Guru Proponent Accepts IRM Arguments


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 64, Vol 4, 2019

The paper that accompanied the GBC's resolution on female diksa gurus presented a key quote from Srila Prabhupada to justify the resolution, and we will examine that quote here. All emphases added.

Men and women

The quote used by the GBC paper is:

"So I hope that all of you, men, women, boys and girls, become spiritual master, and follow this principle. Spiritual master, simply, sincerely, follow the principles and speak to the general public."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 22/8/73)

Thus, according to them, Srila Prabhupada:

a) Orders his disciples to become diksa gurus by saying "become spiritual master".
b) Mentions "women", thereby supposedly proving he is ordering both men and women equally to become diksa gurus.

However, we pointed out long ago that this claim is false since this quote only refers to becoming a vartma-pradarsaka or siksa guru:

"Therefore he must have been ordering siksa or vartma-pradarsaka gurus [...] Throughout the passage Srila Prabhupada constantly stresses how easy it is to be the type of guru he is ordering; how every one of his disciples can do it:
"And that is very easy. To become spiritual master is not very difficult thing. You'll have to become spiritual master. You, all my disciples, everyone should become spiritual master. It is not difficult.""
("Chakra's Army Fires Blanks", 16/1/98)

In this same paper from 1998, we also pointed out that the reference to "boys" when Srila Prabhupada says "men, women, boys and girls, become spiritual master" proves again that Srila Prabhupada is not talking about diksa gurus, but children, and the fact that there are no "child initiating acaryas" in ISKCON meant that even the GBC agreed.

Prominent guru supporter agrees

Basu Ghosh Dasa ("BGD") is the Temple President of ISKCON Baroda and a member of the ISKCON India Bureau, the legal entity that runs ISKCON in India. He is also a loyal supporter of the GBC guru hoaxers who have supposedly "succeeded" Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON's diksa gurus. However, he is an opponent of extending the guru franchise to women, and thus strongly opposes the GBC resolution discussed in the previous article. He has therefore borrowed in toto the IRM's arguments given above, to argue against the "men and women" quotation used by the GBC to support its resolution on female diksa gurus. Thus, in a posting made on 23/10/19 on social media, quoted in the shaded boxes below, BGD correctly states in regards to this quotation, the same as what we stated above:

"Srila Prabhupada is actually describing is the vartma-pradarsaka-guru, the guru who shows the way and also gives instruction. In the above quotation Srila Prabhupada indicates that one becomes a spiritual master by "speak to the general public" not by giving diksa."

Continuing, he also repeats the same point we made regarding "child gurus":

"Srila Prabhupada wrote that such gurus need only very little qualification; even a small child can be such a guru [...] According to the OED: "boy. A male child below the age of puberty." Hence by the juxtaposition of "men and boys" and "women and girls," we can conclude — according to the logic used by the SAC — that Srila Prabhupada wanted prepubescent children to become diksa-gurus. Of course, such a conclusion would be absurd. However, Srila Prabhupada did want all of his followers to be gurus in the sense of being preachers."

The "SAC" here refers to the Sastric Advisory Committee, an advisory group to the GBC, whose 2012 paper on female diksa gurus advised the GBC to allow female diksa gurus.

Defeats all gurus

BGD therefore correctly concludes:

"Hence, this pramana presented by SAC is of no use in supporting that a female can be a diksa-guru — that is, unless they contend that small children also should be allowed to be diksa-gurus."

However, that pramana (evidence) is also of no use in supporting that a male can be a diksa guru either.

The evidence put forward by persons such as BGD who claim that Srila Prabhupada did order male guru successors is usually one or all of the following:

1) The May 28th, 1977 conversation, in which Srila Prabhupada simply speaks of a "grand-disciple", "disciple of my disciple" and "regular guru" occurring only "when I order". However, no appointment or order for diksa gurus ever occurred — only rtviks were ever actually ordered. Thus, there is no diksa guru order in the May 28th, 1977 conversation.

2) A handful of private letters written in response to ambitious persons trying to become diksa guru successors even in Srila Prabhupada's physical presence. In these cases, in order to prevent this from happening, Srila Prabhupada simply tells them that they must at least wait until after his physical departure. Thus, these statements of principles regarding the time period when succession can take place are not orders for such succession to take place.

3) Quotations where Srila Prabhupada simply states the qualifications for one to be a guru, and how one can achieve such qualifications. But these statements of qualifications are not a succession order for anyone to actually go ahead and replace Srila Prabhupada as the diksa guru in ISKCON.

4) Srila Prabhupada ordering all his disciples, regardless of qualification, to "become guru" simply by preaching. In terms of actual orders from Srila Prabhupada where he authorised persons to actually go ahead and become guru, we are only left with these orders.

But these orders under 4) are the same orders that BGD has accepted as only being orders for general preachers or vartma-pradarsaka gurus (a type of instructing or siksa guru), rather than for diksa gurus.

Therefore, in his zeal to reject female diksa gurus, by using the same arguments as the IRM, BGD has ended up rejecting all successor diksa gurus, male and female.


By accepting the IRM's explanation — that Srila Prabhupada's order for all people including children to "become guru" by preaching, is an order for unlimited numbers of preachers or vartma-pradarsaka gurus rather than diksa successor gurus — opponents of female diksa gurus have successfully and correctly explained that Srila Prabhupada did not actually order any successor diksa gurus, period.


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