By Gaurahari Das
I had no idea how easy it would be to please Guru and get his blessings. It took me twenty eight years to understand this clearly. My journey to realize this started the very first day I received science of self realization in 1980. Being in the material world I was naturally morose. No one is genuinely happy in the material world. When I read one paragraphs I was so ecstatic. My moroseness just lifted off and I knew I was in touch with someone who also knew God like I knew that Jesus Christ also knew God. Years before when I surrendered myself to Jesus I had a similar experience of all moroseness being lifted off and being raised in spirit to experience a unspeakable joy of soul that is utterly unspeakable.
Now I see this is all related to pleasing the bona fide Guru. With reading one verse in Srila Prabhupada's book I was experiencing a similar joy of soul. It was so intense and I felt I had struck Gold or God. I walked immediately down to the Hare Krishna temple and peeled off all my material possessions in exchange for a new simple devotee life consisting of dotie, kurta, three vegetarian meals and plenty of pots to blissfully wash all day.
Now looking back I was so naive. I know that if I would have had the right information of why I was so blissed out I would still be ecstatically serving Srila Prabhupada in full loving bliss to this day as I am doing now again! That's ok its water under the bridge. My austerity of finding and losing this greatest of all treasures many times over in this life is hopefully going to save some of those who read this article from having to go through dregs like I had to.
At the time I did not know that there were basically two types of individuals who are attracted by the pure devotee. One type when they connect with Srila Prabhupada they just naturally love him and want to serve him for nothing other than it makes them so happy and blissed out. I was one of those. The other type that came to Srila Prabhupada are those with a different motive. They see wealth and power by this gaining his association. They see it as a great opportunity to benefit financially, gain honor and followers who will worship them when the guru leaves the planet. Those types were the ones who took the power after he departed. They are the ones I shortly was instructed worship as bona fide acaryas!
Very quickly I was told that I should ask to be initiated by the zonal acaraya and worship and work for him so I can get purified. Ok they are my authority and know what's best for. I get initiated and start painting sankirtan seven days a week. Very shortly I became morose. I just began to serve for the next five years my heart crippled and I felt deeply unhappy inside but I did not know why. After five years I could not take it anymore and I lost complete faith in Krishna. I left and surprisingly I felt really good inside that I made this choice. After enjoying the world for 7 years and becoming quite successful in real-estate I felt externally ok but internally something was missing, I again somehow I got one of Srila Prabhupada's books. I read a couple of verses in the Caitanya Caritamrita and immediately all my moroseness left. I knew I was meant to serve Srila Prabhupada. I liquidated all my assets invested all of in Books and new motor home to travel around America to distribute them. I was so happy for three years doing this. I did not know philosophically that I was happy because I was pleasing Srila Prabhupada a bonafide acarya. When I served my Zonal acarya I became morose because I was not pleasing my real pure devotee. A person can be posted, elected, or connived their way into a Guru or acarya position but they cannot fool Krishna in the heart. If we are following the real bonafide Spiritual Master then automatically he is pleased that we found the real way or narrow gate that leads to an eternal life of blissful loving confidential service.
The super soul in the heart becomes instantly happy, all moroseness lifts and we see it reflected in a shining face blessed by the grace of Sad Guru and Krishna. Srila Prabhupada said the face is the index to the soul. At an early point during this 3 year reign of blissful direct service to Srila Prabhupada through book distribution, An old god brother was encouraging me to reestablish my relationship again with my zonal acarya. He also looked morose by the way just like all my other god brothers did. As I was considering this proposition my blissful happy heart faded. Fear and anxiety and that old moroseness began to set in. At this point I considered… This happened to me before when I left Srila Prabhupada for serving the zonal acarya… I paid my obesiences and immediately left the Dallas temple never to return. Just as quickly I felt very happy at heart and lucky for me I passed the test otherwise I would be imprisoned by moroseness for who knows how long again.
