an excerpt from
Killing for Krishna
The Danger of Deranged Devotion

a book by
Henry Doktorski
Publication date: January 1, 2018.
© by Henry Doktorski

A sketch of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
A sketch of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Express archive photo. The Indian Express.

Subhas Chandra Bose: Indian Patriot
from Chapter 1: A Thorn in Bhaktipada’s Side

Ravindra-Svarupa (William H. Deadwyler, III), the Philadelphia temple president and a prominent leader of the Guru Reform movement (which will be discussed in Chapter 3), alleged that Kailasa-Chandra encouraged Sulochan to threaten violence against the gurus. Ravindra-Svarupa explained: "He [Sulochan] went to the West Coast, very discontent, and who should he run into but Kailasa-Chandra, who convinces him that, 'Oh, it’s not just Bhaktipada, it’s all the gurus. They’re all wicked and evil.' And Sulochan considered himself a ksatriya, and Kailasa-Chandra seemed to back up this idea, and that he should take some action of a ksatriya nature against the corrupt gurus."

Ravindra continued, "And just as this whole thing is starting up, this reform movement starts, some of my papers [about Guru Reform] go out. I get the reputation as a leader. I get a letter from Sulochan, and Sulochan says to me in this letter, 'Oh, your reform movement is very nice, and it has good intentions and everything, and I’m happy for that, but,' he says, 'it won’t work.' He said, 'You’re like Mahatma Gandhi, but I’m like Subhas Chandra Bose.' And that has to be violence."

In his letter to Ravindra-Svarupa, Sulochan referred to Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945), an Indian nationalist whom Prabhupada highly regarded. Bose’s defiant patriotism made him a hero in India, but his attempt to force the British out of India by conspiring with Germany and Japan left a troubled legacy. In Calcutta, Bose was arrested by the British for organizing mass protests and was placed under house arrest, but he escaped in a disguise and fled to Germany in 1940, where he met with Adolf Hitler. With German funding, he formed Free-India Radio and an army: the Free-India Legion, which at its peak had 3,000 soldiers. When Germany decided not to invade India, Bose sought help instead from the Japanese and then created the Indian National Army to fight against the British.

Prabhupada and Subhas Chandra Bose were schoolmates at Scottish Church College in Calcutta. Prabhupada greatly admired him and often praised his resourcefulness and dedication to Indian independence. Prabhupada credited Bose, not Gandhi, for freeing India from British subjugation. He said Gandhi’s non-violence only prolonged British domination, but Bose’s army and its threat of violence forced the British to give up. Sulochan admired Subhas Chandra Bose and wrote, “Prabhupada spoke very highly of Mr. Bose because he gloriously executed his duties as a ksatriya whereas Prabhupada accused Gandhi of not properly executing his duty as a brahmin. It was Mr. Bose and his violent campaign that actually ousted the British from India and not Gandhi with his non-violent sentimentalism.” Corrupt Regimes Overthrown by Revolution and Violence

During a morning walk in Los Angeles in December, 1973, Prabhupada explained: “So without revolution . . . you cannot change old order. ‘Old orders changes giving place to new.’ That old order changes. Everywhere it is by violence. The Mahabharata also, the battle of Kuruksetra. Krishna was there. He tried to settle up. But it was not settled without violence. . . . Krishna also comes . . . for killing the demons.” Sulochan wanted to change the old order, and he believed, as Prabhupada indicated during his morning walk, that it would only be changed by violence. Although Ravindra-Svarupa intimated that Kailasa-Chandra “seemed to back up [Sulochan’s] idea . . . that he should take some action of a ksatriya nature against the corrupt gurus,” Kailasa-Chandra, on the other hand, insisted that he never encouraged Sulochan to use violence in his campaign against the ISKCON gurus. He claimed that Ravindra-Svarupa, through his allegation, falsely attempted to implicate himself in encouraging violence.

