Guru in ISKCON

Published on January 16th, 2002 | by


On Parampara

The Parampara is a basically a preservation technique that ensures an efficient transfer of knowledge without adulteration.

On Parampara
The Parampara is a basically a preservation technique that ensures an efficient transfer of knowledge without adulteration.
Here are a few steps in the logical sequence that has its own conclusions!
1. An expert ( a guru ) distributes his knowledge to all who approach him & follow his instructions – be it ayurveda, classical dance, music, art , architecture or philosophy.
2. His desire is that every one he teaches becomes an expert too, worthy of being emulated or followed.
3. But if he has to choose his sucessor(s)  the one(s) who he feels will represent him & his teachings best – he will be very very choosy. Because its imperitive that the exact flavour is understood & passed.
4. Which is why he may also decide not to appoint a successor in order to preserve his teachings locked in his books for instance. 
Who can refute this? I am game !!
Would  Srila Prabhupada risk appointing  a bunch of devotees who would not have spent more than 6 to 8 years in ISKCON and whose  average age will hover around 33 – 34 years, as his sucessors?  No way !! Why did SrilaPrabhupada concentrate on his books far more than grooming sucessors during his final years ? What did he mean by  – i will live forever through my books?
Here is another point to ponder about :
We are all belonging to the Madhva- Gaudia Sampradaya.
Why did Lord Chaitanya link up with the Madhva Sampradaya all the way down south on the west coast?
Was there no parampara worthy of being  attached to in Bengal ? The Parampara we have linked to exists today and they follow the ritvik system where Srila Madhvacharya is still the Guru !! It was like that even during the days of Lord Chaitanya !
While the Gaudia portion of the Paramapara of ours has set the best expamples of what a Parampara should not become ( need quotes from Srila Prabhupada ? ) the Madhva Sampradaya has had a great track record! Maybe we should all follow their expample and we will be in Parampara !!
Who can refute this? I am game!!
So before anyone claims to be following the Parampara in supporting the present set of ” Pure Devotees” ( how many are there now – 140? – not very rare are they ?) – please think twice !!
How nice it would be to have well respected Ritviks give young devotees the Mala on behalf of Srila Prabhupada while senior devotees looks after them all like younger brothers of a large Family? Rather than this sectarian Gru thing that splits ISKCON into little disjointed bits with deepening rifts & divides?
Jagat Candra Das – initiated – 1982
Jagat Candra Das is the conceptualiser of the ISKCON bangalore Temple . An engineer with a masters degree in Industrial Design – he was also the one who designed & authored the EXPO in Mayapur.

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5 Responses to On Parampara

  1. Citisakti Devi Dasi says:

    Dear Madhudvisa Prabhu,
    All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Thank you for this very purely spoken message.
    Perhaps you could help clear up some confusion that I have. I would like to preach to “everyone I meet” but some people just do not want to hear about Krishna or anyone or anything that falls outside their perception of what the “truth” is. What about the offense of preaching to the faithless? I am very reluctant to do much preaching these days because it seems that hardly anyone that I approach is actually searching to understand who God is and who they are.
    Please explain about “preaching the glories of the Holy Names to the faithless” and also please explain how this offense might impact our own devotional service. Thank you & Hare Krishna.

    • Hare Krishna Mataji

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

      There are many types of preaching. The actual speaking of philosophy is only appropriate when the other person is interested in hearing you speak the philosophy. The knowledge of Krishna consciousness can only descend through submissive aural reception. It means the speaker must be qualified and the audience must be respectful and ready to hear. Otherwise the transmission of spiritual knowledge can not take place.

      This offense of preaching to the faithless is important. Before speaking the philosophy to someone they have to be at least a little interested and a little inclined to hear from us. They have to have a little faith. Faith is the beginning of Krishna consciousness. Without at least a little faith progress is not possible.

      So the devotees are expert. While they will not preach to the faithless people they will work in such a way that the faithless people develop a little faith so then they will be interested to hear. Of course generally no one is interested in hearing about Krishna. We all come to the material world because we are envious of Krishna and we want to imitate Krishna. We want power, we want strength, we want fame, we want beauty, we want to be the controller. So we don’t want to surrender to Krishna.

      But still there are always two types of living entities in the world. There are the demoniac and there are the divine. There is a chapter in the Bhagavad-gita, “The Divine and Demoniac Natures,” it is very good and you can get a great insight into the different psychological make-ups of the divine and the demonic people. So even though now there are many demons and the demoniac mood is prominent, still there are many ‘divine’ people out there. They may be acting in a demoniac way because of bad association, but they have a natural faith in God or the Supreme Person and they are interested to hear about Him.

      Actually if you try speaking about Krishna to everyone you meet you will be surprised to find out how many divine people are out there. Many, many, many people are just waiting for someone to sit down beside them and talk to them about Krishna. Actually there are some “hard-core” demons and some “hard-core” devotees but most of the population are really simply being carried by the association they are in. If they associate with demons they act in a demoniac way and if they associate with devotees they become devotees. So these hard-core demons you can not preach to, but most of the people are not hard-core demons, mostly they are just mislead by bad association.

