Chakra Discussions

The Misconception of Bhagavata Parampara and Diksa Continues...

by Shambhu das

Posted June 20, 2003

After reading the editorial "Bhagavata Parampara and Diksa" by Brahma das prabhu I would like to comment as follows. As a disciple and follower of Srila Prabhupada the founder Acharya of ISKCON I have been following this discussion throughout the vaishnava community for sometime. It seems the misconceptions are continuing in regards to taking initiation from a "Living Guru". , as stated by Brahma das from Srila Prabhupada's writings (cc.Adi. 1.47 and 1.35) "There is no difference between the shelter giving Supreme Lord and the initiating (diksa) and instructing (siksa) spiritual masters. There is no limit, however to the number of instructing (siksa) spiritual masters one may accept."

"Diksa is process by which one can awaken his transcendental knowledge and vanquish all reactions caused by sinful activities. A person expert in the study of the revealed scriptures knows this process as diksa" (cc. Madhya 15.108 purport). Srila Prabhupada unequivocally stated that the diksa guru must be a maha bhagavata and be specifically authorized by his own spiritual master. This point is not emphasized adquately.

Maha-bhagavata -- srestho brahmano vai gurur nrnam
Sarvesam eva lokanam asau pujyo yatha harih
Maha-kula-prasuto' pi sarva-yajnesu diksitah
Sahasra-sakhadhya yi ca na guruh syad avaisnavah

This quote :

Is the only passage in Srila Prabhupada's books where the term diksa is linked with a specific qualification.

"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". (cc madhya 24.330 purport).

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

Srila Prabhupada also taught that specific authorization from the predecessor acharya is also essential before anyone act the position of a diksa guru.

"One should take initiation from a bonafide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, who is authorized by his predecessor spiritual master. This is called diksa-vidhana". (S.B. 4.8.54 purport).

Srila Prabhupada does states may times that one needs a "physical guru" for example.

"Therefore as soon as we become a little inclined towards Krsna, then from within our hearts he gives us a favorable instruction so that we can gradually make progress, gradually. . Krsna is the first spiritual master and when we become more interested then we have to go to a physical spiritual master". (B.G. lecture 14/8/66 N.Y.)

"Because Krsna is situated in everyone's heart. Actually, he is the spiritual master, Caitya Guru. So in order to help us he comes out as physical spiritual master". (S.B. lecture 28/5/74 Rome)

This physical guru term used by Srila Prabhupada has explained that in the conditioned stage we cannot rely purely or solely on the Caitya Guru or Super soul for guidance. One must surrender to the external manifestation of the super soul. This is the diksa guru but Srila Prabhupada never taught that the physical guru must also be physically present in order to act as guru This fact is well documented by the actions and teachings of Srila Prabhupada.

"Reception of spiritual knowledge is never checked by any material condition". (S.B.7.7.1 purport).

"One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari. A neophyte vaishnava or a vaishnava on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well towards the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance". (NOI pg. 58).

This is a clear warning when choosing a diksa guru. Then in the last statement of this purport Srila Prabhupada states that "Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master.". Srila Prabhupada also instituted a system whereby approaching his representative for diksa was the same as approaching him directly. The misconception is whether this system should have been continued after his departure. We all know what has happened as a result of it not being continued After being misled and cheated for so many years especially after discovering all the evidences that are now being presented that is why, many devotees are being encouraged to take a safe position by accepting and taking shelter under Srila Prabhupada

Eternally at vaishnava's service.

Shambhu das