Srila Prabhupada: The Diksa Guru


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 38, Winter 2012/13

In this article, we will show via Srila Prabhupada's own instructions that his physical absence is no hindrance to him continuing to fulfil all the functions of a diksa guru.

Approach the spiritual master

"... in order to receive the real message of Srimad-Bhagavatam, one should approach the current link or spiritual master, in the chain of disciplic succession."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 2.9.7)

[Srila Prabhupada has established that in ISKCON the message of the Bhagavatam will be received only through the Srimad-Bhagavatam that he has translated and commented on. Thus, the message of the Bhagavatam is being received directly from Srila Prabhupada, and, therefore, he is the current-link spiritual master whom everyone should approach].

Ask questions, receive answers

Devotee: "Srila Prabhupada when you are not present with us, how is it possible to receive instructions, for example, on questions that may arise?"
Srila Prabhupada: "Well, the questions ... Answers are there in my books."
(Morning Walk, 13/5/1973)

Allows us to render direct service

"If there is no chance to serve the spiritual master directly, a devotee should serve him by remembering his instructions. There is no difference between the spiritual master's instructions and the spiritual master himself. In his absence, therefore, his words of direction should be the pride of the disciple."
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila,1.35)

Living spiritual master

"So although a physical body is not present, the vibration should be accepted as the presence of the spiritual master, vibration. What we have heard from the spiritual master, that is living."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 13/1/1969)

Guides us

"I shall remain your personal guidance, physically present or not physically, as I am getting personal guidance from my Guru Maharaja."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, 14/7/1977)

Instructs us

"Yes, I am glad that your center is doing so well and all the devotees are now appreciating the presence of their Spiritual Master by following His instructions although He is no longer present - this is the right spirit."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 13/9/1970)

Associates with us

"You write that you have desire to avail of my association again, but why do you forget that you are always in association with me? When you are helping my missionary activities I am always thinking of you and you are always thinking of me. That is real association. Just like I always think of my Guru Maharaja at every moment, although He is not physically present, and because I am trying to serve Him to my best capacity, I am sure He is helping me by His spiritual blessings."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 17/8/1969)

Watches us

"So my Guru Maharaja will be very, very much pleased upon you ... it is not that he is dead and gone. That is not spiritual understanding ... He is seeing. I never feel that I am alone."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 2/3/1975)

Meets us every day

"But always remember that I am always with you. As you are always thinking of me I am always thinking of you also. Although physically we are not together, we are not separated spiritually. So we should be concerned only with this spiritual connection."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 13/11/1969)

Reciprocates with us

"I also do not feel separation from my Guru Maharaja. When I am engaged in his service His pictures give me sufficient strength. To serve the Spiritual Master's word is more important than to serve him physically."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 19/7/1970)

Rewards and chastises us

Narayana: "So those disciples who don't have opportunity to see you or speak with you... "
Srila Prabhupada: "That he was speaking, vani and vapuh. Even if you don't see his body, you take his word, vani."
Narayana: "But how do they know they're pleasing you, Srila Prabhupada?"
Srila Prabhupada: "If you actually follow the words of guru, that means he is pleased. And if you do not follow, how he can be pleased?"
(Morning Walk, 21/7/1975)

Gives his mercy directly to us

"Yes. My Guru Maharaja passed away in 1936, and I started this movement in 1965, thirty years after. Then? I am getting the mercy of guru. This is vani. Even the guru is not physically present, if you follow the vani, then you are getting help."
(Morning Walk, 21/7/1975)

Initiates us

"Yes, I am the spiritual master of this institution, and all the members of the society, they're supposed to be my disciples. They follow the rules and regulations which I ask them to follow, and they are initiated by me spiritually."
(Srila Prabhupada Interview, 12/3/1968)

[This statement establishing Srila Prabhupada's status as the diksa guru for every member of the institution of ISKCON was never countermanded or altered by any subsequent statement made by Srila Prabhupada regarding the society. Additionally, the "rules and regulations" that Srila Prabhupada states lead to the members of ISKCON being initiated spiritually by him, are exactly the same rules and regulations that ISKCON members must also follow today (see article on page 3 for more details about this)].


One cannot claim that Srila Prabhupada's physical absence precludes him from being able to function as a diksa guru. Consequently, even if one claims that the diksa guru must be a "living spiritual master", there is no reason why Srila Prabhupada cannot be that spiritual master!

Thus, whether by the words of the "Diksa Deniers" (see pages 4-5), or by the words of Srila Prabhupada himself, Srila Prabhupada "ticks all the boxes" of the "living" diksa guru whom one must approach, inquire from, render service to and receive initiation from.

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