The Vital Living Link
Posted June 2, 2003
The response of the Sastric Advisory Committee (Sastric Advisory Committee refutes PL article) on the subject of why Srila Prabhupada cannot be accepted as one's diksa guru, did not I feel address the issue fully and their argument was fallacious. They attempt to refute Dhira Govinda's claim that the process of diksa is primarily transmission of transcendental knowledge, by citing the following verse from Bhakti Sandharba:
...if those who follow the paths of such authorities as Sri Narada want their special relationship with the Personality of Godhead, which is to be achieved at the feet of their divine spiritual master by his giving them diksa, they must necessarily take diksa and then perform the process of arcanam. This is as is stated in the agama [Pancaratra]:"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..."
Unfortunately, the sastric advisory committee interprets this verse thus: "Here diksa is described as a process of receiving a Vaisnava mantra so that one can begin the formal methods of Pancaratrika devotional service such as Deity worship and the chanting of mantras."
This is not true. The SAC is confusing the process with the goal. The goal to be achieved by diksa is mentioned as "(attaining) their special relationship with the Personality of Godhead" and the process is firstly, to take diksa, and secondly, as indicated by the word "then", perform the process of arcanam. But our SAC has confused the second step of the process as the goal of diksa itself.
Next they claim: " Identification of diksa with the transmission of transcendental knowledge is only mentioned in a secondary way, and as part of a two-verse statement from an anonymous Pancaratra that defines diksa as the official receiving of a Vaisnava mantra. "
This is not true either. Rather, this verse states clearly that diksa is the process of awakening one's transcendental knowledge. And this indeed is the point which should have been made to Dhira Govinda, but was not. Dhira Govinda's definition of diksa is precise, and that is precisely the reason why Srila Prabhupada cannot be accepted as one's diksa guru. Transmission of transcendental knowledge has two parts, according to the tad vidhi pranipatena verse: enquiries, and submissive service; both of which require a physically present spiritual master. In every instance of the Bhagavatam, exchanges between disciples and their spiritual masters attained perfection in this way. Answering the doubts of the disciple is the way by which the transcendental knowledge is revealed to him, and a submissive service attitude softens the heart of the master, so that he is impelled to speak more, as the knowledge is being fully appreciated. Its like a gardener who sees that a certain part of his garden has soft soil, and so waters it, rather than the stony paths.
It appears that both the ritviks and the SAC should spend their time scrutinizing the purport to this verse, rather than trying to defeat each other by faulty reasoning.