Putting Srila Prabhupada in the Centre


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 45, Autumn 2014

Soon after starting ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada revealed that his plan for organising the movement revolved around keeping himself in the centre of it:

"I wish that each and every Branch shall keep their independent identity and cooperate keeping the Acarya in the centre. On this principle we can open any number of Branches all over the world."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 11/2/67)

Below, we present the evidence for the only way that Srila Prabhupada can practically be in the centre. All emphases added.

Diksa guru is the centre - 1

"After being initiated and receiving the orders of the spiritual master, the disciple should unhesitatingly think about the instructions or orders of the spiritual master and should not allow himself to be disturbed by anything else. This is also the verdict of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, who, while explaining a verse of Bhagavad-gita (vyavasayatmika buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana), points out that the order of the spiritual master is the life substance of the disciple."
(SB, 4.24.15)

"[...] a devoted disciple of the spiritual master would rather die with the spiritual master than fail to execute the spiritual master's mission. [...] It is the duty of the disciples to take charge of the mission of the spiritual master and execute it properly. Otherwise the disciple should decide to die along with the spiritual master. In other words, to execute the will of the spiritual master, the disciple should be prepared to lay down his life and abandon all personal considerations."
(SB, 4.28.50)

"[...] the order of the spiritual master is the life and soul of the disciples. As a man cannot separate his life from his body, a disciple cannot separate the order of the spiritual master from his life."
(SB, 3.24.13)

Srila Prabhupada explains that serving the mission and order of the diksa guru is the very "life substance" of the disciple, such that he is willing to lay down his life for him. Clearly, therefore, the diksa guru is in the centre for all those who are his disciples.

Diksa guru is the centre - 2

Indeed, so much is the diksa guru in the centre for his disciple, that he is in the centre not just in this life, but also subsequent lives:

"In a song we sing every day, Narottama dasa Thakura says, caksu-dana dila yei, janme janme prabhu sei: the guru gives spiritual insight to the disciple, and therefore the guru should be considered his master, life after life."
(SB, 6.7.21)

"Janme janme prabhu sei. Spiritual master who has opened the eyes, he is, spiritual master, the life of the disciple. Do not...He cannot be [indistinct]. Janme janme prabhu sei. Life of the disciple. Cakhu-dan dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei."
(Room Conversation, 29/5/77)

The above quotations refer to the following verse:

"cakhu-dan dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei, divya jnan hrde prokasito.
Translation: He opens my darkened eyes and fills my heart with transcendental knowledge. He is my Lord birth after birth."

(ISKCON Song Book)

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

"Divya-jnana hrde prokasito. What is that divya-jnana? [...] This is divya-jnana. Diksa. Diksa means from this divya-jnana."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 11/7/76)

Srila Prabhupada not in centre

Consequently, we can practically see that those who have diksa gurus in ISKCON other than Srila Prabhupada, keep their diksa gurus in the centre of their lives:

"I have been surviving purely based on your blessing and prayers. Except your lotus feet there is no other shelter in this material world."
(Disciple offering to GBC "diksa" guru, emphasis in original)

"I never asked for you to come into my life. But you did. You started with my mother, and now she worships every breath you take and every step you make. [...] And you have forced me to love you unconditionally because of your grace. I never thought I would be in this position. I never thought I would feel this way about anyone. But you are my number one man. I do love you and I think about you every day."
(Disciple offering to GBC "diksa" guru)

"Although it's been 7 years since Lord Krishna mercifully sent you as my master and saviour, that first darshan of your divine grace is still afresh to my vision."
(Disciple offering to GBC "diksa" guru)

The above is just a small, but representative sample (as anyone can verify by studying any Vyasa-puja book of an ISKCON GBC guru) of the guru-disciple interactions within ISKCON.

Thus, as we see above, the disciples of ISKCON's GBC gurus naturally see their gurus in the same light as Srila Prabhupada's disciples see him, even using the title "Divine Grace" for them -- which is specifically forbidden by GBC Resolution No 406, 1999 to refer to anyone other than Srila Prabhu-pada. And the ISKCON GBC gurus themselves are more than happy to encourage such devotion centred on them:

"I am also very happy that you all are able to read the offerings in the shared e-book and I would encourage all of you to do so because it will help to bring our family closer together [...]."
(Bhakti Charu Swami Istagosthi, 25/9/13)

I accept Srila Jayapataka Swami to be my initiating (diksa) and instructing (siksa) spiritual master (Guru) forever, even life after life."

("Initiation Acceptance Oath", HH Jayapataka Swami)

Ravindra-svarupa Prabhu, speaking about his own Vyasa-puja celebration, said:

"Actually, disciples NEED this."
(Bhakti Charu Swami Istagosthi, 19/9/05)


1) Srila Prabhupada wanted that he always be in the centre of ISKCON as the acarya. And we have seen that the GBC have finally unwittingly accepted that this means he should always be the diksa guru of ISKCON (as proven by the IRM's "Founder-acarya" book sent along with BTP 43).

2) Srila Prabhupada teaches that the diksa guru is in the centre for the disciple.

3) ISKCON's GBC diksa gurus are in the centre for their disciples.

Thus, the only way to put Srila Prabhupada in the centre is to have him as ISKCON's sole diksa guru and to remove all other diksa gurus from ISKCON.

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