Srila Prabhupada Already Approved by Sastra


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 78, 2023

n the previous article, we documented how "sastra" is misused to falsely claim that Srila Prabhupada cannot remain ISKCON's diksa guru. Below, by documenting yet another misuse of sastra to try to suppress Srila Prabhupada, we will fully establish how sastra fully supports Srila Prabhupada remaining ISKCON's diksa guru.

No basis for claims

Referring to Srila Prabhupada remaining ISKCON's diksa guru, GBC voted-in guru HH Sivarama Swami ("SRS") claims:

"and yes, you have to accept a living guru. This rtvik concept of accepting somebody who's already passed away is, it's more than absurd and of course you don't find any reference to it anywhere in sastra"
(SRS, Disciple Meeting, 1/9/23, emphasis added)

1) SRS claims that "you have to accept a living guru", as in physically present. Yet this has never been taught by Srila Prabhupada, nor does SRS produce any statement from sastra which states this. Thus, with this claim being proven false, it is his subsequent claim that accepting a guru who is not physically present is "more than absurd", which is what is actually "absurd". Because the basis for this claim – that it is compulsory to accept a living guru – itself has no sastric basis!

2) SRS then asserts that there is no "reference" in "sastra" to accepting a physically absent guru. However, there is no reference in sastra, for example, to specifically accepting a bona fide guru that is "white"-bodied. Thus, if SRS wishes to claim that only gurus for which there are specific examples mentioned in sastra are bona fide, then the successors to Srila Prabhupada, including himself, are in any case automatically disqualified.

Sastra gives the qualifications

Sastra gives the qualifications required to be a bona fide diksa guru. Whoever satisfies such qualifications is thus automatically approved by sastra as being able to become a bona fide diksa guru. Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 8.128 states that anyone who knows the science of Krsna can become a diksa guru.

1) Thus, sastra does not need to give examples of diksa gurus of every possible different type of race in order for such gurus to become bona fide diksa gurus. Such gurus would simply need to satisfy the sastric qualification required of knowing the science of Krsna. Otherwise, the sastric qualification would not be that they need to know the science of Krsna. The qualification would instead be that an example of such a guru must have been given in sastra.

2) Thus, a person with a white body who satisfies the qualification required to be a guru given by sastra cannot be barred on the basis that he does not satisfy another qualification – that of needing to possess an Indian body, for example. Because, again, such a qualification to be a guru is not stated by sastra.

Therefore, by point 1), Srila Prabhupada cannot be barred on the basis that sastra does not give an example of a physically absent guru. Nor, by point 2), can Srila Prabhupada be barred by claiming that the guru must be "living", because such a qualification to be a guru is not stated by sastra. Thus, objections to both "white" or physically absent gurus are based on imposing either an example or bodily requirement on who can be a diksa guru – neither of which is stated by sastra as being a qualification needed to be a diksa guru.

Thus, all that SRS and other GBC gurus have done is invented two fake qualifications to be a guru – the need for an example, and a physical bodily restriction – just to disqualify Srila Prabhupada. But if they applied such qualifications on themselves, then they could also be disqualified. Hence, such argumentation is just shameless hypocrisy.

Sastra approves Srila Prabhupada

Therefore, gurus not possessing either a physical Indian body or a physical body at all, are already mentioned by sastra by the teaching that anyone who knows the science of Krsna can be a guru.

Additionally, as Srila Prabhupada states in the purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.8.54, a bona fide diksa guru would also need to have been authorised by his own diksa guru.

It is not disputed that Srila Prabhupada already satisfied these sastric requirements for being a qualified and authorised bona fide diksa guru for ISKCON, since he functioned as such in ISKCON from 1966 onwards. Hence, it has to be accepted that Srila Prabhupada acting as ISKCON's diksa guru is already approved by sastra unless sastra further states that such a bona fide diksa guru automatically loses his ability to continue to act as diksa guru once he physically departs. But, as already explained in the previous section, this has not been taught by sastra.

Further sastric proofs

It is not disputed that Srila Prabhupada:

a) Continues to act as a diksa guru to his disciples and to spiritually interact with them. Otherwise, one would need to take a new diksa guru as soon as he physically departed – and this is specifically forbidden by sastra:

"A devotee must have only one initiating spiritual master because in the scriptures acceptance of more than one is always forbidden."
(Cc., Adi-lila, 1.35, purport)

b) Continues to accept siksa disciples, as Srila Prabhupada is accepted as always being the "preeminent" siksa guru for everyone in ISKCON (GBC Resolution 409, 1999).

Thus, by a), we know that sastra states that Srila Prabhupada has the spiritual ability to act as a diksa guru for new disciples. And, by b), we know that sastra states that Srila Prabhupada can also accept diksa disciples:

"There is no difference between the shelter-giving Supreme Lord and the initiating and instructing spiritual masters. If one foolishly discriminates between them, he commits an offense in the discharge of devotional service."
(Cc., Adi-lila, 1.47, purport)

Thus, in the previous section, we proved that Srila Prabhupada remaining diksa guru is approved by sastra since he satisfies all the sastric requirements to be a diksa guru. The above offers further sastric proofs that Srila Prabhupada can remain ISKCON's diksa guru.


Srila Prabhupada is approved by sastra to continue acting as ISKCON's diksa guru. Since he did not give up his position as ISKCON's Acarya and diksa guru, it also means that his disciples are not approved by sastra to be diksa gurus, even if they are qualified – because they are not authorised by Srila Prabhupada to succeed him as ISKCON's diksa guru.

Subscribe for FREE to Back To Prabhupada Magazine - Click Here

Return to Sivarama Swami Index

Return to "Physical Presence" Index

Return to "Qualification of a Guru" Index

Return to "Sastra" Index

Return to IRM Homepage

Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!