No Need for War Against Srila Prabhupada


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 43, Spring 2014

GBC-elected guru HH Sivarama Swami ("SRS") gave a lecture in which he spoke about the history of the battle the GBC has waged against accepting Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON's diksa guru. Excerpts in the shaded boxes below are from a lecture given by SRS at Bhaktivedanta Manor, in January 2014.

History of battle

"It seems like a type of phenomena that we have in ISKCON that those people who are your Bhismadevas, your grandparents, you end up fighting with them sometimes on the battlefield, you have to face them. And we do that sometimes. Devotees come out with different types of...over the years actually ISKCON UK was the home of rtvik philosophy. It's no credit to ISKCON UK, but this is really where it sort of took birth. Krishnakant Desai. I remember when we had our sankirtan house over in Watford, and him sitting with me, sometime around in 1986, and talking, he was still a University student, 'Can't Prabhupada just really be the guru, the initiating guru?'. (I) said, 'No, he can't be the initiating guru'. And that's one way that sometimes devotees get off on a tangent in terms of philosophically...and then one has to do battle with them."

1. SRS gives the history of the movement to re-establish Srila Prabhupada as the diksa guru of ISKCON. Some 30 years ago, SRS was legitimately asked by BTP's editor why Srila Prabhupada could not be everyone's guru. SRS admits that his answer was simply to deny this as being possible. But denials are not philosophy. When devotees have questions they must be answered, not denied. Because denials cannot defeat the truth. SRS states here that he is not happy that this movement was established in the UK, but what did he expect, when he was unable to answer a legitimate question with anything other than a denial? And thus, the movement to establish Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON's diksa guru has simply continued to grow and grow, so much so that as we show on page 3, even the GBC has been forced to concede, at least philosophically, Srila Prabhupada's diksa guru status.

2. SRS writes that following him not being able to rebut Srila Prabhupada's diksa guru status with anything more than a denial, a battle has been waged against accepting Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON's guru, which he compares to the Mahabharata war! But, as we document in our book, Srila Prabhupada: The Founder-acarya of ISKCON, such a war is not necessary, since both sides accept the same philosophy and conclusions! The GBC just needs to accept and implement its own statements!

Don't trust memory

"anyway there's lots of history there. Someone should always be writing book, there should always be actually a history. [...] Unless things are written down, don't trust anything to memory."

1. SRS states that it is important that history is recorded rather than trusting "anything to memory". We could not agree more, and this is a point we make as part of the Prabhupada-Only Paradigm (POP -- please see BTP 31, or read about it online here:

We state that in order to know what Srila Prabhupada said, we require to rely on what is recorded directly from Srila Prabhupada, rather than testimonies relying on memories. And, as SRS states, since we should not "trust anything to memory", then even diaries, which are based on memories, are just as unreliable -- because this is simply transferring to written form the same unreliable memory. Hence, the only reliable way to know what Srila Prabhupada said, is to actually have Srila Prabhupada recorded as directly stating it, in writing or on tape. If SRS and the GBC adhered strictly to this standard, then some of the "evidence" they rely on would actually be revealed to not be evidence at all.

2. In regards to SRS's point that history should always be recorded, anyone who reads the IRM's publications knows that the IRM are already doing this. We ensure that the many mistakes and ugly history which ISKCON's leaders would rather be covered up or hidden, are actually brought to light. For example, please see the articles on the next 2 pages of this very issue!

Learn from history

"And it's such an important thing actually, it's important for the sake of records, it's important for the sake of history so that we can actually learn from history and see and know 'That's already been done before. Don't do that, we already learned from that.' And many good things, many mistakes, and so that also we don't forget."

SRS states that it is important to learn from history so that we can learn from the mistakes which have been made in the past. Ironically, SRS made these comments as part of giving a history of one of ISKCON's guru hoaxers, Bhagavan, about whom SRS states:

"Bhagavan Dasa, who was at that time the GBC for France and Italy and Spain and Benelux, he would become the GBC of the UK. He was a very charismatic, very good manager, very capable person. As it turned out he also had his weaknesses [...] he then literally ran away with one of his Godsisters. [...] It took its toll on devotees' faith [...] Devotees were really broken-hearted, they felt betrayed."

Yet, the one person who did not learn from Bhagavan's history of having "betrayed" and wreaked havoc in the faith of devotees, was SRS himself. SRS had been seduced by the "charismatic" Bhagavan and had taken the lead in promoting him as a bona fide guru. Yet, after the devastation wreaked by Bhagavan, SRS repeated his mistake by first promoting Narayana Maharaja (please see next article for more information) and then promoting Balabhadra Dasa -- actions which he later admitted also ended up weakening the faith of the devotees (please see our book 100 Deviations: The Life and Teachings of His Holiness Sivarama Swami, where these facts are documented).


1. The GBC need to give up trying to fight accepting Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON's guru, when philosophically they have no answer for why Srila Prabhupada cannot be everyone's diksa guru.

2. Do not trust memory, but only that which is directly recorded.

3. Do not repeat, but learn from, history and one's mistakes.

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