|DIVINE MERCY, SACRED TRADITION,
“(One should) not try to imitate the powerful but simply follow their instructions;
nor should one try to occupy their posts without qualification.” Bhagavad-gita 3.24, purport.
A shiksha-guru is a spiritual master, a pure devotee. The mercy of the Supreme Lord upon his pure devotees is unlimited. The shiksha-guru is self-realized, and satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret to advancement in transcendental life. Indeed, transcendental life begins when one accepts instruction and eventually initiation from a bona fide pure devotee. The pure devotee rescues his student or disciple by showing him how to get free from the material concept of life. This is done by various instructions, and the spiritual master who gives such instruction is known as the shiksha-guru. Sometimes, the shiksha-guru goes on to become diksha-guru, the initiating spiritual master. The diksha-guru also continues to give shiksha, or instruction, to his initiated disciple. Whether a pure devotee holds the post of diksha-guru or shiksha-guru, the guru must be liberated. A disciple can only be rescued from the clutches of material nature by a pure devotee, because such a spiritual master is free from the influence of the modes of material nature:
“A man bound by the hands and feet cannot free himselfhe must be helped by a person who is unbound. Because the bound cannot help the bound, the rescuer must be liberated. Therefore, only Lord Krishna, or his bona fide representative the spiritual master, can release the conditioned soul . . . He orders this release out of His causeless mercy on the surrendered soul . . .” Bhagavad-gita, 7.14, purport.
The disciple surrenders to his guru in order to attain his divine mercy. Only his liberated guru, whether he is a diksha-guru or a shiksha-guru, can bestow such divine mercy, because he himself receives unlimited mercy from the Supreme Lord. This is the sacred tradition of disciplic succession. Srila Prabhupada showed us that initiation was a vital part of this sacred tradition. He also showed us that spiritual instruction is a vital part of this sacred tradition. He was our diksha-guru, and he was our shiksha-guru, as well. We cannot manufacture a new tradition:
“One has to follow in the footsteps of previous authorities in the line of disciplic succession . . . No one can manufacture a religious principle by imperfect speculation.” Bhagavad-gita, 4.16, purport.
Imitation is different from following in the footsteps of a liberated acharya. Imitation of mahabhagavat produces cataclysmic results, both long-term and short-term. Imitation of shiksha-guru will also not help us. It will not satisfy Srila Prabhupada whatsoever, and success cannot be achieved in that way.
According to sacred tradition, connection to the disciplic succession is attained by initiation into that disciplic succession from an acharya who is actually authorized by his predecessor spiritual master to give just such initiation (diksha). In order to understand the Absolute Science, a devotee seeking initiation secures this connection by submitting himself to a realized acharya, who is known as a tattva-darsi as per the Bhagavad-gita, 4.34. Such an advanced tattva-vit is automatically qualified as a genuine shiksha-guru as well. As diksa-guru, he initiates (upadekshyanti) his disciple with the seed of bhakti-shakti and all necessary qualifications; this initiation process includes methods (tad-viddhi) which lead to self-realization of Brahman--and even higher devotional realizations of the Supreme Lord.
Sometimes, in the post-modern Kali yuga especially, we do not find an externally manifest mahabhagavat like Srila Prabhupada. At those times, there is no sampradaya-acharya physically present or contactable. This often becomes the case after the disappearance of the parampara-acharya, especially when chaos in his movement breaks loose. During such times, the reality of this hardship should best be admitted. In those cases and at those times, Lord Krishna has already incarnated in the form of the Book Bhagavat. So He has created a contingency, in advance, to provide solace to His devotees. The devotees associate with Him via the Book Bhagavat. At that time, they associate with Srila Prabhupada, as shiksha-guru, through his purports to the Book Bhagavat. Prabhupada’s association and guidance as shiksha-guru is also obtained through his lectures, walks, room conversations, and/or letters.
In the last few years, a new perspective or proposal has arisen. This new shiksha theory postulates that, after his disappearance, Srila Prabhupada actually wanted his disciples to cooperatively accept an unconventional and non-traditional organizational model of disciplic succession. In essence, this perspective claims that Prabhupada, during his physical presence with the devotees, had already empowered localized and regional shiksha-gurus, some of whom acted as rittvik-acharyas. According to this view, there should be no initiations until the emergence of the next mahabhagavat from amongst Prabhupada’s disciples (1966-1977). This vision further stipulates that Srila Prabhupada was supposed to have followed in the footsteps of his spiritual master, asking that we cooperate and await the next mahabhagavat. He would then guide our mission as the only initiating spiritual master. The new shiksha theory considers this paradigm much more digestible than all the attempts or models enacted since 1978.
