“Moving Forward”

A Treatise; Making a “Case” for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”

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Segment 09.4

ISKCON’S Current Guru System. Part 4

In 1980 Ramesvara writes a thoroughly sadhu-sastra-guru based essay on guru reform, mostly that madhyamas can be gurus (“On the Position of the Initiating Guru in the Western USA Zone”). In this paper, Ramesvara writes that he understands his behavior as offensive in terms of accepting worship equal to Srila Prabhupada.

Result: GBC affirms their 1978 paper, and thus rejects Ramesvara’s conclusions.

The GBC, in response to Ramesvara’s paper, commissions another paper, to be written by Bhagavan, Jagadisha, Satsvarupa Goswami, Jayapataka Swami, and Hrdayananda Swami. This paper establishes that all present gurus are uttama adhikaris and should receive full worship, guru titles, and so forth.

Jadurani, (ex-wife of Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami), married to Kailasa Chandra. Together they distributed a paper, “The Bona Fide Spiritual Master and the Disciple,” stating that there should not be appointments of guru, but rather “self- effulgent maha-bhagavata acaryas”, and accused the Zonal Acarya system and guru appointment systems as being bogus.

Hrdayananda dasa Goswami wrote the GBC requesting that all Prabhupada’s disciples who are in good standing should be allowed to initiate.

Moreover, resolutions were also passed that “Suspended” some of these 11 gurus, because of their illicit activities.  Suspended for one year were:

  • Hansadutta dasa Goswami.
  • Jayatirtha dasa.
  • Tamal Krishan dasa Goswami.

In addition, the GBC holds three “fully extraordinary special” meetings, to deal with guru deviations.

Ramesvara removes his vyasasana from the temple room in Los Angeles.

Talks at the “Pyramid House” in Topanga Canyon, where Tamal Krishna dasa Goswami says that Prabhupada never appointed the eleven to be the sole diksa gurus and that Prabhupada wanted many people to initiate.

At a meeting in Topanga Canyon in 1980, Tamal Krishna Maharaja stated that Srila Prabhupada had never appointed the eleven ritviks to be anything more than ritviks. “If it had been more than that,” he said, “you can bet your bottom dollar that Prabhupada would have spoken for days and hours and weeks on end about how to set up this thing with the gurus, but he did not.

The gurus issue a statement that all gurus are uttama adhikaris based on their preaching abilities.

That was then, however, now, at the present time, Gurus are approved by a system where by the guru candidate, personally petitions a selection committee, and includes a recommendation from an established guru.  Then the want-to-be guru, must wait for a probationary period.  If approved by the selection committee, they then recommend the candidate to the whole GBC.  The GBC, who on the basis of the approval of the committee, does not deliberate, and simply, automatically, and unanimously, votes the candidate, as an authorized guru.  This is “Rubber-Stamping” par excellent.  Later, you will read, where Srila Prabhupada said “No Rubber-Stamping”. Simply speaking, the GBCs are selected in this manner.  This is reminiscent of the “Politburo of the historical Communist Party of the Soviet Union”, or the Catholic Church system of Pope and Cardinals. 

Yes, an aspiring disciple in ISKCON is allowed to make a personal choice of who they want their guru to be.  However, they are not allowed to determine who is a qualified guru.  They depend on the GBC to do this for them. 

ISKCON basically, without saying it, proclaiming it, or advertising it, is saying:

An aspiring disciple, who wants a guru, is not qualified to choose a guru on the basis of sastric, (scriptural), injunctions.  Therefore, an aspiring disciple can choose a guru solely on the basis of “sentimental criteria”. 

Or it can be characterized in this way.

“Oh! Prabhu!  You do not have to worry about what is a bona-fide guru, or who can be guru. You do not need to be concerned about that, because we, the GBC, HAVE DECIDED FOR YOU.  Furthermore, according to your sentimental, and non-verifiable criteria; you can choose from this list of approved gurus.  You just have to choose the one that fancies your whatever sentimental reason, or reasons are.”

It has been shown, by Srila Prabhupada’s own words, that choosing a guru is absolutely and solely the responsibility of the individual.  Srila Prabhupada even informs us of the advice of Sri Jiva Gosvami, who says that one should not accept a spiritual master in terms of hereditary, or customary social and ecclesiastical conventions. 

It is amazing that Srila Prabhupada had warned us about the bogus system of selecting a guru, that ISKCON has adopted.  You have to have a question on you mind at this point.  Could it be,

“Why has the GBC of ISKCON disregarded and not follow these instructions from Srila Prabhupada and Srila Jiva Gosvami?”

This blatant disregard of Srila Prabhupada’s advice, instructions, and orders, what to speak of deliberate disregard of the advice of Srila Jiva Gosvami, is devastating.  The only reason that a member in ISKCON will select a guru by this ecclesiastical convention, is that they do not read nor study, Srila Prabhupada’s books, and lectures, carefully. Moreover, the GBC obviously has some sinister Personal Ambition agenda.  Otherwise, why they blatantly disregarded Srila Prabhupada’s and Srila Jiva Gosvami’s instructions?

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