Failing to Follow Srila Prabhupada's Books


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 56, Summer 2017

HG Vaisesika Dasa ("VAD") is a current GBC-elected diksa guru. On his website, it states that:

"The ISKCON spiritual community of three hundred families he developed in Silicon Valley, California is based on the study and distribution of Prabhupada's books, and consistently ranks high amongst the list of small temples in these efforts."

That VAD is supposedly dedicated to promoting the study and distribution of Srila Prabhupada's books is wonderful. However, let us test if his actions and statements line up with the claim of his dedication to studying Srila Prabhupada's books. All emphases added.

Only one diksa guru

"We're all in a spiritual society together, where we have varieties of devotees who have different diksa gurus, maybe from different cultures and maybe from, uh, at varying levels of advancement in devotional service. So this is one topic. How to properly associate with various kinds of devotees."
(VAD Lecture, 15/4/17)

VAD posits the existence of diksa gurus who are at various levels of advancement. However, Srila Prabhupada teaches in his books:

"When one has attained the topmost position of maha-bhagavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshiped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of a guru. [...] Similarly, a disciple's qualifications must be observed by the spiritual master before he is accepted as a disciple."
(Cc., Madhya-lila, 24.330)

Therefore, Srila Prabhupada's books teach that rather than being at various levels of advancement as VAD claims, the diksa guru can only be at the topmost level.

VAD not authorised

At an initiation ceremony, where VAD initiates disciples for himself as the diksa guru, he states that his acting as the diksa guru is the "desire of Srila Prabhupada":

"So the fact that we are here today in Osaka and you two are being initiated is carrying out the desire of Srila Prabhupada."
(VAD, Initiation Ceremony, 8/4/17)

However, Srila Prabhupada teaches in his books that:

"One should take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, who is authorised by his predecessor spiritual master. This is called diksa vidhana."
(SB, 4.8.54)

Thus, if it was actually Srila Prabhupada's desire that he be succeeded by VAD (or anyone else) as the diksa guru of ISKCON, then there would be an order given by Srila Prabhupada to the successor authorising him to become a diksa guru. But VAD did not become a diksa guru by claiming that Srila Prabhupada gave him such an order. Rather, he became a diksa guru by waiting 30 years after Srila Prabhupada's physical disappearance, until he got the necessary number of "no objection" GBC votes to become a diksa guru. But Srila Prabhupada never empowered the GBC to authorise successor diksa gurus. There is no such order or power invested in the GBC by Srila Prabhupada. Thus, VAD's GBC authorisation as a successor diksa guru is not in accordance with the teachings in Srila Prabhupada's books.

Srila Prabhupada, diksa guru

Thus, VAD claims that Srila Prabhupada is not ISKCON's diksa guru:

"I'm exceedingly pleased to accept you as my disciple and therefore grand-disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada".
(VAD Initiation Ceremony, 9/5/17)

However, Srila Prabhupada teaches in his books:

"The spiritual master is also called acarya, or a transcendental professor of spiritual science. The Manu-samhita (2.140) explains the duties of an acarya, describing that a bona fide spiritual master accepts charge of disciples, teaches them the Vedic knowledge with all its intricacies, and gives them their second birth. The ceremony performed to initiate a disciple into the study of spiritual science is called upaniti".
(Cc., Adi-lila, 1.46)

Thus, Srila Prabhupada states the Acarya is also the diksa guru. And Srila Prabhupada has stated that he is the Acarya of ISKCON, with his title of "Founder-Acarya" (Founder and Acarya) to always be kept on every single one of his books:

"our system is to keep the name of the Founder-Acarya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on all registration documents, as well as all stationery, books, and publications."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 13/11/74)

Thus, as the Acarya of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada, and not VAD, is the diksa guru, contrary to what VAD claims.

Srila Prabhupada, liberator

VAD accepts that it is Srila Prabhupada who is liberating everyone in ISKCON through his instructions and grace:

"In other words, simply by participating in the activities that you have prescribed, the ISV devotees [VAD's "disciples" and followers in ISKCON Silicon Valley - Ed.] as well as devotees all over the world are advancing in spiritual life. [...] We see more clearly each day how by following your instructions we have boarded the boat that can safely take us across the ocean of material nescience and back to Godhead."
(VAD, Srila Prabhupada Vyasa-puja offering on behalf of ISV, 26/8/16)

"So I feel very fortunate to be connected with you in this divine process of initiation and give you my heart and soul to assist you in whatever way possible in going back home, back to Godhead under the grace of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada."
(VAD, Initiation Ceremony, 9/5/17)

Yet, VAD states the above in connection with him acting as the initiating diksa guru. But Srila Prabhupada teaches in his books that it is the person who takes one back to Godhead, i.e. himself, who acts as the initiating diksa guru:

"The spiritual master initiates the disciple to deliver him".
(Cc., Madhya-lila, 1.218)


Srila Prabhupada states:

"So we are taking so much trouble in writing books not for simply making market. It is for you to read."
(Lecture, 22/5/72)

Yet, by his actions and statements, we see that either VAD is not reading Srila Prabhupada's books or worse, he is reading them but refusing to follow them.

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