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 Star Model P .45 caliber hand gun; the gun which killed Sulochan dasa (Steven Bryant).
A Star Model P .45 caliber hand gun; the gun which killed Sulochan dasa (Steven Bryant).

Ksatriyas Confident
from Chapter 8: Murder Conspiracy

Even if the New Vrindaban and California ISKCON ksatriyas failed in their attempt to assassinate Sulochan, they believed that their lives would still be successful, for if somehow they were to die performing their prescribed duty, or if they were to be executed by the state after being convicted in a murder trial, their souls would ascend to the heavenly planets. Krishna promised Arjuna in Bhagavad-gita (2.32): “O Partha, happy are the ksatriyas to whom such fighting opportunities come unsought, opening for them the doors of the heavenly planets.” Prabhupada elaborated in the purport: “If he [Arjuna] should conquer his enemies, he would enjoy the kingdom; and if he should die in the battle, he would be elevated to the heavenly planets, whose doors were wide open to him. Fighting would be for his benefit in either case.”

Clearly, Sulochan was one “who blasphemed the devotees of the Lord” and carried a “deadly weapon” “with an intent to kill.” He deserved to have his “tongue cut out” and be “killed in self-defense” “with no punishment awarded to the executioner.” Even a “very meek and humble” devotee should become “angry like fire, wanting to kill” the offender, “when there is blasphemy committed against superiors.” “When such demon is killed, even saintly persons are satisfied.”

Those involved in the plot to destroy the “demon” Sulochan were confident that their actions were authorized by guru: Kirtanananda Swami Bhaktipada and Ramesvara Maharaja; sadhu: Radhanath Swami and Tapahpunja Swami; and sastra: Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-bhagavatam and Caitanya-caritamrita. Ravindra-Svarupa confirmed, “When Sulochan was killed, everybody in ISKCON knew that Kirtanananda was behind it. Because we had New Vrindaban devotees come and tell us, ‘What’s the matter? It was authorized.’ Everybody knew it. No devotee would kill another devotee unless it was authorized (laughter).”

The New Vrindaban and California ISKCON devotees believed that because the conspiracy was authorized, it would be pleasing to Prabhupada and Krishna. Even a normally kind and humble devotee, such as a gentle sannyasi who would never harm an ant (or a groundhog), could take part in this noble mission with enthusiasm. Some may have even felt special honor to be called to perform such a glorious task: to render valuable service by protecting the saintly pure devotees of the Lord. What sincere disciple could ask for more? Killing for Krishna, they believed, would help them, and others (including the “demon” Sulochan himself) to advance in Krishna consciousness. It was completely “Vedic.” The entire world would benefit from their “devotional service.”

Back to: Killing for Krishna Homepage