On Receiving the Order

The current situation is both understandable
and terrible at the same time.

Let us first stipulate some facts and factors:

1) After three decades, if there was any tangible evidence or proof that Prabhupada directly ordered any of his disciples to be an initiating guru while he (Prabhupada) was still externally manifest, then that evidence would have surfaced by now. In other words, he never gave such an order, nor did he recognize a successor while he was with us;

2) There is anecdotal evidence that he ordered some of his disciples to be initiating guru in private conversations (I’ve heard of four of these, all in India) that were neither recorded nor backed up with any hard copy verification. The context of such conversations can only be inferred from the devotee who claims or claimed to have received the order. Such anecdotal evidence provides no proof positive;

3) There are currently many factions and sub-factions of devotees who were initiated by Srila Prabhupada. Almost all of these factions offer some kind of initiation process, and most of them have “gurus” who conduct these initiations. These factions have, in relation to each other and amongst themselves, irreconciliable differences – not in all areas – but some very important areas.

These differences and contradictions are found in the philosophy, the theoretical or actual position of the shaktyavesh-avatar Srila Prabhupada, the practical implementation of the sadhana-bhakti process, the source of authority on the manifest plane (now that Srila Prabhupada is no longer with us in that way), and what constitutes a recognized initiation and/or guru by the group.

The rittviks can be included herein, because, although they technically do not have initiating gurus, they have rittvik “acharyas” who are supposed to be authorized and empowered to conduct the initiation ceremony. In some of these factions, that rittvik then supposedly becomes a kind of shiksha-guru for the newly-initiated disciple, whose diksha-guru is said to be a non-manifest mahabhagavat, Srila Prabhupada;

Not all of these groups recognize, emphasize, or even speak about the injunction that the guru must receive an order to begin initiating, and this order must come from Srila Prabhupada, before he can do so. Some rely on a governing body to indirectly order them to become an initiating guru for that particular cult, through the surreptitious process of a waiting or qualifying period combined with no vetos from a certain quota of that body.

Others do recognize that Srila Prabhupada set a minimum standard in relation to which of his disciples, if any, have been or currently are qualified to conduct initiations as bona fide spiritual masters after his departure. This recognition by those groups was and is combined with the injunction “But on my order,” which then becomes just as important – even more so – then attainment of the minimum standard itself;

4) Such an order by Srila Prabhupada is not limited by time, circumstance, place, nor is it restricted to a specific section of his devotees only. It does not require to have been given prior to his disappearance. It does not require hard copy verification neither does it need to have been recorded. It can be received in any number of ways even now, despite the fact that Srila Prabhupada no longer is visible on the physical plane as he was 1965-1977.

The order to become guru by Srila Prabhupad means nothing, and is completely irrelevant, to the transcendentalist who is seeking out a bona fide Vaishnava in order to receive both his diksha and shiksha, and, therefore, linked to the Gaudiya sampradaya legitimately. There is no way that he (the seeker) can prove that someone he develops faith in actually received this order. And even if that devotee, who might be his guru, falls down in an obvious fashion, there is no way to prove that he did not receive the order previously.

A devotee who is seeking out a guru does so with a certain amount (or lack thereof) of seriousness, sincerity, knowledge, and spiritual luck. He will have also developed, in the context of these qualities, a certain kind of faith. He may or may not have personal material desires and ambitions connected to his search. On the other hand, he may be plagued with a certain quantity of bewilderment (doubt), guilt, and/or fear.

The combination of all of these qualifications, desires, and understandings (or ignorance in the guise of knowledge, i.e., nescience) will produce a resultant. He or she will find someone – and accept him as guru – who fulfills the desire or need of the searcher. If that guru or “guru” says that he did indeed receive the order from Srila Prabhupada, the sishya or chela will simply accept. That’s why it is irrelevant for the transcendentalist who is searching out a spiritual master to even consider the order.

On the other hand, it is completely essential and relevant for the genuine guru to have undeniably, for himself, received this order – after having first attained to the minimum standard (or, preferably, higher) of qualification to be spiritual master. However, he is under no injunction to prove this to anyone else, except by the example of his prachar, achar, writings, dealings, associations, and general demeanor.

