Nov 21.1998 - In yet another unpleasant carrot and stick rant against those who sympathise with Srila Prabhupada's final instructions on initiations ("Krishnakant Desai: All Bluff, No Stuff (2), posted on CHAKRA 17 Nov.) H.G. Drutakarma prabhu (henceforward the 'author') tries to win over ritvik orientated Temple Presidents by promising that as far as devotees under their charge:
Thus the author seeks to give them a new concocted bogus system (De-emphasised Diksa Guru or DDG) which would seem to function almost identically to the ritvik system, only critically without Srila Prabhupada as the rightful object of devotional worship. In order to further obscure Srila Prabhupada's proper diksa status from ISKCON members (in particular from unfortunate CHAKRA readers) the author ignores, distorts and evades all arguments which defend the reinstitution of the ritvik system. The author even makes a virtue of his dishonest tactic:
simply begs the question- how can the author title his article an
exposure of Krishnakanta's 'bluff, no stuff' when he point blank refuses
to deal directly with any of our ACTUAL statements? How can he prove we
are bluffing and giving no substance without giving examples? An ounce
of example is worth a ton of feverish rant. We shall once more
demonstrate that the reason the author acts so evasively is because he
cannot deal with our stated position, and so makes up what we say
and deals with that instead. Since the author persists with this
approach, even though it has already been pointed out to him TWICE -
"Drurtakarma Caught in Knowledge Filter", and
"Drutakarma Continues to Strain the Truth" - we can only
conclude that he is deliberately seeking to mislead his readers. For him
to do it a third time is nothing short of lying. The author is
certainly intelligent enough to know what he is doing, and it is quite
disturbing that he should even boast about his crooked approach.
This is a red herring since the author is asserting something that was
never disputed. There was never any dispute that Maharaja physically
typed the letter. The issue was did Srila Prabhupada commission the
letter, and did he agree with all the contents. If so how can the letter
be any less valid than if the letter had not come via his secretary? And
if it is not any less valid then what is the value in the author
continuing to state this irrelevant point? This is the third time we
have made this point.
This point has already been answered at least three times now. Since the
author can not deal with our reply he just continues to repeat, like a
broken record, the above point hoping that if he says it enough it will
will repeat our answer yet again.:
simply state that the letter was issued to the managing officers of
ISKCON to be applied in ISKCON and was to to be put in force
immediately, from that time onwards. It is the author who has decided
that departure has some special significance for the application of the
letter, having chosen that time to terminate the application of the
letter, even though as he correctly points out the letter makes no
mention of this. Also as long as there is no other instruction issued to
ISKCON as to how initiations would continue in the society, it is by
DEFINITION the FINAL ORDER on this subject"
As we have repeatedly pointed out the issue of specific time-periods is irrelevant since the letter makes no mention that it was supposed to happen for any time period, even whilst Srila Prabhupada was present. It is as simple as that.
The letter is simply a policy document to be applied within ISKCON. It is the author who has invented a time period not mentioned in the letter at which he has decided to terminate the policy. By the author's own words the letter gives him no authority to do that, and thus he has helped substantiate our original contention that there is no evidence to terminate the letter at departure. The applicability of the letter is simply tied to the institution in which it was to applied by the mangers of the institution, since the policy document does not state that it is a temporary policy, nor was the policy ever revoked. It is as simple as that.
This is a lie. We never made the above statement, and challenge the author to produce it. Thus all the verbiage that the author has written to 'defeat' the above non-existent statement is irrelevant. What was ACTUALLY said was the following:
this argument that the letter is not Srila Prabhupada's 'DIRECT WORDS'
is even more of a ludicrous argument, because by this logic, the author
would also have to reject all of Srila Prabhupada's books since they
also are not Srila Prabhupada's DIRECT WORDS, having been edited first
by Hayagriva, and lately by the author's colleague H.H. Jayadwaita
Swami. Thus the author must cease presenting any evidence from Srila
Prabhupada's books unless he can first locate the appropriate dicatation
tape and demonstrate that the book does indeed contain Srila
Prabhupada's DIRECT WORDS."
