Initiations After 1977 Position Paper

initiation

Initiations After 1977 Position Paper

The following link is a Position Paper PDF on “Initiations After 1977” that you can open or save to your computer. This is a short 54 page booklet which describes Srila Prabhupada’s final instructions on initiations after his departure based on his instructions with śāstric and historical references. I have only had a chance to briefly preview it, but it appears to be well put together and backed up with many quotes and references.

initiations-after-1977

Excerpted from “Initiations After 1977”

The instructions of Śrīla Prabhupāda are the thread that holds the beautiful pearl necklace of our movement. If they are disobeyed, the thread would snap and the necklace would be lost. That is exactly what happened especially with regards to
initiations after Śrīla Prabhupāda’s departure.

The scope of this book is

1. To study Śrīla Prabhupāda’s final instructions on how initiations should takeplace after his departure;

2. To fortify the authenticity of his instructions with śāstric and historical references;

3. To present śāstric references that explain the root cause of all problems within our worldwide Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, its effects and how to solve it.

This book is entirely based on the official documents of Śrīla Prabhupāda and supported by scriptural quotations from Śrīla Prabhupāda’s translations of Bhagavadgītā, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam and other related literature. We have just attempted to compile it in order to serve his mission and the devotees who are true to his mission.

“The main business of human society is to think of the Supreme Personality of Godhead at all times, to become His devotees, to worship the Supreme Lord and to bow down before Him. The ācārya, the authorized representative of the Supreme Lord, establishes these principles, but when he disappears, things once again become disordered. The perfect disciples of the ācārya try to relieve the situation by sincerely following the instructions of the spiritual master.”  (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.28.48, Purport)

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History of Diksa Guru in ISKCON 1978-2014

BackTo-Godhead-ISKCON-Initiation

The other day I got a new phone, a smart phone. I wanted to see how smart it was, so I asked it a Question. “Who is Srila Prabhupada” and I was very surprised when it started talking, with authority. It also brought up a Google page with links to various articles. One of the links brought me to this very informative composition on the history of ISKCON. Although I was aware of most of the history, still to see it all written in one place was something. Thank you to Nrsimhananda Prabhu, who did a fine job of putting it all together. We share it with all of you.

History of Diksa Guru in ISKCON 1978-2014
by Nrsimhananda dasa

This is a history of GBC resolutions, gurus approved, gurus suspended, and other key events in ISKCON as specifically related to diksa and siksa gurus. Although compiled carefully over many years, and in consultation with many ISKCON members, some historians and some former members, there are undoubtedly a lot of errors and omissions in this document due to a lack of information. There are especially errors in terms of the specific years that some persons were approved or disapproved to act as diksa guru in ISKCON. Such errors are due to a lack of record-keeping on the part of any official ISKCON body. This is intended to be a public document, for the view of anyone interested in ISKCON history; it is not an internal document.

(Note: most GBC resolutions are here in a summary form; some are in the exact wording).

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The Spiritual Master (Part 3)

This is a continuation from our previous posts, The Spiritual Master some time ago, and the further discussion in The Spiritual Master (Part 2) This is a fascinating account by Sriman Locanananda Prabhu revealing his insights into the ‘guru issue’ in our ISKCON society today, from his own personal understanding, and his realizations of the instructions given by Srila Prabhupada shortly before his untimely departure. Our obeisances to him for sharing his personal recollections and realizations. [Note: some of the other comments were edited out so as not to distract from Locanananda Prabhu’s train of thought. You can follow the entire stream of comments by going to Prabhupada News As I stated, this is a fascinating account, however, this does not necessarily reflect our views on the ‘guru issue’. But Locanananda Prabhu makes a very well stated argument, and we are in complete agreement with his assessment that “success in spiritual life, means following the instructions of the spiritual master”.

… the next step is to find a way to convince others of Srila Prabhupada’s actual intention in laying out a ritvik initiation system. It was not to end the parampara with himself as the last guru in our line. It was not to push aside what he himself referred to as the “law of disciplic succession.” It was to introduce a method by which millions of souls throughout the world could be initiated into the society of vaisnavas and attain the mercy of Krishna and the previous acaryas on their journey back to Godhead.

