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To disobey the orders of the spiritual master or

to consider him an ordinary person.
Room conversation – Hawaai – 1975
The devotees in Prabhupada's room had formerly been leaders of ISKCON Hawaii but had left and
were now threatening to use the funds and properties in their own name.
Prabhupada kept asking them simply, "Why did you leave? Why don't you stay? Why don't you
But they insisted that while they trusted Prabhupada, they could not trust the G.B.C. One of the
G.B.C. members in the room became exasperated with their refusal to accept Prabhupada's
simple request of surrender.
"You say that you accept Prabhupada?" "Yes," they replied. "And you say you have faith in him?"
"Yes." "You say that whatever he asks, you can follow?" "Yes." "So, then, if Prabhupada asks you to
follow the G.B.C., will you do it?"
The room became tense and silent.
"No, we cannot follow."
When they uttered that no, Srila Prabhupada dropped his fist on his table and pointed to the
deviant devotees, declaring, "Just see the hypocrisy!" Even after Prabhupada's stark conclusion,
they maintained their "we-surrender-to-you-but-not-to-ISKCON" philosophy until Prabhupada
asked them to leave.
To the other devotees remaining in the room Prabhupada remarked, "When they say they don't
like ISKCON and the G.B.C., they are really saying they don't like to follow my order. That means
they don't like my order. That means they don't have faith in my order. That means don't they
have faith in me. That means guru-aparadha. To say they have faith in me is just hypocrisy."
Devotee: Neglecting the order of the spiritual master.
Srila Prabhupāda: Yes. We are daily singing, yasya
prasādād bhagavat-prasāda. By pleasing the spiritual
master, we please the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. Therefore, if His order is disobeyed, if he is
displeased, then yasyāprasādād na gatiḥ kuto 'pi. If he
is displeased, then he has no shelter. He's thrown in the
wilderness. Therefore, this should be strictly followed.
- Srila Prabhupada Initiation Lecture, Los Angeles, California, USA - July 3, 1970
yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado
yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ’pi
dhyayan stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the

benediction of Krishna. Without the grace of the spiritual
master, one cannot make any advancement. Therefore, I
should always remember and praise the spiritual master.
At least three times a day I should offer my respectful
obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master.
One may ask whether the guru is absolutely necessary.
The Vedas inform us that he is:

tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet

samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham
[Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.2.12]
“In order to learn the transcendental science, one must approach the
bona fide spiritual master in disciplic succession, who is fixed in the
Absolute Truth.”
The Vedas enjoin us to seek out a guru; actually, they say to seek
out the guru, not just a guru. The guru is one because he comes in
disciplic succession.
In the Bhagavad-gītā [18.66] Kṛṣṇa instructs:
sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall
deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.” Someone may argue,
“Where is Kṛṣṇa? I shall surrender to Him.” But no, the process is that
we first surrender to Kṛṣṇa’s representative; then we surrender to
Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it is said, sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstraiḥ: the
guru is as good as God. When we offer respects to the guru, we are
offering respects to God. Because we are trying to be God conscious, it
is required that we learn how to offer respects to God through God’s
representative. In all the śāstras the guru is described to be as good as
God, but the guru never says, “I am God.”
In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [11.17.27] it is said:
ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān
nāvanmanyeta karhicit
na martya-buddhyāsūyeta
sarva-deva-mayo guruḥ
“One should understand the spiritual master to be as good as I am,”
said the Blessed Lord. “
Nobody should be jealous of the spiritual master or think of him as an
ordinary man, because the spiritual master is the sum total of all
demigods.” That is, the ācārya has been identified with God Himself. He
has nothing to do with the affairs of this mundane world. He does not
descend here to meddle with the affairs of temporary necessities, but
to deliver the fallen, conditioned souls – the souls, or entities, who
have come here to the material world with a motive of enjoyment by
the mind and the five organs of sense perception. He appears before us
to reveal the light of the Vedas and to bestow upon us the blessings of
full-fledged freedom, after which we should hanker at every step of our
life’s journey.
In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [10.84.13]:

yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke

sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ

“Anyone who accepts this bodily bag of three elements [bile, mucus,
and air] as his self, who has an affinity for an intimate relationship with
his wife and children, who considers his land worshipable, who takes
bath in the waters of the holy places of pilgrimage but never takes
advantage of those persons who are in actual knowledge – he is no
better than an ass or a cow.”
Sripad Ramanujacharya’s Final Instructions

"Every day spend some time in contemplating the greatness of

the spiritual master, and every day study the teachings of the
Vaisnava acaryas. Always associate with those who are
surrendered to the Lord. Avoid those who teach paths other
than devotional service and those interested in sensual
pleasures. One who sees the Deity as stone, the guru as an
ordinary man, the devotees in terms of caste or bodily
designation, caranamrita as ordinary water, the holy name of
the Lord as a mundane sound vibration, or the Supreme Lord
as one of the demigods, is certainly destined for hellish life"

