“Moving Forward”

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

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Segment 12.2

Needing a teacher. How do I Discriminate Between a Desirable Guru, And an Undesirable One?  Part 2

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has stated that ‘rasa’[1] or ‘taste’ is secret. In Jaiva-dharma Chapter 30:

“The conditioned jiva has taken shelter of mundane rasa, but when his intelligence becomes dedicated to Isvara, (Krishna), he naturally attains the path of detachment. Even then, he cannot be inclined for madhura-rasa until he becomes eligible for cid-rasa. Such people have no qualification for this rasa. The very nature of madhura-rasa makes it difficult to understand, and candidates for madhura-rasa are rarely found. This is the reason why this is extremely secret.”

In other words, one’s personal relationship with Krishna is a top-secret, no one knows, except Krishna and the jiva. Anyone who professes such status, it is either their foolishness, or wickedness. Do you want a foolish guru?  Would you want a wicked guru?  Besides this, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura also has stated that to pretend to be of such an exalted status and initiate people as disciples, that guru is an offender to the Holy Name. 

Another sure sign of a bogus guru is that they do not follow the orders or instructions of their guru.  So how can such a spiritual master be genuine, when one of the main symptoms of a true guru is that they follow the orders and instructions given by their spiritual master?  If Srila Prabhupada said gurus are not rubber-stamped; and a guru has been rubber-stamped; that is what is called a no-brainer, a rubber-stamped Guru is Bogus.  You cannot understand if a Guru is not following the instructions and orders, of his own Spritual master, unless you know what those instructions and orders are.  Once you know what those orders and instructions are, it will not be hard to make such a determination.

In actuality, there is no such thing as a “bogus-guru”.  There is only “guru”; period.  The concept of “bogus-guru” does not exist in Gaudiya Vaisnavas Sastra or Siddhanta.

In addition to displaying a steadfast capacity for logic and reason, we also see that an advanced guru is fully absorbed in their individual quest for knowledge.  Naturally, sense control and proper conduct are considerations as well.  Thus, we can look for those symptoms.  Therefore, this kind of discrimination, is not possible, unless there is constant personal association, over a year at least.  Such a “Guru & Disciple” relationship is absolutely required.

Early in 2004, the Executive Committee (EC) of the Governing Body Commission (GBC) of the International Society for Krishna -consciousness wrote to the Sastric Advisory Council:

 “Srila Prabhupada states that it is the responsibility of the prospective disciples to examine and test their prospective guru prior to initiation. Given that the GBC gives tacit approval to gurus via their no-objection procedure, it could be that the prospective disciple’s desire to examine their prospective guru prior to initiation is compromised. Although there are many glorious descriptions of the qualities of guru in sastra, it is the duty of prospective disciples to not automatically assume those qualities are possessed by all ISKCON gurus. Rather, they should objectively examine their prospective guru. There is prima facia[2] evidence that suggests that prospective disciples do not take this responsibility seriously. Therefore, we request the Sastric Advisory Council (SAC) to research the balance between the responsibility of ISKCON to protect its members from unqualified gurus and the duty of the prospective disciples to give proper attention to the study of their prospective gurus prior to initiation.”

Unfortunately, this letter fell on deaf-ears and blind-eyes; if you will, and nothing was resolved.

 In BTG (1944-1960), PV20 Volume 3, Part 16-March 20, 1960, Srila Prabhupada wrote:

“It is imperative also that a seriously inclined person must accept a bona fide spiritual master in terms of the Shastric injunction and give up the company of a pseudo spiritual master in terms of social usages and hereditary or customary and ecclesiastic conventions.”

FOOT NOTES:

[1] Rasa—relationship between the Lord and the living entities; mellow, or the sweet taste of a relationship, especially between the Lord and the living entities. They are of five principal varieties-neutral relationship (santa-rasa), relationship as servant (dasya-rasa), as friend (sakhya-rasa), parent (vatsalya-rasa) and conjugal lover (madhurya-rasa). Eternal spiritual relationship with Krishna. There are five rasas: santa (passive awe and reverence); dasya (servitude); sakhya (friendship); vatsalya (parenthood); and madhurya (conjugal love). According to his specific kind of rasa, the soul displays a spiritual form as Krishna’s eternal servant, friend, parent or conjugal lover. Just as our present material body permits us to engage in karma (physical activities), so the spiritual rasa-body permits us to engage in lila (Krishna’s endlessly expanding spiritual activities)

[2] prima facia – sufficient to establish a fact or raise a presumption unless disproved or rebutted

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