This new organizational model is to serve a pragmatic function, acknowledging the potency of these (so called) previously empowered shiksha-gurus. They are now supposed to be directly representing the parampara within an institutional framework. Srila Prabhupada was said to have structured his Society so that all those many shiksha-gurus (allegedly) had been afforded previous worship relative to their proven track record in recruiting and management. As such, they should continue to receive their share of due reverence. Srila Prabhupada’s rittvik-acharyas or proxy initiators were supposedly empowered shiksha-gurus during his presence, as long as they had not blatantly fallen down anytime afterwards.
According to the new shiksha theory, today’s candidates for diksha are to wait for initiation from the next mahabhagavat, in the interim receiving shiksha from all the many living shiksha-gurus. The institution’s rittvik-acharyas allegedly had performed their service as de facto (but not de jure) shiksha-gurus on behalf of Srila Prabhupada while he was present amongst us. The temple presidents back then, since they were supposed to be continually acting as instructors within their temples, performed this shiksha-guru function even more than the rittviks. While Prabhupada was here, his Society was supposed to also have shiksha-gurus even within the rank-and-file of the grassroots. Thus, imagine the all-round protection provided by a worldwide network of shiksha gurus, which was to have prevented his movement from degenerating into just another organized religion. By adopting this unconventional model now, any further disintegration is supposed to be prevented. This new shiksha theory is said to be what Prabhupada wanted and still wants.
And, it goes on to say that, at the present time, there are a multitude of living shiksha-gurus, fully absorbed in dedicated service and ready to provide assistance to all aspiring uninitiated devotees, guidance to the ultimate goal.
“A shiksha-guru who instructs against the instruction of spiritual master, he is not a shiksha guru. . .
Sometimes a diksha-guru is not present always. Therefore, one can take learning, instruction, from an advanced devotee. That is called the shiksha-guru.”
Lecture of Bhagavad-gita Chapter 17, 7/4/74, Honolulu (emphasis added)
This enigmatic statement can be understood in two bona fide and logical ways. One such understanding entails the status of Prabhupada’s divine love in Krishna prema, and the other involves the real independence of any and all pure devotees, even if they have not yet reached the stage of prema.
One thing Prabhupada is certainly saying in this important quotation is that the shiksha-guru is an advanced devotee. While he was present, Srila Prabhupada was the diksha-guru. He was the only diksha-guru. And he was the mahabhagavat representative of the sampradaya. He listed himself as such in his Bhagavad-gita, at the close of its Introduction. And, in his well-known purport to the fifth sloka of The Nectar of Instruction, Prabhupada enjoins:
“One should not become a spiritual master unless
he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari.”
As such, it is both shastric and logical that he could have been referring to only mahabhagavat as diksha-guru back in 1974.
Then again, a liberated pure devotee, unlike conditioned souls, actually has meaningful independence. Srila Gaura-kishora das babaji did not want to initiate devotees. He only agreed to initiate one disciple, who was already an uttama-adhikari shaktyavesh-avatar at the time of that initiation. A pure devotee may not even want to give shiksha to followers. Still, he may choose to give shiksha but not diksha; in such cases, he would be shiksha-guru. So, there can be time, place, and circumstance where no diksha-guru is manifest but a shiksha-guru is present.
“One should not become a spiritual master unless
he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari.”
And then, in the spring of 1977, with his body emaciated and his departure imminent, he enunciated these well-known statements in an exchange with two of his leading secretaries:
“Regular guru, that’s all. He becomes the disciple of my disciple . . . But on my order.”
Room conversation in May, 1977, India (emphasis added/chronology inverted)
Another bona fide understanding of guru was transmitted at that time. “Disciple of my disciple” cannot be merely relegated to the relationship of a shiksha-guru and his follower; that would be a nonsensical imposition. The whole context of the room conversation itself centered around initiation procedures. In May of 1977, it was confirmed by His Divine Grace that a guru could initiate disciples as a regular guru, as long as this regular guru was advanced enough to have received the order to initiate from Srila Prabhupada. This correlated with all of Prabhupada’s purports, as well as the well-known verse from Bhagavad-gita 4.34. An advanced devotee is tattva-darshinam. Tattva-vidah applies to a Vaishnava who realizes Brahman. It applies to a Vaishnava who realizes Paramatma or God Immanent. And it certainly applies to the Bhagavan-realized mahabhagavat.
