Living Guru Desperation


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 48, Summer 2015

The guru hoax requires that the "living" (meaning physically present) guru myth is kept alive at all costs. For without it, Srila Prabhupada is accessible as the diksa guru for all ISKCON members, thereby eliminating the current ISKCON guru hoaxers. Hence, the "living guru" myth is essential as a "barrier" to keep Srila Prabhupada "out". However, we have also noted that there is no evidence or teaching from Srila Prabhupada supporting this myth, and plenty of counter-evidence. Given such a desperate situation, one option is always to just "make stuff up", and this is exactly what guru hoaxer HH Sivarama Swami ("SRS") does. The statements in the shaded boxes are from an SRS podcast on 20/5/15.

"Living" made up

Question: "Guru Maharaja, sastra says that someone who desires self-realization or advancement in spiritual life needs to accept a spiritual master and it's important that it's a living guru so that there can be personal relationship and guidance. But how does that work if someone has, let's say, 30,000 disciples?"
SRS: "That's a detail, or it's irrelevant. It's irrelevant because the
vidhi is that "upadeksyanti te jnanam", that you need to accept a living spiritual master, [...] And because Krishna makes these rules, therefore if we want to get the result of our devotional service, we have to do it Krishna's way, not our way."

SRS refers here to a line, "upadeksyanti te jn anam", from Bhagavad-gita, 4.34, and claims that this states that "you need to accept a living spiritual master". That this is the "vidhi" and "Krishna's way". However, neither this line, nor 4.34, state this. The word-for-word translation of "upadeksyanti te jnanam" is given as "initiate unto you knowledge", while the complete verse states:

"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth."

There is no mention here that you need to accept a living spiritual master. The verse states that we need to accept a spiritual master, but the "living" part is just made up by SRS.

Speaks of the disciple

Actually, once we consult the purport to this verse, it becomes clear that this verse is definitely not referring to a spiritual master who must be "living" (physically present). Srila Prabhupada states in the purport (emphases added):

"The Lord therefore advises us to approach a bona fide spiritual master in the line of disciplic succession from the Lord Himself. No one can be a bona fide spiritual master without following this principle of disciplic succession. The Lord is the original spiritual master, and a person in the disciplic succession can convey the message of the Lord as it is to his disciple."

Srila Prabhupada explains the verse refers to the interaction between the spiritual master and his disciple. The purport continues:

"Unless there is submission and service, inquiries from the learned spiritual master will not be effective. One must be able to pass the test of the spiritual master, and when he sees the genuine desire of the disciple, he automatically blesses the disciple with genuine spiritual understanding."

Again, it speaks of "submission and service" and "inquiries" being carried out by the "disciple". The purport continues:

"In this verse, both blind following and absurd inquiries are condemned. One should not only hear submissively from the spiritual master; but one must also get a clear understanding from him, in submission and service and inquiries. A bona fide spiritual master is by nature very kind toward the disciple."

Again, it refers to the hearing, submission and service and inquiries by the disciple.

"Living" not required

Hence, this verse, which refers to the interaction between a guru and a disciple, cannot be referring specifically to a spiritual master who is "living" (physically present), otherwise the process of:

"conveying the message of the Lord", "hearing, submission and service and inquiries"

would all have ceased for every disciple of Srila Prabhupada once he physically departed in 1977! Thus, SRS and every other Srila Prabhupada disciple would have performed no service, nor heard from, nor submitted to, nor had any message from Srila Prabhupada for the last 38 years! Yet, Srila Prabhupada has never taught that the guru-disciple relationship ends as soon as the spiritual master physically departs. Therefore, it is proven, both by the line SRS quotes, the verse this line is from, and the purport to the verse, that SRS has just made up that the "vidhi" is that "you need to accept a living spiritual master" and that this is "Krishna's way". No, it is SRS's lying, desperate made-up way.


Srila Prabhupada required

"The issue is, yes, generally speaking the person from who you get siksa, they're the person that you should be getting diksa from. That's, Prabhupada says that's the tradition, that's what makes sense."

As we noted in a previous article, the GBC has accepted that Srila Prabhupada is everyone's pre-eminent siksa guru in ISKCON:

"Srila Prabhupada is the preeminent and compulsory siksa-guru for all vaisnavas (gurus and disciples) in the Society".
(GBC Resolution 409, 1999)

This means that Srila Prabhupada is the person from whom one should receive siksa "above all others" (meaning of pre-eminent). And SRS agrees that this is the siksa guru from whom one should be getting diksa. And that this is what Srila Prabhupada teaches is the "tradition", and "what makes sense". So, according to SRS, we have a triple whammy of --
What Srila Prabhupada teaches;
What makes sense;
-- concluding that Srila Prabhupada should be the one from whom we should all take diksa. Therefore, SRS himself explains why we do not need to accept a spiritual master who is "living" (physically present). And thus, even SRS agrees that SRS just made this up!


A clear sign of an idea’s falseness is that one is forced to resort to just making things up! Otherwise one could present the evidence for the same. Such is the fate of the “living” (physically present) guru myth.

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