The Ludicrous Restriction


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 46, Winter 2014/15

In the previous two articles, we noted that the GBC has no basis to invent the restriction that physical departure restricts the diksa guru from continuing to function. For, not only is the making of such a restriction not taught by Srila Prabhu-pada, but it is actually forbidden. In this article, we examine this made-up restriction in detail and demonstrate its absurdity.

Diksa occurs after physical departure

Srila Prabhupada teaches that diksa is a process, not a one-time event:

"Diksa is the process by which one can awaken his transcendental knowledge and vanquish all reactions caused by sinful activity. A person expert in the study of the revealed scriptures knows this process as diksa."
(Cc., Madhya-lila, 15.108)

"Diksa actually means initiating a disciple with transcendental knowledge by which he becomes freed from all material contamination."
(Cc., Madhya-lila, 4.111)

It involves having "all" reactions caused by sinful activity vanquished and being freed from "all" material contamination, and therefore does not occur instantly but can continue for many years. Yet, Srila Prabhupada was physically present for just a few years after founding ISKCON, and most if not all of his disciples continue to still become purified almost 40 years after his physical departure. But they have not taken another "physically" present diksa guru, nor are they supposed to:

"A devotee must have only one initiating spiritual master because in the scriptures acceptance of more than one is always forbidden."
(Cc., Adi-lila, 1.35)

Thus, the process of diksa and the diksa relationship can occur predominantly after the physical departure of the diksa guru.

So the process of diksa is not restricted by the diksa guru's physical departure.

Unimportant is important

Given this fact about diksa, the GBC is thus forced to claim that only the very beginning of the diksa process -- as symbolised by an initiation ceremony -- is subject to this physical departure restriction. Yet the initiation ceremony is not even important, but just a formality:

"Initiation is a formality. If you are serious, that is real initiation. [...] My touch is simply a formality."
(BTG, "The Search for the Divine")

"Initiation is formality. Just like you go to a school for knowledge, and admission is formality. That is not very important thing."
(Srila Prabhupada Interview, 16/10/76)

And in the last section we saw that the actual process of diksa that occurs after the initiation ceremony is not restricted by Srila Prabhupada's physical departure.

Thus, we have the ludicrous proposition that, while the whole essential process of diksa itself does not require the diksa guru to be restricted by his physical departure, the nonessential initiation ceremony does! Hence, this restriction is illogical and arbitrary, contrived only for the purpose of removing Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON's diksa guru the second he physically departed.

No physical presence

Leaving aside the illogical and absurd claim that the physical departure restriction on the diksa guru is essential only for the nonessential initiation ceremony, the restriction is also ludicrous for another reason: Srila Prabhu-pada demonstrated that he was not even required to be physically present for the initiation ceremony! In the July 9th, 1977 directive, Srila Prabhupada set up a process of initiation that was to be carried out in the movement for everyone from that moment onwards, without any requirement for his physical presence. Every single aspect of the initiation ceremony -- giving a spiritual name, formally accepting the candidate as an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada, and the performance of the actual initiation fire ceremony -- would be conducted by rtvik representatives and the temple president without any involvement from Srila Prabhupada.

Thus, the ludicrous restriction has just become even more ludicrous, if such a thing is possible:

The only activity that is restricted from being performed by the diksa guru once he is not physically present, is one that does not require the diksa guru to be physically present!

No physical restrictions

We can round off exposing how the GBC's restriction on the diksa guru due to physical departure is absurd by noting that ISKCON's leadership has already accepted that there is no physical departure restriction on Srila Prabhupada performing any aspect of diksa. In the BTP 38 article, "Diksa Denial - 2: Denying Srila Prabhupada is a Living Guru", we quoted ISKCON gurus and GBCs accepting that Srila Prabhu-pada:

Initiates, imparts knowledge, reciprocates, liberates, trains, associates, allows us to approach/inquire/surrender, takes us to Krishna, and performs every other conceivable function required for him to act as our diksa guru. The full list can be seen here:

In addition, Srila Prabhupada has also taught numerous times that there is no connection between his spiritual activities and physicality, with many statements such as:

"Physical presence is immaterial".

"So we should associate by the vibration, and not by the physical presence. That is real association."

And so on. One can find an extensive list of dozens of such quotes in the appendices of The Final Order, here:

So, continuing our expose of the GBC's ludicrousness, we can note:

Having accepted that there is no physical departure restriction on Srila Prabhupada performing the activities required to act as a diksa guru, the GBC claims that there is a physical departure restriction on Srila Prabhupada acting as a diksa guru!


a) Diksa is a process not restricted by the physical departure of the diksa guru.
b) There are no restrictions on Srila Prabhupada acting as a diksa guru after his physical departure.
c) The initiation ceremony is not essential and in any case does not require the physical presence of the diksa guru.

Thus, from every conceivable angle, to even claim that the diksa guru must be restricted from acting because of his physical departure is simply ludicrous.

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