.,Ch.1, Text 218 / 220, purport)
A new type of devotee had surfaced within ISKCON. The pseudo-devote. These pseudo-devotees feigned attraction to Krishna and Srila Prabhupada and pretended to be following the process of devotional service, however, they were not working for Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. They had their own agendas and personal goals for fame, wealth, followers, money and sex life.
The spiritual Master, his books, sastra and our own realizations and experiences tell us that many kali-chela-miscreants in the garb of sannyasis and gurus are causing grief and hardships to countless devotees. They are intimidating and threatening the devotees to keep quiet and not to citicize them or they will throw you out and excommunicate you. Thereby heinously using twisted philosophy to put fear and doubts into your hearts.
"There are many pretenders who refuse to work in Krishna consciousness but make a show of meditation, while actually dwelling within the mind upon sense enjoyment. Such pretenders may also speak on dry philosophy in order to bluff sophisticated followers, but according to this verse these are the greatest cheaters. For sense enjoyment one can act in any capacity of the social order, but if one follows the rules and regulations of his particular status, he can make gradual progress in purifying his existence. But he who makes a show of being a yogi, while actually searching for the objects of sense gratification, must be called the greatest cheater, even though he sometimes speaks of philosophy. His knowledge has no value because the effects of such a sinful man's knowledge are taken away by the illusory energy of the Lord. Such a pretenders mind is always impure, and therefore his show of yogic meditation has no value whatsoever." (Bhagavad-gita As It Is 3.6 purport)
Because the pretenders did not seriously take to the process of Krishna consciousness, they were not purified of mundane desires and could therefore never taste the ecstasy and spiritual bliss experienced by sincere devotees. Instead they became envious of the sincere devotees, envious of Srila Prabhupada and envious of Krishna. These so-called devotees actually worked against Srila Prabhupada and his attempts to spread Krishna consciousness from within the movement. This was one of the symptoms of the Mayavada contamination which had been administered to ISKCON.
Srila Prabhupada always stressed that success in spiritual life depends on pleasing Krishna, and Krishna is pleased if His representative, the spiritual master is pleased. Unfortunately these pseudo-devotees had other ideas…
"One should have unflinching faith in Krishna and similarly in the spiritual master. That is the way of understanding the secret of Krishna consciousness. Unfortunately, an attempt has been made lately to shake this formula. This mischievous attempt has done great harm, but if you, the members of the GBC can rectify this mischievous attempt, then there is still hope of making our progress uninterruptedly. I hope Krishna will help us... The GBC's duty is therefore to see that every member is following the rules and regulations and chanting 16 rounds regularly on their beads. I hope that the GBC in cooperation with the sannyasis in their touring program will be able to keep vigilance systematically in order to keep the society as pure as possible." (to Bali Mardan Aug 25, 1970)
Demons in the Guise of Devotees
False Gurus, Institutions, and the Holy Name
A sastric look at the problem of false gurus and
materialistic persons donning the dress of devotees
All spiritual traditions are plagued by pretenders. Their unsavory presence is an inherent factor on the spiritual path. This article examines the tradition within Gaudiya Vaishnavism for dealing with this phenomenan. A positive discussion full of hope. Criticism and politicking are part of the problem and are never the solution. The answer is complete faith and dependence on guru, shastra and Krishna.
"Misplaced faith". A cruel fiend poses
as a devoted nurse and is thus granted entrance to the
room of a helpless newborn babe. Once inside, she
manifests her real intention — to mercilessly kill the
child by offering him her poison-coated breast. This is
the false guru, Putana.
In exploring this topic, we felt a responsibility to
examine the inherent problems in religious organizations
frankly and philosophically, without institutional gloss
or sectarian bias, through the light of Shstra and the
writings of our previous acaryas. It is our hope that
the message herein will inspire devotees to steadfastly
serve the seva/sanga missions of their respective gurus,
in spite of the Putanas and Kamsas that are inevitably
found in such societies.
In the Putana story, the analogies and examples given by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur were directed to false gurus – those who dress up like Vaisnavas, those who take advantage of the Sampradaya Acarya's position and preaching, dressing and acting so as to appear to be highly spiritually advanced persons. This charade isn't hard, if you are karmically endowed with great memory and acting abilities to pretend you're something you're not.
