The following is a response to the above Podcast from His Holiness Sivarama Maharaja (SRS), and as usual statements from SRS shall be enclosed in speech marks " " thus, with our comments following underneath in bold:

"I really prefaced the talk with my understanding of what the spiritual master disciple relationship is in the context of an institution."

Unfortunately SRS's "understanding" does not match with the understanding given by Srila Prabhupada regarding the 'spiritual master disciple relationship' in the context of the ISKCON institution. In regards to the ISKCON institution, Srila Prabhupada actually stated:


"Yes, I am the spiritual master of this institution, and all the members of the society, they're supposed to be my disciples. They follow the rules and regulations which I ask them to follow, and they are initiated by me spiritually."

(Radio Interview, March 12th, 1968)

Please note that Srila Prabhupada has given his answer here in relation to the institution of ISKCON, and not only in relation to while he was physically present:

"I am the spiritual master of this institution"

"and all the members of the society"

Consequently this remains the situation Srila Prabhupada intended for the ISKCON institution - that every member of ISKCON would become initiated by him - unless he subsequently gave an order changing this state of affairs by authorizing successor gurus. And as we have previously demonstrated such an order was never given. Rather the only order was for ritviks to facilitate Srila Prabhupada's statement that "all members of the society" are supposed to be 'initiated' by, and become the disciples of, himself:

"Actually Prabhupada never appointed any gurus, he appointed eleven ritviks.
He never appointed them gurus. Myself and the other GBC have done the greatest disservice to this movement for the last three years because we interpreted the appointment of ritviks as the appointment of gurus."

(His Holiness Tamala Krishna Goswami Maharaja, December 3rd 1980)

"The expectations of these gurus from their disciples are something that is determined by the expectations of the institution and the leaders of the institution of devotees in general."

The expectation for anything which happens in the ISKCON institution should be determined by the supreme authority of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada. SRS has here correctly stated that the expectations in ISKCON are not based on what is determined by Srila Prabhupada, but rather it is determined by whatever the current ISKCON leaders have decided. And as we have repeatedly shown, the two do not match. For example, the very notion that the GBC can authorize gurus was not itself authorized by Srila Prabhupada:

"That Srila Prabhupada "personally detailed the procedure for increasing the number of initiating guru[s]" is something we can only wish. Or falsely tell the Society he did."

(His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami, 13/12/2003)

Rather the system today is going on based on whatever ISKCON leaders decide, and not on what Srila Prabhupada ordered.

"For example on an Ekadasi all devotees are expected to fast from Grains unless they are toddlers but some spiritual master may like their disciples to dry fast. If he would like that standard to be applied in Hungary he then he would be expected to discuss that with the leadership and they may or may not agree with him."

Such a situation whereby every guru gives different instructions and standards will naturally arise because the diksa guru gives the rules and standards for his disciples. And in ISKCON there are 70 diksa gurus already, with the number increasing. That ISKCON does not even have one standard in regards to how Ekadasi should be followed demonstrates just how fragmented ISKCON has become. Clearly ISKCON can only remain a united movement under Srila Prabhupada if Srila Prabhupada himself remains the Diksa Guru for the movement, since it is the Diksa guru who gives the standards for all disciples to follow, and under this scenario, everyone in ISKCON would have to follow identical rules and regulations as given by Srila Prabhupada, in every respect.

"And then as far as I understand we have a unified movement where I as a spiritual master like everyone else am simply doing my service in representing Srila Prabhupada ."

But the movement can only be unified around Srila Prabhupada's instructions, otherwise it is no longer Srila Prabhupada's movement, even though he is its founder and acarya. And you can only do 'service' to Srila Prabhupada by representing him in the capacity he has ordered, otherwise it will only be a great disservice:

"Myself and the other GBC have done the greatest disservice to this movement the last three years because we interpreted the appointment of ritviks as the appointment of gurus."
(Tamala Krishna Goswami, self-authorised guru, Pyramid House confession, Topanga Canyon, December 3rd, 1980)

SRS was not ordered to by Srila Prabhupada to succeed him as an ISKCON diksa guru, but rather got his Diksa guru position via the original 11 ritviks turning into diksa gurus and then subsequently expanding the system by taking part in voting in more diksa gurus such as SRS via the GBC. But since the diksa guru status of those original 11 ritviks and the status of the GBC to vote in more gurus (see Jayadvaita Maharaja's statement above) is not authorized, neither is SRS's own diksa guru status authorized, and therefore, in the words of His Holiness Tamal Krishna Maharaja, SRS is doing a great disservice.

"I suggest therefore that all devotees of the society are in either in the category of God brothers and godsisters this of course depends on which generation you are talking about or uncles or grand uncles and within that we have an identity of a common diksa guru Or perhaps even a common siksa guru or siksa gurus."

So for the sake of unity we can be considered godbrothers and godsisters even if we have different gurus (instead of "god-cousins"), unless one of the gurus happens to be Srila Prabhupada, in which case we must go back to sticking rigidly with the designation of "uncles" and "grand uncles"! So unity is permissible as long as it does not in any way minimise the position of ISKCON's many unauthorized gurus.

"I told them that my expectations of devotees in general and as a GBC and my expectations as a spiritual master can only be the same as that. [...] which in itself is service to Srila Prabhupada who is the ultimate siksa guru as well as the founder acarya for all members of ISKCON."

SRS is claiming here that he is the GBC and diksa Guru, and Srila Prabhupada is only the siksa guru. But this is the exact opposite of the role Srila Prabhupada gave for the GBC and himself:

"The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am the initiator guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing."
(Srila Prabhupada letter to GBC member Madhudvisa, 4/8/75)

Again this refers to the situation for an INSTITUTION, meant for the GBC body, and not just for while Srila Prabhupada was on the planet . The GBCs are only meant to be siksa gurus and Srila Prabhupada is meant to be to be the initiating guru. And Srila Prabhupada never gave any subsequent order changing this order by changing the role of the GBC from being siksa to diksa guru, nor did he state he would cease acting as the "initiator guru".
Consequently he remains ISKCON's "initiator guru", with the GBC only supposed to act as "instructor gurus".

As usual, we have again demonstrated that there is great difference between the words spoken by SRS and those spoken by Srila Prabhupada.