Guru-Tattva Basics - 2


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 44, Summer 2014

In the previous article we saw that even the basics regarding guru-tattva elude the very persons who should know -- those claiming to act as Srila Prabhupada's diksa guru successors. One of the newest persons to join this club is Mahatma Dasa ("MAD"), who became a GBC-elected guru only last year. Again, we shall show that before deciding to announce to the world that he is now a bona fide guru successor to Srila Prabhupada, he should have acquainted himself with some of Srila Prabhupada's basic teachings about gurus and diksa -- i.e. the very field he is now claiming to represent! All the statements below in shaded boxes are taken from MAD's website.

I don't know what diksa is

"Diksa is a one time event, whereas siksa continues throughout the life of the relationship."

But Srila Prabhupada does not state anywhere that diksa is a one-time event. Rather, he states it is a process that continues until one becomes free from all reactions caused by sinful activity:

"Diksa is the process by which one can awaken his transcendental knowledge and vanquish all reactions caused by sinful activity. A person expert in the study of the revealed scriptures knows this process as diksa."
(Cc., Madhya-lila, 15.108)

Thus, before proclaiming that he is now ready to offer diksa to everyone in ISKCON, MAD should at least bother to find out what diksa is!

I don't know how to become guru

"I [...] joined Iskcon in 1969 [...] In 2012 I became inspired to take up the service of accepting disciples and was approved to initiate in April of 2013."

Here, neither does MAD produce the order he received from Srila Prabhupada asking him to take disciples, nor does he claim Srila Prabhupada asked him to do this. Rather, 35 years after Srila Prabhupada's physical departure, he became "inspired" to take disciples, and then only did so when he was "approved" by the GBC body. Yet approval by a managerial body is not what is required in order to initiate disciples, since Srila Prabhupada did not authorise the GBC to authorise successor gurus. The GBC was authorised only to manage what already existed in ISKCON (see definition of GBC, Resolution 1, GBC Meetings 1975), not create new systems. And when Srila Prabhupada departed, what existed was himself as the diksa guru, with no other diksa gurus.

Rather, an order from the spiritual master is what is required to become a successor diksa guru:

"A guru can become guru when he's ordered by his guru. That's all. Otherwise nobody can become guru."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 28/10/75)

Thus, before proclaiming that he is a bona fide guru, MAD should find out how such a bona fide guru is authorised, and honestly admit that he has not received such authorisation from Srila Prabhupada.

I don't know how a guru is worshipped

"In our temples we daily chant the Guruvastaka prayers to the spiritual master [prayers sung during Mangal arati - Ed.]. We meditate on Prabhupada in that song. Does this song not also describe other ISKCON spiritual masters? [...] and if one's spiritual master doesn't fit all the descriptions of this song, one should think that his spiritual master is aspiring to achieve what the song describes (ecstatic symptoms, assisting in Radha and Krsna lila, total absorption in Krsna, etc.)."

But Srila Prabhupada states that only the spiritual master who actually has the qualities described in the song is worshipped by the song -- not one who "doesn't fit" these qualities or is "aspiring to achieve" them:

"Just like we sung this Gurvastaka. Gurvastaka, vande guroh sri-caranaravindam. Vande guroh sri-caranaravindam. You can say simply "I offer my respectful obeisances to my spiritual master." No. You must describe his activities. What is the activity of spiritual master?
tranaya karunya-ghanaghanatvam
praptasya kalyana-gunarnavasya
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam
This is describing the quality. Otherwise, everyone will become spiritual master. That quality, the activity will support the bona fide spiritual master."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 10/8/71)

Thus, before putting himself forward to be worshipped as a bona fide diksa guru, MAD should at least find out how such worship is actually supposed to be conducted, instead of just speculating and making the procedure up.

I don't know how to associate with guru

"But often, contact with a guru who is physically present is vital to a devotee's spiritual growth, and helpful in taking further shelter of Srila Prabhupada."

But Srila Prabhupada has never taught that contact with a physically present guru is "vital" to a devotee's spiritual growth. Rather, he says that physical presence is not important:

"Physical presence is not important."
(Room Conversation, 6/10/77)

"Physical presence is immaterial; presence of the transcendental sound received from the spiritual master should be the guidance of life. That will make our spiritual life successful. If you feel very strongly about my absence you may place my pictures on my sitting places and this will be source of inspiration for you."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 19/1/67)

"So we should associate by the vibration, and not by the physical presence. That is real association."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 18/8/68)

Thus, before claiming that physical contact with a guru is "vital", MAD should actually find out what sort of contact with the guru is important.


We have already exhaustively demonstrated previously that those who claim to be guru successors to Srila Prabhupada are not authorised to act in such a capacity, and therefore are actually operating a guru hoax. This article and the previous one support this conclusion by demonstrating that these guru successors are unable to provide even the most basic information regarding their guru system. This inability proves that they are indeed operating a hoax that has just been made up, rather than following a system that was actually given to them by Srila Prabhupada.

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