An Error in Every Sentence:
His Holiness Bhakti Vikash Swami


IRM

By Krishnakant

We continue our acclaimed “An Error in Every Sentence” series by profiling a lecture
titled “A Reply to Ritvikism” given by His Holiness Bhakti Vikash Swami (BVKS)
on 2/9/2009. As usual we shall show how the lecture will be riddled from start to finish with errors. To avoid repetition we have omitted similar points repeated throughout the lecture, which means that the actual level of errors are much greater than shown here! For ease of presentation, the lecture is divided into thematic sections, rather than tackled chronologically.

Sum total of all the Demi-Gods, good as Krishna

 “through the parampara. I’ll take you to my guru and then he takes you to his guru and like this the mercy comes down, and we bring people in and offer them up. […]  And the guru is the sum and substance of all the demigods and actually the guru is…the Vaisnava guru is even more important than the demigods in as much as they both accept worship. […] And I'm saying that and I am a Vaisnava guru. […] So the acarya that Krishna is speaking about when he's instructing Uddhava, that “the acarya is as good as Me”, not be disrespected in any way, is the forest risi guru.  And of course this applies to all those, all Vaisnava gurus.”

BVKS makes it clear that he considers himself the next guru in the parampara after Srila Prabhupada, who should be worshipped and treated just like every other acarya - Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktisiddhana Sarasvati Maharaja etc. And consequently he has attained the position of being more powerful than the sum total of the demigods, to be treated as being good as Krishna. However, this declaration of his newly acquired divinity is rendered contradictory by the boasts he made just BEFORE he was allowed to join the GBC’s guru club:

“Monitor guru" seems to be the most suitable position for me — an older student guiding a younger one, who may well surpass the monitor as he grows older but will always remain faithful and respectful to him; the teacher of both is the same. ‘Nikunja-yuno’ etc. in relation to me? Not even a joke; it’s ridiculous. Do I have to pretend to have attained manjari-hood? What are those initiated by our Godbrothers supposed to think when they sing ‘nikunja-yuno and ‘romanca kalpa’, etc. when the guru can’t even get up for mangala-arati? These matters need careful looking into.”
(BVKS, Vedic Village Review, Issue 14, September, 1990)

BVKS ridiculed the idea of himself becoming a GBC diksa guru. Instead he states that he is at best only a “monitor guru”, whose is simply an elder student guiding an younger one, with both of them having the same teacher, and the younger student may well surpass the monitor guru with time. Rather the idea of being a guru like all the other GBC Diksa gurus, whose disciples sing “Nikunja-yuno and romanca kalpa” to them every morning at Mangal Arati, was not “even a joke”,  but “ridiculous”. Yet this is exactly the “ridiculous” position BVKS is now agreeing with, fully supporting the disciples singing these prayers to him and the other ISKCON GBC gurus every morning during Mangal Arati, as they claim to be not “monitor gurus” but successor diksa gurus to Srila Prabhupada in the parampara. So the only “matter” that needs “careful looking into” is why, by his own estimation, BVKS is such a contradictory hypocritical ridiculous joke!

“If I'm properly representing Srila Prabhupada and the parampara and the people properly want to follow me then they will get the result of going to Krishna. […] And that is my duty as a guru.  I have the, is it audacity, or I have the faith in Prabhupada that if I take the position of a guru in his service and if I simply try to deliver what he has delivered, then by his mercy everyone will achieve the highest perfection of life.”

But BVKS was never ordered by Srila Prabhupada to take the service of being his successor diksa guru - hence how can it be in the service of Srila Prabhupada?! Indeed until 1990, BVKS himself did not think he had received any such order since we just quoted him thinking that at best he could only be a “monitor” guru. One cannot just take up any position one feels like and call it “service”! Hence he is NOT delivering what Srila Prabhupada delivered, since Srila Prabhupada never delivered BVKS as his successor diksa guru! Thus by his own words, anyone who follows BVKS will NOT attain “the highest perfection of life”.