The mahabhagavat God-realized Vaishnava is no longer under the regime of regulation in relation to his devotional service. He is situated in bhava, ecstatic love of Godor even higher. Spontaneous devotional service, beyond regulation, is attained previously on the Path of Supreme Liberation. But, in 1977, Prabhupada said: “Regular guru, that’s all.” Such a devotee is supposed to be an advanced devotee, because a genuine guru is supposed to be liberated. The brahma-realized Vaishnava is liberated, but he may not have yet have reached the level of raganuga-bhakti, spontaneous devotional service. When this is the case, he is still within the stage of sadhana-bhakti yoga. That entails regulation. As such, if he chooses to become either a shiksha-guru or a diksha-guru, he can be appropriately considered a regular guru, i.e., under sadhana regulation.
Where did Srila Prabhupada ever say that all of his sannyasis, leading secretaries, rittviks, and temple presidents were surrendered pure devotees and self-realized, liberated shiksha-gurus? Where did he ever authorize them to occupy the post of shiksha-guru? They were supposed to be representatives, giving some instruction to the best of their capacities. But they were never authorized to presume that this meant they had become self-realized shiksha-gurus! When they gave genuine instruction, this pleased His Divine Grace. It was laudable no doubt, but not the same thing as shiksha guru. Advanced devotee means actually advanced. An advanced devotee is liberated from the clutches of the material modes of nature. A neophyte cannot be termed an advanced devotee, although he may be more advanced than other neophytes. All kanistha-adhikaris are enjoined to approach the personality of the devotee, the advanced devotee, in order to make further progress toward becoming actually pure devotees themselves. The advanced devotee is situated in the internal potency. He is surrendered. He is free from the modes of material nature, the dualities, and all sinful reactions. He is situated, as a Vaishnava, in Brahman realization or higher. He knows the Science of God (tattva-vit). He is a pure devotee.
When this mahatma gives instruction to his disciple, such an instructor is known as shiksha-guru.
He is qualified to be guru, because he is truly a prabhu, a spiritual master. He surrenders at the feet of Prabhupada, who is the uttama-adhikari fully-surrendered spiritual master, absorbed in bhagavat-tattva-darshinam. The advanced devotee mahatma serves the extremely advanced devotee, the mahabhagavat, who is rarely found (sudurlabhah). The advanced devotee mahatma, if he is instructing disciples, can be an initiating spiritual master--provided he is so ordered by his own spiritual master. Upon receiving that order, he is no longer only a shiksha-guru. The point here is that the genuine shiksha-guru is qualified to also be diksha-guru, provided he is ordered by his spiritual master to accept that responsibility.
When Prabhupada’s disciples were acting as his representatives, giving some instruction and some knowledge, they were not connecting those whom they instructed to the disciplic succession. That connection came via initiation from Srila Prabhupada. Except through the mercy of the Book Bhagavat, there is no such thing as the “shiksha connection” as its being promulgated by proponents of the new shiksha theory. For there to be a shiksha connection with a person bhagavat, that person bhagavat must actually be a pure devotee, possessing all the qualifications.
All of these newly-manufactured religious principles being disseminated today have been spawned because the governing body tried to carry on the disciplic succession by imperfect speculation. The governing body was supposed to know how to propagate the mission. They were not enjoined to appoint anyone as guru, either as regular guru or as sampradaya acharya. The process was not to be changed; that is the meaning of “no change.” The commission was not meant to come up with any new kind of religious principles. The real way to have maintained the momentum of Srila Prabhupada’s empowered movement was to firmly maintain the traditional process of initiation in the context of what Srila Prabhupada said about it--and how he said that it should be maintained. But the new shiksha theory postulates that, since there were already so many shiksha-gurus (allegedly) back in the day, history and common sense dictates a new direction.
