[PADA: This has really been the crux of the post 1977 schism in ISKCON. Is Srila Prabhupada still present in his vani, or not? And if he is not present there, and we need "a living guru," then who is that living guru going to be? Needless to say, many people have been burned badly by selecting all kinds of fools as their living gurus.
Not only the bogus GBC's gurus have been telling us we need to take shelter of their "living gurus" to displace Srila Prabhupada, but even many of our "dear brothers" -- folks like Guru Kripa das, Bhakta das, Mahanidhi swami, Gaura Govinda swami, Rocana das, Kailash Chandra, Jadurani, Bhagavat das, and many others from the rank and file -- have also gone over to the bogus idea "you need a living guru," and they enabled and empowered the false gurus process thereby.
Even the Prahlad / Mukunda / Dayalu Nitai HKC Jaipur group has recently made "living guru advocates" like Bhakta das and Hari Sauri their hero spokesmen, which means they too never understood the principle that the acharyas are eternal, or else they would never advertise and promote the people who demonize our Prabhupadanugas as "toxic cancers."
Oddly, the same HKC group (and their GBC guru allies) also say Srila Prabhupada should not have his own temple of worship in Vrndavana, they are just as vociferously opposed to seeing Srila Prabhupada being worshiped in the holy dham in his own temple as are the GBC folks, or even more so. Worse, they even say a temple of worship of the acharya in Vrndavana will simply "create a disturbance" there. No, I am not kidding!
Sorry, we are going to have a temple for him there, because the acharya needs to be continued on -- with his own devotees, with his own books, with his own temples, and so forth. Of course, some people also thought that that the worship of Krishna was "a disturbance" when He was here 5,000 years ago. History repeats!
All this simply means they never understood the principle that acharyas -- and thus their vani -- are eternal. Sorry, PADA's idea will eventually emerge as the correct idea, the guru is ETERNALLY present in his Vani, and that is also why his worship should continue in his temples. He is present in his books ongoing, without the need for any ersatz messiahs. Apart from that, hasn't no one noticed that Sridhara Maharaja, Narayana Maharaja, Gaura Govinda Maharaja, BV and BP Puri, Tamal Krishna swami, Jayatirtha, Kirtanananda, and many other purported living gurus -- are now dead and gone? ys pd]
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There was one doubt that was plaguing me. I had always been taught when I was first joining that the parampara is like a link, a chain. If you don't have the perfect link, if you are not initiated - you really can not go back to the spiritual world. I presented this question to Prabhupada.
I followed Srila Prabhupada from Rupa Gosvami's Samadhi back into the courtyard, and just before Srila Prabhupada took the steps, in the courtyard, I said 'We are distributing so many books but if people who read them are not initiated then they can not go back to home, to the spiritual world.' And Prabhupada turned and looked at me right in the eyes and he said "Just by reading my books they are initiated". (Vaikunthanatha Dasa)