Srila Prabhupada Inspires Full Surrender


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 73, Vol. 2, 2022

Srila Prabhupada explained that the disciple must surrender fully to his spiritual master:

"One should accept the instruction of the spiritual master as one's life and soul."
(SB, 3.24.5, purport)

However, GBC voted-in guru HH Sivarama Swami ("SRS") has admitted that this is no longer happening in ISKCON. We analyse his reasons for why he claims this is the case and then present the actual reality. All quotes in shaded boxes are taken from a lecture given by him on 14/5/22. All emphases added.

Srila Prabhupada inspired surrender

"we did whatever Prabhupada said, and it was based on very, very strong emphasis that Srila Prabhupada gave to actually accepting the instruction of spiritual master as one's life and soul. [...] Devotees' ability for sacrifice, austerity, to just jump [...] I'm just trying to emphasize that that was what actually really made ISKCON, that was the ISKCON that we came to. [...] that's what it was, that's what Krsna consciousness movement was. Prabhupada just said give me your life, and then we did it."

SRS first explains that when the movement was exclusively following Srila Prabhupada as everyone's diksa guru, Srila Prabhupada was able to inspire them to fully surrender to him and accept his instructions as their life and soul. Which in turn led to the success of the ISKCON movement he founded since devotees were willing to sacrifice everything to follow Srila Prabhupada's orders.

GBC gurus don't inspire surrender

SRS then goes on to admit that with himself and his GBC guru colleagues acting as diksa gurus rather than Srila Prabhupada, such inspiration for surrender is not there:

"The devotees who are giving their lives and [sic] to the Krsna consciousness movement is on the decline. Full time devotees. [...] Do gurus have the faith that they can tell the disciple, ‘I want you to be a full-time devotee'? I can't say I have. I can't say that I can tell you, ‘Okay, this is what I want you to do all your life.' Any devotee."

Thus, it is SRS and his GBC guru colleagues who have caused this lack of surrender, being unable to inspire their disciples to become full-time devotees, in the way Srila Prabhupada could when he was acting as everyone's exclusive diksa guru.

"Rtvik philosophy"

However, SRS claims that the reason for a decline in surrender is not the fault of the GBC gurus, but the "rtvik philosophy" (as the IRM's position is called in ISKCON):

"ideologies that, you could call them, which are actually just attacking the very fibre of this guru-disciple relationship. So there's rtvik philosophy [...] when we start tinkering with this importance of the position of the spiritual master, then we will actually decrease the ability of devotees to do what it takes to spread Krsna consciousness all over the world. Devotees' ability for sacrifice, austerity, to just jump, that will stop."

SRS claims that:

1) The "rtvik philosophy" attacks "the very fibre" of the "guru-disciple relationship";
2) Which leads to changing the "importance of the position of the spiritual master";
3) Which in turn will lead to a decrease in devotees' surrender and ability to "spread Krsna consciousness".

False blame

But "rtvik philosophy", or the position advocated by the IRM, does the exact opposite of what SRS claims:

a) It states that we should have Srila Prabhupada as our diksa guru – which SRS himself states led to devotees surrendering fully and thus pushing on the ISKCON movement.

b) It emphasises the "importance of the position of the spiritual master", by stating that "the position of the spiritual master" must be occupied by the actual spiritual master and not an unauthorised imposter.

One can easily verify that points a) and b) are what the "rtvik philosophy" states by consulting the "rtvik bible" (as so named by SRS's GBC guru colleagues, HH Jayadvaita Swami and HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami) – The Final Order. Thus, the cause of the decline in surrender to the GBC gurus may indeed be due to not appreciating the "importance of the position of the spiritual master", because the position is now filled with unauthorised imposters in the form of GBC gurus rather than the bona fide spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada – which in turn has led to this decline in surrender and spreading of Krsna consciousness, as we just quoted SRS admitting. Thus, this decline has not been caused by the "rtvik philosophy", but by not following the "rtvik philosophy" and not accepting the real guru, Srila Prabhupada.

False program

"we've had disappointing, a disappointment in ISKCON where gurus give up their role of spiritual master. But that's just part of our history. [...] Even our own founder of our Brahma-sampradaya, we also see that there are historical records of his conduct being not according to standard [...] when Vaisnavas don't act according to the expectation of their position. But nonetheless saksad-hari"

SRS states that even if the guru does not act as a guru, he should still be accepted as being a bona fide guru and worshipped as ‘good as God' – "saksad-hari". As evidence for this proposition, he refers to the conduct of the "founder of our Brahma-sampradaya" – Lord Brahma – not being like that of a guru. This conduct refers to an incident where he was attracted to his daughter. However, SRS merely displays his gross ignorance of even basic Krsna conscious philosophy by using this as an example, because Srila Prabhupada explains that these activities occurred before Lord Brahma became the head of our sampradaya:

"This extraordinary immorality on the part of Brahma [...] before the hearing of Srimad-Bhagavatam he might have fallen a victim to such sensuality, but after hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam directly from the Lord, there was no possibility of such failures."
(SB, 3.12.28, purport)

Thus, in reality, Srila Prabhupada has never taught that one who is not a bona fide guru should be worshipped as such.


Srila Prabhupada inspires the disciple to fully surrender, whereas the GBC gurus do not. And this is admitted by a GBC guru himself! And the cause is not due to preaching that we must accept Srila Prabhupada as the diksa guru, but due to not accepting Srila Prabhupada as the diksa guru.

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