Philosophical Principles v. Personal Preference


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 35, Spring 2012, Editorial

Welcome to Issue 35 of Back To Prabhupada (BTP).

Srila Prabhupada wrote:

"Religion without philosophy is sentiment, or sometimes fanaticism."
(Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 3.3, purport)

Yet, the GBC's deviant positions have all been characterised by their application of reasoning based on personal preferences rather than by the application of philosophical principles. At the heart of their diksa guru policies that attempt to remove Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON's diksa guru is their invention of the following "rule":

'Though the diksa guru never needs to have any physical interaction with the disciple, and can be physically absent for the whole of the disciple's life, only at the exact moment of initiation does the guru need to be momentarily present at a distance no greater than the diameter of the planet on which the initiation takes place.'

But there is no philosophical principle stated by Srila Prabhupada which mandates that the current acarya ceases to be so simply by virtue of his physical absence. Rather, this "rule" has simply been concocted due to the personal preference to become guru and thereby fulfil desires for profit, adoration and distinction. This pursuit to become guru at any cost rather than follow philosophical principles is evidenced by the GBC's adoption of a series of contrived, contradictory positions:

1) First they claimed that Srila Prabhupada ordered 11 men to become diksa guru successors. ("Great Guru Hoax, Part 1")

2) Then they claimed that these 11 men were not ordered to be guru, but that this did not matter, since no order is required, and anyone and everyone can become guru through the "law of disciplic succession". ("Great Guru Hoax, Part 2")

3) Then we were told that this "law of disciplic succession" was not a "law" at all, and that it is fine for the disciples of gurus to also become gurus in their spiritual master's physical presence.

4) Then, all of their previous positions were ditched, and instead they claimed that the actual authority for guru succession came due to "implicit intent". (GBC Resolution 409, 2004, resulting from an analysis by HH Jayadvaita Swami, 13/12/2003).

5) Currently, we have what is a "label hoax" whereby the IRM's position has effectively been adopted in toto, but with the position of "ritvik" redefined as a diksa guru (for the guru hoaxers), and the position of a diksa guru redefined as a "siksa guru" (for Srila Prabhupada).

In contrast, the IRM's position does not depend on personal preference, but on the application of philosophical principles:

a) That all action must proceed on the authority of the guru's order.
b) The order must be in evidence, rather than assumed.
c) That we do not add to or subtract anything from this.

This is the IRM's POP (Prabhupada-Only Paradigm), which is based on the following:

"The order of the spiritual master is the active principle in spiritual life."
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, 12:10)

And due to the GBC's position being based on personal preferences rather than philosophy, it is plagued with sentiment and fanaticism, just as we quoted Srila Prabhupada stating. There exists the sentiment that anyone and everyone can be guru as long they have not been caught breaking the regulative principles such as eating meat etc., in the previous 5 years, and they get the required "no objection" votes - regardless of the fact that no authorisation exists for this from Srila Prabhupada. And that, regardless of their qualification, such persons must then be worshipped and regarded as good as God by the disciple (see ISKCON Law-book). This is coupled with the fanaticism of death threats and violence against IRM supporters, even though the guru hoax now effectively relies on using the same arguments that the IRM has used (with merely the labels changed).

Hence, no differences between the IRM and GBC would exist if the GBC replaced their personal preferences with philosophy.

Please feel free to write to me at the following email address:

Thank you and Hare Krishna.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,


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