The Diksa Guru and the Librarian


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 53, Autumn 2016

As will be shown, the facts regarding the roles being fulfilled today in ISKCON by Srila Prabhupada and his disciples are actually not in dispute. But one needs to act based on accepting, rather than denying, these undisputed facts. All the quotes in the shaded panels below are from the 2016 Vyasa-puja offering made to Srila Prabhupada by ISKCON GBC-elected diksa guru, HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami ("BVKS"). All emphases added.

The Librarian

"(I) am presently working on an overview of your stated plans for your great ISKCON mission. Assembling this book involves researching and classifying quotes from the huge corpus of your published instructions. It is a task that requires diligence rather than creativity, insightfulness, or writing virtuosity. This will probably be the most important literary undertaking of my life".

BVKS states that the "most important literary undertaking of my life" will involve him "researching and classifying the huge corpus" of Srila Prabhupada's work. A librarian may also "research and classify" the huge corpus of an author's work in order to organise and categorise it for a library. Consequently, BVKS accepts that this task requires "diligence" rather than any particular "writing" ability. Thus, the "most important literary" work of BVKS's life actually involves him acting more like a librarian than anything else – simply cataloguing and classifying someone else's work, i.e. that of Srila Prabhupada.

The Diksa Guru

Conversely, Srila Prabhu-pada teaches that the person supplying the very knowledge that BVKS is merely "classifying", which is himself, is the diksa guru:

"Diksa actually means initiating a disciple with transcendental knowledge by which he becomes freed from all material contamination."
(Cc., Madhya-lila, 4.111)

"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."
(Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 4.34)

This refers to the diksa guru, since the word-for-word synonyms for this verse translate the word "upadeksyanti" as "initiate", which is then rendered in the translation as "impart knowledge".

"The spiritual master initiates the disciple to deliver him".
(Cc., Madhya-lila, 1.218)

"The spiritual master is therefore worshiped as one who delivers the disciple from the mire of ignorance with the light of the torch of knowledge. [...] This side is conditioned life; the other side is the life of freedom. The spiritual master takes the disciple to the other side by opening his eyes with knowledge."
(SB, 3.25.8)

Copy and paste

Thus, the facts are that:

a) Srila Prabhupada, as the one who is imparting the transcendental knowledge, is acting as the diksa guru.

b) BVKS does not supply any knowledge himself, but is simply classifying the knowledge given by Srila Prabhupada.

Thus, when BVKS, or anyone else, copies and pastes the knowledge given by Srila Prabhupada, such "preaching" does not make them a diksa guru, any more than a librarian becomes an author simply by categorising the books of an author. At most, such copying and pasting of Srila Prabhupada's teachings means that one is teaching what Srila Prabhupada is teaching, thus acting as an instructing guru whilst Srila Prabhupada remains the initiating or diksa guru:

"The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am in the initiator guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing. This is not a title, but you must actually come to this platform. This I want."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 4/8/75)

And yet, BVKS as a GBC-elected diksa guru is claiming that he is situated as the diksa guru, even though his activities as a supposed diksa guru consist basically of such copy and paste "preaching". Thus, he is not doing anything that justifies him claiming to be a diksa guru. And amazingly, BVKS also claims that Srila Prabhupada – the person who is actually supplying the transcendental knowledge that BVKS is simply copying and pasting – ceases to be the diksa guru! Thus, the desire to be worshipped as good as God is so strong that one refuses to recognise what is right in front of one's nose. Srila Prabhupada is the source of all the knowledge that BVKS is merely categorising, and yet he concludes ‘Srila Prabhupada is not the diksa guru, I am!'


BVKS describes himself

"ISKCON has been hijacked by certain persons whose show of fidelity to you is a ploy to divert others from what you really want."

A perfect example of which is BVKS making a show of fidelity to Srila Prabhupada in the form of an offering, while having usurped Srila Prabhupada's position as ISKCON ‘s diksa guru.

"the administrative leadership of your ISKCON has been commandeered by persons who wish to redefine you and your mission. The situation is so abysmal that many devotees who perceive that ISKCON has palpably strayed from you feel powerless to help get the movement back on course."

Here BVKS echoes what many IRM supporters feel. Unfortunately, as one of the 70+ ‘good-as-God' ISKCON diksa gurus who have usurped Srila Prabhupada's position, BVKS is part of the group that has "commandeered" and deviated ISKCON's mission.

"Actually, already the deviations are not trivial and should be obvious to all – which leaves us wondering just how bad things will have to get."

Correct. To usurp Srila Prabhupada's position; to reduce the holy parampara to being such a joke that deviants can be members; to institutionalise the worship of persons ‘as good as God' regardless of their actual qualification, and so many other deviations supported by BVKS, are definitely not trivial.


Thus, there is no dispute over what BVKS and other ISKCON leaders actually do in relation to what Srila Prabhupada does. But, as many of the previous articles have demonstrated – ISKCON leaders are deliberately choosing to ignore even the most basic teachings of Srila Prabhupada regarding what a diksa guru is, for self-aggrandisement.

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