Srila Prabhupada Is the Initiator


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 77, 2023, Interactive

"Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. I came in contact with Krsna consciousness around 1970. I've read all of Srila Prabhupada's books, large and small. I am 76 years old. I was initiated in 2015 BUT NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT THE GURU ISSUE. About one year after I was initiated, I got on Facebook. It was then that I began to find out about the guru issue. Every time I posted something I would also put up a picture of my spiritual master (Guru Prasad Swami). I started to get comments about my guru from many devotees. For about two years, I defended my guru, but I admitted that I knew nothing about this guru issue. During those two years, I received much information to help me discern the truth about this guru issue, such as Back To Prabhupada, and the IRM website. For the past three years, I have been studying all this information and have come to the conclusion that Srila Prabhupada's final order was not followed. And therefore, ISKCON is gradually crumbling. It does not seem like Srila Prabhupada's movement anymore.
I told my guru that what Srila Prabhupada wanted when he was no longer present, was to have all those who were initiated listed in his book of disciples, as Srila Prabhupada's disciples. So, I was accepting Srila Prabhupada as my Spiritual Master. I have come to understand that diksa is the Transference of Transcendental Knowledge, not the formal "Fire Sacrifice." For 45 years BEFORE I was initiated, all I had guiding me was Srila Prabhupada's books, which I read every day. Therefore, when I was initiated, I was already following all the principles. So, it was Srila Prabhupada who transferred transcendental knowledge to me, this is diksa, not the formal "fire sacrifice" given by Guru Prasad Swami. Therefore, I feel justified stating I accept Srila Prabhupada as my spiritual master. Guru Prasad Swami has not responded to my acceptance of Srila Prabhupada as my spiritual master.
Now, my question to you is, what do I say if he says NO, I can't do that? I am not one who believes in second initiations. But I would be interested in your response because you seem to be a very knowledgeable person. I do my sadhana [spiritual practices – Ed.] every day, and I love Krsna. But I don't know anyone else who has gone through a similar situation as mine that I can learn from.
So here I am at your lotus feet begging for your help, whatever advice you can give me... thank you."
– Jagat Guru Dasa, Texas, USA

Editor replies:

1) Actually there are many persons who have written to us sharing the fact that they are in the same situation as you. After discovering the truth about Srila Prabhupada and his teachings, they have rejected their GBC guru and only accepted Srila Prabhupada as their guru. If your ex-GBC guru does not accept your correct decision, you need not worry as Lord Krsna and Srila Prabhupada are with you.

2) You are absolutely correct that the fire sacrifice is not diksa. Indeed, in the July 9th, 1977 directive, wherein Srila Prabhupada set out the procedure for initiations in ISKCON, we may note the following statement:

"The newly initiated devotees are disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, the above eleven senior devotees acting as His representative. After the Temple President receives a letter from these representatives giving the spiritual name or the thread, he can perform the fire yajna in the temple"
(July 9th, 1977, Directive, all emphases in article added)

Thus, the fire yajna takes place after receiving notification regarding the "newly initiated devotees", i.e. after the initiation is already completed!

3) Yes, receiving transcendental knowledge from Srila Prabhupada by which one is liberated is what constitutes diksa:

"Diksa actually means initiating a disciple with transcendental knowledge by which he becomes freed from all material contamination."
(Cc., Madhya-lila, 4.111, purport)

Srila Prabhupada ISKCON guru

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