After a few years of doing ecstatic book distribution for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada he suddenly appeared to me in a lucid dream in full living color. He was bright faced and blissful. Sitting down right next to me he pointed his finger at me, probably to make sure I was paying attention, and instructed me and confirmed that what I was doing at the time is what he wanted me to do also. Some other type of service was spontaneously developing at the time and he wanted to confirm that it was part of his desire that it was manifesting naturally. This is another story which is not so relevant in this particular article.
After more or less executing Srila Prabhupada order for another couple of years I got off serving Srila Prabhupada directly again after being influenced by the preaching of a disciple of Gaudiya Matha God brother of Srila Prabhupada. I was not clear at the time but his preaching was similar to iskcon. He said one needs to have a physically present, but this time the twist was, high class Guru in order to be properly connected with Krishnas service. My mind said, "oh now I see my problem in ISKCON was that I just did not have a high enough class living Guru... This a good reason now throw away my taking exlusive shelter of Srila Prabhupada and take shelter or at least give this living physically present high class acaraya share of also being my shelter. Yes this is a very good idea and will be so pleasing to Srila Prabhupda." Not!!!! I was foolish because I did not trust my own experience and feeling in the matter internally.
I was already blissfully engaged in Srila Prabhupada's service, he was obviously happy because I was happy. As usual I put more faith in a living physically present authority figure. To bad I did not know about the ritvik order. I could have put faith in that because that order harmonized with what I experienced inwardly perfectly! No, I was not ready to know yet. I thought after all he must be right… Look he is an elderly man with many hundreds of followers and can recite so many Sanskrit slokas also. Eveyone is saying he is a Mahabagavata. He said my problem before in ISKCON was that I just did not have a high class pure devotee guru like him. My wife was also convinced in two days after meeting him surrendered taking initiation. So my mind was also convinced and about a year later I also take re-initiation.
Funny thing my moroseness came back. There was a little different twist this time. This Guru had ongoing festivals all the time. He would travel constantly holding these festivals. I noticed when I went to a festival I felt some kind of energy that produced a happy state while at the festival but I felt something was not right about it was a little coarse edge to it. After the festival I found I would crash and feel depressed. So I and many others were waiting for a new festival so we could get our mood elevated again to get out of depression. It was kind of dependence but it did not feel like the right kind of dependence… There was a real weakness in it. I never felt this way serving Srila Prabhupada. When I serve Srila Prabhupada's order I felt strong in his service there was not this up and down energy thing. It was like with Srila Prabhupada his order worked whether he was manifest or unmanifest. With this living alledged acarya his physical presence was necessary to be there or we would fall apart. It's funny this is exactly what he preaches. In his realization one always needs a manifest presence of living acarya or to work under living guidence. One needs to be initiated by a living high class acarya. I won't say much here about but ponder this point logically… This person who we are told is the newly risen acarya, is a disciple of a God brother of Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada went on record to say quote, " Of all my God brothers none of them is qualified to be acarya. Srila Prabhupada is the undisputed acarya expert. If ones spiritual father is not being given authorization by Srila Prabhupada as a bona fide acarya, how likely is the son authorized to be a genuine acarya, and in such a short time after Srila Prabhupada's departure… Many of those same Prabhupada disciples who are claiming that this Guru is acarya are the very same ones who ran immediately to take Shelter of Srila Sridhar Maharaja after Srila Prabhupada departed.
Are they the real experts by leaving the shelter of a bona fide acarya's order for the shelter of someone Srila Prabhupada said was not at Acharya level. Srila Prabhupada issued other related orders in this regard. I've taken the essence of these crucial instructions and put them together for conciseness. SP Said
is my instruction to you all "Do not associate intimately with my god brothers,
they may polute you. Do not read their books or circulate them in our socitey.
You say you would read only one book If I wrote only one. Very good you teach
others to do like this."
What are these Srila Prabbhupada disciples doing now.... following these and more contridictor instructions, and accepting other kinds of conclsions creatively set forth by the newly arisen acarya. Why? because he is alive and in the body. The order of their acarya is now a dead order. Its so easy to kill the order you make a few illogical changes or additions like. Oh this order does not apply to me because Srila Prabhupadas books are only ABC and now I am qualified to hear higer levels of intimate hari Katha. Only our chosen living acarya can unlock and interpret these ABC books because we have no brain to understand ABC but even though we have no brain to understand ABC book of SP we are certainly qualifed to hear high level Gopi katha because we really want to become manjaris.
