By: Madhupandit Dasa,President, Iskcon Bangalore
Dear Srila Prabhupada, Please accept my most respectful obeisances on this most auspicious Vyasa Puja celebration of 2012. All glories to Your Divine Grace.
Srila Prabhupada, you are a very dear and most confidential servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna, empowered to distribute the mercy of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to the population of the modern world. Your mission is not limited to your life time. Your manifest lila in the physical body that you exhibited in this world is only the first chapter of your mission. Many more chapters are yet to unfold in the decades and centuries to come. The world is yet to recognize the full glory of your mission founded and spiritually powered by you always as its Acharya. You instructed that wherever the name of your mission is mentioned, to always add Founder-Acharya meaning you are The Founder and The Acharya. Not Purva-Acharya of the disciplic succession.
During your physical presence and after your physical departure, your transcendental power of touching the conditioned souls through your vani- written and spoken words- has been the greatest factor in transforming millions of hearts. Your vani has been spiritually frozen in time by modern technology of printed books and electronic media. It is available for any sincere person to simply apply the spiritual fire in the form of sincere enquiry and service of Absolute Truth, and the vani will melt and start vibrating once again, ever fresh, with exactly the same spirit and energy that you spoke those words during your pastimes in your physical body.
In one sense your followers today are more fortunate due to easy access to your transcendental words. This is especially made possible by modern technology. We can see that the real purpose of these advances in technology has been masterminded by Lord Chaitanya, for propagating the Krishna Consciousness Movement. Your pastimes with countless conditioned souls of this world through your vani is your continued service in this world to Lord Chaitanya, to deliver the conditioned souls by distributing the Holy Name and transcendental knowledge, through the vessel of the organization that Your Divine Grace founded. Thus you are active even now and will continue to be active in the midst of humanity for centuries to come, beyond the limits of time and space, touching millions of lives of those who accept Your Divine Grace as their spiritual master. Those who are in touch with your vani are in touch with you every day, and you are personally guiding all such souls. Only the ignorant can think that there is any change in the intensity of your service to the Lord on this earth after November 1977. Your Divine Grace is present with us in no lesser way than you were present for the people of this earth before November 1977.
Testimonials of these direct reciprocations are countless, my own life being one such, and we keep hearing more and more testimonials all the time.
Unfortunately Maya has doubtlessly intervened to retard the growth of this transcendental movement by entering the minds of the Governing Body Commission (GBC) in the year 1978. There was no need to change anything in ISKCON after Your Divine Grace left your physical body. Yet the GBC thought that the reins of the organization had to be taken over by them as anointed spiritual successors rather than continuing as executors of your directions.
In 1975 GBC passed a resolution defining GBC as Srila Prabhupada’s executors : “Resolved: The GBC (Governing Body Commission) has been established by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to represent Him in carrying out the responsibility of managing the International Society for Krishna Consciousness of which He is the Founder-Acharya and supreme authority. The GBC accepts as its life and soul His divine instructions and recognises that it is completely dependent on His mercy in all respects. The GBC has no other function or purpose other than to execute the instructions so kindly given by His Divine Grace and preserve and spread His Teachings to the world in their pure form.”
(Definition of GBC, Resolution 1, GBC minutes 1975)The mandate to the GBC, as is seen clearly from the above, was only to be the executors of the instructions/ directions of Your Divine Grace, who was to remain the Supreme Authority in ISKCON for all times, and not for them to become successors of Your Divine Grace.
Unfortunately GBC decided that there had to be change in the system/management of initiation in ISKCON, though the Supreme Authority of ISKCON, Your Divine Grace, had not even hinted at anything to that effect. Of all the changes that the GBC made post-1977, the most damaging one was with regard to this- initiations in ISKCON. Why did it have to change when the system set up by Your Divine Grace was running well without involvement of your physical role in any way well before your departure? Your Divine Grace’s delegation of the formal aspects of initiation did not happen all of a sudden. You planned it right from the beginning. First you delegated conducting the initiation fire sacrifice to the Temple Presidents. Then, even as early as 1970 you began reducing further your physical role in initiation by directing some senior devotees to chant on the mala on your behalf.
