Truth and trickery:
A case study of His Holiness Trivikrama Swami


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 32, Summer 2011

When BTP was launched nearly 8 years ago, proclaiming to the world that Srila Prabhupada is ISKCON’s real guru, it was predictably met with a hostile reaction from ISKCON’s guru hoaxers and their disciples and followers. Over time, however, the ground has shifted significantly towards the IRM, as proven by the increasing number of guru hoaxers now preaching our philosophy (please refer to the 100 Contradictions book, BTP Special Issue No. 2 and individual BTP issues for evidence of this shift).

In this article, we explore the teachings of one of these guru hoaxers, His Holiness Trivikrama Swami (“TKS”). As will be seen, TKS uses a combination of truth (the IRM’s philosophy) and trickery (his/the GBC’s philosophy) to both establish Srila Prabhupada’s supreme position as ISKCON’s guru, and at the same time attempt to justify his own status as successor guru.

All quotes from TKS will be presented in bold, with our comments interspersed.

Truth: ISKCON gurus should be questioned and judged

“If one of his followers, who happens to have the duty of initiating in his ISKCON society, undermines or minimizes the instructions found in his books and lectures then how can we expect a sincere Iskcon devotee not to protest, even if the one minimizing him happens to have given him initiation?”
(TKS, ‘Dandavats’ website, 18/6/2007)

“When we are strong in this regard then we can judge others, even our own guru, according to this standard […] So if someone is claiming to be a disciple or follower of Srila Prabhupada but we see that he or she is not following the standard given to all of us by Srila Prabhupada then we have a right, even a duty, to question them. And if we are not satisfied by their answers then we can approach our GBC man with our doubts.”
(TKS, ‘Questions & Answers,’ 25/1/2009)

“What if there are no such pure devotees on the planet at this time? Don’t we have a right to examine those who are initiating us according to the standard set by the recognized uttama-adhikary Srila Prabhupada?”
(TKS, ‘Questions & Answers’, 25/1/2009)

This is the whole mission of the IRM: to protest, judge and question ISKCON’s so-called “gurus” in the light of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings – and is the reason why BTP is published in the first place.

Trickery: Don’t question or judge me!

“Before we get too many more righteous letters on this subject please allow me to explain why I have not submitted a financial disclosure. First of all I thought Iskcon was supposed to be based on “Love and trust”. If after 30-35 years of unsalaried service to the society why can’t we trust our leaders? Secondly everyone can understand that the GBC can’t enforce this “law”. Another example of the GBC passing laws that they can’t enforce. How are they going to go and look in everyone’s pocket? If the institution was giving me money to use to do it’s work then I could understand why I would have to report to them on how I spent it. I was recently in a interfaith meeting where all the members were receiving good salaries and there I was, older then most of them and with more years serving my church, but I had to go personally to the flea market on some days to come up with the money to pay the rent. This is especially true for those of us who go to new places to start a center.Sorry but I am not inclined to have to take the time to give this kind of report...If you don’t like it then fire me!
Your servant Trivikrama Swami”

(PAMHO Text: 7655348, 02-Jan-04)

TKS himself refuses to be placed under scrutiny, but rather suggests that if the GBC does not like his explanation, then it should “fire” him!

Truth: I am not qualified to be a spiritual master – but Srila Prabhupada is

“I don’t feel I am qualified to present myself as ‘Good as God’”.
(TKS, ‘Questions & Answers’, 25/1/2009)

“I worship Srila Prabhupada as good as God, even today, because I have full faith that he is my ever well wisher, that he would never cheat me, and that his advice is as good as if God is directly instructing me. I am convinced that by worshiping him I please Lord Krishna more then if I tried to worship Krishna directly, jumping over, or eliminating Srila Prabhupada.”
(TKS, ‘Questions & Answers’, 25/1/2009)

“I for one do not tell those who are under my care that they have to see me as good as God. What I suggest to them is they see me according to my adhikary or position of spiritual advancement. Although this may prove somewhat problematic for them, this problem can be resolved if we all agree to keep Srila Prabhupada in the center, and cooperate together for serving his mission. Srila Prabhupada was happy if his disciples saw him as good as God because he was as good as God. I can not honestly say the same.”
(TKS, ‘Questions & Answers’, 25/1/2009)

Trickery: But I am a spiritual master anyway

“As an individual guru in ISKCON I find this a very workable system. After all if I have any claim at all to be a guru it is simply because I am sincerely trying to follow the clear order of my guru. […] So for the pleasure of my spiritual master I am happy to adjust my relationship with my disciples.”
(TKS, ‘Questions & Answers’, 25/1/2009)

Truth: Keep Srila Prabhupada in the centre

“Prabhupada told us we should keep the acarya in the centre. We see practically, we tried putting others in the centre, it didn’t work.”
(TKS Lecture, 27/6/2010)

“Our disease is we want to be the ACARYA instead of serving him; this unnatural condition appears to be quite normal here in the material world, due to the covering influence of maya.”
(TKS, ‘On Srila Prabhupada’s Unique Position’)

Trickery: Use Srila Prabhupada to put ourselves in the centre

Having claimed that we should only keep Srila Prabhupada in the centre, TKS also fully admits that the ISKCON guru system is based on simply taking for themselves the disciples which Srila Prabhupada is making:

