Making a “Case” for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”
The “Guru” Deception “Issue”
If we contrast his tactics, of the bogus-guru, as presented in the previous segment, with Krishna’s dealings with Arjuna, we see that the original guru, Bhagavan, did not make the generating of warm, fuzzy feelings His agenda. Arjuna was already pretty crushed in the onset of Bhagavad-gita. There could not be a more fitting candidate than Arjuna needing to feel warm and fuzzy in that moment; confronting his teachers and family members on the brink of mortal combat. But instead of making him warm and fuzzy, Krishna said,
“You are talking like an ignorant fool, Arjuna.”
Prabhupada, in a lecture, said that for a man of Arjuna’s caliber, that was like a slap in his face. “So much for making him feel warm and fuzzy.”
In other words, the Lord was more or less saying,
“Listen up, Arjuna, get out of stupidity first. Face reality full-on. Be real. Deal with it. Then you can feel warm and fuzzy all you like. Do not just reinterpret your ignorance so that you can feel warm and fuzzy while you wallow in the illusion of progress out of illusion. You have to earn that right; you have to pay the price.”
In facing the neophyte disciple, the real guru knows, acutely, that he is up against all this. He knows that the neophytes want to give away their volition to him, in the name of surrender; that they are dying to do this. The real guru knows that he has to give back the disciple’s volition or the disciple cannot mature properly; he knows he must lay a proper foundation for their spiritual growth from child to man.
Hence, when we see that a guru implicitly requires childlike dependency in us, in the name of being a good disciple, warning bells should go off. Or, if you see followers of gurus regressing to childlike silliness and calling it “love,” “surrender,” “devotion,” or “ecstasy,” warning bells should go off then, too. There is absolutely nothing spiritual about being deceived.
Some more logical questions come to mind. They are presented below in the format of “question” in italics and bold, followed by the answer in normal font.
Question: “The primary responsibilities of a guru were explained; but what are the secondary responsibilities of a guru?”
Under secondary responsibilities there is only one thing in mind, actually: Guru as healer of emotional wounds.
This is a secondary responsibility or perhaps an effect of the guru giving us real insight about the art of existence, which is the summing up of the primary responsibilities. However, in today’s world, guru, as healer of emotional wounds, has emerged as a primary responsibility. In some cases, the only responsibility of the guru. In some cases, it is the litmus test of a guru.
As it has been said before, most people want relief and not a cure. Moreover, in the present social environment, this is a common assumption all over the world.
Question: “What is a diksha guru compared to a shiksha guru. Is it the degree of enlightenment he offers?”
Functionally, there is no difference at all. None. Only that some distinction is made with respect to the one who initiates us into the parampara and teaches us the Gaudiya conception, or at least enough of the rudiments so that we make an intelligent choice in opting to take this path.
Question: “It is the diksha guru, we are taught, who is one’s transparent via medium to Krishna, for without diksha, there can be no progress.?”
Nope. This is propaganda, at best. According to our philosophy, all who give us some degree of valid insight about the Absolute Truth are transparent via media. All. Even the birds, the bees, the butterflies, and the trees leaves, etc. But, yes, we do accord some special recognition to the persons or persons, who take a deliberate and specific interest in our growth and development, and who may give us some tough love when we get too lax on the long and winding road.
Question: “But is that because of a ceremony, or because of the potency of his instruction, or his intention to offer ongoing guidance?”
No ceremony is required. Diksha means the transfer of spiritual knowledge. For some, the understanding is that it downloads onto their hard drive at the time of the ceremony. These persons are the servants of the magic helper conception of guru. For intelligent seekers, diksha means a dynamic process of rational questions and rational answers, whereby the lights get turned on in the questioner. You see this process at work in Bhagavatam and in Jaiva Dharma. In none of these places is the ceremony emphasized. In fact, it is hardly even mentioned.
Question: If it is the latter, then it seems one should consider the diksha guru to be that person who has offered the most spiritual enlightenment in one’s life, and certainly not a person who initiates someone in a ceremony and has left that person to fend for himself.?”
You can have more regard for your Siksha guru than your Diksha guru. This is possible. It is an affair of the heart, not something for legislation. However, there is no need to reject the Diksha guru or resent them. Rejection is only if, and when, we know for certain, that the guru was not in fact the real thing to begin with. If you grab a life jacket and then find out it is not a life jacket, why hang on to it?
 Propaganda: information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular point of view.