help me find a bonafide GURU

Hare Krishna

My humble obeisances to Swami Prabhupada ji.

I place this request in front of the ISKCON fraternity to guide me towards the most important step in the process of attaining self-realization and ultimately, pure, unconditional love of Vasudev Sri Krishna: accepting a bonafide spiritual guru.
I live in Amritsar, India and I(by the grace of Krishna) am a firm believer in the practice of Bhakti-yoga, which you refer to as Krishna-consciousness. I feel privilaged and blessed to have received an opportunity to study the ever-so-enriching texts of Srila Prabhupada ji.
I am a sinner of the highest possible degree. Even so, I request you to help me advance in Bhakti-yoga by accepting a spiritual Guru.

Lord Krishna Chaitanya will always be merciful to all His devotees.

Hare Krishna

Accepting a guru

Hare Krsna,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and to all the Vaisnavas.

If you are planning on taking initiation, there is a list of all initiating gurus, who are Srila Prabhupada disciples, approved by the GBC (ISKCON governing body). However, there are senior disciples of Prabhupada who are not yet initiating but do wish to initiate in the near future. You can ask them if they are accepting formal disciples or not.

Accepting a guru is, as you said, a very big step in one's spiritual life, and is ideal if you plan on advancing. Srila Prabhupada always said that when the disciple is sincere, Krsna will send a bona-fide guru. So our qualification is to be sincere. A devotee once asked Srila Prabhupada how to be sincere and Prabhupada simply replied, "By being sincere." So, by seeing our determination and enthusiasm to advance in Krsna consciousness, Krsna will send a qualified guru.

According to Srila Rupa Goswami's Nectar of Instruction, a bona-fide guru must be an uttama adhikari, i.e. a very elevated devotee of the Lord. The qualifications of a guru are there, but one thing that is most important is how you feel from within. Before accepting a guru, you will know from within the heart if a certain elevated devotee is your guru. You will feel very inspired by them and their words will always help push you towards Krsna. You will feel confident that that person will help take you back to Krsna, back to Godhead. Srila Prabhupada accepted Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura as his guru a long time before Prabhupada took initiation by him. Initiation is a formal acceptance of a guru, but the real acceptance is when you accept one as a guru in your heart.

And of course, until you find that guru, or gurus (you can have many shiksha gurus but only one diksha guru), you can always accept Srila Prabhupada as your primary guru, since he is to be seen as every devotee's foundational shiksha guru.

I hope that has helped.

Always anxious to serve,
Bhaktin Roma

my sincere thanks to you

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my sincere thanks for taking time out for someone as ordinary as me. Your answer will certainly serve as another stepping stone.
Could you kindly send a link or a contact number or an email-id or a blog or any other possible means of coming in contact with the GBC (ISKCON governing body).

Also, could you oblige with some information about the central practices of Krishna consciousness. I know a few which have been enlisted below:
1 Chanting the Hare-Krishna mantra at least 16 rounds a day(1 round = 108 chants).
2 Tasting the prasadam offered to Lord Krishna.
3 Hearing Krishna-katha(Srimad Bhagavatam and the Bhagavad-Gita).
4 Sankirtan.
5 Associating with the pure devotees.
6 Abandoning the association of non-devotees.
7 Never forget Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Thanking you once again

Hare Krishna!

Basics of Krsna consciousness

Hare Krsna,

So sorry about this but I'm not exactly sure what you are asking. Would you like me to elaborate on the points you had mentioned?

If you are looking for the fundamentals of Krsna conscious practices, there is a book entitled "A Beginner's Guide to Krishna Consciousness" by Bhakti Vikasa Swami. This has pretty much everything in relation to the points you mentioned above, as well as the ISKCON etiquette. It will be very nice for you to read this book. I'm not sure if they sell it on the Krsna.com store here, but if you search it online you should be able to get it.

Also, you may wish to listen to (or watch) some lectures by His Grace Mahatma Prabhu. You can watch them here: http://www.krishna.com/tv. There are tabs at the bottom on the different topics he addresses, such as chanting and sadhana. Those lectures are very helpful.

At your service,
Bhaktin Roma

Governing Body Commission (GBC) Official Site

http://gbc.iskcon.org/

Hari Hari
ys Jan