So it's the false gurus that the great Sampradaya Acaryas point to as being representative of or symbolically depicted by Putana. Of course, that pastime actually took place – Putana is not just a metaphor. Putana is the false guru, and she embodies one of the first big hurdles you have to overcome when you enter spiritual life. The big advantage of participating in this Krsna Consciousness movement when a Sampradaya Acarya is personally present to directly instruct and initiate, is that you're not as likely to be tempted or distracted into accepting false gurus. Of course, when Srila Prabhupada was present, just as when Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur were present, there were plenty of other alternatives to Krsna Consciousness.
Thanks to Srila Prabhupada's powerful preaching we had to make a decision, and those who made the decision to serve him and participate in his lila were saved from Putanas. But nowadays, since Srila Prabhupada's departure, our situation is just as described in the Putana story: ISKCON history shows that many of the leaders who self-promoted themselves as highly advanced were really demons in the disguise of devotees, and they caused a great deal of harm to individuals in the society.
There are hundreds of thousands of devotees who have been abused by different IskCon leaders. Ramesvara, a Zonal Acarya who unceremoniously fell down and left the movement has severly harmed all of his disciples, whom he has stolen from Srila Prabhupada.
Every new (self-appointed) bogus Iskcon guru was instructing his own disciples differently. So every new candidate disciple had to accept his new guru's perspective and version of Krsna Consciousness, which was undoubtedly very different from the other bogus gurus, as well as from the instructions of Srila Prabhupada.
For many devotees, it's no secret that they encountered all sorts of problems from the ISKCON false gurus, from the kali-chelas, the demons in disguise who took ISKCON from a spiritual movement into the realm of religiosity, turning it into an ecclesiastical institution devoid of the mood and preaching of the Sampradaya Acaryas.
So all the various examples in the Putana story very aptly describe the problems created by the dubious leaders of ISKCON, which many devotees experienced directly. The illustrations given by the Sampradaya Acaryas and other sources in the Putana issue also describe, very fittingly, those presently occupying leadership posts in ISKCON.
Putana (the false guru) is the slayer of all infants. The baby, when he or she comes out of the mother’s womb, falls at once into the hands of the pseudo-teachers of religion. These teachers are successful in forestalling the attempts of the good preceptor, whose help is never sought by the atheists of this world at the baptisms of their babies. This is ensured by the arrangements of all established churches of the world. They have been successful only in supplying watchful Putanas for effecting the spiritual destruction of persons from the moment of their birth with the cooperation of their worldly parents. No human contrivance can prevent these Putanas from obtaining possession of the pulpits. This is due to the general prevalence of atheistic disposition in the people of this world.
In his Śrī Caitanya-śīkṣāmṛta (3.2), Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur has warned that devotees should be careful of such persons:
“The devotee should give up the association of the devotee-pretender, understanding him to be a materialist. Towards those who are sincere, the devotee should offerservice and respect. Meeting a true vaiṣṇava, the devotee should associate with him and serve him with his heart; to the ordinary vaiṣṇava-inclined people he should show respect. This respect is an external service. These vaiṣṇava-like people are of three types: those who fully accept the vaiṣṇava conclusions but are not practicing themselves; those who take up the vaiṣṇava signs and appearance, but are not real vaiṣṇavas, though they have respect for the vaiṣṇavas; those who are born in the families of great vaiṣṇavas, and wear the signs of a vaiṣṇava but are not real vaiṣṇavas.
A true vaiṣṇava is measured by the degree of purity and depth of devotion, and his capacity to inspire others. A person attains the status of a real vaiṣṇava as soon as a little pure devotion appears in his heart. If a person respects and takes association of the non-vaiṣṇava in the same way that he respects the true vaiṣṇava or the ordinary vaiṣṇava, then his devotion will decrease. Thus, amongst those who wear the vaiṣṇava marks and appear to be vaiṣṇavas, certain ones should be avoided. These people should be satisfied with the respect due to all human beings, which is part of the secondary rules, but they should not be accepted or respected as real vaiṣṇavas. If they happen to become pure devotees, then they are also qualified for association with other pure devotees. False vaiṣṇavas are those who wear the vaiṣṇava marks for the purpose of cheating, those who identify themselves as followers of the vaiṣṇava ācāryas for the purpose of introducing advaita philosophy to the vaiṣṇavas, and those who advertise themselves as vaiṣṇavas to gain money, position or some other material enjoyment.”
