Kṛṣṇacandra Dāsa – Śrī Vṛndāvan Dham: His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda set by his level of consciousness and by his personal example and instruction, a very high moral and spiritual standard for his disciples to follow. In doing so Śrīla Prabhupāda set the base level standard for establishing a Kṛṣṇa conscious society for those interested in leading a dedicated life in which the goal is to achieve pure devotional service to Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
ISKCON is a religious society meant for the first class man to be trained up to be Vaiṣṇava devotees of the Lord in order to provide the spiritual leadership by fulfilling the role of a Brāhmaṇa to push forward the Sankirtan Mission of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu under the auspices of His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda.
Therefore, first of all duty is there must be an intelligent class of men directing. Then the other direction will follow. If the duty of the intelligent class of men is taken by the foolish rascals, then how this work will go on? That is first reformation, that we should pick up the intelligent class of men of the world and they will direct. And next the administrator class. And next the productive class. So intelligent class means one who is Kṛṣṇa conscious, he is intelligent, actual. Just like in Bhagavad-gītā it is said, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān mām prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. Is it not? So jñānavān means the first-class intelligent class.
[Room Conversation – Delhi Nov 25 1971]
In order to do so those who have dedicated their lives to serving the mission must be able to demonstrate that they can adhere, at the very least, to following the four regulative principles for human society based on our Vaiṣṇava cultural way of life. The four regulative principles are as we know… No consumption of animal flesh, no consumption of intoxicating substances, no gambling or speculating and no illicit sexual relationships. These principles are the very foundation of the human form of life and anyone who is sincere in following the process of self realization, as given by His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda and the previous Vaiṣṇava Ācāryas, must at the very least be able to maintain this standard.
Prabhupāda: There is no question of repression. We don’t stop sense gratification. But we regulate. That is human life. Regulative principle is human life. What is the difference between animal and you? Because a man can follow the regulative principles. Just like in your streets there is regulative principle that “Keep to the right.” That is not meant for the animals. They cannot keep it. But if you do not keep, then you are criminal.
[SB:5.5.2. Boston 28 April 1969]
This is not a question of ‘repression’ or suppression’ it is a case of choosing a taste for something higher instead of something that is lower. Choosing to serve the Lord instead of serving ones senses is the prime objective for a person who is interested in spiritual life.
To falsely renounce means to repress ones primal urges rather than use them in the service of Kṛṣṇa. Śrīla Prabhupāda uses the term ‘markaṭa-vairāgya’ or monkey renunciation to describe those who make a show of renunciation but are really only interested in the gratification of their senses.
“You should not make yourself a showbottle devotee and become a false renunciant. For the time being, enjoy the material world in a befitting way and do not become attached to it.”
The word markaṭa-vairāgya, indicating false renunciation, is very important in this verse. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, in commenting on this word, points out that monkeys make an external show of renunciation by not accepting clothing and by living naked in the forest. In this way they consider themselves renunciants, but actually they are very busy enjoying sense gratification with dozens of female monkeys. Such renunciation is called markaṭa-vairāgya—the renunciation of a monkey. One cannot be really renounced until one actually becomes disgusted with material activity and sees it as a stumbling block to spiritual advancement. Renunciation should not be phalgu, temporary, but should exist throughout one’s life.
[CC: Madhya. 16.238]
Śrīla Prabhupāda established his ISKCON society to be able to offer serious students of Kṛṣṇa consciousness a sanctuary where they can associate with other sincere students to encourage them to be able to adhere to these four regulative principles under his guidance and instructions.
The ability to maintain these four regulative principles is actually the minimum requirement for acceptance of formal initiation within Śrīla Prabhupāda’s ISKCON society as well as to standardize our Vaiṣṇava social structure which is paramount for the success of not only ones personal spiritual endeavor but also social harmony within our society.
These four regulative principles are the foundation of our devotional lives on which we base our progress in spiritual development and maturity as we grow and develop along our personal spiritual path. There is no question of true spiritual advancement should we not be able to maintain any or all of these regulative principles.
