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Case Study of His Holiness Kadamba Kanana Swami

Summer 2007

In BTP 10, we published a case study of HH Jayadvaita Swami (“JS”) where we highlighted the fact that JS refers to the following “law”, which is extracted from a private letter sent by Srila Prabhupada to a deviant disciple

“But as a matter of etiquette it is the custom that during the lifetime of your Spiritual Master you bring the prospective disciples to him, and in his absence or disappearance you can accept disciples without any limitation. This is the law of disciplic succession.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Tusta Krishna, December 2nd, 1975)

Quoting this law, JS stated:

kks
HH Kadabma Kanana Swami

“That a spiritual master initiates until his departure and then his disciples initiate next is the normal system. On this we are all in agreement. This is what Srila Prabhupada taught the entire time he was with us.”
(Where the Ritvik People are Wrong, Jayadvaita Swami, 1996)

However, a few years later, JS became one of the first people to break this law, when he allowed his own disciple, HH Kadabma Kanana Swami (“KKS”), to accept disciples in his presence; and furthermore, JS himself stopped initiating!
Thus, as we pointed out, it is JS himself who is reversing and outright rejecting everything he says Srila Prabhupada taught on disciplic succession the entire time he was with us.

Like father, like son

One can only therefore marvel at the power of maya (illusion) that KKS also cites this very same “law” in order to attempt to justify why he is a diksa guru

“Srila Prabhupada speaks about the law of disciplic succession, this is the proper system to be followed.”
(KKS Letter, October 11th, 2006)

In addition, to this letter he attaches the same paper from Jayadvaita Swami, Where the Ritvik People are Wrong, in which we just quoted Jayadvaita Swami stating that the system is that the guru initiates until he departs, and THEN his disciple initiates next

“p.s. Please read the attached document compiled by HH Jayadvaita Maharaja (‘Where The Ritviks Are Wrong’) carefully.”
(KKS Letter, October 11th, 2006)

Yet, KKS’s actual practice is the very opposite of what he preaches

“[...] HH Jayadvaita Swami requested his disciple to become an initiating spiritual master, although generally by etiquette one will not initiate in the physical presence of his own spiritual master.”
(KKS website biography, archived April 2007)

Thus, having stated that “the law of disciplic of succession is the proper system to be followed”, KKS then shamelessly justifies breaking this “law” and “etiquette” by citing the senior lawbreaker, Jayadvaita Swami!
When this hypocritical contradiction was pointed out to KKS, he suddenly found he had no time, and replied

“I don’t have time just now to write a full reply. I will write more later.”
(KKS Letter, October 22nd, 2006)

Yet, he never did write any reply, full or otherwise, later. Readers of BTP will note here the repetition of a familiar pattern when our supposedly “self-realised” gurus are asked simple questions regarding their positions as gurus – they suddenly find they are very “busy”, and then disappear altogether!

What Srila Prabhupada is in fact stating in this “law” are simply the different conditions in which one can or cannot accept disciples. This is not under dispute, that one can only take disciples after the Guru departs. What is under dispute is when did Srila Prabhupada choose to exercise this law by authorizing certain individuals to become diksa guru successors upon his departure? We know it was not with the 11 ritviks whom Srila Prabhupada appointed on July 9th, 1977, who then unauthorisedly became ISKCON gurus, and in turn enabled others, such as JS and KKS, to also unauthorisedly become gurus themselves. We know also that it is not even with the person to whom Srila Prabhupada wrote the letter in question where the law is stated, Tusta Krishna Das, who never became a diksa guru in ISKCON. In sum, Srila Prabhupada never invoked this law to order any of his disciples to succeed him in ISKCON, but rather he only established a ritvik system of initiation for ISKCON, just before he departed.
 

Srila Prabhupada worship “Dry, theoretical and impersonal”

KKS states

“You have come to me as an aspiring disciple and gradually we have been developing a relationship [...]
The devotees that are into the ritvik philosophy are having a very dry, theoretical and impersonal understanding of spiritual life, they can not see how Krsna works through his devotees.”

(KKS Letter, 11th October, 2006)

1) In contrast to KKS’s follow-up letter to this one, quoted in the last section, here when KKS thought he was dealing with an “aspiring disciple”, he had all the time in the world to compose a lengthy reply. It was only when the supposedly “aspiring disciple” asked a simple question which exposed KKS’s shameful hypocrisy, that he suddenly found he did not have any time to reply, and then did not bother at all!

2) Here, KKS accuses followers of the ritvik philosophy as having a very dry, theoretical and impersonal understanding of spiritual life, because he claims we do not see how Krsna “works through his devotees”.
The reality is actually the reverse, since it is KKS who does not believe that Krishna is able to currently work through his topmost devotee, Srila Prabhupada, to accept us as his disciples, and to accept our service. Instead, using this rationale that Krishna is currently unable to work through Srila Prabhupada, KKS argues that we must have a substitute whom we must instead serve and worship as “good-as-God”. And by an amazing coincidence, KKS just happens to be one such substitute, readily available to take Srila Prabhupada’s place in our lives!

3) Further, if accepting Srila Prabhupada as one’s diksa Guru is “dry, theoretical and impersonal”, that means KKS’s own guru, HH Jayadvaita Swami who is a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, has had a very dry, theoretical and impersonal relationship with Srila Prabhupada for the past 30 years.

