Understanding Srila Prabhupada - 2


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 45, Autumn 2014

In the previous article, we saw ISKCON leader HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami ("BVKS") propose a false method for understanding Srila Prabhupada, rather than just accepting Srila Prabhupada's statements directly. This was motivated by his dislike for the fact that accepting Srila Prabhupada's words directly leads to conclusions that interfere with his desire to be an unauthorised successor diksa guru to Srila Prabhupada. He also proposes another method for understanding Srila Prabhupada that goes further, and involves directly replacing Srila Prabhupada with himself as a successor diksa guru!

BVKS promotes himself

"Everyone requires a guru to understand Srila Prabhupada, just as in every generation. Srila Prabhupada accepted a guru, his guru accepted a guru."
(BVKS Lecture, 6/1/12)

BVKS proposes that Srila Prabhupada can only be understood through a successor guru, such as himself.

Thus, having proposed in the previous article that Srila Prabhupada must be understood through the previous acaryas, BVKS also claims that Srila Prabhupada should actually be understood through his disciples! Hence, he is happy to simultaneously go in two opposite directions to achieve his goal of somehow or other usurping Srila Prabhupada's position:

a) To subvert Srila Prabhupada stating that he will remain the diksa guru of ISKCON, BVKS claims in the previous article that we can go backwards in the parampara from Srila Prabhupada and that he needs to be understood via his predecessors, the previous acaryas. One can then consult their writings and attempt to use them to reach a different understanding to that given by Srila Prabhupada.

b) Additionally, here BVKS claims that one can go forwards in the parampara and that Srila Prabhupada must have diksa guru successors, by claiming that he can only be understood via such successors.

And, of course, each proposal can simply be used to cancel out the other:

1) BVKS's principle in the previous article is that Srila Prabhupada is to be understood through the previous acaryas. And since BVKS is an unauthorised GBC diksa guru successor to Srila Prabhupada, he considers Srila Prabhupada a previous acarya. Thus, applying this same principle to BVKS would mean that we would actually need to understand BVKS through his previous acarya, Srila Prabhupada, and not the other way round as BVKS proposes here!

2) Conversely, BVKS's principle given in this article is that his supposed previous acarya, Srila Prabhupada, should be understood via a successor diksa guru disciple, such as himself. Applying this same principle to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati (Srila Prabhupada's guru), would mean that he would need to be understood via Srila Prabhupada, and not the other way round as BVKS proposed in the previous article!

More contradictions

We saw in the last section that BVKS is so desperate to usurp Srila Prabhupada's position that he will propose any contradictory nonsense. BVKS's claim produced in the last section that "everyone requires a guru to understand Srila Prabhupada" raises another huge contradiction. BVKS and other disciples of Srila Prabhupada who joined ISKCON before Srila Prabhupada's departure did not accept another diksa guru in order to understand Srila Prabhupada's teachings. And, as BVKS admits, many of them were in exactly the same position as devotees today, in that they had no physical contact with Srila Prabhupada, and that such physical contact is not even necessary:

"Even though I saw very little of Srila Prabhupada, he effected a total change in every aspect of my life. [...] Spiritual relationships are not limited by material time and space. Some disciples of Srila Prabhupada never even saw him at all."
(BVKS, My Memories of Srila Prabhupada, 2003)

So their method for understanding Srila Prabhupada would have been simply through directly reading and hearing his teachings. Thus, it is a contradiction for BVKS to claim that it is not possible to understand Srila Prabhupada directly through reading and hearing his teachings without the need for another diksa guru, when this is the method that he and others used to understand Srila Prabhupada.

The actual method

BVKS goes on to say in the lecture:

"[...] Srila Prabhupada because it is his books that we read, that are the law books of the Krishna Consciousness movement, and should be of the whole world."

BVKS correctly states that Srila Prabhupada's books are the law books of the Krsna consciousness movement that everyone reads. The GBC also state:

"All members of ISKCON are entitled and encouraged to have a personal relationship with Srila Prabhupada through his books, teachings, service, and his ISKCON society."
(GBC Resolution 303, 2013)

Yet, this would make no sense if no one could understand these books apart from BVKS and a handful of his guru colleagues. Thus, BVKS himself immediately demolishes his proposal that "everyone requires a guru to understand Srila Prabhupada". Therefore, what both BVKS and the GBC are accepting is that it is possible for one to understand Srila Prabhu-pada by reading his books, i.e. one can understand Srila Prabhupada from himself.

And this is confirmed by Srila Prabhupada:

"In conjunction with this you should always read my books daily and all your questions will be answered and you will have a firm basis of Krishna Consciousness. In this way your life will be perfect."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 22/11/74)

"Every one of you must regularly read our books at least twice -- in the morning and evening, and automatically all questions will be answered."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 24/1/70)

"In my books the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is explained fully so if there is anything which you do not understand, then you simply have to read again and again. By reading daily the knowledge will be revealed to you and by this process your spiritual life will develop."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 22/11/74)


1) It is possible to understand Srila Prabhupada directly through Srila Prabhupada himself.
2) Thus, it is not a fact that he can only be understood through guru hoaxers such as BVKS.

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