“It is only Srila Prabhupada’s mercy in the form of his society, his books, his followers and he himself personally that brings prospective disciples to the Iskcon gurus.”
(TKS, ‘Questions & Answers’, 25/1/2009)

Truth: Precedent not relevant

“Our faith is that Srila Prabhupada is such a great Acarya that could adjusted this detail for spreading the preaching mission of Lord Caitanya, under the order of his Guru Maharaja.”
(TKS, ‘Questions & Answers’, 25/1/2009)

“What you are missing is Srila Prabhupada’s unique position, and his being empowered to establish for the first time in history a Vaisnava Institution which has an ongoing central authority.”
(TKS, ‘Questions & Answers’, 25/1/2009)

Here TKS echoes what we have stated in the IRM’s foundational document, The Final Order, regarding Srila Prabhupada’s instituting the ritvik system of initiations in ISKCON:

“The important point is that although the ritvik system may be totally unique, (at least as far as we know), it does not violate higher order sastric principles. It is testament to Srila Prabhupada’s genius that he was able to apply such sastric principles in new and novel ways according to time, place and circumstance.”

This is supported by the following statement from Srila Prabhupada in a purport in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta:

"Every acarya has a specific means of propagating his spiritual movement with the aim of bringing men to Krsna consciousness. Therefore, the method of one acarya may be different from that of another, but the ultimate goal is never neglected.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, 7:37, purport)

Trickery: Precedent relevant

“They just think that Prabhupada is initiating them. But there’s no precedent to that thinking, precedent or tradition.”
(TKS Lecture, 14/6/2008)

Truth: Ritvik initiations bona fide

“Otherwise, personally, I think that Prabhupada may be able to initiate people.”
(TKS Lecture, 14/6/2008)

“But still, what is the harm of getting a formal initiation in ISKCON? You can explain to your spiritual master that you think Srila Prabhupada is your main link to Krishna.”
(TKS Lecture, 14/6/2008)

“And so we’ll go along with their system rather than attack it. So that’s my main complaint with the ritviks is that they are political.”
(TKS Lecture, 14/6/2008)

Trickery: Ritvik initiations not bona fide

“The ritvik movement is in fact a most reactionary movement, not based on guru, sadhu, or shastra.”
(TKS, ‘Final Order’)

Truth: Only Srila Prabhupada required - 1

“My firm conviction is that Srila Prabhupada is ready to reciprocate with any of his followers if they approach him with a humble service attitude. This is his special power as the recoginized Founder Acarya for Iskcon for the next 10,000 years. That relationship is one of service, if we are actually anxious to assist Srila Prabhupada in his mission then surely he will reciprocate with us to the degree that we are sincere about rendering that service.”
(TKS, ‘Questions & Answers’, 25/1/2009)

“How many of you had a dream of Prabhupada? See how many! So that means Prabhupada is reciprocating. This is his position, unique position. He’s saktyavesa avatara. This is his saktyavesa, that he’s able to reciprocate with everybody for the next 10,000 years.”
(TKS Lecture, 27/6/2010)

TKS fully admits that Srila Prabhupada can reciprocate unrestrictedly with anyone. But this would mean that TKS is not required as a successor diksa guru.

Truth: Only Srila Prabhupada required - 2

“This secret of success is no longer a secret, it is open to all for the next 10,000 years. Anyone, following in the footsteps of Srila Prabhupada, who accepts his words, his orders, and executes them with 100% sincerity will also become a perfectly pure devotee.”
(TKS, ‘On Srila Prabhupada’s Unique Position’)

“So if you’re able to remember Prabhupada at the time of death, then he’ll take you to Krishna.”
(TKS Lecture, 27/6/2010)

TKS here describes exactly the relationship a disciple of Srila Prabhupada has with him. But TKS accepts that this same relationship is available to anyone. Again, if anyone can do the above, then TKS is not required as a successor diksa guru.

Conclusion: The IRM is pleasing to Krishna

“You are right when you say it is a “wicked spirit” on the part of those who try to lessen the position of Srila Prabhupada. My advise is that you should respond by strongly and loudly objecting, even if it means disrupting the whole class…even if it means that you may be physically thrown out of the temple… even if it means you may be killed. Yes it is better to die than to hear this most grave offense. By strongly objecting you will save yourself and other innocent devotees from being implicated in this most serious and sinful Vaisnava and Guru aparada. Don’t worry that they are chanting Hare Krsna longer then you are, it doesn’t matter. They have become RASCALS, and Krsna will be pleased when He sees that you are very serious to defend His most dear devotee Srila Prabhupada.”
(TKS, Questions & Answers, 25/1/2009)

Here TKS is giving his full endor-sement to the IRM’s strong and serious defence of Srila Prabhu-pada, for through BTP we are “strongly and loudly objecting” to the guru hoaxers who have usurped Srila Prabhupada’s position, and getting physically thrown out and banned from the temples for doing so!

The program to replace Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON’s guru is such an evident hoax that even those claiming to be Srila Prabhupada’s successors have been documented repeatedly confessing that it is a hoax. But like addicts, who may admit it is wrong to take drugs but still are unable to give them up, the hoaxers are unable to actually give up the guru hoax in practice, and instead try to subvert the truth they are proclaiming via trickery.

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