Misunderstanding or Plain Cheating?


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 53, Autumn 2016

In previous issues we have often mentioned the concept of the "cheaters and the cheated" while referring to ISKCON's guru hoax:

"the entire human society has become an assembly of cheaters and cheated."
(SB, 4.26.6)

However, it has been argued that although there may indeed be a guru hoax in ISKCON, its leaders are trying their best to sincerely serve Srila Prabhupada correctly, but are simply misguided, having just misunderstood what Srila Prabhupada wants. Thus, one cannot claim that they are deliberately trying to cheat. After all, one cannot know what is in their hearts, it is argued. However, since we can know what they do and say, we can investigate whether they have merely misunderstood or are actually cheating.

Understands correctly

When asked a question about the process for connecting with a diksa guru who is not physically present, GBC-elected ISKCON diksa guru HG Sankarshan Dasa ("SAD") answered:

"The connection with the spiritual master begins with hearing: hearing his lectures and reading his writings (a silent form of hearing). The next step is following his instructions. There are two ways in which the spiritual master is present:
1.) Vapuh: his physical form
2.) Vani: his vibrational presence (his teachings).
Of the two, vani is more important [...] So to connect with the spiritual master you must immerse yourself as deeply as possible in hearing his lectures, reading his writings, and following his instructions. This is the key. It is more important than personally meeting him."

(SAD, "Thought for the Day", 26/8/16)

The above answer is correct, as Srila Prabhupada taught this in regards to himself:

"So although a physical body is not present, the vibration should be accepted as the presence of the spiritual master, vibration. What we have heard from the spiritual master, that is living."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 13/1/69)

"The eternal bond between disciple and spiritual master begins from the first day he hears."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 4/9/72)

"These are not ordinary books. It is recorded chanting. Anyone who reads, he is hearing."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 19/10/74)

Self-serving concoction

Hence, we know for a fact that:

a) SAD does know the correct philosophy in regards to how one connects with the diksa guru, and that the guru does not need to be physically present in order to be able to connect to him.

b) SAD therefore knows that what he has said means that one can still connect with Srila Prabhupada, regardless of Srila Prabhupada's physical departure.

However, when it comes to giving an excuse as to why he must be accepted as guru rather than Srila Prabhupada, SAD concocts the opposite explanation:

"If we are to obey Krishna's instructions, we must be able to inquire from the spiritual (master) and hear the answers he gives us. To directly communicate in this way with a physically departed spiritual master is not possible for one is still under the influence of the material nature. [...] The guru therefore needs to be physically present to directly answer the questions of his disciples. [...] One does not need to be spiritually disadvantaged by the physical disappearance of a great spiritual master, such as ISKCON Founder-Acharya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, thinking that now there is no more opportunity for spiritual progress. All one has to do is find a sincere disciple of Srila Prabhupada and fully take shelter of him."
(SAD, ‘Is a Living Guru Required?', ‘Ultimate Self Realization')

SAD states that one must have a physically present diksa guru, i.e. someone such as himself, now that Srila Prabhupada has physically disappeared. Yet, in the answer given previously, SAD had correctly made it clear that "vani is more important", and the "key" is to "immerse" oneself in "hearing and reading" rather than "personally meeting" the guru. Which would mean that a "living", physically present guru is not essential.

Case study 2

Another example is HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami ("BVKS"). He recently stated:

"He's written to me about a disciple of Gaura Govinda Maharaja [...] Then, going on, ‘you need someone to explain Prabhupada because you can't understand him. You need a living guru to go back to Godhead'. Well, then his guru has already passed away so you can't go back to Godhead in that case. Is it? If he's a Gaura Govinda Maharaja disciple and he says you need a living guru, then his guru already passed away. So what's he going to do? You have to take initiation from a guru who's younger than you! Then you've got a better chance that he'll die after you. This is a funny philosophy."
(BVKS Podcast, "Do we need to have a Living Guru?", 20/10/16)

BVKS correctly exposes the foolishness of the "funny living guru" philosophy.

Yet, when it comes to promoting himself as a "living" guru substitute for Srila Prabhupada, he will state the opposite. For example, he gave a lecture devoted specifically to claiming that accepting Srila Prabhupada as the guru is wrong (and that instead one must accept a "living" guru such as BVKS), in which he offered desperate arguments such as this to justify the need for a "living" guru:

"You won't find in any sastra that you should turn your cellphone off before you come to a satsang. Who's gonna tell you? [...] For that you need a guru."
(BVKS Lecture, "A Reply to Ritvikism", 2/9/09)



Thus, the guru hoaxers who have usurped Srila Prabhupada's position know the correct philosophy. Indeed, they will even preach this philosophy if it is in relation to themselves or to try and defeat a competing guru. They therefore accept that Srila Prabhupada's physical disappearance is no bar to continuing to connect to him and accept him as the diksa guru. But when it comes to supporting the usurpation of Srila Prabhupada by themselves, they will concoct an opposite theory. Therefore, there is no ignorance or misunderstanding at play here. Rather, this is straightforward naked cheating, motivated by the desire to, as Srila Prabhupada stated, "kill my guru and I become guru" (Srila Prabhupada Conversation, 16/8/76).

Return to Bhakti Vikasa Swami Index

Return to Sankarshan Dasa Index

Return to IRM Homepage

Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!