Since its new direction has not been takenor if it is not taken now at a very late stagethen the Acharya’s mission will ultimately self-destruct according to the new shiksha theory. Some “practical arrangements” are now called for, and the standard process of initiation must be rejected. The new shiksha theory goes on to say that diksha-gurus are not actually available at this time. Obviously, we agree with this. It says that, if they were available, then after Prabhupada’s departure, those pure devotees should have begun to initiate. No disagreement there, either. However, if no one is even on the platform of regular guru, it does not mean that the standard process must be trashed and replaced by a manufactured religious principle imagined through imperfect speculation! No one should accept a concoction based upon warped beliefs about a surreal past. The new shiksha theory is a sophisticated presentation to be sure, but that does not necessarily mean that it is shastric, logical, or free from contradiction and mental speculation. It does not mean, most importantly, that it is actually authorized by the departed Sampradaya Acarya, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.
In the spring of 1978, the G.B.C. made arguably the worst possible choice possible. It implemented an unauthorized zonal-acharya scheme, wherein those so-called acharyas were to be worshipped as maha-bhagavats. The G.B.C. lost its link to the sampradaya at that time. ISKCON was converted into a fabricated so-called “ISKCON” in early 1978, but this fateful and calamitous event need not have transpired.
If the governing body had followed Providence, as per the above-mentioned quotation from Nectar of Instruction, it could have ruled that no devotee was to become a spiritual master until he had actually achieved the stage of mahabhagavat. But that would have been challenged. That ruling would have caused an upheaval, flying in the face of Prabhupada’s statements in the above-mentioned room conversation of May, 1977. As per the content of that conversation, a disciple of Prabhupada can initiate as a regular guru, provided Prabhupada orders him to do so. As long as Srila Prabhupada had ordered any disciple to become initiating guru, he could take the post. These regular gurus would be understood to be not very advanced God-realized devotees. They would be strictly prohibited from imitating mahabhagavat in carrying out their responsibilities. This bona fide arrangement for the continuance of the disciplic succession appears to be similar to the one now pushed by the fabricated so-called “ISKCON.” Similar, however, does not mean the same. There are many reasons why it is not the same, but detailing all of those requires a separate article.
If the governing body had kept its link with Providence, it would have implemented a bona fide religious principle for continuing the disciplic succession. That would have met with eventual success. Almost all opposition would have been easily persuaded to back the arrangement. Eventually, almost every disciple of Prabhupada would have accepted and understood the system fully. If and/or when a mahabhagavat sampradaya-acharya emerged after the implementation of this authorized system of disciplic succession, then he would also initiateor continue to initiate. But he would not interfere with any previous initiations, even if he became the shiksha-guru of all the Society’s devotees throughout the world. The point is that, previous to the cataclysmic deviation of early 1978, the G.B.C. had the transcendental power and authoritythe metaphysical muscle, if you willto implement a system of regular guru according to religious principle.
The new shiksha theory differentiates diksha-guru and shiksha-guru in a way that is not only mistaken and misguided, but which is also neither logical, shastric, or authorized. In linguistics, the subject is always more prominent than its predicate. The noun also is more prominent than the adjective. Both the subject and the noun can stand alone; the predicate and the adjective cannot. As such, a shiksha-guru is a guru. A guru is a spiritual master. A spiritual master, by definition, is a master of the science of spiritual life. At the bare minimum, he is always strictly following the orders and teachings of his own spiritual master. If a spiritual master is brahma-realized, if he is a dhira and undisturbed, he is allowed to initiate disciples all over the world according to the very first verse of the Nectar of Instruction (Upadesamrita).
A diksha-guru is not automatically more advanced than a shiksha-guru. There are different levels of guru, just as starters on a professional team are more advanced than substitutes, but they are all on the professional level. Shiksha gurus are gurus, and all diksha-gurus are gurus, as well. If, as the new shiksha theory opines, there were many shiksha-gurus at the time that Prabhupada left the scene, any or all of them--provided they received the order to do so--could have become diksha-gurus. The shiksha-guru has the necessary realization to take that post. Even the new shiksha theory concedes this point as it says, when the diksha-guru departs, his disciples generally begin to initiate. Any and all “practical arrangements” to the contrary of this self-evident principle are unauthorized speculations, just as the misconception that the shiksha-guru is automatically on a lower level than the diksha guru is an unauthorized concoction.
