The proof is before us every morning - Part 2!
Back to Prabhupada has, over the years, catalogued the decreasing spiritualisation and increasing commercialisation of ISKCON. We have reported on a wide variety of In the last issue we conclusively proved that a ceremony which is mandated for everyone to perform in ISKCON every morning for the lifetime of ISKCON - Guru-puja to Srila Prabhupada – worships Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON’s diksa, or initiating, Guru (please see BTP 21, “The proof is before us every morning!”). Now we present more evidence from another ceremony mandated for everyone to perform in ISKCON every morning for the lifetime of ISKCON. The Sri Sri Gurv-astaka prayers are sung every morning during the mangal-arati ceremony by everyone in ISKCON. The purpose of the prayer is for every disciple to glorify their spiritual master and pay their respectful obeisances unto him. This prayer glorifies the spiritual master in 8 verses. We shall here analyse just 3 verses to show precisely what type of spiritual master is being glorified every morning by every ISKCON member. We will use the translation of the verses as found in standard ISKCON songbooks.
“Just as a cloud pours water on a forest fire to extinguish it, so the spiritual master delivers the materially afflicted world by extinguishing the blazing fire of material existence. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master, who is an ocean of auspicious qualities.”
“Chanting the holy name, dancing in ecstasy, singing and playing musical instruments, the spiritual master is always gladdened by the sankirtana movement of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Because he is relishing the mellows of pure devotion within his mind, sometimes his hair stands on end, he feels quivering in his body, and tears flow from his eyes like waves. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.”
“The spiritual master is very dear, because he is expert in assisting the gopis, who at different times make different tasteful arrangements for the perfection of Radha and Krsna’s conjugal loving affairs within the groves of Vrndavana. I offer my most humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.”
Which spiritual master?
The descriptions are unambiguous, and leave no doubt that the spiritual master one is glorifying here is clearly of the topmost and purest level of advancement possible, possessing the following characteristics:
1) He is delivering the materially afflicted world from the blazing fire of material existence.
2) He is relishing the mellows of pure devotion.
3) He is expert in assisting the gopis (Krishna’s most confidential and intimate servants).
Not an ISKCON guru
However, our ISKCON leaders have told us repeatedly that they cannot possibly be the topmost spiritual master just described:
“Such an uttama-adhikari Vaisnava is in perfect touch with the Supersoul and at every moment knows the Supreme Lord’s desires. […] To spread Krsna consciousness in the absence of an advanced uttama-adhikari Vaisnava, third-class and second-class Vaisnavas must follow the instructions of Srila Prabhupada and learn the art of co-operation.”
(HH Prahladananda Swami, Duties of GBC and Guru in ISKCON, 2006)
“If the GBC Body sees someone as a self-effulgent acarya who is completely aware of the Supersoul and Srila Prabhupada’s desires and instructions they can and should follow his/her instructions. No one so far has been seen in that category.” (HH Prahladananda Swami, August 30th, 2006)
Must be Srila Prabhupada
On the contrary, the same ISKCON leaders have repeatedly told us that it is Srila Prabhupada who fulfils the description of a spiritual master who is delivering everyone:
“Generally, a guru establishes a link between Krsna and his disciple. […] Srila Prabhupada, as the pre-eminent acarya, takes you to Krsna and engages you in His service.”
(HH Bhakti Charu Swami Istagosthi, June 10th, 2007)
“ … Srila Prabhupada will take you to Krsna.”
(HH Bhakti Charu Swami, Durban disciples meeting, April 7th, 2006)
[BTP Note: This is the definition of the bona fide spiritual master as stated in Srila Prabhupada’s books:
“And if you get a bona fide spiritual master, he will take you to Krsna.” (The Laws of Nature, Ch. 1)]
“Just let go of this body and its attachments and put your self in the lotus hands of Srila Prabhupada...and he will take you to Vrindavan!”
(HH Radhanath Swami, speaking to his “disciple” Stoka Krishna Das on his deathbed, “His Guru and Grace” video)
“And certainly we are all depending on Srila Prabhupada to intercede with Krishna so that we can attain His shelter. […] He is surely our guarantee of salvation if we follow his instructions and personal example in our daily life.” (HG Kripamoya Das, Chairman, European ISKCON Leaders Conference, The Vaishnava Voice, May 6th, 2007)
By the words of ISKCON’s leaders, the prayers that must be sung every morning by every ISKCON member for the lifetime of ISKCON, are not being sung to ISKCON’s GBC authorised gurus. Rather, they are being sung to Srila Prabhupada. So without realising it, in ISKCON everyone has been mandated to worship Srila Prabhupada as the spiritual master to whom they have surrendered, first by glorifying his qualities during mangal-arati, and then later on by worshiping him directly as the diksa Guru during Guru-puja (as proven in the last issue). Yet another proof, if such proof was needed, that Srila Prabhupada alone is the spiritual master for everyone in ISKCON, for ISKCON’s lifetime.
We have proven that Srila Prabhupada is ISKCON’s diksa Guru by using Srila Prabhupada’s own orders and statements (BTP Special Summary and regular issues, TFO and all IRM papers); by using the words of ISKCON’s own leaders (BTP Special Issue No. 2), and now we are able to prove it even from the daily prayers we offer every day in the temple!
To continue to defy Srila Prabhupada’s position in the face of such overwhelming evidence is not tenable for anyone who claims to be a follower of Srila Prabhupada, and therefore the IRM is working tirelessly, in the face of much opposition, to ensure that everyone who wishes to follow Srila Prabhupada is presented this vital information as soon as possible.