George Harrison Knew ISKCON “Gurus” Were/Are Bogus


george harrison with Prabhupada“I am always a bit dubious about organisations and since the Swami died it does seem to be chaotic, with all kinds of guys thinking they’re the gurus. To me, it’s not important to be a guru, it’s more important just to be, to learn humility.”
(George Harrison interview with BP Fallon, The Sunday Tribune, October 18th, 1987)

George was spot-on in his assessment of what ISKCON had become. His early insight is remarkable and proves that it’s really just a matter of being simple and sincere in order to understand the present situation in ISKCON. George Harrison understood the Krishna conscious philosophy and Srila Prabhupada’s teachings better than the vast majority of Srila Prabhupada’s other disciples. That’s a fact.

Let’s take a look at these facts.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Well, I have studied myself and all of your disciples, and it’s clear fact that we are all conditioned souls, so we cannot be guru. Maybe one day it may be possible…

Prabhupāda: Hm.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: …but not now.

Prabhupāda: Yes. I shall choose some guru. I shall say, “Now you become ācārya. You become authorized.” I am waiting for that. You become all ācārya. I retire completely. But the training must be complete.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The process of purification must be there.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, must be there. Caitanya Mahāprabhu wants that. Āmāra ājñāya guru hañā [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. “You become guru.” (laughs) But be qualified. Little thing, strictly follower…

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Not rubber stamp.

Prabhupāda: Then you’ll not be effective. You can cheat, but it will not be effective. Just see our Gauḍīya Maṭha. Everyone wanted to become guru, and a small temple and “guru.” What kind of guru? No publication, no preaching, simply bring some foodstuff… My Guru Mahārāja used to say, “Joint mess,” a place for eating and sleeping. Amar amar ara takana (?)(Bengali): “Joint mess.” He said this. (Room Conversation — April 22, 1977, Bombay)

Srila Prabhupada writes in the Chaitanya caritamrta how we should become guru:

One has to learn humility and meekness at home, following the instructions of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and in that way one’s life will be spiritually successful. One should not try to be an artificially advanced devotee, thinking, “I am a first-class devotee.” Such thinking should be avoided. It is best not to accept any disciples. One has to become purified at home by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and preaching the principles enunciated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Thus one can become a spiritual master and be freed from the contamination of material life.” (Cc. Madhya-lila 7.130 : Purport)

This simple instruction from the Madhya-lila is apparently extremely difficult for a lot of devotees to understand. Everyone is running around trying to find a “guru” and those gurus are more than happy to cheat the devotees. Why is this? Under normal circumstances, these gurus should have grasped the philosophy and understood Srila Prabhupada’s clear statements. But it is as Srila Prabhupada says:

As soon as personal motivation comes in it is not possible for one to understand our Krishna Consciousness philosophy.” (Srila Prabhupada letters to: Isana, Vibhavati, September 21, 1970)

Srila Prabhupada also warned in regard to his guru Maharaja’s mission:

If everyone just initiates then there will only be a contradictory result. As long as it goes on, there will be only failure.” ( Vyasa-puja Offering to His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, 1961)

And what else did Srila Prabhupada have to say about the gaudiya matha? A whole lot!

“Why this Gaudiya Matha failed? Because they tried to become more than guru. He, before passing away, he gave all direction and never said that “This man should be the next acarya.” But these people, just after his passing away they began to fight, who shall be acarya. That is the failure. They never thought, “Why Guru Maharaja gave us instruction so many things, why he did not say that this man should be acarya?” They wanted to create artificially somebody acarya and everything failed. They did not consider even with common sense that if Guru Maharaja wanted to appoint somebody as acarya, why did he not say? He said so many things, and this point he missed? The real point? And they insist upon it. They declared some unfit person to become acarya. Then another man came, then another, acarya, another acarya. So better remain a foolish person perpetually to be directed by Guru Maharaja. That is perfection. And as soon as he learns the Guru Maharaja is dead, “Now I am so advanced that I can kill my guru and I become guru.” Then he’s finished.” (Room Conversation — August 16, 1976, Bombay)

It couldn’t be any more clear, and these are just a few of the many quotes which completely debunk the current state of affairs of ISKCON. George Harrison understood the situation well. Ys, Vidura Md



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