Sunday, January 17, 2016

Female diksha gurus update (Rasikananda das)

By Rasikananda das:

The controversy created regarding female gurus is artificial due to insufficient knowledge of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions. It is not a question of gender, but of qualification as will be demonstrated herein.

[PADA: Correct, guru is by qualification. Agreed.]

In 1969, two letters sent to Hamsadutta and Kirtanananda indicated that by 1975 any disciple, male or female, passing the Bhaktivedanta examination would be empowered to initiate their own disciples in his presence in order to rapidly expand the movement. 

In those letters he stated that by 1975, he wanted to have four examinations in place: Bhakti-Shastri, Bhakti-Vaibhava, Bhakti-Vedanta, and Bhakti-Sarvabhauma in that order. (In 1969 he had local temples administer the Bhakti-Shastri exam he wrote himself. The results were sent to India and lost somehow or other.),_1969,_1969

Exams were not yet in place by 1975, but in January of 1976 Srila Prabhupada sent a directive to all GBC to “Institute examinations to be given to all prospective candidates for sannyasa and brahmana initiation,” namely the examinations mentioned above. 

He wrote, “Any sannyasis or brahmanas already initiated who fail to pass the examinations will be considered low class or less qualified.” Srila Prabhupada wanted the GBC to have “everything prepared in time for the Mayapur festival.” Bhakti-Shastri exams were subsequently held in Mayapura. (See the attached directive to the GBC, a MUST READ:

The point is that Srila Prabhupada had firm faith that absorption in the knowledge of Sastra would purify conditioned souls. That was the purpose and power of Sastra as presented by Srila Prabhupada in his writings and lectures, filled as they were with the missionary spirit of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Srila Prabhupada was not considering gender, but qualification. When he said “not many” women might become gurus, he was clear that he did not expect many of them to meet the qualifications. It was never a question of gender, as can be seen by his plans expressed in his 1969 letters, and in his later interviews. It is disingenuous to refer to his approval of women disciples becoming gurus without clearly referring to his process of examinations for qualifying all gurus. 

It was always a question of qualification by examination (and of course character). During an interview, he gave Jahnava Devi, wife of Nityananda Prabhu, Lord Balarama Himself, as an example of a woman spiritual master. Such a lofty example indicates that the matter not be taken cheaply. This is of course a high historical example, but may be considered an indirect indication to men also, that such a position must be taken seriously. In any case, Srila Prabhupada designed the examinations as an indicator of the basic qualifications to become an initiating guru. Interestingly, there was still another exam to be taken later by such spiritual masters, the Bhakti-Sarvabhauma.

At this point it seems a fair question to ask just how many of the brahmanas, sannyasis, and 80 initiating gurus have taken and passed the required exams? Notwithstanding the adjustments Srila Prabhupada made on May 1977 (a subject soon to be elucidated in another essay), the standards Srila Prabhupada set for the society in 1976 were for the future.

[PADA: It is self evident the GBC does not know shastra or they would not be making deviants into their acharyas left, right and center. They have also concocted all sorts of "rules for acharyas": acharyas are voted in, voted out, suspended for deviations, monitored, excommunicated and so on, and none of this has ever applied to ANY of the previous acharyas. And none of this is found in Srila Prabhupada's books, its all a total concoction.]

If female spiritual masters are indirectly certified by a “no objection” certificate or other means, the same embarrassing problems involving spiritual masters so far will again emerge as an historical and hysterical re-run.

[PADA: Correct, the GBC does not object if deviants are their acharyas, and they have even reinstated severe deviants from time to time, and that has been the cause of so many scandals and problems, including massive lawsuits. Right now Hrdayananda is writing "a novel based on Mahabharata," making shastra into some sort of theoretical speculation. He also says the story of Draupadi never actually happened, and so on, and yet the GBC does not issue a final boot to get him out the door. They allow speculators to remain as the representatives of ISKCON and as their direct or de facto acharyas.] 

If newcomers are presented, in effect, a list of already bona-fide gurus to choose from, such a procedure nullifies the responsibility or onus on the part of such a newcomer to examine any potential guru carefully. Srila Prabhupada has said that the potential disciple should do so for at least one year before making such a life time decision.

[PADA: OK except the current list contains all the people who all support allowing Hrdayananda to remain in a post of authority and a leader and de facto sannyasa and guru in ISKCON circles. Nor has the GBC stopped him and other deviants from using the title of ISKCON, but they will spend $20 millions dollars stopping us and others from using the title of ISKCON.] 

This requires an opportunity to examine Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on the qualifications of a spiritual master and one’s obligation to such a bona-fide spiritual master. Prospective members have the right to the information about the results of the qualifying examinations of the person that he or she is considering as a guru.

The choices, as institutionally presented by ISKCON, should include only anyone who has passed the examinations required by Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of the institution. In other words, any prospective disciple must be clearly informed enough to make a proper decision.

Likewise, if a spiritual master initiates one who is unfaithful, not having chanted 16 rounds daily and followed 4 regulative principles for at least six months, that spiritual master is committing an offense at the lotus feet of the Holy Name. (Lecture on the Ten Offenses, in February 1970 in Los Angeles: )

Therefore it is imperative that all members of the society become educated in Srila Prabhupada’s standards for the qualification of a spiritual master and insist that all candidates, existing or potential, be validated through his system of examination.

Candidates for initiation into the society should be able to make a fully informed decision. As written on a certificate of initiation signed by Srila Prabhupada in November 1966: Such-and-such “is a duly initiated student of the society.” In other words, that devotee was inducted into a society, a collective effort to spread the missionary spirit of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu as directed by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. - from Rupanuga Dasa (ACBSP) January 7, 2016

[PADA: Its self evident that the "bhakti shastri exam" people -- those who would be giving initiations under this scheme -- would not be designated as diksha gurus who can absorb sins like Jesus. They would be some sort of preachers, representatives, priests, or ritviks. 

And it would then be the duty of the GBC to monitor these priests, just like the governing council of churches monitors their priests. Instead, the GBC gives an unrealistic superior title to their "gurus" and they do not allow the priest class to function, rather they ban anyone who does not agree to their scheme of artificially rubber stamping acharyas and diksha gurus. If all sorts of rank and file devotees would be initiating for Srila Prabhupada, just because they passed a basic knowledge test, its obvious they would be doing so as representatives and not as self standing parampara gurus. And since women could also pass this shastra test, they too could have been representatives of the acharya. 

In any case we need to distinguish that the "initiating" representative is more or less acting like a priest who gives baptism on behalf of Jesus. A man or woman could do this job. The trouble has been that the GBC says that the neophyte should get the title and worship of the acharya, and that is simply not working. "You can cheat (and pose as guru artificially) but it will not be effective" as Srila Prabhupada told the GBC.  

ys pd 

No comments:

Post a Comment

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