Guru: Everyone is lying to you... |

ISKCON Srila Prabhupada Krishna Balarama Darshan

Published on July 19th, 2023 | by Madhudvisa dasa


Guru: Everyone is lying to you…

Srila Prabhupada Krishna Balarama DarshanThe “Guru Issue”. Everyone wants to be a guru. It is such a nice thing to have all those disciples worshiping you and giving you all their money… Even the greatest ritvik leader shouting out “Prabhupada is the guru”, Krishna Kant, also wants to be a guru. He has his philosophy, “The Final Order”, and wants everyone else to follow his philosophy. But, as you may know, I have defeated Krishna Kant’s philosophy way back in 1996 when he first published his paper.

“Krishna Kant has attempted to prove that Srila Prabhupada did not intend any of his disciples to become diksa [initiating] gurus, ever. This is his unique addition to the ritvik philosophy. He has attempted to prove this point by selectively quoting from Srila Prabhupada and using much word jugglery. This rather bizarre philosophy is unique to Krishna Kant and his few followers. It is not shared by the general body of the followers of Srila Prabhupada.

” (from:

It is true, as Bhakti Vikasa Swami points out, that the main players in the ritvik field today are following the Krishna Kant “Final Order” philosophy and this philosophy has been defeated by Rocana Prabhu and also by myself many years ago.

The “Prabhupada will be the only guru for the next 10,000 years” lie is Krishna Kant’s addition and this is also presented by Yasoda-Nandana Prabhu and ISKCON Bangalore. So they are perpetuating Krishna Kant’s lie: “Prabhupada did not want his disciples to become diksa gurus EVER!!!”

If any sincere person takes the time to read Srila Prabhupada’s books and letters he will find in reality Srila Prabhupada’s desire is that all of his disciples become QUALIFIED diksa gurus and accept disciples. Of course the qualification is simple but rare. So obviously the disciples first have to become qualified, then and only then can they become bona fide gurus… So it is not that every disciple can become guru… They first have to become qualified…

It is not only the ritviks who lie about the guru issue. ISKCON is lying also… They say “Prabhupada wants all his disciples to become gurus…” Carefully omitting the “QUALIFIED”…

And what is that “qualification” for a bona-fide guru? It is very simple, only three words “srotriyam brahma nistham“. That’s all. A bona fide guru has heard from his qualified spiritual master and he is fixed in brahman (which means transcendental, liberated, no longer affected by maya). Having heard from his bona-fide guru means that he only repeats and explains what he has heard from his bona fide guru, nothing else. No speculation, nothing from any other source, and at the same time he has to be fixed on the transcendental platform.

Now all the ISKCON guru-tattva is simply for the purpose of presenting the lie that the guru does not have  to be brahma-nistham, does not have to be a pure devotee, does not have to be liberated… This ‘non-liberated guru’ philosophy was introduced into ISKCON after it became painfully obvious that the 11 so-called zonal acharyas were not liberated.

So, because the ISKCON gurus are not liberated, not brahma-nistham, the whole ISKCON “guru tattva” is about “proving” that the guru does not have to be a pure devotee. But this is a lie. The guru has to be a pure devotee…

ISKCON today is so attached to the lie that the guru does not have to be a pure devotee that if you would dare repeat any of the quotes from Srila Prabhupada in the above article you would no longer be welcome there.

So on both sides of the guru debate we find people who are lying to support their own personal sense gratification or philosophy. The ISKCON gurus lie because they know they are not pure devotees and they also know they can not fool others any more than they are pure devotees so they have to claim that it is not necessary to be brahma-nistham to be a guru.

Although they do not say it, they do not want to be srotriyam either, they do not want to be limited to simply repeating and explaining the things Srila Prabhupada presents in his books. The desire to add something new, to speculate, is very strong. And ISKCON is full of speculation and full of new ideas and things devotees have heard from sources other than Srila Prabhupada so the ISKCON ‘guru tattva‘ also avoids the srotriyam aspect of the qualifications of a guru.

So the result? The GBC simply says “All devotees should be gurus and have some disciples.” Never any mention of any qualifications for the gurus at all…

And why do the ritviks lie and say “Prabhupada did not want any of his disciples to become diksa gurus, EVER!!!” There are two reasons, one is many have been cheated by bogus ISKCON gurus and see bogus ISKCON gurus cheating more innocent devotees and this is very painful for everyone and they want to expose the bogus gurus, so lying and saying “Prabhupada did not want any of his disciples to become gurus” becomes an attractive philosophy to them. The other, more insidious motivation, is the Indian brahmanas are very upset at Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON for making westerners Vaisnavas and worse still making westerners sannyasis and gurus. They want to stop this and some of them have taken to supporting the ritvik philosophy as a way to eliminate western gurus, “Prabhupada did not want any of his disciples to become diksa gurus ever.” is an idea that some Indian caste brahmana’s like very much…

So ISKCON is lying and and the ritviks are lying. Of course there is considerable truth mixed into what both sides say. But when you mix up lies with truth the whole thing becomes useless. If you really want to know what a bona fide guru is please READ SRILA PRABHUPADA’s BOOKS!

Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

Your servant

Madhudvisa dasa

[Note: Rocana Prabhu refuses to publish this on his website so I am publishing it here]

About the Author

My first contact with a Hare Krishna was a most merciful Mataji in Oxford Street, London who sold me a "Higher Taste" cook book in 1984 while I was on holidays there. I started seriously reading Srila Prabhupada's books in Australia 1985 and by 1986 Srila Prabhupada had convinced me "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and "we should surrender to Krishna." I joined the Hare Krishnas in Perth, Western Australia in 1986. Since then I have been chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and preaching as much as I can. That's my life and full-time occupation now really. I like it more than anything I've ever experienced before. Srila Prabhupada's books are so amazing... Even after reading them all many times they're still fresh and new. They are truly transcendental! That's it really. Now I'm just hankering to once again see the world chant Hare Krishna, dance and feast and float away in the ecstasy of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana movement as it did in Srila Prabhupada's physical presence. Let the whole world drown in the ecstatic flood of love of Krishna!

99 Responses to Guru: Everyone is lying to you…

  1. Sameer Vyas says:

    Hare Krishna prabhuji,
    Please accept my humble obeisance.
    Kindly guide to find a bonafide Guru.

    Your Servant

    sameer vyas

    • The only bona fide guru I know is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. As far as I can see all others are cheating rascals.

      So I suggest you read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books, listen to all his recorded classes, morning walks, conversations. Read all his letters, watch all the films and videos of Srila Prabhupada.

      You can get everything you need from

      The easiest way to totally destroy your spiritual life is to take initiation from a guru who does not have the power to take you back home back to Godhead. Many of these gurus, in their own minds, they are thinking they are wonderful, much better than Prabhupada, very puffed up and confident. But they are without any actual spiritual potency.

      Problem is, in ISKCON, the gurus can not be surrendered to Prabhupada, otherwise the GBC will throw them out of ISKCON. The gurus have to be surrendered to the GBC, follow all the instructions of the GBC, thus forcing them to reject Prabhupada and Krishna…

      So system in ISKCON is such that all the ISKCON gurus must be bogus, otherwise they will be thrown out by the GBC.

      It is a good business of course, because hardly anyone wants a bona fide guru anyhow. The vast mass of people want to be cheated. They want a bogus guru who will take some of their money and give them the assurance that they are great devotees and they don’t have to change anything in their lives, just give them money and come to the temple on Sundays…

  2. Sameer Vyas says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
    My age is 50 and I am pursuing Iskcon since my birth . i read Srila Prabhupad books several times. I also have same experience. They are unmatched , unique and un adulterated.
    Kindly help me in Finding a True authentic Guru.

    your Servant

    Sameer Vyas

  3. Vijaya Murti dasa says:

    All glories to Srila Prabhupada
    First of all..FIRST OF ALL if we have to read Srila Prabhupada’s books then please per us read His original books…after that we can go on argue.
    Vijaya Murti dasa

  4. Hrishikesh Nath says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu.
    Please accept my humble obeisances
    All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    I was going to be deviated by this unique addition to the ritwik philosophy propagated by ISKCON Bangalore. I am very thankful to you from saving me from getting deviated. I was patronising ISKCON Bangalore from some days but now I realize my mistake. ISKCON or ISKCON Bangalore, it is not safe to follow anyone.
    I have to become Krishna Conscious on my own strength, there is no other way.

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      Actually we can not become Krishna conscious on our own strength. We need to surrender to a pure devotee of Krishna and get his blessings. So please read Srila Prabhupada’s books and follow the instructions he gives you as you read the books and in this way surrender to him and serve him.

      We can not do it on our own strength…

  5. Lila Kirtana dasa says:

    hank you for this. I recently was reading an older post by Hansadhuta on the topic of rittvik priests. From what I gathered from this, his opinion is that if some one is acting as a rittvik priest ,that person must have the best qualifications that seem to be on the same level as a Diksha guru. So if this is the case then why not be an actual Diksha guru? The difference would seem to be that one doesn’t have to take on the sinful activities of the initiate and maybe even not give him shelter under your instructions and advice? Anyways this seems to be a major contradiction in their philosophy if of course they have in any way accepted the view of Hansadhutta to start with. I would like to post your above article on facebook if I may. Thanking you in the service of the truth. Hare Krishna.

    • Yes. You can post the article on facebook and please include a link back to the article on

      Yes. It is true, what is the point of taking any guru if he is not qualified? If Prabhupada is your guru Prabhupada is living in his books and you can associate with him and take initiation from him directly through his books. What is the need of a ritvik guru to initiate you? What is the use of having a ‘ritvik guru’ who you do not surrender to, you do not trust, you do not believe is a pure devotee of Krishna, you do not believe is a representative of Srila Prabhupada? It is all a fas, all nonsense…

      Ritvik is not working, at least not in the sense of organizing world-wide preaching. Ritvik people can not work together. There is no leader, they say Prabhupada is the leader, but the problem is they all have a different idea of what Prabhupada wants…

      So for a preaching organization there has to be a leader, a guru. So if Krishna consciousness is going to go on there has to be a leader. Someone who can explain what Prabhupada really says and who can implement it according to the time and the place.’

  6. Advaita says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,
    Dandvat Pranam,

    I read your explanation on the Guru tatva and had one question which if you answer would be great understanding for me.
    In a scenario where there is no Qualified disciple, you suggest that H.D.G Srila Prabhupada is still preaching in his books and you should continue to accept Srila Prabhupada as your acharya and surrender your soul to him. In that case would the system not be exactly as being followed by devotees of ISKCON Bangalore?


    • Hare Krishna Advaita

      Yes. ISKCON Bangalore accept that Srila Prabhupada is still living and that they can associate and lean from Srila Prabhupada by reading his books and by listening to his recorded lectures. And that is of course true.

      If you actually study what is the relationship between the spiritual master and the disciple it is based on hearing, surrender and service. You hear from the spiritual master, you surrender to the spiritual master and you serve him. So we can hear from Srila Prabhupada through his books and classes, if we like we can surrender to him and serve him. I do not know if you realize it but this is why Srila Prabhupada wrote so many books… This is why he demanded that all his classes, morning walks, conversations, etc, were recorded. So that we could take advantage of his transcendental association after the disappearance of his physical body.

      These things are as clear as day. It is only ISKCON we can not understand that Srila Prabhupada is living still in his books… Because they don’t read them…. If you actually read Prabhupada’s books in a submissive spirit you will find they are not ordinary books. Prabhupada is living in his books and ready to guide and initiate any sincere and submissive student who is prepared to inquire from him through his books and who is prepared to surrender to him and serve him according to the instructions that Prabhupada gives him while he is reading the books…

      But it is a rare soul who is prepared to surrender. Actually real devotees are very rare. But a real devotee certainly can associate with Srila Prabhupada personally through his books.

