Another “Guru” Heavy with Ignorance


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 55, Spring 2017

We showed in the previous issue how, though the word "guru" by definition means "heavy with knowledge" (Teachings of Lord Kapila, Verse 4), ISKCON guru HH Hridayananda Dasa Goswami admitted to being in ignorance for decades (see "Following the IRM's Lead"). Now, hot on his heels, we reveal another ISKCON "guru" also admitting to similar long-held ignorance. All the quotes in the shaded boxes below are from "Varnasrama" (Vedic social system) seminars, given by HH Sivarama Swami ("SRS"), published last year. All emphases added.

Ignorant for decades

"Varnasrama is not really my, it's not my thing. [...] it's my duty to try to research what it is that Srila
Prabhupada wanted and try to fulfill that. So for the last two to three years, I've been really digging in. [...] it's becoming for me very obvious I wish I knew a lot of the things that I know now about varnasrama [...] And if I knew that now, excuse me, earlier, what I knew now because as a temple president, GBC, as a guru, I may have made different decisions and given different types of advice."

SRS has been a GBC-elected ‘good as God' diksa guru for 30 years. However, he admits it is only in the last "two to three years" that he has learned about varnasrama. Consequently, he laments that if it weren't for his long held ignorance of varnasrama, he could have given better advice while acting as a guru.

Back to front

SRS admits that what he has just realised about varnasrama is so basic that it is already understood by all those of Indian origin:

"I wanted to mention for varnasrama, which those of Indian origins will know, is that varnas marry varnas. [...] And when I was thinking about that and studying that I realized, yeah, this is why I've been involved in marriage counselling for the last forty years, is because there's a lack of compatibility. The modes of nature don't match."

Very basic teachings indeed:

"So in the beginning if we start a varnasrama college [...] to learn to be educated [...] by quality and work, that will be the basic principle of Krishna Consciousness."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 11/3/74)

Thus, in summary, SRS is admitting that first, 30 years ago, he became a ‘good as God' diksa guru, whilst in ignorance of very basic Krishna conscious teachings. And then only recently did he try to acquire this basic knowledge. But it is not that one becomes a guru whilst ignorant, and then acquires knowledge. Rather, one first acquires knowledge, so that one is at least qualified to be a guru. Because guru means heavy with "knowledge" rather than ignorance. Otherwise, it is like a person who first claims to be a professor, and then goes to college to take up basic studies! Even the materialists do not have such a stupid system.

Doesn't speak truth

SRS openly admits that what he speaks on the subject is not the absolute truth:

"And there's a lot of different opinions on what varnasrama means. Obviously you are just hearing mine, which is not the absolute truth."

But, a ‘good as God' diksa guru – which SRS claims he is – is always supposed to speak the absolute truth:

"In order to learn the transcendental science, one must approach the bona fide spiritual master in disciplic succession, who is fixed in the Absolute Truth."
(The Science of Self Realization, Ch. 2)

Thus, this is more evidence that SRS is not a bona fide spiritual master. In addition, one should at least have the humility to refrain from propagating such admittedly imperfect information. But all the quotes from SRS in this article are taken from "seminars" about varnasrama that SRS gives.

Still ignorant

SRS states that he belongs to the vaisya varna (mercantile class):

"It took me a long time to figure out what my varna was. [...] but if I had to choose one then I'm a vaisya."

His followers, however, resist this admission, as they believe he is transcendental, beyond the modes of material nature:

Devotee: "I understand that you are completely transcendentally situated beyond the three modes of nature, so how you can speak about a vaisya?"
SRS: "Because the nature remains."

In reply, SRS does not state he is not transcendental, but instead attempts to reconcile how he could be transcendental and a vaisya, by stating that the vaisya nature still remains. But this vaisya nature is completely material:

"There are four classes of men functioning in the three material modes of nature. Those who are purely in the mode of goodness are called brahmanas. Those who are purely in the mode of passion are called ksatriyas. Those who are in the modes of both passion and ignorance are called vaisyas. Those who are completely in ignorance are called sudras."
(Bg., 7.13)

Thus, despite his recent study, SRS is still ignorant regarding the basics of Krishna consciousness. When one is transcendental, a vaisya nature does not remain, since this nature is in the modes of passion and ignorance, rather than transcendental.

Ignorance and passion

SRS elaborates on why he is a vaisya rather than a brahmana (learned scholar):

"I always think about money. And that is the quality of a vaisya. And it's also my bloodline."
"I was invited to the home of some devotees [...] they had this little house [...] they just had a couple of chairs and a table and an altar [...] That's all they had. I thought these people are brahmanas. I don't live like that. But I told you I'm not a brahmana, I'm a vaisya."

And, as SRS explained in the previous section, this nature of a vaisya has remained in him. Which means that he is in the material modes of passion and ignorance. Which corresponds with the ignorance that this article has detailed him having.


Srila Prabhupada is the diksa guru of ISKCON because he did not authorise a successor diksa guru program, and not because it is impossible for his disciples to ever become qualified as diksa gurus. However, those who participate in the guru hoax despite such lack of authorisation automatically disqualify themselves by this disobedience. And our exposés revealing these hoaxers' ignorance, also show that they do not possess the qualification of bona fide diksa gurus, for such persons are fixed in the absolute truth – not ignorance.

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