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada as well as Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada were not blind to such pseudo spiritualists, yet they welcomed everyone into the ranks of their movement. One may wonder why they did so. Upon contemplation, one can see that these powerful preachers took shelter of two "secret" weapons to overcome the demoniac tendencies of such dharma-dhvajī followers — the holy name and Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. They were both well aware of the supreme potency of these two items in purifying wrongs and establishing truth. As stated in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (8.23.16):
mantratas tantrataś chidraṁ deśa-kālārha-vastutaḥ
sarvaṁ karoti niśchidram anusaṅkīrtanaṁ tava
There may be discrepancies in pronouncing the mantras and observing the regulative principles, and, moreover, there may be discrepancies in regard to time, place, person and paraphernalia. But when your Lordship’s holy name is chanted, everything becomes faultless.
They understood that as long as the holy name and Śrīmad Bhāgavatam were prominent in their society then all mistakes would ultimately be corrected. As stated in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (1.5.11), tad-vāg-visargo janatāghaviplavo — the nature of the transcendental words of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is that they will always bring about a revolution in the lives of the people in general. —
The Blind Vulture and the Cat - adapted from Hitopadesa -
The Hitopadesa tells a beautiful story of a cat posing himself as a sincere spiritual aspirant, but his actual purpose was to kill and eat the baby birds in the tree. In his article entitled "Putana", Srila Saraswati Thakur has similarly compared the witch demoness who tried to kill baby Krishna by offering him poison on her breast to a false guru whose real purpose is to kill those who are babies in spiritual life:
On the side of the banks of the river Ganga was a cliff on which grew a great fig tree. In the hollow of that tree lived a vulture named Jaradgava who, due to misfortune, had no eyes and no claws. Out of pity, the birds residing on that tree used to take out a little portion of their own food and give it to the vulture to keep him alive. Jaradgava lived on that tree and protected the young fledgling birds there.
Once a male cat called Dirghakarna came there to eat the baby birds. Seeing him approaching, the fledglings began crying out of fear. Hearing their cries, Jaradgava asked, “Who is coming?” Seeing the vulture, Dirghakarna became fearful, and thought, “Oh, I am dead. Now he is going to tear me to pieces.” Then he thought, “I am too close to him, I cannot run away. Let whatever has to happen, happen. I will try to gain his faith and go near him. Thinking like this, he approached the vulture and said, “Respected sir, I salute you.”
The vulture said, “Who are you?”
Dirghakarna said, “I am a cat.”
“A cat? Go away or you will be dead.”
Dirghakarna said, “Please first listen my words, and then if I should be killed, kill me.
jātimātreṇa kiṁ kaścid vadhyate pūjyate kvacit
vyavahāraṁ parijñāya vadhyaḥ pūjyo ‘thavā bhavet
Why should one be killed or worshiped simply based on caste or birth? First examine the behavior, and then decide whether to kill or worship. (Text 58)
The vulture said, “Why have you come here?”
The cat said, “I stay on the bank of the Ganga, where I take bath every day. I am vegetarian, observe celibacy, and I follow the candrāyaṇa-vrata [a difficult fast in which one’s intake of food is diminished by one mouthful each day as the moon wanes and increased in the same way as the moon waxes]. The birds constantly praise your honor as one wholly given to the study of morality. They have said that you are very religious, knowledgeable, and a very loving and trustworthy person. Therefore I have come to hear of religious principles from you who are advanced in both knowledge and age. You being such a knower of religion, still you are ready to kill me, your guest?”
The cat then began quoting more verses from śāstra:
arāv apy ucitaṁ kāryam ātithyaṁ gṛham āgate
chettum apy āgate chhāyāṁ nopasaṁharate drumaḥ
Even if an enemy comes to one’s home, he should be treated like a guest, just like a tree does not refuse its shade to a person who goes to cut it. (59)
“Moreover,” Dirghakarna continued, “even if a guest is a young child, an old man, or a youthful person, he should be given all respect because a guest is worshipable like a guru for everyone. Saintly persons give their mercy even to those who have no good qualities, just as the moon does not refuse to give its moonlight over the house of a caṇḍāla. If a guest leaves someone’s home dissatisfied then he takes away all the piety of the householder and, in return, the householder takes all the sins of the guest. Even if a man of a lower caste visits the house of a higher caste person, he should be well received because a guest is the embodiment of all the demigods.
Jaradgava said, “A cat likes to eat flesh and kill birds. There are many infant birds living here. Therefore I spoke in that manner.”
