Guru Defeats Himself Using “Sastra”


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 73, Vol. 2, 2022

We expose how the desire to have the power to decide when Srila Prabhupada is speaking truthfully and when he is supposedly not has led to being trapped by one's own arguments. This has resulted in a GBC guru needing to accept that he can be rejected as an authorised guru! All emphases added.

Only "sastra" counts

We have previously documented GBC guru HH Hridayananda Dasa Goswami ("HD") boasting that he is such a strict follower of "sastra" (scripture) that he will not even accept Srila Prabhupada's instructions as being absolute unless these instructions are in line with his understanding of sastra. Thus, he states:

"Prabhupada is speaking absolutely and infallibly when, in fact, he is quoting scriptures."
(HD Ustream Lecture,

"Guru is not infallible when not repeating Shastra."
(HD, "Q&A Srila Acharyadeva", 5/6/13)

Hence, HD claims that Srila Prabhupada's instructions can be accepted as being the absolute truth when they are directly from sastra. Thus, for example, he has stated that he doubts that the pastime involving the disrobing of Draupadi is true, even though Srila Prabhupada states in his Srimad-Bhagavatam purports that it is. Because HD claims that he has not located this pastime in "sastra". And, as quoted above, he claims that Srila Prabhupada only needs to be accepted as speaking the truth if he is directly quoting sastra (see BTP 40, "The Truth About Guru, Sadhu and Sastra"). Thus, HD can reject any statement from Srila Prabhupada's purports and books unless HD considers that these statements are directly repeating sastra, since he "understands" sastra:

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

Management committee guru

As we showed in the BTP 70 article "Rtviks Reveal How They Became Gurus", HD revealed that his authorisation to become a diksa guru successor to Srila Prabhupada arose as follows:

"I didn't declare myself to be a guru, the GBC using their ultimate managing authority, authorized me to do that. [...] So, whatever you think Prabhupada said, the GBC had the authority given by Prabhupada to continue normal Vedic culture."
(HD Interview, 12/6/21)

HD therefore makes it clear that:

1) His authority to become a diksa guru came from the GBC.
2) Indeed, he emphasises that what "Prabhupada said" in regard to who became guru is not relevant, since the GBC already supposedly had the power from Srila Prabhupada to "continue normal Vedic culture", and this allows them to make diksa gurus.

Not sastric guru

1) However, the GBC's Sastric Advisory Council stated regarding the system of the GBC authorising diksa gurus that –

"Our present system has institutionalized a process of senior devotees voting or offering no-objection to prospective gurus. But we do not find that this institutionalized blessing-seeking process is mentioned by guru, sadhu or sastra as the way that one is authorized to become a guru."
("Balancing the roles of the GBC and the disciple in Guru selection", Sastric Advisory Council)

– i.e. the idea that a management body can authorise one to become a diksa guru is not authorised by sastra. Thus, the GBC, the very body from whom HD has admitted he derived his authority to become a diksa guru, is itself stating, via its advisory body, whom it has not rejected regarding this point, that their creating diksa gurus is not sastric. Nor has HD, nor anyone else, produced the injunction in sastra which states that:

"A management body can authorise diksa gurus."

Therefore, neither the GBC, nor HD, have "quoted" or "repeated" any scriptures to justify the GBC making gurus, as HD demands of Srila Prabhupada. Hence, becoming a diksa guru via the authority of a management committee, as HD did, is not authorised by sastra according to the GBC and HD.

2) Thus, according to the GBC's own advisors, a management committee making diksa gurus cannot be "normal Vedic culture", as such a thing is not even mentioned by guru, sadhu or sastra, never mind mentioned as either being normal or Vedic. Therefore, the GBC acting to "continue normal Vedic culture" by making diksa gurus would itself be an act that is not "normal Vedic culture", and thus be self-contradictory, according to the GBC.

More importantly, in reality, Srila Prabhupada never authorised the GBC to make successor diksa gurus anyway. He made the GBC the "ultimate managing authority", which means the GBC only had the authority to execute Srila Prabhupada's instructions:

"The GBC has no other function or purpose other than to execute the instructions so kindly given by His Divine Grace"
(GBC Resolution 1, 1975)

And Srila Prabhupada did not give any instructions:

a) For successor diksa gurus;
b) Or for the GBC to create diksa gurus.

I can be rejected as a guru

The authority from which HD derives his guru position, the GBC, has accepted that this guru position is supposedly not sastric. Thus, HD must accept the GBC's conclusion that his guru position is not authorised by sastra. HD claims his "sastra" philosophy gives him the right to reject Srila Prabhupada's instructions if they are not directly repeated from sastra, as he claims Srila Prabhupada's instructions are absolute only when quoting sastra. Therefore, by this same teaching of his, HD must accept that his guru position is also not absolute. Thus, by applying HD's own teachings to his own conduct, HD must also accept that it is bona fide for him to also be rejected as a guru!

Further, according to HD's teachings, as the GBC has authorised every guru in ISKCON, then actually every guru in ISKCON can be similarly rejected as being unauthorised. And any other GBC guru who accepts that HD is bona fide, must also accept this conclusion of HD's teachings that they and every other GBC guru can be rejected as being unauthorised.


HD's use of "sastra" to reject Srila Prabhupada's teachings can be used to reject him, and every guru in ISKCON, as being unauthorised diksa gurus!

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