The following is a reply to the above Podcast titled “Preaching is the essence” delivered by His Holiness Sivarama Maharaja (SRS). As usual excerpts from Maharaja shall be enclosed in speech marks “ “ thus, with our comments following.

"What's the gurus got to do with it? They've got nothing to say about this. It's the GBC who says what devotees, people do, not the gurus. […]  So those devotees, it's not that, it's not that the GBC, temple president is representing the mood of the Diksa guru. It's the Diksa guru is assisting the GBC and the temple president in their mood of preaching. I may sound revolutionary (audience laughter), but it's called ISKCON.  And the other one is called the Gaudiya Math (audience laughter).”

When it comes to the issue of Guru in relationship to Srila Prabhupada we are told that ISKCON is not a revolutionary society, but rather it must follow the Gaudiya tradition as represented by the Gaudiya Matha and others, and therefore there is no way Srila Prabhupada can possibly be the Diksa Guru of ISKCON. Yet when we come to the issue of Guru in relationship to the current ISKCON gurus and the GBC, we are told the complete opposite to justify why the Diksa Guru must now be redefined in a way which has never existed or been mentioned in any scripture:

  1. He has “nothing” to say about what his disciples can do.
  2. He is subservient to the temple president and other managers, and assists them. 

Such hypocrisy is breathtaking, and it is engaged in solely to keep Srila Prabhupada out of his rightful position as everyone’s Diksa Guru. And what makes such hypocrisy ironic is that it is used to justify the Diksa Guru being redefined as being similar to a ‘ritvik’ - a subservient functionary of a managerial body who has no power or control over his “disciples”! But the ISKCON gurus do not mind giving up this power, because the actual power which counts, to be worshipped as Good as God, is still retained, as SRS insists just 3 days later in a follow-up Istaghosti:

“Of course, there's certain habits they can't have, but there may be so many other types of personality traits or even lack of realization that may be there within a spiritual master.  But still saksad-hari.  Still he has to be treated as good as God otherwise the process doesn't work.”
(SRS Manor Istaghosti, 11/1/2009)

So to summarise:

  1. We can’t have ritviks system, because ISKCON must follow tradition, and so we must have ‘traditional’ diksa gurus.
  2. We can turn the ‘traditional’ diksa gurus into de facto ritviks because ISKCON does not follow tradition.
  3. Though the Diksa Gurus are like ritviks, and do not require any special qualifications, they must still be worshipped and treated as if they are regular fully qualified maha-bhagavata Diksa Gurus.

One would think it would be impossible to pull-off such shameless hypocrisy and contradiction with a straight face. But such is the nature of Kali-Yuga – absolutely any nonsense goes, as long as the cheaters and cheated get to enjoy:

Indeed we can say any contradictory hypocritical gibberish, just as long we can justify usurping Srila Prabhupada’s position and enjoying being worshipped as good as God.

“Prabhupada's order about what he wanted in terms of devotees being spiritual master is so minimal that we've got so many arguments about it.”

More accurately Srila Prabhupada has said nothing about ISKCON devotees being successor diksa gurus to himself, and this is why there has been so many different opinions, even amongst the GBC themselves. Even SRS admits that he only became a guru due to the prompting of a young girl, rather than because Srila Prabhupada had given an order that he be spiritual master:

"At this time I also was asked to take up the role of initiating spiritual master.  I didn't consider that this would be very conducive to my personal spiritual life and I was satisfied for others to do that service and that I would stay in the role of sannyasi, a preacher, siksa guru, GBC, and probably it was at Gaurangi's* repeated prompting that ultimately I began to think seriously of that service and took it up."
(HH Sivarama Swami, Podcast, October 4th, 2006) *at the time a young female devotee, and now a disciple

“Like I can say, for instance, about guru.  Prabhupada explains,  kanistham, madhyam, uttama. They can all be guru. They should be uttama, but they may be something else.”

More accurately, Srila Prabhupada actually states that unless they are Uttama they can NOT be guru at all:

"One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari. […]

“Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master."
(The Nectar of Instruction, text 5, purport )


It’s not that one can freely choose – in all instances Srila Prabhupada’s order is that only an Uttama Guru should exist and be accepted.