In fact the author simply substantiates our point above that Srila Prabhupada's books are not his DIRECT WORDS, since they have been EDITED. Thus we can see why the author has instituted a strict policy of NOT quoting us. If he did, in the above case at least, he would end up agreeing with us rather than doing what he does, namely shadow boxing a phantom opposing argument.
Again this is the author's speculation, unless of course he was hiding
in the room on July 9th when the letter was written. The letter itself
does not say that this is the 'secretary's understanding of some things
Prabhupada said on July 7 and May 28'. In fact it does not even mention
the July 7 conversation at all. Further since the July 9 letter contains
names which were not even mentioned on July 7, we know that this letter
cannot simply be H.H. Tamal Krishna Maharaja having decided to summarise
what he thought had happened on those two days. Why does not the author
just stick to the CONTENT of the letter instead of trying to endlessly
speculate about how the letter was produced ?
Here we see the most pathetic speculation offered to date by the author.
Having set out to show that there is a 'difference between a letter
directly written by Srila Prabhupada' and one written by his secretary
and 'merely approved' by him, what evidence does the author offer? He
offers his speculations as to how recipients may have reacted to a memo
sent out by Srila Prabhupada that was 'merely approved' by Srila
Prabhupada. The best the author can offer is: 'I imagine', 'they
probably' and 'I suspect'. And this is the author's evidence that
there is a 'difference' between Srila Prabhupada 'merely approving' and
'writing a letter directly'!!
The absurdity of this argument is that even if the author's speculations
were correct they do not offer any evidence that there is
factually a 'difference', since the way someone may react to an
instruction does not say anything about the validity of the instruction.
Even if the above memo had been written by Srila Prabhupada
directly, devotees may still have thought 'maybe Srila Prabhupada did
not mean it, let me double check with him in person'. We can all
speculate forever but what is the point?
This constant attempt to slyly undermine the authority of the letter by
the author is both futile and foolish. The foolishness of the author's
attempt is proven by the fact that even H.H. Jayadwaita Swami, a much
more credible anti-ritvik then the author, wrote in his paper 'Where the
Ritvik People Are Wrong' (which in our opinion is still the best attempt
to date to answer the ritvik position) the following regarding the
'Its AUTHORITY is BEYOND QUESTION'
'CLEARLY this letter establishes a ritvik-Guru system'
course Maharaja disagrees that the letter should continue to be applied
permanently, but as seen above he makes no distinction over the fact
that Srila Prabhupada 'merely approved' the letter. If the letter is
CLEAR and its 'AUTHORITY is BEYOND QUESTION' then the author's thesis
regarding the origin of the letter is defeated by H.H. Jayadvaita
Maharja himself. What also is ironic, is that the word AUTHORITY comes
from the word AUTHOR! Is Drutakarma prabhu now going to be brave enough
to challenge Maharaja as well? We shall see.
Since Srila Prabhupada did sign his approval to the entire letter, in attempting to undermine the authority of the letter the author is proposing one of the following options:
Now, unless the author is suggesting that Srila Prabhupada did not know
what he was doing, he has to go for option 2. But then he needs to
explain precisely what the difference is between Srila Prabhupada
approving a statement, and writing the statement directly himself. He
must then go on to demonstrate precisely how this effects the
final order on initiations. At present the author falls far short of
this. For instance, can the author explain what difference it would make
to the recipient were someone to write on Srila Prabhupada's behalf:
'every devotee must chant 16 rounds', and if Srila Prabhupada dictated
or typed the same statement himself?
note Srila Prabhupada offers no caveat to the letter stating that what
he is really approving is his secretaries 'understanding' of the letter.
Remember the contents and need for the letter came from Srila Prabhupada
unless the author is arguing that H.H Tamal Krishna Maharaja, in his
capacity as the secretary, ran ISKCON, and simply got Srila Prabhupada
to sign off his decisions.)