      Prabhupada said “I am living in my books”. What part of that don’t you understand?

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  7. diogenes says:

    How is a neophyte supposed to know the difference?

    • A neophyte can not know the difference. It is not possible for a neophyte to tell the difference between a cheating guru and a real guru. Therefor it is very, very dangerous to remain a neophyte. So don’t remain a neophyte. Become at least a madhyama-adhikari. It is only on that middle platform of devotional service that you will be able to differentiate and see who is a demon and who is a devotee.

      And you can become elevated to this platform by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada is living in his books. If you read Srila Prabhupada’s books and you follow the instructions you find Srila Prabhupada giving you and apply them in your practical life then you will be in very safe hands and gradually, by Srila Prabhupada’s mercy, you will advance in Krishna consciousness, and come to the point where you can tell the difference between a demon and a devotee.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • vanshika says:

        Hari bol!
        got the answer for my query! ya, madhayama adhikari by the mercy of beloved and allll mercyfull gurudev Srila Prabhupada! in his books!
        Hariii bol!

  8. vanshika says:

    Hare Krishna
    you are very right Prabhu ji, i have a little temple of one meter in my little house which is upon an Elmira, with ladoo gopal and prabhupada with a pattern changing photo of Radha Krishna, which becomes only Krishna when tilted.
    As you say it is not good to rush into Deity worship and then later give it up, Once you start it you can not stop it. So, i will wait for the right time as i did for fasting ekadasi, and i got that time, you know about it.
    So many things are changed for me by Krishna, and will continue to change until i am satisfied in his service. Krishna is very kind, seeing me trying he helped a lot, but i don’t want to disrespect that kindness. I’ll wait for the right time and will do Krishna’s service properly.
    I’ll inform you when I’ll start deity worship, Gaur Nitai Or Jaganatha.
    I wanted to tell you that i am writting blogs, on krishna consciousness, i am not writing about any of my realizations but views, by the name of, i know u are busy but please have a little look

    • It is very good news.

      Please sign up at also. If you write there I will read it. I do not have time to read on other blogs. But you can also start a blog on I will read it if you blog there…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • vanshika says:

        Hare Krishna Prabhu, dandvat pranam, Srila Prabhupada Ki jai!
        Prabhu thanku very much for allowing me to post at connect and am happy to hear that u r willing to read my blogs but Prabhu I have dropped the idea of writing blogs as I think am not that much advanced and will write only stupid things, which will be useless and timewasteing. Even if I write, In future, then I’ll copy everything from srila prabhupada’s books. I think its better to preach to people face to face now as here the population of materialistic people is big.
        Prabhu ji regarding devotees association on connect, ISKCON and Iskcon Bangalore, you guided me that everyone is not a pure devotee so we shall act accordingly but my ques is that I myself is a neophyte materialistic devotee so how will I’ll be able to know who is a pure devotee and who is not? I’ve read or maybe heard it that the duty of a vaishnava is to get good out of everything and leave the rest, and prabhupada has actually guided me in it, I read his books do my rounds and am guided by him, otherwise I wouldn’t have got your association as well, so shall we leave it like this and let Srila Prabhupada guide us for differentiating between good and bad?
        I hope you understand my confusion and will answer soon, and I want to tell you that last month by Prabhupada’s mercy I went to vrindavan and am also collecting money for buying Sri Chaitanya Chairtamrita and one day ofcorce I’ll buy it!
        Dandvat pranams
        Jai Srila Prabhupada
        Hare Krishna!

        • Hare Krishna Vanshika

          Yes. Of course we have to associate with others and they will not always be pure devotees but if we just always speak about Krishna and chant Hare Krishna then no matter who we associate with will benefit from our association because we will be giving them Krishna. So the secret for a devotee is that he gives his association freely to anyone who will listen to him glorifying Krishna. But he does not take their materialistic association. It means that when you meet people you take over the conversation and talk about Krishna and get them engaged in Krishna katha and when the conversation drifts into mundane topics then you can just move on to someone else and continue talking about Krishna.

          So we just have to continue chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books and we have to follow Prabhupada’s instructions as he gives them to us as we read his books and adjust our lives so we can be always engaged in serving Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and try our best. There will always be things that we do not succeed at as well as we would have hoped for and sometimes when we completely fail. But the point is to be always trying to please Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. The point is to be constantly engaged in serving Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. It is not so important what results we get. It is important that we are constantly engaged in serving Krishna. Always remembering Krishna, never forgetting Krishna. And as far as associating with non-devotees we have to learn to give them our association and just talk to them about Krishna and not take their association…

          If you read everything in Srila Prabhupada’s books and if you are constantly chanting Hare Krishna and distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books then Krishna in in your heart and He will guide you and you will be able to understand who is good and who is not so good and who is bad…

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

  9. Rupa says:

    thank you for explaining it so well, I’m lovin it. welcome to my reality I’m a gurukuli. 🙂

  10. sugriva says:

    what if there is no body qualified to be Guru ? do you just give up there ? its not possible for every person to have a pure devetee there to guide them right now……but everyone can have Prabhupada’s instructions….and if willing they can follow……but there will never be a system for making this person or that a Guru.
    The Great Lord Balaram is our guide in this place. Just be a devotee of Krsna and help others. That will fix all the problems

    • Hare Krishna Sugriva

      Prabhupada is a qualified, bona fide, pure devotee spiritual master. So he is available. There is no question that “nobody is qualified to become guru.” We have Prabhupada and he is perfectly qualified…

      If there is no qualified teacher then it means you can not learn that thing. If you want to be a carpenter and you can not find a carpenter then what is the point of going to a fisherman to teach you about carpentry? He can not teach you that because he does not know the art himself.

      If one does not have a pure devotee to guide him then it is not possible for him to become Krishna conscious. You have to realize that Prabhu. That is Krishna consciousness 101. If you do not know this then you have missed the most basic, fundamental principle of Krishna consciousness.

      Krishna orders us in Bhagavad-gita that one must approach a bona fide spiritual master, hear from him, surrender to him, serve him, offer him obeisances. Such a self-realized soul can give you real knowledge because he has seen the truth.

      So Krishna is ordering you to accept a self-realized soul who has seen the truth as your spiritual master. If you are such a fool that you want to go against Krishna’s orders and accept a conditioned soul who has not seen the truth and who is not a self-realized soul then you are the greatest fool. It is not possible to become Krishna conscious without the mercy of a pure devotee of Krishna. Don’t you know this Prabhu? This is the most basic, most fundamental principle in Krishna consciousness. And you do not know this?

      And I suppose you sing that ‘samsara davana lida loka’ song every morning??? But you do not know the meaning of that song otherwise you would not be writing this rubbish.

      So please read Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is, read the translation of this samsara song and read Srila Prabhupada’s Nectar of Instruction and all of his other books and try to understand what he is saying and forget all this bogus nonsense ISKCON is preaching!!!

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  11. KOUASSI says:

    This ‘non-liberated guru’ philosophy was introduced into ISKCON after it became painfully obvious that the 11 so-called zonal acharyas were not liberated you said in the letter.I would like to have more informatins about it

    • You can find out about this at any ISKCON temple, ask them to explain what is the ISKCON guru-tattva and how come they preach that conditioned souls can be gurus and how you can become liberated under the guidance of a conditioned soul? The embarrassing thing for ISKCON is they have absolutely no sastric basis for this bogus guru system and every year the GBC order some ‘sastra research committee’ to write a paper that justifies the position of the current ISKCON guru system, but of course it can not be justified, it is completely bogus.

  12. Uma Sridhar says:

    Hare Krishna!

    Pranam Swamiji,

    Thanks for posting your spiritual journey,the difficulties you faced, your determination, perseverances, which is really inspirational to all Krishna devotees who wants to practice real Krishna Consciousness.

    Same thing I too facing Swamiji, that is why I earlier told since it is very difficult to find a real devotee of Lord Krishna as a Guru after our Guru Sri Prabhupada, one should not think that our Guru is not physically present. See in your case, how he blessed you and guided you!. If a devotee who is sincere and good enough to be a real devotee/guru like you who sincerely search for a Guru, for initiation, Lord Krishna definitely help him and show the path to reach him and guide him to a real guru.

    Once again I pay my pranam to you Swamiji.

    Hare Krishna

    Uma Sridhar

  13. Suvarna Manjari dasi says:

    Hare Krsna Prabhu,

    I thought about what is being said here and also that many devotees who are serious would like to be initiated by Prabhupada.

    The ritvik system is there, so devotees should be allowed to take advantage of that.

    There are many devotees who are serious and following Prabhupada strictly, so they should be able to take initiation. There will always be people who take initiation and give up later or not follow strictly.

    In Nz we have a ritvik temple with installed dieties and a farm community. The devotees are doing very well and preaching nicely.

    Iskcon is eternal and not owned by the corrupt GBC. Those who are following Srila Prabhupada sincerely are connected to him and making tangible spiritual advancement.

    Many devotees need association, and I think it’s a good idea if small groups of Prabhupada disciples form small communities and not try to be a part of big camps..because when these big camps become institutionalized, then everything falls apart.

    Prabhupada wanted that centres be independent.

    Every person is on a different level as well and we need to lovingly encourage others who are on the path of KC. It’s not easy for young devotees to just hack it on their own, we need association. We need support in order to properly follow Srila Prabhupada.

    Hare Krsna!
    ys Suvarna

  14. Naveen says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu, I would like to know how did you get this name Madhudvisa Dasa?

    • Hare Krishna Naveen

      Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

      It is a very long story Prabhu. I joined ISKCON in 1986, long before anyone was talking about ritvik. As soon as I joined the devotees were telling me that “Prabhupada is dead and has appointed 11 successors…” And I was in Australia so in the zonal acharya days you had to accept initiation from the “acharya” in your zone. So it was required that I accept initiation from Visnupada, Bhavananda. But he came to Australia and gave a public program in a Town Hall that I attended and I could see that he was not at all strictly following Srila Prabhupada and his preaching and Prabhupada’s preaching was quite different and his personality and Prabhupada’s personality were quite different. He stayed at the temple for a few days and gave Bhagavatam classes, etc, which I attended and the more I heard from him the more I know he was completely bogus.

      I had not yet joined ISKCON but had read all Srila Prabhupada’s small books, Bhagavad-gita and Nectar of Devotion and started reading Srimad-Bhagavatam and I had watched all the Prabhupada DVDs [which were on VHS tapes in those days].

      After a while I joined ISKCON in Perth, Western Australia [in 1986]. I only lasted there for a few days because in those days ISKCON really was a crazy cult. They were preaching that the gurus were pure devotees, uttama-adhakaris, etc… But they were doing all sorts of nonsense as you well know. As soon as the devotees realized I had some reservations about “Vinsupada” they threw me out of the temple telling me, “If you want to become Krishna conscious, that’s OK, but you can’t do it in Australia…”

      So I just thought it was something crazy that had happened to ISKCON in Australia and purchased a ticked to London and went there the next day. I arrived and immediately joined the Soho St. temple and for the first time saw big Radha-Krishna Deities, Sri Sri Radha London Isvara, and was so very attracted by Them. The more service I did the more beautiful Sri Sri Radha London Isvara became and I could not work out what was going on. I was asking the devotees, “what are you doing to the Deities? Ho come they are getting so beautiful?” But it was me that was becoming purified so I could see Them more clearly. Of course Krishna is all-attractive, but we can not see that because our eyes are covered by maya, so gradually I was becoming purified by service and was able to see Krishna a little more clearly. It was a very nice time.

