Conditioned Soul Karma


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 69, Vol 2, 2021, Quotes, Notes & News

GBC voted-in guru HH Sivarama Swami ("SRS") talks about the problems of being an initiating guru. The quotes in shaded boxes are from a podcast SRS gave on 16/3/21 (all emphases added):

"we've been thinking about what it means for me to sort of decrease initiations, taking on the karma of others. [...] it comes out in the form of health issues, it decreases the spiritual potency of a conditioned soul. It's a burden [...] I'm constantly in pain."

SRS confesses that he is suffering in his role as a guru who initiates disciples for himself because he is a conditioned soul. And, consequently, his “spiritual potency” is decreasing and he is always in pain. However, we can assist SRS immediately in relieving his pain and suffering by re-educating him in the teachings of Srila Prabhupada who teaches the complete opposite of SRS – namely, that a conditioned soul cannot be an initiating guru, since only a liberated soul can perform this function:

"On the whole, you may know that he is not a liberated person, and therefore, he cannot initiate any person to Krishna Consciousness."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 26/4/74)

"Prabhupada stopped initiating twice or three times for certain periods of time and then he continued and then at the end he stopped."

SRS cites the myth that at the "end" Srila Prabhupada "stopped" initiating. This refers to an incident on 18/10/77. Srila Prabhupada had stopped performing the initiation fire sacrifice ceremony personally due to health reasons. He thus asked HH Jayapataka Swami ("JPS"), one of the 11 "rtviks" or "deputies" whom Srila Prabhupada had appointed on 9/7/77 to initiate on his behalf, to travel from Vrndavana to Mayapur and thus perform the ceremony instead:

Srila Prabhupada: "So I have deputed some of you to initiate. Hmm?"
Tamala Krsna: "[...] Yes, Srila Prabhupada."
Srila Prabhupada: "So I think Jayapataka can do that if he likes. I have already deputed. Tell him."
Tamala Krsna: "Yes."
Srila Prabhupada: "So, deputies, Jayapataka's name was there?"
Bhagavan: "It is already on there, Srila Prabhupada. His name was on that list."
Srila Prabhupada: "So I depute him to do this at Mayapur, and you may go with him. I stop for the time being. Is that all right?"
Tamala Krsna: "Stopped doing what, Srila Prabhupada?"
Srila Prabhupada: "This initiation. I have deputed the..., my disciples. Is it clear or not? [...]  You have got the list of the names?"
Tamala Krsna: "Yes, Srila Prabhupada."
Srila Prabhupada: "And if by Krsna's grace I recover from this condition, then I shall begin again, or I may not be pressed in this condition to initiate. It is not good."
(Room Conversation, Vrndavana, 18/10/77)

As seen above, Srila Prabhupada also asks HH Tamala Krsna Goswami ("TKG") to go along with JPS for the ceremony. And on the very same day the above incident occurred, TKG, acting as Srila Prabhupada's secretary, wrote the following letter on Srila Prabhupada's behalf to a temple president in Fiji:

"Prabhupada said that any of these sincere householders should be initiated. "Increase the number of devotees there. [...] You may send the names of such worthy persons to any one of the eleven devotees whom Srila Prabhupada has designated to initiate on His behalf, and after receiving the sanctified beads and new names, you can then perform the initiation ceremony."
(TKG, "Secretary to Srila Prabhupada", 18/10/77)

Thus, TKG confirms that Srila Prabhupada had not stopped initiating in October 1977, but was continuing to initiate and accept disciples via the rtvik system he had set up for ISKCON on 9/7/77, which employed 11 rtviks or deputies to act on his behalf, just as he did in the incident above.

SRS accepts TKG as an authority, and thus for him this is cast-iron proof that Srila Prabhupada never stopped initiating at the end.

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