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Spring 2004

In 1995, the GBC in their wisdom decided to issue a definitive document on the Guru issue for ISKCON titled: “Gurus and Initiation in ISKCON” (GBC, 1995), [henceforward to be referred to as GII]. Part of this document was a paper entitled “On My Order Understood”, in which the GBC attempted to explain once and for all what Srila Prabhupada’s orders were for how initiations in ISKCON would continue after his physical departure. The GBC said of this paper:

“The GBC approves of the paper entitled ‘On My Order Understood’ which establishes as ISKCON law the final siddhanta on Srila Prabhupada’s desire for continuing the disciplic succession after the departure of His Divine Grace.”
[See Part II: GBC Position Papers in this volume.] (GII, p.1)

As can be seen the GBC were so confident of their paper that they used redundant English by stating it offered the “final siddhanta”. A siddhanta or conclusion is by definition always final!

The Final Order” (TFO), the definitive position paper of the IRM documenting Srila Prabhupada’s position as the Diksa Guru for ISKCON, was written specifically in response to the above GBC paper, taking it as its reference point. As TFO itself states in its very SECOND sentence:

“Although we will refer to several papers and articles that have been published by senior ISKCON devotees on this subject, the main points of reference will be the GBC’s most recent official handbook on initiation entitled. ‘Gurus And Initiation In ISKCON’ (to be referred to henceforward as GII), and the paper ‘On My Order Understood’ which is mentioned under section 1.1 of the ‘Laws of ISKCON’.”
(“The Final Order, Introduction, 1996)

TFO then goes on to dismantle the arguments put forward in GII.

After 8 long years, the GBC have finally admitted that their so-called ‘final siddhanta’ paper, the main target of TFO’s attack, was not only not final, but completely bogus, as the following resolution passed this year at the GBC meetings states:

409. Continuing the Disciplic Succession [Statement]

WHEREAS:
The paper “On My Order Understood” contains assumptions and assertions that, in numerous places, do not match the available evidence from the statements of Srila Prabhupada, And the GBC desires to make a more concise statement,

RESOLVED:
“On My Order-Understood” is replaced as official GBC policy by the following statement:

The GBC officially accepts the following conclusions about continuing the disciplic succession:

Srila Prabhupada consistently said that his disciples would themselves become spiritual masters.
Guru, sadhu, and sastra all support this standard way of continuing the disciplic succession. Srila Prabhupada said that his disciples would become “regular Gurus” and that each of their disciples would thus be a “disciple of my disciple.” On the strength of our Vaisnava tradition and the statements of Srila Prabhupada, the GBC concludes that Srila Prabhupada intended his disciples to become “regular Gurus” after he physically departed.
[GBC Resolution 409, 2004]

In addition, whilst submitting the reasons for ditching their official paper, Sivarama and Jayadvaita Swamis, the persons behind the resolution, actually state that this final Siddhanta GBC paper contains “lies”, and that it “stretches the truth and contains poor logic”.

As we can see from the above resolution, whilst admitting that their paper is basically a fabrication, the GBC are happy to re-state the same conclusions, only this time with no fabricated quotes from Srila Prabhupada to support their position. Rather they rest their whole philosophical position on just one piece of evidence:
An allusion to one line which Srila Prabhupada speaks on a tape, and which does not even say what they claim. Srila Prabhupada states on May 28th, 1977 the following:

“When I order you become Guru, he becomes regular Guru. That’s all. He becomes disciple of my disciple.”

Srila Prabhupada here clearly states that Gurus will emerge only WHEN he gives an order to that effect
- “When I order you become Guru” – and as the GBC seem now to concede, such an order was never given. For this reason the GBC have had to fabricate the following account:

“Srila Prabhupada said that his disciples would become “regular Gurus” and that each of their disciples would thus be a “disciple of my disciple.”

Please spot the huge difference between what Srila Prabhupada actually says and the GBC fabrication. Srila Prabhupada does NOT say that his disciples “WOULD BECOME regular Gurus”. He states that only WHEN he orders them to become Guru, do they become Guru, not that they WOULD become Guru.
And the authors of this latest GBC resolution have the cheek to say the paper it replaces contained - “assertions that, in numerous places, do not match the available evidence from the statements of Srila Prabhupada”, yet we see their latest effort is no better.

In ditching their ‘final siddhanta’ paper the GBC have effectively admitted that ‘The arguments and evidence which we put forward to reach our conclusion were completely wrong, and we are not offering any alternative argument or evidence, but we still want to say that the conclusion – that we be allowed to operate a Guru program replacing Srila Prabhupada – is correct.’

Thus the GBC’s programme is simply to be ‘Gurus at all costs’. First they tried to do it by instituting the Guru Hoax part 1 – the zonal acarya system. When that failed they tried Guru Hoax part 2 – the everyone and anyone can be Guru programme – justified by the now discarded “On My Order Understood’ paper. This continual changing of position papers to try and keep the ‘Guru business’ on the road was thoroughly condemned by Srila Prabhupada:

“So these rascals will change every year their theology”.
(Srila Prabhupada, morning walk, LA 21/12/73)