When a disciple whose guru falls doesn’t have to be re-initiated because of being connected with Prabhupada why can’t the same happen without initation in the first place?

by Chaitanya CharanMay 12, 2014

From Stoka Krishna P

Transcription by- Keshav Gopal Das & Ambuj Gupta

Question- If in case guru falls down then a disciple is not required to be reinitiated and considered to be connected with Srila Prabhupada. Why this can’t be done in the first instance itself by being initiated from Srila Prabhupada for everyone.

Answer- If the guru falls away then it is not just the disciple is connected with Srila Prabhupada, disciple is connected with the whole tradition and that is the tradition of the tradition.

The tradition of the tradition means, Bhakti Vinod Thakur explains that if one has taken initiation from a non-devotee, a mayavadi or smartha initiation, then one can take initiation again from a Vaishnava. But if one has taken initiation from Vaishnava than basically one has entered the world of Vaishnavism officially thereafter and if that Vaishnava has done something wrong then one should try to help that Vaishnava guru in whatever way possible. May be have some senior of guru speak to him or then speak oneself as the last resort but if nothing works out then one can keep a distance from that guru because he is not in good standing now and take guidance from others and move on.

It is just like as I explained elsewhere that the guru is the one who gives us entry into the university of sampradaya and the sampradaya has a tradition. The tradition is that if some guru has some difficulties then a person continues on by taking guidance from others. The tradition also has that a guru having problems is not something unheard of. It can happen. It may not be frequent but it can happen and the scriptures and previous acharyas have taken that into consideration and they have given us the method to deal with it.

The ritvik idea is originating from authentic concerns and often heart breaking pains. That have happened because of ISKCON’S some of gurus having grievous falls downs. But the solution is not to reject tradition entirely. The tradition’s way of dealing with it is that one’s you have got admitted then you continue on. It’s not that this particular system is unique and that devotee is connected to Prabhupada alone. The devotee is connected to Prabhupada, to Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, and to the whole Gaudiya tradition.

The whole point is that this is the way Gaudiya Vaishnavism has been taught historically. That’s how it will continue. Srila Prabhupada is certainly unique in his contribution in spreading Krishna consciousness and he is the founder acharya of ISKCON. He will be the preeminent shiksha guru but the tradition’s way of accepting devotees into the tradition is by being initiated by a guru who is living. It’s not that the fact that there is no re-initiation required means that it is initiation by Praphupada and that is sufficient. No, there is a initiation first done by the specific guru and that is what is required and that initiation is enough for lifelong connection. That is how it is with Prabhupada or without Prabhupada. That is how it has been going on in the tradition. It’s not that we have to change that method of dealing with the situation in this particular context. Thank you.

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Chaitanya Charan

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