Śikṣā outside ISKCON?

<< Dobut 10 >>

PART THREE - Doubts and Answers
Doubt 10

Doubt 10: How can ISKCON, with its many fallen gurus and abandoned disciples, dictate guru-tattva to senior Vaiṣṇavas who are lifelong celibates, great scholars and realised devotees?

Answer: ISKCON does not, by declining their offer of śīkṣā, dictate to them; rather, it affirms its allegiance to its own founder-ācārya.

Though ISKCON’s leaders have made mistakes, they must correct these mistakes by careful application of Prabhupāda’s instructions — avoiding the instructions of others. Once they have made such corrections, Śrīla Prabhupāda’s blessings will no doubt raise ISKCON to its full glory.

This complete and exclusive dependence on Prabhupāda’s instructions may not find favour with other Vaiṣṇavas. That is not ISKCON’s weakness but its strength. Furthermore, the mistakes of ISKCON’s leaders are no reason to compromise Śrīla Prabhupāda’s instructions. Their mistakes do not nullify their understanding of guru-tattva, nor do they certify perfection for the non ISKCONites.

Vaiṣṇavas outside ISKCON may be self-controlled, scholarly and realised; however, if their śīkṣā is different from Śrīla Prabhupāda’s — which by his estimation it is — their eloquent instructions contradict the very meaning of śīkṣā(50) and will simply compound ISKCON’s woes.

Prabhupāda wanted us to be convinced of his order, and like him, execute that order without concern for outside opinion; ISKCON should do its duty: “Envious we don’t care for. We don’t mind. Never care for them. I didn’t care anyone, any times, even my G... Neither I care just now. I’ll go on with my ... Why? We are doing our duty. That’s all. Under higher authoritative order. Have no fear.”(51)


50Prabhupāda said, “A śīkṣā-guru who instructs against the instruction of spiritual [master], he is not a śīkṣā-guru. He is a demon. ... Śikṣā-guru does not mean he is speaking something against the teachings of the dīkṣā-guru. He is not a śīkṣā-guru. He is a rascal.” (Bhagavad-gītā lecture, Honolulu, July 4, 1974)
51Conversation, Māyāpura, February 20, 1977.
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