Any Nonsense Will Do


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 23, Spring 2009

When it comes to the issue of guru in relationship to Srila Prabhupada we are told that ISKCON is not a revolutionary society, but rather it must follow the Gaudiya tradition as represented by the Gaudiya Matha and others, and therefore there is no way Srila Prabhupada can possibly be the diksa (initiating) Guru of ISKCON. Yet when we come to the issue of guru in relationship to the current ISKCON gurus and the GBC, we are told the complete opposite to justify why the diksa guru must now be redefined in a way which has never existed before or been mentioned in any scripture:

a) A diksa guru who has “nothing” to say about what his disciples can do.
b) A diksa guru who is subservient to the temple president and other managers, and assists them.

“What’s the gurus got to do with it? They’ve got nothing to say about this. It’s the GBC who says what devotees, people do, not the gurus. […] So those devotees, it’s not that, it’s not that the GBC, temple president is representing the mood of the diksa guru. It’s the diksa guru is assisting the GBC and the temple president in their mood of preaching. I may sound revolutionary (audience laughter), but it’s called ISKCON. And the other one is called the Gaudiya Matha (audience laughter).”
(HH Sivarama Swami, GBC voted-in ISKCON guru, Istaghosti [discussion], 8/1/2009)

Such hypocrisy is breathtaking, and is engaged in solely to keep Srila Prabhupada out of his rightful position as everyone’s diksa Guru. And what makes such hypocrisy ironic is that it is used to justify the diksa Guru being redefined as being similar to a ritvik (officiating priest) - a subservient functionary of a managerial body who has no power or control over his “disciples”! But the ISKCON gurus do not mind giving up this power, because the actual power which counts, to be worshipped as good-as-God, is still retained, as HH Sivarama Swami insists just 3 days later in a follow-up lecture:

“Of course, there’s certain habits they can’t have, but there may be so many other types of personality traits or even lack of realization that may be there within a spiritual master. But still saksad-hari. Still he has to be treated as good-as-God, otherwise the process doesn’t work.”
(HH Sivarama Swami, Initiation Lecture, 11/1/2009)

So to summarise:

1) We can’t have the ritvik system, because ISKCON must follow tradition, and so we must have “traditional” diksa gurus.

2) We can turn the “traditional” diksa gurus into de facto ritviks because ISKCON does not follow tradition.

3) Though the diksa gurus are like ritviks, and do not require any special qualifications, and indeed may even lack realization, they must still be worshipped and treated as if they are regular, fully qualified maha-bhagavata diksa Gurus, i.e. as good-as-God.

One would think it would be impossible to pull off such shameless hypocrisy and contradiction with a straight face. But such is the nature of Kali-Yuga (the current age of hypocrisy in which we live) – absolutely any nonsense goes, as long as the cheaters and cheated get to enjoy:

- Yes, we can say one thing to make sure we are Gurus and not ritviks.
- Yes, we can say the complete opposite to justify how we operate as ritviks.
- Yes, we can also say that these de facto ritviks still need to be regarded and worshipped as if they are full “good-as-God” diksa Gurus.

Indeed, we can say any contradictory hypocritical gibberish, just as long we can justify usurping Srila Prabhupada’s position and enjoy being worshipped as good-as-God.

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