Srila Prabhupada is the Guru, Acarya and Actual Initiator in ISKCON
By Mahesh Raja
Regarding parampara system: there is nothing to wonder for big gaps. Just like we belong to the Brahma Sampradaya, so we accept it from Krishna to Brahma, Brahma to Narada, Narada to Vyasadeva, Vyasadeva to Madhva, and between Vyasadeva and Madhva there is a big gap. But it is sometimes said that Vyasadeva is still living, and Madhva was fortunate enough to meet him directly. In a similar way, we find in the Bhagavad-gita that the Gita was taught to the sungod, some millions of years ago, but Krishna has mentioned only three names in this parampara system–namely, Vivasvan, Manu, and Iksvaku; and so these gaps do not hamper from understanding the parampara system. We have to** pick up the prominent acaryas, and follow from him.** There are many branches also from the parampara system, and it is not possible to record all the branches and sub-branches in the disciplic succession. We have to pick up from the authority of the acharya in whatever sampradaya we belong to. (68-04-12.Day Letter: Dayananda)
The **only** injunction from scriptures is to worship the acarya. Its only the acarya that is able to give diksa ( spiritual initiation) to the Madhyama-adhikari (see antya CC 4.192-4.194) where he relishes loving mellows(in his svarupa) with krsna. Acarya is not voted by the GBC 2/3 majority votes. The acarya has direct communication with Krsna- Krsna speaks through him. It is therefore only the acarya that can actually be expected to be worshiped as good as Krsna. So the photo worship is not sanctioned of one who is not an acarya. (conditioned soul worship — idol worship where is the difference?).
Adi 1.45 “According to the deliberate opinion of all revealed scriptures, the spiritual master is nondifferent from Krsna. Lord Krsna in the form of the spiritual master delivers His devotees.”
Adi 1.46 **acaryam** mam vijaniyan navamanyeta karhicit na martya-buddhyasuyeta sarva-deva-mayo guruh “One should know the acarya as Myself and never disrespect him in any way. One should not envy him, thinking him an ordinary man, for he is the representative of all the demigods.” Purport:This is a verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.17.27)
Note: It is significant the same text has been quoted In NoD Ch7 but in reference to **accepting initiation**. So this shows Initiation is from Acarya not from 2/3 majority voted spiritual masters.
Ch7 Nectar of Devotion; Serving the Spiritual Master with Faith and Confidence Regarding ACCEPTING INITIATION from the spiritual master, in the Eleventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Seventeenth Chapter, verse 27, it is stated by Lord Krsna, “My dear Uddhava, the spiritual master must be accepted not only as My representative, but as My very self. He must never be considered on the same level with an ordinary human being. One should never be envious of the spiritual master, as one may be envious of an ordinary man. The spiritual master should always be seen as the representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and by serving the spiritual master one is able to serve all the demigods.”
Adi 1.35 A devotee must have only one initiating spiritual master because in the scriptures acceptance of more than one is always forbidden.
Note:We know it is only the uttama adhikari acarya Prabhupada that is able to transmit diksa (spiritual Initiation) into the madhyam adhikaris heart whereby he is enabled to see Krsna and relish loving mellows in his svarupa. (television in the heart).
Here it is understood that the spiritual master disciplic succession is of acaryas. And Srila Prabhupada is the current acarya. SB 3.29.17 In Bhagavad-gita, Thirteenth Chapter, it is clearly stated that one should execute devotional service and advance on the path of spiritual knowledge by accepting the acarya. Acaryopasanam: one should worship an acarya, a spiritual master who knows things as they are. The spiritual master must be in the disciplic succession from Krsna. The predecessors of the spiritual master are his spiritual master, his grand spiritual master, his great-grand spiritual master and so on, who form the disciplic succession of acaryas.
Srila Prabhupada is the prominent acarya.
Regarding parampara system: there is nothing to wonder for big gaps. Just like we belong to the Brahma Sampradaya, so we accept it from Krishna to Brahma, Brahma to Narada, Narada to Vyasadeva, Vyasadeva to Madhva, and between Vyasadeva and Madhva there is a big gap. But it is sometimes said that Vyasadeva is still living, and Madhva was fortunate enough to meet him directly. In a similar way, we find in the Bhagavad-gita that the Gita was taught to the sungod, some millions of years ago, but Krishna has mentioned only three names in this parampara system–namely, Vivasvan, Manu, and Iksvaku; and so these gaps do not hamper from understanding the parampara system. We have to** pick up the prominent acaryas, and follow from him.** There are many branches also from the parampara system, and it is not possible to record all the branches and sub-branches in the disciplic succession. We have to pick up from the authority of the acharya in whatever sampradaya we belong to.