The new shiksha theory misrepresents the historical facts. Srila Prabhupada never explicitly recognized his rittviks as shiksha-gurus, i.e., as having attained the status of guru. He never recognized his sannyasis, leading secretaries, or temple presidents, either, as siksha-gurus. He encouraged all of his leaders and all of his disciples in various ways, but such encouragement should not be misinterpreted to mean that he recognized anyone as guru or spiritual master. He appointed only rittviks just months before he departed; he recognized none of them as spiritual masters. He said that becoming guru was not a big thing“strictly following”--then adding: “But you do not follow.” He wanted “strictly following” from all of his disciples, and he provided impetus and encouragement. Nevertheless, no one was recognized as diksha-guru or shiksha-guru by him.
We were all enjoined to be representatives of the spiritual master and give instruction, knowledge, and guidance to the best of our abilities. The trainers, recruiters, and preachers were all engaged in seva. This seva was supposed to have given us an affinity for hearing. And we were supposed to continue to perform severe penance and austerities in this seva in order to transcend the tight grip of so many anarthas. Anarthas prevent a person from attaining the stage of strictly following. He wanted each and every one of his disciples to reach the stage of guru; he wanted all his disciples to take the legacy. But nowhere in his final months with us did he explicitly recognize any disciple as having reached the stage of guru.
So, when the new shiksha theory tries to gloss over all of this (supposedly accepted as common knowledge), it is not in accord with the actual facts of that era (1966-1977). If there were so many shiksha-gurus back then, as the new shiksha theory suggests, then why didn’t all those many shiksha-gurus stop the abomination that went down in early 1978? There is your proof positive that this overly-optimistic and imaginative assessment was not actually a historical reality at that time! And it’s certainly not the case now, either.
Srila Prabhupada clearly said, in 1975, that if any of his disciples became specifically competent in shastra, he would then order them to begin to initiate while he was still with us. This would override the general etiquette, yet such is the power of the parampara-acharya. Was this desire of his ever implemented? It was not. Why not? The answer should be obvious: None of his disciples reached the required purity and level of realization for him to grant them the power to initiate newcomers into the disciplic succession.
The new shiksha theory assumes that everyone believes that pre-samadhi rittviks and the temple presidents were automatically shiksha-gurus. This is an imaginative sentiment. A more advanced neophyte, to the best of his ability, trains a less advanced neophyte. The more advanced neophyte is not shiksha guru. The rittviks were priests engaged on behalf of the mahabhagavat. They conducted the fire sacrifice, and they chanted beads on behalf of the real guru. They were not shiksha-gurus. Srila Prabhupada was the only vartmapradarsaka-guru, shiksha-guru, and diksha-guru for all of his initiated disciples. He continues to be so for those he directly initiated. He is shiksha-guru for all others who accept him and try to follow him. Prabhupada as the only guru was clearly understood by the devotees who were engaged in the real work, the real tapasya, of spreading his movement at the grassroots level. Prabhupada never bestowed or recognized any of his rittviks as being realized gurus or shiksha-gurus.
This assertion that there are many shiksha gurus operating at the present time is laughable. Instead, there are many cheap gurus, cheap disciples, and cheap processes of initiation. There are plenty of concoctions, newly-manufactured religious principles, and pseudo-Vaishnava cults. There are many kavis and munis pushing sophisticated new proposals. The contents and conclusions of the new shiksha theory do not strictly follow the teachings of the predecessor spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada. As such, no divine mercy can be obtained from it. It cannot be considered part of the sacred tradition of disciplic succession. A shiksha-guru is an advanced devotee, and advanced devotees do not create propaganda that contains imperfect speculation contrary to the parampara’s established order.
Even if you buy into the naïve and mistaken notion that there are many Vaishnava shiksha-gurus currently functioning in the West, at least remember this: They cannot be propagating concoctions. The new shiksha theory is not the latest one to come down the pike. That distinction lies with the pandits pushing Prominent Link. It is different from new shiksha theory. Covert rittvik nescience is inherent in the Prominent Link--as is the case with the new shiksha theory--but they are of different, though not entirely unrelated, natures. The new shiksha theory promulgates a subtle form of rittvik, despite the fact that it criticizes the very principle of the rittvik movements now operating, mostly in America. It says that shiksha disciples should be satisfied and confident (read, complacent) knowing that their primary object of affection is working through his many shiksha gurus to undeniably admit them into the parampara.
