Srila Prabhupada Not "Acceptable"


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 53, Autumn 2016

The "Sastric Advisory Council" was established by the GBC as an advisory body of "senior, trusted and proven brahmanas that offers input to the GBC Body according to scripture, philosophy and realization" (GBC Resolution 604, 2002). They issued a paper titled "Balancing The Roles Of The GBC And The Disciple In Guru Selection" which explains the guru system in ISKCON. The excerpts in the shaded boxes below are taken from this paper. While discussing who can be accepted as a diksa guru in ISKCON, the paper states:

"In ISKCON the range of acceptable spiritual masters is, however, limited by a certain principle."

It is a fact that in ISKCON the range of "acceptable" spiritual masters is limited. One of these limits is that Srila Prabhupada is prohibited from being one of these "acceptable" spiritual masters in ISKCON. The paper then explains the "certain principle" that gives rise to the "range of acceptable spiritual masters":

"Devotees in ISKCON have decided to follow Srila Prabhupada because he is the one who saved them and is bringing them to Sri Krishna. They understand Prabhu­pada as the most empowered Vaishnava acarya of modern times mainly because his vision and method of world-wide preaching is most effective for people in general. Not every Vaishnava guru in the world has this same personal vision and mood. Accepting a guru who does not have the same vision and mood as Srila Prabhupada would create disharmony in the Society he created."

Thus, this principle states that the "range of acceptable spiritual masters" is limited only to those who "have the same vision and mood as Srila Prabhupada". And – referring to the list of GBC-elected ISKCON gurus – the paper concludes that this means:

"ISKCON members are limited to choose as guru only qualified devotees serving in ISKCON".

However, there is one person who can be said to "have the same vision and mood as Srila Prabhupada", in a much greater degree than anyone on the GBC's list of "authorised" gurus. And that person, by definition, is Srila Prabhupada himself! Thus, the very principle that determines who can be a diksa guru in ISKCON would automatically by definition lead to Srila Prabhupada being the no. 1 choice of diksa guru for anyone and everyone in ISKCON. Yet, he is specifically excluded from being a diksa guru in ISKCON.

Hence, the need to only accept Srila Prabhupada is put forward as the "principle" which ultimately leads to one not being able to accept Srila Prabhupada. Such is the contradictory reasoning that underlies the GBC guru system in ISKCON today!

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