Srila Prabhupada’s Will:
First Reply to Locanananda





30th November 2001

A claim has been made that Srila Prabhupada did not read his final Will and Testament before he signed it. That the document he signed on June 4th is not what he intended to be in His Will. Rather he signed it blindly assuming that the Will was exactly the same as a draft of the will he had had read to him 2 days previously. And therefore the real Will is the draft which was read to him previously. The reason this claim has been put forward, is to try and eliminate the rock solid evidence present in Srila Prabhupada's Will which makes it clear that ISKCON would only ever be populated by devotees who were directly initiated by Srila Prabhupada. For in the final signed written Will, Srila Prabhupada states that all future executive directors of ISKCON properties in India would consist only of -  'my initiated disciples'. Whereas in the version read out to him on June 2nd, this phrase was not present, and instead the phrase 'an initiated disciple' was present.


In order to consider this claim, the following are relevant:


1) Whenever any CLAIM is made, the burden of proof rests on the party making the claim. One cannot simply ASSUME that the claim being made is true. One needs to provide evidence in order to prove the claim. Until this is done, the claim remains simply a speculation.


2) The argument put forward to support the claim is that Srila Prabhupada had a draft of the will read to him previously. That he approved and finalised it at that point, and therefore he did not need to read it again.

Please note this is not evidence or proof. It is a speculation. One is speculating the following:

a) That the draft read to Srila Prabhupada was FINAL - i.e. no more discussions or amendments ever took place ever again on the subject. That therefore the change of the phrase 'an initiated disciple' to 'my initiated disciple' was just a one-off typing error.



b) That at the time of signing, Srila Prabhupada felt there was no need to check the will again, since he was completely happy with what had already been read to him, and thus he signed it blindly.


Please note that both a) and b) need to be true in order for the claim to be true. Please note that the fact that a draft of the will, which was different to the one which was signed, was read to Srila Prabhupada, is not disputed. But this in itself merely acts as the STARTING point for a) and b). It is not any evidence or proof for a) and b).
Thus at the moment a) and b) are merely assumptions. To date no evidence for a) and b) has been put forward. Therefore until evidence for a) and b) is put forward, that's all they will remain - speculative assumptions.


Though there is no evidence FOR the claim, there exists evidence that the claim CANNOT be true:


3) The version read to Srila Prabhupada is different to what was signed by Srila Prabhupada not just in respect of 'an' changed to 'my' initiated disciple. There were many other changes made which were not discussed at the reading of the 2nd June:

i) The very first clause in the Will states that the GBC will be the 'ultimate managing authority authority'. However in the draft which was read, this was not agreed. Rather Srila Prabhupada agreed on 4 suggestions, none of which was the final version used: 'supreme managers', 'ultimate managers', 'ultimate executives','ultimate commissioners'.


ii) The next clause in the Will states that each temple will be managed by 3 EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS. The version read to Srila Prabhupada was 3 COMMITTEE members.


iii) In the next clause again the phrase in the Will is EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS. The version read to Srila Prabhupada states COMMITTEE members.


iv) The next clause relates to the ability to sell properties in India and outside of India. A whole list of properties outside of India, with their associated GBC's is listed. In the reading of the draft, it is simply said that this list will be drawn up after the meeting with Srila Prabhupada.


v) The will then ends with 3 final clauses. The second of these clauses has 25 words which are different to the version read out to Srila Prabhupada in the draft.

4) We also know that other discussions on the Will were to take place, since the final clause in the will deals with executors, and in the reading of the draft, this clause is left BLANK, and Srila Prabhupada states:

Srila Prabhupada: So I'll give you seven names.
Tamala Krsna: Our idea is to finish this will business as soon as possible.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, I'll give you tomorrow. I'll think over this.

So the above is solid evidence that assumption a) cannot be true. That is, the version read to Srila Prabhupada on the 2nd June was not in any way finalised and approved. Rather the final version differed substantially from the draft version, with many changes and additions made, NOT just one word from 'an' to 'my', and further discussions on the will were still to take place to finish up the will. (Please note that only a fraction of Srila Prabhupada's conversations were recorded, and even less were retained by the BBT archives. Thus it is already accepted and known, that what exists on the folio is in no way indicative or evidence for the totality of Srila Prabhupada's discussions on any topic). 

5) It is also very suprising that those who are arguing for the final signed written Will given by Srila Prabhupada to be discarded in favour of a rationalisation which states that Srila Prabhupada's final signed written product did not actually represent what he really wanted, argue the exact OPPOSITE when it comes to Srila Prabhupada's books. There they claim that the final written output takes complete precedence over any other rationalisation which may be made for changes, such as earlier manuscripts, dictation tapes etc.


6) Further this same group is happy to pontificate at length to everyone else that by the principle of arsha prayoga (the unholy practice of dishonouring the acharya), that EVEN if there appears a 'mistake' was made in the final written product, we must consider the final written product sacrosanct, and accept it as final.

In other words, this group argues that all arguments which attempt to change the final approved written output from Srila Prabhupada by trying to prove that Srila Prabhupada's 'real intent' was something different, are to be rejected. And the argument that Srila Prabhupada did not check the final written product before it was published, and rather just trusted his managers and editors, is considered almost blasphemous. Rather what was given finally in writing must be honoured as sacred, regardless of all other considerations.


Thus by the use of the group's own arguments, assumption b) can also be rejected.


Please note that points 3-6 are simply over-kill, and are not necessary, since the onus of proof still rests on those making the claim to offer evidence in support of a) and b). Points 3-6 simply exist as the icing on the cake to show just how ridiculous the notion that Srila Prabhupada's final will should be rejected, is. It also illustrates the hypocrisy people will engage in to keep alive the hope that Srila Prabhupada wanted us to become diksa gurus, even turning their own arguments on their head.





Srila Prabhupada' Last Will and Testament as signed by him on the 4th June, is accurate in all respects, represents the wishes of His Divine Grace, must be accepted in toto, and any attempt to change it must be rejected as a violation of the principle of arsha prayoga.