Question– If some devotee does some tangible service, in good Krsna consciousness for some years, but later comes under the spell of maya,disobeying his guru, what is the result of his later “service”.?
If he is not presently following all the orders of the bona fide spiritual master but thinks he is, does his service count still as real devotional service? Or is it something else? This is the question I want to explore.
First of all, I am in no personal position to judge anybody on my own merits, and the only yardstick of understanding I have been taught is —sastra sadhu and guru. So on that basis alone I wish to explore this above question.
Some devotees say that even if someone is in some sort of maya, then still whatever they are doing or have done for “Srila Prabhupada” is still counted as bhakti and is valuable . And we should not criticize that “service” because it was done with good intent.
Let’s look at what Srila Prabhupada has to say about this.
The first example is , let us say, a well known devotee who has done a lot in terms of bhakti yoga. He originally was part of the Jayapataka camp and took initiation from him and worked under him for some 20 years.
Later he rejected him and came to understand that Srila Prabhupada was in fact his real guru and not Jayapataka swami. When this same devotee was asked if he made advancement while in that “unauthorized guru camp” he says yes, and he also says that those still there serving under non authorized iskcon gurus are also making advancement. So this same devotee has already denounced his former status as a Jayapatka disciple saying their entire initiation system was a hoax, and now believes that the only system to be followed is the one outlined by Srila Prabhupada, specifically in his July 9th letter.
To sum it up-this devotee rejects the iskcon guru initiation system and accepts the ritvik system for initiations, yet still thinks the former situation in which he left , the devotees there are still making “advancement”. This means he also thinks the iskcon gurus (whom he rejected) are capable of delivering spiritual advice and blessings.
This is a contradictory viewpoint.
Here is what Srila Prabhupada says:
1. Honolulu july 4 1974-
Sudāmā: There also is the position of or some question is raised as to how to actually follow the authority. What is the authority between…?
Prabhupāda: Authority is your spiritual master. You do not know who is authority? Why this question is there? If one is initiated, then he accepted the authority. And if he does not follow the instruction of spiritual master, he is a rascal. He is defying the authority. That’s all.
Sudāmā: The question also is there: the authority is the spiritual master, but the via media to the spiritual master… The difference between, like we were discussing in the automobile of śikṣā and dīkṣā-guru.
Prabhupāda: Then so śikṣā and dīkṣā-guru… A śikṣā-guru who instructs against the instruction of spiritual, he is not a śikṣā guru. He is a demon. Śikṣā-guru, dīkṣā-guru means… Sometimes a dīkṣā-guru is not present always. Therefore one can take learning, instruction, from an advanced devotee. That is called the śikṣā-guru. Śikṣā-guru does not mean he is speaking something against the teachings of the dīkṣā-guru. He is not a śikṣā-guru. He is a rascal.
Because that is offense. Guror avajñā. First offense is guror avajñā, 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 avajñā. Everything is there. If one is disobeying the spiritual master, he cannot remain in the pure status of life. He cannot be śikṣā-guru or anything else. He is finished, immediately. Guror avajñā śruti-śāstra-nindanam, nāmno balād yasya hi… You do not study all these things. You become initiated. There are ten kinds of offenses. Do you have any regard for these things or not? You must avoid these ten kinds of offenses. The first offense is to disobey the orders of guru. That is first offense. So if you are offensive, how you can become advanced by chanting? That is also not possible.
(In the above quote Srila Prabhupada tells us that if somebody says anything different than his initiating guru, then he is a demon and everything is finished-even in the beginning of this offense, what to speak of later)
2.Oct 6 1967 letter
Kirtanananda may be eager to address in the Harvard university but recently he has lost his link on account of disobedience. You sing every day morning that by the mercy of the Spiritual master one can please the Lord and one who has not pleased the spiritual master cannot have any access in the realm of Krishna Consciousness. Very recently Kirtanananda has developed a different consciousness of Maya which is called misuse of one’s minute independence offered by Krishna. By misuse of one’s independence one at once becomes a victim of Maya and thus he loses all importance in Krishna Consciousness. So it is my definite opinion that his lecture anywhere now will bear no spiritual sequence. He must rectify his mistake before he can play in our Society any important role. By lips he says that he is a surrendered soul but by action he is thinking differently.