"My Vyasa-puja... [...] So you may think, well, what is my qualification to accept the honour and affection that you are offering to me [...] So what's my qualification to be here in this beautiful temple surrounded by so many happy devotees, and why should I accept their glorification?  […] Well, that is my qualification, that if I can glorify Prabhupada then that's the qualification...actually, the er...I'm not qualified, intrinsically, but qualified because I can point, "Here is Prabhupada, and follow his instructions, and ask you to have faith in what SP has given." [...] I'm just saying distribute books, distribute Prabhupada's books, do that, […] so it’s very easy for me to be a guru.  Chant Hare Krsna, follow the principles, read Prabhupada’s books, distribute the books…that’s it.  That’s all I have to do."
(BVKS VP lecture, Tirupati, January 5th 2008)

In connection with his current claims of divinity as a full-fledged successor parampara diksa guru, BVKS claims that his qualification for being worshipped as the “sum total of the demigods, as good as Krishna”, is exactly the same as that possessed by any neophyte Bhakta who has just joined the temple - being able to chant Hare Krishna, distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books and to tell others to do the same! And yet hypocritically BVKS also expects such a neophyte Bhakta to worship him for the very reason that both of them are doing exactly the same activities!

“I am the way, the truth and the light!”

“So the main point is that the ritvik-vadis deny that that mercy can still flow…they say, well, you have to directly connect with Prabhupada.  So yeah…it's just like I'm a disciple of Srila Prabhupada.  I'm also a disciple of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, I'm also a disciple of Gaurakishore das Babaji.  Because when you become initiated you become a disciple of all the gurus.  But we have our specific connection also.” […] No guru is going to say that ‘I am the way, the truth and the light and no one comes to God but through me’, to quote Jesus Christ.”

Since BVKS is claiming that one has to accept Srila Prabhupada’s mercy VIA him (and his GBC guru pals), it is actually HE who is denying that the mercy can flow directly from Srila Prabhupada. And hence effectively BVKS IS saying that one can only reach Krishna by going through him (or his guru pals). Because if one could make a direct connection to Srila Prabhupada, and take the mercy directly from him, just as BVKS is claiming he can, there would be no need for either BVKS or his 80 guru hoaxer pals to be accepted as substitute parampara diksa guru successor replacements for Srila Prabhupada. So BVKS has cut that direct mercy off from Srila Prabhupada forever, claiming that only he and a few thousand others were lucky enough to be able to have a direct and specific connection to Srila Prabhupada. The rest of us have “missed the boat”, and instead must accept BVKS and his many dozens of GBC guru pals to get any mercy!

“But the mercy that the gurus in ISKCON today offer is that, ‘Yes, we will train you, we'll teach you according to what Srila Prabhupada said and take you to Prabhupada, and he will deliver you.’  And how will Prabhupada deliver you?  He will take you to his guru, like that.”

1) But ISKCON gurus are not giving this mercy because they are NOT teaching according to what Srila Prabhupada said, starting with their false claims that Srila Prabhupada ordered them to replace him as the current link for the parampara. And as we show in this rebuttal, BVKS does not even attempt to offer any evidence that Srila Prabhupada authorized him to become his parampara Diksa guru successor.

2) And BVKS is only claming NOW that HE guarantees deliverance – earlier when he was humbly knocking on the GBC guru club’s door, he was happy to claim he could only be a monitor guru whose students may actually surpass him with time!

Cell-Phone Guru

“Of course, the disciple, the prospective disciple is supposed to be accepted by the guru.  It's not that you can decide for him, anyone else can decide for him who's going to be his disciple and the guru gives the name.  So that's        done by the ritvik priests in their system, but they don't take any                        responsibility for the disciple's spiritual progress. They say “OK you're           initiated, now it's between you and Prabhupada”.  There's no guidance.  So it's quite cruel actually to say that well, you know “you're on your own and   there you are, you take it”.  

