Reply to Sivarama Maharaja’s Podcast 13/12/09


The following is a response to the above Podcast from His Holiness Sivarama Maharaja (SRS).

Sadhus are those who were once guru, but they are no longer physically present.[…]yes, although Srila Prabhupada is the Founder Acarya, but he is also now sadhu”

SRS claims here that Srila Prabhupada was “once guru”, but now that he is no longer physically present he is relegated to only being a sadhu. Yet Srila Prabhupada has never taught that once a Guru is no longer physically present, he ceases to be Guru. This is simply SRS’s fabrication. Indeed, SRS’s own example proves that the Guru’s physical presence is not required in order for that person to be accepted as Guru:

“For almost five years I had seen and known Prabhupada visually from photos [...] But I had never seen Prabhupada in person […] Then I understood that the spiritual master is non different than his picture […] I accepted the information I was receiving from the book as perfect […] That was the first personal contact with his Divine Grace, although I had been an initiated devotee for two years.”
(SRS, ‘Meeting Srila Prabhupada’)

SRS was able to accept and get initiated by Srila Prabhupada without requiring his physical presence at all. Yet, hypocritically, SRS now wishes to impose Srila Prabhupada’s physical presence as being a requirement for everyone else. In this way, SRS wishes to exclude Srila Prabhupada as being a potential guru since SRS is himself now a competitor guru to Srila Prabhupada.

And we can see that our present day gurus are not necessarily self-realized souls, otherwise we wouldn't be falling down, what to speak of even leaving the path of Krishna Consciousness.”

SRS openly admits that ISKCON’s gurus are not necessarily self-realised, since so many have fallen down. In the Nectar of Devotion Srila Prabhupada explains that:

The spiritual master must never be carried away by an accumulation of wealth or a large number of followers. A bona fide spiritual master will never become like that. But sometimes, if a spiritual master is not properly authorized, and only on his own initiative becomes a spiritual master, he may be carried away by an accumulation of wealth and large numbers of disciples.”
(Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 14)

Here Srila Prabhupada makes it clear that the fall-downs which SRS speaks of happen when the spiritual master is not properly authorised. But all the ISKCON gurus were authorised in the same manner, via the votes of the GBC, which is how SRS himself became an ISKCON guru. It follows therefore, that none of the ISKCON gurus are properly authorised, and hence, not bona fide.

And particularly that deviation takes place when you're talking about such conditioned souls – conditioned souls who make mistakes, have imperfect senses, a tendency to be illusioned and when they don't follow strictly their parampara, then there will be deviation. How can you guard against it? You can't. This is Kali yuga.”

Having confessed that ISKCON’s gurus may not be self-realised, SRS now admits that as such they will deviate, and that further more, one can do nothing about it because this is Kali-Yuga. Hence, he is basically condemning the ISKCON guru system, telling everyone to accept that their gurus may deviate.

When sadhus and gurus are self- realized souls, then there's no deviation. Then there's no apasampradaya. Then there's no falling away from the sampradaya and no deviation of the philosophy.”

Having said that one cannot stop gurus deviating because it is kali-yuga, SRS also contradicts himself in the same podcast by declaring boldly that as long as gurus are self-realised, then there will be no deviation! Therefore, by SRS’s own statements, the answer is to accept a self-realised guru such as Srila Prabhupada, rather than the fallible gurus offered today by ISKCON’s GBC.

It's your responsibility to see that if someone else is deviating, that if you're a guru, or gurus are deviating, that you don't follow and by not following you insure that there isn't a deviant sampradaya. If someone  shows you the wrong path, then, tyaga, then you have to reject that person. […] We've seen that unfortunately over the decades since Srila Prabhupada's disappearance that many time this has taken place. Devotees have had to take a stand and says "No, I will not follow this wrong example."

SRS here gives a green signal to the IRM’s program. He states that we must openly take a stand and reject ISKCON gurus who are deviating. This is exactly what the IRM have done. We have documented in our papers, with incontrovertible proof, that SRS and all the ISKCON gurus are deviating from Srila Prabhupada’s orders. Our proof in this regard remains unanswered to this day. Rather, the response of SRS and the GBC has simply been to ban such papers and forbid devotees to read the proof for themselves.

And Srila Prabhupada once said when devotees were enthusiastically distributing the books and not reading them, he said, "Well, what's the use?" And that doesn't refer just to book distribution, but it refers to Krishna Consciousness. If you don't really know what you're doing, why you're doing and you can't either explain, stand up for what you believe in or protect yourself from the influence of material nature or insure that you're getting the real benefit of sadhu, sastra, guru vakhya, then as Prabhupada said, "What's the use?. So we must take responsibility and by doing that we then become guru. Amara ajnaya guru.”

1) SRS is here describing himself and the rest of ISKCON’s GBC, since none of them have been able to either explain or stand up for what they believe, in regard to the challenge posed to them by the IRM. Rather, being unable to answer the IRM, they simply try to prevent the devotees reading the truth for themselves. We have demonstrated without challenge, in our responses to SRS’s numerous podcasts and other statements, that he is unable to substantiate any of his statements, which are full of contradiction, hypocrisy and are the opposite of what Srila Prabhupada teaches. Consequently, by SRS’s own words, he and all those who are part of, or following, ISKCON’s unauthorized guru program, are unable to protect themselves from material nature, and are unable to get the benefit of sadhu, sastra and guru vakhya. And it is all of no use.

2) SRS also admits any devotee who is able to read and understand Srila Prabhupada’s books, and know what they are doing and defend it, will become guru. Clearly this refers to all devotees simply becoming fixed-up in their devotional service, and therefore, becoming guru in the sense of a general teacher or preacher, rather than diksa guru. By mentioning Lord Caitanya’s order to “become guru”, “amara ajnaya guru”, in this connection, SRS agrees with the IRM that this order from Lord Caitanya refers to becoming a guru in the sense of anyone becoming a general teacher or preacher, rather than a diksa guru. This is a significant admission, since GBC papers claim that Srila Prabhupada urging everyone to become guru by quoting Lord Caitanya’s “Amara Ajnaya Guru” order, is evidence that Srila Prabhupada ordered Diksa gurus, rather than just being a general encouragement to everyone to become a guru simply by preaching whatever he may know.

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