      But in London the ‘zonal acharaya’ was Bhagavan, and he was also a rascal. In those days they had at least 2 Vyasasanas in the temples, some US temples had as many as six… One was for Srila Prabhupada and the others were for the zonal acharayas… And they had Vyasasanas just as big and grand as Srila Prabhupada. It was really crazy. But I could tell the difference between their photos and Prabhupada’s photos. Prabhupada’s photos are 3D, there is something special in them, he is there, but these guys photos were just photos of ordinary mundane men, no 3D, they were not there. It was very obvious to me at the time. There was no Vyassasnan for Bhagavan in Soho Street and the devotees were just ripping everything out of the floor that used to have his residence on it. And there was only one Vysassana for Srila Prabhupada in the temple that was just being built actually. But officially Bhagavan was still the acharya there. Then we went to Bhaktivedanta Manor and I saw the photo of Bhagavan for the first time and it was just like the photos of Bhavananda. Ordinary mundane photo of a ordinary mundane man. So I got very, very angry and could not understand what had happened to Srila Prabhupada’s movement. We got the news the next day that Bhagavan had fallen down…

      Anyhow still somehow I was brainwashed by the ISKCON devotees preaching, “Prabhupada is dead, you need a living guru…” So I thought I needed a living guru. And Srila Prabhupada clearly says in his books that one should not blindly accept someone as guru, the disciple has to test the guru to see if he is qualified to take him back home back to Godhead and the spiritual master has to test the disciple to see if he is a bona fide disciple. So I took this to heart and decided that I should check out anyone before trying to accept them as my guru. Many of the zonal acharyas were completely unattractive to me in all ways and not people I would ever consider accepting as my guru. There were only 11 and Jayatirtha had already had his head cut off by one of his LSD-high disciples and Bhagavan was gone, Bhavananda I knew was a creep and he was already very much fallen but he officially ‘fell down’ the next year. I think Hansadutta was also gone at this time. So there are only 6 left to choose from. Hriydananda had such an impersonal feeling around him I could not consider him, Jaypataka, at the time I thought he was sincere but he does not have very much knowledge of what Prabhupada is teaching in his books so what is the point of having a guru who does not really clearly know what his guru is teaching? Anyhow like this for me the only two that I could really consider were Satsvarupa and Harikesa. Satsvarupa only because of his self-advertising in Limamrta. But when I got to Gita-Nagari I found he was living in some disciples house and did not accept any visitors… And I saw one book by him in the temple “Satsvarupa on Sankirtan”, which I was very excited to read, because in the early days he had written a small book with many quotes from Srila Prabhupada on book distribution, so I thought this would be about book distribution. But no, Satsvarupa had long, long ago given up encouraging his disciples to distribute Prabhupada’s books. Now he was encouraging them to sell paraphernalia and “liberate lakshmi” for Krishna… So like all the other zonal acharyas at the time he had his disciples selling things like cheap Hong Kong oil paintings, stickers, baseball caps, anything except Prabhupada’s books, to make money that they would give to him… In this way the zonal acharyas were making millions and millions of dollars and not distributing any Prabhupada books to speak of…

      So immediately I was disgusted with Satsvarupa and crossed him off my list, leaving only Harikesa. He was a very good preacher. He did know what Prabhupada says in his books and he could present that nicely. Perhaps better than any of the other zonal acharyas… But as I found out when I went to Korsanas-Gord, where he used to live in Sweden to hear from him and serve him and perhaps take initiation from him, he turned out to be completely insane. Of course we all know that now. His grand exit from ISKCON was him claiming that he was Krishna, his girlfriend was Radha and his girlfriend’s son was Prabhupada. And he was having illicit sex for at least ten years while he was putting on this big show of being a zonal acharya.

      So I came to the point of having checked out all of the remaining ‘zonal acharyas’ the so-called successors of Srila Prabhupada, and found they were all conditioned souls and none of them were anything like Srila Prabhupada at all.

      So I was bewildered. I was still thinking that I have to take a living guru and that Prabhupada appointed these guys as his successors…

      I happened to be in Galarati in Italy and at that time they had some very beautiful Gaura-Nitai Deities in a big two-story old house which was the temple. So I just offered my obeisances to these Deities and prayed to them “What to do? All the zonal acharayas are rascals, nothing like Srila Prabhupada at all? How am I going to get initiated?” This prayer I made silently and then stood up and it must have been the day that the pujari changed the brahmin threads of the Dieties so he gave me Lord Nityananda’s brahmin thread. And that was my answer. I immediately realized that I was already initiated by Srila Prabhupada. After all initiation means beginning, and in the past couple of years I had become completely transformed. In those days I was so sincere in reading Prabhupada’s books and chanting Hare Krishna and really I had become a completely different person since discovering Srila Prabhupada in his books. So I had already made significant advancement in Krishna consciousness and that is not possible without initiation.

      So this was a great relief for me. Up to this point I was always worrying that “I need to find a guru”. But from that point on I knew, “I have my guru, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. So I was just peaceful then. At this time there is still no ritviks in ISKCON, at least not that I had heard of, I did not even know the word ritvik and I knew nothing about Srila Prabhupada’s July 9th letter. But I did know that Srila Prabhupada was my guru so I stopped looking for any other guru and just concentrated on reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and serving Srila Prabhupada. I was happy to remain ‘Bhakta Michael’ and had no feeling that I needed to do anything else.

      The only reason that I took formal initiation was in 1989, after being thrown out and bashed and banned and blasphemed by the devotees in all the ISKCON temples in Australia and many in US, UK and Europe I realized that there is no future for me as a Prabhupada man, in ISKCON. They hate Prabhupada men, they only want disciples of their bogus gurus. It was a great disappointment for me. So I went to Vrindavan for a few months, taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada and Sri Sri Krishna Balarama and asked Them what to do. And they told me to preach.

      So I went back to Australia with the idea of opening a temple in Canberra, the capital city of Australia. It is not a big city, but is the capital, and there was never any ISKCON temple there before. It is a long story but it turned out to be a grand success by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna, and for two years [1989,1990] I was running this temple. And till this time I was still “Bhakta Michael” and had no problems with that. I was completely satisfied that Srila Prabhupada was my guru and very happy at Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet. But when I was running this temple in Canberra Deities came, first Gara-Nitai, then Jagannatha, Baladeva and Lady Subudra. So to worship the deity really I needed brahminical initiation. So it was not that I did not feel I was not already initiated, to do the deity worship I needed to accept Brahmin initiation and get the gayatri mantra, etc. So I called Jayadharama Prabhu who is a senior Prabhupada disciple in Australia, he was the Temple President in Sydney when Prabhupada was physically present and at that time he was performing initiations for Srila Prabhupada’s disciples on his behalf. So I asked him if he could also initiate me on behalf of Srila Prabhupada, as he used to do for the devotees when Prabhupada was physically present. So he said he would have to discuss it with some of his godbrothers and get back to me.

      So he agreed and initiated me on behalf of Srila Prabhupada, giving me first and second initiation and the name “Madhudvisa dasa”. So since then (1989) I have been “Madhudvisa dasa”.

      But that was not actually my initiation. My initiation was when I surrendered to Srila Prabhupada and by Prabhupada’s mercy he accepted me as his disciple and that happened a lot earlier.

      So that is why I say formal initiation is not important. It is important to surrender to Srila Prabhupada and serve him and read his books and really it is up to Srila Prabhupada if he accepts us as his disciples or not. It is not that we can go to some ‘ritvik’ and sit in a fire sacrifice and he chants some mantras and Prabhupada is obliged to accept us as his disciples. No. We have to do something to be recognized by Srila Prabhupada, surrender to him, offer him obeisances, serve him, and if Prabhupada is please with us then he may accept us as his disciples.

      So that is the important thing, not some formal ceremony.

      So many devotees sit in a formal ceremony and fire sacrifice and mostly do not surrender to their guru and even if they do surrender to the guru mostly today the gurus are not pure devotees and have no potency to guide their disciples back home, back to Godhead… So it is all a big mess. The main thing is to actually surrender to and serve Srila Prabhupada… It does not require any formal initiation…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • vanshika says:

        Wow, i wanted to know it, very nice! My name already means Krishna’s flute! I also was very curious about this spiritual name Thing, but sometime back when i got to know about my name’s meaning i loosed all the curiosity, but if really one needs brahminical initiation, then Prabhu ji, will you give me that on prabhupada’s behalf? U know it that i am following 4 principles, reading and distributing prabhupada books, chanting. I also never felt like being formally initiated but if u say we can’t worship deities, then the formality is important even if we are prabhupada disciples, we need to be formally initiated on his behalf, because of the rules in scriptures. Please clarify a little, i have again got the curiosity.
        and yes, i want to tell u a fact that i was just thinking to ask you this question from a long time below any article, but didn’t got the chance and see! Today Krishna and prabhupada himself gave me the right place and right chance! For my query! This is what i love about Krishna consciousness that, we can feel and experience Krishna’s and prabhupada’s presence around us!!!

        • Hare Krishna Vanshika

          Do now worry so much about formal initiation. It is not required. Real initiation is real surrender to Srila Prabhupada. So many have formal initiation without surrender or with surrender to a bogus guru and that is useless. No initiation at all. So you have the right guru, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, just surrender to him and serve him and he will make all the necessary arrangements in your life.

          If you are really surrendered to and really serving Srila Prabhupada then that surrender is your initiation. So you can worship deities in your home. I would suggest if you want to Gaura-Nitai and / or Jagannatha. Radha-Krishna Deity worship is more difficult. But Deity worship is a big responsibility. You have to be prepared to worship the Deities every day without fail. That means having a morning program, waking, bathing, dressing, kirtan, you know. It takes a lot of time every day. So you have to consider really if you can spend all this time. You can also worship the picture of the Panca-Tattva which is what Srila Prabhupada established in even reasonably large temples. Prabhupada did not introduce Deity worship until there were a reasonable number of brahminically initiated devotees to worship Them.

          So it is not good to rush into Deity worship and then later give it up. Once you start it you can not stop it.

          So it requires careful consideration. But in your position if you really want to and are really determined to continue it in any circumstances you can worship Deities.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

      • Govinda dasi says:

        Dear Madhudvisa Prabhu,

        Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

        Thank you for your very heart wrenching story of your search for truth. It is a glaring reminder for those of us who did not have to suffer in such way, but were fortunate enough to go straight to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada. And thank you for your sincere service to Srila Prabhupada’s original books. He will bless you many times over.

        Nowadays Kali has prevented any and all agreements between people on practically every level. So there are as many philosophical perspectives as there are pebbles on the beach. Some say we should wear burkhas and some say we should wear burmuda shorts, and the myriad of all the opinions in between. Constant quarrel.

        Perhaps Lord Chaitanya foresaw this and so encouraged only the chanting of the Holy Names in this age. Yes, they are all fighting, but they are all chanting Hare Krishna so I suppose that is the real success.

        Nearly everything has been lost in Iskcon—the Deity worship is now opposite of what Prabhupada taught (pujaris are trained to offer first to Krishna), the “Krishno-o-o Ramo-o-o camp has invaded kirtans, and even the Tulasi plants are crossbreeding with varieties of Basil. Only the books remain, and so many devotees are yet unaware of the changes to Prabhupada’s original books.

        Yet there is hope, for the dark ages will not last forever. New and more enlightened souls are coming to this planet and taking birth here to spread the glories of Sri Krishna Sankirtan. There is a very bright future ahead, so we simply must do our duty of protecting Srila Prabhupada’s original books. The other issues, guru issues etc., will be resolved in due course of time.

        Anyway that is my humble opinion. Thank you for your sincere service to Srila Prabhupada’s original books.

        Your servant, Govinda dasi

        • Hare Krishna Mother Govinda dasi

          Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

          I did not have to suffer, I went directly to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and he gave me shelter and his unlimited mercy. So I had no problems at all. Leaders in ISKCON hated me for it and still hate me for it but that did not cause me any trouble. I have always been very happy chanting Hare Krishna and Srila Prabhupada has always looked after me even though I am a fallen fool and rascal. Still I like Srila Prabhupada and am prepared to spend my time and energy serving him and I like chanting Hare Krishna so I am happy actually, in any condition.

