Coming in Contact with the Krsna Consciousness Movement
Vidura Mahatma das —
One point that I find myself making to others (devotees with misconceptions) quite frequently is that coming in contact with ISKCON is not supposed to be the beginning of a quest for a bona fide spiritual master but rather the contact with a bona fide spiritual master in and of itself. That spiritual master is none other than the Founder-acharya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
My reference for saying this is the following purport I came across in the Chaitanya-caritamrta which really stood out to me.
Kṛṣṇa is situated in everyone’s heart, and if one desires something, Kṛṣṇa fulfills one’s desire. If the living entity by chance or fortune comes in contact with the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and wishes to associate with that movement, Kṛṣṇa, who is situated in everyone’s heart, gives him the chance to meet a bona fide spiritual master. This is called guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāda. Kṛṣṇa is prepared to bestow His mercy upon all living entities, and as soon as a living entity desires the Lord’s mercy, the Lord immediately gives him an opportunity to meet a bona fide spiritual master. Such a person is fortified by both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master. He is helped from within by Kṛṣṇa and from without by the spiritual master. Both are prepared to help the sincere living being become free from this material bondage. (Cc Madhya-lila 19.151 purport)
The purport makes it clear that coming in contact with the movement (and wishing to associate with it) means the immediate opportunity to meet a bona fide spiritual master. In other words, the Krsna consciousness movement is identical with a bona fide spiritual master. The purport does not leave any room for one to be cheated by a bogus spiritual master as a result of coming in contact with the movement by fortune, or even by chance.
Today in ISKCON a new devotee is expected to search for a guru who he/she feels is bona fide, from a catalog of “gurus” who have simply not been “objected to” by the GBC. At least that is how the GBC prefers to word things in order to avoid the daunting phrase “voted-in.” And when their “no objection” system fails a devotee (it actually failed him from the start), the devotee is told to take shelter of Srila Prabhupada. Boy, if I were a new devotee in ISKCON, I would pray and pray for my “guru” to have a gross-fall down so that I could just take shelter of Srila Prabhupada as my guru!
What we have is: If plan A fails, resort to plan B and take shelter of Srila Prabhupada. But plan A will perpetually fail, inevitably, while plan B has never failed and will never fail. …So why is plan B still plan B – the second best option? Who’s doing the planning around here?
In reality, coming in contact with the Krsna consciousness movement means being fortified by Lord Krsna and Srila Prabhupada. Don’t accept ISKCON’s current fort of straw; go for the real fort. Why settle for less? You’re entitled to a bona fide guru who can never, ever fall down. Who can never stop following strictly because his mental equilibrium is controlled by Krsna directly. If you are a new devotee who by chance stumbled upon this website, this article, please consider these points deeply. Also, you will find this compilation pretty useful: Qualification Required