Nimai Pandit Das: My desire is to come to understand fully, if it is the Truth (I am keeping the possibility open that it may not be), and to explore the possibility that the process of Diksha is explained so comprehensively, THAT THERE CAN BE NO QUESTION TO ACCEPT THAT ONLY SRILA PRABHUPADA IS THAT DIKSHA GURU, OF ALL OURS. AND THAT AS A SIDE ISSUE JULY 9TH LETTER is of course, so natural. I think to try to prove/disapprove the July 9th letter from the angle of past “ritvik” practices is superficial and a play in logic by both sides.
Mahesh: VERY EASY. Let’s consider the following facts:
1) WHY did Srila Prabhupada ARRANGE to have his OWN murti in ALL the temples in ISKCON for worshiping during Guru Puja UNLESS he was GIVER OF the DIVYA Jnana hrdaya prakasito HE GIVES DIVYA JNANA (DIKSHA)
ONLY a MAHABHAGAVATA is accepted as Worshipable Diksha Guru as per Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya 24.330. Srila Prabhupada is THE ACHARYA of ISKCON.
NOTE: It is ONLY ACHARYA that can give DIKSHA because even in NOD this is stated REGARDING ACCEPTING INITIATION from the spiritual master it refers to Srimad Bhagavatam 11.17.27 which is ACHARYA.
Nectar of Devotion 7 — Evidence Regarding Devotional Principles
REGARDING ACCEPTING INITIATION from the spiritual master, in the Eleventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Seventeenth Chapter, verse 27, it is stated by Lord Krishna, “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.”
Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.7.15 — Indra Offends His Spiritual Master, Brihaspati:
“By the mercy of the spiritual master one is benedicted by the mercy of Krishna. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement.” A disciple should never be a hypocrite or be unfaithful to his spiritual master. In Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.17.27), THE SPIRITUAL MASTER IS ALSO CALLED ACHARYA. Acaryam mam vijaniyan: the Supreme Personality of Godhead says that one should respect the spiritual master, accepting him as the Lord Himself. Navamanyeta karhicit: one should not disrespect the acharya at any time. Na martya-buddhyasuyeta: one should never think the acharya an ordinary person. Familiarity sometimes breeds contempt, but one should be very careful in one’s dealings with the acharya. Agadha-dhisanam dvijam: the acharya is a perfect brahmana and has unlimited intelligence in guiding the activities of his disciple.
2) Srila Prabhupada put it DELIBERATELY in all his books FOUNDER-ACHARYA. Srila Prabhupada did NOT say he was only ISKCON founder. There is HYPHEN in between the words Founder AND Acharya which indicates HE IS ALSO ITS CURRENT ACHARYA.
3) There is ALSO the FACT that ONLY INITIATED DISCIPLE will be Director. This means HE wanted to REMAIN the INITIATOR for the EXISTENCE of the society: Other WILL Srila Prabhupada’s Will
The executive directors who have herein been designated are appointed for life. In the event of death or failure to act for any reason of any of the said directors, a successor director or directors may be appointed by the remaining directors, provided the new director is MY INITIATED DISCIPLE following strictly all the rules and regulations of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness as detailed in my books, and provided that there are never less than three (3) or more than five (5) executive directors acting at one time.
4) Letter: Madhudvisa, August 4, 1975
The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I AM THE INITIATOR GURU, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing. This is not a title, but you must actually come to this platform. This I want.
Conversations, March 12, 1968, San Francisco
Prabhupada: Yes, I AM the spiritual master of this institution, and ALL the members of the society, they’re supposed to be MY disciples. They follow the rules and regulations which I ask them to follow, and they are initiated by me spiritually. So therefore the spiritual master is called guru. That is Sanskrit language.