          Yes. ISKCON is finished, but Lord Caitanya’s mission will go on.

          I was hoping some of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples would take it seriously and preach but so far we see them just getting old and dying without doing anything much substantial at all.

          Every one of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples has to potential to save the universe. But they are not doing it. That is a great pity.

          So ultimately someone will have to do it, like Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur did it and then from the ruins of the Gaudiya Matha Srila Prabhupada emerged. So someone has to emerge out of the ruins of ISKCON and save the world again. It is an ongoing process. It has to be saved again and again, generation after generation..

          Because after the disappearance of the great empowered acharya everything turns into chaos and the demons take charge of the pulpits and totally spoil everything…

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Your servant

          Madhudvisa dasa

  15. Eric Johanson says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu. Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Thank you for the fine article. There is mention in the Nectar of Instruction that allows a dhira devotee to accept disciples. Such a person would be a genuine brahma realized madhyama adhikari.

    “One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari. A neophyte Vaisnava or a Vaisnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master. Nectar of Instruction verse 5, purport.

    However, Srila Prabhupada here makes clear that such a guru is not preferred to the God realized uttama. Although there is mention of a kanistha also becoming guru, it should be understood that such a devotee would have to be free from all anarthas.

    The problem is that corporate “ISKCON” and other unscrupulous people misuse these types of quotes to mislead innocent people to think that the quotes apply to them or their so-called gurus. Corporate “ISKCON” is not following the disciplic succession because they assert that the GBC can appoint or select who is “guru.” This ecclesiastical method is condemned by Srila Jiva goswami and Srila Prabhupada:

    “It is imperative that a serious person accept a bona fide spiritual master in terms of the sastric injunctions. Sri Jiva Goswami advises that one not accept a spiritual master in terms of hereditary or customary social and ECCLESIASTICAL CONVENTIONS. One should simply try to find a genuinely qualified spiritual master for actual advancement in spiritual understanding.” – Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 1.35, purport

    On the whole, all we have seen since Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance is a pseudo-devotional type of food fight between various factions and leaders, all claiming to be succeeding him. The one thing that they seem to have in common is wanting to imitate him by being unaccountable to anyone else. To fix this abominable situation each of us has to become sincere enough to attract the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna. This will be clearly indicated when we receive the physical association of a genuine uttama adhikari. Thank you for supplying us the knowledge to avoid falling victim to becoming some kind of blind fanatic.

    your servant,
    bhakta Eric

  16. John says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,
    You say both camps are lying so where does one go for association with devotees? if you take both away what are you offering to replace this most important part of our spiritual life? How do we serve in the Temple of Lord will you supply this? How do we get together for book distribution? HareNam alone is not so easy. I am not saying you are wrong I just want you to be carefull not to take away the little that some of us have.I 64 and have been searching for 34 of those years and have been through so many thing trying to find a place to serve the Lord each time someome comes along and says the are wrong we have the truth and I have a feeling its happening again! Hari Bol!

    • Hare Krishna John

      At this time we have to take the association of Srila Prabhupada.

      Except in India the ritviks do not have temples anyhow, so there is only ISKCON, and that is now so contaminated and has so much rebelled against the teachings of Srila Prabhupada you will not get any good association there unfortunately. They can not help you but are very qualified to impede your natural advancement in Krishna consciousness.

      I am suggesting that you realize Srila Prabhupada is living in his books and take his association by reading his books and by following the instructions you find him giving you as you read the books.

      How many pure devotees do you want to associate with? You have Srila Prabhupada, take full advantage of his association.

      You can serve the Lord anywhere in any situation in life. You do not need a temple to serve the Lord.

      And if the temple is not there then we have to keep serving. Look at Prabhupada. He went to the US but there were no temples there. But that did not stop him from preaching and from his preaching so many temples became manifest…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  17. Thomas says:

    Dear Madhudvisa Prabhu,
    While you say ISKCON doesn’t put emphasis on a guru’s qualifications, it’s reasonable to think that someone in ISKCON may indeed be qualified. Just who that is or is not, I can’t say. That puts me in an uncertain position, as while I’m not sure about ISKCON’s gurus, I also don’t support the Rtvik position. And while I know I can receive siksa from Prabhupada, I don’t believe I can receive diksa from Him. “Ay, there’s the rub.” So, what’s a guy like me suppose to do? Do I look in some other Gaudiya-Vaishnava group?

    • Hare Krishna Thomas

      As I have already explained no guru in ISKCON can be bona fide because the system does not allow them to be bona fide.

      A bona fide guru is a representative of his bona fide guru and Krishna.

      ISKCON does not allow their gurus to be this. They must be representatives and servants of the GBC and must teach their disciples the philosophy and teachings of the GBC which in many cases substantially differ from the teachings of Srila Prabhupada.

      So by definition any guru who agrees to become a servant and representative of the GBC is not bona fide.

      As far as receiving diksa from Srila Prabhupada there are a lot of people like you that believe you can’t get it, they believe Prabhupada is dead and gone. But that is a lie Prabhu. Prabhupada is living with us and he will give sincere devotees who surrender to him and serve him diksa.

      There are only two Gaudya-Vaisnava groups, ISKCON & offshoots and Gaudiya Matha and offshoots. Prabhupada has declared Gaudiya Matha as useless and unable to help anyone advance in spiritual life in his purports to Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and in other places. They have disconnected themselves from the Caitanya tree. So you will not find any bona fide guru, and if there was a bona fide guru in ISKCON the GBC would throw him out because he would be unable to surrender to them and their philosophy. He would be surrendered to Prabhupada & Krishna.

      So you may end up like everyone else in your position who believes that Srila Prabhupada is dead and gone — with a bogus guru who can not give you any practical help to advance in spiritual life. Of course many want this. Being Prabhupada’s disciple, particularly in the beginning, can be somewhat difficult. Because Prabhupada insists that his disciples must strictly follow the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] and chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily on japa beads, and get out of bed every morning before 4:00 AM and offer Mangal Aroti, and read all his 80 or so books and always remember Krishna, never forget Krishna. Prabhupada requires his disciples to give up sense gratification and only work for the service and pleasure of Krishna. But sense gratification is what the materialists live for. So there are so many ‘disciples’ who do not want to surrender and give up these things and stop doing things for there own satisfaction and only work for the satisfaction of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. These people obviously don’t want Srila Prabhupada as their guru and claim he is dead and gone and look for bogus gurus…

      It is not impossible that there would be a ‘living’ bona fide guru out there. But he will not be in ISKCON or the Gaudiya Matha and he will be a disciple of Srila Prabhupada. But if you don’t really know what a bona fide guru is you will not be able to find him. The only way to know what a bona fide guru is is if you surrender to Srila Prabhupada, serve him, read his books and by Srila Prabhupada’s mercy advance to the point of madhyama-adhikari devotee. Because a neophyte devotee is not capable of distinguishing a bona fide guru from a bogus guru.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  18. Ramananda Roy Dass says:

    Dear Madhuvisa

    Thanks for your news letter and as what you have mentioned in your newsletter if Iskcon and ritvik are lying then who is telling the truth other than Prabhupada himself? If according to final order, whose final order is that and i want to know who is behind this exposing of the final order at first, because suppose it’s a very confidential letter of GBC which they don’t want any one of us to see, but how does it leak this need to be find out and each and every one of us need to surrender to him accept him as representtive of Prabhupada because he has opened our darkened eyes. This is my opinion HARE KRISHNA.

    • Hare Krishna Ramanananda Roy Prabhu

      Prabhupada’s ‘final order’ is his July 9th, 1977 letter. And that was mailed to all Temple Presidents and GBCs in ISKCON a few days latter. So at that time, before Prabhupada left his body, this ‘final order’ was quite widely distributed, because Prabhupada ordered Ramesvara to duplicate it and send it to everyone. But of course in Jan 1978 Satsvarupa lied in the BTG magazine and claimed that Prabhupada appointed diksa gurus, not ritviks and this July 9th letter of Srila Prabhupada disappeared somehow…

      Since then we have had many years of Guru Hell in ISKCON…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  19. jugdus says:

    Hi there, i would like to add the following to this discussion:-

    From a Back to Godhead magazine – Back to Godhead Magazine #13-01/02, 1978 Srila Prabhupäda Disappearance Edition….. “When asked who would succeed him as the leader of the Krishna consciousness movement, Srila Prabhupäda replied: “All of my disciples will take the legacy. If you want, you can also take it. Sacrifice everything. I—one—may soon pass away. But they are hundreds, and this movement will increase. It’s not that I’ll give an order: ‘Here is the next leader.’ Anyone who follows the previous leadership is a leader. I don’t make any distinction between Indian and European. All my disciples are leaders… as much as they follow purely. If you want to follow, then you can also lead. But you dont want to follow. ‘Leader’ means (one who is a first-class disciple. Evam paramparä-präptam. One who is perfectly following. Our instruction is, guru mukha-padma-väkya. Do you know this? Äna nä kariha mane äsä. [My only desire is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from the lotus mouth of my spiritual master’]. To become a leader is not very difficult, provided one is prepared to follow the instructions of the bonafide guru.”

    Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami was an acharya – one who taught by his personal example. He accepted initiation from his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami (a bona-fide guru who accepted Gora Kishore das babaji as his spiritual master) and followed the instructions of his spiritual master. He pleased his spiritual master and his spiritual master introduced him to Krishna. So in that way each and everyone of us needs to link up with the living representative of Krishna, just as Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami taught us by his own example. If we follow the example given by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami then we can also know and love the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna. We will be “Guru” – heavy – heavy laden with the fruit of pure love for the Lord, and if it is pleasing to the Lord we can take disciples and lead them back home back to Godhead, because we know, and live, the science of Krishna.

    Krishna knows our heart – what our real desire is – if we really want Him, He will direct us to his living representative – a bona fide guru. If we don’t really want Krishna then he will direct us to a “lagu” ( lite weight – one who has no love for Krishna). So we all get what we want by Sri Krishna’s grace – Guru or Lagu. So if you want to know who is a living representative of Krishna, then you ask Krishna, he will help you find guru or lagu, according to your hearts desire.

    Regards to you all

    Yajnesvara das

  20. Rati says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,

    All glories to the bona fide guru, Srila Prabhupada!

    Good presentation, thank you for your clarity on this matter. But, having defeated both the major camps (ISKCON and Ritvik), what path do you encourage devotees to take? There must be a practical alternative where a devotee can whole heartedly apply themself – what is this option? What is a devotee to do knowing that both of these parties are fatally flawed?
    I am eager to hear your suggestions.

    yours in Srila Prabhupada’s service,


    • Surely you know what the alternative is? ISKCON are lying, the ritviks are lying, you can go to the source, Srila Prabhupada, and hear from him surrender to him, serve him, follow his instructions… And then you will be safe from all the lies… Prabhupada is the alternative to all this bogus nonsense.

      People seem to be very thick on this point. Prabhupada is a living guru. He is living in his books and we just have to pick them up and read them and he will talk to us personally and answer all our questions. But of course we have to surrender to at least the basic things like chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, strictly following the four regulative principles, rising before 4:00 AM and offering mangal aroti and chanting and reading Prabhupada’s books. Prabhupada teaches us to be 24 hours a day engaged in the service of Krishna. So if we are going to follow him then we have to adjust our lives so we can do this.

      Prabhupada explains things in a very clear and unambiguous way. So any sincere person, they can understand exactly what he is saying, so it is not really difficult to know what we should be doing. Prabhupada makes that very clear. We just have to do it.]

