Offensive Discrimination
Against the Diksa Guru


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 46, Winter 2014/15

We will demonstrate here how the arguments that are put forth to justify why Srila Prabhupada must stop initiating on his departure are based on making a discrimination that is condemned by Srila Prabhupada.

GBC bans normal system

The previous article showed Srila Prabhupada teaching that the normal system is for a siksa guru to go on to become a diksa guru. The GBC teaches that everyone's first siksa guru in ISKCON will always be Srila Prabhupada:

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

And that he will always be the preeminent siksa guru:

"Srila Prabhupada, is the preeminent and compulsory siksa-guru for all vaisnavas (gurus and disciples) in the Society".
(GBC Resolution 409, 1999)

Hence, the GBC should then allow Srila Prabhu-pada to become everyone's diksa guru, as this is what "generally" happens. Yet, this normal system of what "generally" happens is expressly forbidden by GBC Resolution 303, 1999. Though the GBC has already accepted that Srila Prabhu-pada continues to act as a siksa guru after his physical departure, the GBC explains this resolution by claiming that one cannot assert the same in regards to his continuing as a diksa guru. The above-mentioned resolution states:

"the doctrine that Srila Prabhupada desired to continue to act as diksa guru after his departure from this world"

is a:

"dangerous philosophical deviation".

Parampara principle

In the GBC resolution mentioned in the previous section (Resolution 303, 1999), the GBC justifies Srila Prabhupada functioning differently as siksa and diksa guru after his physical departure, by claiming that his acting as diksa guru after his departure:

"directly goes against the principle of parampara itself (of successive diksa and siksa gurus), which sustains the pure teachings and practices of Krishna consciousness."

Here the principle of parampara is defined as being "successive diksa and siksa gurus". But, according to this definition, Srila Prabhupada continuing to act as diksa guru does not go against the principle of parampara, because he himself would be acting as a successive diksa guru, having succeeded his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. For the definition given here by the GBC does not state that a successor in the parampara is prevented from continuing to act as a diksa guru (or siksa guru) after his physical departure. Nor does the principle of the parampara as taught by Srila Prabhupada state this.

Diksa guru discrimination

Hence, the parampara principle, by the GBC's own definition, does not prevent the normal system of initiation taught by Srila Prabhupada, whereby he would become the diksa guru for everyone who joined ISKCON. And we already saw in the first section that the GBC has no problem with Srila Prabhupada continuing to act as a siksa guru today, even after his physical departure. Hence, the only way they can justify their resolution that the diksa guru continuing to initiate after his physical disappearance would violate the parampara principle, is if they fabricated the following principle:

"Though a siksa guru can continue to act in the parampara even after his physical departure, a diksa guru cannot do this."

Hence, they would simply be discriminating between the diksa and siksa gurus, stating that there is a difference between them in their spiritual ability to act in the parampara.

The resolution also claims that the prohibition on Srila Prabhupada continuing to act as diksa guru after his physical departure:

"is a necessity in the matter of sustaining a living tradition."

But we have seen that the GBC does not consider it necessary to prohibit Srila Prabhupada functioning as a siksa guru after his physical departure in order to "sustain a living tradition".

Therefore, in addition to discriminating between the diksa and siksa guru in terms of their ability to act in the parampara, the GBC is also discriminating between them in respect of their ability to "sustain a living tradition".

Discrimination offense

Srila Prabhupada teaches that it is an offense to see any difference between a siksa and diksa guru and thus discriminate between them:

"According to sastric injunctions, there is no difference between siksa-guru and diksa-guru, and generally the siksa-guru later on becomes the diksa-guru."
(SB, 4.12.32)

"There is no difference between the shelter-giving Supreme Lord and the initiating [diksa] and instructing [siksa] spiritual masters. If one foolishly discriminates between them, he commits an offense in the discharge of devotional service." *
(Cc., Adi-lila, 1.47, emphasis added)

Specifically, Srila Prabhupada does not state that such a difference between them is allowed due to the physical departure of the diksa guru. Therefore, to engage in such diksa guru discrimination based on the diksa guru's physical departure would be to commit "an offense in the discharge of devotional service". And yet, as we have documented, this is exactly what the GBC has done.


In order to claim that Srila Prabhupada stops initiating as soon as he physically departs, the GBC has tried to invoke the parampara principle. But such an invocation is false. Rather, they have stopped Srila Prabhupada from initiating by discriminating between how Srila Prabhupada would function as a siksa and diksa guru based on his physical departure. But such discrimination is not taught by Srila Prabhu-pada. Rather, such discrimination is condemned as being offensive.

* This equivalence between Krishna and the siksa and diksa gurus automatically means that the same equivalence exists between the siksa and diksa gurus:

"So according to the axiomatic truth, things equal to one another are equal to each other. [...] Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 31/10/69)

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