Overwhelmed by the Desire to Be Guru


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 56, Summer 2017

Below is a stunning indictment of the consequences that arise from the desire to be worshipped ‘as good as God' by assuming the unauthorised position of successor to Srila Prabhupada. All emphases added.

GBC gurus not good

In regards to the GBC-authorised diksa guru successors to Srila Prabhupada ("the guru hoax"), the GBC has stated:

"In order to focus more fully on Srila Prabhupada and every devotee's special relationship with him, an ISKCON siksa or diksa guru may accept public guru-puja (arati and/or foot bathing) in person once a year on ISKCON property on his or her Vyasa-puja."
(GBC Resolution 316, 2009)

The resolution states that the worship of GBC-authorised diksa guru successors to Srila Prabhupada must be restricted to once a year in order to increase the focus on Srila Prabhupada. Thus, this resolution accepts that having such successors, who will automatically be worshipped by their "disciples", means that the focus is automatically taken off Srila Prabhupada by such successors and their worship.

The logical conclusion of this reasoning would therefore be to do away with such successors altogether, because then all the focus would be on Srila Prabhupada. Otherwise, it is like saying:

"In order to focus more fully on one's wife, one may see one's mistress only once a year."

It is true that restricting contact with one's mistress will increase the focus on one's wife. However, by this reasoning, it is also true that cutting off all contact, and thus eliminating one's mistress altogether, would lead to maximum focus on one's wife. And hence that is the action one should take, since greater focus on one's wife (or in this case Srila Prabhupada) is the desired goal.

That said, at least a partial restriction on GBC guru worship that leads to a partial increase in the focus on Srila Prabhupada is better than no restriction at all.

Desperate for worship

However, for one of these GBC voted-in "successor" diksa gurus, even this partial restriction on his worship in order to partially increase the focus on Srila Prabhupada is too much to bear:

"this is not my first Vyasa-puja this year. I think it's number 11 or something like that. You're only supposed to have one according to the GBC, so we call these ‘guru-disciple meetings'."
(HH Indradyumna Swami ("IDS") ‘Vyasa-puja', Silicon Valley, 10/6/17)

Hence, IDS is openly flouting the GBC resolution which states that his Vyasa-puja worship must be restricted to once a year so that more focus can be placed on Srila Prabhupada. Rather, such worship only once a year is not enough for IDS, and hence he has needed it at least 11 times and counting! Not only that, but he admits to using a cheating tactic of calling such worship celebrations "guru-disciple meetings" to circumvent the GBC ruling against multiple Vyasa-puja ceremonies. Therefore, so desperate is IDS to be worshipped rather than have extra focus be put on Srila Prabhupada, that he will adopt word-jugglery and defy even the GBC. Even though it is only through their authority and votes that he became a GBC diksa guru, able to take such worship in ISKCON, in the first place.

Basic guru-tattva

A basic principle of guru-tattva is that the diksa guru is only able to give that which he already possesses, and this is repeated in Srila Prabhupada's books in many different ways. For example, a well known teaching of the Bhagavad-gita is that the spiritual master can impart knowledge to you because he has already seen this truth, i.e. he is in possession of it:

"The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth."
(Bg., 4.34)

And the guru cannot liberate someone else unless he himself is also liberated:

"Because the bound cannot help the bound, the rescuer must be liberated. Therefore, only Lord Krsna, or His bona fide representative the spiritual master, can release the conditioned soul."
(Bg., 7.14)

And consequently, unqualified gurus who are not on the highest level cannot give that which they do not possess:

"A neophyte Vaisnava or a Vaisnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance."
(The Nectar of Instruction, Verse 5)

Beyond uttama-adhikari

At another Vyasa-puja ceremony dedicated to worshipping him as the spiritual master, IDS offers this justification for his position as the spiritual master:

"So it's the spiritual master who really takes to heart and really appreciates our initial efforts in Krishna consciousness. [...] He takes us from sraddha to prema. He takes us through the initial steps of kanistha-adhikari, madhyama-adhikari, and to uttama-adhikari and beyond."
(IDS Vyasa-puja class, Moscow, 7/5/17)

IDS is correct that the genuine bona fide spiritual master is able to give us prema and take us to the topmost level of spiritual advancement — "uttama-adhikari and beyond". Because, as explained in the previous section, such a bona fide guru would already be situated on this level. And that bona fide guru for ISKCON is Srila Prabhupada. However, IDS is here also including himself as being such a spiritual master, and is therefore stating that he himself is also on the same spiritual level as Srila Prabhupada. Such a grandiose claim would explain why he feels justified in not following the GBC, and instead cheating in order to take the focus away from Srila Prabhupada via his own unauthorised worship.


Having usurped Srila Prabhupada's position as the diksa guru of ISKCON, IDS has become overwhelmed by his desire to be an unauthorised guru successor to such an extent that:

a) Having desired to be worshipped ‘as good as God', IDS has become so attached to this position that he is unable to restrain himself in accepting worship, even cheating to defy the GBC in accepting such worship.

b) He has also ended up effectively claiming that he is on the same highest level of spiritual advancement as Srila Prabhupada.

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