      The reality is most people do not really want to surrender to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna so they prefer to accept to a cheating guru [and they don’t surrender to him either…] like Krishna Kant or a bogus ISKCON guru… This is the world of the cheaters and the cheated. Most do not want to surrender so they accept a cheating guru and ISKCON and the ritviks are both catering to this big market…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  21. Ramananda das says:

    Hare Krishna Madhuvisa Prabhu,

    Thank you for your email.I agree with many of the points you made and many of the answers to questions put by mainly new devotees.I am a disciple of one of Srila Prabhupads Godbrothers.Although i was a follower of Bhavananda and later Prabhavishnu.So i agree totally that there are not any qualified gurus in ISKCON.

    I started reading Prabhupads books about 1972.I never found such a statement that Prabhupad would be the last Acarya in the Parampara.In fact in so many places i read that there was an expectation that successor gurus would be trained.Of course i am well aware that ISKCON has a shocking record for ”guru” falldown.At this time at least 43 have bloobed.

    Much as we know of all the scams and other rackets in that society.Ithink the guru business is just a gigantic scam,playing with peoples spiritual lives.
    But surely if Prabhupad intended that in future if no qualified gurus were in Iskcon,there would still be other qualified Vaishnavas on the planet.After all ISKCON is like a brand,prior to SP going to America ,there was no such label.

    Srila Bhaktisiddanta Saraswati Goswami ,The Six Goswamis,even Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu,were not members of ISKCON.
    Reading authorised shastra is always beneficial for the devotees but it is also necessary to have sadhusanga.So i agree with you partially.
    Certainly the modern day ISKCON is a hodge podge of Hinduism,new age,mayavadi and many other deviations.They have departed totally from Prabhupads Vision of a worldwide pure spiritual movement.

    Dandavat pranams,

    Ramananda das.

    • Hare Krishna Ramananda Prabhu

      Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

      You have a history of accepting bogus gurus and from my observation the devotee who accept bogus gurus just keep on accepting more bogus gurus one after another. Somehow you have not read or accepted what Srila Prabhupada has said about the Gaudiya Matha. Long, long ago the Gaudiya Matha became completely bogus and they have had no bona fide gurus since they rejected the orders of Srila Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur after his disappearance. He did not appoint any successor guru but rather instructed that the Gaudiya Matha should be managed by a GBC. But they did not make a GBC, the unauthorizedly appointed one acharya and that failed and another and fighting in the courts over the properties of the Gaudiya Matha and all book printing and preaching was stopped. So Prabhu Srila Prabhupada has declared in his purports to Sri Caitanya-caritamrta that from the disciples of Srila Bhaktsiddhanta there are two groups, the ISKCON group and the Gaudiya Matha group. But the GM group have become asara, useless, because they rejected the orders of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, whereas [at that time], the ISKCON group was very strictly following the teachings of Srila Bhaktsiddhanta.

      So the Gaudia Matha group is useless Prabhu. They were long ago disconnected from the Caitanya tree. So there is no way you are going to get Krishna except through Srila Prabhupada. That is where the life is. There may be still some faint hope for ISKCON. We all hope for that. But practically they are now useless, asara, just like the Gaudiya Matha.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Your servant

      Madhudvisa dasa

  22. sadhana says:

    pamho.agtSP. Hare krsna prabhu, Thank you for your article, on guru I have already taken first iniciation 2 n half years ago, And i find it has nt helped me much in my spiritual life as of politics that goes on with in the movement.
    If you’re rich then you can be near gurumaharaj be able to serve him, where’s in my case being single mother n middle class i hardly keep in touch or get to serve my guru! it’s sad n I though it would help me with my sadhana, so now i’m not ready or going to rush with bramhan diksa, it is confusing and my children say’s that you do not need a guru to take you back home as long you chant 16 rounds n follow the 4 principles! n be clean n honest at heart! I feel having guru is to gain status with in movement n to be able to do services? I also feel it’s not being followed as srila Prabhupada establised the movement.
    What can you advise prabhu please?

  23. Sambhu das says:

    Wll first of all; I get the impression that Rochana want’s to become guru and why coldn’t Srila Prabhupada be able to be my guru?

  24. meritxell says:

    No entiendo mucho el ingles. Me gustaria saber si puedo recibir el libro en español si lo tienen “QUE SABROSO” pues hace muchos años lo tenia y lo perdí. Sólo queria ese libro .gracias y sino esta en español en ingles .

    • Hare Krishna Meritxell

      Unfortunately almost all of Prabhupada’s books are out of print in Spanish. BBT does not seem to be interested in printing them. Even Spanish Bhagavad-gita is out of print now for a long time. We do have a few Spanish Prabhupada books at:

      And the Spanish ‘folio’ is there that has all of Prabhupada’s books in Spanish that you can read on your computer…

      If you really want to become Krishna conscious it is better to learn English and read Prabhupada’s original English books.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  25. Damodar fas says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhuji. Thank you for the wonderful article. Please tell me how we can know if a guru is qualified or not? On one hand I have to realize the insignificance of myself and on the other hand I have to recognize a pure devotee, I am confused. Please advise.

    • Hare Krishna Damodara Prabhu

      You should read the other answers to the other questions. I have already answered this question at least twice.

      There is no way a neophyte devotee can tell who is a bona-fide guru and who is a cheater. That is why it is very, very dangerous to remain a neophyte devotee.
      You already know that Srila Prabhupada is a bona-fide guru. Surrender to him, serve him, read his books and strictly follow all the instructions he gives you when you are reading his books and then, if you surrender to him and serve him nicely you will get his mercy and he will be happy to accept you as his disciple and then by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada you will make advancement in spiritual life and be elevated to the platform of madhyama-adhakri and then you will be able to see who is a devotee, who is envious and who is innocent.

      Without knowledge and advancement in spiritual life you can not tell who is a devotee and who is a demon. The demons like the idea of becoming the guru and they flock to places where they can be gurus, priests, etc. They love it. Because the guru is worshiped as god, and the demons want to be worshiped as god. It is perfect for them. So they undergo great austerity so they can ‘play the part’ and get the worship and fame, profit, adoration, distinction and money that gurus get…

      And of course the demon gurus do not like real gurus and push them out of the way if there happen to be any…

      That is the general way of the world. It is only very rarely we get the chance to have the association of a bona-fide spiritual master and Srila Prabhupada is a bona-fide spiritual master and you have the chance to associate with him so do it!!! Read his books and follow his instructions and you will have a bona-fide guru and you will be on the right path.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  26. Radhavallabha dasa says:

    Hare Krsna Prabhu all glories to Srila Prabhupada

    Srila Prabhupada authorized some of His disciples to be representatives of the acarya and more could be added as needed. Everything is there to carry on the disciplic succession.
    Rocana doesn’t accept the July 9th order He does everything in his power to defeat it. He wants to be seen as guru same as the bogus gurus of ISKCON.
    Show the quotes in any of Srila Prabhupada’s books where He says that He wants His disciples to be diksa gurus.
    personally i am nothing but i have read,studied, listen to and watched His videos and never have i seen any authorization to become other than representative of the acarya.

    Radhavallabha dasa

    • Hare Krishna Radhavallabha Prabhu

      Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

      Of course you are correct Prabhu. There is no question, Srila Prabhupada only appointed some of his disciples who he authorized to accept disciples on his behalf, that is all. And he empowered the GBC to add new ‘representatives of the acharya’ as needed. He never authorized the GBC to rubber-stamp gurus… Gurus can not be created by some committee on their power.

      You should study Srila Prabhupada’s books again Prabhu. There is no mention of ‘representative of the acharya’ in Prabhupada’s books. There are so many instructions to his disciples to become qualified gurus and do what he is doing and make disciples, etc.

      You can see some of those quotes in:

      There is absolutely no question, Prabhupada has ordered his disciples to become qualified diksa gurus and if one of them or some of them are able to do this that will be very pleasing to him. In fact this is Lord Caitanya’s order and Prabhupada is carrying it and we have to hear it… Not lie about it… This order is there hundreds of times in Prabhupada’s teachings. Of course bona fide guru is the actual representative of the acharya…

      Of course bona-fide guru is self-effulgent, he rises like the sun and every non-envious person can see. Like Prabhupada did. It is not that anyone or any GBC can authorize people and magically make them gurus by their decree.

      It is a great mess, the ritviks are lying to try and establish that none of Prabhupada’s disciples can become diksa gurus ever, and ISKCON is lying saying that all devotees should be gurus and there is no qualification for that. Both positions are of course absolutely false. You may have seen Bhakti Vikasa Swami’s latest. He claims the only qualification of a diksa guru is ‘strictly following’. Presumablsy he means the four regulative principles and chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra a day. But a new bhakta is expected to do this… So he is a great rascal also… The same old, “any devotee in good standing is a qualified diksa guru.” Demoniac rubbish. This has destroyed so many disciples and so many bogus gurus…

      The tendency is so strong to twist the teachings of Srila Prabhupada to suit one’s own opinion and that destroys everything. We have to actually surrender to Srila Prabhupada and accept what he says and not twist it to suit our own ends…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  27. JyotirDhama dasa says:

    Thank you Madhudvisa prabhu, your conclusion is in synchronization with what I have been hearing and reading in Prabhupada’s books and lectures. Not only do yours and Prabhupada’s conclusions concur, but it reminds me of my US Navy time as a shipboard electrician. There were two electrical generator’s on the ship and they had to be synchronized or “in phase” in order to simultaneously put power from both on the ships electrical grid. If one tried to connect them when they were out of phase, the result could be catastrophic. So some of the modern guru arguments seem to be out of synch with the system Krishna created, what Prabhupada teaches us and when you have reiterated in your email. When the conclusions are in synch, it just feels more powerful. When the conclusions are out of synch, it feels like trouble.

  28. Marija says:

    Thank you for your email Madhudvisa.Yes- srotriyam -Ihave learn more. I am glad-brahman-‘transcendental, liberated, no longer affected by maya.So High!

  29. Mannash says:

    Hare Krishna Maharaj
    the matter u raised is very pertinent…Prabhu is there not a single person in ISKCON who is a qualified spiritual master…
    there are so many big names in ISKCON, are all of them just for the name shake…
    is there no one who is authorised by Srila Prabhupada…
    i have seen that the person following Ritwik system are using abusive language for other grp this was certain not taught by srila prabhupad…

    is Rathanath Swami, Loknath Swami, GKG, Bhakti Vinoda Swami, Jai Pataka Swami Sankarsan Das Adhikari and many others non of them are qualified?
    are they all deceiving their disciple?

    i know that u are also one of the disciple of Srila Prabhupad, r u not accepting disciples…
    and how can v find that who is an authorised representative of Srila Prabhupad

    Kindly advice

    yours Servant

    • Hare Krishna Mannash

      Yes Prabhu. Not a single ISKCON “guru” is bona-fide. They are all deceiving their disciples.

      No actual bona-fide guru would ever agree to become a servant of a mundane committee [the GBC] and agree to lie to their disciples in accordance with what the current ISKCON GBC policy may be. A real bona-fide guru is only surrendered to his bona-fide guru and Krishna. He hears what his guru says and repeats that to his disciples. ISKCON gurus are not permitted to do that. The GBC have changed and redefined so many of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and the ISKCON gurus must preach the GBC opinion, if instead they repeat what Srila Prabhupada taught them then the GBC will get angry with them and may take away their disciples and guru badge…

      No one in such a compromised position can be a bona-fide guru.

      For example ISKCON have changed many of Srila Prabhupada’s books and ISKCON devotees and gurus are not permitted to read and distribute Prabhupada’s original books. Prabhupada’s original books are called ‘ritvik books’ in ISKCON and are effectively banned. There are ISKCON gurus who think this is wrong but they can not say anything for fear of upsetting the GBC and loosing their “Guru badge”.