“Bombay 4 January, 1973
My Dear Revatinandana,
Please accept my blessings. Just now I have received some more requests for giving first initiation from Dhananjaya, and now I am receiving weekly not less than ten to fifteen such requests from new students. So it is becoming very expensive to send so many sets of beads such long distance, and it has become little bothersome for me also, so I think now you may be appointed by me to give first initiations to new disciples by chanting on their beads on my behalf. In America Kirtanananda Swami is doing that. So now if there are two of you that will give me great relief. Kirtanananda will chant on the beads for new devotees in America, Canada, like that, you can chant on the beads for the European continent new disciples. They shall, of course, still be considered as my disciples, not that they shall become your disciples, but you will be empowered by me to chant their beads and that is the same effect of binding master and disciple as if I were personally chanting.”Thus, only name giving was retained by Your Divine Grace as on May 1977. On May 1977 even that role of giving the spiritual name was delegated to some disciples and whom you asked to act as ‘Officiating Acharyas’. It is now an undisputed fact on record that when the GBC came to you in May 1977 and asked how first and second initiation would go on, especially when you are no longer present with us, your immediate reply was, “ I will soon recommend some of you to act as Officiating Acharyas”. You did not even say you would appoint Officiating Acharyas. Rather you said the persons whom you would appoint would ‘act as Officiating Acharyas.’ Officiating Acharya is not the ‘title’ you gave to those whom you named for giving initiation, it was just a description of their institutional function. The title of these ‘officiators’ of the Acharya for initiation, if any, was ‘Representative of Acharya’. The direct English meaning of these words ‘act as Officiating Acharya’, is that these persons will officiate for the Acharya in the matter of delivering the initiation of Your Divine Grace.
Due to over stressing the physicality of the spiritual master over his vani or words, and due to so many other reasons of their own, the GBC took a wrong step in the matter of initiation of future devotees by introducing new speculations instead of continuing what was going on without your physical role. All this, in the name of following ‘tradition.’ ISKCON has surely followed the wrong ‘tradition’ of infighting after the Acharya’s physical departure on who should take his place!
Again in your last Will you said: “The system of management will continue as it is now and there is no need of any change.” (Srila Prabhupada’s Declaration of Will, 4th June, 1977)
Yet the GBC dared to change- and this change has taken a huge toll in the growth of the movement. One mistake after another, over the years, has resulted in institutionally eclipsing Your Divine Grace's influence in the life of each and every new devotee who joins ISKCON. The following institutional changes, which are all speculative, eclipse your sole status as Acharya in the heart of a new devotee who joins ISKCON.
Speculation 1: The newly initiated persons are asked to surrender their lives to these initiators and assurance was implicit that they would take him back to Godhead.
Speculation 2: An understanding was perpetrated that these initiators were spiritual successors of Srila Prabhupada, having taken the next position in the disciplic succession with Srila Prabhupada becoming one of the Purva- Acharyas to anyone after November 1977. These initiators who were ‘representative of the Acharya’ slid into the role as Present Acharyas.
Speculation 3: The principle of maryada vyatikrama was invoked, making it an offense to consider relating with Srila Prabhupada directly without going through the ‘Present Acharya.’ This was stretched to such an extent, that they even demanded that their own godbrothers had no access to Srila Prabhupada other than through these ‘Present Acharyas.’
Speculation 4: It was perpetrated that these initiators were Mahabahagavatas, and would not fall down from spiritual life. Srila Prabhupada never said that one of the qualifications of the persons whom he named to act as ‘Officiating Acharyas’ had to be Mahabhagavatas.
Speculation 5: Therefore worship of the initiators in the form of daily guru pujas were instituted, perpetrating the belief that ‘they’ are the ones infusing divya gyan in the hearts of those whom they initiated.
Speculation 6: Annual Vyaja Pujas were instituted where they are worshipped as direct representatives of Srila Vyasadeva.
Speculation 7: Pranama mantras were scripted for these initiators and they had to be chanted first by the disciples before chanting the pranama mantra of Srila Prabhupada.
Speculation 8: They took on honorific titles similar to Prabhupada.
