Reply to His Holiness Jayapataka Maharaja

by Krishnakant

The following is a response to certain comments made by H.H. Jayapataka Maharaja on the 'Prabhupada disciples com forum'. All of maharaja's comments are given in " "boxed. We have taken only the main points made, since the following ideas are repeated many times by maharaja in other words also on the forum.

"Srila Prabhupada always said the qualifications are not difficult: "To simply repeat the message of the previous guru and to practice what you preach."

Srila Prabhupada also stated that unless one becomes a Maha-Bhagavata one MUST not become a diksa guru:

"The guru must be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru must be accepted from the topmost class. [...]

When one has attained the topmost position of maha-bhagavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshipped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of a guru." (C.c. Madhya, 24.330, purport)

"If we follow these basic principles of parampara and not try to create some standard which no sampradaya, including our own, ever applies - self-effulgent acaryaship or something just to be an ordinary diksa guru (not the sampradaya Acarya) --- then the whole thing is quite simple."

As the quote above shows, there is no such thing as an 'ordinary' diksa guru.

"Guruship is one of many Krishna conscious devotional services. Guru must teach and train his disciples in Krishna consciousness, must know the sastra and live by it. That is the basic qualification given in sastra for a guru."

This is the basic qualification given for a vartma-pradasaka guru, yes. But it is NOT the ONLY qualification given for one who wants to be a diksa guru, as the above quote demonstrates.

" Srila Prabhupada wanted all of his disciples to become diksa gurus, as far as possible. He said it so many times."

WHERE? Not the quotes to be a preacher. But to be a diksa guru in ISKCON. Where did Srila Prabhupada say it 'so many times'?

"Obviously he didn't have some high standard. His Divine Grace said Bhaktivedanta degree and they could initiate."

As the quote in the CC above shows he DID have a high standard. The quote about the Bhaktivedanta degree was not referring to Diksa Guru since it was referring to acting in Srila Prabhupada's presence.

"The Ritvik vadi's have created selective application of some quotations to create some exclusive definition so high that they can use it as an excuse that no one is qualified to be guru so obviously Srila Prabhupada wanted to keep the ritvik thing going on even after he left."

  1. We have not been selective, Srila Prabhupada has. His use of the words 'Must' and 'Only' in the quote from the CC above, are 100% restrictive.

  2. Also the 'ritvik' idea is not based on continuing the ritvik system because no one was qualified to be guru, but on the fact that Srila Prabhupada ordered that system to be in place for ISKCON.

"Although he never explicitly said that, but he did explicitly say that he wanted his disciples to be "regular gurus"."

  1. He did EXPLICITLY order the Ritvik system to be applied in ISKCON.

  2. He only said that 'when' an order for guruship is given does one become a 'regular guru'. To date no such order from Srila Prabhupada has been located.

"When we know that Srila Prabhupada wouldn't allow any nonsense or philosophically unsound thing to become the standard in ISKCON then how can someone suggest or openly propose to have speculative, and philosophically unfounded doctrines like post-samadhi ritvik vada to be allowed in our Krishna consciousness society?"

The reality is that Srila Prabhupada was the diksa guru for the whole of ISKCON. To assist him in this task he used representatives. One second after Srila Prabhupada left his body, these representatives decided that they themselves would now replace Srila Prabhupada as the diksa guru for ISKCON. Our point is simple - what instruction did they receive from Srila Prabhupada to stage this 'coup'?

"In ISKCON we are supposed to tell our followers. "ISKCON gurus are practically neophyte, most fallen on earth, not worthy of being called publicly His Divine Grace, even though Srila Prabhupada says in his books that the guru should be addressed as "His Divine Grace", "Acaryadeva" or "Gurudeva"."

We agree that if the Guru is qualified he should be treated as good as god, just as Srila Prabhupada was. The very fact that ISKCON places these restrictions on the current gurus, indicates that they themselves have no faith in the current gurus, and thus have come up with a half-baked 'fudge'.

"The guru should announce to his disciples that he is spiritual master as a monitor only, etc. etc. Then what is next? That he should say he actually can't guarantee to take them back to Godhead by following Srila Prabhupada's teachings since he is unqualified? Then how he can accept disciples?"

