03/19/98 - 1704
Guru, Shastra and Sadhu
USA (VNN) - by Sadbhuj Gour das
please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Sri Guru Gouranga jayatah!
I am sad about the fact that some persons sell philosophy like
a supermarket article, presenting it in a way, as if it was invented
by their guru. But as long as such philosophy is not according
to guru, sadhu, and sastra, it is only garbage. Srila Prabhupada
himself says that he did not innovate anything on his own, but
he only gave what was given by his guru, and the parampara.
> USA (VNN) - by Rishi Kumara das (see also VNN story# 1659)
> I would like to say a few words about the recent article posted
> by Dharmapada. ("Srila Prabhupada, A Ramanuja For Us!") He has
> explained well some of the defects of the current situation
> in ISKCON. The GBC has often gone to the Gaudiya Matha to get
> for their guru system, but what's the use of that? Srila Prabhupada
> even criticized his exalted personal friend and Godbrother for
> idea to put forth diksa-gurus, or acaryas. Although Srila Prabhupada
> highly regarded Sri Sridhara Swami Maharaj, he didn't agree
> idea that ordinary devotees should sometimes assume the role
> acharya. (Nor when the GBC questioned Sridhara Swami on the
> issue, did they properly answer his question, "What did Swami
> say to do?")
When the GBC turned to H.H. Srila B.R. Sridhara Deva Goswami Maharaja,
they already had established themselves as "zonal acaryas", and
simply wanted to be confirmed by Him. But He did not so, asking
them "What did Swami Maharaja say to do?". The philosophy that
acarya and diksha guru is the same is not according to what Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada said, and even less
to what sastra says. How else could Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada become diksha guru and even acarya?
> Instead of remaining humble servants of the mission of Srila
> Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur and working together, various
> leaders tried artificially to create acaryas to fulfill the
> diksa guru in the Gaudiya Matha.
This is inaccurate.
> But Srila Bhaktisiddhanta never told
> them to do this. His conception, as Srila Prabhupada explained,
> that only an empowered person could act as diksa-guru in Lord
> Caitanya's movement. Others should preach as of representatives
> self-efflugent Acharya.
The author does not understand the position of a "self-effulgent
acarya" and the position of a siksa guru. A "self-effulgent acarya"
is a person whose spiritual potency is widely acknowledged and
even many gurus will come under his guidance.
> All this confusion has come about due to our not carefully hearing
> from Srila Prabhupada alone. We listened to our own minds and
> possessed with the misguided ambition to occupy the seat of
the spiritual master.
Our Vaishnava tradition teaches us to follow guru, sadhu and sastra.
To state that one should exclusively follow one guru, as the author
does, already excludes the previous acaryas and the parampara,
and also siksa guru, who is non different from the diksa guru.
This is a very narrow minded statement and deviates from siddhanta.
> Actually, the Vaisnavas in other sampradayas should be
> coming to us for advice on how to get connected with Srila
> Prabhupada and the mission of Lord Chaitanya.
This statement is Vaishnava aparadha! A kanishta adhikari thinks,
that his guru is the only one, and that he does not have to accept
and respect anyone else. And this one is is not even afraid to
offend all other sampradayas.
> All leading devotees in every sampradaya and camp should aspire
> represent Srila Prabhupada and his mission.
Why? Why then did Sri Krishna create such spiritual variety in
the spiritual world? For such narrow-mindedness there is no place
on the Vaikuntas and even less on Goloka Vrindavan.
> The problem is we, the disciples of Srila Prabhupada,
> are not fully convinced of the value of Srila Prabhupada and
> instructions, so how will we inspire others?
At least not with such sectarian ideas, and fanatisism. Srila
Swami Maharaja was no fanatic and though respected all other sampradayas
and their acaryas. He NEVER statet He was the only one, and that
everybody should follow exclusively Him.
>To be "convinced" without any mature realizations is really no
>better than those who go looking for guidance. Such "convinced"
>people need guidance themselves.
The BEST policy is guru, sadhu, sastra! And if someone is preaching
according to one's realazations, he should also be convinced that
it is according to guru, sadhu, and sastra.