(I am particularly fond of this one- because Srila Prabhupada clearly tells us that this disciple, anything he does AFTER his disobedience will bear no spiritual fruit- no good consequences for those who hear him speak. The entire basis of God Consciousness is based upon directly pleasing the Lords representative. If we please him we advance, if we dis-please him then one cannot have “any access to the spiritual realm”. This should make it clear to us how much a razors edge is this devotional service)
So long as one is engaged in devotional service, he is immune to the reactions of his past sinful activities, but if he chooses to give up this devotional service, then he has to undergo all these reactions.
(So when we act under the bona fide gurus orders we are protected, if we leave that shelter by disobedience, then we are in no mans land)
4.Plotinus discussions – Hayagriva
So even if he is…, are in this material body, if you are engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service, that is liberation. Hitvā anyathā rūpaṁ sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ. When we give up our otherwise life… “Otherwise life” means to be engaged in māyā’s service—as the head of the family, head of the community, head or member of this and… We have designated in so many ways. So that is our conditional life. And the same service, when we render to Kṛṣṇa cent percent, we are liberated. Sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ. That is mukti. … Bhakti means the activities of liberated life. One may understand or not understand; if he is actually engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service, under the direction of spiritual master, he is liberated. But if he voluntarily accepts again māyā’s service, then he is become conditioned. This is the secret.
(This one Srila Prabhupada tell us the secret of liberation or maya– serving Krsna under the orders of the spiritual master. One minute you can be in good consciousness, the next second you can be under mayas influence)
5.SB 3.29.8 purport–
In pure devotional service, the only motive should be to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is not actually a motive; that is the pure condition of the living entity. In the conditioned stage, when one engages in devotional service, he should follow the instruction of the bona fide spiritual master in full surrender. The spiritual master is the manifested representation of the Supreme Lord because he receives and presents the instructions of the Lord, as they are, by disciplic succession. It is described in Bhagavad-gītā that the teachings therein should be received by disciplic succession, otherwise there is adulteration. To act under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master with a motive to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pure devotional service. But if one has a motive for personal sense gratification, his devotional service is manifested differently. Such a man may be violent, proud, envious and angry, and his interests are separate from the Lord’s.
(Over time we have seen who is violent, proud and angry-those bhaktas who are materialists
and who have motives other than pleasing to Srila Prabhupada. If a devotee is actually trying to please Srila Prabhupada, then the good qualities of the demigods show in him, and if another bhakta is trying to please his own desires for power and position, then that also shows in the above demoniac traits)
6.TLC 18–Unless one is under the shelter of a realized spiritual master, his understanding of the Supreme is simply foolishness.
(Here again our reference to anything should always be sastra sadhu and guru-then we are safe. It is when we venture out on the mental platform that trouble begins for us)
7. Aug 16 1976—
Acyutānanda: Some of the devotees, they said that it is for liberated souls. So they said, “Well, we are all liberated.”
Prabhupāda: Yes. Liberated for going to hell.
(One time I had a conversation with one iskcon “guru” who told me when I asked him if he was liberated-he said “yes I am liberated. So this clearly is not the answer a liberated soul gives to anyone. A truly liberated soul will always say, “no I am just a fool that only wants to be perpetually guided by my spiritual master” . Right after that answer from the iskcon “guru”,I asked him to give me some qualifications of a liberated soul, and he could not answer, even after I repeated the same question. So then I proceeded to give him about 10 direct quotes from Srila Prabhupadas books about who was liberated. Then I asked him, after he just told me he was liberated, if those descriptions I just gave about liberation, fit him. He replied-”you know Damaghosa you are the most envious person I have ever met” And that is pretty much a direct quote.)
8. SB 3.24.12 purport-
Brahmā praises Kardama because he carried out the orders of the spiritual master in toto and without cheating. A conditioned soul in the material world has the disqualification of cheating. He has four disqualifications: he is sure to commit mistakes, he is sure to be illusioned, he is prone to cheat others, and his senses are imperfect. But if one carries out the order of the spiritual master by disciplic succession, or the paramparā system, he overcomes the four defects. Therefore, knowledge received from the bona fide spiritual master is not cheating. Any other knowledge which is manufactured by the conditioned soul is cheating only.