At first all the followers of Advaita Äcärya shared a single opinion. But later they followed two different opinions, as ordained by providence.
The words daivera kärana indicate that by dint of providence, or by God’s will, the followers of Advaita Äcärya divided into two
parties. Such disagreement among the disciples of one äcärya is also found among the members of the Gauòéya Maöha. In the
beginning, during the presence of Om Visñupäda Paramahaàsa Parivräjakäcärya Asthottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhänta
Sarasvaté Thäkura Prabhupäda, all the disciples worked in agreement; but just after his disappearance, they disagreed.
One party strictly followed the instructions of Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura, but another group created their own
concoction about executing his desires. Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvati Thäkura, at the time of his departure, requested all his
disciples to form a governing body and conduct missionary activities cooperatively. He did not instruct a particular man to
become the next äcärya. But just after his passing away, his leading secretaries made plans, without authority, to occupy the post
of äcärya, and they split into two factions over who the next äcärya would be. Consequently, both factions were asära, or useless,
because they had no authority, having disobeyed the order of the spiritual master. Despite the spiritual master’s order to form a
governing body and execute the missionary activities of the Gaudiya Math, the two unauthorized factions began litigation that is
still going on after forty years with no decision.
Therefore, we do not belong to any faction. But because the two parties, busy dividing the material assets of the Gauòéya Maöha
institution, stopped the preaching work, we took up the mission of Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura and Bhaktivinoda Thäkura
to preach the cult of Caitanya Mahäprabhu all over the world, under the protection of all the predecessor äcäryas, and we find
that our humble attempt has been successful. We followed the principles especially explained by Srila Visvanätha Cakravarti
Thäkura in his commentary on the Bhagavad-gitä verse beginning vyavasäyätmikä buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana [Bg. 2.41].
According to this instruction of Visvanätha Cakravarti Thäkura, it is the duty of a disciple to follow strictly the orders of his
spiritual master. The secret of success in advancement in spiritual life is the firm faith of the disciple in the orders of his spiritual
Unable to attain success in chanting
• "It appears from the talks of Lord Caitanya that a person who cannot keep his faith in the
words of the spiritual master and who acts independently cannot attain the desired
success in chanting Hare Krsna."
(Teachings of Lord Kapila, chapter 19)
No devotional service
• "You mentioned that leaving is the best thing for your devotional service, but you should
know that without the instructions of the spiritual master that there is no question of
devotional service."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 17/12/1968)
No progress in Krishna Consciousness
• "A spiritual master knows very well how to engage each disciple in a particular duty, but
if a disciple, thinking himself more advanced than his spiritual master, gives up his orders
and acts independently, he checks his own spiritual progress."
(Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta, Adi-lila 7:72, purport)
• "For advancement in anything, especially in spiritual life, one must strictly follow the
bona fide instructions of the teacher. [...] As soon as the disciple thinks independently,
not caring for the instructions of the spiritual master, he is a failure."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 8.17.1, purport)
Rejected by Krishna
• "Because if that person who is giving shelter, if he's pleased, Krsna is immediately [...] Because he
is recommended by representative, he will be accepted. [...] If he displeases Krsna's
representative he has no entrance to the Krsna's kingdom, however learned he may be or
whatever he may be. Immediately rejected. [...] Disobedient... "Obedience is first discipline." So if
Krsna's representative is disobeyed — "Get out immediately." Krsna is very strict."
(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, 12/12/1970)
Fallen down immediately
• "If you don't follow the instruction of guru, then you are fallen down immediately. That is the
way. Otherwise why you sing, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado. It is my duty to satisfy
guru. Otherwise I am nowhere. So if you prefer to be nowhere, then you disobey as you like. But
if you want to be steady in your position, then you have to follow strictly the instruction of guru."
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, 3/2/1975)
Krishna Consciousness "finished"
• "First offense is guror avajna, defying the authority of guru. This is the first offense. So one who is
offensive, how he can make advance in chanting? He cannot make. Then everything is finished in
the beginning. Guror avajna. [...] If one is disobeying the spiritual master, he cannot remain in the
pure status of life. He cannot be siksa-guru or anything else. He is finished, immediately. [...] You
must avoid these ten kinds of offenses. The first offense is to disobey the orders of guru."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 4/7/1974)
• "As soon as one is deviated from the instructions of the spiritual master, the uprooting of
the bhakti-lata (devotional creeper) begins, and gradually all the leaves dry up."
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 19.156, purport)
No going back to Godhead
• "Without being self-controlled, without being disciplined and without being fully
obedient, no one can become successful in following the instructions of the
spiritual master, and without doing so, no one is able to go back to Godhead."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1:5:24, purport)
• "So unless one is disciplined...This is the only qualification [...] As it is stated in
the sastras, utsahad dhairyat niccayat tat-tat-karma-pravartanat. These are
disciplines. The more we become advanced... And naturally we get the mercy of
the spiritual master and Krsna. Through the mercy of spiritual... Guru-krsna-krpa.
[...] Without guru's krpa, one cannot reach Krsna, [...] So we should follow the
disciplinary methods sincerely under the guidance of spiritual master."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 5/8/1975)
• "So those who are not following the authorized instructions, they are simply
creating disturbance, and by such process one cannot be happy, neither perfect,
and what to speak of going back to home, back to Godhead? We do not therefore
accept anything which is not authorized by the disciplic succession."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 22/6/1972)