This argumentation against the authority of the letter is rendered even
more absurd when we consider that virtually with his next breath the
the author himself admits that the letter is an accurate rendition of
Srila Prabhupada's intentions. So again what difference is there between
this and Srila Prabhupada having directly written the letter down?
Further the author has contradicted himself since in his original
article he stated the following:
Having been chastened by our previous rebuttals, we see the author has
dropped his original ludicrous theory that the letter was SIMPLY
generated from a conversation that is not even mentioned in the letter.
So to cover all bases, the author has now belatedly inserted the May
28th conversation as a source of the letter too. The reader may recall
'Drutakarma Continues to Strain the Truth' we pointed out to him
that the opening sentence of the letter alluded to a conversation
involving the entire GBC, who as far as we know were not in the Garden
July 7th (unless of course they were all 'hiding in the bushes').
Unfortunately in doing this the author raises more contradictions since
the GBC have already stated that the
May 28th conversation only deals with after departure (DOMD), the
very time frame the author wants to avoid linking the letter to.
Since no-one, except possibly the author, is attempting to do this, the
above statement is either irrelevant or another 'straw man' argument.
Most likely both.
The author has seriously blundered here on two counts. By stating that Srila Prabhupada mentions 'nowhere' about initiating after his departure on the May 28th conversation, the author is clearly trying to pretend the following exchange which opened the May 28 conversation did not even taken place:
would like to draw the author's attention to the words 'at that time you
are no longer with us', 'ritvik' and 'yes', which may have eluded the
normally razor sharp mind of the author.
Secondly the author has again tried to state that the July 7th conversation is the 'immediate cause' of the July 9th letter, and is thus once again contradicting the letter itself (and the GBC in DOMD) which makes no mention of the July 7th conversation, but rather some other conversation involving the entire GBC, not just H.H. Tamal Krishna maharaja.
the author has inserted his own creative speculation when he states that
Srila Prabhupada was really approving 'whatever Tamal Krishna
understood'. The author is absurdly positing that what Srila Prabhupada
actually approved was not his own intentions for the ritvik system as
explained by the actual words in the July 9th letter, but the contents
of the Maharaja's mind in regards to what he thought Srila
Prabhupada wanted. This assertion is made more absurd when one considers
the Maharaja's colorful history over precisely this issue of Srila
Prabhupada's desires regarding initiation. Below we shall once more
relish the history of H.H.Tamal Krishna Maharaja's record on this issue
for the benefit of the author, since he obviously did not read
our response to the
GBC paper 'Prabhupada's Order':
Since the GBC are using the contents of Maharaja's mind as prime
evidence, it is pertinent for us to carefully examine whether his record
on this issue is solid and reliable. Below the reader will see for
themselves how Maharaja has offered nothing but a mass of confusing and
contradictory positions on what should have happened after Srila
1): Maharaja agrees with the rest of the '11' that the 11 mentioned in the July 9 letter had been exclusively chosen as the 'material and spiritual successors' to Srila Prabhupada. He enthusiastically participated and supported this system, with the big vyasasanas etc. We can see that at the time Maharaja did not display any outward signs that he had any idea what the 'real' meaning or context of the July 9 letter was. In a document he was party to issued at this time, it states:
"The GBC members met together in Vrndavana and prepared a few last questions to put before Srila Prabhupada. [...] Then he said that he would name the initiating gurus later. [...] Then one day in June he gave his secretary the names of eleven disciples who would be initiating the disciples. [...] A delicate situation may arise when in one ISKCON temple there are disciples of different gurus. The natural way to avoid this is for a guru to perform diksa in his own zone. Srila Prabhupada deliberately chose gurus in different parts of the world to arrange for this. [...] A second seat, however a little below Srila Prabhupada's vyasasana, should be given to the initiating guru. [...] Those who are already empowered to initiate will extend the number by their consideration. In this way it will have spiritual characteristics. The eleven picked by His Divine Grace will extend themselves. [...] Now these godbrother's are worshipped by their disciples as genuine spiritual masters. This means for example, that they are to be considered, as stated in the Guruvastakam, as nikunjo-yuno rati keli siddhyai - intimate assistants in the pastimes of Krishna."
