Here is the answer to the question so many sincere devotees have: Who to trust for guidance? This is the answer. YOU HAVE TO READ AND HEAR EVERYTHING OF PRABHUPADA’S TEACHING, THEN YOU HAVE THE STANDARD, THE YARDSTICK WHEREBY WHICH YOU CAN JUDGE, MEASURE AND WEIGH THEIR QUALIFICATION. THEN ONE HAS TO GO FORWARD ON THE BASIS OF HIS OWN HEART.
THERE IS NO MECHANICAL SHORTCUT WAY TO PRABHUPADA. IN THE LAST ANALYSIS, EVERYTHING DEPENDS ON ONE’S PERSONAL SINCERITY. THERE IS NO AVOIDING THIS RESPONSE – ABILITY (able to respond), PERSONAL CHOICE. HERE IS REAL FREEDOM. THE SOUL IS FREE TO CHOOSE. IF ONE MAKES THE WRONG CHOICE, YOU CANNOT BLAME ANOTHER. ONLY YOU CAN MISLEAD OR CHEAT YOURSELF. NO ONE CAN CHEAT ME BUT MYSELF. NO ONE CAN CHEAT ME, BUT MYSELF.
Your servant in Prabhupada,
The following letter came to me the other day:
1000s of Dandvats
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
I am seeking right direction from your Holiness. I am neophyte and completely confused in whom to surrender. Although I am a ridiculous person. My mind has no inclination to surrender to anyone. But I think that If can discuss it with someone deserving whom I think is AUTHORIZED TO GUIDE A DEVOTEE AS SHIKSHA GURU then I may be able to advance. But I have doubts if I am associating with right devotees or not. because it has to be bonafide.
It is crystal clear to me that Srila Prabhupada wanted a Rhitvik system and majority of 11 disciples deviated form the pure order. That is why I am seeking your help as you are still following His Divine Grace as He wanted. And I can realize that I am speaking to very exalted soul who was dear to His Divine Grace. Please forgive me for any offenses I may commit during our interaction.
My Initiation was done by someone who got initiated by Gopal Krishna Goswami. Later on he left ISKCON when he got to know that Gopal Krishna Goswami have become Guru w/o the desire of Srila Prabhupada.
He tells us that he is acting as a Representative of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Prabhupada is our main Diksha and Shiksha Guru. I can feel that He has successfully generated good conviction towards Srila Prabhupada in our hearts and now we also accept Srila Prabhupada as our whole sole Guru.
But my confusion is IF he can be accepted as authorized to initiate disciples on behalf of Srila Prabhupada where in he found out that his own Guru is not acting according to Srila Prabhupada. I am concerned because I like him. and ultimately we will have to get daily guidance form him only. Is he really connecting us to Srila Prabhupada.
I hope I am able to make my question clear. Otherwise please ask whatever you need to. By the way I forgot, He is married but he has dedicated his life in preaching only. He runs his own organisation for preaching purpose. He simply preaches. His center is more of educational center for spiritual philosophy as presented by Srila Prabhupada. He takes no interest in any other activity as the main work of his org. But he emphasis more on preaching on top of anything else. He says that’s what Srila Prabhupada wanted: Educational Centers for Bhagavad-gita and other scriptures. He preaches very well. In fact very, very nice.
Please tell me if I am on the right path. And I can go ahead and surrender unto him for daily guidance and accept his orders as the way to my spiritual progress.
I am sorry again if I am offensive anytime during my interaction with you. I do not even know how to show proper respect to Your Holiness who is trying his all best to please Srila Prabhupada.
1000s of Dandvats
Aashray Tattva Das
In the service of Srila Prabhupada
To which I replied:
Dear Aakash Pahuja, Obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada. Instead of asking me, if whoever it is that you are following is the right person, better you ask SRILA PRABHUPADA this question.
How does one ask Srila Prabhupada? Read his books, listen to his talks, darshans, morning walks and lectures. After sufficiently hearing and chanting Prabhupada, then you have the STANDARD YARDSTICK to judge, measure and weigh anyone against to determine if a person is qualified to guide you, assist you in serving Srila Prabhupada. After all, you need some guidance to clarify and assist you to SERVE SRILA PRABHUPADA. You do not need a SUBSTITUTE PRABHUPADA. Rather, someone who has Prabhupada’s interest at heart (and therefore your best interest), and therefore such person will want you to embrace Prabhupada as your eterrnal master, nothing else.
So this is my advice to you. Let me know if it is sensible and realistic. At some point you must excercise you own individual intelligence and trust your judgement and heart. Nothing but Srila Prabhupada. Simple thing. FOLLOW YOUR HEART.
I hope this helps you.
Your humble servant,