First Things First


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 57, Vol. 1 2018, Editorial

Welcome to Issue 57 of Back To Prabhupada (BTP).

In the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Srila Prabhupada makes a very powerful statement about how the spiritual master should never be criticised:

"a devotee should not be disturbed by the activities of his spiritual master and should not try to criticize him. A devotee should be fixed in the conclusion that the spiritual master cannot be subject to criticism and should never be considered equal to a common man. Even if there appears to be some discrepancy according to an imperfect devotee's estimation, the devotee should be fixed in the conviction that even if his spiritual master goes to a liquor shop, he is not a drunkard; rather, he must have some purpose in going there."
(Cc., Antya-lila, 3.11)

Not surprisingly, this teaching has been used by the disciples of the ISKCON GBC gurus against BTP. They claim this teaching establishes the following:

a) No criticism is permitted of the GBC gurus, since it clearly states the spiritual master cannot be criticised. Thus, as disciples, they should not read BTP, since the quote above speaks about not becoming disturbed by the activities of one's spiritual master.
b) Though BTP may appear to be exposing a "discrepancy" in the GBC gurus, it is not actually a discrepancy, as stated above.

What these disciples have said all depends on one big "if". The quotation refers to a genuine, bona fide spiritual master, and not unauthorised usurpers. Hence, if the GBC gurus are such genuine, authorised, bona fide spiritual masters, then the quotation applies. This if in turn depends on 2 assumptions:

1) Srila Prabhupada renounced his position as ISKCON's diksa guru;
2) Such renunciation was accompanied by authorisation for his disciples to take his position as ISKCON's diksa guru.

Obviously, if 1) did not happen, 2) does not even arise.

Hence, before they can speak about how their spiritual masters must never be criticised, they first need to prove 1), otherwise they do not have authorised, bona fide spiritual masters to begin with. And, as anyone who has read BTP will know, no proof for 1) exists. Actually, as far as these disciples are concerned, point 1) is actually disproven because we have proven using the GBC's own statements that Srila Prabhupada remains ISKCON's diksa guru – please see our "Founder-Acarya" book. This is the same GBC on whose authority these disciples' gurus came into existence in the first place.

Additionally, even without getting into the need for proof for points 1) and 2), just the fact that these GBC gurus are deviating from the teachings of Srila Prabhupada is enough to establish that they are not bona fide. Those who are leaders of ISKCON must always teach exactly the same as Srila Prabhupada–

"The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am the initiator guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing."
(Letter, 4/8/75)

–and we have given many examples in previous issues of the GBC gurus giving their own teachings instead, and there are more examples in this issue, particularly on the very next page!

This shows how easily the philosophy can be misused by unscrupulous followers. They just assume that the GBC-elected gurus are authorised, bona fide spiritual masters, and then claim all the teachings about the guru are applicable to their GBC guru.

The quote given at the outset states that the actual spiritual master should not be criticised and "considered equal to a common man". Ironically, whilst this quote is used to try to incorrectly shield the deviant GBC gurus from any criticism, Srila Prabhupada, the actual genuine, bona fide spiritual master, is criticised as being a "dead zombie guru" and therefore "equal to a common man"–see page 14 for this shocking development.

Thank you and Hare Krishna.
In Srila Prabhupada's service,

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