Hare Krishna Hanumatpresaka Swami, please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada
I have met you several times before and heard many of your lectures and I very much like your understanding/position (as far as I understand it) on the guru-tattva issue.
I am trying to find someone that will initiate me on behalf of Srila Prabhupada. I have been following the four regulative principals and chanting 16 rounds of Hare Krishna mantra every day for many years. In the last 2 years I only had one slip into sex and that was with my married wife and this was only after she was begging me every day for a long time - geez, this material world is a very dangerous place where even those with the best intentions and working very hard for righteousness get dragged down. it even happened to lord Siva and Parvati (but I know, that is no excuse).
I have been doing practical service and sankirtana for many years and have an authority that I am on good terms with at a ISKCON temple.
I just want to serve Srila Prabhupada for the rest of my life and I accept Prabhupada as my Guru and the uttama-adhicari that will fully guide me and give me all spiritual care. But I am of the understanding that I need to have a person to do the initiation ceremony and I was wondering if you would consider to be the initiator.
Thank you for considering my proposal.
Your servant Bhakta Joe Blow
HpS - AGTSP pamho
Actually, Joe and I have been at blows about this for quite some time in a private exchange of e-mails, but I was begging that we just discuss it on this blog like this because it is a topic that everyone can appreciate.
We've posted a good extract of our current thoughts on Guru-tattva at: www.jayarama.us/kd/guru-tattva.txt. I think Joe has read them pretty well. He is a rather scholarly person.
I would like start with two points. First is that two our comprehension Lord Balarama, Lord Nityananda, are the ultimate form of Guru. Of course, we discussed this before on this Blog and we feel that not everyone accepts the necesity of going to Krsna, Rama, Jehovah, through Guru, but I think that Bhakta J. B. and us are on accord with this idea, no?
We can all see God, but to see him more clearly we have to look at Him through Lord Balarama.
Then next point is that even in Goloka there is Guru-tattva:
SB 10.16.22: Lord Balarāma then saw that Nanda Mahārāja and the other cowherd men, who had dedicated their very lives to Kṛṣṇa, were beginning to enter the serpent's lake. As the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Balarāma fully knew Lord Kṛṣṇa's actual power, and therefore He restrained them.
So, there is no limit to learning more and more about Guru. We feel very suspicious about people who don't have many questions to resolve about Guru. However, that doesn't mean that we can't understand enough to engage in practical service to Krsna through Guru today.
So, that's our first point. There is a lot more to know, but we can know enough to go ahead with certainty, and the best way to advance is by serrvice.
Our second point is that everyone does this job of Guru and Disciple and Guru and Disciple differently. We are people. So there has to be room for individual adjustment on all levels. That is natural, delightful.
O.K. Joe, now it's time for you to pick up your horn and make your blow!
(Of course others can also comment, remembering that this is an unlimite topic. Keep our words short and practical)