Diksa Denial - 1: Denying the Process


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 38, Winter 2012/13

When a conclusion cannot be refuted on the basis of Srila Prabhupada’s orders, one is left with no option but to simply deny it — with such denial being based on an appeal to irrational beliefs. Over the next three pages, we demonstrate how this “denial” is used to deny the fact that Srila Prabhupada is available as the diksa guru for all members of ISKCON — with this denial being based on resorting to manufacturing a defect both in the process of Krsna consciousness and in Srila Prabhupada himself. However, since no such defects actually exist, this “diksa denial” will be debunked as the irrational fantasy that it is.

The ISKCON process

The bona fide process for initiation in ISKCON is set out by Srila Prabhupada in his books:

“In our Krsna consciousness movement, the requirement is that one must be prepared to give up the four pillars of sinful life: illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication and gambling. In Western countries especially, we first observe whether a potential disciple is prepared to follow the regulative principles. Then he is given the name of a Vaiñëava servant and initiated to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, at least sixteen rounds daily.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 24.330)

This process led automatically to every member of ISKCON becoming an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada, with no physical interaction between the disciple and Srila Prabhupada being necessary, since many disciples never met or interacted with Srila Prabhupada. And since Srila Prabhupada’s books were meant to guide ISKCON during its lifetime, this process was intended to be the standard process to always be followed in ISKCON.

Process no longer works

Anyone joining ISKCON today also undergoes the same process just mentioned:

“That a new devotee who follows the four regulative principles and chants sixteen rounds for the first six months should chant Srila Prabhupada’s praëäm mantra and worship him as Founder-acarya of ISKCON and his siksa guru.”
(GBC Resolution 71, 1992)

However, it is now claimed by the GBC that this same process which had previously led to Srila Prabhupada becoming the diksa guru of everyone in ISKCON, cannot possibly do so now. For the GBC resolution we just quoted goes on to state that we must instead seek out one of their elected gurus:

“At any time after the initial six month period, and after passing the required examination, the candidate may choose his future diksa guru…”

Yet, previously, anyone who joined ISKCON was also trained to follow the 4 regulative principles, worship and follow Srila Prabhupada, and chant 16 rounds of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, and this process was considered sufficient to prepare everyone to automatically become Srila Prabhupada’s initiated disciple. And as already noted, the fact that Srila Prabhupada is not physically present on the planet cannot be relevant, since many devotees became Srila Prabhupada’s disciples without any physical interaction with Srila Prabhupada. Clearly, therefore, if the process was able to result in Srila Prabhupada becoming one’s diksa guru, then it can also do so now, since the process and relevant circumstances remain unchanged.

What makes this bizarre denial even more strange is that it is accepted that the ingredients that make up the process in question — chanting Hare Krsna, following the 4 regulative principles, following Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and worshipping him — all function in exactly the same way now. It is not claimed, for example, that chanting 16 rounds of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra today will work in a different manner just because Srila Prabhupada has left the planet. So, it is accepted that: not only is the process the same, but it also works in exactly the same way. Nor is there any teaching from Srila Prabhupada which states that the ISKCON system, which enabled every ISKCON member to automatically become his initiated disciple, would function differently in the future. Hence, there cannot be any spiritual reason for why such a process cannot continue to result in all members of ISKCON becoming Srila Prabhupada’s initiated disciples. Therefore, it can only be due to some unstated “magical” reason, that the GBC claim that this same spiritual process has now become defective in its ability to deliver the same result.

Diksa “magic” example

A striking example of this diksa “magic” at work concerns the process of daily “Guru-Puja”, which was introduced in ISKCON to allow all of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples to worship him as their diksa guru. In this process, prayers glorifying Srila Prabhupada as the diksa guru who delivers divya-jnana (transcendental knowledge) and who is one’s spiritual master life after life, are sung — and all of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples worshipped him in this manner every day when he was physically present. Part of this prayer states:

“cakhu-dan dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei, divya jnan hrde prokasito.”

with the ISKCON Song Book translation of this verse being:

“He opens my darkened eyes and fills my heart with transcendental knowledge. He is my Lord birth after birth.”

And, in an explanation of this verse, Srila Prabhupada categorically states that it means he is giving diksa, or initiation:

“Divya jnana håde prokasito. What is that divya jnana? […] This is divya jnana. Diksa. Diksa means from this divya jnana.”
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 11/7/1976)

This same ceremony is still carried out today for Srila Prabhupada by all ISKCON members, including his disciples. Only, now this same ceremony has magically transformed Srila Prabhupada into only being ISKCON’s siksa (instructing) — not diksa (initiating) — guru, as can be seen from the explanation given for this ceremony on the ISKCON UK HQ’s website:

7.10am – Guru-Puja
At this time, as members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness we offer our obeisances to Srila Prabhupada as the instructing guru for all devotees. […] During the guru-puja, the devotees sing prayers glorifying the spiritual master and offer flower petals and obeisances at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada.”

(www.bhaktivedantamanor.co.uk/home/?page_id=13 – ISKCON UK HQ – archived January 2013, emphasis added)


Srila Prabhupada never taught that the process of Krsna consciousness he gave to be followed in ISKCON undergoes a magical transformation as soon as he leaves the planet — leading to it becoming defective in enabling all ISKCON members to be initiated by him. Nor did he teach that his diksa guru worship ceremony becomes magically transformed into a siksa guru ceremony. Rather, such irrational beliefs have to be invented in order to prop up belief in “Diksa Denial” — or the denial that Srila Prabhupada continues to exist as ISKCON’s diksa guru.

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