The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Articles tagged as Guru

  • Poem: The Amazing Acharya

    Srila Prabhupada introduced us all to the path of bhakti yoga and the sublime benefits of chanting the holy names of Krishna in the form of the maha-mantra. With great humility, never taking undue personal credit for his accomplishments, Srila Prabhupada once expressed, “My only credit is that I have strictly followed the order of my guru.”

  • The GBC Executive Committee Reflects on the Passing of Bhakti Charu Swami

    From his earliest days as a young devotee, Maharaja had the extraordinary privilege of serving as one of Srila Prabhupada's confidential, personal servants. And ever since, His Holiness Bhakti Charu Maharaja's life has been an offering of love at the lotus feet of his spiritual master.

  • Senior GBC / Gurus Support Vaishnavi Diksa-Gurus in New Video

    In a video released today featuring Gopal Krishna Goswami, Bhakti Charu Swami, and Jayapataka Swami, these three initiating gurus and senior members of ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (GBC) explain why they support the GBC resolution empowering women to serve as initiating spiritual masters in ISKCON. 

  • ISKCON International Vaishnavi Ministry’s Statement on Vaishnavi Dikhsa Gurus

     ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (GBC) recently ended a lengthy, detailed consideration of the Vaishnavi diksa guru question that has been under consideration since 2003. The Vaishnavi Ministry welcomes the new resolution, which upholds important spiritual principles and Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition while accommodating concerns about local communities having different cultural standards.

  • Spiritual Connection: Understanding the Dynamics of Guru-disciple Relationship

    A New Book by Bhakti Dhira Damodara Swami discusses the following important topics: Who is a Guru? Why do I need a Living Guru? Why am I not satisfied in my relationship with my Guru? How to internalize the sacred Guru-disciple relationship?

  • Devotees Learn About Guru-Disciple Relationship at Ukraine Retreat

    “One of the benefits of this was to show the disciples the culture of Vaishnava discussion,” says Sarvajna Das. “Another was to help them think about the topic more and how to apply it in their practical lives.”

  • Visitors from East and Southeast Asia Initiated in Mayapur

    Approximately 160 visitors from China, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Taiwan recently went to Mayapur with  Giridhari Swami on pilgrimage.

  • Our Seven Mothers

    There always have been, and always will be great teachers who are women. There have always been all different kinds of people. And this is not only a function of modernity.

  • ISKCON Sannyasis, Gurus, GBCs, and BBT Leaders Meet in India

    Nearly eighty top ISKCON leaders from around the world met at the society’s global headquarters in West Bengal for three full days, March 4-6, to discuss opportunities and challenges in expanding the ISKCON movement. 

  • Husband As A Guru

    When Prabhupada was asked by his disciple Vishal, “Should the wife do whatever the husband says?” Prabhupada replied, “And you should be so arrogant?”

  • Dynamics of Guru-Disciple Relationship: What Makes it Work

    In general, accepting criticism is the ability to stay strong and to expand. Today people cannot handle criticism. Even the thought of it throws their status quo out of control.

  • Disciples Course Inspires Family Mood, Dedication to Prabhupada and ISKCON

    w website,, has been launched for the ISKCON Disciples Course. Throughout the world, the course has been inspiring a family togetherness amongst devotees, as well as a strong dedication to Srila Prabhupada, their gurus, and Lord Chaitanya’s mission.

  • Days Two and Three of ISKCON GBC, Sannyasi and Guru Sanga

     Problems. Complications. Difficulties. We all have them. Usually they occur 365 days a year. Being a leader means dealing with the added responsibility of societal and institutional issues and finding viable solutions as well.  But the first step in solving a problem is recognizing that there is one. On the second and third days of the GBC, sannyasi and guru sanga, the participants began to untie this Gordian knot.

  • Post-modern Perspectives on the Guru-disciple Relationship

    The current intellectual and philosophical climate in the industrialised world has contributed to a particular perspective on the Vedas and the guru-disciple culture which is at its heart.

  • Can She Become a Guru?

    This is a response to the video "She can become guru" for all those who want to know the arguments from both sides.