BVKS is describing the same ritvik system which was in place when Srila Prabhupada was on the planet and as BVKS himself admits below, many disciples never even met Srila Prabhupada during that time. BVKS never thought such a system was “cruel” – rather he thought it was more than fine:

“There was no question of just walking up to Srila Prabhupada and talking to him, nor even of getting an appointment to see him. We could attend lectures and darsanas, but felt (and were) too insignificant to ask him a question, even in the public forum. We couldn't even write to him, because we were told not to disturb him with letters. We were told simply to serve his mission and that would be our relationship with him. […] It appeared that we had never even really met, but we had. […] We hardly met on the material platform, but we certainly did on the spiritual platform. […] Some disciples of Srila Prabhupada never even saw him at all.”
(BVKS, “My Memories of Srila Prabhupada”)

So if such a system was not “cruel” then, how can it be cruel now? (Or does BVKS think it is cruel only because he and others will no longer get to be worshipped as good as God and be able to consider themselves the sum total of the demi-Gods!)

“You won't find in any sastra that you should turn your cellphone off before you come to a satsang.  Who's gonna tell you?  You may say it's not the highest spiritual principle, but it is a spiritual principle.  These are the kind of things that disciples need to be trained in.  It's not all about talking about very high philosophy or but… in every detail one has to be trained.  For that you need a guru.”

So according to BVKS the reason we can not have Srila Prabhupada as our Diksa Guru is because he cannot tell us to turn our cell phone off. And so we need BVKS as our Diksa guru replacement to tell us to do this. But hypocritically BVKS does not need anyone to tell HIM to turn his cell phone off, so how then can we need him to do this, when he himself does not need it? We have just read in the last point BVKS himself admitting that many of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples did not see him at all, and none have seen him for 32 years, including BVKS. Yet none of them need a “cell-phone guru” to replace Srila Prabhupada – but we supposedly need THEM as our “cell-phone gurus”!

“Many people want a picture on the wall as a guru. […] So you can keep the picture of Prabhupada on your wall and say, "Well, I don't need any of these gurus, my guru is…yeah, that guy is a guru, I got Prabhupada as my guru."  You see…but you don't have any authority. “

This would apply to BVKS since he has Srila Prabhupada as his Guru, and he has no other gurus! Hence his whole argument is that we cannot do what he does!

 “Practically, it means you have no spiritual authority. You just, you know, whatever you think is in Prabhupada and what Prabhupada says, that's it for you. And where is the guru actually? […] And you don't actually submit to anyone.  Where is the surrender?  Where is the practical surrender? You don't have anyone to take instructions from personally.”

BVKS is confusing the need for an authority with needing him as a Diksa guru replacement for Srila Prabhupada. This can be shown by BVKS’s own hypocrisy – because HE has Srila Prabhupada as HIS diksa guru, but does not claim that this means “and where is the guru actually?” for HIM. So obviously it IS possible for one to have Srila Prabhupada as one’s Diksa Guru and also have day to day spiritual authority – by having a bona fide GBC, bona fide temple presidents etc. You know the exact same system which BVKS claims he is following! Only such authorities must be bona fide and represent what Srila Prabhupada actually taught, and not just perpetrate deviations in his name as is currently done by ISKCON “authorities”.

Krishna and Srila Prabhupada contradict themselves!

“I want to speak about a misconception which is quite prominent in the ISKCON world at the present time, […] And ritvikism has convinced many people. […] recently I saw this magazine called ‘Back to Prabhupada’.  You’ve probably all seen it because it’s widely circulated. […] this ‘Final Order’ which is the Bible of ritvikism, TFO, that was written by Krishnakant Desai, and this ‘Back to Prabhupada’ magazine, I believe it’s all written by him, or mostly written by him,” […]’cause he’s quite expert in debate, in vitanda, chala, nigraha, all these kind of things.  He has good intelligence, no doubt.”

So finally BVKS speaks some truth! He has admitted that we have been so successful in our preaching efforts that what we are preaching is “quite prominent” and has “convinced many people” in the ISKCON world! And this preaching is based on my being “quite expert in debate” and having “good intelligence”. So according to BVKS there is substance to our work.

“They claim that the GBC speaks contradictorily.  Well, it may be like that apparently.  You can say that about Prabhupada also. Prabhupada sometimes said one thing and sometimes he said something else.” 

