ISKCON India Follows the IRM’s Lead


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 72, Vol 1, 2022

In many of our previous issues we have directly examined the specific objections presented by ISKCON India to the GBC's proposal to introduce female diksa gurus ("FDG"). ISKCON India's leaders have now produced a resolution which derives from the conclusions that we presented when examining their objections to FDG. The quotes in shaded boxes are from a resolution drafted by the Bureau (the body that controls ISKCON India) on 6/1/22, which was then shared by the GBC Executive Committee. All emphases added.

GBC guru system unclear

"Whereas, the diksha guru system the GBC body has currently in place is not clear on many fronts, such as [...] the qualifications of the diksha guru [...] the GBC installed guru system needs full clarification [...] it makes no good sense to extend the present unclear male diksha guru (MDG) system to include FDGs [...] clarity on the generic diksha guru issue will also naturally bring clarity to the FDG issue [...] the Bureau is desirous to also approach the issue from the perspective of the unclear male Diksha guru system"

Thus, ISKCON India's leaders agree that:

1) The GBC's guru system is unclear, including basic matters such as the qualifications of a diksa guru;
2) They thus now suddenly wish to re-examine the GBC's regular male diksa guru ("MDG") system, which until now they have enthusiastically supported! An examination prompted by the fact that FDG have been introduced by the GBC.

These points derive from the many BTP articles proving continually that ISKCON India's opposition to FDG while promoting MDG is untenable – for example:

a) In the BTP 64 article "Both Sides Defeated by the Same Quotes", we showed that the parties on both sides of the FDG argument are completely unclear on what guru system Srila Prabhupada ordered, as the same quotes used by both sides to support successor diksa gurus to Srila Prabhupada defeat MDG and FDG!

b) In the BTP 64 article "Guru Proponent Accepts IRM Arguments", we showed that, in opposing FDG, ISKCON India leader Basu Ghosh Dasa had to accept the IRM's argument that the quotes commonly put forward to authorise male successor diksa gurus are not actually evidence for diksa guru successors at all.

c) In the BTP 64 article "The GBC's 10 Contradictory Guru Systems" we showed that the GBC's FDG proposal puts forward the nonsensical idea that FDG must be subject to certain qualifications that MDG are not.

d) In the BTP 67 article "ISKCON GBC Guru Condemns Guru System", we showed how the qualification for MDG needs to be the same as that demanded of FDG.

And so on. Hence, ISKCON India is simply finally "catching up" to the IRM!

Stop all GBC gurus!

"it is not clear whether there is any common core understanding [...] with respect to the diksha guru system [...] the Bureau expects the above initial study to take a maximum of one year [...] The Bureau also resolves to call, for this period, a moratorium on FDGs and approving all new gurus, male or female. The India Bureau hereby calls upon the GBC body to likewise call a moratorium on FDGs, and approving of any new gurus, male or female [...] the moratorium on the FDGs shall continue until a full resolution of the diksha guru system."

The IRM's position has also always been that no diksa gurus should be created because the GBC has not fully understood Srila Prabhupada's instructions on the matter. And, following on from the part of the resolution quoted in the previous section, ISKCON India continues that since after over four decades there is still complete confusion over the GBC's diksa guru system, unless and until the matter can be clarified, no new GBC initiating gurus, either male or female, should be approved.

We can note, however, that ISKCON India's position does not go far enough. They state that not creating diksa gurus is justified because the current GBC diksa guru system which would create them is unclear and thus this confusion needs to be fully resolved first. However, by this same logic, all current diksa gurus should also step down or be suspended until the issue is fully resolved, since they were created by this very same "unclear" and unresolved GBC guru system. Thus, if they can remain diksa gurus, then on the same basis, new ones could also be made. Hence, by their own logic, ISKCON India should demand that all diksa gurus be suspended until the issue is fully resolved. Otherwise, it will appear that ISKCON India's stance is hypocritical and self-serving rather than philosophical, contrived only to try to stop FDG.

Reject GBC

The India Continental Committee ("ICC") (another body composed of ISKCON India's leaders) stated in its own resolutions:

"the current introduction of Female Diksha Gurus is [...] deviant and a misrepresentation of Srila Prabhupada's teachings [...] Indian Leaders will not support having parallel standards on such an important issue as initiation [...] Therefore, it is resolved that: Until the GBC resolution on FDG is withdrawn by the GBC body, the ICC will not accept the GBC as authority and will protest with non co-operation."

The IRM's position has always been from the very beginning that we cannot follow the current GBC as an authority whilst it is deviating and misrepresenting Srila Prabhupada's teachings in regards to successor diksa gurus. For example, in 1998, we wrote that the GBC cannot be followed unless: "the GBC is following Srila Prabhupada." ("Chakra Torpedoes Main GBC Evidence!")

Now, we see ISKCON India's leaders finally copying us on this as well, for, in addition to calling for a moratorium on all further diksa gurus, they have also rejected the GBC for the very same reason as us: authorising successor diksa gurus that they say were not authorised by Srila Prabhupada! One can also note the hypocrisy, for when the IRM does this, the same ISKCON leaders have supported us being banned and attacked because we are not accepting the "authority" of the GBC.


As we saw in the previous article, ISKCON India leaders are reading BTP. And here, we can observe the influence on them that it has, as we showed them the flaw in their opposing FDG without also opposing MDG. And thus, they are now forced to accept that they need to first attempt to present a diksa guru system in which MDG can also be justified.

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