      The GBC have turned the process of deity worship on its head, ISKCON Diety worship is nouruw upside down compared to what Prabhupada teaches us. And ISKCON gurus must accept this new upside down system and must teach their disciples to offer everything directly to Krishna and offer Krishna prasadam to Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada clearly says this is bogus and Krishna does not accept anything if it is offered in this way. He teaches us that we should offer everything to him and he will offer it to Srila Bhaktsiddhanta and in this way, through the disciplic succession, the offerings will go to Krishna. In fact that is the position of the bona-fide spiritual master. He accepts the offerings of the disciples on behalf of Krishna and offers them to Krishna through the param-para. But that is not allowed now in ISKCON and gurus can not teach deity worship to their disciples the way Srila Prabhupada teaches it to us. If they do the GBC will get mad at them.

      The GBC have turned so many aspects of ISKCON into something quite different from what Prabhupada teaches, and the ISKCON gurus must follow the GBC ‘party line’ or loose their ‘guru badge’ and disciples.

      So there are no bona-fide gurus in ISKCON.

      Prabhupada is living with us in his books. All you have to do is read Srila Prabhupada’s books and follow the instructions Srila Prabhupada gives to you as you read his books and in this way if you surrender to Srila Prabhupada and serve him he will be very happy to accept you as his disciple. You do not need any third person to make this happen. You just have to surrender to the process of submissively hearing from Srila Prabhupada and really surrender to him and really follow the instructions he gives you. And you will be a Prabhupada disciple.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  30. cristina de Jesus Avarez says:

    Hare Krishna. me siento realizada desde que estoy leyendo el Gita. gracias por estos escritos que me llenan de vida verdadera.
    Hare Krishna. I feel fulfilled since I’m reading the Gita. Thanks for these writings that fill me with real life.

  31. kumaraswamy Reddy Penubolu says:

    HARE KRISHNA My dear Hare Krishna movement devotees and elder devotees with pranams, I humbly request every one to behave as Sri Krishna Bhagawan Bhaktha renuvu and Srila Prabhu pada sishyas. I do not know why some are proclaiming as Gurus in this age ie in 1900s 200s when good old tradition of guru deeksha is no more available.Let the membeers administering temples be called committee members and pujaris. One need not prostrate before chief ofthe temple say for example Tirupati or Bangalore,in Bharath,so also at other places.We observe many peetadhipathis being worshipped and feel that they are God men. I think all this will give them negative result. As I remarked in the article What happened to Hare Krishna movement let all the temples following Srila Prabhupads traditions shall unite as one organisation.They can have committee meetings and also regular audit of funds every year. With humble pranams Kumaraswamy Reddy Penubolu from Nellore city Andhra pradesh 524003 Bharath

  32. Anuradha Dasi says:

    Madhudvisa dasa,

    Thank You very much for your service.

    All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

  33. sneh says:

    who is your guru prabhuji?
    I have a desire of having a guru but confused with my decision.
    Hare Krishna.

  34. abhijeet says:

    If I follow the 4 principal [rules] and chanting properly ; go to sunday feast and most our ISKCON’s program and do seva [ as my capacity] than there is need
    to take diksha..?

    • There is need for you to have a bona fide spiritual master and you have to surrender to him and serve him. So read Srila Prabhupada’s books and surrender to him and serve him and you will be very safe. If you can please Srila Prabhupada in this way he will give you diksa. It’s not that you don’t need a spiritual master. You need a spiritual master, but you certainly do not want someone who is lying to you about the qualifications of a bona fide guru as your spiritual master. Prabhu if you take initiation from a spiritual master who is not a pure devotee of Krishna he can not help you to become a pure devotee of Krishna. So you must be careful to have a devotee on the topmost platform as your spiritual master.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  35. Aime D says:

    Dear Madhudvisa dasa

    Hare Krishna

    Please receive my respect and thanks for generous service in teaching Krishna consciousness. After 2 years reading on and off Bhaghavad Gita as it is, I went to Iskcon temple to join devotees for Sankirtan or feasts. I read or listen to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada lecture, books and increase in awareness to follow regulative principles and recite Mahamantra to get up to daily minimum of 16 rounds of Japa. Devotees invited me to read follow guru teachings. I found these gurus often repeat scriptures or quote His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writings. Some seem to feel pressure from devotees to seek for a guru they relate to. I pondered to find one and to attend classes for initiation in Iskcon but reading your text, and am weary of gnostic cults type, I reconsidered not to for the moment.

    I did share readings with devotees about topics I read about on Krishna Consciousness and the devotee will say something like : “be careful who you read online and of those that teach about Krishna may not follow disciplic succession like we do”.

    I decide to heed your advice and find in His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada teachings the bonafide Guru he talks about and to live in austerity as much as possible and not Associate regularly with Iskcon devotees. I know they request to consider the temple a place for devotion and not for a social hang out. They’ve discreetly asked on the progress I make in devotion and in Krishna Consciousness. They are good people but they might miss that Guru’s may knowingly or unknowingly keep disciples in materialistic approach.

    Please advise on how I can experience Krishna Consciousness and be of service outside Iskcon and devotees’s association?


    Your servant

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      The point is to follow Srila Prabhupada’s instructions. Chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, strictly follow the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] and read Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day. Without this you will not be able to become Krishna conscious. Then just speak to everyone you meet about Krishna. If you want to speak about Krishna then Krishna will send people to you who want to hear about Krishna. That’s all. Just read Prabhupada’s books and follow the instructions he gives you while you are reading and everything will become very auspicious in your life.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhdvisa dasa

      • Aime D says:

        Dear Madhudvisa dasa

        Hare Krishna

        Thank you, with these replies I understand nuances of Srila Prabhupada teaching on this topic and why be against ISKCON request to find guru who aren’t Krishna pure devotees and follow Srila Prabhupada who teach requirement to become Krishna conscious. From your reply I keep at heart to ‘speak to “everyone” you meet about Krishna. This led to recall Srila Prabhupada lecture : …When he develops attachment for Kṛṣṇa. Nobody can certify him. He will certify himself….

        and also … That is first qualification, enthusiastic.


        Your servant

  36. ronnell bennett says:

    What are we that seek to follow Prabhupada’s instructions are to do in regards to seeking a bonafide guru? How are we to find Bonafide Guru in such a Poisonous Environment?

    • Hare Krishna Ronnell

      It is not possible for a beginning devotee (kanistha adhikari) to tell the difference between a bona fide spiritual master and someone who is pretending to be a bona fide spiritual master for some personal benefit. This is only possible when a devotee has advanced to the platform of madhyama adhikari.

      So it is really a very rare thing and a very great fortune to get the opportunity to associate with a pure devotee of Krishna. It is by his mercy that we get the chance to associate with Srila Prabhupada and the only way to become Krishna conscious is by the association of a pure devotee of Krishna. So we do not know what is a pure devotee of Krishna but by his mercy he comes to us and preaches to us the science of Krishna consciousness.

      So you know that Srila Prabhupada is a pure devotee of Krishna and he has given us so many books where he very clearly describes what is a pure devotee of Krishna, so if you study Srila Prabhupada’s books and put the instructions you will find him giving you into practice in your life you will advance to the stage of a madhyam-adhikari devotee and then you will be able to see who is a bona fide guru and who is a cheater. Otherwise it is not possible. You have to learn it first.

      Srila Prabhupada often gives the example of a man who wants to purchase some gold, but he does not know what gold is or where to purchase it. So if he goes to grocer and says “I want to purchase some gold,” the grocer will immediately know this man is a fool and does not know what gold is or where you can get it from. So the grocer can very easily cheat this foolish man, he can give him something yellow and tell him it is gold and take all his money. So if you do not know what a bona fide guru is then so many rascals who want to exploit you and take your money will present themselves as gurus to you and you will be cheated. Because you do not know what a bona fide guru is.

      So we have to study Srila Prabhupada’s books, surrender to him, serve him, make advancement in spiritual advancement until we get to the stage of madhyam-adhikari and then we will be able to tell the difference between a bona fide guru and a cheater.

      So Srila Prabhupada is a bona fide guru, accept him and you will not be cheated.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  37. amit says:

    krishna said we need to approach a self realized soul,now how can i know if a person is bonafide or not?

    • Hare Krishna Amit

      You can not know if a person is a bona fide guru or a bogus guru unless you know what a bona fide guru is. Actually neophyte devotees do not have the power of distinguishing between a bona fide guru and a bogus guru so being a neophyte devotee is a very dangerous position to be in. So you have to find out from Srila Prabhupada how you can advance in Krishna consciousness and when, by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, you have advanced to the position of a madhyama-adhikari devotee, then you will be able to tell the difference between a bona fide guru and a bogus guru.

      But as a general guide you can assume that all the modern gurus are bogus and you will generally be correct. A Vaisnava acharya is self-effulgent, he rises like the sun. Like Srila Prabhupada rose like the sun and spread the light of Krishna consciousness all over the world. Everyone knows that Prabhupada is a bona fide guru. Even his enemies have to accept this and are forced to offer him respects. This is a bona fide guru. Self effulgent. He does not have to advertise himself as a bona fide guru. Everyone can see he is a bona fide guru…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  38. Yogendra Dutt says:

    Hare Krishna sh Madhudwisa Ji,
    Thank you for writing and sharing your views on the unfortunate wranglings that have become so typical of many an institution of fine repute and long standing in India.

    Every right minded person would clearly see your point and no doubt will agree that Srila Prabhupada will remain the real guru ever residing in devotees hearts and will always be the guiding light in their spiritual journey.
    Sometimes of course the need of a ‘ physical living guru ‘ may be felt by a devotee to be able to rise above the hold of Maya and attain the ultimate Truth. You rightly say that such a guru should be Qualified in that he himself should be a Brahmnishtha. My question is how to know that a person is really Brahmnishtha and thus worthy of being a guru.

    • Hare Krishna Yogendra

      I am not “sharing my views” Prabhu. I am sharing Srila Prabhupada’s views. I have no views. It is a fact that both ISKCON and the Ritviks are lying when it comes to guru and no sane person can question this. It is a fact. It is not my ‘view.’

      As far as being able to tell if someone is brahmanistham or not that a neophyte devotee does not have the power to tell. As I have written many times today only after one reaches the platform of madhyama adhikari can he tell the difference between a demon and a devotee.

      You know the demons are very much attracted to the position of guru. The guru is worshiped by the disciples as god. And the demons what to be worshiped like god, so in many cases the people who want to become gurus are doing it for some personal benefit, and this is demoniac. But the demons in many cases will be attached to performing austerities. Many demons believe in the Vedas and follow the Vedic principles to increase their demoniac strength. Hiranyakasipu for example was a great follower of the Vedas. When his brother was killed by Lord Varaha he comforted his family members by preaching to them the Vedic philosophy that we are not the body but the spirit soul. And when he wanted to become very powerful so he could kill Lord Visnu he went to the Mandachala Mountain and performed very severe austerities, following the Vedic process, and he did become very powerful, more powerful than almost everyone else in the material world… So demons can become very enthusiastic in following the regulative principles and performing austerities. Generally they do not like chanting Hare Krishna very much, but they can fake that, so it is very difficult, practically impossible, for a neophyte devotee to tell the difference between a demon pretending to be a devotee so he can get fame, profit, adoration and distinction for himself, and an actual pure devotee who is simply a surrendered soul at the lotus feet of Krishna…

      So the point is we know Srila Prabhupada is a pure devotee of Krishna, a bona fide guru, and such a great soul is very, very rare. So obviously we should accept him as our spiritual master and follow his instructions and become Krishna conscious.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  39. guddu says:

    Hare Krishna
    Dandvat Pranams
    As far as i have learnt that “without root whole tree falls down”
    So as far as ur articals i have learnt the bonafide pure devotee of Supreme Lord is the only means of delivering enslaved jivas from immense pain of material life.
    So when some unqualified person pretends as a pure devotee….and misleads innocent people…Why does Supreme Lord allow this to happen at all ???
    I mean He is All Powerful…He can easily resist this and thus stop innocent people from having a spiritual fall ????
    I dont understand why Krishna doesnt stop this Himself ???
    i beg pardon to Krishna and His own Pure devotees if my question is offensive
    I admit that i am an ignorant fool in spiritualism and that’s why such questions came to my mind .

