Proving Srila Prabhupada's Diksa Guru Status


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

n the BTP 72 article "Institutionalising Aeroplane-Tattva", we reported how the GBC had passed a resolution in 2021 allowing female diksa gurus ("FDGs") to initiate in ISKCON (subject to certain conditions). However, due to the vehement push back against this resolution by ISKCON India's leaders (see BTP 74 article "Diksa Guru Wars Come to a Head"), the GBC has now put a moratorium on this resolution, preventing any new FDGs from being appointed and any further initiations conducted by FDGs, for up to three years (GBC Resolution dated 2/11/22). (All emphases added.)

Flip-flops continued

This is thus the latest in the GBC's ever-growing line of flip-flops. We documented the GBC's "10 contradictory guru systems" back in BTP 64, but this now needs to be further updated! Just on the topic of FDGs, the GBC has so far engaged in the following flip-flops:

2005: Conclusion of Sastric Advisory Council's Female Diksa Guru Paper that females can be diksa gurus accepted by GBC, but implementation requiring "further consideration". See GBC Resolution 425, 2005.

2009: Females approved to become diksa guru, as per the GBC guidelines, with eligibility rules for men and women the same. See GBC Resolution 305, 2009.

2015: Females suspended from acting as diksa gurus. See GBC Resolution 310, 2015.

2019: Females with restricted eligibility compared to men allowed to be diksa gurus. See GBC Resolution 15/10/19.

2021: Females with restricted eligibility compared to men allowed to be diksa gurus, but only within regions that allow them. See GBC Resolution 701.06, 2021 (issued 2022).

August 2022: Only one female (HG Narayani Devi Dasi) allowed to act as diksa guru while all other females suspended for a period of 90 days. See GBC Resolution 8/22.

November 2022: All females suspended from becoming diksa guru or initiating for a period of up to 3 years. See the GBC Resolution dated 2/11/22.

Confirming the IRM's prediction that the GBC will simply operate based on "whoever manages to bring the most pressure to bear" (see BTP 70 article, "GBC Politics Case Study"), GBC voted-in guru HG Kalakantha Dasa ("KAL") commented that the GBC's reversal regarding FDGs was due to "nothing but political pressure" (KAL, Interview, 30/1/23).

It is also noteworthy that upon finally approving FDGs again in 2021, the GBC resolved that there was no need for any further meetings on the issue, because:

"Whereas the GBC delegation concluded that further meetings, or additional study of the matter, would not provide new insights"
(GBC Resolutions 2021, 701.06)

Yet, due to ISKCON India leaders' strong pressure, the GBC's most recent resolution claimed that actually they need up to three more years' worth of meetings, presumably to get new insight into the matter:

"the GBC Body is amenable to further consultation and deliberation with the IB [Indian Bureau] [...] the dialogue be concluded within three years from the date of this resolution"
(GBC Resolution, 2/11/22)

FDG's self-defeat

In response to the most recent FDG suspension, some female initiates of Srila Prabhupada, including the first female GBC voted-in guru HG Narayani Devi Dasi ("NDD"), have written an open letter. In this letter they state:

"Some devotees maintain that women may give siksha, or instruction, but not diksha. Yet, in his purport to CC Adi 1.34, Srila Prabhupada writes: "The initiating and instructing spiritual masters are equal and identical manifestations of Krsna, although they have different dealings." And, in his purport to Adi 1.47, His Divine Grace further clarifies: "If one foolishly discriminates between them, he commits an offense in the discharge of devotional service.""
("An Open Letter to The Present And Future ISKCON Devotees", 14/1/23)

They thus argue that since females are eligible to be siksa gurus, they must also be eligible to be diksa gurus, as one cannot discriminate between the siksa and diksa guru. Yet, this ‘siksa guru can also become diksa guru' argument would obviously also apply to Srila Prabhupada, with both the FDG and MDG (male diksa gurus only) camps agreeing with the GBC resolution that Srila Prabhupada will always be the pre-eminent, compulsory siksa guru for everyone in ISKCON:

"Srila Prabhupada, is the preeminent and compulsory siksa-guru for all vaisnavas (gurus and disciples) in the Society".
(GBC Resolution 409, 1999)

And thus, much earlier, the IRM had already used exactly the same argument – supplying the same quote (Adi, 1.47) used by the FDG camp above – to prove that one cannot prevent Srila Prabhupada from continuing to be the diksa guru in ISKCON, as one cannot discriminate against him in this way if he is already ISKCON's siksa guru (see BTP 46 article "Offensive Discrimination Against the Diksa Guru"). Therefore, the FDG camp borrowing this ‘siksa then also diksa' IRM argument now will not help them. Because, by accepting this argument, they must accept that it already also applies to Srila Prabhupada, thus rendering the need to apply it to themselves redundant. As then Srila Prabhupada alone is already ISKCON's diksa guru, meaning no successor female (or male) diksa gurus are even required!

Only Srila Prabhupada

There is an ironic symmetry at work here. We previously documented how the MDG camp also borrowed our arguments that Lord Caitanya's general "become guru" order for everyone in ISKCON, refers to becoming siksa guru rather than diksa guru – in order to claim that these quotes can't be authorising female diksa gurus. But, previously, this order had been used to try to justify the MDG program (see for example BTP 64 article "Guru Proponent Accepts IRM Arguments"). And, hence, using the IRM's argument to defeat FDGs had also led to self-defeat, since it had defeated MDGs as well!

Thus, borrowing our arguments to try to either establish or defeat FDGs has only proven that Srila Prabhupada is the diksa guru.


This is just the latest in a long line of attempts to argue against Srila Prabhupada remaining ISKCON's diksa guru – which actually achieve the exact opposite. Srila Prabhupada's position as ISKCON's diksa guru cannot be defeated, and trying to do so will just result in continued self-defeat and embarrassment.

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