I can take shelter of this living acarya because he is a disciple of the Godbrother he is not a God brother, (note, scripture says that the son is the representaton of the father). We heard from him that Srila Prabhupada said we were monkeys and asked him to help us train us. Of course him helping us means that he must be our acarya. This is only logical. We are believers! We have been told so many stories and how he and the other living acarya's were the best of friends therefore they are now our worshipable acaryas also.
So what is SP said differently he is not around
now. So what if much of this information is not on writen record. We naturally
obey and trust our living authorities without question. When Srila Prabhupada
was here we obeyed him when he is gone we naturally obey someone else even
though they say something different because he is alive in the body.Krishna
das kavarija said in this regard.
Read on it gets more clear! This is a symptom of weakness in us disciples. We leave the shelter of a genuine acaraya to take shelter of yet another personality that Srila Prabhupada says is not a qualified acarya. The true acarya can give us shelter in so called death more than a million brahamitcal vaisnava personalities! This is our stupidity. We don't have faith in serving the acarya, Srila Prabhupada, by his order, and instructions when he departed. Faith in his order will make us just as strong as when he was here physically present.
It is a important part of our development to learn to serve the order of the bona fide Guru. This is why another acarya does not appear for a long while until we practice learning how to faithfully serve these powerful orders that work to give a sincere disciple spiritual life whether the acarya is manifest or unmanafest. Failing in understanding this point is what is eating away iskcon from the very beginning.
Many disciples may continue to leave ISKCON losing faith like myself in their Gurus to take shelter of another newly arisen acaraya. He is a disciple of a God brother that Srila Prabhupada said was not qualified. Even though Srila Prabhupada said the words "none were qualified." These disciples still have creative explanations apposing his clear declaration. The newly arisen acarya and his disciples are teaching the opposite conclusion that Srila Prabhupada's God brothers are all qualified acaryas. How dumb can we get. We are really losing are marbles or logic. They are thinking they found the real cheese. Nope. Again… wrong door.
The right door has been right before our eyes all the time. We are so fortunate that Srila Prabhupada issued the order for his disciples to initiate on his behalf in his so called departure which is just an illusion anyway. His order or his promise is his personal guarantee that he is still accepting disciples. He appeared to me in the dream given me instructions confirming this. These instructions give me an abundance of life and constant inspiration to serve him in various ways. It can also give anyone else the same who is willing to take up this order and accept his gracious promise as true!
This is where I believe both ISKCON Gurus and the newly arisen acaraya were not understanding Srila Prabhupada's real mind. Srila Prabhupada was always trying to get his disciples to develop faith in the power of the order of the bonafide acarya. Few devotees understood this teaching that he himself lived by. He stuck to serving the order of his guru rigidly with full faith. He stayed strong while many of his God brothers were scrambling in anxiety to appoint an artificially produced acarya. Srila Prabhupada's Guru was so pleased with him understanding his real mind that he blessed him to conquer the world for Krishna proving that he had the right idea.
When Srila Prabhupada departed what happened with his disciples. They scrambled for advice from one of Srila Prabhupada's God brothers who was one of the original deviating disciples scrambling to elect an acaraya to replace Srila Bhaktisidanta saraswati thakur after he departed. SrilaPrabhupada never liked this mentality and he commented on it so many times I don't think I need to mention it again. What I will say is this and it may get me in trouble now but so what. Srila Prabhupada said this is on record and I will repeat it again. None of my Godbrothers are qualified to be acarya.
Now the disciple of one of these God brothers is claiming now to be an acaraya on the same level as Srila Bhaktisidhanta, and Srila Prabhupada. Ok. He's the one I followed and mentioned. He preaches we must have a physically present high class Guru to be initiated by and serve. Interestingly enough…Those who went to consult Srila Sridhar Maharaja instead of having the faith to follow Srila Prabhupada's orders in separation, are also supporters now the new acarya. He and these Prabhupada disciples proclaim all of Srila Prabhupada's God brothers are bona fide acaryas. Srila Prabhupada said they were not qualified. Hmm. Our choice, who are we really choosing to serve. This makes perfect sense. This is just showing that they don't believe that the acarya is alive after death. When he departs then they accept the opposite instruction as true only because the newly arisen acarya giving it is alive in a physical body therefore now the opposite instruction and conclusion now becomes the truth or the light.
