Dear Ajamila Prabhu,


I have grouped the response to your lengthy paper as follows:

Answer To Your Question

"You have avoided answering my following second question. You have not answered this question."

This is a lie.

I did answer it:

"Now coming to your question. Srila Prabhupada acting as the diksa guru for ISKCON could only break the 'law' if the 'law' stated that diksa must be taken from a 'physically living, present on the planet' Guru. But the 'law' does not make any mention of this."

You asked that we show that we are not breaking the 'law of disciplic succession'. We pointed out that since the 'law' does not forbid Srila Prabhupada acting as diksa guru, we could not possibly be breaking it.

"Another standard debating rule is that a question cannot be answered with a question, that is evasion. You have to answer the question, not evade it because you can't answer it. For example, you answered my question with this question: "Which principle of sastra are we changing?" when I clearly refer to the major principle of the disciplic succession."

This just another blatant lie.

I answer your question with 2 statements, not the question "which principle of sastra are we changing" - see answer reproduced above.

CHAKRA readers can read, so why waste your time pretending they can't, and hoping they won't notice your blatant fabrication.

Ajamila Contradicts The GBC

"There are many such instances in the scriptures about disciples giving initiation in the presence of guru, [...] This statement proves that acceptance of disciples in the presence of one's spiritual master has been approved by the scriptures. In the scriptures there is no specific instruction about a disciple not giving initiation when his guru is present. [...] Even though in the past spiritual masters have given disciples permission to initiate in their presence, [...] We must assume that as Founder-acarya, Srila Prabhupada had the vision to set down a law--a law suitable for that unique institution, a law we would transgress at our peril."
(Devotees Initiating Before Their Guru's Physical Departure - An Official GBC Paper, Part of 'Gurus and Initiation in ISKCON', GBC, 1995)
"The GBC have correctly referred to Srila Prabhupada's right as Founder acarya to transgress the normal etiquette for preaching which would become a precedent law in ISKCON but not to be confused as a law of disciplic succession."

This is a complete fabrication. Anyone who reads the above can see that the GBC do not make any statement that even remotely resembles Ajamila's statement. Firstly no mention is made here of Srila Prabhuada's right to transgress anything - only that he gave a law that we should not transgress. Secondly the GBC quote only one law 'set down' by Srila Prabhupada. There is only one such law mentioned in the whole document, and the GBC had just quoted it before the making the above statement, and this is the 'law of disciplic succession'. So this is the law the GBC are speaking of. The GBC certainly make no mention of a 'precedent law', and they certainly do not state that such a law should 'not be confused as a law of disciplic succession'. As we have seen the only 'law' they even mention is the 'law of disciplic succession'.

"The contradiction you flag down can only be true if I accept your false premise that initiating in the presence of one's guru contravenes disciplic law, but I don't, nor does Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada defines not initiating in the presence of one's guru as the normal etiquette, and he defines the option for a disciple to accept his own disciples after his guru's departure as the law of disciplic succession."

This is another sheer fabrication. Let me quote the 'law' and see for ourselves if such separate definitions are indeed given by Srila Prabhupada:

"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."
(Letter to Tusta Krishna, 2/12/75)

It is very clear that Srila Prabhupada uses the word and to add what is done in his absence to what is done in his presence, and refers to this as the custom. He states that the custom is what is done in his presence and what is done in his absence. Thus Srila Prabhupada has not separated what is done in his presence from what is done in his absence, but joined it with the word and.

Further Srila Prabhupada then refers to the whole of preceding sentence just quoted, and containing both what is done in his presence and his absence, with the word this. He has not singled out the latter clause of the preceding sentence - which deals only with what is done in his absence - and called it the 'law of disciplic succession', as Ajamila claims, but rather through the word this, has referred to the whole of the preceeding sentence, and called it all the 'law of disciplic succession'.

Thus from two different pieces of evidence - the word "and", and the word "this", we have shown that no separate definitions are given by Srila Prabhupada, as Ajamila has fabricated. Unless Ajamila insists on re-defining the plain English meaning of the words 'and' and 'this', which even a child can understand, he is thoroughly exposed once again making yet another false claim.

