How we all became gurus


Back to Prabhupada, Issue 20, Summer 2008

By Krishnakant

Two facts about the guru hoax are not in dispute:

1) That in order to become a successor diksa guru in ISKCON one must have first been authorised specifically by Srila Prabhupada to act in such a capacity:

Self made Guru cannot be Guru. He must be authorised by the bona fide Guru. Then he’s Guru. This is the fact...Similarly, bona fide Guru means he must be authorised by the superior Guru.”
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, October 31st, 1972)

2) That neither was this done, nor are the GBC even claiming that this is how their gurus became gurus. We will document here how every single one of the 70-odd current GBC gurus acquired their status, and it will be patently clear that it was not via being authorised to do the same by Srila Prabhupada.

The first 11

We already saw in the article on page 5 the admission that the first 11 gurus acquired their status via authorisation as ritviks, not gurus:

After Prabhupada’s departure, what is the position of these eleven people? Obviously, Srila Prabhupada felt that of all the people, these people are particularly qualified. So it stands to reason that after Prabhupada’s departure, they would go on, if they so desired, to initiate.”
(HH Tamala Krishna Goswami, December 3rd, 1980)

Note the phrase, “if THEY so desired”, not “if Srila Prabhupada desired”. In other words it was a SELF-authorisation.

The next 3

In 1982, three more persons lobbied to also be added to the guru club, and they got their way, by getting the vote of 3/4 of the GBC at the time, which at the time, which meant necessarily getting the authorisation of the first 11 gurus, who were also all GBCs at the time:

1. That all GBC be nominated as candidates to become initiating Gurus with the requirement that they receive the blessings of 3/4 (three fourths) of the GBC members present to begin their initiating role.
2. The following GBC members will take on the responsibilities of initiating Guru:
1. His Holiness Pancadravida Swami. 2. His Holiness Bhakti Swarup Damodar Swami. 3. His Holiness Gopal Krsna Goswami."
(GBC Resolutions, February 27th, 1982)

The rest

Then the rest of the ISKCON gurus we have today were ushered in via a modified GBC voting system as follows:

“…any GBC can present a diksa guru candidate before the GBC body. […] and upon majority approval of the body, he may take up the responsibilities of an initiating guru in ISKCON.”
(GBC Resolution No. 3, March 30th, 1986)

There is no mention, nor is it even claimed, that Srila Prabhupada authorised the GBC to authorise diksa gurus on his behalf. Clearly, therefore, the authorisation is coming from the votes of the GBC alone. Indeed, the GBC have accepted this point:

That Srila Prabhupada “personally detailed the procedure for increasing the number of initiating guru[s]” is something we can only wish. Or falsely tell the Society he did.”
(HH Jayadvaita Swami, analysis of the ‘May 28th, 1977 Conversation’, December 13th, 2003, accepted by GBC)

Personal examples

That guruship is not flowing from a direct order from Srila Prabhupada, but simply from a desire to be guru, which is then rubberstamped by the GBC, can be illustrated with some examples of how these voted-in gurus took up their role. They acted not on some order from Srila Prabhupada, but some circumstance that led them to then apply to get voted in as a guru:

HH Sivarama Swami: He admits he became a guru due to the prompting of a would-be girl disciple:

At this time I also was asked to take up the role of initiating spiritual master. I didn’t consider that this would be very conducive to my personal spiritual life and I was satisfied for others to do that service and that I would stay in the role of sannyasi, a preacher, siksa guru, GBC, and probably it was at Gaurangi’s* repeated prompting that ultimately I began to think seriously of that service and took it up.”(HH Sivarama Swami, Podcast, October 4th, 2006)

*at the time a young female devotee, and now a disciple

HH Bhakti Caru Swami: He admits he became guru only due to being pressured to do so by others to step in because other gurus fell down:

I became a spiritual master after some of my very senior and very qualified god brothers fell down. Therefore, I didn’t have any illusion that I was a pure devotee and I was infallible. Initially I didn’t want to take up this very grave responsibility of becoming a spiritual master, but since quite a few devotees were very determined to take initiation from me and were waiting for a long time, and since there was a lot of pressure from some of my senior godbrothers also, I accepted that responsibility.”(HH Bhakti Caru Swami, PAMHO Text 5992588, February 16th, 2002).

HG Sankarsana Das: He claims he has been qualified and authorised to be an acharya for 37 years:

For the last 37 years since I surrendered at the lotus feet of my eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, I have engaged my mind, words, anger, tongue, belly, and genitals only in the Lord’s service. Thus according to his divine instructions I am qualified to act as an acharya and am duty bound to do so.”
(HG Sankarsana Das, May 26th, 2008)

Srila Prabhupada
Srila Prabhupada:
Did not authorize any successor gurus

Yet despite the fact he claims he has been qualified and “duty bound” to become an acarya for 37 years, he only became one a few years back when he managed to get the requisite number of GBC votes. Thus, he became a guru not on the order of Srila Prabhupada, but only when the GBC ordered him to.


Hence it is no longer even claimed by the GBC that their gurus were authorised by Srila Prabhupada. They are either self-authorised, or authorised by the votes of a managing committee. Thus, by their own admission, it can be shown that all ISKCON gurus are not authorised by Srila Prabhupada and therefore their position as ISKCON initiating gurus is spiritually illegal.

Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!