Process For Carrying Out Srila Prabhupada's Desires For Future
Initiations; A paper prepared by the GBC in consultation with higher
authorities, Mayapur, 1978)
Maharaja offered the following vivid understanding of what exactly he thinks happened at this time:
argument that after the departure of the spiritual master anyone of
his disciples can give initiation, cannot be applied in the case of
Srila Prabhupada who specifically named 11 persons only at first to
fulfil this function. These 11 persons were named by Srila Prabhupada in
the beginning of July, 1977, in Vrindavana in the back garden of his
house. These names were dictated to me as I was serving as his
secretary, and now he had me write a letter to all the GBC's and Temple
Presidents which he also signed as approved on the 9th of July listing
their names and defining their function. [...] Thus, we can
understand, that in regard to the third definition of acarya, that
Srila Prabhupada clearly appointed 11 successors for initiation.
Whatever process may have been followed by past acaryas, Prabhupada
chose to appoint. [...] Even after having these facts clearly
explained, if some one continues to blaspheme the 11 gurus, their
legitimacy, blasphemes ISKCON, the spiritual vehicle created by
Prabhupada to fulfill his will, blasphemes the GBC - the approved driver
of the vehicle - [...] he is not a disciple at all. Rather he is the
killer of gurudev and his spiritual whereabouts is unknown.
is accepted by everyone now including the GBC, Maharaja's understanding
of what the letter meant, and the events that transpired after 1978
based on this understanding of the letter by Maharaja, was an
understanding that was absolutely
FALSE . Thus from the very beginning Maharaja had misunderstood
the meaning and context of the letter by his own later admission.
2): By this time Maharaja's understanding of what Srila Prabhupada's desires for guru-succession were had become so deviant that even the GBC, who at that time were themselves following a deviated path, suspended him as GBC and guru. At the time Maharaja had become convinced, amongst other things, that (what to speak of his own disciples) even his godbrothers and godsisters could only reach Srila Prabhupada through him!
Krishna Goswami, the leader of a large number of sannyasa and brahmacari
preachers, insisted that he was now their via media in relating to
Prabhupada and expected that his godbrothers follow HIM ABSOLUTELY."
3): Having been suspended Maharaja now gave a new version of events at Topanga Canyon, California. He admits there that:
and the other GBC have done the greatest disservice to this movement the
last three years because we interpreted the appointment of ritviks as
the appointment of gurus. What actually happened I'll explain. I
explained it but the interpretation is wrong'.
Here Maharaja is not only confirming that his understanding of the
letter in 1978 was totally wrong, but also that now he has
finally properly understood what Srila Prabhupada really wanted.
4): Maharaja now changes his mind again and goes back to the version of events that he had supported in 1978 and rejected in 1980:
not think that there is any problem in accepting the spiritual masters
who Srila Prabhupada appointed. The first qualification which you should
have before you decide on this issue is to chant sixteen rounds and
follow strictly Prabhupada's orders. So far as I seen anyone who is
doing this is accepting these acaryas, except in a very few instances.
The real proof however is to see that they are acarya, not simply by
appointment, but by actions. Our movement is progressing and growing
more and more, at least as much as it was during Srila Prabhupada's
time. [...] You have enclosed a clipping from Back To Godhead in which
Srila Bhaktipada is advertised as 'Bona fide Spiritual Master'. You say
'this is something that seems a little strange to me'. Would you please
explain to me what seems strange?
5): This metamorphosis of Maharaja's version of what happened in 1977 is completed by the publication of his book 'servant of the servant' he in which he states categorically:
the disappearance of our beloved spiritual master, we have seen such
disenchanted persons come forward trying to cast doubt on the legacy
left by Srila Prabhupada. When SP appointed from among his senior
disciples eleven persons to continue the process of initiation, and
when after their spiritual master's departure those whom he selected
assumed their duties by his command, the critics began to bark their
discontent. [...] The critics may argue that appointment alone is not a
guarantee that one has actually achieved this perfectional stage of
life; Prabhupada might have appointed disciples for lack of anyone
better, or hoping that they might one day achieve the desired
realization. To such irresponsible criticism we answer a decisive "No!"
