Wouldn’t ISKCON be more united if it had Prabhupada as the only diksha-guru?

by Chaitanya CharanMay 12, 2014

From Stoka Krishna P

Transcription by- Keshav Gopal Das & Ambuj Gupta

Question: Looking at the ISKCON situation from outside organization perspective wouldn’t it unify the entire ISKCON and make it even stronger in delivering Prabhupada’s message of Krishna’s love if Prabhupada were made the only initiating guru and they would have no other gurus?

Answer- Yes, that’s how it will appear to our vision wherein we do see that there is grievous amount of not just problems because of some gurus having problems but also because of conflicts between disciples of different gurus. At one level it may seem that if we just have Prabhupada as our ISKCON’s one acharya then the conflicts will be lesser. However this is only subsurface appearance. Actually what will make ISKCON stronger is its adherence to shastra. If we don’t do that then whatever we are doing will be as Krishna says in 16.23

yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya


It will be by going against shastra and that will not produce any long terms spiritual purificatory results.

Now how should we deal with this particular problem of trying to unify ISKCON? One thing we have to remember is that, is it that the disciples of Srila Prabhupada are themselves united. Yes, they may all have devotion to Srila Prabhupada but still if you look at the history of ISKCON that there were quarrels between God brothers so much that even during Pabhupada’s time and afterwards those quarrels became so much, that Ravindra Svarupa prabhu has written at one place about the fratricidal wars of ISKCON. There have been conflicts. Now although they were all Prabhupada disciples and they had only one guru, still conflicts were there. Even ISKCON situation it may seem that different guru’s disciples have fights but then we see quite frequently even the same guru disciples also have fights. So fighting (kalaha) is a characteristic of kaliyuga and it will manifest itself whether there is one guru or there are many gurus. The way to deal with such forces of Kali is by becoming more Krishna conscious by becoming trnad api shunichena as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has told us. By purifying ourselves and by living according to shastra there will be greater unification and there will be greater effective dissemination to Krishna’s message of love. By just creating a system which is not given in shastra will cut us off from the current of mercy that come through shastra and in the long run make life much more difficult for us.

Having said that, also recognize that ISKCON devotees has to focus more on the universals there on the specifics. That means that whose disciple I am doesn’t have to be as prominent and we shouldn’t have to throw that in the face of others. We are all in Prabhupada’s movement. We are aspiring to be devotees of Krishna. We are all followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. That should be more the focus of devotees and devotees need to be trained in such a way that this happens. Giving that training so that there is a unifying center and there is thread of unity that runs through devotees is what is a more effective way to deal with a problem, not just putting Srila Prabhupada because as I said if we look at ISKCON history itself Prabhupada disciple’s have fought and it is not that Prabhupada grand disciples of the same guru don’t fight. The solution to it is purification and purification comes by adhering to shastra. Thank you.


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Chaitanya Charan

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