Zonal Acarya Hoax Revival Continues!


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 52, Summer 2016

In the last issue, we exposed GBC member and GBC-elected guru HH Sivarama Swami engaging in historical revisionism to falsely claim that Srila Prabhupada selected diksa gurus for different geographical areas. ("Reviving the Zonal Acarya Hoax"). This idea that Srila Prabhupada specifically "appointed" or selected certain individuals to be the designated diksa gurus for ISKCON is part of the discredited zonal acarya hoax.

We now find another GBC-elected guru, HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami ("BVKS"), promoting a version of the same discredited idea. On his personal website, he presents a lecture from ex-GBC member HG Rupanuga Dasa ("RD") which claims that Srila Prabhupada specifically "appointed" 11 persons to be diksa gurus for the movement, and BVKS states in an email that this understanding is correct (21/8/16). Excerpts from this lecture, given on 5/5/16, are in the shaded boxes.

Appointment hoax

"Srila Prabhupada did appoint eleven madhyama-adhikaris to become diksa gurus. There's no question about it. I was there when it happened. [...] I signed off as one of the eighteen GBC men. We all understood exactly what had happened. [...] We knew, when we walked out of that meeting, all of us knew".

1) RD refers here to the May 28th, 1977 "meeting", and claims that in this conversation Srila Prabhupada "did appoint eleven madhyama-adhikaris to become diksa gurus". That he and others present at this meeting, as well as all the GBC, "knew" this, is offered as support for this claim.

2) However, as noted in the previous article, we already know that all those present at the meeting, as well as the entire GBC, had a completely wrong understanding of what happened at this meeting. For it was admitted that the zonal acarya appointment hoax that the GBC implemented as a result of what they "understood" from this meeting, was due to "maya".

Rtviks appointed

"on the 9th of July, Srila Prabhupada came out with a famous letter in which he said, "These men will initiate people on my behalf." [...] He put them in that letter. They were going to be ritviks, or the officiating acaryas for Srila Prabhupada. And anyone they initiated would be his disciple."

RD accepts that Srila Prabhupada appointed rtviks/officiating acaryas on July 9th, 1977, who would conduct initiations by making disciples for Srila Prabhupada.

Rtviks for future

"That whole discussion was all about the future. [...] So we asked the first question about what to do about first and second initiations, especially when you are not with us. [...] And Srila Prabhupada replied, "Yes, I'm going to appoint some of you." "

Continuing with his version of the May 28th, 1977 conversation, RD states that the "whole" discussion was "all" about the "future". RD refers to the first question asked of Srila Prabhupada, which was specifically about how initiations would continue "especially" when Srila Prabhupada is "not with us". Thus, according to RD, there is absolutely no doubt that the answer to this question refers to what will happen after Srila Prabhupada physically departs. And here is the answer:

Satsvarupa Goswami: "Then our next question concerns initiations in the future, particularly at that time when you're no longer with us. We want to know how first and second initiation would be conducted."
Srila Prabhupada: "Yes. I shall recommend some of you. After this is settled up, I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating acaryas."
Tamala Krsna: "Is that called rtvik-acarya?"
Srila Prabhupada: "Rtvik, yes."

So, according to RD's own interpretation, in a conversation which is only about the future, and in response to a question especially about how initiations will be conducted after Srila Prabhupada's departure, Srila Prabhupada states that such initiations will be conducted by rtviks. Yet, we just saw RD accept that these rtviks were appointed on July 9th, 1977, and would conduct initiations by making disciples for Srila Prabhupada.

No guru appointment

"And the next question was, "Whose disciple will they be?" And he said, "Disciple of my disciple, my grand-disciple." "

RD continues with his interpretation of the May 28th conversation, and refers to the following question:

Tamala Krsna: "The people who they give diksa to, whose disciple are they?"
Srila Prabhupada: "They're his disciple."
Tamala Krsna: "They're his disciple."
Srila Prabhupada: "Who is initiating. His* grand-disciple. [...]"
Srila Prabhupada: "When I order you become guru, he becomes regular guru. That's all. He becomes disciple of my disciple."

a) * The current official transcript of this conversation from the GBC has this word rendered as "He is". However, one can listen to the tape for oneself here:


-- and clearly hear that Srila Prabhupada is stating one word "his", rather than two words "He is". And it's the same "his" that he says when he says, "They're his disciple", just 4 words earlier.

b) Thus, Srila Prabhupada does not answer the question with "disciple of my disciple". Srila Prabhupada actually answers as follows:

"They're his disciple. Who is initiating. His grand-disciple."

And Srila Prabhupada repeats the "his" in the answer "They're his disciple", just 4 words later by saying "His grand-disciple". This same "his" can therefore only refer to Srila Prabhupada, as only he could even theoretically have a grand-disciple. Thus, since the "his" refers to Srila Prabhupada, he is stating the disciples are his.

c) Srila Prabhupada then states that "His grand-disciple" only emerges: "when I order you become guru". For then you get a "regular guru", and a "disciple of my disciple" (grand-disciple). Thus, Srila Prabhupada states that he will only get grand-disciples if and when he orders diksa gurus. Therefore, an appointment of eleven diksa gurus is definitely not made in this conversation, as RD claims, since Srila Prabhupada only speaks of what will happen when such an order is made. But the only appointment on record was for "rtviks" to make disciples for Srila Prabhupada, as already quoted from RD, and not diksa gurus.


