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Article By: Upendranath Dasa

The Guru & Disciple Should Study Each Other Carefully Before Establishing a Relationship

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Segment 11

Not Accepting Unqualified Persons as Guru or Disciple, & The Story of Anonymous Prabhu, (AP)

Part 7

Denial is the first symptom of an addiction of any kind.  After 5-years, your relationship with your guru, has not provided these answers, what to speak of providing, guidance, advice, and instruction in applying the answers.

ISKCON mass initiating gurus, cannot give this one-on-one personal relationship with all their disciples.  That is why it is said, In regards to ISKCON gurus, that it is possible that they have dug their own grave, so to speak.  In their attempt to imitate thousands of disciples, they have not followed the instruction Srila Prabhupada gave in Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 22.118 that states.,

“… (13) One should not accept an unlimited number of disciples. …”


Accepting an unlimited number of devotees or disciples is very risky for one who is not a preacher.  According to Srila Jiva Gosvami, a preacher has to accept many disciples to expand the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.  This is risky, because when a spiritual master accepts a disciple, he naturally accepts the disciple’s sinful activities and their reactions.  Unless he is very powerful, he cannot assimilate all the sinful reactions of his disciples, and has to suffer the consequences.  Therefore, one is generally forbidden to accept many disciples.

The key word is ‘unlimited’.  We need to see what this actually means by studying what “unlimited” means.


  • Having no restrictions or controls.
  • Having or seeming to have no boundaries.
  • Without qualification or exception.

Therefore, “unlimited” in this verse means and implies,

  • Having no restrictions or controls.
  • Without qualification or exception.

IISKCON gurus initiate without restriction or controls, and without qualification to do so.  SKCON gurus are in no way powerful preachers, like Srila Prabhupada. 

They all gain their multitude of disciples by hiding behind Srila Prabhupada.  They need to replace all the disciples that have left.  None of these ISKCON gurus has been able to write extensively like the previous Acaryas.  A small book, an essay,  here and there, and of no significant importance; that is all.   Srila Prabhupada was not able to give all his disciples a personal one-on-one guru & disciple physical relationship.  However, he was able to overcome this by the fact that his disciples can associate with him through his books and lectures.  He said, “everything is in my books”, and in my experience, you can take that to the bank, if you will.  Any doubt, any question, I ever had, I could find the answer, in the spoken and written words of Srila Prabhupada; through his Veda Base. 

The Srila Prabhupada Veda Base is the personification of Srila Prabhupada, and as far as I am concerned, Srila Prabhupada is always waiting for me to inquire from him through his written and spoken words. 

None of these ISKCON gurus, can supply such a facility for their disciples.  The conclusion is that ISKCON gurus, initiate a disciple, and then abandon them.

Your problem is that your spiritual life is a “bluff”.  Prabhupada said so, not me. What is the reason for it being a ‘bluff’?  Srila Prabhupada simply explains that it is because you are not firmly established in the mode of goodness.  In other words, your bhakti is mixed with the modes of passion and ignorance, and therefore, you are making very little advancement at best, and maybe at worst, as Srila Prabhupada said,   

“Because without coming to the platform of Sativa-guna—the mode of material goodness, nobody can advance in spiritual life.  That is a fact”. 

You must understand that “Mixed Devotional Service”, is not good enough.

In the purport to Srimad-bhagavatam 3.29.10, Srila Prabhupada writes:

“Devotional service in the modes of ignorance, passion and goodness can be divided into eighty-one categories. There are different devotional activities, such as hearing, chanting, remembering, worshipping, offering prayer, rendering service and surrendering everything, and each of them can be divided into three qualitative categories. For example, there is hearing in the mode of passion, in the mode of ignorance and in the mode of goodness. Similarly, there is chanting in the mode of ignorance, passion and goodness, etc. Three multiplied by nine equals twenty-seven, and when again multiplied by three it becomes eighty-one. One has to transcend all such mixed materialistic devotional service in order to reach the standard of pure devotional service, as explained in the next verse.”

It is a mystery to me, why ISKCON preaches, that devotees in ISKCON are beyond the 3 modes of material nature.  Right here in this purport, Srila Prabhupada says otherwise.  The above knowledge, and instructions, given by Srila Prabhupada, are not preached, nor emphasized in ISKCON.  Most members of ISKCON, are not aware of what Srila Prabhupada says in this purport.  If you were to mention this information about devotional service, they would say, “What!!!???” 

Devotees who have read this part of the Third Canto, have difficulty comprehending what is being explained, even though it is so perfectly written. However, it is really quite simple. Pure devotional service is uncontaminated by any material qualities, but devotional service rendered with some non-devotional motives, is not pure; it is mixed. Such mixed or adulterated devotional service, does not aim at directly awakening love of God, and is the basis for further material existence. 

From Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 4.21-22 Purport:

“In the Caitanya-caritamrta three kinds of devotional service are described, namely,

    1. Bhakti: Ordinary devotional service.
    2. Suddha-bhakti: Pure devotional service.
    3. Viddha-bhakti: Mixed devotional service.

When devotional service is executed with some material purpose, involving fruitive activities, mental speculations, or mystic yoga, it is called mixed or adulterated devotional service.”

Again, Srila Prabhupada says,

 “One has to transcend all such mixed materialistic devotional service in order to reach the standard of pure devotional service.”

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