Amogh Lila Das, a monk of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), has made controversial remarks about Swami Vivekananda asking whether a ‘divya purush’ can eat fish.
The video of Amogh Das, went viral of social media. The ISKCON took note of the statements made in the video and banned him for a month.
Amogh Das will now go for atonement for this one month in the Govardhan hills, the ISKCON said.
“Koi bhi divya purush kisi janwar ko maar ke khayega? (Would a divine person kill an animal and eat it?) Will he eat fish? Fish too feel pain. And if Vivekananda ate fish, then the question is if a divine person can eat fish. A divine human being has kindness in his heart…can he say brinjal is better than Tulasi because brinjal satiates our hunger. Or, can he say playing football is more important than studying Gita? This is not right. But I must say I have the utmost respect for Swami Vivekananda. Had he been here, I would have prostrated in front of him. But we should not believe blindly in everything he says,” Amogh Das said.
He also made sarcastic comments about Ramakrishna’s teaching of “Jato Mat Tato Path” (as many opinions, as many paths), implying that not all paths lead to the same destination.
What did ISKON say?
ISKCON said the comments were not only disrespectful but showcased a lack of awareness on the part of Amogh Lila Das about the “diversity of spiritual paths and personal choices”.
“We would like to emphasise that the views expressed by Shri Amogh Lila Das are not representative of the values and teachings of ISKCON. Our organisation has always promoted harmony, respect and understanding towards all spiritual paths and traditions, and we condemn any form of disrespect or intolerance towards other religious beliefs and practices,” the ISKCON’s statement read.
“Taking view of this serious mistake committed by him, ISKCON has decided to ban him for 1 month. We have communicated our decision to him. Amogh Lila Das has begged for the forgiveness for his comments, and he is realising that what a great disservice he has done,” the statement said.
“He has taken a vow to go on ‘prayaschit’ (atonement) for 1 month in the hills of Govardhan and will completely seclude himself from the public life with immediate effect,” it added.
Who is Amogh Lila Das?
Amogh Lila Das is a popular face on social media as a motivational speaker.
The 43-year-old is presently the vice president of the ISKCON Dwarka, Delhi. According to reports, his original name is Ashish Arora. Before taking monkhood, he was an engineer.
Amogh Lila Das embarked on spiritual journey at a very young age. When he was in Class 12 in 2000, he left his house in search of God.
However, he decided to come back and pursue a degree in software engineering. After completing his graduation in 2004, he started working for a US-based multinational corporation.
As per Amogh Lila Das, he held the position of project manager before deciding to leave the corporate world in 2010. At the age of 29, he became a dedicated Hare Krishna Brahmachari (celibate) by joining Iskcon.