    • Hare Krishna Guddu

      It is because this is the world of the cheaters and the cheated. It is of course very obvious that you can not become a pure devotee by the guidance of someone who is not a pure devotee. But most people want to be cheated. They want a guru but they want to remain a materialist also. So most phe eople want cheating gurus. Therefore many cheating gurus come and they get many disciples and they all go to Hell.

      An actual devotee will read Srila Prabhupada’s books and see the type of person Srila Prabhupada is and will understand that this is the standard for a guru and he will not be cheated by the unlimited number of bogus cheating gurus.

      They want cheating gurus and the cheating gurus want people to cheat so it goes on like this. A real guru is very rare but so is a person who is actually looking for and prepared to surrender to a real guru…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy.

      Madhudvisa dasa

  40. Anoop says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhuji please accept my humble obeisances, thanks for your kind emai. please keep sending.

  41. Joseph Filice says:

    I have always maintained your view. Originally introduced to Krishna consciousness by impure devotees, was just the start of my spiritual path. In reading Prahbupada’s books I quickly realized that there were no pure personalities around me except Prahupad’s expanded energy through his books.

  42. Krishna Das says:

    Dear sir PAMHO AGTSP

    I think your article can be great if you provide proof for what you say. For example you say: “If any sincere person takes the time to read Srila Prabhupada’s books and letters he will find in reality Srila Prabhupada’s desire is that all of his disciples become QUALIFIED diksa gurus and accept disciples.” If you can give quotes it would be so much stronger. Please keep in mind that I’m not so intelligent and if I have to search it myself then it will be difficult(I’m not saying that you are wrong!).

    Please help us.


    Krishna Das

  43. Govinda Dasi says:

    Dear Prabhus,

    Please accept my most humble obeisances. Yes, I agree with much of what Madhudvisa Prabhu is saying. Srila Prabhupada did indeed WANT his disciples to become qualified to serve as gurus to others, but sadly, in most cases this has been a big disappointment. He saw this, well in advance, and therefore he did not leave any succcessor guru as is often done. As Srila Prabhupada’s dear friend, Bagaji, said, “He never appointed anyone, they have simply done this, that’s all.” Bagaji (who donated the land for the Vrindaban Gurukul) was near our Srila Prabhupada in Vrindaban much of the time; and near him toward the end of his life. They spoke in Hindi, of course, so much of it was not intelligible to us westerners.

    However, in order for the institution of Iskcon to continue, some form of initiation had to be implemented. What should have continued was the ritvik initiation system that Srila Prabhupada already had in place. But perhaps due to immaturity, many young disciples took on responsibilities that they were actually not ready for. In many cases, they were sincere, but they did not realize the magnitude of the job of guru. We all know the result of this. It has been a tragedy for many sincere souls seeking the truth of Krishna consciousness. So much confusion has resulted, and it seems there is no way to correct it all.

    From another perspective, however, one may see that Srila Prabhupada’s unique position of World Acharya, his greatness, could have been lost to the world if that Elevated Eleven system had worked. In fact, he was brushed aside and pushed into the closet for a few years; that was the greatest suffering for many of Srila Prabhupada’s disciiples, and it is why perhaps 90% of them backed away from the movement they worked so hard to build. And it is also why the disastrous book changes took place; most of Prabhupada’s disciples were grieving our loss, while a handful were traveling around and having $50,000 birthday parties, and in the midst of that madness, Srila Prabhupada’s original books were radically edited and stripped of their original beauty and shakti.

    We are eternally grateful to the handful of hard-working disciples who managed to rescue Srila Prabhupada’s books from the rubbish bin. Srila Prabhupada’s original books were out of print and unavailable for over 20 years; they would have been lost to posterity if not for the hard work of so many sincere disciples who understood the seriousness of the situation. Such devotees will have the special blessings of Srila Prabhupada; I am convinced of this.

    So far as the guru situation is concerned, I doubt this issue will be solved by debate, quarrel, or stone-throwing. We need to remember that Krishna in the heart, as Chaitya guru, sends the soul to a guru suitable to their individual needs, or karmas. Not everyone will get a great guru like Srila Prabhupada. But some sort of teacher must be there. Most people cannot simply read the books and get the inspiration they need to change their lives; they need some good devotee association. Perhaps not necessarily a “patented” guru, but some good satsang.

    I think we should be tolerant of this need, and respect the fact that all devotees are not exactly the same; their needs may vary. Sometimes I see a person who is incredibly inspired by some senior devotee, and I never discourage this. I see this as Krishna in the heart guiding that devotee toward a person he or she can relate to, and thus inspiring him onward in Krishna consciousness. And many of my Godbrothers and Godsisters are very inspiring and exalted devotees; they have much to offer to new and fledgling devotees.

    However, taking on the “Guru Mantle” is something else. With it comes huge responsibility: taking on the karmas of another soul, accepting worship, dakshine, control of the lives of others–this is not something to be taken lightly. I question whether any one of us is qualified for that. A safer path would be to preach widely, give Hare Nama to whomever we meet, and wait patiently for the time when more pure devotees roam the earth. After all, Srila Prabhupada often said, “From the children of your children, pure devotees will be coming out…” He is sending in reinforcements, souls of higher calibre that do not have the karmic baggage that most of us have.

    And if some sort of “initiation” is needed, to be accepted into the institution, receive a spiritual name, and to make the vows before the fire, then that can be done as it was done prior to Srila Prabhupada’s departure from this world. Without all the worship and fanfare and hoopla that is going on in the name of guruhood. After all, there ARE many different types of gurus–or teachers–and we do need them. And we SHOULD offer our respects to those who take time and concern to teach us about Krishna, or for that matter, anything–cooking, painting, yoga, real estate, gardening, or whatever.

    It seems that things are moving in this direction, with a lot of explosive argument and fanfare along the way. After all, Srila Prabhupada IS still guiding this movement; he is not gone. He is working through his disciples, grand-disciples, admirers, and anyone who takes up the sincere chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. As time goes on, I think things will stabilize and become a more sane environment in regards to this guru issue.

    However, Srila Prabhupada’s books continue to be butchered, altered, changed, and desecrated, even as we speak. This issue is one that is worth our time and energy. Srila Prabhupada came here to this world “to write some books.” Those books have the power to change the course of history; our greatest duty is to protect them from loss, and to leave his teachings intact for posterity. This is my humble opinion.

    Your servant and sister, Govinda dasi

  44. Raghu says:

    Dear Madhivisa

    In regards to my last comment why you have not responded, I now see where you have answered the question, although to another person.

    “You should consider Srila Prabhupada as your spiritual master. There is no need for formal initiation or any ritvik or anything. Prabhupada is living in his books and you can read his books and he will instruct you what you should do in your life and if, in this simple way, you surrender to Srila Prabhupada and serve him by following his instructions, you will be initiated by Srila Prabhupada.”

    At least now I understand your stance. All the best in your spiritual growth and may you always have mercy for others.

    Hare Krsna
    Raghunatha dasa.

  45. Uma Sridhar says:

    Hare Krishna!

    Pranam Swamiji,

    It very unfortunate and painful that after our Guru Shri Prabhupada Maharaj, ISKON could not find, a qualified, devotee Guru to guide. However, a devotee should not bother about all these politics. Our Gurudev is not physically present but he is living in his books and guiding us how to improve our spiritual life and how to become sincere devotee of Lord Krishna.

    Here I humbly want to convey you that my every prayer first I remember our Sri Prabhupada then I start doing chanting and simply following the instructions given by him. I visit Gaudiya temple nearby every weekend, I participate in arti, listen spiritual lectures delivered by the sanyasis in the mutt but I maintain some distance. Even their sidhantha is same; they follow Sri Narayana Goswami as their Guru.

    As far as I am concerned my vision is clear, My Guru is only Sri Prabhupada, and his teachings changed my life, and he opened my eyes and showed the real path . It does not make me any difference whether he is physically present or not. His blessings/teachings are with me; I find my doubts are cleared,.

    I am very grateful to read nice letters from you Prabhuji.

    With Pranam

    Hare Krishna

    Uma Sridhar

  46. Nikhil says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu. Dandavat Pranaams to you.

    Thanks for your mails. They are very encouraging for me. Your last mail has put me into little confusion. I want to know what should we do now ? Should we consider Srila Prabhupada as our spiritual master or anyone of the gurus who are giving initiations in ISKCON ?

    • Nikhil says:

      I mean to ask Prabhu What should be the position of the guru(Ritvik I mean) from whom a person has taken initiation at the present moment and of that of Srila Prabhupada.. ??

      • Hare Krisha Nikhil

        The ritvik is not a guru. He is a priest who performs the initiation ceremony on behalf of Srila Prabhupada. It is not that the ritvik is initiating the disciple. Prabhupada is initiating him. But the difficulty is of course the ritvik has to be authorized by Srila Prabhupada or by the GBC who Prabhupada empowered to add more ritviks when necessary. But the GBC lied and said the ritviks were zonal acaryas and so on… So now there is really no way for anyone to be authorized as a ritvik… There are people giving initiation on behalf of Srila Prabhupada but they really have no authorization to do that. It is not that anyone can just say “I am now giving initiation on behalf of Srila Prabhupada…” He has to be authorized by Srila Prabhupada or by the GBC…

        Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

        Madhudvisa dasa

    • You should consider Srila Prabhupada as your spiritual master. There is no need for formal initiation or any ritvik or anything. Prabhupada is living in his books and you can read his books and he will instruct you what you should do in your life and if, in this simple way, you surrender to Srila Prabhupada and serve him by following his instructions, you will be initiated by Srila Prabhupada.

  47. Hare Krishna Danudara Prabhu

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    I am absolutely not trying to establish that Srila Prabhupada left diksa gurus. That is an ISKCON lie. I am just pointing out that both ISKCON and the ritviks are lying when it comes to the guru issue which puts both sides into a compromised position and makes both sides of the argument useless.

    This ISKCON lie that Prabhupada appointed diksa gurus is well and truly debunked and not even ISKCON would dare to claim that Prabhupada appointed any diksa gurus now. ISKCON openly admit that Prabhupada never appointed any diksa gurus. Tamal Krishna Goswami confirms that Prabhupada only ever appointed ritviks to initiate disciples on his behalf, that he never at any point of time appointed any diksa gurus:

    “Actually, Prabhupada never appointed any gurus. He didn’t appoint eleven gurus. He appointed eleven ritviks. He never appointed them gurus. Myself and the other GBC have done the greatest disservice to this movement the last three years because we interpreted the appointment of ritviks as the appointment of gurus.” (from TKG’s Topanga Canyon Pyramid House Talks)

    The GBC have now officially apologized to the devotees for their mistake in accepting the 11 ritviks appointed by Srila Prabhupada as ‘zonal acharyas’, as Prabhupada’s successors, so even the GBC will now not claim that Prabhupada appointed any diksa gurus.

    Therefore at this point in time there is no one, not even in ISKCON, who are saying that Prabhupada ever appointed any diksa gurus. This idea is totally debunked and accepted by everyone as false, as a mistake, as a lie.

    Prabhupada only ever appointed 11 ritvik priests and empowered them to accept disciples on his behalf, and he empowered the GBC to add extra ritviks when necessary. And they all knew that very well. That is confirmed in writing and signed by Srila Prabhupada in his July 9th, 1977 letter.

