Pariprasnena is the link
Posted June 29, 2003
Dear Brahma Prabhu,
Whether or not a link in our parampara can be found to have had diksa from a departed guru is not the point of contention in regard to the ritvik issue. The reason is that some of those links are eternally liberated souls. External guru is only necessary for the conditioned soul. Still, to set an example, one will find most if not all will have accepted a guru who is physically present. The reason why physical presence is necessary is, in your own words: "with whom he would stay from time to time in order to study scriptures" A living guru is absolutely necessary for this reason.
"Why?" you may ask "When one reads the scripture, one associates with so many great souls, even Lord Krsna Himself" This is true, but for the conditioned soul who is unqualified to converse with the Lord or His unmanifest associates, a living guru is vital. There must be enquiry. And there must be answers, when that enquiry is made. In the Bhagavatam itself, so many questions are put to various gurus, but the process of enquiry was never meant to end there. There is no exhaustion to the process of spiritual enquiry, inasmuch as the Lord in the heart can grant ever deepening realizations to those who participate in the process of making and responding to enquiry on spiritual topics.
One who has no business in enquiring has no business with a spiritual master, no matter how much eloquent praise he is able to compose, or daksine he is able to earn for the so-called guru. A guru who does not teach and train his disciples to come out of illusion, is simply not a guru, no matter how much personal spiritual qualifications he has, which is probably only imagined, because no honest devotee would parade as guru and not fulfill the function, while reaping the perks.
You wrote: Although there is considerable mystery involved, diksa, in simple terms, is the planting of the seed of spiritual realization and siksa is the watering of that seed.
There is no mystery at all involved for one who knows the nuts and bolts of Gaudiya vaisnava philosophy. Open practically any page of the Bhagavatam, and the process of spiritual realization is there- through enquiry, and in addition, surrender, so that the theory becomes realized fact. The only mysterious thing, is the way in which the Lord arranges miraculous ways for the disciple to meet his guru. If he is sincere, against all odds, he will meet someone who acts as his guru, and no amount of GBC rubberstamping or unstamping can taint this dynamic. Krsna is not subject to GBC regulations, at least in the Bhagavatam I read.
Bhakti is a science, and like science, the elements need to be labelled
correctly in order to get the expected result. If one labels sodium as
copper and it does not react properly in an experiment, then one should
not conclude 'therefore there is no real copper anymore" The fact that so
many ISKCON gurus initiate, and take the benefits without delivering the
training, simply means that we have labelled them improperly, under the
influence of the GBC mISKCONception. It doesn't mean at all that only
Srila Prabhupada is a qualified guru, nor that the process of enquiring
before a living guru is defunct. "Just because one only has experience of
counterfeit coins" Srila Prabhupada told us in this regard "one should not
give up the belief in the existence of real currency- rather, it indicates
the existence of the real thing somewhere"