Article By: Upendranath Dasa
The Guru & Disciple Should Study Each Other Carefully Before Establishing a Relationship
Actually, Prabhupada defined guru in several ways, indicating that there are many varieties of gurus, because as in all matters in devotional service, there are varieties and gradations. In devotional service, we must work from a broad understanding rather than from a keyhole vision. We fear being swindled, which is healthy, but in life it happens that people push away from something unacceptable or problematic, something irrational, like the present ISKCON system of rubber-stamping gurus; only to back into something equally problematic, either philosophically or practically.
An example of this is the heretical ritvik theory. Followers of this idea, desperate to find a workable alternative to the rubber-stamping method of guru making, forget that the sastra says that conclusions not based on sastra is tamo-guna and that actions in this mode results in foolishness. As we all know, two wrongs do not make a right. For those of us whose faith in sastra is fixed, regardless of how justified an idea may appear, it cannot can win our hearts if it lacks sastric support.
It is not uncommon to come across dogmatic insistence that guru must be an uttama-adhikari, maha-bhagavata, rasika-vaisnava or something similar, complete with sastric quotes and references to Srila Prabhupada. Moreover, these utterances are certainly true; yet in virtually every instance, the author or speaker, tends to make no attempt to reconcile those superlative definitions, with the other statements of Srila Prabhupada that indicate either a variety of kinds of gurus, some having less than superlative qualifications, or perhaps describe the superlative definitions of guru in more concrete terms.
It is common to come across dogmatic insistence that guru must be an uttama-adhikari, maha-bhagavata, rasika-Vaisnava, or something similar, complete with sastric quotes and references to Srila Prabhupada. The pity is that they look no further and they are stuck with only these dogmatic understanding of guru, and demand that this is the only criteria. However, they fail to realize that these terms, uttama- adhikari, maha-bhagavata, and rasika-Vaisnava are not verifiable to the neophyte Kanistha-adhikari. These aspects of a Vaisnava are secret, confidential, and not common knowledge. They do not wear a sign advertising themselves to have these qualifications, and if you were to ask one if they did; they would deny it. Only a fool or a wicket Vaisnava would declare that they possess these qualifications. Two such ISKCON gurus have traveled down this path by declaring themselves a Nitya-siddha internal associate of Lord Caitanya.
What is the proof? One of these has a legal first name of “Gordon” i.e., “Gaura- dan”. This they claim is proof he is an internal associate of Gauranga, Lord Caitanya.
The other guru, his disciples say the same because of his “dancing” technics being those of Lord Caitanya.
What a joke, what a wicked or foolish devotee, what foolish disciples; to actually believe that it is OK for a Kanistha Vaisnava to profess such a status and to not understand that it is a heresy.
This is kind of like saying that any dog is actually an internal associate of the God because the word ‘dog” is “God” spelled backwards.
How to decide, will depend on evaluation and discrimination, of verifiable symptoms and qualities. Therefore, the question is; who is going to decide and how is it going to be decided. The answer is obvious. One must decide for himself or herself. The individual seeking a guru should not decide on the basis of popular opinion, or the declaration of an ecclesiastic body (ISKCON GBC), who says,
“Here are the ones who are qualified”.
How to decide will depend on evaluation and discrimination of verifiable symptoms and qualities based on shastra. Moreover, Srila Prabhupada has given us, and explained, many verifiable symptoms. Thus, no one can say that this kind of discrimination is not possible.
However, these utterances’ of esoteric and mystical criteria are certainly true; yet in virtually every instance, the author or speaker, tends to make, no attempt to reconcile those superlative definitions, with the other statements of Srila Prabhupada, that indicate either a variety of kinds of gurus, some having less than superlative qualifications, or the ones that describe the superlative definitions of guru in more concrete terms. This is the purpose of this Treatise; to show you that Srila Prabhupada did give the mentioned superlative definitions of what a genuine guru is; but he also took it to the next level so to speak, as just mentioned.
ISKCON tells you that they will decide for you. Which is “Rubber-stamping par-excellent, and which which defys the instructions of Srila Prabhupada, and Srila Jiva Gosvami.
And the ritviks say no one can come up to the standard of these superlative definitions of who is a genuine guru. Which is synonymous to saying,
“My Dear Srila Prabhupada, you are certainly Jagad-guru, you are certainly fully qualify to have the title of Srila Prabhupada, just like your own guru: BUT, YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO BRING ANY OF YOUR DISCIPLES, TO THE HIGH STANDARD OF BEING QUALIFIED DIKSHA GURU!
In other words, my dear Ritvik-vada, Godbrothers and sisters, you are without a doubt, CREATING OFFENCE AGAINST YOUR OWN SPIRIUTAL MASTER, which is known as the MAD ELEPHANT OFFENCE! The only thing else I can say to the ISKCON GBC and to those who preach Ritvik-vada; “You will certainly take birth again, and you will then be able to resume Bhakti, based on your accumulation of nitya-sukriti.
 Nitya-siddha—one who has attained eternal perfection attained by never forgetting Krishna at any time; an ever-purified associate of the Lord