Then to top off this fiasco of ill logic, they call themselves senior disciples of Srila Prabhupada… mmm. I guess we must be in kali yuga. I thought my brain was fried from all the LSD I took in the 70s. There were many other things that bothered me about that sanga but I won't get into it. Looking back I still see there is a kind of moroseness in most of those devotees faces also. They are told in so many classes, and by other devotees that they have attained the association of the Mahabagavata! But have they? Moroseness is still around there so it makes me wonder.
My moroseness and their's was still manifesting. Our mind can be lead to believe something but we cannot fool the super soul. If we are morose, I found out from plenty of experience, that we are not pleasing Krishna, or more practical for us, the real Sad eternal Guru. After my departure from this last sanga my wife and I ended up going to Radha kunda and getting involved with some bhabaji. His version of the sad joke was that we have now found the real bhakti path and that our previous disciplic succession was bogus!
See the word bogus is a significant word that will be used again later. Wow we finally found the Gold! NOT!!! We found fools gold again! Krishna really likes to play games or should I say hard ball with disciples who don't have faith in their Gurus order as their life and soul when he departs the planet. This was also a fiasco that went on for only a few months. He claimed that he talked regularly with Radharanini, and was a siddha saint. I and my wife went under a kind of hypnosis. I noticed something was off when this siddha saint shortly began manifesting very contradictory behavior that he justified as being Raganuga. He said he was beyond all rules and regulations and that he could do what he pleased. Yea Yea. That's all I will say about it… There was also the similar suspicious energy that I experienced in the last risen acarya sanga of being uplifted unnaturally in his association and then crashing being away from it.
We were told to move to and stay in Radhakunda and never leave so we could bask in this light or should I say darkness. It's funny Jesus said something interesting, " Be careful that the light you accept is not actually darkness". That's sums all of this journey up… We are actually blind as bats being conditioned souls. The presence of the real acarya, like Srila Prabhupada, his teachings, and instructions are the only real light in this world. When they depart its still our only real light and life. If we are not strong and faithful in their order and go else where and take shelter of those who contradict their instructions no wonder we get beat up so bad.
With this bhabaji we would go to 5 hour darshans daily to get our energy fix and listen to him repeat himself over and over again. For sure we were being put in a state of hypnosis. My ex wife is still there in Radha kunda in a better situation thank God. I do worry about her a lot actually!
About four months ago when I was waking up again after two year sabbatical of losing faith in Krishna, I was staying at a asram of two of who are considered the newly arisen acarya's advanced disciples. I was blissful, happy at heart because I was serving Srila Prabhupada's order again and feeling so strengthened by his powerful presence internally. I noticed that they both looked so sad and morose. I asked the young man, who even gives bhagavata suptas at such a young age, how he was doing.
He answered very sadly and morbidly. Oh alright I guess but sometimes it's so hard… I knew he was not happy and neither was his devotee friend and mentor. It was a chronic thing also. It was like seeing the difference between day and night right before my eyes. Here I was in broad daylight of real life given by the unmanifest acaraya and they were sitting in the darkness of lack of life and luster probably because their living acarya was not present. They need him there to feel alive. The funny thing was that they were trying to preach to me and educate me to come back to the newly arisen acarya. Oh my!
This was similar to the ISKCON scenario of that God brother that wanted to turn me back to the zonal guru. This time it was so obvious I did not have to even lose a moment of bliss considering such a proposition. To summarize … I have no bones to pick, anger, or any grudges with the ISKCON Gurus, the newly arisen, acarya, Srila Prabhupada's God brothers, or alledged siddha saint radha kunda bhabaji. They are all players in this drama to help us all learn some important lessons. We are indebted to them teaching us all valuable lessons that we obviously need to learn. If you did not get it through my own life story then I will summarize some of the lessons here. Genuine acaryas are rare in this world. When they come we are fortunate if take their shelter while they are here.
