but there are persons who are less qualified or not liberated, but still can act as guru and acharya by strictly following the disciplic succession

June 30, 2020 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Hare Krsna-below we have 3 items of interest. the first Srila Prabhupada explains who is Acarya and later on who can “act” as acarya when the founding acarya has passed away.


In the first quote..”A person who is liberated acharya and guru cannot commit any mistake, but there are persons who are less qualified or not liberated, but still can act as guru and acharya by strictly following the disciplic succession
This letter written in April 26, 1968 by Srila Prabhupada laid the foundation for his later letter and last instruction on who would and could continue initiations in iskcon after his passing.


The second one Srila Prabhupada says…..”Anyone accepts the assistants of Lord Caitanya as ever liberated—he also becomes liberated, simply by accepting the associates of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu who is helping Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mission, simply by accepting this, the man who is accepting, he becomes liberated.” And the  third and last letter tells us in plain english who is to initiate and who are these disciples after Prabhupada passes away. This is the recorded evidence and there are NO other statements along these lines ever given by Srila Prabhupada to the contrary after that, as far as who is the current Acarya of his Iskcon organization.So yes, sincere devotees today  and into the future can become ritvik “acarya” or officiating acarya under the guidance of Srila Prabhupada. BUT-all those they initiate are Srila Prabhupadas disciples not the devotees performing the ceremony and name giving. This “order” to become official guru and act on their own was never given by Srila Prabhupada.. The only power he gave to any disciple was to become an officiating guru or ritvik-thats all. These people were also called monitor gurus-like when a teacher has to leave the classroom and he authorizes some leading student to continue what he was teaching. There is a vast difference in spiritual realization level between the two types of gurus. To take on the task as did Srila Prabhupada, he tells us one must be qualified and ordered by his own guru. These two  very important elements (the order and qualifications) are missing in our own levels of spiritual achievement.

Hare Krsna

damaghosa das——————————–

The statements of Thakura Bhaktivinode are as good as scriptures because he is liberated person. Generally the spiritual master comes from the group of such eternal associates of the Lord; but anyone who follows the principles of such ever liberated persons is as good as one in the above mentioned group. The gurus from nature’s study are accepted as such on the principle that an elevated person in Krishna Consciousness does not accept anyone as disciple, but he accepts everyone as expansion of his guru. That is very high position, called Maha-bhagavata. Just like Radharani, sometimes thinks a subordinate of hers as her teacher, to understand devotion of Krishna. A person who is liberated acharya and guru cannot commit any mistake, but there are persons who are less qualified or not liberated, but still can act as guru and acharya by strictly following the disciplic succession. It is the injunction of the sastras that anyone who sees the Deity in the Temple as made of wood or stone, or considers the acaryas and gurus as ordinary common men, and discriminates Vaisnavas or devotees as belonging to a certain group or caste, are called hellish. Your question about Bon Maharaja in relation with his disciple is very intelligent and intricate, and we shall discuss at long when we meet.Regarding Kirtanananda’s letter, I may inform you that I always think of him and pray to Krishna for his good sense. That is my duty. Anyone who comes to me for my help or wants advance in Krishna Consciousness, and whom I initiate and accept as my disciple, I must pray for him and his welfare always. So Kirtanananda personally served me, especially during my illness, which I always remember. But because somehow or other he has misunderstood our activities that does not mean that I am no longer his well wisher. I write at the end of my letters to my disciples, “Your ever well-wisher”, and as such, I cannot become otherwise than being ever well-wisher of my disciples, even though he may leave me. So I was praying to Krishna that He may save Kirtanananda from his misunderstanding and if ever he chanted Hare Krishna at least once in sincere heart, I am sure Krishna would not allow him to go out of his influence. Therefore, I believe that he can never forget the Form of Krishna, neither he can deny His Personality. It is good news that he is trying to establish a new Vrindaban, which I suggested through Hayagriva Brahmacari, and if he is successful, in his attempt, certainly it will be considered a great benediction upon him by Lord Krishna. When I offered him Sannyas, I expected such great achievements through him and if Krishna desires, he will come out successful in his great attempt. Yes, I expressed my desire to go there through Hayagriva Brahmacari, and if I am invited, to go there, by Kirtanananda Swami, it will be my great pleasure to see the place and enjoy his company.Your ever well wisher,A.C. Bhaktivedanta SwamiLink to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/letters/new_york/april/26/1968/janardana————————————————————-

Prabhupāda: Yes. Sāṅgopāngāstra-pārṣadam. Therefore Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura said, gaurāṅgera saṅgi-gaṇe, nitya-siddha kori māne: “All the associates of Lord Caitanya, they are ever liberated.” Nitya-siddha kori māne. “Anyone accepts the assistants of Lord Caitanya as ever liberated—he also becomes liberated, simply by accepting the associates of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu who is helping Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mission, simply by accepting this, the man who is accepting, he becomes liberated.” Se jāy brajendra-nanda pāś. Gaurāṅgera saṅgi-gaṇe, nitya-siddha kori māne, se jāy brajendra-nanda pāś.https://prabhupadabooks.com/conversations/1975/oct/morning_walk/mauritius/october/03/1975

Letter to: All G.B.C., All Temple Presidents

Vrindaban
9 July, 197777-07-09To All G.B.C., and Temple PresidentsDear Maharajas and Prabhus,Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. Recently when all of the GBC members were with His Divine Grace in VrndavanaSrila Prabhupada indicated that soon He would appoint some of His senior disciples to act as “ritvik
– 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 TamalaKrsna Gosvami
His Holiness Hrdayananda Gosvami
His Holiness Bhavananda Gosvami
His Holiness Hamsaduta Swami
His Holiness Ramesvara Swami
His Holiness Harikesa Swami
His Grace BhagavandasaAdhikari
His Grace Jayatirtha dasaAdhikariIn 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,
Approved:TamalaKrsna Gosvami
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Secretary to Srila PrabhupadaLink to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/letters/vrindaban/july/09/1977/all_gbc/all_temple_presidents