Kailasa-Chandra explained: "I never at any time directly encouraged Sulochan to resort to violence. Instead, I encouraged him to follow the exact course that he was engaged in, viz., produce exposés combined with semi-position papers, to mass-produce them, and to distribute them as far and wide as possible."

Kailasa-Chandra continued, "That we shot handguns (once) together does not even provide substantial evidence to the fabrication that I encouraged him to violence. My handgun was cent-per-cent for self protection, and I had this handgun since Beaverton, Oregon, in 1979. I never at any time intentionally contemplated or planned to use it as an offensive manner and history proves that I never did so."

Kailasa-Chandra continued, "Now, it is a fact that Sulochan discussed one or two ideas of his own to me, and I remained neutral when he did so. One involved handcuffing Ramesvara to the Los Angeles deities and then remaining with him on the altar with a handgun to his head, inviting the press (and certainly the police) to then come to the temple and forcing them all to hear a full discourse of his (Sulochan’s) complaints. I thought the idea not only extremely offensive to the Lord, but also hair-brained."

Kailasa-Chandra continued, "So, once again, Ravindra plays fast and loose with the “facts,” and falsely claims that I was the one who was inciting Sulochan to violence. Simply no truth to that whatsoever. Ravindra’s statement has the potential to put me in harms way with some of the remaining fanatics, especially if they are hatchet-men and/or enforcers. Ravindra is, in effect, through a false allegation, trying to put a big 'X' on my chest."

In any case, Sulochan purchased a .22 caliber rifle with a scope and boasted to his friends, “I’d like to kill Ramesvara, and I wouldn’t mind going to prison for it.” Sulochan’s carpenter friend in Los Angeles, Nistraigunya (Steven John Forbes), recalled, “Sulochan had a 22 caliber . . . light, very light rifle with a scope. I kept it for him in my house. I returned it to him a few weeks . . . before he was killed. . . . He said he would like to get rid of the L. A. guru and wouldn’t mind going to prison for it.” Ravindra confirmed, “He [Sulochan] was really serious about killing a guru or two.”

Sulochan believed killing for Krishna was authorized by Prabhupada, Sri-Isopanisad, Bhagavad-gita, and Srimad-bhagavatam. Prabhupada had clearly warned in Sri-Isopanisad that “so-called acharyas” are “rogues, . . . the most dangerous elements in human society.” Bhagavad-gita (16.19) noted that the ultimate destination for so-called acharyas were “bodies like those of cats, dogs and hogs.” “Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among men, are cast by Me into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life.” Prabhupada also claimed that the demon religious propagandists could not be overthrown without violence, “Without revolution . . . you cannot change old order. . . . That old order changes. Everywhere it is by violence. The Mahabharata also, the battle of Kuruksetra. Krishna was there. He tried to settle up. But it was not settled without violence. . . . Krishna also comes . . . for killing the demons.”

In Srimad-bhagavatam, Narada-Muni—a Vedic sage, traveling musician and storyteller who carried news and enlightening wisdom between the earth and the celestial planets (known in ISKCON as the “Transcendental Spaceman”)—claimed that even if one renders service unknowingly to a pure devotee, one makes spiritual advancement. Sulochan postulated that therefore, if one killed an offender to the pure devotee, one would also make spiritual advancement.

In addition, Prabhupada admired Subhas Chandra Bose for his army and his ksatriya spirit, but thought little of Gandhi’s non-violent satyagraha (civil disobedience) movement. Sulochan thought of himself as a ksatriya; he definitely had the warrior spirit. He felt that Prabhupada and Krishna were speaking to him; encouraging him to continue the noble, Vedic, ksatriya tradition of killing for Krishna. While visiting his friends, Sulochan waved his guns in the air and proclaimed, “Death to the gurus.” He frightened more than a few devotees in Berkeley, Los Angeles, Laguna Beach and New Vrindaban by his enthusiasm to root out rogues disguised as gurus and cleanse ISKCON by violent means. Sulochan was confident in his mission and he was prepared to go to prison, if he could kill a guru or two.

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