If someone is following SRILA PRABHUPADA'S teachings, and you are simply TELLING someone to do that, then you have made yourself into a monitor. In fact what do they need you for at all? Srila Prabhupada's process was to chant 16 rounds, follow 4 regs and read his books. Now what part of this process does someone need you for? If you simply 'monitor' that they follow this process then you are just a 'monitor'. However most ISKCON gurus do not even do that. The TP does it.

"I have no doubt that although I am crippled and next to useless, if somehow or other I can keep my disciples following Srila Prabhupada's teachings they will all get back to Godhead. That is the power of Srila Prabhupada's mercy."

Again how are they 'your' disciples if all they are doing is 'following SRILA PRABHUPADA'S teachings'. What DISCIPLINE of YOURS are they following to make them your DISCIPLE?

"The sastra doesn't say that Guru's are necessarily supposed to be the topmost devotees, maybe amongst whosoever is there, but not that they are necessarily all mahabhagavats. They should be steady."

As we have shown above, this is exactly what Srila Prabhupada does say.

" Srila Prabhupada said that even kanistha and madhyam adhikaris can be gurus if they follow an Uttam adhikary guru. So we are all following Srila Prabhupada who is an uttam adhikary guru."

Srila Prabhupada never says that a Kanistha and Madhyama can give divya-jnana and be diksa gurus? In fact he states that such 'gurus' should be avoided since one 'they cannot advance very well towards the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance.' Since diksa gurus give COMPLETE guidance, and DO help one to advance 'very well' to the 'ultimate goal', these gurus cannot by definition be diksa gurus:

"Diksa actually means initiating a disciple with transcendental knowledge by which he becomes freed from all material contamination." (C.c. Madhya, 4.111, purport)

"Diksa is the process by which one can awaken his transcendental knowledge and vanquish all reactions caused by sinful activity. A person expert in the study of the revealed scriptures knows this process as diksa." (C.c. Madhya, 15.108, purport)

"If some fall down, well according to Narahari Thakur that also happened during the time of Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu as well."

There is no record of any bona-fide diksa gurus in the parampara falling down. Srila Prabhupada states:

"A bona fide spiritual master is in the disciplic succession from time eternal and he does not deviate at all from the instructions of the Supreme Lord." (BG 4:42)

"God is always God, Guru is always Guru."
(The Science of Self Realisation, chapter 2)

"Well if he is bad, how can he become a guru?"
(The Science of Self Realisation, chapter 2)

"The pure devotee is always free from the clutches of Maya and her influence."
(S.B. 5.3.14)

"A spiritual master is always liberated."
(SP Letter to Tamal Krsna, 21

"If being a guru isn't such an elitist thing then a few falling down wouldn't be a big splash."

In the life of the DISCIPLE, it will be more than a 'big splash'. It will be a complete disaster.

"Maybe I am too liberal, but I always remember how Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu ordered every devotee to accept at least one disciple."

We know that Lord Caitanya DID say that it is 'best not to accept ANY disciples'. Maybe you can tell us where Lord Caitanya stated this. Thank you.

"Srila Prabhupada wrote that he wanted each of his disciples to have 10,000 initiated disciples."

Please let us know where and when Srila Prabhupada 'wrote' this. Thank you.

"Fortunately the GBC body seems to generally be pretty close on what it is to be a Guru."

Thus this means that for the last 20 years they have been running the society and creating gurus without knowing exactly 'what it is to be a guru'!

"I don't agree with your statement that the present policy in ISKCON is to "hush and crush". ISKCON is one of the most open societies where anyone can express themselves at least to the GBC's in any reasonable way."

Except when they mention the dreaded 'R' word, in which case they will immediately be kicked out.

"It happened in the past and it will happen. How to avoid it? Maybe it can't be avoided. That is why our acaryas, including Bhaktivinode Thakur and Jiva Goswami, have given a system for rejecting a fallen guru and accepting shelter and ultimately mantra again while maintaining the connection with the same founder acarya."

  1. Firstly it is never mentioned that such bogus gurus who are to be rejected. Were at any time bona-fide gurus in the parampara. As the quotes from Srila Prabhupada show, it would not be possible for such bogus gurus to be bona fide gurus in the parampara to begin with.

  2. I wonder which 'founder-acarya' Jiva Goswami and Bhakti-vinoda Thakura were speaking off? Maybe this is what is done in ISKCON, but please show the quotes where it speaks of 'while maintaining the connection with the same founder acarya'.