Though BVKS and RD try to revive the zonal acarya hoax, we can prove using RD's own words, and those of Srila Prabhupada, that:

a) Srila Prabhupada appointed rtviks to make disciples for him, for when he is "no longer with us".
b) No appointment of diksa gurus took place.

Therefore Srila Prabhupada remains ISKCON's diksa guru.

Changing Srila Prabhupada's Words


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 53, Autumn 2016

In last issue's article "Zonal Acarya Hoax Revival Continues!", we revealed that the words "his granddisciple" – spoken by Srila Prabhupada in a room conversation on May 28th, 1977 – had been changed to: "he is granddisciple". Hearing the recording of the words in question, which we uploaded, proves that it is not possible to hear one word – "his" – as two separate words – "he is" – by "mistake". Hence, the error in the transcription was deliberate, thus providing another example of cheating, as discussed in the previous article. To deliberately change the words of the Acarya, Srila Prabhupada, is a very serious deviation. Yet, as will be seen, it was done because just one word in this conversation causes the guru hoax to collapse.

The root

On July 9th, 1977, Srila Prabhupada appointed 11 persons to initiate on his behalf as "rtviks" or representatives. This is not disputed. However, it is claimed that these 11 rtviks were authorised to become diksa gurus as soon as Srila Prabhupada physically departed. The current ISKCON guru system is an expansion of these 11 rtviks having become diksa gurus, and therefore it is essential for the guru hoax that it is established that these 11 rtviks were authorised to become diksa gurus.

As the May 28th, 1977 conversation is alone used to claim this diksa guru authorisation for these 11 rtviks, the exact words used in the conversation are therefore crucial for the guru hoaxers. They also have to accept that the conversation speaks of how these rtviks will function after Srila Prabhupada physically departs. Otherwise, the assertion that this conversation refers to these same rtviks becoming diksa gurus after Srila Prabhupada physically departs does not even arise.


Fabricated route

The key to claiming that these 11 rtviks should have become diksa gurus depends on the meaning of the word "his" underlined:

Tamala Krsna: "No, he's asking that these rtvik-acaryas, they're officiating, giving diksa. Their... The people who they give diksa to, whose disciple are they?"
Srila Prabhupada: "They're his disciple."

If the "his" here refers to the rtviks, then one can claim that Srila Prabhupada is stating that they are to act as diksa gurus as they will have their own disciples. However, Srila Prabhupada continues:

"They're his disciple ... who is initiating ... his granddisciple."

Srila Prabhupada uses the same "his" twice in the space of five words, thus referring to the same person. The second use of "his" in "his granddisciple" by definition can only refer to Srila Prabhupada, as only he, and not the rtviks, could possibly have a granddisciple. Hence, the first "his" in "they're his disciple" also must refer to Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada is therefore referring to himself both times in the third person, and is stating that the disciples created by the action of the rtviks will actually belong to him, not the rtviks.

Srila Prabhupada also states that "his granddisciple" would only emerge if and when he gives the "order" for one to become a diksa guru, for he continues:

"his grandisciple...when I order you become guru, he becomes regular guru."

An order, which as just shown, is not given in this conversation. Nor is there any record of this order ever having been given – please see the next article. Hence, with the "his" in "they're his disciple" referring to Srila Prabhupada, and not the rtviks, just this one change has a double-effect. One, it cuts off the route for the rtviks to be diksa gurus, as the disciples do not belong to them. And two, as the disciples belong to Srila Prabhupada, and it is accepted that this conversation refers to what happens after Srila Prabhupada physically departs, it would mean that Srila Prabhupada remains the diksa guru after he physically departs. Hence the essential need for the fabrication of "his granddisciple" to "he is granddisciple", to eliminate this confirmatory evidence.

The appointment route

However, even if we accept this fabrication, it still gets defeated by the GBC itself! For if this conversation refers to the rtviks acting as diksa gurus, then it would mean that the 11 rtviks had been appointed as diksa gurus. Because they were appointed as rtviks, and Srila Prabhupada would be stating that these appointed rtviks should also act as diksa gurus. Thus, 11 men would have been appointed to act both as rtviks and diksa gurus.

But in 1980, HH Tamala Krsna Goswami, one of the 11 appointed as rtviks, confessed that they had not been appointed as diksa gurus, and this confession was later accepted as the truth by the GBC and printed in their journal:

"Actually, Prabhupada never appointed any gurus. [...] He appointed eleven rtviks. He never appointed them gurus. Myself and the other GBC have done the greatest disservice to this movement the last three years because we interpreted the appointment of rtviks as the appointment of gurus."
(Tamala Krsna Goswami, 3/12/80, quoted in ISKCON Journal, 1990, GBC Executive Committee)

Thus, the GBC has to reject that the "his" in "they're his disciples" could refer to the rtviks, as then they would have also been appointed as diksa gurus, which the GBC has rejected.


Srila Prabhupada's words were deliberately changed by both the BBT in the "Conversations Books", and the Bhaktivedanta Archives in the Bhaktivedanta Vedabase ("Folio"). Thus, they are clearly biased if the matter concerns the guru hoax. However, as demonstrated, either with or without this fabrication, the guru hoax still collapses – as summarised in the diagram above.

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