…everyone is taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada and receiving transcendental knowledge, but they are receiving so much more. By his grace, we will be able to enter the spiritual abode and interact with Krishna face to face. Without pleasing Srila Prabhupada, one cannot even make one iota of spiritual advancement.

…Srila Prabhupada had his reasons for introducing the title “officiating acarya” instead of “diksa guru” or “initiating spiritual master,” to designate the giver of diksa when he would no longer be present. Why devotees cannot accept Srila Prabhupada’s terminology is beyond my comprehension. As far as Srila Prabhupada’s present position, we can learn from a letter written to Brahmananda on Nov. 15, 1969 where he said,

“So far as I am concerned, in relationship with my disciples who are so kindly cooperating with me in the matter of my rendering service to my spiritual master, for them I am always ready to come back from Goloka Vrindaban, if they are not delivered along with me.”

The point made here is that one should think that upon his disappearance from our visual perception, the spiritual master has returned to Goloka Vrindaban. What he has left behind is the legacy of the temples he established, the Deities he installed and the body of instructions he imparted. By his inconceivable mercy, Srila Prabhupada, while residing in the abode of Krishna, continues to bestow his blessings upon us. As disciples, we should make every attempt to end the cycle of birth and death by preparing ourselves through the purificatory process of devotional service to go back to Godhead so as not to oblige the spiritual master to come back to this world to deliver us.

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Siksa Guru

 

…So far as your second question, Thakura Bhaktivinode was not official Spiritual Master of Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was already renounced order, Paramahamsa, but Thakura Bhaktivinode, while He was even playing the part of a householder, was treated by Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja as Preceptor, on account of His highly elevated spiritual understanding, and thus He was always treating Him as His Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master is divided into two parts; namely, siksa guru and diksa guru. So officially Bhaktivinode Thakura was like siksa guru of Gaura Kisora das Babaji Maharaja.

Letter to: Dayananda
Allston, Mass
1 May, 1969

My Dear Dayananda,

Please accept my blessings. Just yesterday morning I was thinking of you that I did not hear from Dayananda for so many days, and immediately I got your nice letter dated April 25, 1969. You are such a nice soul that you are always thinking of Krishna and becoming more and more purified in Krishna Consciousness. As stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto, Second Chapter, Twenty-Seventh Verse, Krishna is sitting in everyone’s heart and He is purifying one who is Krishna Conscious. The symptoms of advancement in Krishna Consciousness is gradually feeling detached to materialistic way of life. Although you are young man, you have got your nice young wife and child, and by Krishna’s Grace, everything is all right so far as your family is concerned, still you are feeling detached. That is very nice. But when your wife and child all are cooperating in your Krishna Consciousness, there is no hampering in your progress. So keep yourself always in Krishna Consciousness with your family members, raise your children to that standard, and employ your energy for serving Krishna. Then, even though you are in family life, you are as good as sannyasi.

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Srila Prabhupada is the Diksa Guru for ISKCON

Vani Seva
By Ananda devi dasi
May 12 2009, UK

“In the absence of physical presentation of the Spiritual Master, the vaniseva is more important. My Spiritual Master Saraswati Goswami, may appear to be physically not present but still I try to serve His Instruction, I never feel separated from Him” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, August 22, 1970)

After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada His instructions remained the same, they didn’t change. Therefore Srila Prabhupada is the Diksa Guru and His ISKCON-specific instructions and the process of Diksa remains the same. A disciple who has had no chance of serving the Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada, when He was in His Vapuh, can still follow His Vani, instructions, and fully benefit from this association and advance in devotional service.

The Officiating Acarya process is not a replacement system for the Disciplic Succession, nor is it an initiating system, either. Srila Prabhupada is the Initiator Guru whether there is an Officiating Acarya system in place or not, whether or not the July 9th Letter is implemented or not. Devotees that join ISKCON can only be initiated by Srila Prabhupada because He is the Diksa Guru for ISKCON, period.

In Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.47 we read:

“The disciple and spiritual master are never separated because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple as long as the disciple follows strictly the instructions of the spiritual master. This is called the association of Vani. Physical presence is called Vapuh. As long as the spiritual master is physically present, the disciple should serve the physical body of the spiritual master, and when the spiritual master is no longer physically existing, the disciple should serve the instructions of the spiritual master.”