So BVKS is not only admitting that we expose the GBC speaking contradictorily, but tries to justify that there is nothing wrong with this by trying to claim that Srila Prabhupada also spoke contradictorily!

“Just like in the beginning, Srila Prabhuapda told his disciples, his first disciples to put their japa beads around their neck. Later on, he told them you should always keep it in a bead bag.  It's contradictory right?”

NO! This is BVKS’s big ‘evidence’ for Srila Prabhupada contradicting himself!? Firstly there is no recorded evidence that Srila Prabhupada ever said this. And even if he did, the two statements are not contradictory, since its possible there were no bead bags available in the beginning. The GBC’s statements however are direct flip-flops on matters of their ‘siddhanta’ or philosophy. As even BVKS himself noted, BEFORE he got seduced by the guru hoax:

“I also think that the GBC have not answered major questions. I wish they would, because I’ve got one young devotee practically insisting on taking initiation from me, and I’d like some clear authorized perspective to give him that I’m not going to have to change every couple of years to keep up with the latest ideas.”
(BVKS, VVR, Issue 14, September, 1990)

So continually flip-flopping on the fundamental issue of guru-tattva is hardly comparable to giving stricter instructions regarding where beads should be kept!
In offering this ludicrous justification and trying to equate Srila Prabhupada with his GBC guru pals, BVKS has simply served to both offend Srila Prabhupada and come across as ridiculous, whilst reinforcing that the IRM is correctly pointing out the GBC’s contradictions!

“What about Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita?  […] So how are we going to understand this point that Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita - which is the book in which He explains the highest truth which we all have to understand to attain the highest spiritual platform - He contradicts Himself?”

Unfortunately, BVKS’s offensive mentality is not finished there. So desperate is he to try and cover the fact that BTP has exposed the GBC contradicting themselves left, right and centre, he now shamelessly tries to drag God Himself into it by claiming that  Krishna also contradicts Himself! To protect the bogus guru program of which he is an integral member, BVKS is happy to accept that both Srila Prabhupada and Krishna contradict themselves and in the same category as his beloved GBC. By engaging in such an offensive defensive justification, the fact that we have accurately pointed out the GBC continually contradicting themselves is simply established beyond any doubt!

“But, we cannot understand everything simply by logic. And you'll find in that Back To Prabhupada magazine it all appears very logical. But we don't find any bhakti there. There's nothing which appeals to our heart.”

Not content with admitting that the GBC is full of contradiction, he now admits that it is also implicity full of illogical positions, since BTP which exposes them is “very logical”! And again he offers some nonsensical justification to try and explain away our accurate logic – that it does not appeal to his heart. But WE need to determine if our logic is correct, whether or not what we say is right – not whether or not it makes BVKS feel good inside! And hence in not challenging our logic, he has merely again confirmed we are right.

 “That simply by logical analysis you don't get the mercy.  There's no bliss in it.  There's no bliss, so we should have lots of kirtan, praise Krishna and praise Srila Prabhupada and if you do that, then we'll go to Krishna. That's all.”

BVKS here completes his “Sahajiya” thesis – that being right does not matter, all that matters is to “feel good inside” – by adding that like Sahajiyas, just having lots of kirtan is all which matters. (There are groups in India who have this sentimental approach – that just by chanting and praising one will go to Krishna, and that philosophy does not matter. Srila Prabhupada refers to them as “prakrta-sahajiyas” or “sahajiyas” for short).

“Now if you think about it, you'll see that the ritvik-vadis will criticize, they say “this guru has this fault, and that guru has that fault” and if you look you may see that.  “Oh, they're right, they're pointing out some fault”, you see?”

Having admitted that we accurately point our contradictions in the GBC’s position, and that we are “very logical”, BVKS now goes for the hat trick and admits that we also accurately point out faults in the gurus!

“Yeah, so that point then that the guru-tattva is itself, it's uh it's inconceivable, we just have to accept..”