4) Happily, however, Srila Prabhupada completely destroys KKS’s mundane conception of the bona fide spiritual master in just one sentence

“I shall remain your personal guidance, physically present or not physically, as I am getting personal guidance from my Guru Maharaja.”
(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, Vrindavan, July 14th, 1977)

Here Srila Prabhupada clearly states that he will CONTINUE to give PERSONAL guidance, even when he is not physically present.
 

KKS fabricates evidence

“Yes Srila Prabhupada did write a 9 of July letter. It shows that Srila Prabhupada started a ritvik system at the end of his life, when he was ill and not able to travel.”
(KKS Letter, October 11th, 2006)

But the July 9th directive does not state anywhere that the ritvik system is started because Srila Prabhupada is "ill and not able to travel". Since such a notion is not stated either in the July 9th directive or anywhere else by Srila Prabhupada, it can only be a fabrication from KKS's own brain. On the contrary, the July 9th directive states only that the system is started for the following reason

"for the purpose of performing initiations, both first initiation and second initiation."
(July 9th directive, 1977)

A purpose, which would need to be fulfilled for the lifetime of ISKCON.
There is also no statement anywhere from Srila Prabhupada that states that his instructions can only be followed in consultation with his latest health report or travel plans; let alone terminate those instructions, just as the GBC unauthorisedly terminated the July 9th directive immediately upon Srila Prabhupada's physical departure.
 

More fabrication

“Srila Prabhupada had already explained how initiations would go on after his departure in the May 28 conversations. So from this it is clear what Srila Prabhupada’s intentions were;
1.) while he was ill he wanted that these senior disciples would act as ritvik gurus, doing the initiation ceremony, but the initiates would still be Srila Prabhupada’s direct disciples.”

(KKS Letter, October 11th, 2006)

But in this conversation, Srila Prabhupada’s departure is only mentioned clearly at the beginning of the conversation, and in response Srila Prabhupada did indeed explain how initiations would continue after his departure, and whose disciples such new initiates belong to

Satsvarupa: "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."
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?"
Prabhupada: "Rtvik, yes."[…]
Satsvarupa: "So they may also be considered your disciples."
Prabhupada: "Yes, they are disciples. "
(May 28th Conversation, 1977)

Again, there is NOTHING in the above conversation that refers to, or connects, Srila Prabhupada's health to the system of initiations he put in place.
 

Follow the real order

“2.) that after his departure from this world the same senior disciples would continue to initiate as regular gurus and the initiates would be their disciples, Srila Prabhupada’s grand disciples.”
(KKS Letter, October 11th, 2006)

KKS refers here to the following part of the conversation  

Tamala Krishna: "No. He is asking that these ritvik-acaryas, they are officiating, giving diksa, their - the people who they give diksa to - whose disciples are they?"
Srila Prabhupada: "They are his disciples."
Tamala Krishna: "They are his disciples."
Srila Prabhupada: "Who is initiating...He is granddisciple.”*
Satsvarupa: “Yes.”
Tamala Krsna: “That’s clear.”
Satsvarupa: "Then we have a question concerning..."
Srila Prabhupada: “When I order, “You become guru,” he becomes regular guru. That’s all. He becomes disciple of my disciple. That’s it.

*(Transcript for this conversation “checked and edited” by his own guru, Jayadvaita Swami, for the paper Under My Order by Ravindra Svarupa Das, renders this as “his grand-disciple”, meaning the “his” in this conversation can only be referring to Srila Prabhupada, since obviously only he, and not his disciples, could have grand-disciples at that time!)

Srila Prabhupada does not say that after his departure, the disciples he recommended (and later appointed on July 9th to act as ritviks) “WOULD CONTINUE” to initiate as regular gurus, taking disciples for themselves. Srila Prabhupada clearly says: “WHEN I ORDER, ‘You become guru,’ he becomes regular guru.” “When I order” is NOT the same as saying “I order”. The word “When” renders such a potential order as being conditional on the order actually being given in the first place!

This is such a basic point of English that even a child could understand the difference between “I order” and “When I order”. Since KKS is Dutch, this may explain his confusion on this simple point. ALL Srila Prabhupada is saying here is that SHOULD an order to be a “regular guru” be given by him, THEN such gurus would naturally have disciples of their own. This order from the initiating spiritual master to become an initiating spiritual master oneself is, as we have many times emphasized in the pages of BTP, essential before one can assume this position

“A guru can become guru when he’s ordered by his guru. That’s all. Otherwise nobody can become guru.”
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, October 28th, 1975)

However, it is just plain, historical fact that

1) Srila Prabhupada never gave such an order for his disciples to initiate their own disciples.
2) The order Srila Prabhupada did give (in his July 9th, 1977 directive to all GBCs and Temple Presidents) was to act as ritviks (representatives) only.
 

Conclusion

In ISKCON we must follow what Srila Prabhupada actually ordered, and thus keep him as the initiating Guru for ISKCON. Instead, KKS claims that Srila Prabhupada cannot be the Guru due to a “law” which he and his own guru are breaking in order to take over from Srila Prabhupada continuing as the Guru of ISKCON!
Not for nothing is our current age, Kali-yuga, known as the Age of Hypocrisy!

“This is the age, Kali. It is called Kali. Hypocrisy, simply hypocrisy. Kali means full of hypocrisy.”
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 26/11/66)