5) Disciple belongs to whoever gives DISCIPLINE TO him: In ISKCON we are ALL being DISCIPLINED by Srila Prabhupada (we receive instructions DISCIPLINE) FROM Srila Prabhupada’s books. Even the most basic discipline, 16 rounds of Hare Krishna Mantra and four Regulative Principles are coming FROM Srila Prabhupada. Common sense — if you ARE being disciplined BY Srila Prabhupada then it follows you ARE Srila Prabhupada’s disciple. How can it be otherwise? The MEANING of the word “disciple”
Srila Prabhupada’s Morning Walk, March 8, 1976 in Mayapur:
Prabhupada: “Discipline… Disciple means discipline. The word discipline comes from disciple, or disciple comes from discipline. So unless there is discipline, there is no question of disciple. This discipline must… That should be uniform. Otherwise, sisya… sisya, the word sisya, it comes from the root, verb, sas-dhatu. sas. sas means ruling. From this word, sasana. Sasana means government. sastra. sastra means weapon, and sastra, scripture, and sisya… These things have come from the one root sas-dhatu. So sas-dhatu means ruling under discipline. There is another English word, that “Obedience is the first law of discipline,” or something. They say, “Obedience is the first law of discipline”? So I am right? “Obedience is…”? That is the…
Tamala Krishna: Yes, that’s more or less what it is.
Prabhupada: No, what is the word, exact. There is an English word. “Obedience is the first law of discipline.” So unless there is obedience, there cannot be any discipline. And unless there is discipline, there is no question of disciple. DISCIPLE MEANS ONE WHO FOLLOWS DISCIPLINE.”
Discipline comes from Srila Prabhupada. We are actually being disciplined by Srila Prabhupada. It is Srila Prabhupada who has given us the regulative principles of no meat, fish or eggs; no intoxication (including tea and coffee), no illicit sex, and no gambling. It is Srila Prabhupada who has made it a regulative principle for us to chant sixteen rounds on the beads HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE /HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE.
Srila Prabhupada’s books contain all the instructions, the guidance required for us to get ourselves out of the clutches of the modes of material nature. In fact, Srila Prabhupada is personally present as his books.
Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi 1, Text 35:
“There is NO DIFFERENCE between the spiritual master’s instructions and the spiritual master himself.”
Since the instructions of the spiritual master and the spiritual master are not different, one can be the disciple of Srila Prabhupada by following his discipline and can be considered Srila Prabhupada’s disciple. Another point is he can be considered both direct disciple and not direct simultaneously, because Srila Prabhupada is still present in his instruction form (his books). The following example will illustrate the point.
Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja is the example of both direct and not direct disciple simultaneously. (THE PHILOSOPHY OF SIMULTANEOUS ONENESS AND DIFFERENCE).
Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi 1:
“A direct disciple of Srila Rupa Gosvami was Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. The author of Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, stands as the DIRECT DISCIPLE of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. The direct disciple of Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami was Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, who accepted Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti as his servitor. Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura accepted Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji, who initiated Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who in turn initiated Srila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji, the spiritual master of Om Vishnupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, the divine master of our humble self. Since we belong to this chain of disciplic succession from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, this edition of Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita will contain nothing newly manufactured by our tiny brains, but only remnants of food originally eaten by the Lord Himself.”
Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya 19.102:
Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami was not actually a direct disciple of Srila Rupa Gosvami, but he FOLLOWED THE INSTRUCTIONS given by Srila Rupa Gosvami in Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu. He therefore ACTED ACCORDING TO THE DIRECTIONS of Rupa Gosvami and prayed in every chapter for his mercy.
6) Note: It is SUCCESSION MEANS to SUCCEED Srila Prabhupada is the LAST name in Disciplic Succession of ACHARYAS:
Srimad Bhagavatam 3.29.17 Explanation of Devotional Service by Lord Kapila
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 ACHARYA. Acaryopasanam: one should worship an acharya, a spiritual master who knows things as they are. THE SPIRITUAL MASTER MUST BE IN THE DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION FROM KRISHNA. 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 ACHARYAS.