IRM’s Russian Impact


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 34, Winter 2011

ISKCON Russia has produced a lengthy (172 pages) official “Bhakta Program Manual” which is given to all new recruits joining the movement. It is listed as be­ing produced by the “Vaisnava University”, and is in Russian. The contents of this manual provide further evidence of the impact the IRM is having all over the world. The manual devotes a whole section to listing the different kinds of “problems” ISKCON has experienced, but only one problem, which is described as a “most pressing problem”, is analysed indetail in the manual. The one “problem” which they select to highlight above all others is “ritvik-vada”. This appears in chapter 11. ISKCON has been pushed into taking such a measure due to the work of the IRM in translating, printing and distributing various literatures all over the former Soviet Union, from Siberia all the way to the Ukraine. For the IRM are the only ones preaching in the Russian language about Srila Prabhupada’s real instructions for initiation and other issues, which we have been doing since the late 1990s.

The manual gives a completely false picture regarding what the IRM actually preaches, hoping this will inoculate ISKCON members from the truth as presented by the IRM. It uses three deceptive tactics that ISKCON always uses when trying to deal with the IRM, since our points cannot be rebutted, being as they are, quoted directly from Srila Prabhupada:

a) Misrepresenting our position. For example, it claims that our position relies on Srila Prabhupada’s May 28th, 1977 conversation. But we have not claimed our position relies on this conversation, any more than we have claimed that it depends on the word “henceforward” in Srila Prabhupada’s July 9th, 1977 directive to all GBCs and Temple Presidents. Yet such misrepresentations have been deliberately trotted out for years, since ISKCON is unable to respond to what our position actually depends on.

b) Claiming the IRM’s position can be countered using false statements, which are presented without any evidence for the same. For example, it states that “ritvik-vada” “contradicts siddhanta” (scriptural conclusions). But this is simply stated without any attempt made to offer evidence for the same.

c) Then for good measure, in keeping with the recent “climb-down” trend which we have documented in recent years, the manual ends up stating the same position as the IRM, completely contradicting its earlier conclusions! For it states that “Srila Prabhupada eternally remains the guru-liberator for all the generations of devotees in ISKCON”. But this means that Srila Prabhupada is the diksa (initiating) guru, and there is therefore no need for ISKCON’s guru hoaxers:

“The spiritual master initiates the disciple to deliver him, and if the disciple executes the order of the spiritual master and does not offend other Vaisnavas, his path is clear.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 1:218, purport, emphasis added)

This is why when devotees actually get to read our materials for themselves, they find that ISKCON has no answers for the points which are made there. This is also why, for example, we see how in the following story guru hoaxer HH Sivarama Swami reminded the Hungarian devotees that they are threatened with “severe sanctions” if they even dare to read BTP.

But you cannot rely on keeping people in the dark forever, for eventually the truth will come out!

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