Unauthorized Ideas About Initiation

From the book Srila Prabhupada Siddhanta, by the Hare Krishna Society

Disobedient, Unauthorized Ideas About Initiation

Persons posing as gurus often propagate the following deviations:

a) Vaisnava gurus or acaryas may be authorized by ecclesiastical arrangements (acarya boards, two-thirds-majority votes, and so forth) or appointed from among immature devotees.

b) Vaisnava gurus are self-made or nominated by their friends and followers.

c) Vaisnava gurus are ordinary men who sometimes make common mistakes, and even great devotees (mahajanas) sometimes become degraded under the Lord’s external maya-sakti.

d) The bona fide spiritual master may sometimes become a demon.

e) Sadhana-bhaktas, neophyte Vaisnavas, may accept special instructions and specialsiddha-pranali “initiation” from an unauthorized, self-styled guru if he claims to be augmenting the teachings of the bona fide Vaisnava acarya.

f) Neophyte Vaisnavas, although sincerely engaged in the service of the bona fideacarya, require “re-initiation” by an ecclesiastical “guru” when their former ecclesiastical “guru” deviates.

h) A student of Krishna consciousness may accept initiation, diksa, from
more than one guru.

i) Vaisnava acaryas die or become “posthumous,” like all mortal men, and
thus become inaccessible or ineffective in the matter of initiating and guiding
new disciples.

j) Some of the instructions of the Vaisnava acarya automatically become
irrelevant after his disappearance.

The idea of “reinitiating” devotees who have already earnestly begun serving Srila Prabhupada, having received the bhakti-lata-bija or seed of devotion, is against Vaisnava principles.  Sincere students reject all these unauthorized ideas and never accept imitators as substitutes for the genuine Vaisnava acarya.

There is no possiblity that a first-class devotee will fall down…”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 22.71, Purport)

“A devotee must have only one initiating spiritual master, because in the scriptures acceptance of more than one is always forbidden.”

(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.35, Purport)

“Sri Jiva Gosvami advises that one not accept a spiritual master in terms of hereditary or customary social and ecclesiastical conventions.  One should simply try to find a genuinely qualified spiritual master for actual advancement in spiritual understanding.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.35, Purport)

“One should take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, who is authorized by his predecessor spiritual master.  This is called diksa-vidhana.  Lord Krishna states in Bhagavad-gita, vyapasrita: one should accept a spiritual master.  By this process the entire world can be converted to Krishna consciousness.”
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.8.54, Purport)