Many participants onboard share a history as members of ISKCON or Gaudiya Matha, and therefore may need to discuss related issues. Please do not use this section as a battleground, there are other forums for that purpose.
Babaji in ISKCON -
PDL - Tue, 11 Nov 2003 01:10:27 +0530
I have come across a few references to Prabhupada giving babaji rather than sannyas to a select few disciples, in the States as well as in India. This intrigues me. Can anyone fill in the details?
Are there any ISKCON babajis today?
If so, what is their sadhana?
Madhava - Tue, 11 Nov 2003 03:48:17 +0530
As far as I know, there is only one instance in the history of ISKCON.
In 1975 a devotee called Audulamidasa received babaji-vesa from Bhaktivedanta. I believe he was terminally ill, and therefore such arrangements were made, and he was to devote all of his time to chanting. In the course of time, not so long after becoming babaji, he became cured from the terminal illness and also decided to shift to a more comfortable style of life, leaving the babaji way. Someone may know more details on this.
Mina - Fri, 14 Nov 2003 02:07:45 +0530
I was there for the ceremony. It was on the same day that a group of us received our harinama or diksha initiations. Prabhupada gave a little speech about how the Babaji order was established by Rupa Goswami and the ideals of taking such a step. I remember seeing the new 'baba' seated in a small room at the Evanston, Illinois temple doing his expansive chanting. As far as I know he was not engaged in any smaranam practice.
Unfortunately, the individual in question was not really ready for the demands of complete vairagya (renunciation). It was a matter of expediency, apparently - he supposedly had less than two years to live according to his medical doctors. Not only did he abandon the order after his health was miraculously recovered (did he really have a serious medical condition in the first place? - one has to wonder), but he abandoned the path of bhakti. When I heard that news, I was somewhat disappointed, because I had held out hope that ISKCON would become favorable to intense bhajan instead of just a preaching machine. It has to make you wonder if had he had added smaranam to his bhajan, would he have been more successful on the path of rAgAnugA bhakti?
Gaurasundara - Fri, 14 Nov 2003 07:50:15 +0530
According to Hari-sauri that devotee had cancer, and when the doctors discovered that they had misdiagnosed him (!) then he left. Apparently he was last seen surfing on a Califorina beach.
There was also another devotee whom Prabhupada initiated as a babaji but I do not have his details. Even then he expressed the desire to live in a tree and do his japa.