Hearing From this One and That One Means Hearing From No One (06/28/14)
I have received your email and read with interest.
You have mentioned your greatest necessity in your email and that is that you must accept the shelter of a bona-fide guru.
Whatever mantras one chants should be received from ones dīkṣā-guru. Mantras are not simply to be adopted from books.
Yes, Oṁ is sometimes chanted in other Vaiṣṇava-sampradāyas as japa [Oṁ japa], but not in the Gauḍīya sampradāya. If one desires to chant Oṁ or gāyatrī, one should approach a dīkṣā-guru for such blessings. Of course, śikṣā is also there, but there are two types of śikṣā. Śikṣā in general is about siddhānta, such as you hear in a bona-fide Bhāgavatam class from a sannyāsī or senior devotee. Then there is śikṣā from a sad-guru who is accepted as non-different from Kṛṣṇa [Govindajī].
There are many things one has to learn properly in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but it is sad to say that you cannot learn such things or get proper guidance in and around Iskcon. Unfortunately, Iskcon has become an apa-sampradāya.
Actually the situation in Iskcon is far worse than you may realise. If you actually understood how bad it was, you would flee that place immediately. I have seen many devotees hanging around Iskcon for years on end looking for a guru. Hearing from this one and that one means hearing from no one. One should also not read many books without the order of one’s guru, or it is simply knowledge-seeking and not bhakti.
An example of this would be the many devotees that study for the various degrees in Māyāpura such as Bhakti-śāstri etc. Even uninitiated devotees sometimes get these so-called degrees. However, without first being initiated, one is not qualified to study the śāstra. Such study produces partial jñāna but not śuddha-bhakti.
I came to know from _____ that you have spent many years around Iskcon Māyāpura, but sadly the longer you stay there the more unlikely it is that you will find sad-guru. You are more likely to develop apa-siddhānta and even become implicated in Vaiṣṇava-aparādha. When you have seen the truth then you will understand that even eating the so-called ‘prasādam’ in Iskcon implicates one in Vaiṣṇava-aparādha. Their food and drink is Vaiṣṇava-aparādha.
If you are really interested in śikṣā then I might suggest that you come to South India to our āśrama and seek your fortune. My only concern in this regard is that you may already be so contaminated by Iskcon that your future prospect in śuddha-bhakti will have to wait until the next life.