One foot in the parampara concoction


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 30, Winter 2010/11

The acting GBC’s treatment of its latest “fallen” guru brings into sharp focus the absurd contradictions present in its guru hoax program. (We deliberately put “fallen” in quotation marks, since all of the GBC-approved persons who are taking the position of diksha, or initiating, guru are unauthorised and, therefore, spiritually fallen. However, the GBC generally considers only those who are actually caught breaking the 4 regulative principles as being fallen).

The half-guru

The GBC issued the following statement regarding one of their voted-in guru hoaxers:

“It is our duty to inform you that Umapati prabhu is no longer authorized by the ISKCON society to serve as an initiating spiritual master and sannyasi within ISKCON […] Disciples and followers who wish to do so may continue to consider Umapati prabhu their spiritual master and continue to take guidance from him. […] Umapati prabhu had misused his status as a guru to behave inappropriately with several male disciples over a number of years and that this behavior was of a sexual nature.”
(GBC Statement, GBC meetings, 2010, emphasis added)

The statement claims that:

1) Umapati is so fallen that he is not qualified to act as diksha guru, or indeed even remain as a sannyasi (renunciant).

2) Umapati is simultaneously qualified to continue acting as diksha guru to those who are already his disciples.

So he is simultaneously able to both not function, and function, as a diksha guru! He is a person who is like a “half-guru”, who has one foot in the parampara (disciplic succession of bona fide gurus), and one outside.

New trend

This phenomenon of half-gurus, who are considered to have only one foot in the parampara, in that they are not qualified to be diksha gurus for one class of person, but simultaneously completely qualified for another class, appears to be part of a trend. A similar “half-guru” resolution was also passed to deal with the official position of Satsvarupa, following his admission of an affair with a married disciple:

“In consultation with the GBC EC, he has agreed to retire from initiating; he will not initiate any more disciples. His present disciples are encouraged to go on steadily in their devotional service to ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada, and he will continue to offer guidance and care as they so desire”.
(GBC Executive Committee Statement, ‘Concerning Satsvarupa Maharaja’, May 11, 2004, emphasis added)

So again, he is simultaneously both unqualified and qualified to act as a diksha guru, depending on the persons involved.

The time-out guru

The half-guru entity is only the latest bizarre concoction foisted onto the sacred parampara. We also have the time-out guru, where gurus are deemed unqualified to be diksha gurus only for a limited time, rather like penalty time-outs in Ice Hockey. After the penalty time-out has been served, the guru is invited to once again place both of his feet firmly back in the parampara. Two examples of this were Rohini Suta Das who was suspended from being a guru for 5 years due to marrying his disciple (a relationship which Srila Prabhupada compares to incest), and Suhotra Swami, who had to step down as guru for 2 years due to becoming addicted to mundane videos and novels (see GBC Executive Committee Statement 26/7/2000 and GBC Resolutions 2001). In the latter case, the penalty time-out did not suffice, since a few years later, the GBC was forced to “remove” Suhotra permanently from the parampara.

The bad guru

Which brings us to the old-fashioned way the GBC used to deal with fallen gurus. They would permanently kick gurus out from the parampara once and for all, such as in the case of Harikesa, Vipramukhya etc. This method accepts that the guru has now become a “bad guru”. This itself raises the absurd situation of how you can have a “bad guru” to begin with. Indeed, Srila Prabhupada mocks this very idea:

“And what is a “bad” guru? […] Well, if he is bad, how can he become a guru? [Laughter.] How can iron become gold? Actually, a guru cannot be bad, for if someone is bad, he cannot be a guru. You cannot say “bad guru.” That is a contradiction.”
(Srila Prabhupada, Interview with The Times of London, published in The Science of Self-Realization, chapter 2)

Maybe the attempt to evolve “half-gurus” and “time-out gurus” were attempts to move away from the absurd contradictions present in having “bad gurus”. But as we noted, this merely creates other absurd contradictions. Such as having a guru who is simultaneously both qualified and not qualified to act as a diksha guru; such as having a guru who is simultaneously in and out of the parampara at the same time; such as having one who can take a “vacation” from the parampara.


Srila Prabhupada
Srila Prabhupada:
All good, all the time

All these fanciful concoctions and contradictions reveal that there are two types of gurus. First, those spoken of by Srila Prabhupada:

“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, original 1972 ed.)

And, second, those concocted by the GBC in their guru laboratory, where all sorts of different creatures are manufactured; creatures who have been condemned as bogus by Srila Prabhupada. Hence there is no question of any of these GBC gurus ever even having one foot in the parampara – for they were never in the parampara to begin with! As we have mentioned previously, such contradiction will naturally result when one has fabricated a guru hoax, and such nonsense “guru-tattva” (guru philosophy) is indicative of an unauthorised, made-up guru program.

A spiritually authorised program is naturally free of error and contradiction. Such a program existed previously, and it exists today. It was established by Srila Prabhupada, and it is based on having Srila Prabhupada as the guru of ISKCON. We, therefore, need to leave the GBC concocted guru madness behind and get back to this sane program. In sum, we need to get “Back to Prabhupada”.

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