All these new roles of these initiators were based on the assumption that these persons were ‘next to’ Your Divine Grace in the parampara; just as Your Divine Grace was next to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura. This was a big, big change in ISKCON that was never directed by Your Divine Grace. If you, Srila Prabhupada, wanted such a big change in your institution, you would have spoken hours on end, giving all practical details on: who could become the next gurus; who would authorize them and the role of GBC in appointing them; how the new gurus should be worshipped; where their Vyasasana should be placed; how gurus should relate with each other; to what extent the gurus can decide the service of the disciples by over-ruling the decision of the Temple President; how many gurus would initiate in each temple; how the prospective devotee would choose a guru among so many; what the guru would do with the guru dakshina etc. The obvious conclusion is that since you did not speak about any of these changes, it must be understood that you did not want any of these speculations introduced in ISKCON. The result of the speculative changes made by the GBC is that, these questions are spinning everyone’s mind and intelligence for 35 years without finality till date, keeping the whole of ISKCON in confusion. Especially so when one of the self made gurus fall down. Till date there is no clear conclusion by the GBC on the exact role of the initiator except that they have to be next gurus. We refuse to believe that Your Divine Grace, who was so meticulous in designing details of his movement, would depart without giving us instructions on every one of those questions above.
The latest comment on guru issue frequently heard is, “Why did Srila Prabhupada not clearly say something on this subject?” What an irony to say so , when Your Divine Grace made it so clear as to how you wanted initiations in ISKCON to go on, particularly when you are no longer there. When the question was asked by the GBC, you immediately answered, “I will recommend some of you to act as Officiating Acharyas.” Regarding these words used by Your Divine Grace there is no dispute. While naming those persons, Your Divine Grace said ‘more can be added’ (obviously by the GBC). With respect to these Officiating Acharyas Your Divine Grace also stated that whoever is nearest can initiate. Since there was no option to choose an Officiating Acharya by the candidate to be initiated and he had to be initiated by whoever is nearest, it is clear that the initiator was only ‘officiator’ of the divine initiation Your Divine Grace.
When Your Divine Grace wanted to essentially continue what was going on regarding initiation, with the only change being new appointment of Officiating Acharya with clear role, the logic that you had to speak hours on end on this or write so many letters is faulty. Just one letter to all the leaders was ample enough order.
You taught that authorization by the predecessor Acharya is a condition precedent for one to become a successor to take as position in the disciplic succession after Your Divine Grace.
Purport to SB-4.8.54 “One should take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, who is authorized by his predecessor spiritual master. This is called diksha-vidhana.”
We see that Your Divine Grace did not authorize anyone in the manner above. There is only authorization to acting as Officiating Acharyas.
On the other hand throughout your teachings Your Divine Grace wanted every one of your disciples to preach and become more and more qualified siksha gurus, without the stamp of ‘transcendental ownership’ of the souls whom they are guiding. In 1975 Your Divine Grace wrote
“The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am in 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.” Letter to Madhudvisa 4/8/75In 1998, after coming to know that Your Divine Grace did not authorize the eleven persons as successor Acharyas, but wanted everyone to be initiated as your disciples wherein the initiator acts as an officiating Acharya, we in ISKCON Bangalore questioned about the authorization.
A few of us approached the GBC in February 1999, respecting its authority as executors of Your Divine Grace’s directions, and made a presentation “No Change in ISKCON”. In response, the very next day the GBC passed a resolution expelling us from the ISKCON Movement. It shocked me and also all the devotees in Bangalore. But, Srila Prabhupada, by your protection, even after more than a decade after passing that resolution, not a single day have we felt expelled. This is nothing but your care and kindness to us. Srila Prabhupada, by your mercy we are still in ISKCON preaching as usual in spite of the GBC resolution expelling us. We continued to serve Your Divine Grace’s mission with more fervour and energy than ever before. This only shows that GBC’s resolution to throw out of ISKCON anyone who wants to become your disciple has not been sanctioned by Your Divine Grace. If GBC can expel a group in ISKCON, and that group still continues to grow and expand the preaching in ISKCON for 14 years, the GBC should reconsider their hard position taken against us.
