Tulsi Gabbard is one of his devotees. Does this explain her fondness for dictators?
This post first appeared on Truth to Power
“Nobody knows where Hitler is. Such a great man… He hid [in 1945] or he killed himself. Something was done, but nobody knows. And one day he [Adolf Hitler] will become the master of the whole universe.” - [Prabhupada Morning Walk, May 17, 1975, Perth, Australia]
His Divine Grace Abhay Charan Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, commonly referred to as Prabhupada, was an Indian spiritual teacher and the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), commonly known as the "Hare Krishna Movement”. His work included the translation of the Bhagavad-gita (the "Bible" of the East), the Srimad Bhagavatam (accepted as the fifth Veda, or the essence of all Vedic knowledge), in 32 volumes, the Chaitanya-Charitamrita, in 18 volumes, and other important works.
Translating up until just days before his departure from this world he left a legacy of some 80 volumes which have since been translated into more than 60 languages, and distributed around the world by a following which became a household word due to their proselytizing efforts.
Prabhupada came to the west in 1966 and in the next eleven years he authored eighty different books, circled the globe fourteen times and founded hundreds of temples, farm communities and schools.
Up until his death in 1977, his teachings had become globally known as one of the largest sects of Vishnuism (Vaishnavism), one of the major forms of modern Hinduism, characterized by devotion to the god Vishnu, and his incarnations on earth (avatars). It is widespread in India and around the world, particularly in the US and Europe. Today, followers of Prabhupada number in the tens of millions.
During several of his talks, Prabhupada often mentioned Adolf Hitler as a great leader and spoke to the problems caused by the Jews. These views are not limited to Hare Krishnas, they are the majority view in India and much of the developing world.
Prabhupāda: Therefore Hitler killed these Jews. They were financing against Germany. Otherwise he had no enmity with the Jews.
Hari-śauri: Yes. They were controlling the economy. That was his one thing.
Prabhupāda: And they were supplying. They want interest money—"Never mind against our country." Therefore Hitler decided, "Kill all the Jews."
Rāmeśvara: These banks in the West, they supported Lenin. They made it possible to finance his revolution.
Prabhupāda: Yes. They have got money. The Jews have got money. They want to invest and get some profit. Their only interest is how to get money, no nationalism, no religion, nothing of the sort. Therefore it is not now; long, long ago... Therefore Shakespeare wrote "Shylock, the Jew."
Hari-śauri: Yes. "Shylock."
Prabhupāda: "One pound of flesh." The Jews were criticized long, long ago.
One of Prabhupada’s most famous devotees is Tulsi Gabbard. Here she is praising Prabhupada and leading a singing prayer session called a Kirtan. At the beginning of the clip, she is calling out to Prabhupada with the word ‘Jai!’ which is Hindi for Victory and commonly used by Prabhupada and his followers. It is similar to the German 'Heil!'
Note to media: At her next press conference, please ask her if she agrees with Prabhupada's admiration of Hitler. Wouldn't it be wonderful if she said 'Yes'?
Prabhupada also questioned the holocaust.
“Ah. Hitler. He was a good man. ... I don’t believe that he killed so many Jews in concentration camps. So these English people, they were very expert in making propaganda. They killed Hitler by propaganda.”
He also spoke out to what it means to be Aryan.
"So on the whole, the conclusion is that the Aryans spread in Europe also, and the Americans, they also spread from Europe. So the intelligent class of human being, they belong to the Aryans, Aryan family. Just like Hitler claimed that he belonged to the Aryan family. Of course, they belonged to the Aryan families."
One of the defining factors of Vaishnavism is the belief that reality and time themselves are cyclical, and just as the earth has seasons, so too does reality. These seasons are referred to as yugas, which last hundreds of thousands of years. The phrase 'kali yuga' has become very popular lately and is effectively the winter, a time when the production and harvest have passed, and generally everything begins to slowly die, only to be reborn in the spring as satva yuga. To be more specific, the thought is that each season represents a loss of truth of the divine.
Another key belief is that of avatars. An avatar is the physical, human incarnation of God (In addition to multiple gods, Hinduism also teaches the existence of a greater God). Jesus Christ, for example, is a known and recognized avatar. In each yuga, there are ten avatars, or ten visits from the divine on earth. In the lively yugas, the spring and summer, these avatars spread religion and civilization, teaching us agriculture or sanitary things. In the fall yuga, these avatars often come to stop civilizations or races from falling into destruction, but because it is the fall yuga, they are sometimes unsuccessful.
In the present, kali yuga, or winter season (which started 5121 years ago), the avatars always come with the attempt to save people from sin, death, disease and destruction, but they must fail. This is the nature of kali yuga.
In the opening quote, Prabhupada refers to Hitler as 'becoming a master of the whole universe' after his death, which means he was an avatar, i.e., man who came in the darkest time for his people and miraculously saved them, if only for a brief period. The huge reversal of fate from a down-trodden third-world Weimar Republic to the height of the National Socialist government is thought of as proof that Hitler couldn't have just been a man but was in fact an avatar of Vishnu. Had this been any other yuga, Hitler would have won the war, if he could not have avoided fighting it at all.
With Prabhupada’s open praise of Hitler and criticisms of the Jews, it is no wonder that the Jews always portray his followers, ‘Hare Krishnas’ as a zany cult. The average person’s opinion of them is created and formed by constant mocking of their belief systems, reducing them to caricatures and keeping them on the fringe. Movies mocked them heavily in the 70s, as well as shows like Saturday Night Live and Seinfeld. Despite their best efforts, Prabhupada is beloved by tens of millions, his thoughts and opinions are respected even by those that disagree with his spiritual belief system.