A devotee who is advanced in their Kṛṣṇa consciousness has mastered the senses to the extent that he or she is no longer interested in these gross sensual pleasures. Of course there is always the possibility of accidental fall down due to ones past attachments and experiences but the adept student should be ever vigilant to avoid situations where they may be prone to temptations.
However, should an aspiring devotee intentionally place themselves into situations where they are not only tempted but repeatedly fall down by breaking any of these regulative principles, when they know better, it must be understood that they are engaged in karma misra bhakti, devotional service mixed with fruitive consciousness and are kaniṣṭha adhikāra devotees and not serious about their spiritual life.
According to Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, kaniṣṭha-adhikārīs think that karma-misra bhakti, or devotional service mixed with material endeavor, is the ultimate in spiritual life.
The devotee, who is engaged in karma misra bhakti, mixed devotional service, may desire to increase their role and function in Vaiṣṇava society for their own personal aggrandizement but are noticed by their inability to maintain the regulative principles and/or ambitious nature that drives them to seek position and fame without being able to maintain the minimum saddhana or devotional practices.
The distinction between a pure devotee and a karma-misra devotee is this: a pure devotee does not desire anything for material enjoyment, whereas a mixed devotee becomes a devotee to become a first-class enjoyer of this material world. One who is in direct touch with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in devotional service remains pure, uncontaminated by material desires (anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam jñāna-karmādy.
The devotee who is unable to control their primal animal urges is not qualified to hold any senior position within a Vaiṣṇava community which requires spiritual maturity.
This is explained by Rūpa Gosvāmī in his Upadeśāmṛta (1):
vāco vegam manasaḥ krodha-vegam
etān vegān yo viṣaheta dhīraḥ
sarvam apīmāṁ pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt
“A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger, and the urges of the tongue, belly, and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.” In this verse Rūpa Gosvāmī mentions six “pushings” (vegam). This pushing is a kind of impetus. For instance, when nature calls, we have to go to the toilet, and we cannot check this urge. So this urge is called vegam, a kind of pushing. According to Rūpa Gosvāmī, there are six vegams. Vāco vegam is the urge to talk unnecessarily. That is a kind of pushing of the tongue. Then there is krodha-vegam, the urge to become angry. When we are pushed to anger, we cannot check ourselves, and sometimes men become so angry that they commit murder.
Similarly, the mind is pushing, dictating, “You must go there at once,” and we immediately go where we are told. The word jihvā-vegam refers to the tongue’s being urged to taste palatable foods. Udara-vegam refers to the urges of the belly. Although the belly is full, it still wants more food, and that is a kind of pushing of the belly. And when we yield to the pushings of the tongue and the belly, the urges of the genitals become very strong, and sex is required. If one does not control his mind or his tongue, how can he control his genitals? In this way, there are so many pushings, so much so that the body is a kind of pushing machine. Rūpa Gosvāmī therefore tells us that one can become a spiritual master only when he can control all these urges.
A Vaiṣṇava community requires leaders and role models who are able to at the very least be able to control the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals.
If one is not able to maintain control over ones tongue and is preaching to impress others or to ask that they be given a position that requires spiritual maturity and responsibility that they themselves don’t possess- then one can be assured that this person cannot control their genitals.
So the urge to attempt to gratify ones animal sexual urge is too great for the spiritually and emotionally immature devotee and so they give in to these base urges by seeking sexual relief in the sex act. This is showcased in devotees who apply for positions as spiritual leaders, especially the Rubber Stamped Guru position within our ISKCON society, yet are unable to maintain the four regulative principles.
A spiritual leader who themselves are unable to follow the teachings of the Vaiṣṇava Ācāryas is like a man who is drowning reaching out to save another man who is also drowning.
There are two scenarios that can take place in the ‘drowning man’ analogy, the first is the innocent wannabe hero, where the alleged rescuer jumps into the water in the hope of being seen as a hero but instead finds that they both end up helping drown each other.
Or there is the worst case scenario where the hero knows very well that by his actions he will drown the other man but lives with the hope that he will somehow, by his own devices, save himself and becomes rich, famous and wealthy at the expense of the drowning man/men – or in our case their disciples. But both will end up drowning as it is not possible that a drowning man is able to save another drowning man.
