Gold, Guns and God, Vol. 10: The Final Pastimes

A Biography of Swami Bhaktipada and a History of the West Virginia New Vrindaban Hare Krishna Community in Ten Volumes, by Henry Doktorski

Gold, Guns and God, Vol. 10 front cover

Gold, Guns and God, Vol. 10 front and back cover


Volume 10 of Gold, Guns and God covers a fifteen-year time span roughly from 1996 to 2011. Chapter 103 discusses the return of New Vrindaban to ISKCON, and some of the demands ISKCON placed upon the West Virginia Krishna community in order to once again be part of ISKCON. Chapter 104 deals with Kirtanananda Swami Bhaktipada’s eight-year prison term, and some of the difficulties he and his disciples endured during that time.

Chapter 105 tells of Bhaktipada’s release from prison and his return to his joyous disciples at the New York City Interfaith Sanctuary. I attended this festive event; but also observed that not all the relations between my godbrothers and sisters were joyous. Bhaktipada himself helped create more chaos when he was accused of attempting to fondle the genitals of a visiting young man. The temple residents split into two camps: those who believed the allegation to be malicious rumor and those who believed the allegation as fact. Those latter devotees attempted to evict Bhaktipada from the building.

Chapter 106 describes Bhaktipada’s abandonment of the United States, where most of his formerly-loyal disciples and followers had deserted him. Bhaktipada and his sycophant Radha-Vrindaban Chandra Swami emigrated to India where they were greeted by thousands of adoring disciples and followers, who believed the accusations against him were lies and falsehoods. Their faith in their “spiritual master” was firm and their conviction that he was a divine being who could save them from material calamity was fixed.

Chapter 107 describes Bhaktipada’s last three-and-a-half years of life, living as an honored guest of his disciples in India, until his death on October 24, 2011. Yet his adventure was not finished, as Chapter 108 describes the mis-adventures his deceased body endured while his disciple and followers attempted to find a suitable resting place (samadhi) for their master’s corpse. For a time, Bhaktipada’s body lay in an ice-filled plywood coffin at a cow shed, as the Vrindaban Radha-Gokulananda Mandir (where his well-meaning but ignorant disciples hoped to construct a samadhi for their deceased master near the samadhis of the great Vaishnava acharyas Lokanath Goswami, Narottama dasa Thakur and Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakur) refused to grant them permission.

Finally a property was found for sale and purchased to protect the remains of the Founder/Acharya of the Eternal Order of the League of Devotees Worldwide for all eternity, but it was hardly an auspicious site, as the property was situated between the Yamuna River and the Parikram Road and the property sometimes flooded during the monsoon season. In death, as in life, Bhaktipada was plagued by setbacks, many created by his own activities.


Chapter 103: New Vrindaban Readmitted to ISKCON

    New Vrindaban hosts ISKCON festivals
    Radhanath Swami returns to ISKCON
    Radhanath accused of conspiring to murder Sulochan
    Kuladri returns to New Vrindaban
    Two child molesters living at New Vrindaban
    ISKCON pressures New Vrindaban to expel Sri-Galim
    Sri-Galim leaves New Vrindaban
    Prabhupada’s Palace in disrepair
    Gas drilling at New Vrindaban
    Fracking controversy
    Bhaktipada’s interfaith “friends”

Chapter 104: Behind Prison Bars

    Bhaktipada’s cell mate accuses him of making sexual advances
    Bhaktipada transferred to Springfield, Missouri
    Bhaktipada’s judge has heart surgery; dies
    Bhaktipada remains upbeat
    Bhaktipada’s sentence reduced
    New York City Interfaith Sanctuary remains loyal to Bhaktipada
    Interfaith guest rooms
    New Vaikuntha: Upstate New York retreat
    Bhaktipada transferred to North Carolina
    Bhaktipada’s disciples visit him in Butner, North Carolina
    Bhaktipada’s acronyms: TYKPMAII and WCP
    RVC Swami evicted from Brooklyn ISKCON temple by abused former gurukuli boy
    Inter-Vaishnava harinama
    ISKCON Child Protection Office brands Kirtanananda dasa: confirmed pedophile

Chapter 105: Return to New York City

    I visit my former “spiritual master”
    Bhaktipada seeks forgiveness
    The greatest disease: tasting absolute power
    Bhaktipada finally admits
    Bhaktipada continues to inspire hundreds of loyal disciples
    Indian and Pakistani disciples remain faithful
    “Saint Bhaktipada”
    Vyasa-puja book homages
    ISKCON devotees invited to live at Interfaith Sanctuary
    Bhaktipada accused of attempting to fondle a visiting male guest
    Most of Bhaktipada’s New York disciples abandon him
    ISKCON takes over Interfaith Sanctuary
    ISKCON take over contested in court

Chapter 106: Passage, O Soul, to India!

    Bhaktipada visits Rishikesh
    Bhaktipada visits Ulhasnagar
    Bhaktipada moves to India permanently
    Reactions mixed
    Bhaktipada retires completely
    Bhaktipada’s “Palace of Love”
    Bhaktipada in Ulhasnagar
    Bhaktipada resumes writing books
    Humbler than a blade of grass
    Bhaktipada’s most obsequious sycophant
    Bhaktipada visits Nagpur
    Bhaktipada’s 72nd birthday celebration in Rishikesh
    Bhaktipada visits Ambajogai, Parli Baijnath and Majalgaon
    Vrindaban pilgrimage
    Bhaktipada in Pakistan
    Bhaktipada attends Rishikesh Ratha Yatra
    Bhaktipada visits Shangri La Resort and Water Park
    Bhaktipada visits Badrinath
    Bhaktipada’s disciple accused of scandal
    Bhaktipada’s 73rd birthday celebration
    Bhaktipada visits United Arab Emirates
    Bhaktipada’s young servant passes away
    Bhaktipada visits Goa

Chapter 107: Last Days

    Bhaktipada diagnosed with cancer
    Bhaktipada’s last days
    Bhaktipada back in Jupiter Hospital
    The “spiritual master” departs—permanently

Chapter 108: Six Feet Under

    Radha Gokulananda Mandir
    Bhaktipada’s corpse refused at Radha Gokulananda Mandir
    At the Mohini Gosala cowshed
    Burial plot purchased
    Radhanath Swami offers respects
    Bhaktipada is buried
    A temporary samadhi erected
    Bhaktipada’s successor continues his lineage


U. S. Geological Survey topographic map of McCreary Ridge showing location of principle sites of New Vrindaban.

Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in the pavilion on the hill behind Bahulaban (September 1972).

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