Akshaya Patra programme, inspired and founded by Your Divine Grace once as International Food Relief, where the mercy of the Lord is delivered to millions of conditioned souls day after day, has enhanced the name of the ISKCON institution. It has enhanced the image of ISKCON not only in this country but even internationally, with even the President of America presenting accolades in writing for the programme. The World Economic Forum of the United Nations has taken note of this programme. The material recognition by powerful persons of this world does boost the image of the institution in the eyes of neophyte conditioned souls, as we are a preaching movement. It helps in getting across the rest of the deeper spiritual message of the institution with to be taken seriously by them. Even to solve the ISKCON problem in Russia, the good work of Akshaya Patra was cited by the then Prime Minister of India Sri Atal Behari Vajpee to his counter-part in Russia.
‘ISKCON Bangalore’ meant one temple when the dispute began in 1998. Today it means 20 temples with material assets perhaps worth close to the rest of ISKCON in India. Your Divine Grace took pride in such achievements saying that the growth of any organization is indicated by growth in capital and manpower.
In our latest offer of settlement for peace, notwithstanding our strong legal position before the Supreme Court where a perverse judgment against us of the High Court is being challenged, we have offered to accede ownership of all properties along with the management of those properties of Bangalore group of temples to the ISKCON Society registered in Mumbai. In return we want ISKCON Mumbai to legally secure through a settlement, a decree before the Supreme Court that : that we can practice and preach what we firmly believe to be the position and role of Your Divine Grace, and the limited role of initiator who formally plays a role to perform first and second initiation, for new devotees in our group temples; and assure that our services will be protected and we will not be victimized once again by misusing such new powers over us arising out of such acceding of ownership.
Surprisingly the decision makers of ISKCON in India, who were making a hue and cry all these years that we have stolen ISKCON property from ISKCON Mumbai, have spurned this offer. In 1999 I sought protection from the court, only due to the act of legal expulsion by GBC of few of us from the movement, leaving us no other way than the legal route to keep our devotional service to Your Divine Grace intact. Such a legal expulsion could not be effectively countered unless the legal ownership of the Radha Krishna Temple was asserted as belonging to the locally registered ISKCON Society (Society formed in 1978 much before I joined in 1981) to whom the Government allotted the temple land in 1987. That is the background which was misrepresented by ISKCON Mumbai as purely a property dispute rather than the real guru issue.
Although what is before the court today, is only the Radha Krishnachandra temple property at Bangalore, we have offered in the interest of peaceful settlement, every other property of our group in India that was newly acquired after the dispute began. All this is offered in the spirit of working cooperatively together. Fighting for material ownership of the local ISKCON Society has relevance to us only to the extent it makes a difference to the potential threat to the devotional services of 350 odd full time devotees. Otherwise, as devotees having surrendered our lives to you lotus feet, why would we be interested in haggling for petty material ownership? Everything in ISKCON belongs to Your Divine Grace. By asserting the local society ownership of the Radha Krishnachandra temple, all we are concerned about is to safe guard our devotional service to your lotus feet.
Inspite of this offer to settle, ISKCON India leaders say, “Madhu Pandit Dasa is a dangerous person as he can go to court again. Also don’t allow him into ISKCON as it would set precedent to others.” What no one is questioning on our behalf is why, in the first place, did the GBC resort to extreme intolerant step of expulsion of the some members of the movement, leaving us no other way but to defend ourselves. The GBC had no moral right to do it, when they themselves were, and still are, experimenting to this day, with changing roles of the initiators right from 1978. Can the GBC be trusted again not to expel those dedicating their lives to Srila Prabhupada’s mission when it is the GBC who broke the trust first? From 1981 to 1998 Madhu Pandit Dasa was in good standing, but over night he became a villain fighting for property.
