No one to initiate?

We all know the last sampradaya-acharya was and remains His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He is no longer physically manifest. There has been a change.

He can no longer be the final arbiter in disputes. He can no longer be written to for advice and direction. He can no longer sit on the vyasasan and give a lecture about current events. He can no longer chastise a disciple publicly when that follower is engaged in misleading other devotees and making the whole thing bungled.

Prabhupada has the power, of course, to manifest his physical body again. But that would almost certainly produce very difficult reactions. As such, this kind of a miracle should not be expected of him.

Now, in the event there is no manifest guru, is the whole process completely closed? Some would declare that it is. Some would say that one cannot attain beyond the stages of sraddha and sadhu-sanga (through tapes and writings) if there is no manifest, realized devotee to initiate.

This conclusion is only true in a partial sense. As far as the pancaratriki-vidhi part of initiation is concerned, one cannot avoid this conclusion. For pancaratriki, a devotee must receive initiation from a manifest guru. The new initiate then becomes recognized by the guru on the manifest plane and can take advantage of the means of production within the society of the guru’s devotees. He or she can utilize the facilities of the spiritual institution while it is linked with its founder.

Sometimes, spiritual masters may not create institutional facilities, but Prabhupada did choose to create such transcendental amenities. An organized society of devotees will allow the newly initiated (genuinely initiated) bhaktas or bhaktins to engage in temple activities, because they need to know that they have been accepted and vice-versa.

The Deity worship (on the public temple scale) will be under the management of the guru’s society of devotees. Advancement via the institutional means of production-specifically in relation to Deity worship-requires a devotee to receive pancaratriki-vidhi initiation from a manifest guru, a genuine spiritual Master. Even if Prabhupada greatly appreciated the service of a particular follower, if that devotee had not received diksa, he was still not allowed to perform the Deity worship up on the altar.

Neophytes and sahajiyas do not qualify as masters of anything spiritual ordevotional, and “initiation” from them is not authorized-and never encouraged at all-in our disciplic succession. When the pancaratriki-vidhi stage is pervertedly activated, some really nasty warpings will make their influence felt throughout the movement. We’ve gone through over two decades of that.

1 comment

1 Nielsen { 01.16.13 at 13:03 }

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´?

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