The ABCs of Krishna Consciousness


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 36, Summer 2012

The different issues highlighted in BTP may appear to address complex philosophical matters, relevant only for “senior devotees” to debate and decide on. However, these issues actually deal with the very basic principles of spiritual life, without understanding which one has not begun to understand even the ABCs of Krishna consciousness - never mind claim the lofty position of guru, who guides others.

Guru must be self-realised

Srila Prabhupada states regarding the Bhagavad-gita, that:

“The Bhagavad-gita is the ABCD. It is just beginning of understanding of what is God. ABC.”

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 27/2/1973)

And one of the most basic verses in Bhagavad-gita, known to all devotees, is verse 4:34:

“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.”

This states that the spiritual master from whom we must learn the truth and serve, is a “self-realised soul”. So this is what an “ABC” verse in the “ABC” book states. Very elementary. Yet, ISKCON’s gurus have yet to even grasp this elementary understanding:

“there may be so many other types of personality traits or even lack of realization that may be there within a spiritual master. But still saksad-hari. Still he has to be treated as good as God, otherwise the process doesn’t work.”
(HH Sivarama Swami, 11/1/2009, emphasis added)

Where is the quote?

Again turning to the “ABC” book Bhagavad-gita, Srila Prabhupada states:

“Besides that, one should not talk nonsense. When speaking in spiritual circles, one’s statements must be upheld by the scriptures. One should at once quote from scriptural authority to back up what he is saying.”
(Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 17:15, purport)

Again an elementary point, necessary to prevent “talking nonsense”. Yet, a sample statement from another ISKCON guru, HG Sankarshan Das, claims:

“Someone can read Prabhupada’s books and accept Prabhupada as their spiritual master and then surrender to his instruction to take initiation from one of his disciples.”
(Sankarshan Das, 13/6/2012)

But no quote is provided to support the assertion that Srila Prabhupada gave an instruction “to take initiation from one of his disciples”, as required by the simple teaching given in the Bhagavad-gita. Ironically, this unsupported statement from Sankarshan Das is titled as: “Answers by citing the Vedic Version”! Yet, he only cites the fabrications present in his mind, for there is no statement from Srila Prabhupada in which he says: “take initiation from one of my disciples”. Anyone can check and verify this simple truth for themselves. Hence, Srila Prabhupada’s basic insistence that rather than “talk nonsense”, one should instead “quote from scriptural authority to back up what he is saying.”

Understanding simple English

Srila Prabhupada may state that although something can be done, it still should not be done. For example, he states that although one “can” worship demi-gods, it should not be done:

“those who are interested for material profit, they can worship demigods. […] So our concern is we don’t want any material profit; we want Krsna. Therefore we do not require to worship demigods.”
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 15/4/1972)

Similarly, Srila Prabhupada states that, although non-uttama-adhikaris can accept disciples, they should not, nor should students accept such persons as gurus:

“One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari. A neophyte Vaisnava or a Vaisnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master.”
(Nectar of Instruction, Verse 5, purport)

So again, simple “ABCs”:
a) Something can be done
b) But do not do it
Yet, ISKCON’s leaders understand this statement to mean the exact opposite:

“‘Well, should a guru’s role just be an uttama-adhikari?’ Then they also raise the fact that this certainly would pose problems and it’s not necessarily what Srila Prabhupada’s statements on the subject are about. [...] But in spreading Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s movement, Srila Prabhupada indicated that devotees who are madhyam-adhikaris or devotees who are kanistha-adhikaris, they can also do that service”
(HH Sivarama Swami, 16/5/2012)

Thus, unable to understand simple English, Srila Prabhupada’s clear prohibition against non-uttama-adhikari gurus is claimed to “not necessarily” be so on the basis of what can be done. But unless something can be done, the question of whether it should be done would not even arise. Therefore, what is actually relevant is whether it should be done, and Srila Prabhupada states clearly that it should not.

Siddhanta, not size

ISKCON guru HG Kripamoya Das claims that ISKCON:

“is the largest international organisation of its kind […] and will continue to do much good”

while having earlier attempted to minimise the IRM by claiming (falsely) that:

“Beyond the website hyperbole though, it’s just three or four blokes in their bedrooms.”
(HG Kripamoya Das, “Who is an ISKCON Member?”, 21/6/2012)

But, what matters is whether or not one is following correctly, not the size of one’s following:

“It is not difficult to notice that people have lost their spiritual interest. And almost all those who are actually interested are being cheated by so-called spiritualists. You cannot judge a movement simply by the number of its followers. If one man is genuine, then the movement is successful. It is not a question of quantity, but quality.”
(Science of Self-Realisation, emphasis added)

And we have continually documented how ISKCON is cheating its followers on a very large scale. Therefore, one must only concern oneself with the truth of one’s siddhanta, or conclusion, not one’s size. Because if one is on the right path, one’s size is irrelevant. And if one is on the wrong path, again one’s size is irrelevant.


The above are examples of basic principles:

a) such as being able to understand simple instructions etc., which are required in order to even begin Krishna consciousness, and;
b) which are misunderstood by those who are supposed to be the most advanced devotees in ISKCON - the gurus and GBCs - who are guiding the rest of the society.

Thus, the actual issue before us is that ISKCON’s leaders do not yet even understand that “2+2 = 4”!

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Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
 And be Happy!