The most valuable property in ISKCON, more bricks and marble, are the souls, sent by Krishna, seeking Your Divine Grace’s shelter after reading your books. By distancing them away from Your Divine Grace, by claiming these souls as their own disciples, seeking surrender of their lives to them just for the act of giving a mala and a spiritual name, large scale falsehood is being perpetrated probably inadvertently. Claiming ownership of souls transcendentally belonging to Your Divine Grace is happening to different degrees in ISKCON. Creating a situation in ISKCON whereby the system wrongly gives ownership of souls to anyone other than Your Divine Grace is perpetration of falsehood. The situation can be compared to selling three types of metal items as pure gold. Iron sold as gold to the ignorant for the price of pure gold; plated gold sold for the price of pure gold; 14 carat gold sold as pure gold- all for the price of 24 carat gold. Unlike gold, gross tests cannot decide the quality of these self-made gurus whether they are not gold at all, are plated gold or 14 carat gold.
It is very clear that these different kinds of counterfeits were never introduced or conceived by Your Divine Grace for ISKCON. You only talked of a bona fide guru who is a pure devotee -24 carat gold. And the GBC believed rightly in this when the first eleven ononionted themselves as present Acharyas though the philosophy itself was changes to accommodate falling of gurus. Everybody obviously comes to ISKCON to surrender to Krishna through a bona fide spiritual master, a pure devotee as taught by Your Divine Grace. A sincere follower of your teachings would apply his mind and heart and repose implicit faith in the bona fide guru as the disciple ought to, as per your teachings. But today time has proved many thousands of sincere souls ending up with a fallen guru, whose lack of authentic spiritual position was revealed only over time. What kind of progress have we made if we can only provide a gamble for a new comer? How can we provide such a fragile foundation for a soul to build his guru bhakti? It only leads to confusion and calamity for thousands of souls as history has proved- when, Your Divine Grace is actually available, for everyone to repose his guru bhakti.
Srila Prabhupada, on this auspicious day of Your Divine appearance, I am also placing before Your Divine Grace the proposal of settlement seeking your blessings which can lead to closing of all the court battles so that the GBC may also take a look at this offer made to ISKCON Mumbai. Srila Prabhupada, in the last thirty five years, you have mercifully tolerated all the offenses resulting from these changes in ISKCON. Through hard lessons delivered by Maya many of the changes introduced for initiations in ISKCON after you physically departed, are being dropped one by one over the years and the GBC’s understanding is slowly and eventually moving closer to a no-change paradigm for initiations in ISKCON. So there is still hope.
We realize that fighting over terminology is less important than working cooperatively. We put forward this same proposal to the GBC. We are also putting on record below our understanding of guru issue as lot of different things are being propogated.
Diksha is defined as a process and not merely an isolated one-time event of first or second initiation: Cc Madhya 15.108. “The process by which one can awaken his transcendental knowledge and vanquish all reactions caused by sinful activities. A person expert in the study of the revealed scriptures knows this process as diksha.”
Srila Prabhupada you state in in CC Adi 1.35: “Generally a spiritual master who constantly instructs a disciple in spiritual science becomes his initiating spiritual master later on”.
Srila Prabhupada you confirm again in CC
“It is the duty of the siksha-guru or diksha-guru to instruct the disciple in the right way, and it depends on the disciple to execute the process. According to shastric injunctions, there is no difference between siksha-guru and diksha-guru, and generally the siksha-guru later on becomes the diksha-guru.”
Considering the undisputed fact that Srila Prabhupada, you wished to remain active in the lives of ISKCON devotees through his Transcendental vani, and continue in the same manner at all times as the Acharya of ISKCON movement, it is the prime duty and proper etiquette of every follower of ISKCON to first promote that specific role of Your Divine Grace in ISKCON- as the Founder and Acharya of ISKCON.. In other words it is our duty to facilitate Your Divine Grace’s siksha to pervade the lives of the devotee who joins the movement. But what does this mean in the context of the above principle of siksha guru becoming the diksha guru eventually. Srila Prabhupada alone becomes the transcendental diksha guru of everyone. Of course, if someone says all this amounts to institutionalizing faith of people in particular person, that is in Srila Prabhupada, the answer is yes or no. What is being said here is that if somebody wants to serve Srila Prabhupada’s mission through his organization, this is a precondition.
