Follow Orders, Not Your Impression


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 66, Vol 2, 2020, Interactive

The letter below was sent to us by Badarayana Dasa from Oregon, USA, and our response is interspersed between his statements below:

"I'm split between ISKCON and IRM. In no way at present do I disrespect either camp. I've always been under the impression that the parampara system is a continuation of guru and disciple, then disciple becomes guru and initiates on behalf of his guru and so on."

We have to follow exactly what Srila Prabhupada ordered for ISKCON.

1) He established himself as the Acarya for ISKCON.

2) He never replaced himself with a successor Acarya.

3) As the Acarya of ISKCON, he was automatically the sole diksa guru for ISKCON.

4) Srila Prabhupada never stated he would become a different kind of Acarya as soon as he physically departed. Rather, he stated he would always be the Acarya of ISKCON, same as he was when he established himself as such for ISKCON in 1966. Thus, his function as the Acarya of ISKCON, does not, and cannot, change.

"I'm under the impression that if you or I were to be initiated we would be initiated by Srila Prabhupada's initiated disciple. Yes, that disciple is not a pure devotee, nor is he on the level of Srila Prabhupada, but he is an acting spiritual master initiating on behalf of his guru. You can't just come to ISKCON and profess that I'm a Prabhupada disciple. You have to go through his disciple, and that's your link to Prabhupada. You can't step over to get to Prabhupada."

See answer given above. But we would be stepping over Srila Prabhupada as the Acarya of ISKCON, by replacing him with a successor diksa guru. We need to follow Srila Prabhupada's orders rather than go by our "impression". Every devotee in ISKCON may have their own different "impressions" – but Srila Prabhupada's order is one.

"One part of me believes Prabhupada has left, departed personally. But another part of me believes that he's here in his instructions. He reasons ill to tell the Vaisnava dies when thou art in sound. For all the Prabhupada disciples that actually met Srila Prabhupada and took initiation from him, that's not only amazing but it's an extremely rare event. To be initiated by a pure devotee. Uttama Adhikari. Saktyavesa avatara. WOW."

You say it is an "extremely rare event" to be initiated by an "Uttama Adhikari". But Srila Prabhupada states that this is the standard:

"One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari. [...] Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master."
(Nectar of Instruction, Verse 5, purport)

"Out of respect for Prabhupada's disciples, I must serve them and have them as my acting mentor guru so that I can help them serve their spiritual master. In the army that's called chain of command. So whether I join ISKCON or IRM, I must take the humble position and serve these advanced devotees. Now the only thing I don't like in ISKCON is persons sitting on Vyasasanas, and all the pomp. It's kind of a distraction and who are they kidding, anyway not for me to judge."

1) If as you say they are "kidding" and pretending to be something they are not, which is successor diksa gurus, then they are hardly "advanced devotees". Rather, they would be fraudsters.

2) The chain of command in ISKCON does not included unauthorised fraudsters who have usurped Srila Prabhupada's position. And there is no evidence that Srila Prabhupada ordered that he would:

a) Stop acting as ISKCON's Acarya and diksa guru;
b) Be replaced with either named disciples, or anyone the GBC votes in.

"But Krsna knows. I guess all that matters is one's own sadhana. Don't worry what everyone is doing."

You state that since only one's sadhana matters, therefore "Don't worry what everyone is doing". But you yourself have done just that, by stating above: "You can't just come to ISKCON and profess that I'm a Prabhupada disciple."

"Just try to please Krsna. Please Krsna by serving his devotees."

But in order to serve Krsna's devotees, we would need to know what their true position is. If we serve persons who have usurped Srila Prabhupada's position then we would not be serving Srila Prabhupada but actually doing Srila Prabhupada a great disservice.


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