Hearing this, the cat said, “Sir,” and as he spoke he first solemnly touched the ground as his first witness, then his two ears, and then, calling on Krishna as a second witness to his words, he said, “I am completely renounced. I have overcome lust and I observe the most difficult candrāyaṇa-vrata. I am a knower of śāstra. Although various scriptures have different opinions on various topics, they all unanimously accept the principle that non-violence is the supreme religion.”
Dirghakarna then began quoting further statements from śāstra:
sarva-hiṁsā-nivṛttā ye narāḥ sarva-sahāś ca ye
sarvasyāśraya-bhūtāś ca te narāḥ svarga-gāminaḥ
Those persons who are free from all violence, who tolerate everything, and who give shelter to all, are definitely candidates for attaining heaven. (66)
martavyam iti yad duḥkhaṁ puruṣasyopajāyate
śakyas tenānumānena paro ‘pi parirakṣitum
The distress one feels when ones life is in danger should be used to understand the unhappiness of others in similar circumstances. Thus one should abstain from killing others. (69)
svacchanda vana-jātena śākenāpi prapūryate
asya dagdhodarasyārthe kaḥ kuryāt pātakaṁ mahat
One can fill his belly from the grass and leaves naturally found in the forest. What need is there to commit sins just to stuff the stomach? (70)
"Misplaced faith". In this way, the cat gained Jaradgava’s confidence. The vulture came to think that Dirghakarna was a great saint, and he allowed the cat to live in the hollow of the tree. Dirghakarna would daily, very quietly, catch a few baby birds, bring them to his place, and eat them. The birds whose babies were eaten began lamenting, and they started searching for their young. Knowing that the birds were searching for him, the cat came out from the hollow of the tree and ran away. Shortly after that the birds found bones spread around here and there in the hollow of the tree, and thinking that the vulture had eaten their babies, they killed him. Although being innocent and a true well-wisher of the birds, he paid for the folly of giving shelter to the wrong kind.
Moral of the Story
Just as the cat moved into the shelter of the tree and took advantage of the situation, there are many false pretenders who want to join religious movements, which they see as an easy way to maintain themselves. This goes on everywhere in the world. If the managers of the ashrams, temples, churches, mosques, and synagogues are materialistic persons, spiritually blind and powerless like the blind and clawless old vulture, they will easily be impressed by cat-like pseudo-spiritualists who want to join their ranks. Quoting some verses from scripture and acting like saintly persons, such cat bābās convince gullible leaders to give them access to the neophyte followers in their congregations. The innocent babies of spiritual movements are thus destroyed, and the movements are compromised.
Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya (19.59-60) describes:
channa-paṅke sthala-dhiyā patanti bahavo nanu
baiḍāla-vratiko ‘py evaṁ saṅga-sambhaṣaṇārccanaiḥ
“Just as many fall into quicksand along the riverbank, mistaking it to be dry land, similarly, many spiritual aspirants are doomed by following hypocrites, who are like the cat who recites a vow to be a saintly vegetarian in order to attract the worship of the mice.”
nirlajjāvañcayantī maṁ lokaṁ dambhena-vañcitāḥ
“Although they make fools of themselves by pretending to perform meditation and trance, being without shame they cheat the people of this world through hypocrisy.”
In his purport to Caitanya-bhāgavata (ādi 16.228), Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada has quoted the following verse:
dharma-dhvajī sadālubdhaś chādmikoloka-dambhakaḥ
vaiḍāla-vratiko jñeyo hiṁsra-sarvābhisandhikaḥ
“One should know that the dharma-dhvajī (who makes a false show of being religious), the person who always desires other’s wealth, the duplicitous person, the person who cheats, the envious person, and the person who blasphemes are hypocritical brahmins who follow vaiḍāla-vrata, ‘the vow of a cat’. (Manu-saṁhitā 4.195)
Therefore, Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, Kali-cela. He indicates that there are other Vaishnavas, pseudo-Vaishnavas, with tilaka on their nose and kunti beads around their neck. Such a pseudo-Vaishnava associates with money and women and is jealous of successful Vaishnavas. Although passing for a Vaishnava, his only business is earning money in the dress of a Vaishnava". (CC.Madhy.,Ch.1, Text 218 / 220, purport)
Srila Prabhupada: "There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaishnavas in this Krishna Consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected. Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that he is nothing but a disciple of Kali-yuga."