It is very possibleindeed, probablethat this line of thought (new shiksha theory) infected the influential proponents of Prominent Link. Faith, confidence, and even knowledge that Prabhupada is a transparent medium is not the same as initiation into the parampara. The actual admission or connection to the sampradaya is conducted through the process of initiation by a bona fide diksa-guru. In his absence, a newcomer should take shelter of the Book Bhagavat and accept Srila Prabhupada as shiksha-guru. He will receive divine mercy from the Words of Prabhupada, and this will help him become more advanced in Krishna consciousness. When his sincerity, seriousness, knowledge and luck reach the right point, he will search out a bona fide spiritual master on the manifest plane.
The new shiksha theory denigrates any and all systems that function with “de-centralized” diksha-gurus and disciples. It calls certain actions by today’s “diksha gurus” indicative as to why the standard system should be rejected. This is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Even if all of the current arrangements worldwide are not genuine, that does not affect the principle of the authorized process. Misuse of a great science can never render it useless.
A genuine diksha-guru would never want independence from his spiritual master. He would never want to change the previous acharya’s program or even change the mood. He would never hanker for anything, what to speak of an independent institution. He would also not hanker for followers only dedicated to him. That these things are going on indicates that the current systems are dogmatic or manufactured religious principles, that’s all. A guru does not change the message or the process of his predecessor guru. A guru does not hanker for anything material. These kinds of deviations are anarthas, and “gurus” who engage in them are not spiritual masters. They are cheaters. But the new shiksha theory calls them gurus, nonetheless.
When it says that unqualified diksha gurus are engaged in pretentious misbehavior, it speculates that they are in reality only shiksha-gurusbut just aren’t aware of it. Anyone who pretentiously projects himself as a bona fide diksha-guru can never be any kind of guru, either vartmapradarshaka, shiksha, or diksha. They are not gurus on any level. And they are not giving genuine shiksha or instruction, either. This is one of the new shiksha theory's core problems: It recognizes people who are actually not gurus as being gurus. The dedicated followers of such bogus Vaishnava gurus will never lend an ear to anything that threatens their arrangements. The efforts of the new shiksha theory are destined mostly for frustration.
It says, on the one hand, that there should be a worldwide movement of shiksha-gurus onlyuntil the next sampradaya acharya manifests. On the other hand, it opines that there always will be a role for diksha initiation in spiritual communities. You can’t have it both ways, except through very convoluted and tortured rationalizations.
It also contradicts itself by mixing apples and oranges. It opines that the history of our Sampradaya consists of innumerable regular gurus and their disciples. It further says that the degree to which they strictly followed the teachings and practice of the unalloyed Sampradaya Acarya is the degree to which they were connected and benefited. No. If there is genuine initiation, there is genuine connection.
The new shiksha theory accepts the principle that guru does not have to be mahabhagavat but can be regular guru, citing the Gaudiya Matha. It says that there is more potency to the connection when it is had from a mahabhagavat. Guidance is one thing. Connection is another. A guru who is not mahabhagavat can only give insufficient guidance. But, if he is a guru, and if he initiates you, he connects you to the sampradaya. And, if you follow, then divya-jnana will flow your way from the sampradaya. If you follow more strictly and more intensely than your diksha-guru, you may surpass him in realization. You may even wind up delivering him. That’s part of the potential of the transcendental process. There is no “degree of connection”.
This may sound something like Prominent Link. If you think that this principle is the same one being promoted by Prominent Link, guess again! The Prominent Link idea is akin to it, but there are flaws in Prominent Link. There are some philosophical flaws there, to be sure. Mostly, however, the real flaws in Prominent Link lie in its interpretation of the practical application it hypothesizes.
You can do better than falling for the mayika allurement of the new shiksha theory. Time is too valuable to waste in all of these imperfect speculations--one after another after another. Renounce the unauthorized initiation system of “the Society” and do not associate yourself with the neo-Gaudiya Mutt (as Prabhupada enjoined). Renounce the endlessly mutable varieties of the rittvik concoction. Study, study, and study some more. Take shelter of the Book Bhagavat and accept His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada as your shiksha-guru. In this way, one day you may seek out a Vaishnava tattva-darsi, become equipped with jnana and vairagya by following his methods after receiving initiation from him, and make your connection to the Prabhupada’s Vaishnava sampradaya.
“We can actually understand Krishna, who is eternal, full of bliss and knowledge, simply by studying His words in Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-bhagavatam.” Bhagavad-gita 10.2, purport.
“By studying Bhagavad-gita, one can become a completely surrendered soul to the Supreme Lord . . .” Bhagavad-gita 10.11, purport.