>I agree with Dharmapada that it seems strange the GBC would need
>to appoint a subcommittee to determine how to put Srila Prabhupada
>in the center of ISKCON. But then why does Dharmapada prabhu
>we need to consult the Ramanuja people to get insight how to
Why do you think to be better than the Ramanuja devotees? Dharmapada
was right, one should follow the instructions of more advanced
devotees - no matter to which authorized sampradaya they belong
to. This is what siddhanta is teaching us. To rubber stamp devotees
as some xxx-people, or even to judge them according to which organazation
they belong, is very offensive. Spiritual life is individual,
and such attitude comes from the bodily conception of life. Your
statement is as ridicolous as those of the "Whitnesses of Jehova",
who also think they are the only ones.
> I agree
> that they could perhaps offer a lot in the form of cultural
> religious advice. For instance, they could advise us what to
> child abusers, woman haters, women's rights, social development,
> other mundane issues upon which we speculate endlessly. (All
> meetings on various "issues" would seem far less pressing if
> all could rise above the bodily concept and focus on developing
> devotion to Srila Prabhupada.) I disagree, though, that we need
> to others to solve the guru issue, which is a matter of to be
> by spiritual deliberation based on Srila Prabhupada's instructions
Dear Prabhu, as long as someone has to teach us, that we should
not hate women, that we should not abuse children, and so forth,
we cannot see ourselves as human beings, according to Srila Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada. As long as we need to be tought about these
things, we are far away from SPIRITUAL LIFE. Dear Prabhu, these
are NO MUNDANE issues, but about ETHICS and MORAL of every human
being, and the basis of spiritual life. If we cannot deal with
these things (where Srila Prabhupada gave us so many instructions
about), what to speak about the guru issue? Why should we exclusively
follow Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami's instructions? This is a very
sectarian attitude you are preaching here! Srila Swami Maharaja
always taught us to follow guru, sadhu, and sastra, and this excludes
the thesis that we should exclusively follow his instructions.
Krishna consciousness was not invented by Srila Bhaktivedanta
Swami, but He only gave us, what He had received from His Guru
Maharaja and the paramapara.
> I've heard from devotees who have preached in South India for
> years that the Madhva sampradaya and the Ramanuja sampradaya
> practically dried up of spiritual potency. Due to their not
> understanding and representing the Acharya, these sampradayas
> corrupted. Authorities in these movements do not agree on every
> philosophical point. The Ramanuja's, like other spiritual movements
> Kali Yuga, have degenerated due to the influx of mundane religious
> cultural ideas.
Why did Srila Swami Maharaja tell us to learn "puja" from Sri
Vaishnavas (devotees of the Sri Sampradaya")? How can you judge
devotees, you do not know, only because you've heard it from others,
this simply is cackle - prajalpa! It is a big corruptioon to judge
devotees according to their institutions. Everywhere there are
three kinds of devotees: kanishta, madyam, and uttama adhikaris.
There is no institutional consciousness you could teach us here,
this is mayavadi philosophy!
> Such a fate can be avoided in ISKCON only if we stick very carefully
> to understanding and following Srila Prabhupada's instructions.
> those who doubt that we can literally accept Srila Prabhupada's
> order on initiations in ISKCON, or for those who feel we must
> the GBC's current system for initiations, I beg you to research
> answers to the questions listed below. This research should
> on Srila Prabhupada's books and instructions alone. In this
way we can
> help protect the all-spiritual Hare Krishna movement founded
> Prabhupada. We can save it from degenerating to the status of
> mundane religious culture. All our problems and confusion on
> issues can be easily solved simply by our careful hearing from
> Prabhupada in the association of those who are satisfied hearing
> Srila Prabhupada alone. To say nothing of clearing confusion,
> from Srila Prabhupada repeatedly and meditating on him constantly
> easily awards the highest benediction of krsna-prema.
After carefully studying Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami's books and
instructions, I think your preaching is irreligious.