  • Gurudevis and Grandmothers

    Undoubtedly, several senior women devotees in our movement are as learned, dedicated, and in other ways spiritually qualified as many of their godbrothers. Why then should there be any hesitation to induct them as diksa-gurus?

  • A Solution to the Guru Gender Debate

    In 1969, two letters sent to Hamsadutta and Kirtanananda indicated that by 1975 any disciple, male or female, passing the Bhaktivedanta examination would be empowered to initiate their own disciples in his presence in order to rapidly expand the movement.

  • She Can Become Guru - Vaishnavi Gurus in ISKCON

    The role of diksha guru is an important one in Vaishnava culture and in ISKCON. Over the last several years there has been much discussion whether women can serve in this role in our society. It has been discussed formally, and in depth at the GBC level and among devotees in different venues. 

     A video was produced by "Vaishnavi Gurus" recently and forwarded to ISKCON News. We do not endorse the conclusion or opinion of this video. We post it because ISKCON News is a venue for news, information, and opinions about our society, and we believe our ISKCON community is  strengthened by a thoughtful and balanced exchange of ideas. 

  • 4 AM - It's God o'clock!

    Music and video by Dr. Sahadeva Dasa.

  • New Guru-Disciple Book Makes Complex Subject Accessible

    This month, the ISKCON Disciple Course – a program introduced in 2012 to help devotees better understand the guru-disciple relationship – became a requirement for initiation into ISKCON. And now, the straightforwardly-named The Guru and Disciple Book, by Prabhupada disciple Kripamoya Das, adds to the complex age-old topic and makes it even more accessible.

  • Disciples Course Required for Initiation by September 5th

    From the holy day of Janmastami – September 5th -- this year, devotees wishing to take initiation from an ISKCON guru will be required to first pass the ISKCON Disciples Course. The course grew from the ISKCON Guru Seminar, created by the GBC Guru Services Committee in 2008 to educate those taking up the service of guru in how to be effective in caring for their disciples.

  • GBC Discusses Youth Engagement in ISKCON, Visits TOVP and SMIS School

    On the third day of the ISKCON GBC’s Annual General Meetings there were presentations about a mega kirtan festival, entitled as “Chant for Change”, about the work of ISKCON Deity Worship and Youth Ministries. The GBC members also visited the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium and the Sri Mayapur International School.

  • Sanga of ISKCON Gurus and Sannyasis - Day Three

    On this third and last day, participants took on the task of looking seventy years into the future, when all of Srila Prabhupadas disciples – and even most of the devotees who took initiation not long after Srila Prabhupadas departure – will certainly have left the planet. The participants were asked to envision what kind of ISKCON they would like to see – what a highly successful ISKCON would look like.

  • Romapada Swami: Strategic Planning - Inspired Leadership

    Romapada Swami, GBC member of over twenty-two years leading ISKCON in New York, New Jersey and the Midwest of the USA, and also a member of the SPN’s Organizational Development Committee, speaks on how strategic planning has helped him in his GBC service and how it can better assist ISKCON’s leadership to respond to what is required of it.

  • Mayapur Sanga of ISKCON Sannyasis, Gurus and GBCs - Day One

    Today saw the start of the much-anticipated Sanga of Sannyasis, Gurus and GBCs, (SGGS). Over eighty of ISKCON’s most senior leaders and preachers from across the globe gathered in Sri Dhama Mayapur for three days of association, contemplation, and in-depth discussion in response to Srila Prabhupada’s directive to find unity in diversity.

  • GBC Completes Three-Day Special Session on Vaishnavi Diksa Gurus

    The Governing Body Commission (GBC) of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) recently completed a special three-day session during which the GBC Body considered whether or not this worldwide Vaishnava community should endorse and implement the policy of having women serve as diksa-gurus, or initiating spiritual masters, within the ISKCON society. 

  • Spiritual Leadership Course in Mayapura

    “Spiritual Leadership: Being a Guru in ISKCON” seminar wiill be offered once in 2015, at Mayapura from February 22-25. Per ISKCON Law this Seminar is mandatory for devotees who take up the service of diksha guru and for sannyasa candidates. The GBC also “highly recommends” it for siksa gurus, senior managers and other ISKCON leaders.

