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Response to "Can the Guru Make Mistakes?"
By Danavir Goswami

Niscala devi suggests a relative view of the spiritual master, particularly  Srila Prabhupada, where disciples are free to accept or reject portions of his teachings. This opinion represents well the faithless, mundane scholars who always fail to understand transcendental knowledge by tinkering with Vedic literature. However, Niscala devi's own mentally-manufactured ideas are also subject to scrutiny and we are not obliged to blindly accept them.

"To commit mistake, to become illusioned, to become cheater, and to possess imperfect senses. This is our qualification. And we want to write books and philosophy." (Srila Prabhupada lecture: London, August 16, 1971)

On the other hand, Srila Prabhupada proved his purity and realization through  activities and words supported by Vedic authority.

Relegating an extraordinary guru like Srila Prabhupada to an ordinary, mistake-ridden level may appeal to falsely termed liberal thinkers who are not very serious about making spiritual advancement. Such a notion, nevertheless, is diametrically opposed to guru, sastra and sadhu.

yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
prakasante mahatmanah

"Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed." [Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.23] In this instance the word "implicit" means: having no doubts or reservations; unquestioning (American Heritage Dictionary)

As Narottama Dasa Thakura says, guru-mukha-padma-vakya cittete kariya aikya: "Make the orders of the spiritual master your life and soul." And then, ara na kariha mane asa: "Do not think otherwise." Simply accept what he says. (Quest for Enlightenment)

I request Niscala devi to explicitly delineate where she thinks Srila Prabhupada made "mistakes" or "antiquated perceptions" regarding women. We shall in return attempt to allay such doubts.

Danavir Goswami

© CHAKRA 22 Aug 2001

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