Coming Back to Srila Prabhupada
By Bhakta Corey Mon, 03/21/2011
Srila Prabhupada says:
“The spiritual master must never be carried away by an accumulation of wealth or a large number of followers. A bona fide spiritual master will never become like that. But sometimes, if a spiritual master is not properly authorized and only on his own initiative becomes a spiritual master, he may be carried away by an accumulation of wealth and large numbers of disciples.
- Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 14
When I had first joined ISKCON, I had heard faint rumors about gurus falling down, and sometimes these stories were very extravagant – ISKCON gurus running off with other’s wives, ISKCON gurus shooting up car dealerships with machine guns, ISKCON gurus taking LSD, and even ISKCON gurus having sex with children.
Naturally, I was quite shocked by these stories, even though they were all true. I was also told that Srila Prabhupada had appointed these same people to become gurus after he departed. I sometimes wondered, “Why would Srila Prabhupada appoint such conditioned souls as gurus?” It was only years later that I finally discovered the truth – he didn’t.
Srila Prabhupada never appointed anyone to be his successor or anyone as a diksa guru. On July 9th, 1977, Srila Prabhupada issued an institutional directive about initiations for the future, and he authorized the ritvik initiating system (which had already been practiced for years in ISKCON) to continue henceforward. In other words, Srila Prabhupada was to remain the Guru of ISKCON after his physical departure.
Unfortunately, this information did not reach me in time, before I ignorantly took shelter of one of ISKCON’s “gurus”. I was lucky enough to come in contact with the truth about a year later, and so I rejected my “ISKCON guru”, whom I strongly felt was both unqualified and unauthorized.
Srila Prabhupada says that a guru has to be qualified:
“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.”
- Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya lila, 24.330
Srila Prabhupada says that a guru also has to be authorized:
“A self-made guru cannot be guru. A guru must be authorized by the bona fide guru.”
- Srila Prabhupada, October 31st, 1972, Vrindavan
“One should take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, who is authorized by his predecessor spiritual master.”
- Srimad Bhagavatam, 4.8.54
As already mentioned, many of these ISKCON gurus were obviously unqualified, and nor did Srila Prabhupada authorize them to be gurus. He only authorized them to act as ritviks, initiating new people on behalf of Srila Prabhupada.
I asked the question, “Where did Srila Prabhupada authorize anyone to become a guru?” to over 300 different ISKCON devotees, many of them very senior devotees and leaders of ISKCON. Not one of them answered the question or gave a satisfactory answer. As a result of ISKCON’s gurus, leaders, and members not being able to defend their position, I became completely convinced that ISKCON’s guru system was completely bogus. The only people who could offer a logical and rational answer were the devotees who were following Srila Prabhupada’s July 9th final order on initiations.
What was more astounding was, instead of receiving logical and intelligent answers from ISKCON’s gurus and their disciples; I received threats of violence from them. It was if they were saying, “Shut up, you are exposing our bogus guru business (which reaches into millions of dollars, possibly billions), shut up and stop exposing us or else we will silence you with violence.”
If ISKCON’s gurus are such “pure devotees” and “saints”, why would they try to intimidate others and threaten them with violence? Where did Srila Prabhupada ever threaten someone with violence because they asked him questions? He never did such a thing, because he is a pure devotee and a real, bona fide spiritual master.
Basically, ISKCON’s gurus and their disciples act as a mafia-style organization. And this guru-mafia has been viciously harassing the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore for the past 13 years. Why? Because 13 years ago, the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore rejected the unauthorized ISKCON gurus and decided to worship Srila Prabhupada alone as their spiritual master.
In the years that followed, we have seen how ISKCON Bangalore has expanded tremendously, with thousands of new people joining ISKCON, feeding over 1.4 million children a day in India with their Akshaya Patra food program, distributing millions of Srila Prabhupada’s books every year, and so on.
On the other hand, we have also seen how the ISKCON guru’s organization has fallen apart, with thousands of devotees leaving the guru-ISKCON, many more ISKCON gurus falling down, and the guru-ISKCON temples becoming practically empty.
It should serve as a warning as to what happens when we do not follow Srila Prabhupada. If we do not follow Srila Prabhupada, we will fall down. And if we do follow Srila Prabhupada, all success will be there.
So we invite all of you to reject ISKCON’s bogus gurus and to come back to the real ISKCON, the ISKCON that existed during Srila Prabhupada’s time, and to worship ONLY Srila Prabhupada as your guru, as your spiritual master, and as your life and soul.