When Is a Diksa Guru Not a Diksa Guru?


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 19, Spring 2008, Quotes, Notes & News

In the last issue we had reported on a new type of initiation which had been concocted by HH Sivarama Swami, which was neither an initiation nor a re-initiation, but a half-way house between the two (please see BTP 18, “Guru falldown confusion lays hoax bare”). This concoction was necessary to deal with yet another guru falldown. Now the GBC, following his example, have decided to concoct a new type of diksa guru, again to deal with a guru falldown. Thus Satsvarupa Das (“SD”), whose falldown and shenanigans have been chronicled in our previous issues, has now been deemed to be a “retired diksa guru”:

“SDG will continue as a sannyasi in a low key profile and will assume the status of “retired” diksha guru.”
(GBC Executive Committee announcement, issued December 25th, 2007)

This means he is a diksa guru for those he has already initiated, but he cannot be one for anyone else. It really does seem as if HH Sivarama Swami has started a trend here with his “alchemy”, as new “entities” such as “low-profile sannyasis” and “retired diksa gurus” are being churned out of the GBC’s laboratory.

Though the GBC are appearing to “censure” SD to satisfy the ISKCON masses, other ISKCON gurus continue to glorify him as a great exalted saint:

“They (your publications) have always given me a strength to continue that I rarely if ever have found from any other source. […] Please continue to write. Your letter explaining your problems with Mataji seems to be basically self-explanatory. […] Basically it is a problem that I have, you have, and so many people in the pages of Srimad-Bhagavatam have.”
(Letter to SD from Hanumatpresaka Swami, GBC-voted in guru, December 25th, 2007)

Indeed, SD is himself still very attached to maintaining his new “semi-exalted” status:

“One man says he won’t recognize I’m a sannyasi until the year is up. But the GBC has upheld my sannyasa now. They have also said that those who wish to continue hearing from me faithfully are still my disciples. I stand strongly for these principles.”
(SD, India Journal, 16/1/08)

Whilst a sannyasi and being allegedly selected as one of the 11 “gurus” by Srila Prabhupada in 1978 (The Great Guru Hoax, Part 1), the same guru system and gurus which acted as the root for the current expanded guru system, SD admits he was occupied with his love for a female disciple:

“As a young sannyasi I developed a secret attraction for Pranada Dasi in 1978 in Los Angeles. […] From 1980 to 1985, due to my ongoing attraction to her […] Therefore, my attraction lasted about seven years. […] In December of 2001, […] began an illicit and intimate romantic phone, e-mail, and letter exchange lasting over a year. During this year she also visited me three times in Ireland, and during one such visit, there was physical intimacy.”
(Letter from SD, issued December 25th, 2007)

Thus we can see that ISKCON’s current guru system was already rotten even before it got going, as it draws its authority from the “zonal gurus” such as SD, who helped authorise the new expanded guru system in the mid-‘80s, whilst also being in love with a married disciple. It was also during this period that he wrote his censored and contaminated Lilamrta biography of Srila Prabhupada (see BTP issues 6 and 14 for an exposé of this biography). In previous issues we had also exposed SD’s “sex novel” which led to the GBC forcing him to withdraw it. However, they have only seen fit to withdraw “half” of his diksa guru status, still rendering him “semi-active”. Nor have they seen it fit to withdraw his Lilamrta biography, written as it was when he was in the throes of his “sannyasi love”.

The choice before us is clear – we can either accept the guru system Srila Prabhupada gave us, with him as the diksa Guru with ritvik representatives – or the ever-changing concoctions that have been brewed up in the GBC’s laboratory since 1978.

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