Don't Forget Me!


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 69, Vol 2, 2021

Despite the fact that his "Founder-Acarya" course mentioned in the previous article is supposedly about Srila Prabhupada, GBC voted-in guru Suresvara Dasa ("SUD") also makes sure to teach about the supposed importance of GBC voted-in gurus, such as himself. All SUD quotes in this article are taken from the same source as in the previous article and highlighted in yellow. Emphases added.

Srila Prabhupada's teachings

SUD expresses his vehement opposition to Srila Prabhupada displacing his own position as a GBC voted-in guru by calling it "illegal" for Srila Prabhupada to do this:

"So there's no need to sentimentally, and by the way, illegally, appoint Srila Prabhupada as everyone's perpetual diksa guru."

Further, SUD claims that the idea that Srila Prabhupada is everyone's diksa guru is "sentimental fiction" and betrays "ignorance of Prabhupada's consistent teachings":

"I call this "Diksa Guru Forever Prabhupada". This sentimental fiction arose in the 1980s to counter zonal acaryas who were imitating the position of the Founder-Acarya, but to protest guru abuse by claiming the Founder-Acarya appointed himself as everyone's perpetual diksa guru betrays ignorance of Prabhupada's consistent teachings."

1) The IRM's foundational document, The Final Order (TFO), is accepted by SUD's fellow GBC voted-in gurus HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami and HH Jayadvaita Swami as the "Bible" for those who accept Srila Prabhupada as everyone's diksa guru. And the contents of TFO show that the conclusion that Srila Prabhupada is ISKCON's diksa guru "arose" only from Srila Prabhupada's statements.

2) We quoted SUD giving various evidences in the previous article that Srila Prabhupada's teachings show that Srila Prabhupada continues to act as everyone's diksa guru, and thus it is actually SUD who betrays ignorance of his own teachings!

The "law"

SUD quotes the following letter from Srila Prabhupada to Tusta Krsna Dasa, dated 2/12/75:

"Keep trained up very rigidly and then you are bona fide Guru, and you can accept disciples on the same principle. But as a matter of etiquette it is the custom that during the lifetime of your Spiritual master you bring the prospective disciples to him, and in his absence or disappearance you can accept disciples without any limitation. This is the law of disciplic succession."

And SUD states that this means:

"So that's a very key line there because Prabhupada, he would never tamper with laws"

Thus, SUD bases his claim – that it is "illegal" for Srila Prabhupada to continue to act as diksa guru for everyone – on this "law" mentioned by Srila Prabhupada in the above letter. However:

1) SUD's authority, the GBC, who are the only reason SUD is a GBC voted-in diksa guru himself in the first place, themselves do not believe in this "law", since they have allowed multiple people to become ISKCON gurus in their own ISKCON gurus' physical presence.

2) In any case, Srila Prabhupada only states that the "law" is the time period in which it is theoretically possible for one to become a successor diksa guru to Srila Prabhupada – i.e., after Srila Prabhupada's physical disappearance. That is, it states when this act can be done. However, by definition, Srila Prabhupada would still need to first renounce his position as ISKCON's diksa guru, otherwise there can be no application of this law of disciplic "succession" as there would be nothing to succeed. And Srila Prabhupada never did this. In addition, even if the "law" could be invoked after Srila Prabhupada's physical disappearance because Srila Prabhupada had renounced his position as ISKCON's diksa guru, possible successors would still need to both be qualified and authorised by Srila Prabhupada to take up such a role. And such authorisation never occurred because, as noted, Srila Prabhupada continued to remain ISKCON's diksa guru, rendering such authorisation unnecessary.

Promoting false zonal acaryas

SUD also quotes Tamala Krsna Goswami ("TKG")'s diary as proof that Srila Prabhupada wanted diksa guru successors:

"[Srila Prabhupada:] "Amongst the GBC, have you selected one after me who will succeed?" I [TKG] replied that we felt that we should manage together as a group, that none of us was more qualified than the others. [Srila Prabhupada:] "Yes, each of you can be acarya of your zone.""

And SUD comments on the underlined statement that Srila Prabhupada did order such "acaryas" of "zones":

"Acarya yes, but not the Founder-Acarya"

But TKG himself contradicted such a zonal acarya appointment, stating that:

"Myself and the other GBC have done the greatest disservice to this movement the last three years because we interpreted the appointment of ritviks as the appointment of gurus."
(TKG, Topanga Canyon Confessions, 3/12/80)

Bogus justification

SUD claims intermediary GBC voted-in gurus such as himself are needed to "deepen" our relationship with Srila Prabhupada:

"In ISKCON's multiple guru culture today we've come to realize that a prime duty of our initiating and instructing spiritual masters is to deepen, enhance and enrich our foundational relationship with Srila Prabhupada."

1) But we already quoted SUD proving in the previous article that there is no need for this, because we can have a ‘deeply intimate' relationship directly with Srila Prabhupada through reading his books.

2) And these GBC "diksa gurus" are simply telling us to read Srila Prabhupada's books, and one does not require to succeed Srila Prabhupada as a diksa guru in order to do this!


Thus, SUD tries to ensure that his position as a GBC voted-in successor to Srila Prabhupada is not threatened by Srila Prabhupada's position as ISKCON's Founder-Acarya.

As we mentioned in the last issue, BTP features two types of articles on ISKCON's leaders:

1) They accurately quote Srila Prabhupada's teachings, as in the previous article, and thus can't help but promote him as ISKCON's diksa guru, even if their goal is the opposite!

2) Or they misrepresent Srila Prabhupada's teachings.

So here we have one of each from the same GBC voted-in guru!

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