Understanding the heart of Indradyumna Swami

Srila Prabhupada writes: “When a person is very great and famous, many unscrupulous persons become his enemies, for envy is the nature of materialists. In any meeting there are different classes of men, and therefore it is to be supposed that because Pṛthu Maharaja was very great, he must have had several enemies present in the assembly.”

Having spent more than five decades focused on serving Srila Prabhupada, Indradyumna Swami Maharaja occasionally attracts various types of criticism. When criticism is valid, Maharaja takes it to heart and makes appropriate changes and amends. However, when criticism is unjustified, then Maharaja has neither the time nor the inclination to defend himself. He also advises his disciples to avoid wasting their time by engaging in endless debates. Instead, Maharaja encourages everyone to stay focused on serving Srila Prabhupada’s mission.

It is the duty of disciples to address unfounded criticisms against the spiritual master, especially when such criticisms might disturb the minds of Maharaja’s followers and supporters (and thus potentially disrupt their service to Srila Prabhupada’s mission). In this mood, we present an article responding to the major categories of criticism that get leveled against Indradyumna Swami.

Indradyumna Swami’s close friend and godbrother, Caturatma Prabhu, also advises us against “throwing the baby out with the bath water”, in the name of solving problems in our society.

Mother Sitala, who has known Indradyumna Swami from the very first day he walked into an ISKCON Temple, writes about her realizations about Maharaja’s character and heart. She explains how Maharaja’s own youthful and adventurous spirit of Krsna consciousness has become an effective tool for making Krsna consciousness fun and attractive for children, which has helped to create strong second and third generation devotees, decade after decade.

Sri Prahlada explains to us how Indradyumna Swami’s kindness is uncommon enough that it is easily misunderstood. He also shares his personal story about how Indradyumna Swami’s kindness critically inspired his own evolution from a 15-year-old boy (skeptical of gurus, sannyasis, and general human kindness), to his eventually becoming an authority on the subject of compassion within academia.

Gaurangi dasi, one of the first devotees on the Polish Tour (which has introduced Krsna consciousness to tens of millions of people over the last 32 years), shares a photo meditation on Indradyumna Swami’s mood of engaging youth and Temple misfits so adeptly in the Tour. She reminds us of the importance of understanding the context behind photos, before quickly commenting on them with unkind words.

Indradyumna Swami’s godbrother, Patita Pavana Prabhu, critiques ISKCON’s detractors, who pose themselves as heroes while behaving poorly themselves. He compares their tricks of taking arbitrary photos and providing their own interpretation (without considering the actual mood and motive of the exchanges), to the filming of someone innocently withdrawing money from their bank account, and then adding baseless subtitles accusing the person of robbing the bank.

Anandamayi dasi, a mother of four children, shares how Indradyumna Swami’s love and care made Krsna consciousness accessible for her children over the last 20 years, as they grew up in Hungary. She writes, “So much harm has been done already by those who abused and misused their power and position. Why should we deepen the wound by carelessly and blindly swinging around the sharp sword of accusations?”

Keli Kandali dasi, whom Indradyumna Swami has known from the day she was born, shares how Indradyumna Swami has been nurturing and supporting her Krsna consciousness in an inspiring and non-judgmental way for her entire life.

These references are just a few drops from the ocean of the stories of thousands of devotees (young and old), who attribute much of their sustained interest in Krsna Consciousness to Indradyumna Swami’s kindness, love, affection, and support over the course of many decades.

We kindly invite you to share your own story. We would gladly publish them on this site for the benefit of those who want to truly understand the heart of Indradyumna Swami.