A Vapu-vadi’s Dilemma

Here’s a scenario

Keeping in mind that Diksa is a process and that initiation is the beginning, not completion – let’s say a devotee gets properly initiated by a bona fide spiritual master. The spiritual master personally – right there in front of him – agrees to initiate him, providing the disciple vows to continue to follow his instructions, of course. Some years later the spiritual master departs; he is no longer physically present. Where is that devotee’s living guru now? Has the process of Diksa – receiving transcendental knowledge – ended?

One may argue “No, the guru was on the planet at the time of initiation!” OK, aside from the fact that such a planetary condition is no where to be found in Srila Prabhupada’s books, let’s say for a moment that we did have that condition. The devotee goes on to receive guidance from the spiritual master even in his physical absence – thank’s to the planet rule! But what if the devotee stops following the spiritual master’s instruction? What if the devotee breaks his vow – the terms of the agreement – his end of the mutual contract of initiation? Surely the disciple could hardly expect much guidance or reciprocation of spiritual knowledge. But what if the devotee takes up his vow again? Would it have been too late? The spiritual master surely is not obligated at this point to act as his spiritual master, the disciple having broken the agreement. So is the disciple doomed? Re-initiation time? Well that’s not an option – that’s forbidden. So…what? Is he to accept his fate in hell, being bereft of the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master? What a frightening idea. It may be conveniently argued now that “The disciple would simply need to take up his vow again and follow the spiritual master’s instructions. The agreement had already been made.” The thing is, how do we know now whether the spiritual master has accepted the disciple again?

The vapuh-vadi’s better not break their vows!

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