Article By: Upendranath Dasa
The Guru & Disciple Should Study Each Other Carefully Before Establishing a Relationship
Not Accepting Unqualified Persons as Guru or Disciple, & The Story of Anonymous Prabhu, (AP)
This is strictly stating, ‘NONE’; a guru should not accept unqualified people as disciples. Moreover, a disciple should not accept unqualified people as guru. How can a guru determine if a potential disciple is qualified, or for that matter, unqualified; and visa-versa. Personal association and evaluation can only determine it. This takes time. There is no limitation of how much time. The clear instruction is that both guru & disciple must be qualified. Otherwise, why is not accepting unqualified people as disciples’ an anga, (arm), of bhakti. The number of disciples a genuine guru accepts will depend on his own personal ability to be able to maintain this intimate and personal guru & disciple relationship. Not just during the evaluation period, but also after initiation, where the guru has to give personal instruction to his disciples, and be able to gauge their progress, and keep them heading in the right direction. These conditions will limit the guru’s total number of disciples. We really have no idea of how many that can be. However, it will definitely not be in the multiple hundreds, what to speak of thousands. Ideally, a guru, (either Siksha or Diksha), should be able to give this personal association to let’s say, 1 to 50, maybe up to 100, disciple’s maximum.
This is what the general principle is. This is best for the guru, and this is best for all his disciples.
Srila Prabhupada was an exception, a maybe one in ten generations possibly. To imitate Srila Prabhupada, like the gurus in ISKCON do, will result in what has happened to many of the leaders and gurus in the past 43 years. It is not that just one or two gurus fell from grace; the fact is that too many have fallen down in to despicable, and some, into wicked and evil acts.
Moreover, for those who are still hanging on to their impostor-ship, their disciples make almost nil advancement. It is a fact that many disciples, of ISKCON gurus, have left, or in the least, feel that they are not making any advancement. This will be illustrated in the story of devotee disciple of one of ISKCON’S Gurus. I will not reveal his name, and therefore I will refer to him as “Anonymous Prabhu”, (AP).
This story is a real and true event, that took place in the year 2010, and serves to illustrate the result of an improper guru & disciple relationship. Because of Personal Ambition, that fueled the rumination of ISKCON by the adoption of an unauthorized guru system, the young men and women who took initiation from these un-authorized gurus, were not taught what is actually compulsory, in order to practice Sadhana-bhakti, in a manner that will guarantee advancement in spiritual life. This ignorance, of what actually is a proper guru & disciple relationship, has caused the members of ISKCON, to remain on the neophyte platform of Kanistha-adhikari, and unable to make advancement to the intermediate platform of Madhyama-adhikari. This results in leaving the disciple feeling forlorn, abandoned, in anxiety, depressed, and disappointed.
The cancer of Sahajiyaisum, is the one that disturbs me the most and is another motivation for writing this Treatise. The ill of Personal Ambition can be cured, however, the ill of Sahajiyaisum is tantamount to “spiritual life murder or suicide”. If one’s Krishna-consciousness or spiritual life is murdered, killed, extinguished, in this life time, then one must wait for a future life to continue on the path of Krishna consciousness
These conditions that have just been mentioned, are symptoms of being under “the thumb” of Maya-devi, and her 3 modes of material nature. They are not the results of practicing bhakti properly.
I, the writer of this Treatise, was involved in a story that took place between myself, and 2 other Vaisnavas. In this particular case, there are elements of Personal Ambition, and specifically Sahajiyaisum, which is in the form of thinking that Krishna consciousness is a “cheap” or “easy” process. AP thought that all he had to do, was to faithfully practice the standard activities of Sadhana, that are currently taught in ISKCON; with the promise that these activities, in themselves, will guarantee the result of, “spiritual advancement”. Yes! He was taught the same standard activities of Sadhana, that Srila Prabhupada taught his disciples. However, Srila Prabhupada wrote that in themselves, they are not enough.
 Sadhana-bhakti— the beginning phase of devotional service, consisting of regulated practice.by following the rules and regulations of devotional service to develop natural love for Krishna.
 Kanisöha-adhikari—a neophyte devotee in lowest stage of Vaisnava life.
 Madhyama-adhikari—devotee who worships the Lord with firm faith, makes friends with His devotees, preaches to the innocent, and avoids atheists; Madhyama-bhagavata
 Maya—illusion; an energy of Krsna’s which deludes the living entity into forgetfulness of the Supreme Lord. That which is not, unreality, deception, forgetfulness, material illusion. Under illusion a man thinks he can be happy in this temporary material world. The nature of the material world is that the more a man tries to exploit the material situation, the more he is bound by maya’s complexities; This is a Sanskrit term of many meanings. It may mean energy; yoga-maya is the spiritual energy sustaining the transcendental manifestation of the spiritual Vaikunöha world, while the reflection, maha-maya, is the energy of the material world. The Lord’s twofold maya bewilders the jiva, hence maya also means bewilderment or illusion. Transcendental bewilderment is in love, by which the devotee sees God as his master, friend, dependent or amorous beloved. The material bewilderment of the living entity begins with his attraction to the glare of the brahmajyoti. That attraction leads to his entanglement in the modes of material nature. According to Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, maya also means that which can be measured. This is the feature of Lord Krishna’s prakrti that captures the minds of scientific materialists. The Vaisnava and Mayavada explanations of maya are not the same. See Mayavada philosophy, Modes of nature, Spiritual world.
 Ambition is the desire to be successful, rich, or powerful.
 Sahajiyas—a class of so-called devotees who, considering God cheap, ignore the scriptural injunctions and try to imitate the Lord’s pastimes; an offensive, immature devotee who does not follow proper devotional regulations.