One must approach a living 'Current link' to join the parampara
Posted June 18, 2003
Dandavats. I would like to reply to Deepak Vohra's recent article. I believe he has misunderstood the import of Srila Prabhupada's words in Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.7 purport: "one should approach the current link, or spiritual master, in the chain of disciplic succession."
The words 'current link' clearly mean that we must approach a living guru, a sadhu, with meekness and submission (tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya), as outlined by Sri Bhagavan Krsna in Bhagavad-gita 4.34. Can Srila Prabhupada be that link, even though he has passed into the nitya-lila?
Ramagopal Uppaluri says "However, some future devotee may propose Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja as his 'Prominent Link'. Mastering the words of Bhagavad-gita, one could argue that Sri Krsna Himself is his 'Prominent Link'. Sri Krsna has been our guru (and so-called 'Prominent Link' in English word jugglery) residing in our heart as Paramatma and guiding us every day."
Deepak Vohra has stubbornly, calculatedly and deliberately misunderstood Ramagopal's intent here. He is certainly not suggesting that we do such an obtuse thing, but rather illustrating how overexercising the intellect could allow us to take rtvikism to the extreme, jumping over Guru and Gauranga, and without a shred of humility try to get to Krsna directly -- something which is impossible. Without the mercy of Guru or Gauranga nothing can be achieved.
However, Srila Prabhupada cannot be the current link, any more than Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Maharaja can, or any of his disciples who have entered into the nitya-lila. It is time for devotees to go beyond their fears and disappointment at Srila Prabhupada's physical disappearance.
To call Srila Prabhupada the 'current link' would be equally as offensive as designating Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Narottama das Thakur or the Six Goswamis. It would also be in direct violation of the sastras. To support the ritvik heresy is simply tantamount to killing off Sri Guru for future Gaudiya Vaisnavas -- as more and more of those who knew, heard and spoke with Srila Prabhupada and other prominent Gaudiya acaryas themselves pass from the scene.
We must not let sentiment overrule siddhanta: let us not give in to the apotheosis of Srila Prabhupada, a concept that would have shocked Prabhupada himself, or indeed any humble Vaisnava.
Rama Kesava dasa
(a disciple of Swami B.V. Tripurari)