Guru Ambition Causes Vision Impairment


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 62, Vol 2, 2019

In a lecture given on 25/2/19 ("Expanding the Guru Network" – archived May 2019), ISKCON GBC-elected guru Kalakantha Dasa ("KAL") argues that Srila Prabhupada wanted all of his disciples to become acaryas and succeed him as the initiating Acarya of ISKCON. However, his arguments are all based on his inability to simply read what Srila Prabhupada actually states. Statements from KAL are highlighted in the shaded boxes below. All emphases added.

10 million successor acaryas

"the role of Acarya is just so inflated, even today, that most devotees think, ‘I could never do that.' But that was not what Prabhu­pada wanted [...] that's why I wrote this poem, ‘cause I really want to make this point. Prabhu­pada wanted everyone to take this service. And we don't have to have thousands of disciples. If we have that capacity, wonderful".

KAL claims that Srila Prabhupada wanted all of us to become acaryas who may have many disciples and thus succeed Srila Prabhupada as the diksa (initiating) guru of ISKCON. He states above that he wrote a poem which gives Srila Prabhupada's order for these successor acaryas – an order that he claims was given in 1975 in Mayapur:

"So, in 1975 I was fortunate to be in Mayapur where Srila Prabhupada was giving a morning class [...] I've written about this in a Vyasa-puja offering poem. [...]
Ten thousand worldwide more or less
When you become
acaryas then
You'll multiply yourself by ten
One hundred thousand soon shall be
One million
acaryas you'll see
A million then will soon expand
To ten million, that is my plan".

Srila Prabhupada's actual words

KAL stated that this order from 1975 in Mayapur referred to expanding from "ten thousand" to "ten million". This is the quote:

"Suppose you have got now ten thousand. We shall expand to hundred thousand. That is required. Then hundred thousand to million, and million to ten million."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Mayapur, 6/4/75)

However, Srila Prabhupada states that the ten million would be an expansion of the "ten thousand" which existed at the time. That "ten thousand" was, as KAL himself admits, the number of Srila Prabhupada's initiated disciples:

"at that time Prabhupada had about ten thousand, he estimated, ten thousand disciples".

Therefore, Srila Prabhupada is speaking literally about expanding the number of his initiated disciples. And he definitely could not have been speaking about expanding the number of successor diksa gurus, because none of them existed at the time, and you cannot expand that which does not exist! Hence, rather than this being evidence for making 10 million successor diksa gurus who may have thousands of their own disciples, this is evidence for expanding the number of Srila Prabhupada's own disciples. Thus, KAL argues for a conclusion that is the opposite of Srila Prabhupada's actual words!

Leaves the family

KAL also claims the following as evidence for these supposed successor diksa guru acaryas:

"So, what is the natural outcome of a person who lives as a good brahmacari, enters into grhastha life, lives as a responsible grhastha, giving as much as possible in Krsna's service, and then has a family, raises a family for Krsna, leaves the family at the appropriate time? [...] Living the whole life in Krsna Consciousness? [...] What is the order of Caitanya Mahaprabhu? Yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krsna'-upadesa amara ajnaya guru hana tara' ei desa. So, one who follows the Acarya becomes an acarya, that is the natural progression of things."

KAL argues that, for one who has spent his whole life in Krsna consciousness as a proper brahmacari and grhastha, and then "leaves the family at the appropriate time", the "natural progression" is that he will become an acarya – which, as we saw earlier, KAL defines as a successor diksa guru. The "evidence" he quotes is the following:

"yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krsna'-upadesa
amara ajnaya guru hana tara' ei desa

"Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Sri Krsna as they are given in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land."

(Cc., Madhya-lila, 7.128)

More opposite preaching

But this verse does not refer to someone who has spent his whole life in Krsna consciousness as a proper brahmacari and grhastha, and then "leaves the family at the appropriate time", to engage in a "progression" to become something else. It states the exact opposite – instead referring to regular congregational-type beginners, who should remain at home with their family and stay in their full-time non-devotional jobs and become purified by chanting:

"The brahmana begged Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, "My dear Lord, kindly show me favor and let me go with You." [...] Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied, "Don't speak like that again. Better to remain at home and chant the holy name of Krsna always. It is not advisable in this age of Kali to leave one's family suddenly, for people are not trained as proper brahmacaris and grhasthas. [...] It would be better to remain with his family [...] In the next verse Caitanya Mahaprabhu advises everyone to become an ideal householder [...] people throughout the world should take advantage of this movement and chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra at home with their families. [...] one should stay at home, chant the Hare Krsna mantra [...] One may remain a householder, a medical practitioner, an engineer or whatever. [...] One has to become purified at home by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra".
(Cc., Madhya-lila, 7.126-30)

Thus, as before, KAL states the opposite of what Srila Prabhupada actually stated!


The urge to be unauthorisedly worshipped as a "good as God" diksa guru is so strong that it goes beyond simply blinding one to reality. It actually makes one see the opposite of what is there!

"As soon as personal motivation comes in it is not possible for one to understand our Krishna Consciousness philosophy."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 21/9/70)

Return to Kalakantha Dasa Index

Return to "Succession" 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!