Thus Srila Prabhupada refers to both what is done in his presence and his absence as an integral custom and law of disciplic succession. Further evidence for this simple fact - that what is done in Srila Prabhuada's presence is also part of the 'law of disciplic succession' - is given in Ajamila's own celebrated 'definitive' paper 'Prabhupada's Order':

He once again makes reference to the physical presence of the spiritual master, and makes clear that the initiation of new disciples depends on the physical presence or absence of the initiator's spiritual master. In this statement, Srila Prabhupada makes clear that this process is how the disciplic succession continues."
('Prabhupada's Order, GBC Paper, Contributor Ajamila Dasa)

Please note that this statement is the actual specific explanation of the sentence in dispute from the letter to Tusta Krishna.

What we have observed here is an example of sheer desperation that has led to Ajamila to resort to outright fabrication and lying. Having realised that his whole case has collapsed since his own GBC have decreed that his main evidence - the 'law of disciplic sucession' - is neither sastric nor traditional, Ajamila has resorted to simply making up what the GBC and Srila Prabhupada say.

And as we have explained many times, the law does not in any case forbid Srila Prabhupada from remaining as ISKCON's diksa guru - since it does not state that one must take diksa from a 'living' guru as Ajamila continues to falsely claim. We challenge you to prove that the law does state this, otherwise do not continue to persist with this lie.

Ajamila Contradicts Himself

"Only five weeks earlier Srila Prabhupada made it very clear that the temporary ritvik system would continue until his departure; therefore, he didn't need to mention such the sensitive departure point again in the 9 July letter."

Again this your belief.

You say '5 weeks earlier'.

We know why you cannot present this evidence - because it does not exist since we have already trapped you making the opposite claim:

"On 28 May 77 Srila Prabhupada was specifically asked about initiations that would be performed by the ritvik priests after his departure."
(Ajamila's Introduction)

You claim here that on May 28th, 1977, Srila Prabhupada made it 'very clear' that the ritvik system would continue 'until departure', yet in your introduction you stated the opposite - that ritvik priests would be performing initiations after departure.

"There are things in Vedic tradition that can be changed and things that can't. Details of the past like skin colour and giving women gayatri will of course differ from the present but the major principles cannot change."

You now admit that there are things in vedic tradition that can be changed, such as skin colour. So obviously by your own argument, the 'unbroken tradition' alone is not sufficient evidence to determine the validity of something, which was what you originally argued. Now you agree that the key is to determine whether or not an unchangeable 'major principles' is being violated, not simply an 'unbroken tradition'. So never again will you be able to present the 'unbroken tradition' alone as any sort of evidence; rather you will need to prove that we are dealing with 'major principles'. I am glad you have finally conceded this point.

"The proof that it is 'disciplic law' that diksa must be taken from a 'living guru' is the unbroken tradition given in sastra where we find that every single acarya in our line and even Lord Krishna and Lord Caitanya took diksa from a living guru."

You have just said that an 'unbroken tradition' is not itself evidence for a 'major principle' - since you can also have 'unbroken traditions' for things which are not major principles such as skin colour. Now you say that the proof for the fact that 'diksa must be taken from a living guru' is a major principle is that it is an 'unbroken tradition'. But you have already agreed that tradition can only be offered as evidence if we already know that we are dealing with a major principle.

This circular argument is another evasive trick used when one does not have any real evidence.

Ajamila Does Not Speak According to Guru, Sadhu and Sastra

"I requested you to support your NCIP ritvik idea with evidence from guru, sadhu, and sastra , otherwise it is a concoction. Everything I have said is rooted in guru, sadhu, and sastra since this is the standard in Vaisnava debating."

But the N.C.I.P. simply states that standards and processes that Srila Prabhupada left us cannot be changed unless authorised by Srila Prabhupada. In our introduction I gave evidence for this from Srila Prabhupada. In your introduction you also gave your own theory of what could and could not be changed in ISKCON, and yet you never gave any 'guru, sadhu or sastra' for your claim that the institutional initiating acarya of ISKCON must auotmatically be removed when he departs.

"Here is a simple answer: In this question you insinuate that Srila Prabhupada was illegally removed out of envy, but every single guru in our very long line of disciplic succession gets removed from being a living diksa-guru by the very nature of their physical departure. Please use your common sense."

There is no insinuation of 'envy' - it's a straightforward question.

The same thing was done to Pradyumna when he asked for evidence to justify the zonal acharya system. I ask a similar question, and I get accused of the same. There is a clear pattern at work here.