When they leave we are being trained to stay sheltered by holding fast to faith in their teachings, carrying out their order and instructions. If we learn to hold fast we get strong enough to do great things in their service. Any faith full disciple can do great things. That is the only qualification. Hold fast to faith in their order and don't run in the opposite direction.
When we leave the shelter of the order of the acarya to run where our Guru told us not to go we fall from true grace. Without a doubt we will fall into illusion and take shelter of those who are still more or less blind. The eyes of the genuine acarya are our eyes and the only real light in this world. We certainly lose our ability to see rightly in this world by leaving the order of the acarya to go elsewhere to take shelter of those who also did not have faith in their gurus order. Finally we all still can get back on the horse. The final instruction of Srila Prabhupada, ritvik instruction is his promise to continue to give his transcendental shelter to anyone who surrenders in faith and love to him. Whoever is intelligent enough to accept Srila Prabhupada at his word will find the one true door to the eternal that remains open until further notice.
It may remain open for awhile yet… Then again maybe not… Right now there are many elected or proclaimed spiritual authorities who are working hard to shut this door slinging dirt over it. Sincere Intelligent disciples who want pure bhakti should analyze… Those who oppose this order what kind of position do they hold? Is it not usually as an authority? What do they stand to benefit by discrediting this order of Srila Prabhupada? Who gets the wealth, followers, worship, and honor if they say this order is poison? Certainly not Srila Prabhupada!
Actually this order is not poison but the genuine nectar of immortality. We are poisoned when we drink it instead of letting the qualified manifest or unmanifest acarya take the poison of wealth followers, honor. Krishna ordained Srila Prabhupada to drink this poison and churn into nectar similar to the qualified Lord Siva who drank an ocean of poison. The ignorant who are posted as elected or proclaimed authorities by way tales of intimate friendships with the acarya, tell other ignorant naieve devotees that the nectar of Srila Prabhupada's ritvik order is bogus or poision. In a show of alleged humility with a heavy heart they accept all of Srila Prabhupada would be followers, wealth, honor worship for themselves. The disciples do not get purified and moroseness hangs over their heads still.
They even set up shop near all of Srila Prabhupada's temples so it's very difficult situation for the sincere seekers of the absolute truth on two fronts. Devotees are coming to Srila Prabhupada in the first place. They really need and want Srila Prabhupada. What they get is lead by the elected authorities to accept unqualified acaryas as Guru that cant purify them. They can't take away the whip of the three fold miseries. Only surrendering to the true acarya can do this. This is why so many ISKCON devotees still suffer emotional and mental problems and need to seek emotional therapy. Its just getting worse. After being morose for between 1-20 years they may finally realize this is not working and are fried. Then they usually still don't get Srila Prabhupada which is the only real choice. Why? because there is another magicly arisen acarya eagerly waiting right outside the door of ISKCON to give them shelter and waste another 1-20 years of their precious time.
No one gets directly purified because the nectar in that ritvik order remains untouched except by a few who somehow get through the eye of the needle. Its like the time of Jesus has come again to revisit us! Jesus told the Temple leaders and teachers that their punishment by God would be the worst. He said they themselves would not enter the door to the kingdom of God, which at that time was faith in Jesus and his promises! Obviously in their feigned humble hearts they wanted their follower's money, honor, and worship more than eternal life. Then by their bad advice the people who naturally listen to authority,( like us now a days) would be afraid and directed away from Jesus the genuine authorized representive of God. So the question is which cup is the real holy grail containing the elixir of immortality? Is it time to question or neglect our elected authorities in order to obey and trust in Srila Prabhupada a genuinely higher authority? By his final order he is saying that he still wants to be active presence guiding and purifying our lives? Bali Maharaja was faced with a similar choice as we are today. He neglected his authority who was his own crooked sly Guru to obey a higher authority who was Vishnu disguised as a dwarf brahmana.