So having admitted all this – that we  accurately point out contradictions, faults and that our position is completely logical – he now offers the ultimate justification when one has no counter-argument – “its inconceivable prabhu, you just got to accept it!”
So BTP is wrong not because anything stated in it is wrong, but because:
Even Srila Prabhupada and Krishna contradicted themselves;
It does not make BVKS’s heart feel all gooey inside;
Its all inconceivable anyway and one just as to accept it!
BVKS himself is basically admitting we are right. We need not say anymore!

“They often say these people, that from the official ISKCON side they don't reply, […]  But at the same time, one thing in the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition, devotees are not very much interested in debate, […] We are not interested in the logical debate, trying to establish one point.  We can reply if there are certain arguments, but in and of itself we're not interested in logical debate, we're interested in serving Krishna.  So we may not enter into so many fine, detailed points of trying to understand, interpreting this word and that word and another word.” 

Well as he have seen to date – BVKS refuses to enter into answering any point, simply dismissing our correct points by claiming effectively none of that matters since contradictions, being illogical and having faults is all ok, as long as we feel good in the heart! So in BVKS’s world its folly to be wise when ignorance is bliss. And now he offers another justification for the fact that the GBC can not respond to our exposing their lies  – “we are not very much interested in debate!” Yes, anyone who is unable to debate, will naturally say this.

I Contradict myself

“But we have to…we have to be properly guided also.”

BVKS lives up to his claim that contradictions do not matter, by now going on to contradict himself! He claims that we must also be “properly guided”. But how, pray tell, can we be properly guided if the GBC is full of contradictions, faults and are not logical?!

“So they (ritviks) may feel that they’re sheltered by Prabhupada, but we understand that something's very seriously wrong in their understanding.  They're chanting blissfully, it may be.  Is that real bliss?  We have to see.  I've seen complete sahajiyas chanting totally bogus mantras jumping up and down like they're in complete ecstasy.  And they may have felt they're in ecstasy.  They may feel they're having the bliss of bhakti, but what is their connection with Krishna?  We have to understand through siddhanta.”

Having told us earlier that what really mattered was feeling good in the heart and just doing kirtana, and not having a non-contradictory, free from fault logical understanding, BVKS now claims the exact opposite, that actually what matters is not how people may feel inside, but having the correct conclusions or “siddhanta”.

“So actually there’s not really an issue because the ritvikvadis say that no one should initiate, only Prabhupada is initiating.  Because only Prabhupada is qualified to deliver anyone. 
[…]So, there's actually no difference between what they say and what we say, but the only difference is that the ritvik-vadis want to bottle up the mercy and say that it stopped with Prabhupada and no one else can distribute that mercy.”

Having told us that actually our understanding is “very seriously wrong”, he also claims that “there’s actually no difference” between our understanding and his. Clearly both cannot be true at the same time!

“So what is, in the beginning I was saying was there's not that much difference, because the gurus in ISKCON will say “we're initiating on behalf of Prabhupada” and the ritvik-vadis say “well we're more honest because we don't claim that we're perfect, or that we're qualified to take you to Krishna.” But the difference is that the ritvik priest, in their proposed system, the ritvik priest initiates on behalf of Srila Prabhupada.  He takes no responsibility for the disciple.  It's just a job.”

Now BVKS tries to make out that the only difference between our positions is that the ritvik is not a guru. Duh! That’s the whole point, since Srila Prabhupada is the Guru. And the ritvik simply did this “job” even when Srila Prabhupada was on the planet, and most disciples never even got to meet Srila Prabhupada. So if the system was fine then, it is certainly fine now, as in practice it would work exactly the same since large numbers of Srila Prabhupada disciples never even met him.

“So, if we're simply interested in establishing our position is correct, then we may be good at logic, but we won't arrive at the truth because we're more interested in establishing our position than finding the truth.”

This is correct. So what then do we say about someone like BVKS who is neither interested in establishing his position – simply saying its “inconceivable” etc. -  nor interested in finding truth but just following whatever allows him to be guru?