Srila Prabhupada makes it crystal clear that after the disappearance of the Spiritual Master, the disciple follows the instructions of the Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master left His instructions in the form of Books, verbal instructions, letters, tapes, videos, all these are instructions from the Spiritual Master,Vani.

After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada His instructions remained the same, they didn’t change. Therefore Srila Prabhupada is the Diksa Guru and His ISKCON-specific instructions and the process of Diksa remains the same. A disciple who has had no chance of serving the Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada, when He was in His Vapuh, can still follow His Vani, instructions, and fully benefit from this association and advance in devotional service.

In Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 1.35 we read:

“It is imperative that one accepts a spiritual master if he at all desires to gain the favor of the Lord. The service of the Spiritual Master is essential. If there is no chance to serve the spiritual master directly, a devotee should serve Him by remembering His instructions. There is no difference between the spiritual masters instructions and the spiritual master Himself. In His absence,therefore,His words of direction should be the pride of the disciple.”

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Does the Disciplic Succession stop with Srila Prabhupada?

Does the Disciplic Succession stop with Srila Prabhupada?
By Ananda Devi
Posted on 4. April 2009 by Prabhupadanuga News

Whether Srila Prabhupada is “physically present” or not is of no consequence He is the current link in ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada IS the “current link” in ISKCON. There is no difference between Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON, and the sound vibration coming from Him, even though He is not personally present. The potency is never minimized because the vibrator is apparently absent.

Srila Prabhupada incorporated the organisation named ISKCON as a legal entity. He had already foreseen the future temples, farms, devotees and His position in Sri Chaitanya’s Sankirtana Movement. Not only is Srila Prabhupada the Founder/Acarya, but also the Diksa Guru of ISKCON. In 1966, this position was not questioned.

Srila Prabhupada gathered together the Brahma-Samita, the essence of Vedic literature, the Srimad Bhagavatam authored by Srila Vyasadeva, the Nectar of Devotion and Instruction by Rupa Goswami, the Caitanya-caritamrita by Krsnadasa Kaviraja, and His very own Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, as well as many other Vedic literatures. These are the cream of Vedic literature, not the bread and butter; those He discarded.

As a uniquely empowered potent preacher, Srila Prabhupada created His very own organisation for Him to be the centre, ISKCON. The exclusive worship is the same today as it was back in those days. Srila Prabhupada is directly worshipped as the Diksa Guru as if He was physically present today There has been no change to the daily worship.

From Mangala Arati through to Bhagavatam class is all based around Srila Prabhupada’s process of Diksa that He introduced for His ISKCON. In ISKCON this is exactly the definition and meaning of “current link” to the Disciplic Succession.

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Sri Madhavendra Puri


Sri Madhavendra Puri
Disappearance day – 17th March, 2011

Madhavendra Puri Discovers Gopala

Madhavendra Puri also known as Madhavendra Puri Goswami appeared in the 14th century.

After making an extensive pilgrimage of India as a sannyasi he passed his life in Vrindavana and Orissa. The main source of knowledge about him is Chaitanya Charitamrita. He belongs to the Madhva line being a disciple of Lakshmipati Tirtha and he was the founder of the Vaishnava centre at Mathura, Vrindavana. He is considered a fountainhead of devotional worship of Krishna and he has started the worship of the Gopala deity, better known as Shrinathji. He is attributed to the discovery of the famous deity of Gopala near Govardhana that was later worshiped by Vallabhacharya, follower of Vishnuswami in Rudra sampradaya, who in turn was influenced by devotional mood of Vrindavana.  He is also famed for receiving direct instructions and gifts from the deity of Gopinatha, who commanded him to travel for the supply of scarce sandal wood paste from Orissa to the Malaya Mountains.

Initiating the sankirtana movement
Madhavendra Puri is accepted as the initiator of the movement of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who accepted Madhavendra’s intimate disciple, Ishvara Puri as his diksa guru. He was preaching the principles of Gaudiya Vaishnavism prior to Lord Chaitanya.

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