No. Instead we are offered the authority of 'common sense'. This is just another way of saying - 'we have no evidence or authority from Srila Prabhupada for this. So instead we will extrapolate from our limited and speculative knowledge of what happened in the past. Prove from 'guru, sadhu and sastra' that one must 'get removed from being a living diksa by the very nature of their physical departure', as you claim. Don't just offer the speculation that this is what has always happened in the past.

"As I have explained to you many times in this debate, your NCIP concoction defies a major principle of sastra , the law of disciplic succession that has never been broken and cannot be broken by ISKCON as you wrongly presume it should."

Firstly, you have argued that everything must supported by guru, sadhu and sastra , so please give the sastric reference for this law. Please reproduce the exact same law above from sastra, since this is a sastric principle you claim we are breaking. Remember we need a quote from sastra explicitly stating this law. Not just another reference to the 'unbroken tradition', which you yourself have now finally admitted is no longer enough. As we noted above, it is unlikely that you will find any such reference since the GBC have said that such a law is not given in sastra.

"You say that Srila Prabhupada's living physical body is not required to give diksa but this is wrong. His living physical body is required according to guru, sadhu, and sastra . [...] To continue that system after Srila Prabhupada's departure is a concoction because it defies not only Srila Prabhupada's instructions but guru, sadhu, and sastra."

But you produce no 'guru, sadhu or sastra' to support these claims. You boast that everything you say 'is rooted in guru, sadhu and sastra, yet as we have seen, you are never able to actually produce the supporting statements from 'guru, sadhu and sastra'. You only make empty claims like the above. We challenge you to produce the Guru, sadhu and sastra to back up these and all your other claims.

"The fact that some of Srila Prabhupada's disciples had very little or no physical association because of the many thousands of disciples taking initiation through a temporary ritvik system is not the point. [...] The point is Srila Prabhupada was at that time a 'living spiritual master' who willingly accepted those devotees through the temporary system he adopted. [...] The sole purpose of that letter was to inform ISKCON leaders worldwide about the temporary ritvik system and the new priests added to make a total of eleven."

But the fact that the ritvik system is temporary is what you were asked to prove in this debate. Thus again you are simply assuming that which you have been asked to prove. Throughout this debate you have simply again and again presented and represented the same unsubstantiated claims - the very claims that this debate was organised for you to present the Guru, sadhu and sastra evidence for. Debate does not mean that you present what you believe - we already have a pretty good idea of that - it means that you should attempt to prove your beliefs with evidence from guru, sadhu and sastra. Simply continually re-stating your beliefs, no matter how many times you do it, will not make them true.

"The 9 July letter does not even hint at your NCIP theory."

We never said it did. The NCIP simply states that standards and processes given to ISKCON by Srila Prabhupada cannot be changed, unless authorised by Srila Prabhupada. The July 9th letter is simply an example of one such process. The NCIP is what is applied to this and all other processes and standards in ISKCON. Thus you have to present your Guru, sadhu and sastra authority from Srila Prabhupada to sanction changing the system of initiation and the identity of the institutional initiating acarya for ISKCON. Otherwise Srila Prabhupada remains as the diksa guru for ISKCON.

"Your accusation exhibits ignorance of fair debating. Your evasion only confirms that your posthumous initiation proposal is a devious and dangerous concoction. One of the rules of this debate which you accepted is that everything must be supported by guru, sadhu, and sastra."

As we have shown, it is you who is using evasive tactics to avoid presenting evidence from guru, sadhu and sastra to support the assertions you make. We have not made any assertions. We have simply asked you to present the evidence to justify the removal of Srila Prabhupada as the diksa guru for ISKCON. Instead of answering this straight-forward question with some straight-forward Guru, sadhu and sastra evidence, you have so far tried the following evasive tactics:

  1. First you invent an entity - 'ritvik-acarya' - that the GBC say does not exist in vedic culture, and which Srila Prabhupada never mentions.
  2. Then you propose we follow 'tradition' and 'sastra' by implementing a 'law' that the GBC have stated is neither sastric nor traditional.
  3. Then you fabricate that the 'law' states that we 'must take diksa from a living guru' when it says no such thing.
  4. Then you claim that actually no 'direct' evidence is needed to act as a diksa guru because you speculate that Srila Prabhupada himself was never ordered directly by his guru to be diksa guru.

My second question is:

You have stated:

"I said Srila Prabhupada used the word ('ritvik-acarya') circumstantially, this is a fact you cannot deny."

But HH Hridyananda Maharaja and the GBC have stated that the word nor concept of ritvik-acarya exists in vedic culture.