Guru Hyperinflation

“No board of conditioned souls can determine who is guru and institutionalize its decisions in such an unauthorized capacity–not according to parampara. “

The turn of the century saw the Second Transformation still in full force, as the “GBC” created buffer after buffer to act as an effective sentry, protecting its vested interests in the form of committees, subcommittees, seminars, showbottle appointments, and various position papers. This was exactly befitting the sophisticated campus politics everywhere present in their adaptation now functioning as a gold-plated collegial institution.

This paradigm kept all the devotees engaged in many superficial concerns; they could not radically question what was at the root of problematic manifestations. Even devotees on the fringe were mostly swept up in the fervor of this apparent spirit of cooperation.

Nevertheless, those devotees who did not buy into the glories of the collegiate reformation still knew very well what that root was: It was the deviation of the “GBC.” Right from the gate, it was completely entangled in the appointment of gurus. This entanglement ran against all Vaishnava principles and against the very nature of the parampara itself. No board of conditioned souls can determine who is guru and institutionalize its decisions in such an unauthorized capacity–not according to parampara.

The “GBC” did this in 1978, and, despite modifications that amount to nothing more than deceptive obfuscations, it is still cent-per-cent entangled in the same pernicious activity at this time. First it was out-and-out appointment by unanimous consensus, particularly by the “Acharya Board.” Then, that was modified to voting by members of the body; indeed, in the mid-Eighties, one of its “new gurus” captured the gadi by only one vote. Since he himself voted on that motion, in effect, he voted himself to the position of guru. But this nescient process soon began to reap a backlash.

So, another modification was adapted: “No three blackballs.” In effect, you could make a motion to the governing body as to your desire to become a recognized guru of “ISKCON.” As long as there were not three commissioners who were against you, then your motion passed. This process also received warranted criticism in due course of time. As such, another fix-it-as-you-go modification was concocted: The No-Objection Certificate, which is current to this day. As per this arrangement, the prospective institutional guru makes his proposal, the Guardian of Bureaucratic Corruption decides upon a waiting period for him (usually one or two years) and then, if he keeps his nose clean and remains loyal, it issues a No Objection Certification for but another new institutionalized guru.

However, please note that this whole process, throughout its whole devolution, is completely unauthorized. If Srila Prabhupada sees that one of his devotees has reached the right stage-and that can be as high or as basic as Prabhupada deems fit-and if he orders that devotee to become a spiritual master and initiate new devotees into the line, no governing body has any right to interfere with the transcendental process.

If the “GBC” had remained bona fide-and, as we have repeatedly and clearly shown throughout this treatise, it has not-then it would still have the right to be, as Prabhupada so perfectly put it, “a watchdog.” And that would be the only right it would have in relation to people claiming to be gurus.

In other words, if the commission had remained legitimate, it would have retained both the authority and power to crush the influence of any congregational member who was acting as if he were guru, when clearly he was not up to the standard. Instead, the “GBC” did just the opposite: It institutionalized who could be guru and allowed so many rascals to act as so-called acharyas-that is, until their egregious behavior reached such an intolerable point that even the institution was jeopardized by letting them carry on.

As such, as far as “ISKCON” goes, the current situation can best be termed “guru inflation.” Since the late Seventies, there have been approximately one hundred “gurus” either appointed, or voted in, or not blackballed, or having been issued their no-objection certification. By rough count, at least forty of these have given up the gadi, either by choice or by force. This clearly shows that something is fundamentally wrong, but another devastator has been almost universally adopted in order to keep that reality masked. That devastator is: “Only two of the original eleven have not fallen down.”

First of all, mahabhagavats do not fall down. Oh sure, you can use the Bharata Maharaj pastime, or you can say that a mahabhagavat might stumble into Mayavadi literature and go for it, but all of that is completely superfluous and irrelevant. The reality is that mahabhagavats do not fall down. They do not fall down because they are experiencing bliss that is thousands and thousands of times superior to the happiness achieved by materially successful human beings. Mahabhagavats are not attracted by such low-grade forms of earthly happiness; they are not even slightly inclined to it. Neither do they take pleasure in vaishnavaparadha. The consciousness of the mahabhagavat is situated fully in the pastimes of the Supreme Lord in the spiritual world, and there is no possibility of his falling down from that state of ever-increasing, never-ending bliss. It simply does not happen.

The eleven pretender mahabhagavats were all completely fallen to the level of sahajiyas as soon as they became Zonal Acharyas (or before that). Their level of happiness was mundane, albeit different from all other conditioned souls. So, you cannot use this warped idea that two of them, as of 2008, have not yet fallen down. Those two are still sahajiyas, despite the fact that they have not engaged in, or have not been caught in, flagrant or egregious manifestations of deviant or sinful behavior.

Similarly, all of the “new gurus” who followed the Zonals were deviants; most of them have not been as egocentric and flamboyant, that’s all. None of those newer fellows were genuine gurus for even one moment. So, if the forty percent figure is used for those from that new guru constituency (guru inflation) who renounced the more recent pretense, that does not make that forty percent the only ones that are now fallen. The actual rate of falldown is one hundred percent for all of these so-called gurus. And the “GBC” cent-per-cent continues to be implicated in the whole deviation. Cheap gurus. Cheap disciples. This syndrome will continue, and the next stage will be guru hyperinflation.


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