The Spiritual Master

This is excerpted comment by Locanananda Prabhu at Prabhupada News on an article posted there by one of Srila Prabhupada’s personal servants, Gauridasa Pandita dasa, about the Ritvik order. Very nice comment.

The Spiritual Master
by Locanananda dasa

Srila Prabhupada is the eternal spiritual master of his followers and of all generations of followers still to come. His Divine Grace likened initiation to the admissions procedure at school. He said it was more or less a formality. He surely never wanted this initiation issue to divide his followers into different camps.

The essence of the process of devotional service is to surrender to the spiritual master. A disciple accepts the discipline taught by Krishna’s pure representative. He does not manufacture his own way. In that sense, followers are disciples, and Srila Prabhupada will deliver them to Krishna.

As far as the formalities of diksa are concerned, in the ritvik system of initiation that should have been implemented in ISKCON after Srila Prabhupada’s departure, diksa was to be given by the ritvik acarya acting on Srila Prabhupada’s behalf, in other words, with transparency to the founder acarya. When Srila Prabhupada was asked whose disciples they would be, he referred to them as his grand disciples. That means that the ritvik acarya who was giving diksa by officiating would also be connecting the disciples to Krishna’s pure devotee through whom Krishna’s mercy would flow directly to them. It is only in terms of formalities that the ritvik acarya would be considered the initiator, and that is a principle that cannot be ignored. However, because his role is to officiate, he does not become an absolute authority or the object of meditation and worship for the disciple. As Krishna’s empowered emissary, that is Srila Prabhupada’s role, and no attempt should be made to usurp his position.

One should not be upset thinking himself unfortunate not to have been directly initiated by Srila Prabhupada during the lifetime of the founder acarya. If the official initiator is capable of acting as a transparent medium, and if the disciple takes full shelter at the lotus feet of the eternal spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, the difference is in name only. Besides, Srila Prabhupada used to say that although the ever-liberated spiritual master is kind to his direct disciples, he is even kinder to grand disciples.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Spiritual Master (Part 3) « The Hare Krishna Movement
  2. Trackback: The Spiritual Master (Part 4) « The Hare Krishna Movement

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