Determining the truth:
Ignorant bodily consciousness?


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 34, Winter 2011

The method one uses to determine the truth will also determine the conclusions one reaches. If one adheres to only using Srila Prabhupada’s recorded statements, known as the “POP” (Prabhupada- Only Paradigm), then one will end up reaching conclusions which are in line with Srila Prabhupada’s orders. This is the method the IRM uses. However, those who support ISKCON’s guru hoax claim to be firmly convinced that the conclusions of the IRM are completely opposed to Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. As we will now reveal, such an erroneous conviction will naturally result if an erroneous methodology, rather than the authority of Srila Prabhupada’s statements, is used for determining the truth. HH Jayadvaita Swami, a BBT Trustee and ISKCON guru, was behind the GBC ditching its previous “final siddhanta” on gurus and initiation and instead adopting its current resolution on this issue (as documented in BTP issues 4 and 17). And his papers on the “ritvik people” are routinely promoted by other ISKCON leaders as an authoritative “rebuttal” against the IRM’s position. In the following statements in the shaded boxes, which are from an email exchange Jayadvaita Swami had with an IRM supporter (with the statement in blue denoted by chevrons thus “>”, coming from the said IRM supporter), Jayadvaita Swami reveals his methodology for determining why the IRM must be wrong.

Truth via bodily status

“And if even the members of the GBC can make mistakes, how much more prone to mistakes must be the author of “The Final Order” (the “ritvik Bible”), Krishnakant Desai, an uninitiated Gujarati guy from London.”

Jayadvaita Swami correctly states, like other ISKCON gurus such as HH Bhakti Vikash Swami, that The Final Order (“TFO”) is indeed the document which definitively sets out the ritvik position (“ritvik bible”). He concludes that the author of TFO, and therefore TFO itself, “must be” more prone to mistakes than the GBC, as the author is an “uninitiated Gujarati guy from London” (Gujaratis are those who hail from a state in Western India). In offering this statement as his reasoning for why the author of TFO “must be” more mistaken than the GBC, Jayadvaita Swami is claiming that the bodily designation (as well as physical location and initiation status) is somehow relevant to how “prone to mistakes” one must be. We can note that Srila Prabhupada has never taught that such bodily designations are relevant to determining how prone one is to making mistakes.

Truth via doctorates

“ISKCON has plenty of splendidly logical thinkers, several of them with doctoral degrees, such as Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu, Urmila Mataji, Krsnaksetra Prabhu, Drutakarma Prabhu, Radhika Ramana Prabhu, and others. And none of them buy the supposed logic of Krishnakant Desai.”

Continuing his obsession with bodily consciousness, having decided to cite Krishnakant’s racial origin as being of relevance to why he must be wrong, Jayadvaita Swami further adds that the possession of “doctoral degrees” is relevant in the matter of those who are supposedly “splendidly logical thinkers” who do not buy the logic presented in TFO by Krishnakant. Again, we can note that Srila Prabhupada has never taught that the possession of doctoral degrees is in any way relevant to the matter of being “splendidly logical thinkers”.
So there you have it. On the one side you have people who have “doctoral degrees” and on the other you have someone who is just a “Gujarati guy”!

Truth via ignorance

“The Final Order” (the “ritvik Bible”) […] Their usual argument, in essence, seems to be that since so many of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples who “became gurus” botched the job so badly, the usual parampara system couldn’t possibly be what Srila Prabhupada expected us to follow, and he therefore “must have” created and endorsed the “ritvik system,” never before seen or heard of in the history of Vaisnavism (or, for that matter, in the history of any other authentic Indian spiritual tradition). “

Having himself stated that TFO is the “ritvik bible”, Jayadvaita Swami then goes on to offer as the supposed “essence” of our “usual argument” something which is never stated (never mind “usually”) in TFO. For our argument is the exact opposite of what Jayadvaita Swami claims here. We do not state that because some ISKCON gurus fell down this means Srila Prabhupada ordered a “ritvik system”. Rather, we state the fact that Srila Prabhupada first ordered a ritvik system, but some disciples decided instead to then become unauthorised successor gurus.

“That’s a terribly bad argument.”

Jayadvaita Swami then calls his own fabricated argument regarding the ritvik position, a “terribly bad argument”. We agree. There is no more “terribly bad argument” than one which does not even exist!

> “While the ritvik representatives
> document their arguments very
> clearly.”

“Not that I’ve seen.”

Since Jayadvaita Swami is not aware of TFO’s position, it is not at all surprising that he claims to have not seen the clearly documented arguments presented by TFO!

“But the “ritvik” notion is such a poor concoction that I don’t see how it deserves to be taken seriously. In my view, spending time with it just distracts us from the issues concerning leadership that genuinely deserve to be looked at.”

As seen above, it is Jayadvaita Swami himself who has concocted what the “ritvik notion” actually is. He further claims that “spending time” with it “distracts us”. But, as seen above, he has actually spent no time on it, since he has no idea what it actually is. Therefore, if he did spend time on it, then it would only “distract” him from remaining in ignorance regarding what it actually is!
Clearly, being completely in ignorance of the IRM’s position will only lead one to reach an ignorant conclusion regarding its validity.

Truth via assumption

“If someone can show me from Srila Prabhupada teachings that he wanted to have no grand-disciples (no “disciple of my disciple”), that he wanted the disciplic succession he kept teaching about to be “put on hold” for ten thousand years, and that for the next ten thousand years he wanted himself to be the only guru, then the ISKCON management (and the advanced ISKCON devotees I respect who are not in management) are wrong, and Krishnakant Desai has found “the answer”. But I think that’s baloney, and I’m not buying any of it.”

