Chakra Discussions

Guruship and mistakes

by Dvibhuja das

Posted June 2, 2004

In Ananda prabhu's article there were some really deep points to be considered; however there were some problems also.

For instance, his understanding that Srila Prabhupada was able to make mistakes may be hard to understand from a material perspective; in some ways he is right, but in others he may be sort of off.

The main objection that appears to me is somehow to attempt to bring Srila Prabhupada to our level. True, he is a Jiva soul and, in relationship to his Lila, there may be so many similarities and also there can be many lessons we can learn from him. One of those lessons may indeed be that to be a Guru doesn't mean being perfect in the sense that one can see through buildings, etc.

However, it may also be raised that Srila Prabhupada was playing a role. Indeed, he never became illusioned; he never forgot Krishna for a moment, as he once stated. This is not necessarily mentioning apples and oranges in regards to this discussion, but may be a necessary clarification.

The question may be raised, and indeed was by Ananda's article, What is a mistake? Srila Prabhupada could do anything Krishna wanted him to do. He was fully linked with Krishna and never came under the influence of Maya. Not only that, but he is so special in Krishna Loka that he was handpicked by Krishna to champion Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana movement.

I would agree, however, that it doesn't mean he can't act within our system in order to teach. This is essentially my point. I don't think it is much of an argument with Ananda prabhu's article -- rather, an attempt to further support it, but with full undertanding of why Srila Prabhupada acted on this platform. Once he was asked that question by a reporter in a challenging way and he replied, "to be one with you". So it is my understanding Srila Prabhupada could have walked on water if Krishna wanted him to, but it was not his mission.

One other subtle, yet relevant, point is that many of these proposed mistakes by Ananda Prabhu may be mistakes due to his limited comprehension of all the circumstances surrounding Srila Prabhupada's actions. It is quite possible that Ananda just is biased in some way and hasn't fully comprehended the pure devotee, as it is also a very difficult thing, according to Sastra, to be able to understand the actions of a pure devotee.

From our limited perspective, we may consider some things mistakes which ultimately may be very beneficial. In other words, Srila Prabhupada was wiling to do things which might bring him criticism, for the higher purpose of pleasing Krishna. I pray this is helpful.