Did Prabhupada Name Next Acharya?

Question: Did Prabhupada Name Next Acharya?

Is Srila Prabhupada still the diksha (initiating) guru of ISKCON?

During his presence on this planet did Srila Prabhupada announce anyone to be the next acharya (diksha guru)?

What are the qualities a disciple should possess in order to be the sishya(follower or student) of Srila Prabhupada?


Answer: All of His Disciples who Strictly Follow Him

In Vrindavan, India on 18 October 1977 shortly before his departure from this world Srila Prabhupada informed us that he would no longer give diksha (initiation). Srila Prabhupada is therefore the diksha guru or initiating spiritual master only for those devotees who took initiation before 18 October 1977.  Srila Prabhupada instructed us also in May 1977 that after his departure the new devotees who join this movement should become the disciples of his disciples.  Therefore those ISKCON devotees who have accepted initiation after 18 October 1977 are the disciples of Srila Prabhupada's disciples. They are not directly Srila Prabhupada's disciples.

Srila Prabhupada did not name any particular disciple to be the next acharya. Rather he taught us that any disciple who is strictly following him becomes the next acharya. This means that there can many branches of acharya coming in Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON tree. He taught us this principle in many times and places again and again. Here is one occasion from a lecture he gave in New York on 1 December 1966:

"So Krishna also, as spiritual master of Arjuna, He played. He is the original acharya. Then acharya's disciple becomes acharya when he assimilates the knowledge received from bona fide acharya. So he becomes bona fide to act as an acharya. Evam parampara-praptam [Bg. 4.2]. Acharya means one who has become a rigid disciple of his acharya. Just like a critical student under a professor, he becomes a first-class professor, similarly, a person who is a very rigid student of bona fide acharya, he becomes next acharya. "

Anybody who chants the Hare Krishna mahamantra at least 16 rounds daily on japa mala beads and strictly avoids illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling, as well as regularly reading and following Srila Prabhupada's books is a first class follower of Srila Prabhupada and is fully qualified to take initiation into his sampradaya (disciplic succession) by becoming the disciple of one of his disciples.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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  • "That is a chance given, that you can become a brahmana, you can become a great dveotee of the Lord Krsna, and you can become the Spiritual master of the world. That is the... And I think you should take seriously. I am old man. If you, some of you atleast understand this science and take up this science, you become future hope of the country or the world. That is my request to you, that you should take this chance and become a Spiritual master for all the people." (Bhagavad Gita 4.12-13, New York, July 29, 1966)

  • "One who is now the disciple is the next Spiritual master. And one cannot be a bonafide and authorised Spiritual master unless one has been strictly obedient to his Spiritual master" (Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.43)


    "Regarding your question about the disciplic succession coming down from Arjuna, it is just like I have got my disciples so in the future these many disciples may have many branches of disciplic succession" (Los Angeles, Januray 25, 1969)


    "Everyone can, whoever is initiated, he is competent to make disciples. But as a matter of ettiquette they do not do so in the presence of their Spiritual master. This is the ettiquette. Otherwise, they are competent. They can make disciples." (Detroit, July 18, 1971)

  • Its true that Ritviks doesn't like good advice and their principles are solely based on sentiments.

    Following has become a common saying among devotees : "Ritviks may have strong faith, but like other wayward Vaisnav groups, their faith is based on defective knowledge. Thus, it should be recognised as a mere semblance of faith and rejected."

  • His Divine Grace  Srila Prabhupada has given this instruction that, everyone will remain as his disciple only. We are not qualified to question Prabhupada... We have to follow the instruction of Srila Prabhupada... There is no question of physical presence of Srila Prabhupada, he is present in his books that enough to guide and lead us to back to Godhead... Srila Prabhupada has clearly mentioned about this in his July letter... Recently I read an article of a mataji who was telling that Srila Prabhupada is no more phyisically present to give initiation, I wonder what was she telling! What is the meaning of Spiritual Master ? Srila Prabhupada is present personally in the form of vapu and vani. Once we start trying to follow all the instruction of Prabhupada, he will give all the necessary intelligence to make progress in Krishna Consciousness...

    There are ritik people , We can only pray for them. They dont know who is  Guru . Srila prapupad allowed to initiate on his behalf while he was physically present in this material world . As  he left his physical presence, his disciple can accept disciples .That is the vedic system .Srila  Prapupad accepted desciples after his Guru left physically from here . He didnt initaiated on behalf of his Guru. And We have A Guru parampara no where such initiation found . Guru has to decide whether the person is eligible to become his disciple . How can we claim that I am qualified and become srila prapupads disciple >? And Guru is accepting our Karma.  We can not claim our self I am qualified to become Srila Prapupad disciple .And if the so called ritik system is  allowed people will start to initiate on behalf of Lord Chitanya and even lord krishna and no meaning of Guru Parampara .  Forget about all such thoughts and serve  Srila Prapupad's missionby serving his disciples  and  and be a Dasanudasa .

  • Hare Krishna... GBC is Governing Body Commission. Srila Prabhupada wanted to have a system in ISKCON to check that all the standards are maintained and followed as per his instruction. So he formed GBC which consisted of 11 members ( ritviks ) who were suppossed to give the diksha on behalf of HDG Srila Prabhupada, also Prabhupada was very clear that everyone who gets intitated under this GBC people will become disciple of Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada is the only diksha guru of ISKCON. He has also written a documents how these GBC should function and intiate. He has clearly mentioned about all this...
  • hare krsna,PAMHO,AGTSP


    thank you all for that wonderful information which I wasant aware of.

    Let me ask you what is the full form of GBC and their role

  • Fully agreeing with Bhumika Mataji. Unbroken disciplic succession.


    When even on IDT, mis-informed and unfortunate "ritviks" are present, they need to be helped. 

  • T H A N K S present GBC r doing a good job. andare working on principles layed down by Srila Prabhupad.

    Interviewer: What happens when that inevitable time comes a successor is needed?
    Ramesvara: He is asking about the future, who will guide the Movement in the future.
    Srila Prabhupada: They will guide, I am training them.
    Interviewer: Will there be one spiritual leader though?
    Srila Prabhupada: No. I am training GBC, 18 all over the world.
    (SP Interview, 10/6/76, Los Angeles)
    “This is the function of the GBC, to see that one may not be taken away by maya. The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am the initiator guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing. This is not a title, but you must actually come to this platform. This is what I want.”
    (Letter to Madhudvisa, 4/8/1975)

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