ISKCON guru trapped on all sides


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 29, Autumn 2010

Whether they are broadcasting climbdowns that are in agreement with the IRM's philosophy (see BTP 27's "ISKCON climbdown special" issue), or are trying to wriggle their way out of agreeing with the IRM altogether, ISKCON's GBC members inevitably end up trapped in supporting the IRM's position that Srila Prabhupada is ISKCON's only diksha (initiating) guru! Below we see GBC guru hoaxer HH Sivarama Swami ("SRS") unwittingly promoting the IRM's manifesto in his podcast of 28th June 2010. SRS's statements appear in the tinted panels.

Trapped by guru colleague

"Our whole principle is that Krishna says, "tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya", "You approach a spiritual master," and "upadeksyanti te jnanam jnaninas tattva-darsinah". He will 'tattva-darsi', he will show you the truth. When he's showing you truth he will take you to Krishna."

SRS answers that the diksha guru we must accept, as mentioned in Bhagavad-gita 4:34, is the person who will "take you to Krishna". In stating this, SRS is immediately trapped by his GBC and guru colleague HH Bhakti Charu Swami ("BCS"), whom SRS accepts as a bona fide spiritual master. Putting SRS's statements together with the statements of BCS, we get:

SRS: The diksha guru will take you to Krishna (above).
BCS: "I cannot lead you to Krsna."
(BCS Istagosthi, March 28th, 2006)

BCS: "Srila Prabhupada will take you to Krsna."
(BCS, Durban Disciples' Meeting, April 7th, 2006)

This means, according to SRS and BCS:

- BCS is not a diksha guru.
- Srila Prabhupada is the diksha guru.

Trapped by GBC

"The spiritual master's main responsibility is, "tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh sreya uttamam", "samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham", is to transfer to you transcendental knowledge. He teaches you. He's a teacher."

According to the GBC, and hence SRS, since he is himself a GBC member, the guru who teaches us and transfers to us the most knowledge is Srila Prabhupada:

"b. Srila Prabhupada's instructions are the essential teachings for every ISKCON devotee."
(GBC Resolution No. 35, Founder-Acarya Statement, 1994)

"ISKCON's founder-acarya, Srila Prabhupada, is the preeminent and compulsory siksa-guru for all vaisnavas (gurus and disciples) in the Society, who may directly receive empowerment from him through allegiance to his teachings."
(GBC Resolution No. 409. [Vision and Goal] Principles concerning various kinds of gurus, 1999)

"This pure transcendental knowledge, delivered without alteration, uplifts the conditioned souls to the platform of devotional service and cleanses sinful desires from their hearts. Such uplifting knowledge is called divya jnana, and its transmission is called siksa. This divya jnana is the principle active ingredient of diksa."
(GBC Resolution No. 404 [Vision and Goal] Definitions of Guru and Divya Jnana, 1999)

So again SRS has unwittingly ended up claiming that Srila Prabhupada is actually the diksha guru we have to accept and surrender to, as advised by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita, who takes us to Krishna.

Trapped by himself

"… those personalities who are no longer physically manifest [...] all of these personalities act only when one has actually accepted a spiritual master."

SRS now states the diksha guru we must accept is not a nonphysically manifest personality such as Srila Prabhupada.

So desperate is SRS to ensure he promotes a "physically manifest" personality such as himself as guru, he happily contradicts the actual description of the diksha guru that he himself has just given!

Sivarama Swami
HH Sivarama Swami: No way out

Trapped by Srila Prabhupada

"And we need to have as much faith in the system of accepting guru as we have in accepting the guru himself. Because it's Krishna's system, therefore even if we may think that there is some kind of lacking, then "yoga-ksemam vahamy aham." Krishna will cover that type of lack."

1) SRS refers here to the Bhagavad-gita verse, "But those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form - to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have." (9:22). Neither this verse, nor its purport, speaks of there being any lack in "Krishna's system" of accepting a bona fide spiritual master. Rather, Srila Prabhupada states, in the same Bhagavad-gita, that a bona fide guru in the eternal disciplic succession never deviates at all:

"A bona fide spiritual master is in the disciplic succession from time eternal and he does not deviate at all from the instructions of the Supreme Lord."
(Bhagavad-gita As It Is 4.42, purport)

2) Rather, the purport to Bhagavad-gita 9:22, does state that:

"The Lord helps the devotee to achieve Krsna consciousness by yoga, and when he becomes fully Krsna conscious the Lord protects him from falling down to a miserable conditioned life."

Clearly, therefore, this verse cannot be referring at all to the ISKCON guru system, since SRS himself has confessed that its members have continually fallen down to a miserable, degraded life:

"I was seeing deviations in ISKCON […] Fallen sannyasis, drugs-induced ecstasy, illicit sex, and needless to say that it was clear that the gurus were fallible."
(SRS, Podcast, October 3rd, 2006)

Trapped by history

"Because it's Krishna's system, […] But it requires real sraddha and determination on the part of the aspiring devotees."

Given what we just quoted SRS stating about his fallen ISKCON guru system, it certainly does require "real sraddha (faith) and determination on the part of the aspiring devotees" to accept that such a fallen system is actually "Krishna's system"!


We have repeatedly shown that our supposedly "self-realised" ISKCON spiritual masters are unable to defend their position as being bona fide spiritual masters, without either agreeing with the IRM's position, or contradicting themselves and Srila Prabhupada! Thus at best, they can be more accurately described as self-deluded, rather than self-realised!

Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!