The onus is on the individual as to what position they will aspire to. The intelligently sincere devotees are honest with themselves and act on their actual level of spiritual realization while the ignorantly ambitious devotees will attempt to deceive others by applying for positions within the institution which they know that they are not qualified to hold.
Even a fool can see that a person, who is a go-Dāsa or servant of his senses, cannot save himself, and therefore the only way that he can be considered a goswami or in other words be a man who is the master of his senses is to lie and deceive others.
“If I think I am a Vaiṣṇava, I shall look forward to receiving respect from others. And if the desire for fame and reputation pollutes my heart, certainly I shall go to hell. By giving others the remnants of my food, I shall consider myself superior and shall be burdened with the weight of false pride. Therefore, always remaining your surrendered disciple, I shall not accept worship from anyone else.”
The sincere disciple of His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda will be honest with themselves and not cheat others by taking on spiritual leadership roles within our Vaiṣṇava society that are above their level of realization.
This ‘self deception’ is present at a personal level where blind lust and ambition finds the nitya baddha, conditioned soul, thinking that they know better than Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s representative, Śrīla Prabhupāda. But what they are really saying is that they are better than the Lord Himself. By jumping over the head of, or ignoring, the maha bhagavata devotee of the Lord’s instructions ultimately displays the impersonal nature of the devotee who thinks that they know better. That they can cheat their way in to being a servant of the Lord by fabricating their own system of qualification on what is and what isn’t a spiritual preceptor / guru within our ISKCON society.
Even a cursory study of our Vaiṣṇava text under the auspices of His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda would find that it is not possible to trick, cheat or fool the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
In this verse, the royal road to hell is described. The demoniac want to make a show of religion and advancement in spiritual science, although they do not follow the principles. They are always arrogant or proud in possessing some type of education or so much wealth. They desire to be worshiped by others, and demand respectability, although they do not command respect. Over trifles they become very angry and speak harshly, not gently. They do not know what should be done and what should not be done. They do everything whimsically, according to their own desire, and they do not recognize any authority. These demoniac qualities are taken on by them from the beginning of their bodies in the wombs of their mothers, and as they grow they manifest all these inauspicious qualities.
Two modern day examples of go Dāsa’s who have taken a job/role as guru’s within our Vaiṣṇava society and are fully supported by the institution are:
These two devotees perfectly epitomize the non swimmer lifeguard who cheats others by pretending to be qualified devotees and who are performing roles of spiritual master/guru/lifeguard.
Indradyumna Swami is a classic case of the institution appointing and supporting an individual based on their personal charisma and arrogant ambition while ignoring their blatantly obvious lack of morality, personal integrity and rejection of the spiritual standards as given by Śrīla Prabhupāda.
While the other PVD has confessed to not being able to control his sexual urges and has resigned from all positions within the ISKCON organization yet he is still acting in the role a spiritual preceptor for his disciples and is being encouraged by the institution to do so and the only difference, for the time being, is his coerced ‘resignation’ from the Sannyāsa ashram and as a GBC member which is still being enacted.
However they forget that Śrīla Prabhupāda is the qualified spiritual lifeguard appointed by Lord Krsna Himself – who sits above this pool which is our ISKCON society. He is offering his hand to those who want to be rescued while the others, the majority of fools and rascals floundering around in the waters, are uselessly clutching at those devotees who, while in the throes of drowning themselves, are wearing the T-shirt of a lifeguard but are imposters.
How many of these drowning disciples will wake up and realize that a drowning man cannot save another drowning man? How many will wake up and accept that a spiritual master or a guru in our Brahmā Madhva Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Sampradaya is NOT someone who has been appointed by the institution!
As for your next question, can only a few pure devotees deliver others, anyone, if he is a pure devotee he can deliver others, he can become spiritual master. But unless he on that platform he should not attempt it. Then both of them will to go to hell, like blind men leading the blind.
[Letter to Tusta Kṛṣṇa: Ahmedabad 14 Dec 1972]