68-04-12.Day Letter: Dayananda
The injunction is to worship acarya as opposed to those who conduct spiritual master business. This statement from Srila Prabhupada is uncompromising. Srila Prabhupada wants to deliver the devotees form the lust of wanting to be worshiped as good as God. But if they become envious of his position as the acarya and wish to be worshiped as good as God then he is telling them their destiny. Isopanisad 12 The pseudo religionists have neither knowledge nor detachment from material affairs, for most of them want to live in the golden shackles of material bondage under the shadow of philanthropic activities disguised as religious principles. By a false display of religious sentiments, they present a show of devotional service while indulging in all sorts of immoral activities. In this way they pass as spiritual masters and devotees of God. Such violators of religious principles have no respect for the authoritative acaryas, the holy teachers in the strict disciplic succession. They ignore the Vedic injunction acaryopasana–”One must worship the acarya“- and Krsna’s statement in the Bhagavad-gita (4.2) evam parampara-praptam, “This supreme science of God is received through the disciplic succession.” Instead, to mislead the people in general they themselves become so-called acaryas, but they do not even follow the principles of the acaryas. These rogues are the most dangerous elements in human society. Because there is no religious government, they escape punishment by the law of the state. They cannot, however, escape the law of the Supreme, who has clearly declared in the Bhagavad-gita that envious demons in the garb of religious propagandists shall be thrown into the darkest regions of hell (Bg. 16.19-20). Sri Isopanisad confirms that these pseudo religionists are heading toward the most obnoxious place in the universe after the completion of their spiritual master business, which they conduct simply for sense gratification.
Note: Srila Prabhupada (jagad-guru) has already given us the Holy name initiation in his books, tapes and formal ceremonies also. All it requires now is that one chant offenselessly–this is attained in the madhyma-adhikari platform(spiritual Initiation-diksa). Those who are making money from spiritual master business may be agitated–but we know that **only Krsna’s pure devotee can give Krsna** and Prabhupada has given the Holy name. So far as formality of the ceremony– July 9th letter Prabhupada said conduct as ritviks(representative of acarya). How can he allow worship of conditioned souls?
Antya 7.12 Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains that unless one is directly empowered by the causeless mercy of Krsna, one cannot become the spiritual master of the entire world (jagad-guru). One cannot become an acarya simply by mental speculation.
THE TRUE ACARYA PRESENTS KRSNA TO EVERYONE BY PREACHING THE HOLY NAME OF THE LORD THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. THUS THE CONDITIONED SOULS, PURIFIED BY CHANTING THE HOLY NAME, ARE LIBERATED FROM THE BLAZING FIRE OF MATERIAL EXISTENCE.
In this way, spiritual benefit grows increasingly full, like the waxing moon in the sky. The true acarya, the spiritual master of the entire world, must be considered an incarnation of Krsna’s mercy. indeed, he is personally embracing Krsna.
HE IS THEREFORE THE SPIRITUAL MASTER OF ALL THE VARNAS (BRAHMANA, KSATRIYA, VAISYA AND SUDRA) AND ALL THE ASRAMAS (BRAHMACARYA, GRHASTHA, VANAPRASTHA AND SANNYASA).
Since he is understood to be the most advanced devotee, he is called paramahamsa-thakura. Thakura is a title of honor offered to the paramahamsa. Therefore one who acts as an acarya, directly presenting Lord Krsna by spreading His name and fame, is also to be called paramahamsa-thakura.
Note: it is interesting that in Srila Prabhupada’s books also it is STRESSED: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Founder-Acarya of the International Society For Krishna Consciousness. ‘Founder’ ** HYPEN** Acarya means that Srila Prabhupada is NOT ONLY the Founder BUT ALSO the Acarya of ISKCON. It is also Srila Prabhupada’s desire to REMAIN at the centre so all devotees take the advantage of receiving diksa from his Divine Grace.
I wish that each and every Branch shall keep their independent identity and cooperate keeping the Acarya in the centre. On this principle we can open any number of Branches all over the world. The Ramakrishna mission works on this principle and thus as organization they have done wonderfully.67-02-11. Letter: Kirtanananda