  • Exploring Guru Tattva: Labor Day Weekend Seminar at Gita Nagari

    In Bhagavad-gita Lord Sri Krishna indicates one of the essential steps in the bhakti process is acceptance of the shelter of such a Postal Peon, a guru, who helps connect one with Krishna, as well as assists in progressively fully restoring one's relationship with Him.

  • "Exploring Guru Tattva" Labor Day Gita Nagari Retreat

    One of the essential steps in the bhakti process is acceptance of the shelter of a guru, who helps connect one with Krishna, as well as assisting in progressively fully restoring one's relationship with Him.

  • Indian Court Asked to Rule on Whether Hindu Guru Dead or Meditating

    Indian court has been asked to rule on whether a revered Hindu guru is dead or alive – and whether it is a matter of religious faith or scientific fact.

  • Flying Solo

    It’s a brave and bold step to strive for purity in a world of degradation, to embrace simplicity amongst rampant materialism, and to cultivate selflessness in an atmosphere surcharged with exploitation.

  • ISKCON Disciple Course to be Prerequisite for Initiation from 2015

    At the 2014 Annual General Meetings of ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission in Mayapur, the GBC resolved that devotees wishing to take initiation from an ISKCON guru will be required to first pass the ISKCON Disciple Course. The resolution will not be effective until Janmastami 2015, so that ISKCON leaders throughout the world will have time to put the proper systems in place to make the course widely available.

  • Spiritual Leadership: Seminar on Being a Guru in ISKCON

    A 4-day seminar will be held entitled as “Spiritual Leadership: Being a Guru in ISKCON,” this upcoming February 17-20, 2013 in Mayapura.

  • Gurus & the Cult of Relativity
    There is something in our post-modern character which makes the guru-disciple dynamic very, very difficult. We are drawn very deeply to strains within our being which encourage our individuality, but the structure of our society tends to harp upon those strains in ways which cultivate pride, greed, envy, and all the classic elements which are anathema to our spirit.
  • Finding Some Principles by Telling Some Lies: Vikram Gandhi’s ‘Kumaré: The True Story of a False Prophet’

    “Faith begins as an experiment and ends as an experience.” That quotation from the Anglican priest William Ralph Inge, which begins the documentary “Kumaré: The True Story of a False Prophet,” evokes the film’s ambiguous exploration of religion, teaching and spiritual leadership.

  • Fake Guru Makes True Movie
    Vikram is an American of Indian parentage who knew a little about religion, Hinduism and yoga. He wanted to see how readily he would be accepted by spiritual seekers if he adopted the appearance, speech and mannerisms of a ‘guru.’
  • Inspiration Junkies and Gurus That Go Bump In The Night…
    When you barely have time to do the laundry and cook dinner after work, ‘find a guru’ is probably pretty low on the to-do list. It would be so much easier if there were guru conventions, and all prospective guides could make themselves available for a chat. Kind of like spiritual speed dating. If only it were so simple.
  • Homage to Srila Prabhupada
    Vyasa-puja is an annual celebration by devotees of Lord Krishna to offer homage to their guru, or spiritual teacher. Each year, the BBT publishes a Vyasa-puja book—a collection of homages to Srila Prabhupada from devotees and temples all over the world.
  • “How to Choose A Guru” Seminar on DVD
    A new two-hour DVD from ISKCON Television (ITV) lets viewers in on highlights from the annual “Guru Seminar” held at Bhaktivedanta Manor, UK.
  • ISKCON Guru Seminar DVD

    A yearly seminar at Bhaktivedanta Manor is offered to students interested in finding an ISKCON guru for themselves.

  • Gurus Gather For Reflection
    During Kartik, 2009, fifteen ISKCON diksa and siksa gurus gathered at ISKCON Ujjain for a first ever "Guru Retreat". The pilot four-day event, organized by the GBC's Guru Services Committee to help support the spiritual health of gurus and disciples in ISKCON, stimulated valuable ideas in a surcharged atmosphere of sanga and memorable kirtans, classes and realizations.
  • Guru Seminar Promotes Cooperation, Keeping Prabhupada in Center

    Why should a guru need to attend a seminar on devotee care, spiritual health, and allegiance to Srila Prabhupada, one may ask? Srila Prabhupada wanted hundreds and thousands of gurus to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world.

