Preeminent Position of Srila Prabhupada in ISKCON
Presentation By His Grace Sureshwar Prabhu
At Sri Sri Radha Gopinath, ISKCON Temple, Chowpatty, Mumbai, 27th March 2014.
As the Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) and the preeminent teacher and ultimate authority within our society, Srila Prabhupada has a unique relationship with every ISKCON devotee.
Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the original guru whose Divine Grace descends through the medium of the Guru Parampara. As such, a devotee is ultimately delivered by Sri Krishna acting through a combination of various manifestations of His mercy. These include, but are not limited to, the chaitya guru, Srila Prabhupada, the Guru Parampara, one’s diksha guru, other siksha gurus, the Holy Name, sastra, and the nine processes of devotional service.
Within these cooperative elements, Srila Prabhupada, as the Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, is the preeminent guru for all members of ISKCON. All members of ISKCON, for all generations, are encouraged to seek shelter of Srila Prabhupada. All members of ISKCON are entitled and encouraged to have a personal relationship with Srila Prabhupada through his books, teachings, service, and his ISKCON society.
All members accepting leadership roles within ISKCON, including diksha gurus and siksha gurus, have the duty of serving together under ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (GBC) to fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s instructions as he has given in his books, lectures, and personal communications.
Overall, the primary duty of all diksha gurus, siksha gurus and others in leadership positions is to assist Srila Prabhupada in his service to his Guru Maharaja Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, and our Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya.
Those who accept the service of diksha guru or siksha guru in ISKCON are required to be exemplary in representing Srila Prabhupada’s teaching in their words and personal behavior. The siksha guru gives spiritual instruction and inspiration on behalf of Srila Prabhupada and our Guru Parampara. The diksha guru gives spiritual instruction, inspiration, formal initiation, a spiritual name, and later imparts the sacred Gayatri mantras to a qualified disciple as a service to Srila Prabhupada and our Guru Parampara.
Srila Prabhupada has clearly explained that devotees who are strictly following the Krishna Conscious principles are acting on the liberated platform, and, as such, are pure devotees, even though they may actually not yet be liberated.  (Such unalloyed devotional service is not necessarily determined by one’s role or position of service, but by one’s realization.)
Those who accept the service of diksha or siksha guru within ISKCON are mandated to be strict followers of the instructions of Srila Prabhupada, and, as long as they follow, they are acting on the liberated platform. Thus they may serve, as Srila Prabhupada ordered, as bonafide representatives of the Lord and the Guru Parampara and be a via medium of Their mercy. Yet it should be clearly understood that if such diksha or siksha gurus deviate from strictly following, they may fall down from their position.