Both Sides Defeated by the Same Quotes


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 64, Vol 4, 2019

In the previous article, the evidence the GBC put forward in their "female diksa guru" resolution paper ⁠— the "men and women" quote from Srila Prabhupada ⁠— was shown to actually be an order for preachers/vartma-pradarsaka gurus (instructing or basic siksa gurus). The GBC paper also provides 3 other quotes from Srila Prabhupada and we will review these below.

No succession order

After giving the "men and women" quote, the GBC paper gives the following quote.

"as far as Krsna consciousness is concerned, everyone is capable of becoming a spiritual master because knowledge in Krsna consciousness is on the platform of the spirit soul. (...) The word guru is equally applicable to the vartma-pradarsaka-guru, siksa-guru and diksa-guru. Unless we accept the principle enunciated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, this Krsna consciousness movement cannot spread all over the world".
(Cc., Madhya-lila, 8.128, purport)

1) In this same quote, the part that is missed out by the ellipsis "(...)", states:

"One who first gives information about spiritual life is called the vartma-pradarsaka-guru or spiritual master."

This supports the point made in the previous article, that whenever Srila Prabhupada speaks about one becoming a spiritual master by preaching, regardless of qualification, even a child, he is speaking of vartma-pradarsaka, and not diksa, gurus.

2) This quote only gives general principles regarding becoming a guru, which even apply to Srila Prabhupada himself. Therefore, regardless of whether or not women are intended to be covered by this quote, the quote does not actually authorise anyone, be they male or female, to take Srila Prabhupada's position as diksa guru. And, therefore, due to this lack of such a succession order, this quote is of no relevance to whether someone in ISKCON will become a diksa guru and take over Srila Prabhupada's position as ISKCON's diksa guru.

Refers to Srila Prabhupada

Next, the paper presents:

"Generally a spiritual master who constantly instructs a disciple in spiritual science becomes his initiating spiritual master later on. (...) Sri Jiva Gosvami advises that one not accept a spiritual master in terms of hereditary or customary social and ecclesiastical conventions. One should simply try to find a genuinely qualified spiritual master for actual advancement in spiritual understanding".
(Cc., Adi-lila, 1.35, purport)

1) The quote first states that:

"Generally a spiritual master who constantly instructs a disciple in spiritual science becomes his initiating spiritual master later on."

According to the GBC, that siksa guru who "constantly instructs a disciple in spiritual science" is Srila Prabhupada:

"ISKCON members shall be trained to place their faith, trust and allegiance first and foremost in the Founder-Acarya who is the pre-eminent siksa guru for every member of ISKCON."
(GBC Resolutions 1999, Law 406 (A), 7.1.1)

Since "pre-eminent siksa guru" means the siksa guru "above all others". Therefore, by the quote given in the GBC paper, Srila Prabhupada should become the initiating spiritual master, or diksa guru, for all ISKCON members.

2) This quote states that one should "find a genuinely qualified spiritual master". The quote does not state that Srila Prabhupada cannot be, or is not, such a qualified spiritual master. On the contrary, it states that one should not accept a spiritual master based on "customary" conventions. And, since Srila Prabhupada never taught that one must accept a physically present or "living" guru, to only accept such a "physically present" spiritual master would be an example of a "customary" convention, rather than a spiritual principle or teaching.

3) The quote gives no order for any person, man or woman, to succeed Srila Prabhupada's position as ISKCON's diksa guru. Rather, as just noted in point 1) above, it simply reinforces Srila Prabhupada's position as the diksa guru.

Vartma-pradarsaka guru

Finally, the GBC paper presents:

"simply repeat what is said by Krsna, then you become acarya. (...) 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. So there will be no scarcity of acarya, and people will understand Krsna consciousness very easily".
(Lecture on Cc., Adi-lila, 1.13, 6/4/75, Mayapur)

We have covered this quotation previously since it seems to be a "go to" quote for those who support the guru hoax, whether it is carried out by males or females. Suffice it to state that it is impossible for this quote to be referring to successor diksa gurus and, hence, whether it refers to women is not relevant:

a) As noted in the previous article, anyone who preaches by just repeating what is said by Krsna, even a child, is a vartma-pradarsaka guru, not a diksa guru. The part missed out in this quote by the GBC via ellipsis "(...)" also states "not difficult at all". Thus, Srila Prabhupada is not stating 10 million diksa gurus will arise by one preaching through "not difficult" repeating, but rather that such basic preachers are vartma-pradarsaka gurus.

b) Srila Prabhupada states "suppose you have got now ten thousand. We shall expand to [...] ten million". Thus, this statement can only refer to the expansion of what existed in 1975 when Srila Prabhupada made this statement. And there did not exist 10,000 diksa gurus at that time, and thus it cannot be referring to diksa gurus. But it can refer to vartma-pradarsaka gurus, since thousands of preachers did exist in ISKCON at that time.


Both sides in ISKCON, those who support and oppose female diksa gurus, use the same quotes to support the idea that Srila Prabhupada was to be replaced by diksa guru successors, with the argument being simply over whether or not these quotes also refer to women. However, it is an irrelevant fight, with both sides defeated because:

i) As this and the previous article showed, these quotes do not support diksa guru successors, whether male or female.
ii) Those opposing female diksa gurus defeat themselves, because their arguments that these quotes do not refer to female diksa gurus also apply to men!

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