“And in Prabhupada's purport to Madhya-lila verse 130, which comes just after that famous verse amara ajnaya guru haya tara ei desa, "Become a guru and deliver this land", there is a statement that “It is best not to accept any disciples”, its in Prabhupada's purport.  I got the original transcript of this and there are mistakes in Prabhupada's books made by his editors, especially in the Chaitanya-caritamrta, which was a rush job, and actually that should say that “It is best not…”, because Prabhupada dictated and the transcribers heard it and typed it and then they edited.  That should be “It is best not to accept many disciples” not “any disciples”.

So as soon as BVKS finds any evidence in the books that does not support his arguments, his solution is to just claim that the books must be wrong and we can change them! Why does he not just make this supposed original transcript available for everyone to examine, instead of just claiming the books need to be changed?

Kali-Yuga Hypocrisy

“Their main business is to point out the faults, real and imagined – I'm not saying there aren't any faults. […] So the main thing they're doing in their magazine is, is, is just finding faults with Vaisnavas.  They're more concerned with that than in glorifying Krishna, which is what Prabhupada did.  So how anyone can benefit from that I don't know because benefit comes from glorifying Krishna and glorifying His devotees.  Not from simply saying this is wrong, that is wrong.  So we don't find it very spiritual. The whole thing is just criticism.”

Yet when BVKS thinks one of his guru competitors is doing something wrong, then HE can of course criticize him as much as he wants, and THAT is supposed to be very essential and beneficial:

"As the GBC cannot be expected to take needed action to stop deviations before they become disasters, it seems the only recourse for responsible members of ISKCON is to take the matter to gutter level, i.e.  the internet.  Painful and undignified as such public laundry-washing may be, it might at least create an awareness of deviations and warn devotees not to get sidelined into weird cults going on in the name of ISKCON."
(Bhakti Vikash Swami, 23/03/03, PAMHO Text: 7160561)

“Bhakti Tirtha Swami has a history of talking and publishing imaginative nonsense that disqualifies him from being an acarya.  He should talk according to guru sadhu and sastra or take a mothership and fly off to another dimension. This nonsense must stop.  It is simply cheating."
(Bhakti Vikash Swami, 19/8/2003, PAMHO Text 7147009)

BVKS’s heavy and persistent attacks of His Holiness Bhakti Tirtha Swami, as well as those in ISKCON supporting “gay marriage” and so on are well known and documented. So if the odd guru does something wrong, then BVKS can criticize him as much as he wants. But if ALL the ISKCON gurus are doing something wrong - by unauthorisedly perpetrating the guru hoax - then criticising them is of no value! No sane person will accept such hypocrisy – but then again maybe BVKS is simply relying on the fact that it is Kali-Yuga, the age of hypocrisy?

“And there are many devotees like, and in fact, if we find, if we see, I don't find in the ritvik camp anyone who's been ever known in our society as a philosopher among devotees.  We find in the non-ritvik camp Dravida Prabhu […] Gopiparanadhana Prabhu, […] all of them who are persons who are intelligent and philosophical […] you won't find any of them in the ritvik camp.”

Yes, we in the IRM do not have a record of supporting for many years the now self-admitted guru hoax – which Jayadvaita Maharaja called straight forward “maya”:

"By the influence of maya, illusion, a different idea soon evolved that Srila Prabhupada had appointed eleven "pure devotees" to serve as the only gurus after him… This zonal guru system, as it came to be called, prevailed in ISKCON for about ten years, until its falseness became clear…”
('An Apology', Back to Godhead #25-01, 1991)

Yes these are the same group of  great “philosophers” who 100% backed this bogus zonal acarya guru hijack from 1977 – definitely a great vote of confidence!

Strawn Man fabrications

“Now in this magazine, the latest one I saw, their main point they’re making is that ISKCON gurus contradict themselves, […] they’ll quote another quote from the same guru, saying that ‘it is my duty to bring you to Krsna’, or something like this, I’m paraphrasing.” 

As BVKS himself admits, he is only claiming to represent “something like this, I’m, paraphrasing”, being too lazy to answer what we actually say, and instead proceeds to just answer points we have not actually made. This is known as answering “straw-man” arguments, which are arguments which we never made, since the actual arguments we present cannot be answered.

