The Origin of the GBC Guru System


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 70, Vol 3, 2021

In the previous two articles ("Rtviks Reveal How They Became Gurus" and "Verifying the Guru Claim"), we showed how the guru system in ISKCON was born via the rtvik system – that was authorised by Srila Prabhupada – unauthorisedly being turned into a diksa guru system. These rtvik-cum-diksa gurus established the guru hoax in ISKCON in 1978, and in 1986 it was officially expanded into the GBC guru system we have now with the following GBC resolution:

"... any GBC can present a diksa guru candidate before the GBC body [...] and upon majority approval of the body, he may take up the responsibilities of an initiating guru in ISKCON."
(GBC Resolution No. 3, 30/3/86)

Thus, due to this "majority approval" voting system, from the initial 11 "rtvik-diksa gurus", ISKCON has been able to expand to having more than 80 diksa gurus today, with more being added all the time. All emphases below added.

No authority

Yet, just as there was no order from Srila Prabhupada for the 11 rtviks to transform into diksa gurus, there was no authority given by Srila Prabhupada for the GBC to authorise more successor diksa gurus either. Yes, the GBC can maintain and expand what Srila Prabhupada has given in ISKCON, due to their "ultimate managing authority" to manage everything in ISKCON. But they cannot create something new. They can no more create successor diksa gurus, than create kundalini yoga gurus whom everyone in ISKCON must accept, because neither entity already existed in ISKCON, and thus was not given by Srila Prabhupada for the GBC to manage. Otherwise, the GBC would supposedly have the absolute power to create anything at all that they desired. Nor has the GBC ever presented any orders from Srila Prabhupada for how it is empowered to create successor diksa gurus. Thus, we know for a fact that the GBC guru system was not authorised or created by Srila Prabhupada.

In terms of what did happen instead, ISKCON guru hoax founder HH Hridayananda Dasa Goswami ("HD") explains how this new GBC guru-by-vote system emerged. Having already 'unwittingly' helped expose the rtvik-cum-diksa guru hoax in the article on pages 6-7, HD continues his "history" lesson by explaining that this official expansion of the guru hoax in 1986 was also unauthorised! Quotes in shaded boxes are from the same HD 7/8/21 interview quoted in the article on pages 6-7.


"big gurus fell down and it all led to a reform movement, [...] then the reform movement was taken over by a different set of people who were not so gentlemanly and were just explicitly political and almost all of whom had very unfortunate fall downs."

HD states that the "reform" movement, which led to the guru expansion and the GBC guru system we have today, was driven by two factors:

a) The fact that some of the 11 rtviks who had become diksa gurus had "fallen down";
b) Reform leaders who were political.

The first reason is ironic in that some ISKCON leaders have claimed, as we have quoted in previous BTP issues, that it was "rtvikism", or people who follow the position of the IRM, that was created solely as a reaction to gurus having "fallen down". Whereas, HD admits that it was the current GBC guru system that was created as a reaction to this. Whilst the position of the IRM was created solely due to Srila Prabhupada's orders, as we have documented.


As part of this "reform movement", HD explains that a "50-man committee" was authorised by the GBC. The committee:

"studied all the gurus in ISKCON, and they were going to vote that this person should continue as a guru or should not continue based on the level of their sins or offenses or bad judgments or whatever."

HD explains how this ‘review' procedure was specifically only applied to the original 11 rtvik-cum-diksa gurus such as himself, to decide whether or not they should still continue to act as "good as God" diksa gurus. He describes this procedure as:

"stupid [...] procedurally flawed, like in the sense of egregious injustice."

Of course, Srila Prabhupada would also agree it was stupid and flawed, for a different reason – because he taught that a bona fide guru does not commit "sins or offenses or bad judgments or whatever" in the first place!:

"a guru cannot be bad, for if someone is bad, he cannot be a guru."
(The Science of Self-Realization, '2b: Separating the Saints from the Swindlers')

And, hence, there should be no question of such flawed gurus, who needed to be reviewed, existing in the first place!

Lies & corruption

HD states that "quite a number" of the 11 rtvik-cum-diksa gurus lied during the interrogations that the 50-man committee conducted with them, so that they could ‘pass' the review and hold on to their positions as gurus:

"there were quite a number of gurus [...] who basically and frankly very insincerely just told the group whatever they wanted to hear. So they passed [...] made a show of humility [...] kind of lying to them worked."

However, HD explains that there were some gurus, such as himself, who did not pass the committee's review, and were rejected. But this made no difference, since:

"Harikesa Swami [...] threatened the committee and told them like, ‘don't mess with me', and the committee realized that this is dangerous so they sort of backed off and decided not to reject anyone. So threatening them worked, and kind of lying to them worked."

Thus, HD states that the committee abandoned whatever principles they had espoused to justify conducting the review in the first place, simply due to a threat from one of the gurus. Thus, the so-called "guru reform" was driven by politics and pressure.


There are no orders from Srila Prabhupada which authorised the current GBC guru system in ISKCON. Indeed, there cannot be such authorisation, because, in any case, the system is just an expansion of the original rtvik-cum-diksa guru system, which itself was not authorised by Srila Prabhupada. Which means that Srila Prabhupada was to remain the diksa guru of ISKCON and there were not to be any successor diksa gurus – period! Rather, the GBC guru system emerged in an atmosphere of political manoeuvring. And one of the guru hoax founders has testified to this!

Return to Hridayananda Dasa Goswami Index

Return to "The Great Guru Hoax, Parts 1 & 2" Index

Return to IRM Homepage


Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!