> To help figure out how to keep Srila Prabhupada perfectly in
> center in ISKCON, I suggest we research the answers to the following
> questions: 1.) Where is the instruction from Srila Prabhupada
> authorizing his disciples to act as initiating spiritual master
Did you ever read the Srimad Bhagavat Gita, the Srimad Bhagavatam
and other books from Srila Swami Maharaja? Why should Srila Bhaktivedanta
Swami appoint somebody, as you try to tell us here? Why should
He give such instructons which would be against guru, sadhu, and
sastra? Or do you think Srila Swami Maharaja to be a mundane man,
as the ramanuja "people"? To think the one or the other is irreligious.
> Is no specific order required from Srila Prabhupada for this
> important service?
There is no such service, go and study Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami's
books again! Guru is no service and cannot be appointed. How can
you ask nonsense like this?
> 2.) Is it a sastric principle that any disciple can initiate
> guru's disappearance? Yes, if he becomes an uttama adhikari!
> If so, why do Srila Prabhupada's books clearly
> state that only an uttama-adhikari, or a mahabhagavata, is eligible
> for the post of initiating spiritual master?
Where is the problem? What is for you a diksha guru, or acarya?
> When did Srila Prabhupada
> order anyone to become a diksa-guru in ISKCON? Already answered.
> 3.) Which statements in Srila Prabhupada's books indicate that
> disciples must act as diksa-gurus in ISKCON?
It already sounds like a scratched LP...
> 4.) Formerly in ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada was the only devotee
> served as diksa-guru. Presently, seventy or eighty devotees
> diksa-gurus because the GBC has determined that Srila Prabhupada
> no longer accept disciples. How did the GBC arrive at this
Surely the GBC cannot "make" gurus, but if someone qualifies according
to guru, sadhu and sastra, why shouldn't he act as diksha guru?
> 5.) Where did Srila Prabhupada describe how his "successor gurus"
> would be chosen or authorized for the post of diksa-guru in
Somebody who understands Srila Prabhupada's books does not ask
> 7.) Where in Srila Prabhupada's books is stated the principle
> that an acarya would be unable or unwilling to accept as disciples
> persons who begin following his instructions after his disappearance?
We are following the teachings of siddhanta, that means guru,
sadhu and sastra. Can you prove your statements with this, by
putting such questions. If not it simply is sentimental.
> Where in Srila Prabhupada's books or instructions are
> described principles indicating that after the disappearance
> empowered acarya no new student can accept him as diksa-guru?
Where does he explain that you can?
> 8.) Where in Srila Prabhupada's books does he describe the principles
> indicating that a system of officiating acaryas would constitute
> deviation from Vaisnava siddhanta if the system was maintained
> the disappearance of the acarya?
Where is the opposite written? Can you prove that this would be
deviation from siddhanta? Can you also prove your opinion with
sastra and other acarya (in case you accept them)?
> 9.) There are devotees in ISKCON who met and served Srila Prabhupada
> personally yet received initiation from another ISKCON guru
> There are other devotees who never saw Srila Prabhupada, yet
> initiated in 1977, just before Srila Prabhupada's disappearance.
> Regarding their relationship with Srila Prabhupada, what is
> difference between these two categories of devotees?
Some are initiated disciples recorded in his book of disciples'
names and some are not.
> 10.) When did Srila Prabhupada sanction positions (other than
> His own) of absolute authority in ISKCON?
Never. But when did Srila Swami Maharaja say or write that nobody
ever would be qulified to act as a diksha guru? Where did you
read that, I never found this in any of His books or instructions.
> 11.) Why are new ISKCON devotees encouraged to accept
> devotees other than Srila Prabhupada as absolute authority?
Why not? Why do you believe that Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
was and is the only guru on this planet? Don't you think your
attitude is a little narrow minded? There is no institutional
consciousness or group consciousness. We all are individuals,
and like this spiritual life is something very individual. Guru
is a question of consciousness, purity and bhakti, but surely
not conditioned through being appointed.
Amongst the devotees there should be unity and spiritual variety,
and this includes that there also are devotees, gurus, and acaryas
of other groups. As long as we are not be able to acknowledge
this, the gates to the spiritual world will be locked for us.
Your servant Sadbhuj Gour das
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