Inverting the Parampara


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 65, Vol 1, 2020

A most basic teaching of Krsna consciousness is the concept of the parampara or disciplic succession. If we do not even understand this, then it will not be possible to understand Krsna consciousness, as the parampara system is the basis by which we receive all knowledge about Krsna consciousness. All emphases below are added.

The parampara system

The parampara system means that we must understand and approach Krsna not directly, but through our own spiritual master in disciplic succession:

"This is parampara system. You cannot jump over. You must go through the parampara system. You have to approach through your spiritual master to the Gosvamis, and through the Gosvamis you will have to approach Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and through Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu you have to approach Krsna. This is the way."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 28/3/75)

This would mean, therefore, that in ISKCON, disciples of Srila Prabhupada will understand Krsna through their spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada.

HD's system

However, ISKCON guru HH Hridayananda Dasa Goswami ("HD") has inverted this most basic tenet of the parampara and claimed instead that he understands Srila Prabhupada through Krsna!:

"I understand Prabhupada in a way that does not contradict Bhagavad-gita. [...] I understand Prabhupada's words in a way that is compatible with Krsna's teachings. [...] So I'm sticking with Krsna."
(HD "Darshan", 15/9/19)

HD therefore states that he understands sastra (scripture) not through the parampara system by going through his guru Srila Prabhupada, but by independently reading it:

"I don't just understand sastra through Prabhupada in the sense that okay here he says this, here he says that. Prabhupada taught me the siddhanta of sastra. I know what the sastra's conclusions are and I know how to read sastra, I know Who Krsna is, I know what the soul is, [...] So yes, I do understand sastra."
(HD "Darshan", 15/9/19)

Thus, he has claimed to bypass the parampara system entirely, and instead understand sastra directly.

Correcting Srila Prabhupada

In the previous article ("Krsna's Causeless Mercy"), we covered how HD refuses to accept Srila Prabhupada's teachings on causeless mercy. Rather, HD believes that Srila Prabhupada is wrong and must be corrected based on what HD has 'directly understood' from Krsna. And thus, HD claims that Srila Prabhupada's teachings are in error, since if we believed them then it would mean that "Krsna is lying"!:

"So, however, that's not what Krsna teaches in the Gita. It's just not what Krsna teaches. [...] So if you believe that Krsna, in other words, if you believe that Krsna is lying, if you believe that Krsna is not telling the truth, He's not really equal to everyone, and therefore He just sometimes for no good reason just gives causeless mercy"
(HD "Darshan", 15/9/19)

'Just Prabhupada' evil

Not only does HD attempt to surpass Srila Prabhupada at every turn, he actually preaches that adhering to learning sastra only through Srila Prabhupada, as dictated by the parampara system, leads to "evil":

"So, because you know well you can't understand sastra without Prabhupada, so basically it's just Prabhupada. [...] when you start using this kind of language like we can't understand sastra then you are opening the door to all kinds of evil."
(HD "Darshan", 15/9/19)

Back to front

Thus, HD has everything back to front:

1) He claims he understands Krsna directly, rather than through Srila Prabhupada.
2) Hence, HD believes he does not need the parampara to understand Krsna. Rather, he states that Srila Prabhupada's understanding must be mediated through him!
3) Thus, he must correct Srila Prabhupada's understanding because Srila Prabhupada's teachings must match how HD has already understood Krsna.

Therefore, this is the ultimate jumping over: HD goes straight to Krsna, making the concept of the parampara useless.

Please see the diagram above, where we contrast the parampara system with HD's back to front system. Thus, according to HD's system, the parampara system is irrelevant.


Srila Prabhupada gives the following warning right after his statement about the parampara given at the outset of this article:

"The more you become servant of the servant, the more you are perfect. And if you all of a sudden want to become master, then you go to hell. That's all. Don't do that."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 28/3/75)

Not only has HD usurped Srila Prabhupada's position as "master" by usurping Srila Prabhupada's position as ISKCON's diksa guru, but he now also believes that he does not need Srila Prabhupada to understand Krsna, and that, rather, Srila Prabhupada would need him to understand Krsna!

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