When we use the word diksha, there are two connotations. The broader and complete transcendental idea of diksha as defined above by Your Divine Grace is a process and not merely two ceremonies. The other idea connotes events, first and second initiations happening as intermediate steps at two specific stages in the process of transcendental diksha. Since Srila Prabhupada is the primary siksha guru, and if we guide the neophyte with practices in ISKCON whereby we promote the direct association of the Vani of Your Divine Grace, the primary function, of awakening the transcendental knowledge and vanquishing of reactions caused by sinful activities, is being done by Your Divine Grace from the day one upon one who comes in touch with your transcendental words. It is the continuous siksha from the Your Divine Grace which naturally leads to formal diskha (first and second initiations) which happens at specific points of time in the on going process of transcendental diksha. After the formal diksha event, the transcendental process of diksha continues assisted by so many secondary siksha gurus, assistants of Srila Prabhupada. The trap has been in seeing only one slice of total diksha process.
When looked at from this perspective, Srila Prabhupada, you delegated the giving of formal aspects of first and second initiation to his senior disciples asking them to act as Officiating Acharya when specifically asked about situation when he is no longer with us physically. On these words of Srila Prabhupada, there cannot be dispute. As the word itself suggests, these institutional appointees, foremost leaders in the movement, were meant to ‘officiate’ the formal diksha on behalf of Srila Prabhupada, starting with accepting the candidate. The spiritual impact of the officiating Acharya at the time of initiation on the new initiate arising out of the level of spiritual advancement of the officiating Acaraya parallel to Srila Prabhupada’s impact is not to be mixed up with the specific role being played by them as officiating the Acharya for two specific events on behalf of Srila Prabhupada. That is an independent line of relationship that the devotee has with so many persons who continuously assist Your Divine Grace. One may have such a relationship with the Officiating Acharya based on substance of such relationship in terms of actual contribution made to the newly initiated through his association. Merely by virtue of the role played as officiators, they cannot be equated to total role played by the diksha guru who delivers an entire process called diksha. Officiating Acharyas, being institutionally appointed for different zones. Your Divine Grace, by adding the point that whoever is the nearest can initiate, and using the word ‘officiating’, Srila Prabhupada , you indicate that such officiators are not the personalities to replace Your Divine Grace in regard to the personality whom the newly initiated should eternally surrender their lives to and accept as ones bona fide spiritual master, life after life. If an officiating Acharya strictly follows his duty as a representative of Your Divine Grace as prescribed by you for giving first and second initiation, a slice of total diksha process which is the formal diksha, is well delivered. However Srila Prabhupada, Your Divine Grace will deliver all the other transcendental stuff that happens during diksha process. And the devotee fully surrenders to Your Divine Grace.
You have stated that even before the first and second initiation, the transcendental connection between a sincere aspirant and Your divine Grace exists. “The eternal bond between disciple and Spiritual Master begins from the day he hears.”(SP Letter to Jadurani, 4/9/72). All that others should contemplate to do is to strengthen this connection.
Again our key contention is that Your Divine Grace appointed Offciating Acharyas for particularly a time he is longer present with us physically. The moment you, Srila Prabhupada, used the word ‘officiating’, it is to be understood to be an institutional appointment and an institutional position and does not represent a situation, where the disciples have to go through the pariksha (testing) of the Officiating Acharya and paste on his personality all the mind boggling high level qualifications of a bonafide spiritual master which one can list easily with a little research on SP Vedabase. This is happening in the current system. There is no protection to the neophyte. Rather there is promotion of such a material idea based on a tradition which is inappropriate to the specific characteristics of Srila Prabhupada’s movement. When a new devotee has embraced your ISKCON movement, he has already selected a bonafide spiritual master, Your Divine Grace. Why should a neophyte start searching for a bonafide spiritual master in ISKCON? It is a ridiculous situation. As far as Officiating Acharyas are concerned, the GBC would have done the pariksha limited for the specific role and accordingly appointed. And that pariksha and certification is not whether he is qualified to take them Back to Godhead or whether he is elevated to the level of being a bonafide liberated spiritual master which no one anyway certify except the predecessor Acharya. And ISKCON’s Your Divine Grace did not authorize anyone. With the current system, the GBC can never get over the dilemma arising out of institutionalizing a diksha guru or sponsoring a Diksha guru or the system issuing no object to Diksha guru without violating the basic principles of sastra. Whatever we do we will continue to serve only confusion and artificial comparisons to the new devotees.
