No Diksa Guru Order Means No Diksa Gurus


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 76, Vol. 1, 2023

n the article on page 5, we noted that we had previously documented how the GBC has concocted 10 different contradictory guru systems over the years. This has happened because there is no order from Srila Prabhupada to even have a successor guru system, period. And thus, this has meant that the GBC has had to concoct different systems due to this absence of a diksa guru order from Srila Prabhupada. They have concocted different systems varying from ‘only 11 men can be gurus' to ‘everyone including "grand-disciples" and females can also become gurus'. This morass of mass confusion and contradiction has been noticed by those in ISKCON, and it prompted the following question to be asked of GBC voted-in guru HH Sivarama Swami ("SRS"):

"Why didn't Srila Prabhupada give clear instructions and training on which of his disciples could become diksa gurus before his disappearance in '77?"

The question assumes that successor diksa gurus were ordered by Srila Prabhupada, and therefore asks why didn't he give "clear instructions" on who could become a successor diksa guru? All quotes in shaded boxes are from SRS's podcast dated 3/11/22 in which he attempted to answer this question.

The actual answer, of course, is obvious. Srila Prabhupada did not give "clear instructions and training" on who should succeed him because he did not order such succession to begin with!

We never asked

"we didn't get that kind of systematic training because we didn't systematically approach, and Prabhupada says, ‘You be guru, you be spiritual master', and we left it at that. We didn't say, ‘Well, Prabhupada can you please train us? Can you please tell us, what about this? What about that? How many disciples should we take? What is the position of guru in relationship to the institution? Who, is anybody over the guru? Is the guru under the local GBC or management structure?' So many questions that we could have asked"

Acknowledging that the basis of the question – that Srila Prabhupada did not give "clear instructions" regarding who could succeed him – is correct, SRS attempts to answer why this was the case, as the question had asked.

1) SRS claims that the reason is because Srila Prabhupada was not asked the relevant questions regarding guru succession and how it should have happened. But Srila Prabhupada gave clear teachings on all relevant subjects – that was his function, after all, as the Acarya of ISKCON – to set down exactly what he wanted to happen in ISKCON. He was not inert, waiting for the disciples to ask the correct questions, otherwise he would say nothing. Not only would this have been a ridiculous way to run a Society, but it was not what Srila Prabhupada did. Otherwise, it would mean that Srila Prabhupada was lazy:

"I need to give important instructions about guru-tattva – but I will only do it if I am asked – otherwise I won't bother!"

2) SRS also accepts that Srila Prabhupada only said "be guru" and nothing else. This proves that Srila Prabhupada was only talking about preacher gurus (instructing gurus). Because to be such a guru requires no further instruction, but to be a successor diksa guru specifically requires answers to the exact sort of questions SRS mentions that they did not ask. Hence, the fact that Srila Prabhupada did not give such information is proof it was because he was not ordering diksa gurus (and not because Srila Prabhupada was too "lazy" to provide such information – see point 1 above). Thus, Srila Prabhupada did not speak about how to "set up" successor diksa gurus because he did not want successor diksa gurus. Simple.

Makes up answers

"Prabhupada did give instructions here, there and even in '77. He gave quite a few instructions. He talked about when someone could become a guru, either on his order, in his physical presence, or in his physical absence, then that everybody could do it."

To try to make up for the fact that Srila Prabhupada gave no successor diksa guru orders, as admitted above, SRS resorts to lying.

1) He falsely claims that Srila Prabhupada stated that a person could become a diksa guru "in his physical presence". No such order exists. On the contrary, the very few times Srila Prabhupada spoke about diksa gurus in relation to his disciples was to warn them not to do it in his physical presence – that at the very least they would need to wait until he physically departed.

2) SRS also has another reason for stating this lie. Because he was the first to deviate from Srila Prabhupada's "law of disciplic succession", wherein Srila Prabhupada stated that one cannot be a diksa guru in their own guru's physical presence (Letter to Tusta Krsna Dasa, 2/12/75). In 2001, via a GBC Resolution, SRS's disciple HH Maha Visnu Goswami became a diksa guru, even though SRS was physically present.

Answers in the books

"Prabhupada did explain everything, and he explained everything in his books. So that if devotees really want to know what the qualification of a spiritual master is, how they should conduct themselves, what their responsibilities are, then if we study Srila Prabhupada's books then, and refer to other things that Prabhupada said, then we will get a pretty clear answer."

SRS also states that Srila Prabhupada did explain "everything in his books". However, Srila Prabhupada's books:

1) Never state that the bona fide spiritual master is a conditioned soul – see previous article. But, as we documented in last issue's article "The Jackass and Clown Show", SRS teaches the exact opposite: that a "good as God" diksa guru can actually even be a "clown".

2) Never even speak about Srila Prabhupada's disciples succeeding him as diksa gurus, never mind giving details regarding how such a guru program would be instituted practically. On the contrary, as we saw in the article on page 6, as confirmed by SRS's own GBC guru colleague HG Kripamoya Dasa, when Srila Prabhupada spoke about the spiritual master, "he was talking about the guru which is him".


Srila Prabhupada's lack of "clear instructions" regarding a successor diksa guru system for ISKCON is not a conundrum which needs to be solved. Such instructions do not exist precisely because Srila Prabhupada did not order a successor diksa guru system.

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