 “So by denying that anyone is qualified to be a guru, which is their main contention - ‘after Prabhupada no one's qualified to be guru’ -  then what they're saying is that Prabhupada was incapable of empowering anyone.”

A straw-man argument, since our “main contention” is not that Srila Prabhupada was “incapable of empowering anyone”. We simply ask, where, when and how did Srila Prabhupada authorise anyone to replace him as ISKCON’s diksa guru. We have only had two answers in the last 30 years – the first was that he authorised 11 men to be his zonal acarya successors – and the second was that the GBC were supposed to vote in his successors. These two answers constitute the guru hoax parts 1 and 2, since neither of these answers are substantiated by orders from Srila Prabhupada.

“We may say that “Well, what's the need of an acarya nowadays?” […] So the point that one can simply have a book as your guru, well Prabhupada didn't, he didn't subscribe to this.”

Straw-man argument, since we do not subscribe to this idea either – we say Srila Prabhupada is the acarya and guru, in the same way he has been ever since ISKCON was founded in 1966, with “no change” in his position.

“So Prabhupada says, "If you don't require a guru, then why are you teaching, if you don't require a guru? You don't require a book to study, then why are you writing a book?  Why are you writing a book to convince?  And why are you teaching them that there is no need of a guru? That means that you want to be guru. All other gurus are useless."  […] Isn't that what they say? ”That you see, you only read Prabhupada's books.”

Straw man argument. Everyone is authorized by Srila Prabhupada to repeat what Srila Prabhupada has taught and act as a preacher or siksa guru. We are repeating Srila Prabhupada’s orders that he is the Diksa Guru and that Srila Prabhupada has not authorized 80 persons to succeed him as the next diksa gurus in the parampara. So by pointing out that Srila Prabhupada only wanted many assistant siksa gurus, and not replacement diksa gurus, we would be acting as such assistant siksa gurus ourselves. Our position is therefore completely consistent. It is BVKS who is NOT repeating what Srila Prabhupada taught, and thus not even acting as a siksa guru, by claiming Srila Prabhupada wanted him to take the position of being the “sum total of the demi-gods”, as his parampara diksa guru successor. And we support our position by quoting Srila Prabhupada’s books. We need to do this because the GBC have misrepresented what Srila Prabhupada said. If they did not engage in this misrepresentation to start with, we would not need to write anything to correct this misrepresentation. “The Final Order” book ensures that people will only read Srila Prabhupada’s books for all their spiritual knowledge, rather than dozens of rival books written by rival ISKCON gurus. It is only because the GBC have misrepresented Srila Prabhupada by stating that for spiritual knowledge we should also read dozens of other books by dozens of rival gurus, that we are forced to correct the misrepresentation by exposing it and directing everyone back only to Srila Prabhupada’s books and Srila Prabhupada as the guru. Otherwise the situation in ISKCON could easily have continued as it was in 1977, and we would never have needed to write a single word.

“We have to read The Final Order to understand actually what Prabhupada meant to say because if you read Prabhupada's books, you'll never ever in a million years get any idea of ritvikism.”

 The one idea you will never get in a million years if you read Srila Prabhupada’s books is:

a) He first wanted 11 people to become his “zonal acarya material and spiritual successors”.

b) He then wanted whoever from these 11 did not fall down, to usher in dozens more successors such as BVKS, by instituting a voting system via the GBC.

We challenge anyone to find any statement in Srila Prabhupada’s books which comes within even a million miles of the above scenario, which is exactly what we have in ISKCON currently. Rather the books only speak of ISKCON continuing to be run in exactly the same way as it was being run when Srila Prabhupada was on the planet. Srila Prabhupada never once states that there will be a sudden change to how ISKCON will be run after he departs. And The Final Order simply quotes Srila Prabhupada to establish this point.

“So yeah, as I was saying, it might seem that the whole idea of having a guru is illogical.   This Krishnakant Desai, he relies on his logic.”