    There are some fools in ISKCON that still lie that the July 9th letter was only for while Prabhupada was on the planet. But this is obviously false. On July 9th 1977 Prabhupada’s health was in such a critical condition that no one was expecting him to stay with us physically for very long. As far as the devotees knew Prabhupada may disappear on July 10th, so they were not at all concerned about how the initiations in ISKCON would go on during Srila Prabhupada’s presence… What they wanted to know is how the initiations in ISKCON would go on after Srila Prabhupada disappeared from our material vision. And Srila Prabhupada’s instructions in regard to this are very clearly given in his July 9th, 1977 letter.

    The importance of this letter is greater than any other letter ever written by Srila Prabhupada. To underline the importance of this letter Srila Prabhupada ordered that it be sent to Ramesvara at the BBT and he instructed Ramesvara to print many copies of this July 9th letter and mail a copy to every temple and GBC member in ISKCON. There is probably no other letter from Srila Prabhupada which was ever duplicated in so many copies and mailed out to every temple and GBC in ISKCON.

    To underline even further the fact that the July 9th letter is describing the system of initiations Prabhupada wants in ISKCON after he leaves his body Ramesvara duplicated and mailed out not just the July 9th letter, he stapeled it to Srila Prabhupadas last will, which obviously, like the July 9th letter, was related to how things would go on in ISKCON after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance. Ramesvara wrote a cover letter with the following introductory paragraph on July 11th, just two days after Prabhupada wrote his July 9th letter:

    “Please accept my most humble obeisances in the dust of your feet. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! I have just received some letters from Tamal Krishna Maharaja, and am enclosing herein two documents: 1) Srila Prabhupada’s final version of his last will, and 2) Srila Prabhupada’s initial list of disciples appointed to perform initiations for His Divine Grace. This initial list is also being sent to all centers.”

    So you see Ramesvara is saying Prabhupada’s July 9th letter contains the “initial list of disciples appointed to perform initiations for His Divine Grace.” This is a list of ritviks who will accept disciples on Srila Prabhupada’s behalf, not a list of diksa gurus!

    That is why when Srila Prabhupada left his body in November none of the new zonal acarayas accepted any of their own disciples until after the Jan-Feb 1978 BTG came out. They knew that Prabhupada had only appointed them as ritviks to accept disciples on his behalf… But at least some of them were not very satisfied with this…

    Everything changed when Satsvarupa declared in his “Notes from the Editor — What Now?” in the Jan 1978 BTG:

    “How then will ISKCON go on?…. during his last months in this world, Srila Prabhupada selected eleven senior disciples to act as initiating gurus who could accept disciples after his disappearance. In this way he insured the continuation of the parampara.”

    So this was the first big ISKCON guru lie. Satsvarupa is talking about Srila Prabhupada’s July 9th letter in which Prabhupada states three times that the disciples will be his, not the disciples of the “ritvik representative of the acharya” who will perform the initiation ceremony, but here Satsvarpa tells a bold-face lie and informs the entire ISKCON devotee community through Back to Godhead magazine that, “Srila Prabhupada selected eleven senior disciples to act as initiating gurus who could accept disciples after his disappearance.” This is a lie. 100% bold faced lie. Prabhupada only ever appointed these 11 disciples as ritvik and only ever empowered them to accept disciples on his behalf.

    Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

    Your servant

    Madhudvisa dasa



    Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

    July 9th, 1977

    To All G.B.C., and Temple Presidents

    Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,

    Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. Recently when all of the GBC members were with His Divine Grace in Vrndavana, Srila Prabhupada indicated that soon He would appoint some of His senior disciples to act as “rittik”-representative of the acarya, for the purpose of performing initiations, both first initiation and second initiation. His Divine Grace has so far given a list of eleven disciples who will act in that capacity:

    • His Holiness Kirtanananda Swami

    • His Holiness Satsvarupa dasa Gosvami

    • His Holiness Jayapataka Swami

    • His Holiness Tamala Krishna Gosvami

    • His Holiness Hrdayananda Gosvami

    • His Holiness Bhavananda Gosvami

    • His Holiness Hamsaduta Swami

    • His Holiness Ramesvara Swami

    • His Holiness Harikesa Swami

    • His Grace Bhagavan dasa Adhikari

    • His Grace Jayatirtha dasa Adhikari

    In the past Temple Presidents have written to Srila Prabhupada recommending a particular devotee’s initiation. Now that Srila Prabhupada has named these representatives, Temple Presidents may henceforward send recommendation for first and second initiation to whichever of these eleven representatives are nearest their temple.

    After considering the recommendation, these representatives may accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada by giving a spiritual name, or in the case of second initiation, by chanting on the Gayatri thread, just as Srila Prabhupada has done.

    The newly initiated devotees are disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, the above eleven senior devotees acting as His representative.

    After the Temple President receives a letter from these representatives giving the spiritual name or the thread, he can perform the fire yajna in the temple as was being done before. The name of a newly initiated disciple should be sent by the representative who has accepted him or her to Srila Prabhupada, to be included in His Divine Grace’s “Initiated Disciples” book.

    Hoping this finds you all well.

    Your servant,

    Tamala Krishna Gosvami

    Secretary to Srila Prabhupada

    Approved: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

    [Srila Prabhupada’s signature appears on the original]

    • Peter says:

      Hare Krsna, Prabhu!

      Could you please give me some reference for the following statement (like GBC resolution number, or link to web page)? Thank you.

      “The GBC have now officially apologized to the devotees for their mistake in accepting the 11 ritviks appointed by Srila Prabhupada as ‘zonal acharyas’, as Prabhupada’s successors, so even the GBC will now not claim that Prabhupada appointed any diksa gurus.”


      • Hare Krishna Peter

        Why not ask the GBC this question? I do not read anything they write and I don’t care what they say so how can you expect me to quote from their nonsense resolutions.

        But no one claims that Prabhupada appointed any diksa gurus any more. You can look up Tamal Krsna’s Pyramid House Conversation and you will see he confirms this.

        Really you will not find any truth in the statements of the GBC or the teachings of todays ISKCON. So why not just seriously read Srila Prabhupada’s original books? You will get all perfect knowledge from Srila Prabhupada directly.

        Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

        Madhudvisa dasa

  48. Priyavtata das says:

    Dear Madhudvisa prabhu,

    I admire your scholarship and ability to make very complex and politically-charged issues rather simple to understand.

    Thank you for your service to Srila Prabhupada.

    ys and friend.

  49. Ruel Hernandez says:

    Hare Krishna,

    Thank you for sending me this article Prabhu Madhudvisa dasa. You don’t know how grateful i am to receive letter from you. You always remind me about Krishna when i’m almost already in the deep sea of ignorance.

    My question is, if there are qualified Gurus, then the aspiring disciple should also be qualified? You already explained about what is the qualified Guru, what about the aspiring disciple? What are the qualification? Can a sinful old man like me still be qualified?

    Hare Krishna,
    Ruel Hernandez

    • Hare Krishna Ruel

      The disciple’s qualification is that he has to surrender to the bona-fide spiritual master and follow his instructions. That is all. Anyone can do that and the real, bona fide guru can engage any surrendered soul in the service of Krishna. The problem is people don’t like to surrender to anyone so mostly even if they have a bona fide guru they don’t surrender to him… Then they are obviously not qualified disciples…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Kalyani says:

        Hare KrsnaPrabhu

        It is said in Gita that anyone serious to advance spiritually and get spiritual knowledge needs to approach a self-realised soul ,serve him ,ask him questions and take instructions from him.

        Srila Prabhupada lives in his Vani,instructions.

        Given the sad state of affairs you have mentioned in your article ,about finding a genuine bona-fide self-realised Guru who can and will be able to take their diciples Back to Krsna,isn’t it safer just to keep Srila Prabupada as the Guru.

        Is is not more imprtant to be sincerely dedicated to Srila Prabhupada and be assured to reach Krsna by acting according to Srila Prabhupada’s incstructions,than to run the risk of being comletely misguided by any other Guru?

        I know by Krsna’s grace and Guru Parampara’s grace and my own efforts,I can reach Krsna just by reading and implementing the Teachings in Srila Prabhupada’s book & discourses,by serving Krsna and his childrenthroughout my life.

        I rather do this,than be misguided by anyone.

        I am convinced without a shadow of a doubt that Dear Srila Prabhupada will safely deliver anyone who follows him with his heart and soul.

        Personally i feel initiation and accepting another Guru may be dangerous,as you point out, not many Guru’s if at all are able to deliver lost souls.

        I know I rather be safe than sorry and I am safe under Krsna,Guru Parampara to Srila Prabhupada. They hear our prayers and will deliver.


    • samdee says:

      Hare Krishna Mr. Hernandez,

      The concluding paragraph of Text 5 in Nectar of Instruction is quite instructive with regards to this conversation thread.

      “In this verse Srila Rupa Goswami advises the devotee to be intelligent to distinguish between the kanistha-adhikari, madhyama-adhikari and uttama-adhikari. The devotee should also know his own position and should not try to imitate a devotee situated on a higher platform. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur has given some practical hints to the effect than an uttama-adhikari Vaisnava can be recognized by his ability to convert many fallen souls to Vaisnavism. One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama adhikari. A neophyte Vaisnava or a Vaisnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, buth such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master.”

      Reading the entire chapter (text 5) and the entire book, The Nectar of Instruction (pre 1977, if possible) would be useful to better understand each of the three levels of adhikari and the basic teachings of Srila Prabhupad with regards to becoming a disciple.

      Hope this is useful to you.

      Hare Krishna,

  50. Suvarna says:

    Thank you for your article Prabhu. Very nice.

    I just some questions, and that is, if there are qualified Gurus, that can initiate, can those who would like to get ritvik initiation still take ritvik initiation, or do they HAVE to take initiation from a qualified “living” Guru if there is one available?

    On a side note Prabhu, I do not receive your newsletters anymore and can’t subscribe as I am already on the list. I’ve checked my junk mail folder, but there is nothing there.

    Your servant

    • Hare Krishna Suvarna

      No one can force anyone in regard to guru. It is a personal relationship between the guru and the disciple. And if the guru happens to be qualified then if the disciple surrenders to his bona fide guru and serves him by the mercy of the guru the disciple will get Krishna.

      As far as Srila Prabhupada, he is a bona fide guru, no one will argue that, he is living, anyone who argues with that is an ignorant and blind fool. Srila Prabhupada IS A LIVING GURU! So if one is so fortunate to accept Srila Prabhupada as his spiritual master he already has the best spiritual master and will not be looking for any other spiritual master. If you already have a bona fide spiritual master why would you be looking to take initiation from another, even if there was another bona-fide spiritual master available? This idea is very offensive and no real disciple who has actually got a bona fide spiritual master would ever consider it.

      However, it is Srila Prabhupada’s mission to create bona fide spiritual masters from at least one and hopefully many of his disciples. IF this does not happen Prabhupada’s mission will not be successful. Because, as we see now, without a ‘living guru’, even though we have Srila Prabhupada, it is very difficult to organize any practical preaching. So for any sort of practical large-scale preaching a real pure devotee “living guru” is required. But this is a qualification that must be earned by the disciples and if they try to become gurus without actually having the qualifications of a bona fide guru, as we have seen over the past 25 years in ISKCON, it will simply create havoc in the lives of their disciples an their own lives and they and their disciples will end up in Hell, not going back home, back to Godhead… It is prohibited for one to become a guru if he is not capable of delivering his disciples.

      As far as the newsletters, I apologize for the lack of them over the past couple of months, I have been very busy, but will get back to writing more newsletters now.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Suvarna says:

        Hare Krsna Prabhu

        Thank you for your reply! Much appreciated.

        Thank you for this website. Love the articles and discussions.


      • Anil Upadhyay says:

        Hare Krishna, Prabhu ji
        I firmly agreed that both are lying, for self. guru must be a pure deevotee and liberated. I am also in search of quilified bona fide guru in bhakti yoda for iniciation help me .

        Hare Krishna

        Anil Upadhyay

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