GBC Unable to Reply to Founder-Acarya Book


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 47, Spring 2015

Srila Prabhupada's position as ISKCON's only Acarya (and Founder: "Founder-Acarya"), has con---fused ISKCON's leadership ever since Srila Prabhupada's physical departure. How do they explain Srila Prabhupada's position as ISKCON's Acarya without it impeding their status as his supposed successor diksa gurus? Then, almost 40 years later, they issued "Srila Prabhupada': The Founder-Acarya of ISKCON", a definitive "GBC Foundational Document", on the subject. However, as the IRM book explaining this GBC document, titled "Srila Prabhupada: The Founder-Acarya of ISKCON – Presenting the Conclusions of the GBC Foundational Document" (SPFAIC), demonstrated, the GBC document merely confirmed that Srila Prabhupada's position as ISKCON's ?only Acarya means that he is also ISKCON's only diksa guru. And the GBC has been un-able to challenge this conclusion. How could they, when it is taken verbatim from their own document?! And now this lack of a challenge has been confirmed -- with the author of this "GBC Foundational Document", HG Ravindra Svarupa Dasa ("RSD"), being unable to reply to SPFAIC whilst making a specific reference to it. The statements in the shaded boxes below are taken from a paper written by RSD titled "Srila Prabhupada: The Founder-Acarya of ISKCON -- A "Soft-Ritvik" Work? ISKCON Now A "Fifth Sampradaya"? A Reply to These And Other Criticisms", which was posted on a GBC-funded website on 24/3/15.

The "reply"

"It is of interest to note that while one critic criticizes Srila Prabhupada: The Founder-Acarya of ISKCON for being crypto-rtvik, another disparages it for being not rtvik. This is found in a booklet issued in April 2014 by the rtvik group ISKCON Revival Movement (IRM) and written by Krishnakant [Desai]."

a) The title of RSD's paper -- mentioned in the introduction to this article -- states that it is a "reply" to various "criticisms" that have been made of his GBC "Founder-Acarya" document. Actually, RSD's paper is a lengthy and detailed reply only to specific criticisms that had been made of RSD's document by someone else other than the IRM. The above shaded extract is taken from the end of RSD's reply to these criticisms, which is also the end of RSD's paper. RSD refers to these criticisms as having claimed that his GBC document was "crypto-rtvik". ("rtvik" is the term used by the GBC to refer to the proposition that Srila Prabhupada is ISKCON's diksa guru"). These criticisms, RSD stated earlier in the paper, were posted anonymously on Facebook. RSD's reply to these criticisms runs to many pages and almost 3000 words. RSD's exhaustive response to an anonymous Facebook criticism of his GBC document should be contrasted with the "response" he gives to SPFAIC, which we will detail in the next section.

b) RSD then goes on to introduce SPAIFC by stating that SPAIFC disparages the GBC document "for being not rtvik". Actually, as we shall see, we explain that the GBC document does establish that Srila Prabhupada is ISKCON's diksa guru, even if it does not make a specific statement to this effect.

No reply to IRM book

"This work bears the exact same title as the GBC-published book and displays a cover formatted just like that book. Where the ISKCON cover bears the words "A GBC Foundational Document," the IRM work proclaims: "Presenting the Conclusions of the GBC Foundational Document." Within, however, one discovers a quite different conclusion: that the GBC Foundational Document is missing a vitally important element, now supplied by this IRM work: "Acarya of ISKCON means Diksa Guru of ISKCON." It is best to go to the authentic GBC Foundational Document to find out what it is."

c) RSD then spends time describing the cover of SPFAIC, says he disagrees with SPFAIC's contents, and then simply tells us to re-read the GBC Foundational Document to see what it actually states. The above are the last words of his paper.

d) Yet, we already know that RSD does not believe that simply asking readers to re-read the GBC Foundational Document is sufficient to rebut a supposedly faulty critique of it. For we just saw that in regards to the anonymous Facebook criticism of the GBC document, he devoted a whole lengthy paper to rebut it. But he is unable to offer even one sentence in reply to the statements contained in SPFAIC.

Because he can't!

RSD's pronounced silence in regards to SPFAIC, even though it has been mass distributed as a printed book throughout the devotee community -- with a circulation running into many thousands -- can be understood when one reads SPFAIC. In SPFAIC we are able to cite the GBC Foundational Document stating that 'Acarya of ISKCON means Diksa Guru of ISKCON'. For example, on page 30 of the GBC document, it states (emphasis added):

"An Acarya, or, in Prabhupada's words, 'a transcendental professor of spiritual science,' is a different breed from your modern academician. The transcendental professor takes charge of the disciples and after initiating them into their sacred studies, thoroughly schools them in Vedic knowledge and trains them in its requisite regulations and disciplines."

And SPFAIC provides other such direct quotes from the GBC document. Hence, even if we follow RSD's suggestion to re-read his GBC document, we will simply re-read these statements that substantiate what SPFAIC states. Thus, RSD is forced to stay silent in regards to the contents of SPFAIC because all our book does is quote his words and he cannot reply to himself!


Srila Prabhupada states:

"So they could not give us any counter-argument. Therefore they accepted."
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, 17/5/75)

"If we remain silent, then whatever he says, that means we are accepting."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, 13/8/73)

The GBC's inability to even attempt to refute the contents of SPFAIC merely proves that, as both the GBC's Foundational Document and SPFAIC directly establish: 'Acarya of ISKCON means Diksa Guru of ISKCON'.

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