Straw man argument. We have never claimed it is illogical to have a guru. Rather we want to follow the same system of having a guru that BVKS currently follows – which is to have Srila Prabhupada! And we have established this by reference to Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, as documented in “The Final Order” and “Back To Prabhupada Special Issue 1”. The only “logic” we have relied on is stating that we must follow these instructions from Srila Prabhupada! And if someone disagrees with this “logic” and claims they only want to follow the GBC and not Srila Prabhupada, well even then, for such persons we have produced “Back To Prabhupada Special Issue 2”, where we quote exclusively from ISKCON’s current authorities!

“And they may say, well, their whole line of preaching is that “Well you see there are so many problems in ISKCON”.  That's true, there are problems in ISKCON.  But ritvikism isn't the solution.  To point out that there are problems and say, "Hey, this is it," that doesn't necessarily mean that it's the solution.  They say that we should just make Prabhupada the only guru in ISKCON and then there will be unity.”

Straw man argument. We do not argue that because there are problems in ISKCON we need ritvik, and that this will automatically solve all these problems. Rather we say the reverse – that because we deviated from Srila Prabhupada’s orders by foisting a guru hoax on him, problems have followed. But even if there were no problems in ISKCON, our position would remain unchanged, because ritvik is Srila Prabhupada’s order and we must follow it simply because it his order, and that’s all.

“So one other argument of the ritvik-vadis is they say, "Well, we have to follow sadhu, sastra and guru.  And you're saying that Prabhupada just introduced this system which is not according to sastra.  And they'll say, "Well Prabhupada changed so many things.  He's a great acarya.  He can change so many things."   In this way they demonstrate their pathetic ignorance of the principles of bhakti-tattva,”  

Straw-man argument. BVKS has simply demonstrated his “pathetic ignorance of what we say”, which is NOT the above.  Whatever Srila Prabhupada does, by definition, is automatically in line with sadha and sastra, since he is the guru, and all 3 are always in line. So we say the exact opposite of what BVKS claims we say here! So like hundreds before him, BVKS is unable even to state what we claim, never mind be able to refute it!

“Some years ago, some proponents of ritvikvada brought him (Krishnakant)  to Alachua as the star but then they withdrew him because he was an embarrassment,  […] He can't get himself up in the morning and take a bath,”

So having no philosophy or evidence with which to rebut our arguments, like all others before him, BVKS is forced to resort to false personal attacks. False, because we have the 2 day Alachua meetings on video, and everyone can see that I spoke from start to finish for 2 whole days, and hence was not withdrawn. And even if BVKS’s personal attacks were correct, they are a logical fallacy, known as “argumentum ad hominem”, which have no bearing on whether or not the arguments I present are correct. To determine this, the arguments themselves would need to be addressed. But being philosophically bankrupt, BVKS and others are unable to address our arguments and so must resort to personal attacks as a substitute for having no philosophy.

Conclusion

“We all agree here that ritvikism is wrong, but we should examine what’s wrong with it, lest we be misled by that.”

However as we have seen, BVKS has spectacularly failed in examining what is wrong with what have to say, offering instead the usual straw-man and contradictory arguments. Hence he is, according to his own words, merely contributing to allowing persons to be “misled” by what we have to say.

“Maybe they'll point out my faults.  I'll be in Back To Prabhupada magazine ... oppressing the devotees.”

Yes! And he is oppressing the devotees by claiming that we can only get to Krishna if we go through him (or his guru pals), thus denying them direct access to Srila Prabhupada.

So in summary, BVKS:

    a) Admits we point out contradictions in the GBC position.

    b) Admits we point out faults in the ISKCON gurus

    c) Admits our presentation is “very logical”

    d) States that there is “actually no difference” between our position and his.

    e) Claims Srila Prabhupada and Krishna contradict themselves.

    f) Claims he is the sum total of the demigods, fit to be worshipped like an acarya.

    g) Offers only contradictions, hypocrisy, straw-man arguments and false argumentum ad hominem attacks to support his position.

So in sum, BVKS offers not one piece of evidence against the IRM’s position, but rather just ends up supporting it!


Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare. And be Happy!