More Study Desperately Needed
Posted October 11, 2005
Garuda Prabhu's article "More Gurus Desperately Needed" (September 30, 2005) suffers from a major flaw: His thesis is in fact not supported by Srila Prabhupada's purports. Garuda suggests a new type of guru not mentioned in the Caitanya-caritamrta section he is referring to, namely local gurus who would initiate their own disciples. Yet Srila Prabhupada states the exact opposite:
TRANSLATION: "Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Sri Krsna as they are given in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land."
PURPORT: This is the sublime mission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness...one should stay at home, chant the Hare Krsna mantra and preach the instructions of Krsna as they are given in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam...One may remain a householder, a medical practitioner, an engineer or whatever. It doesn't matter. One only has to follow the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu, chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and instruct relatives and friends in the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. One has to learn humility and meekness at home, following the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and in that way one's life will be spiritually successful. One should not try to be an artificially advanced devotee, thinking, "I am a first-class devotee." Such thinking should be avoided. It is best not to accept any disciples. One has to become purified at home by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and preaching the principles enunciated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Thus one can become a spiritual master and be freed from the contamination of material life." (Cc Madhya 7:128-130)
So clearly, the instruction is for many siksa, or instructing, gurus, not more diksa gurus. This is further explained by Srila Prabhupada:
"So any child can carry these words. Any foolish man can carry these words. And if you do that, Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, then you become guru, simply by carrying these words. Amara ajnaya guru hana tara' ei desa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. Even in your village, in your home, you can say to your wife, to your children. They will accept you that "Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Then you become guru at home." (SP Darshan, December 3rd 1976)
"Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu... Yare dekha tare kaha krsna-upadesa: [Cc. Madhya 7.128] "You become guru. No qualification required. Simply you repeat what Krsna has said." Just see how simplified. Don't talk anything nonsense. Yare dekha tare kaha 'krsna'-bas. So who cannot do it? Anyone can do it, even a child." (SP Conversation, January 25th 1977) So anyone can become a "local guru" - even a foolish man, an unqualified man or a child. And if anyone is interested in following Srila Prabhupada's instructions in this matter, he will heed the warning: "It is best not to accept any disciples." Srila Prabhupada also gave the following warning in his 1961 Vyasa Puja offering:
*"If everyone just initiates then there will only be a contradictory result. As long as it goes on, there will be only failure*."
ISKCON is yet to take note.