The above argument assumes that Srila Prabhupada had ordered guru successors (and therefore wanted grand-disciples) to take his place as the diksa guru for ISKCON. Because without such an assumption, there is no need for Srila Prabhupada to state the contrary, since he had already established himself as the diksa guru for ISKCON as soon as ISKCON was founded in 1966. Rather one can just as easily state:

“If someone can show me from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings that he wanted to have no ritviks (no “officiating acaryas”), that he wanted the ritvik system he set up to be “put on hold” when he departed, and that instead he ordered diksa guru successors to take over as soon as he departed, then the IRM are wrong, and Jayadvaita Swami has found “the answer”. But I think that’s baloney, and I’m not buying any of it.”

Jayadvaita Swami therefore needs to establish with evidence that the state of affairs Srila Prabhupada ordered in ISKCON, with himself as its initiating guru, was to change on his departure. The burden of proof is on those who seek to change the status quo. By definition, no further proof is required for the status quo to remain the status quo. This conclusion is so obvious that even Jayadvaita Swami agrees, with the following taken from his paper addressing the ritvik issue:

“This is simply a classic argumentative blunder, a textbook fallacy. “How do we know that you don’t beat your wife?” demands the rumor-monger. And then you’re stuck there, trying to come up with evidence to counter a groundless accusation. […] One must support one’s views by evidence, not by assertions that a lack of counter-evidence makes them true. Enough said.”
(“Where the Ritvik People Are Wrong”, 1996)

Jayadvaita Swami has, therefore, first assumed that which he wants to be true (that Srila Prabhupada must be replaced by a successor), then claimed there is no counter-evidence, and then claimed that these counter-assertions make his assumptions true. You can always claim something is true by simply assuming it to be true!

Truth via silence

“And, by the way, I don’t believe that Srila Prabhupada shows his mercy by engaging people in publishing magazines dedicated to criticizing and blaspheming Vaisnavas. […] Only people spiritually sick or misguided could dedicate themselves to putting out a magazine dedicated to broadcasting the faults of other devotees (and have the nerve to call it “Back to Prabhupada”).”

Jayadvaita Swami is not claiming here that the criticism is inaccurate or that the “faults” broadcast are fabricated. Rather, he is claiming that simply the mere act of criticising is evidence that those doing so are not receiving Srila Prabhupada’s mercy and are spiritually sick and misguided. But Srila Prabhupada has never taught that one should not criticise. On the contrary he states:

“The truth should be spoken in a straight and forward way, so that others will understand actually what the facts are. If a man is a thief and if people are warned that he is a thief, that is truth. Although sometimes the truth is unpalatable, one should not refrain from speaking it. Truthfulness demands that the facts be presented as they are for the benefit of others. That is the definition of truth.”
(Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 10:4-5, purport, original 1972 edition)

Therefore, just the fact that BTP points out faults is not relevant to determining whether or not BTP is supported by Srila Prabhupada or spiritually sick and misguided. What matters is whether or not those faults are accurate. Because if those acting as gurus are unauthorised, then they are stealing disciples from Srila Prabhupada, and, therefore, are the worst possible thieves. And Srila Prabhupada clearly states that people should be warned against such thieves, and that such facts must be presented for the benefit of others.

Truth via personal opinion

“But if I’m supposed to believe the stuff published by the ritvik people, ISKCON’s leaders have gotten *everything* wrong, and there’s virtually nothing they’ve done right that’s worth talking about. From where I sit, that’s a sick view of the world.”

Jayadvaita Swami states that the idea that ISKCON could be wholesale deviating has automatically got to be a “sick view of the world” based on where he sits, or his personal perspective. But what matters is not his personal perspective, but the facts. And Jayadvaita Swami has not presented any arguments to challenge the evidence presented in BTP. Indeed, even after he had received GBC approval to become a supposedly self-realised “good as God” diksa guru, Jayadvaita Swami himself held the same worldview regarding ISKCON’s leaders that the IRM does:

“8. The GBC has failed to maintain and protect the spiritual standards of the Society. [...]
13. After Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance, for many years the GBC systematically misrepresented Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and instructions about carrying on the disciplic succession. [...]
27. The members of the GBC have systematically misrepresented--and allowed and encouraged others to misrepresent--Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and instructions about business and sankirtana.
28. The members of the GBC have neglected and misrepresented numerous other teachings and instructions of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. [...]
32. By allowing, advocating, taking part in, perpetuating, and defending these and other forms of contamination and decay, the members of the GBC have brought the ultimate managing authority of the entire International Society for Krishna Consciousness to a state of disrepute and pollution.”

(“Several Grievances Against the Members of the GBC”, Jayadvaita Swami, 5/3/1987)

And Jayadvaita Swami lists 27 more of such grievances!

Jayadvaita SwamiHH Jayadvaita Swami:
Proposing truth on the basis of ethnicity.

“And if even the members of the GBC can make mistakes, how much more prone to mistakes must be the author of The Final Order, a Gujarati”


In contrast to the IRM, the method employed by Jayadvaita Swami to determine the truth is based not on Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and the facts in evidence. Rather, his approach is based on a combination of bodily status, ignorance and personal opinion. Consequently, even though the IRM’s conclusions are naturally based on Srila Prabhupada’s teachings due to the “POP” methodology employed, it is no surprise that guru hoax supporters may conclude otherwise. For ignorant methods used to determine the truth will result not in the truth, but merely ignorant conclusions.

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