      This idea of surrendering to Krishna is our original constitutional position and unless one is very, very, very covered by the modes of material nature the idea of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the All-Attractive Person, is somehow familiar to them and they like to hear. It is an awakening of their original consciousness and they like it.

      Also if you decide to speak to everyone you meet about Krishna Krishna will be very happy with you and He will make special arrangements for you so that the people you meet want to hear about Krishna. Krishna is in everyone’s heat and He is directing the wanderings of all the living entities, so if you want to speak about Krishna He will arrange that you can meet so many people who want to hear about Krishna.

      The mind is our greatest enemy when it is trying to make up reasons to disobey the orders of Krishna or Krishna’s pure devotees. If Lord Caitanya orders that we should speak to everyone we meet about Krishna then we should do that. We should not try and quote sastra to claim that Lord Caitanya is wrong. This is a very dangerous path to go down. We may see many apparent contradictions but actually there is no contradiction. Still one has to be intelligent and speak to people about Krishna in such a way that they will be interested to hear about Krishna. It is an art. The art of preaching.

      But the real preaching is to sell them Srila Prabhupada’s books. Srila Prabhupada says “What will your five minutes of preaching do, if they purchase a book it will change their life.” So we also can not be putting too much value on our speaking about Krishna to people. The value of our speaking about Krishna is judged by if they are convinced by us to purchase one of Srila Prabhupada’s books from us. That is the real success. We can sell Srila Prabhupada’s books to anyone and they are written in such a nice way that anyone will appreciate that there is something very special there.

      We can perform sankirtan and the faithless people will hear it and develop faith. We can cook very nice foodstuffs and offer them to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and distribute them to the faithless persons and they will develop faith.

      So it is not that we simply say now everyone is faithless so I will not preach… No. Actually it is not true anyhow. Everyone is not faithless. At least 50% of the people, maybe more, have this natural instinct to surrender to Krishna, and if you simply talk to them they will be very happy to hear. They are naturally faithful. The others who are not faithful, except for a few “hard-core” demons, can be made faithful by letting them hear the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra from the lips of pure devotees, by giving them Krishna prasadam, or by engaging them in some ajnata-sukriti. Some unknown pious activity. Service to real devotees and service to Krishna is a very powerful thing. So if some faithless person is somehow engaged in some service to the devotees or service to Krishna then very soon he will become faithful. That is his qualification.

      When Srila Prabhupada went to the USA there were not any qualified students. But Srila Prabhupada, by his preaching, created the faith and created the qualifications of his disciples, and he transformed crows into swans.

      So this potency to transform crows into swans is coming down in the disciplic succession. So if we can successfully transform ourselves from crows to swans by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada then we can also help other crows transform into swans.

      Not that we should be searching for swans and become disappointed because we can only find crows. No. We should transform some of those crows into swans…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Your servant

      Madhudvisa dasa

  2. Jason Waters says:

    Hari bol, And many respectful obeisances to you, and to all those who love The Supreme Lord Krsna. I was admiring your post on the divisions created by the devotees in ISKON, The way I feel about these divisions in Krsna Conciousness is that, they too are pure devotional service to the Lord, His Pastimes, and Names, and the Interactions of his various energys are always potential for the expression, expansion, and evolution of Love. All this must be. Hare Krsna. All of my love. I may be drawing conclusions here, or maybe not, I think at some point in pure devotional service you stop being concerned with you position don’t you think? I am finding lately that all I want to do is talk about Krsna, I dont care if I am right, or wrong, if I am transcendental, liberated or not. None of it seems to touch me, I think this is in fact Krsnas Causeless Mercy. I also am finding that perfect speech manifests automatically when I speak of the Lord. I would love your opinions on what I have said, because although I seem to find uncertainty in me, it just isn’t the same anymore. Uncertainty, now has become love for God. Am I off track. Om shakti shakti

    • Hare Krishna Jason

      If you are signing your letters Om shakti shakti I think you are a little bit off track for sure.

      Shakti is the energy of Krishna, not Krishna. Like Durga, Kali, etc. So that is how the worshippers of the material energy will sign their letters. So there is not much point worshipping the energy when you can worship the source of the energy.

      It is very nice to talk about Krishna but you have to have first heard about Krishna from a bona fide spiritual master and then you need to repeat what he has said.

      We can not just say anything we feel like saying about Krishna.

      The process is disciplic succession, parampara. It means we are carrying the message that is originally coming from Krishna. So we can not present that message to others if we do not know what that message is.

      So it is important for you to read Srila Prabhuapda’s books and think about it and when you are speaking to others try to explain to them what you have read in Srila Prabhuapda’s books and in that way you will become a representative of the disciplic succession and your speaking will become much more spiritually powerful.

      The more you do this, follow the disciplic succession, the more the uncertainty that you are feeling will vanish and you will be completely certain, completely convinced that what you are speaking is the Absolute Truth.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  3. mark heath says:

    I come in search of a real life transformation please assist me in assisting myself I give thanks in advance

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