“As Hari is not subject to the criticism of mundane rules and regulations, the spiritual master empowered by Him is also not subjected.”(C.c. Madhya, 10.136, text and purport)
Another point is that, it is not accurate representation of our position, that we have reduced the rtvik to a mere priest. From names of eleven persons that Srila Prabhupada first appointed, it can be seen that they were, at that time, successful leaders in the preaching movement. Hence they deserve due respect as institutional leaders accepting disciples for Srila Prabhupada. Such respect can be institutionalized. If the GBC is willing to separate the two-time formal aspect of diksa, which is delivered by institutionally appointed nearest Officiating Acharya, and accept that the transcendental diksha is delivered by Your Divine Grace to one and all in ISKCON, which naturally result from continuous siksha given by His Divine Grace, then the essence of the understanding the Bangalore Group is striving for is achieved , notwithstanding differences in terminology of the formal initiator. All of the officiating Acharyas could be insitutionalised siksha gurus authorized to travel everywhere without barriers of zones and give association to one and all without limiting and identifying their concern for only those whom they acted as Officiating Acharya. They really become global gurus by actually functioning as one, recognizing transcendental ownership of all souls in ISKCON to Your Divine Grace and empower the Temple Presidents and GBC system to take care of their daily guidance and services. Let an era be recreated in ISKCON where a neophyte is not given the impossible task of choosing bonafide spiritual master after having embraced Srila Prabhupada and his movement.
Providing a bonafide guru for a spiritual aspirant to cultivate implicit faith and guru bhakti is the primary requirement of the Supreme Lord to reveal the imports of the Vedic literatures. We have this question to ask the GBC. Why are we depriving post-1978 aspirants of that opportunity? Can we play with the lives of hundreds of thousands of followers of Srila Prabhupada and continue to be silent spectators to the calamity and trauma of aspirants post-1978. When such abuse of faith has been witnessed in ISKCON post-1978, undisputedly having hurt thousands of spiritual children leaving them traumatized in the last 35 years, why not give specific instructions to those taking initiation in ISKCON, that the personality that the institution recommends to surrender their lives, take shelter and worship as their eternal spiritual master is only His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. Any way after a guru falls down, this instruction is given by the GBC to the disciples of the fallen guru. If it is correct in principle then, why should it not be correct before they fall down? How can the GBC not promote this after so much failure? Merely saying that Srila Prabhupada is only the primary siksha, guru and your parama guru , in a way, simply emphasizes that it is somebody else to whom you have to surrender your lives and take shelter and worship first as your guru ? Let the GBC not block, by its experimentation on guru issue, the spiritual life-line of making everyone feel that Srila Prabhupada is their bona fide active spiritual master in their life as it was for many pre-1978. Every senior person should consciously follow the transcendental etiquette of not even inadvertently allowing devotees to place him in a position more primary than Srila Prabhupada and facilitate you, Your Divine Grace in administering the transcendental diksha process as Your Divine Grace was doing in and though your institution and before he physically departed.
Thus Your Divine grace , Srila Prabhupada, will continue to be the guru of everyone delivering continuously siksha which eventually matures to transcendental diksha as you have taught including formal diksha at one point through the officiating Acharyas.
According to Your Divine Grace, Srila Vishwanatha Chakrvarthi Thakura who departed in the year 1708 accepted Srila Jaganath Babaji as his disciple though he was born only in the year 1776 . Cc Adi Chapter 1:
“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, the spiritual master of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who in turn accepted Srila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji, the spiritual master of Om Visnupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, the divine master of our humble self.”So it could not be out of tradition to accept all devotees as direct disciples of Your Divine Grace even after you have physically departed.
Despite all the pains and agonies and maligning and injustice meted out to us by our aggressors, we make this offer for the glory of your transcendental mission.
Praying for and anticipating always your causeless mercy upon us,
Your eternal servant,
Madhu Pandit Dasa