SP chose them because they merited his confidence. [...] SP conferred
his blessings upon these disciples, seeing that they had dedicated
themselves heart and soul to assisting him in the preaching mission of
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Thus he considered them to be
uttama-adhikari, all highly advanced devotees worthy to be accepted
as spiritual masters. [...] Critics may doubt whether our ISKCON
acaryas are actually liberated. Do they know their rasa
(liberated relationship) with Krishna, and will they be able to instruct
their disciples similarly? But such questions bring one dangerously
near the precipice of spiritual calamity.
6): Maharaja again changes his mind and whole-heatedly endorses the new
reforms and agrees that what he and the other 11 had been doing and
teaching for the last 10 years was wrong.
To support this new
understanding he agrees that in new versions of his book 'Servant of the
Servant' the above quoted passage should be edited out.
7): Maharaja's understanding of guru-tattva takes a further twist. He now leads the formation of the 'gopi bhava' club, preaching that Srila Prabhupada had not given us the 'highest understanding' but rather that he wanted us to consult with a 'rasika guru', who the chairman of the ministry that has sponsored PO considers:
'crooked' and 'talented pretender or imposter, who has seduced, beguiled
and misled many people.'
Grace Ravindra Svarupa prabhu, 'Taking Srila Prabhupada Straight', 1998)
Maharaja now realises that he was wrong in thinking that Srila
Prabhupada had not given us everything and that he had wanted us to
consult with the 'rasika guru', as he had himself done and also
persuaded many others to do so, for the previous 4 years.
9): Maharaja again accepts the 'appointment' theory that he had rejected in the post 1987 reforms:
months before his own demise, Prabhupada had announced that he would
APPOINT some of his disciples to perform all of the functions of
initiating new disciples as he had become too ill to do so. Those so
initiated would still be Prabhupada's disciple while those who would
be initiated after his demise would become his grand-disciples.
Shortly thereafter, Prabhupada selected eleven disciples to begin
assisting him, and asked his secretary to communicate their names to the
rest of ISKCON. Following Srila Prabhupada's death and the fateful
meeting with Prabhupada's godbrother Sridhara Maharaja, the eleven
gurus NAMED by Prabhupada assumed the extra-ordinary position above
all others." ('The Perils of Succession', 1996,
H.H. Tamala Krishna Maharaja)
Further it will noted in the above that maharaja states that Srila Prabhupada's intention to appoint disciples to assist with initiation, as recorded in the May 28th conversation, (6 Months before his own demise), was motivated by illness EVEN THEN, and that the 'naming of the gurus' done in the July 9th letter flowed directly from the May 28th conversation.
10): Maharaja now tells us that the issue of appointing the '11' as had occurred via the July 7th garden conversation and the July 9th letter was done independently of the May 28th conversation, though above he has just told us the opposite:
writing this letter, it was an organisational letter to explain the
practical matter of how things would be dealt with because nothing was
really changing. Prabhupada was still their guru but at least the actual
operational method of how Prabhupada would deal with new candidates was
changed. It was very clear in my mind at that time that
what we were discussing was the process of initiation in Prabhupada's
presence, how things would go on after his presence, he had already
instructed us when the 5 or 6 of us had met him on May 28th, one
had nothing to do with the other.
Now we are told, that 21 years later, the best way to understand the July 9 letter and how it arose is to understand it from Maharaja, even though it is accepted that he did not understand it at the time, and that he has been greatly confused on this issue over the last 21 years.
