Another climbdown: HH Bhaktivaibhava Swami


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 31, Spring 2011

BTP has continually highlighted how the IRM is winning the philosophical war, with one ISKCON leader after another being persuaded to adopt our position. Unfortunately, different types of trickery, such as the label-switching hoax (as mentioned in the previous article), are used to keep the guru hoax alive and prevent practical action from matching philosophical reality. The latest example below comes from GBC-elected guru hoaxer HH Bhaktivaibhava Swami (“BVS”). All quotes below, in the shaded panels, come from an online exchange he had with his disciples.

Srila Prabhupada is the diksa guru

“Srila Prabhupada saved you because he is present among us through his books, lectures, letters, bhajans, etc. We all follow Srila Prabhupada. Therefore, he saved you and me.”
(BVS, online discussion with disciple, 29/8/2010)

BVS directs the statement above to his disciple, stating that both have been delivered by Srila Prabhupada due to their following Srila Prabhupada. This describes the relationship between a diksa guru and his disciple:

“The spiritual master initiates the disciple to deliver him, and if the disciple executes the order of the spiritual master and does not offend other Vaisnavas, his path is clear.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-Lila, 1:128, purport)

BVS is, therefore, effectively asserting that the status of himself and his disciple in relation to Srila Prabhupada in this regard, is identical.

Srila Prabhupada is the current link - 1

Sarvasukha Dasa: “Srila Gurudeva ki-jaya! Srila Prabhupada ki-jaya!”
Bhaktivaibhava Swami: “No, Srila Prabhupada ki jaya and then Gurudeva. You still don’t get it."
Sarvasukha Dasa: “DGuruMaharaja, off course I understand the point :D I just wanted to worship U in the way, I was tought all the time... :)”
(Online discussion with disciple, 29-30/8/2010)

BVS’s disciple Sarvasukha Das here presents the standard system of honouring ISKCON diksa gurus, which he states is the way he has been taught, which acknowledges that they are approaching Srila Prabhupada via their own ISKCON diksa guru. This means that obeisances are paid in this order, as another guru hoaxer HH Bhakti Charu Swami (“BCS”), explains:

“you first offer your pranam to me and then to Srila Prabhupada, not first Srila Prabhupada and then me; I am taking you TO Srila Prabhupada; you are going to Srila Prabhupada through me, therefore you offer your pranam mantra to me first.”
(BCS quoted by BCS secretary, 18/9/1999 and 10/8/2001)

BVS, however, insists that this order must be reversed, with Srila Prabhupada glorified first as if he were one’s immediate guru.

Srila Prabhupada is the current link - 2

Bhaktivaibhava Swami: “Perfection for the eyes is to see Lord Krishna.”
Madhurya Seva: “Yes.but allow us to see through your sight as yet...”
Bhaktivaibhava Swami: “We all depend on the mercy of Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental vision, who gave Lord Krishna to the entire world.”
Madhurya Seva: “O Maharaja! how is that?...i must apologize to You.... .. .........we receive the mersy of Srila Prabhupada’s through You...but we are not r......?”
Bhaktivaibhava Swami: “Everybody receives Srila Prabhupada’s mercy directly through his teachings and his ISKCON society as Founder-Acarya.”
(Online discussion with disciple, 27-28/9/2010)

Continuing with the “current link” theme of the previous entry, another disciple of BVS states the supposed standard understanding of the relationship between a disciple and their ISKCON diksa guru - that their guru is needed to connect them to the parampara (disciplic succession), and, therefore, to Srila Prabhupada, via being the current link in the disciplic succession. Therefore, Srila Prabhupada’s mercy is received through them. BVS states that Srila Prabhupada’s mercy is received directly through his teachings, rather than through him.

The “following” scam

Interspersed in the exchanges above, BVS also makes the following statements:

“We follow the Founder-Acarya and we serve our spiritual master. […] Because the instruction of the spiritual master is to follow Srila Prabhupada. If we serve that instruction, our life will be perfect. […]And the spiritual master gives for the disciple an example how to follow Srila Prabhupada.”
(BVS, online discussion with disciple, 29/8/2010)

Having effectively stated that Srila Prabhupada is the diksa guru, BVS fabricates a position for himself as being the diksa guru in terms of having his disciples serve and worship him, with the justifications above. His motivation appears to be that he is required to encourage his disciples to “follow” Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada explained the position of anyone who assists others to follow him:

“The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am in the initiator guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing. This is not a title, but you must actually come to this platform. This I want.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 4/8/1975)

Such a person is, therefore, at best, an instructing guru. This is obvious, since, when the GBC voted-in gurus order someone to follow and be guided by Srila Prabhupada, this means Srila Prabhupada is doing all of the work. Indeed, every person who has any contact with ISKCON; whether a Life Member, congregational member, neophyte bhakta, or guest; whether a follower of the IRM or GBC; tells anyone who will listen, that they should “follow Srila Prabhupada”. So simply passing on the direction to someone to “follow Srila Prabhupada” does not mean that the person needs to then become our disciple and worship us “as good as God”. Yet this is exactly what happens today in ISKCON, with ISKCON gurus justifying the guru hoax on the basis that they are needed to tell their disciples to “follow Srila Prabhupada”.


Though more and more ISKCON guru hoaxers are surrendering to adopting our position, they will still not surrender their disciples and the associated benefits. Rather, they attempt to hold on to their positions with different childish tricks such as changing labels and claiming that activities carried out by any neophyte are diksa guru activities.

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