(Here in this one Srila Prabhupada clearly gives us the answer to the original question. If someone disobeys the spiritual master and even causes much grief to so many thousands of other bhaktas in the process, then all his so called work or service is cheating only. Why cheating only? Because he has deliberately gone against the wishes and intent of his spiritual master. It was mentioned to myself and some others just lately, that the personal books written by Jayadvaita swami and Drutakarma have some relevance and value . Yet here Srila Prabhupada clearly tells us that if we follow the orders of the guru, then we can overcome all our inherent 4 defects ,but if we manufacture some so called knowledge with a disobedient mind, then it is all useless cheating meant only to deceive others.)
If you can please your spiritual master, then you know that God, or Kṛṣṇa, is pleased. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyaprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ‘pi **. And if you cannot please your spiritual master, then you must know that you do not know your whereabouts. You do not know where you are going. Sept 25 1968
(I find this statement by Srila Prabhupada a great warning to those who would pose themselves as his spiritual successors. He never gave any order for so many disciples to
take on the role of initiating new disciples, yet they like their Gaudiy matha predecessors all went for the same bait by Maya devi. And here is the warning-if you do so, then your future or whereabouts are UNKNOWN. Not a very pretty picture is it?)
The below quotes substantiate the presence of people in the Hare Krsna Movement who pose as devotees, yet are simply demoniac persons meant to destroy the works of Srila Prabhupada. We all know different types of “devotees”. Some want to use the assets of Srila Prabhupada for their own selfish purposes, and some other devotees, only want to serve Srila Prabhupada. The below purports proves the existence of these two kinds in the Hare Krsna Movement.
Madhya 19.157 : PURPORT “… It is also said,phalena paricīyate one’s success or defeat in any activity is understood by its result.There are many karmīs in the dress of devotees, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead can detect their purpose.The karmīs want to use the property of the Lord for their selfish sense gratification, but a devotee endeavors to use the Lord’s property for God’s service. Therefore a devotee is always distinct from the karmīs,although the karmīs may dress like devotees….A karmī,however, although externally working like a devotee, is entangled in his nondevotional activity, and thus he suffers the tribulations of material existence. Thus from the results achieved by the karmīs and devotees, one can understand the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who acts differently for the karmīs and jñānīs than for the devotees
SB 8.9.28 : PURPORT -An actual Vaiṣnava is very pleased to accept another Vaiṣṇava who is bestowing the Lord’s mercy.A mundane person in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava should not be respected but rejected. This is enjoined in the śāstra(upekṣā). The word upekṣā means neglect. One should neglect an envious person. A preacher’s duty is to love the Supreme Personality of Godhead, make friendships with Vaiṣṇavas, show mercy to the innocent and reject or neglect those who are envious or jealous.There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaiṣṇavas in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected.There is no need to serve a jealous person who is in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava. When Narottama dāsaṬhākura say chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava sevā nistāra payeche kebā, he is indicating an actual Vaiṣṇava, not an enviousor jealous person in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava.
Some conclusions from the above statements––
We heard Srila Prabhupada tell us 1.Anyone who says anything different than him , the diksa guru, is a demon (how about the 1000’s changes JAS has made to the books?) 2. This is offensive and how can you make advancement if offensive? 3.When Kirtananda disobeyed Prabhupada he disconnected himself from the param para and any “spiritual thing” he did was useless. To disconnect oneself means when you shut off the light switch in your room, how can you expect any light that way? 4.One minute we can be in Krsna consciousness, the next minute or second we can be under Mayas influence. 6.Persons who have motives for personal gain and power are envious angry and proud. 7. Unless we are constantly under the shelter of a realized spiritual master, our understanding of religion is simply foolishness. 8. When someone says yes I am liberated we should know we are looking at a fool. 9. Any knowledge not within the param para is cheating only. 10. If we dont please the bona fide spiritual master our destination is—Unknown ! So from all these above statements by Srila Prabhupada my humble conclusion is that anything anybody does has value if it is connected to the param param thru loving devotional service under the order of Krsna‘s representative, and he is pleased with it. If he is not pleased, then that is entirely a different matter, and for that we can only leave the results up to Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krsna. The reason this article was formed was simply because one friend of mine told us that he thought the books of Jayadvaita swami (vanity Karma) and the books of Drutakarma had value, to which I totally disagree.