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July 20, 1970 : Los Angeles

Vaiyasaki: The first time sannyasa is given in the West - to Brahmananda, Gargamuni, Vishnujana and Subal Swamis. With so many disturbing incidents coming mostly from his senior men, Prabhupada can understand the purport of these omens - his position is being minimized by an element of maya emanating from India. As far as Prabhupada is concerned, there is a major crisis in ISKCON. He is pained that certain leaders are trying to isolate him from the other devotees.

Srila Prabhupada was always planning to introduce the sannyasa-asrama because his mission is to establish both bhagavat-dharma and varnasrama-dharma in the West. He has already given the sannyasa order to Kirtanananda Swami, and has seen that it is possible for Westerners to adopt this ashram. Because sannyasis can travel unrestrictedly to spread the mission worldwide, he will now expand this idea by giving sannyasa to some of his other leading students.

One may wonder about the position of a devotee who is ordered to take sannyasa rather than accept that vow by his own desire. On the one hand, Prabhupada is trying to combat the infiltration of a "conspiracy" against his Society, while on the other hand, by initiating these individuals into the renounced order, he is giving them an opportunity to come to a higher stage of spiritual life, so that they may one day actually be sannyasis.

Moreover, he is planning to preach in India, and with the institution of sannyasa ISKCON will realize the corollary benefit of being accepted as a bona fide branch of the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya. Prabhupada hopes to accomplish these purposes simultaneously by introducing the sannyasa-asrama in ISKCON.

Reference: Radha-Damodara Vilasa I - Vaiyasaki Dasa