  • The Soul of Compassion

    It is December of 1936. Abhaya Caraṇāravinda Dāsa, a forty-year-old pharmaceutical distributor then in Bombay on business, feels a sudden impulse to write a letter to his spiritual master, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. It is December 9, 1968, thirty-two years later. The same disciple—now a renunciant and spiritual master himself—finds himself in the city of Los Angeles where he relates to a gathering of his own disciples the story of his 1936 letter. He is observing with them the “Disappearance Day” of his spiritual master.

  • Paternalism and the Guru-Disciple Relationship
    Paternalism is based on the premise that it better to keep people, especially those people judged from a position of superiority to be vulnerable, in ignorance rather than given knowledge and the consequent rights and responsibilities. Not only is paternalism debilitating, but its effects can linger for decades. I’m living proof.
  • The Late Bhakti Tirtha Swami Honored at ISKCON Mayapur
    Mayapur, India -- Disciples and well-wishers of the late and much-loved ISKCON guru Bhakti Tirtha Swami arranged a full-day “Vyasa Puja” celebration in honor of his birthday this March 4. Kavicandra Swami, now ISKCON’s sole Governing Body Comissioner in West Africa with Bhakti-Tirtha Swami gone, began the day with a lecture honoring the late guru.
  • ISKCON Guru's Birthday Celebrated at Udupi

    As they do every year, over eight hundred disciples and congregational devotees celebrated the Vyasa-puja, or birthday, ISKCON guru Bhakti Vikas Swami. This year, Maharaja’s 52nd, the festivities took place on January 3rd. But hospitality from a different branch of Vaishnavaism added a twist. This year's event was hosted by the Madhva Sampradaya and held in Udupi, the south Indian town where Madhvacharya "one of the greatest Vaishnava teachers of all time" lived eight hundred years ago.

  • Jayapataka Swami Resting After Tracheotomy

    ISKCON Guru and GBC His Holiness Jayapataka Swami is still in a stable condition at Mumbai’s Hinduja Hospital, after doctors performed a tracheotomy on Thursday October 30. His Holiness had requested hospital staff to remove his ventilator tubes, as they were uncomfortable.

  • Local Diksha: For When the Oil Runs Dry

    Sri Ramanujacarya (1017-1137) created 74 simhasana-dhipatis or ‘throne-holders,’ to give initiation after his death, he created what we in ISKCON would term ‘zonal acaryas.’ He chose 74 of his disciples to give diksha, each of them affiliated to one of the many temples spread far and wide throughout a large tract of India.

  • Serving Our Gurus: An Interview with Anuttama Dasa
    Anuttama Dasa, Director – ISKCON Communications and member of GBC’s Guru Services Committee facilitated a four-day seminar this weekend on ‘Being a Guru in ISKCON’ at ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai prior to the GBC Strategic Planning Meetings. This seminar was being presented for the second time. The pilot seminar was launched in Ujjain last February.
  • Being a Guru in ISKCON: A Spiritual Leadership Seminar

    Anuttama Prabhu, ISKCON’s Director of Communications and a member of the GBC’s Guru Services Committee, and Hanuman Prabhu, a GBC Deputy from Spain and the BBT Director for South America, facilitated a four-day seminar on spiritual leadership in mid-October in Mumbai. Sessions were held six hours a day and were being taught for the second time; last February, the pilot course was launched in Ujjain.

  • Diksha-Lite: Initiation without the Tapa

    Did you hear the story of the man who rode his tricycle up to the gates of our Mayapura, West Bengal temple to sell ice-cream? He had one of those tricycles you see a lot in India - the ones with a refrigerated box on the back. There’s nothing sells quite like ice-cream on a hot day. Only he wasn’t selling ice-cream at all.

  • Sai Baba: God-man or Con Man?
    Basava Premanand has been burgled… again. It is the third time in just one month. But he is in no doubt of the thieves’ motives. He suspects they were looking for evidence that he has collected for over 30 years against India’s leading spiritual guru, Sri Satya Sai Baba. Mr Premanand believes this evidence proves the self-proclaimed “God-man”, Sai Baba, is not just a fraud, but a dangerous sexual abuser.