The current situation is both understandable and terrible at the same time. It will all sort itself out and become clear in due course of time, although this may not be within our lifetimes. Anyone who is conducting initiations and has not been authorized to do so by Srila Prabhupada, who has not been directly ordered by him to do so, will make mistakes. He will invariably misrepresent the transcendental philosophy transmitted by Srila Prabhupada in some areas, even if that is in only one area. His defects in achar, dealings, attainment of posts or recognitions, his status in relation to daivi-varnashram, etc., will be spotted and pointed out to his disciples. Unless they become fanatics, their faith will be shaken and eventually broken.

Long-term, the fanatics will hurt this unauthorized guru even more than those who fall away due to the aforementioned doubts and discrimination of his (the “guru’s”) flaws. But all of this takes time; it does not happen overnight and rarely happens in just a year or two. The contradictions are revealed inexorably but slowly. That’s part of the process of torture assigned to the situation for Maha-maya, who is but a shadow of the will of the Supreme Lord, which the so-called guru cannot overcome.

If he is extemely shrewd, then, sometimes, the Lord arranges to have him killed in order to release weak people who could otherwise not escape his manipulation.

In summary, we do not emphasize the order. We mention it, obviously, but it is not an essential factor for consideration – for us. It is essential for the genuine guru to have received it, that’s all.

We admire and recognize Srila Prabhupada as being the most recent representative of the sampradaya based upon his power: the power of his writings, his preaching, his making devotees, his always triumphant confrontations, and his clear elucidations (when he chooses to be clear about any given issue). In other words, we seriously consider somebody as possibly being guru if, first of all, his presentation of the transcendental philosophy is perfectly in harmony with Srila Prabhupada’s presentation.

After all, we call it Krsna philosophy, but, in actuality, it is the Transcendental Reality that governs everyone and everything in creation everywhere and at all levels. So, if there are not any glaring defects in this ultra-important area, then we take a look at the dealings, the achar, the controversies (so-called or actual), the background, the associations, etc. We accept this process of study with care and caution; everything should be accepted with care and caution. Too many people have been, and remain, tricked by not doing so.


1 seamus j carroll { 02.05.10 at 17:33 }

the instruction for me was , neither accept or reject but take what is usefull , use the intelegence god gave you , this held in my mind , prabhupada saved my life with this, and i only heard at the soho temple on a recording , and i am not sure if it is fully correct , when i see neophytes bowing down to rascals my heart becomes very heavy

2 Nielsen { 01.28.13 at 02:57 }

“Regarding the action of Bon Maharaja: We shall discuss the matter when we meet. For the present, you may know that this gentleman is very much materially ambitious. He wants to utilize Krishna Consciousness for his material name and fame. Sometimes he greatly offended our Guru Maharaja, and it so happened that at the last stage, practically Guru Maharaja rejected him. And the result, we can find that instead of becoming a great preacher of Krishna Consciousness, this gentleman has become artificially a head of a mundane institution. To become a very important man in the mundane estimation is not success in Krishna Consciousness. He was first deputed by my Guru Maharaja, along with our late God Brother, Bhakti Pradip Tirtha Maharaja, to open a missionary center in London, and they stayed there for 3 years, but didn’t make any appreciable advance. Except that spent enormous money of my Guru Maharaja, and later on they were called back to India. So that is a great history; it is not possible to say everything in this letter, but for the present, be satisfied with these words, and later we shall talk more and more. On the whole, you may know that he is not a liberated person, and therefore, he cannot initiate any person to Krishna Consciousness. It requires special spiritual benediction from higher authorities.”
(Letter to: Janardana — New York 26 April, 1968)

3 Nielsen { 01.28.13 at 03:00 }

Of course it is the last two sentences in the above that is connected to the theme: “On my order”. ys

4 Kailasa Candra das { 01.29.13 at 09:22 }

RE: Nielsen Can one conclude that there is an obssesion with the “initiation”-thing, that makes one blind to deeper issues?
Why would a guru choose not to manifest? Would a guru say `I am guru, take initiation from me´?
That you have been able to spot the initiation fetish as nothing more than a sophisticated diversion indicates that buddhi-yoga is functioning very nicely for you at this time.

5 kusumapida dasi { 02.02.13 at 17:19 }

in my experience…. when the disciple is ready… the Guru appears… RadheRadhe!!

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