Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bhakti Vikas raises more questions than answers

HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami's Answer Begs More Questions


Dear Bhakti Vikas Maharaja, please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Thank you very much for your quick response. I am grateful for that. I am also grateful to Rocana prabhu for posting my questions. Your answer to my questions created more questions.

You quote: "Caitanya Mahaprabhu wants that, amara ajnaya guru hana.' You become guru.' But be qualified. Little thing, strictly follower."

Even though I agree that this verse by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu indicates that everyone should become guru, it does not necessarily means that it gives an order for everyone to become a Diksha guru. It also means a preacher, a person who teaches others the science of Krishna consciousness, like many of us who are not initiating spiritual masters but meet people in our lives and preaches to them.

In verse 130 of the same chapter Srila Prabhupada in the purport states: "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."

My first question to you is this: Why would Srila Prabhupada state "It is best not to accept any disciples" when the order of Mahaprabhu states that everyone should be a guru?

You state that a guru should be a strict follower. True.

Without strictly following one cannot even be a disciple. It is a pre-requisite for initiation, as such one can say that even though one must be strictly following to be a guru, it is not enough. There must be more than that qualification to occupy the post of the spiritual master. Please allow me to quote Srila Prabhupada on this subject.

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

"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."(C.c. Madhya, 24.330, purport)

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

My next question. If to even aspire to be a disciple one must be strictly following, how is it that the qualification for becoming a diksha guru, ‘strictly following' is good enough? One may think, were the ISKCON authorized gurus strictly following when they were giving initiation? And after they fall down what happens to their disciples? Was their initiation bona fide? ISKCON in the past demanded they take re-initiation. Many did, just to experience the same trauma. Now they simply say take shelter of Srila Prabhupada or the senior Vaisnavas.

My next two questions to you: Can it be safely said that they are then disciples of Srila Prabhupada, since their diksha guru fell down and thereby is not ‘strictly following'? Who is taking the responsibility to take such unfortunate souls back home back to Godhead?

We sing daily the Guruvastakam to glorify our Spiritual Master. Srila Visvanatha Chakravarty Thakur's prayers are describing a highly elevated maha-bhagavata. One who is in direct relationship with Radha Madhava, who is assisting the Gopis. The English translation says that He offers his humble obeisances to the lotus feet of such a spiritual master. The word "such" creates a distinction.

My next two questions: Who are we singing this prayer to every morning in ISKCON? Are you asking your disciples to meditate on your good self at mangal arotik?

Conversation, May 27, 1977 - Vrindavana:
Bhavananda: There will be men, I know. There will be men who want to try and pose themselves as guru.
Tamala Krishna: That was going on many years ago. Your Godbrothers were thinking like that. Madhava Maharaja...
Bhavananda: Oh, yes. Oh, ready to jump.
Prabhupada: Very strong management required and vigilant observation. (background whispering, Tamala Krsna and Bhavananda) So you are foreign...

My next two questions: Bhavananda is telling Srila Prabhupada that there will be men who want to try and pose themselves as guru. Which kind of guru was he talking about?

Srila Prabhupada answers "Very strong management required and vigilant observation" - for What?

Room Conversation, April 22, 1977:
Prabhupada: People complained against [a GBC for trying to appear as a guru]. ...You become guru, but you must be QUALIFIED FIRST of all. THEN you become. ...What is the use of producing some RASCAL GURU?
Tamala Krishna: Well, I have studied myself and all of your disciples, and it's clear fact that we are ALL CONDITIONED SOULS, so we CANNOT BE gurus. MAYBE someday it may be possible....
Prabhupada: Hm. [agrees]
Tamala Krishna: ...but not now.
Prabhupada: Yes. I shall produce some gurus. I shall say who is guru, 'Now you become acharya. You become authorized.' I retire completely. But the training must be COMPLETE.
Tamala Krishna: The process of purification must be there. ...No rubber stamp.
Prabhupada: You can cheat, but it will not be effective. Just see our Gaudiya Matha. Everyone wanted to be guru. A small temple and "guru." What kind of guru?
Tamal Krishna accepts that he is a conditioned soul. He studied himself and all of his God brothers. Srila Prabhupada wants to produce some gurus. He says I shall say who is guru, 'Now you become acharya. You become authorized.' I retire completely. But the training must be COMPLETE.'

My next two questions: When was the training complete?
Has the training been completed even as we speak?

In conclusion: Your answer has created many more questions and I pray you can answer satisfactorily. I, like many other God brothers truly wish to work and co-operate within the Institution so kindly created by Srila Prabhupada for our quick reform and purification. I am saddened and am truly suffering that I am unable to work within the ISKCON framework, as it is not what we have joined so many years ago.

I hope you can throw some light on this very fundamental topic. Again I wish to thank Rocana prabhu for his kindness and for your friendship and prompt reply. Let us pray that by these healthy discussions the truth can be churned out for the benefit of all.

Always begging to remain your humble servant,
Sattvic das

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.