Founder-Acarya Means Founder and Acarya


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 44, Summer 2014

The previous issue of BTP came along with an historic book that detailed how the GBC has issued a foundational document that ends up establishing that, due to his exclusive position as the Founder-Acarya of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada alone will remain the Acarya and diksa guru for ISKCON. However, one of the committee members who issued this GBC foundational document, HH Hridayananda Dasa Goswami ("HD"), has tried to argue that this still does not prevent him from also having the acarya title in ISKCON! We deconstruct this foolish argument below, with the quotes in the shaded boxes taken from a posting on HD's personal "Istagosthi" website dated 19/4/14.

Founder-acarya title

HD correctly states that Srila Prabhupada alone has the position of Founder-acarya in ISKCON:

"Further, Prabhupada's own preferred and exclusive title is Founder-acarya. In his recent GBC-authorized book on Srila Prabhupada, Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu provides elaborate historical evidence for this. In one of many examples, Srila Prabhupada wrote a letter to an Indian government official, 20.4.71: 'Let me introduce myself as the Founder-acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.'"

However, as we have proven, the Founder-acarya title is simply a shortened version of the "Founder and acarya" title:

"A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Founder and Acarya, of International Society for Krishna Consciousness."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 21/4/74)

"So the account should be opened and checks should be drawn out by two signatures. One of the signatures must be mine and the other names should also be registered: Jayapataka Swami, Acyutananda Swami and Madhudvisa Swami (Founder and Acarya, President, Secretary and Treasurer respectively.) These four names should be registered."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 27/11/70)

"[...] which country I am registered immigrant as Founder and Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Incorporated."
(A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Mayapur-Vrindaban Trust Fund Agreement, MVTF Agreement July, 1971)

And, just to establish that there is indeed no dispute over this fact, during Srila Prabhupada's physical presence, Srila Prabhupada was also referred to as the "Founder and acarya" of ISKCON repeatedly in ISKCON's official Back To Godhead magazine (issue nos., 32, 42, 68 and 12-07). Even the foreword by the BBT trustees to the current "revised" edition of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta states that Srila Prabhupada is the "Founder and acarya". So, at least on the issue of the "Founder-acarya" title, there can be no dispute that the "Founder-acarya" title means, and is a shortened form of, "Founder and acarya".

Acarya means diksa guru

HD also correctly accepts that "acarya" means diksa guru, by first providing the same quote from the GBC foundational document that we had highlighted in our book explaining the document:

"CC Adi 1.46. Prabhupada states there in his purport, 'The spiritual master is also called acarya, or a transcendental professor of spiritual science. The Manu-samhita (2.140) explains the duties of an acarya, describing that a bona fide spiritual master accepts charge of disciples, teaches them the Vedic knowledge with all its intricacies, and gives them their second birth...The bona fide spiritual master always engages in unalloyed devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By this test he is known to be a direct manifestation of the Lord and a genuine representative of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Such a spiritual master is known as acaryadeva. (CC, Adi 1:46)'."

and then referring to this quote as stating that an Acarya means diksa guru to claim that because he is a diksa guru, he can therefore be called "Acaryadeva":

"[...] because the GBC voted that I should serve Prabhupada as a bona fide guru, I took Prabhupada's statements above as a clear instruction and thus I began using the name 'Acaryadeva'."

HD defeats himself

Thus, HD reasons:

1. Srila Prabhupada is the exclusive Founder-acarya of ISKCON.
2. The diksa guru is called acarya.
3. I am a diksa guru, therefore I can be called acaryadeva.

However, HD is easily defeated by his own reasoning above, when we simply expand the meaning of the "Founder-acarya " title:

1. Srila Prabhupada is the exclusive Founder and acarya of ISKCON.
2. The diksa guru is called acarya.
3. Therefore, Srila Prabhupada is the exclusive diksa guru of ISKCON.
4. Therefore, no one else can be a diksa guru, or acarya, in ISKCON.

Guru hoax admission

As a side issue, we can note that HD has admitted that his diksa guru position in ISKCON came about solely due to the GBC's vote, and not due to any order from Srila Prabhupada:

"In the 1978 Mayapur GBC meeting, the GBC authorized 11 leaders, including myself, to begin initiating disciples in ISKCON [...] because the GBC voted that I should serve Prabhupada as a bona fide guru".

This admission completely vindicates the IRM's position regarding the Great Guru Hoax Part 1 -- that Srila Prabhupada never authorised the 11 rtviks he selected to remain anything other than rtviks. Rather, it was the GBC that decided on its own initiative to turn them into diksa gurus, as admitted above. Further, this admission also reveals as a lie, the following GBC resolution, which still stands unchanged to this day:

"[...] for 1978, no new Spiritual Masters shall be appointed other than the 11 selected by Srila Prabhupada."
(GBC Resolution No.16, 19/3/78)

A lie that continues to be repeated by ISKCON leaders such as GBC and guru HH Sivarama Swami:

"Srila Prabhupada himself chose 11 devotees to act as spiritual masters, and then he told the devotees present that the GBC can then later decide who else to add to act in that capacity".
(Sivarama Swami Podcast, 6/6/13)


ISKCON's leadership's clear acceptance of Srila Prabhupada's exclusive position as ISKCON's Founder-acarya, and its explanation for the meaning of this term, continues to be "the gift that keeps on giving"! For it allows us to continually refute any and all attempts by those very same persons to claim that they are diksa guru successors to Srila Prabhupada.

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