Surely most normal, sane people would not consider the Maharaja a very
reliable witness on this issue, with all due respect. The fact that the
GBC have placed such store in his testimony in PO proves that they are
utterly desperate. Possessing not one scrap of hard evidence, nor even a
single sound argument, they are now pinning everything on the testimony
of Maharaja. Instead of just reading the letter ourselves, we must for
some bizarre reason accept the indirect interpretation of a witness who
has merrily bounced from one deviant and contradictory position to
another over the last 21 years. So instead of any factual EVIDENCE,
Maharaja's mental projections must now become the basis on which to
'modifications a & b'
to the July 9th letter - the modifications that led to
the abandonment of the ritvik system and the imposition of the previous,
current and possibly a future ISKCON guru system.
do hope the author will think twice before bringing the Maharaja into
this issue. We return to the author's paper once more.
Again the author has repeated the already defeated assertions:
Please see above and our previous articles where we have continually
defeated these assertions. Also we 'recycle' these arguments because
unlike the author's recycled defeated arguments our points have not even
been addressed much less defeated, as we have continually shown in all
our responses. And we shall continue to recycle them until the author
either answers them or concedes he can not. Unfortunately this is
unlikely since he is rather petulantly refusing to quote us. For now
there is not much more that really needs to be said on this subject.
we have continually pointed out since Srila Prabhupada WAS ALREADY
initiating and established as the diksa guru for ISKCON, the above
statement would only need to be stated IF:
other words the above statement would pre-suppose that departure has
special significance in preventing a diksa guru from initiating. This
pre-supposition is the very premise that lies at the heart of the
dispute, and which the author needs to prove, not just assume.
Without A) and B) above there is no NEED to state that he will initiate
specifically after departure anymore than he needed to state in 1976
that he would continue to initiate after 1976.
Further, since Srila Prabhupada has not given any statement to the
"I want my disciples to intiate their own disciples on my departure"
the fact that departure DOES mark the time after which Srila
Prabhupada's disciples COULD theoretically replace him if ordered to do
so, does not also bear significance, since Srila Prabhupada has not
stated that such a succession will definitely take place.
course Srila Prabhupada DOES state that the ritvik system WILL CONTINUE
into the future - please see letters to Hamsaduta etc. in
The Final Order.
The real issue, which the author and the rest of the GBC have continued
to dodge, is why did they decide to terminate the ritvik system at Srila
Prabhupada's departure when he had specifically set up the ritvik system
to be enforced in ISKCON from July 9th onwards, with no order for it to
be terminated on his departure?
Our position is totally consistent with the actual instruction given:
that the ritvik system should be enforced by ISKCON in ISKCON from July
The GBC have absolutely no instructions to support their unauthorised
termination, and it is this simple fact that will ensure the continued
spread of the ritvik idea throughout ISKCON, and the author will be
powerless to stop this unless he presents the evidence asked for -
Modifications A & B from The Final Order. It does not matter how many
people he kicks out - truth will always triumph in the end. He should
carefully consider how history will judge his own obstinacy and
intransigence over a clear cut, simple issue.
Some more inventive speculation from the author. There is no statement
on the tape which states that:
"those taking initiation from the new gurus would be 'disciple of my disciple' and my 'grand-disciple'"
If such a statement exists, the author should produce this new tape. The May 28th tape (which is still inadmissable by the way) only states that the above entities would arise if Srila Prabhupada FIRST ordered Gurus, after having first stated that he WILL order ritviks to deal with initiations for after his departure. And subsequently these ritviks were appointed on July 9th. We have no record of these 'new gurus' ever been ordered into existence. It seems the author in his desperation is trying to resurrect the already discredited zonal acharya theory when the 11 ritviks were indeed mistaken for the 'new gurus'.
The tape also makes no statement to the effect that:
Gurus would be 'regular gurus' but should wait until after his departure
to accept disciples."
Just to refresh the author's memory, the tape actually states:
His Grand-Disciple ... When I Order 'you become guru', he becomes
regular guru. That's all. He becomes disciple of my disciple."
NOT the above two fabrications.
Neither does Srila Prabhupada even mention 'regular gurus' EVER apart
from this instance, what to speak of 'throughout his life'. Another
fanciful fabrication of the author.
This statement of the author's is seriously flawed for two reasons:
The author continues to reach new depths of desperation in trying to
refute the 'ritvik heresy'. As we have seen the author: