Lord Caitanya's Order to "Become Guru"


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 39, Spring 2013

In the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Lord Caitanya orders the brahmana Kurma to "become a spiritual master" (Madhya-lila, 7:128), and Srila Prabhupada repeated this order to "become guru" many times. In the preceding article, we analysed how Srila Prabhupada's statements following this verse (purport, Madhya-lila, 7:130) have been altered. Srila Prabhupada's direction that "it is best not to accept any disciples" has been moved to make it appear as though Srila Prabhupada is actually advising that this is a direction we should not follow. This book change is then used to claim that this "become guru" order now applies to becoming a diksa guru and thus supports ISKCON's system of successor gurus.

However, a full analysis of Lord Caitanya's order will demonstrate that even this book change will not rescue the guru hoax. (Emphases in the following quotes have been added).

Stay at home

In the purport to the order to "become a spiritual master", Srila Prabhupada explains that this requires that one must stay at home:

"The Krsna consciousness movement is trying to elevate human society to the perfection of life by pursuing the method described by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in His advice to the brahmana Kurma. That is, one should stay at home, chant the Hare Krsna mantra and preach the instructions of Krsna as they are given in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam."
(Cc, Madhya-lila, 7:128, purport)

Friends and relatives

Given that this order to "become guru" requires that one stay at home, one's preaching will consist of instructing one's family and friends:

"One only has to follow the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and instruct relatives and friends in the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam."
(Cc, Madhya-lila, 7:130, purport)

Stay in full-time job

In addition to staying in one's location, one can also remain in one's material occupation:

"Nor is it necessary for one to change status. One may remain a householder, a medical practitioner, an engineer or whatever. It doesn't matter."
(Cc, Madhya-lila, 7:130, purport)

Stay householder

Srila Prabhupada explains that this order to become spiritual master means that one should become an ideal householder:

"If this principle is followed by everyone, there is no need to accept sannyasa. In the next verse Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu advises everyone to become an ideal householder by offenselessly chanting the Hare Krsna mantra and teaching the same principle to everyone he meets."
(Cc, Madhya-lila, 7:127, purport)

No qualification

Srila Prabhupada explains that this order from Lord Caitanya to "become guru" requires no qualification; it requires only that one repeat 3 things:

"Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu ... Yare dekha, tare kaha 'krsna'-upadesa: "You become guru. No qualification required. Simply you repeat what Krsna has said." [...] Anyone can do it, even a child. (Laughs). Our Syamasundara's daughter. She was preaching, "Do you know Krsna?" [...] Even a child like Sarasvati, she can preach. [...] But these three words, that "Krsna is the Supreme Lord; you are servant; and chant Hare Krsna" – bas, preaching complete. Very simple thing and the sublime instruction. Everyone can become guru by simply teaching these three words."
(Srila Prabhupada, Room Conversation, 26/1/1977)

Everyone already ordered

Lord Caitanya did not even require that the brahmana Kurma first become initiated before becoming a guru. And Lord Caitanya also repeated the same order to "become spiritual master" to any and every person he met, without discrimination or prerequisite:

"While on His tour, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would spend the night at a temple or on the roadside. Whenever He accepted food from a person, He would give him the same advice He gave the brahmana named Kurma."
(Cc, Madhya-lila, 7:131-32)

Thus, as Srila Prabhupada explains, Lord Caitanya has already ordered everyone to become guru:

"The Lord has ordered everyone to become a guru (Cc. Madhya 7.128)".
(Cc, Madhya-lila, 15:41, purport)

Therefore, in addition to no qualification, no further authorisation is required to take up this role as guru.


This order to "become spiritual master" speaks about:

1) Staying at home.
2) Staying in one's material occupation.
3) Staying as a householder.
4) Instructing friends and relatives.
5) Not requiring any qualification (not even initiation), other than being able to repeat 3 things.
6) Everyone is already ordered.

It is so obvious that this is not an order for one to become a "good as God" diksa guru that, as we will now see, even ISKCON's leadership accepts this!

Even GBC accepts!

a) If the GBC accepted that this order from Lord Caitanya was an order for diksa gurus, then they would call for all ISKCON Life Members and congregational supporters who preached to their families to be immediately declared ISKCON diksa gurus. But they have only called for their money!

b) Although this order to become guru requires no qualification other than the ability to state 3 things, the GBC insist that to actually become a diksa guru requires that a whole raft of at least 19 "mandatory qualifications" are satisfied. These include everything from freedom from "attachment to kamini-kan cana" (sex objects and wealth), to "knowledge and understanding of sastra". (GBC Resolutions, 2010).

c) Although "everyone" has already been authorised to become such a guru (and also qualified, as long as they can repeat 3 things), the GBC insist that to be a diksa guru still requires specific authorisation from them. This has meant that after 35 years, only a very restricted group of around ten dozen men have ever been authorised to act in this capacity.

d) We have previously documented 4 ISKCON gurus Tamala Krsna Goswami, Hridayananda
Dasa Goswami
, Bhakti Charu Swami and Partha-Sarathi Dasa Goswami admitting that this order from Lord Caitanya does not apply to diksa gurus see here: www.iskconirm.com/diksa


Therefore, this order to "become guru" is not an order for "as good as God" diksa gurus. Hence, even changing Srila Prabhupada's books to eliminate the direction that "it is best not to accept any disciples" (which, as shown above, is actually consistent with the explanation of this order), will still not salvage the guru hoax.

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