Four Ways to Fabricate Falsehoods


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 57, Vol. 1 2018

"Subject: Lasting impression on Youtube.
Hare Krishna. PAMHO. AGTSP.
Do you have reply for the Hanuman Das's lasting impression videos on Youtube?
Thank you."
- Hari Dasa, Solapur, India
"Dear Prabhu,
Check it out.
Your Servant,"
- Trivikrama Swami, Florida, USA
"Subject: Please refute the points by this Youtube user against ritvik system.
Hare Krishna Prabhu,
I found this video by a devotee named Hrvoje Marjanovic:
I found his points not convincing. However, looks like he is saying that ritvik may not be what Prabhupada actually intended. Please can you shed more light on this.
I am from ISKCON Bangalore and my name is Achyutananda Dasa.
Your Servant,"
- Achyutananda Dasa, Bangalore, India

Editor replies:

This video claims at the outset that:

"Ritviks are trying to kill Prabhupada in four major ways."

However, as the video does not quote the IRM (ritviks) even once, it completely fails in demonstrating this, as it simply uses fabricated arguments that are falsely attributed to us. For example, it states as one of these "four ways" that:

"The second claim by ritviks is that Prabhupada is a deviant from the Vaisnava-siddhanta."

But the IRM does not claim this, nor does the video produce Srila Prabhupada quoting the "Vaisnava-siddhanta" which we are supposedly claiming Srila Prabhupada is deviating from. So this is just a false, empty claim.

Then, in regards to another of these "four ways", the video claims:

"Fourth claim by ritviks is that Prabhupada is not empowered. Prabhupada was hoping to make at least one pure devotee, and he did. But ritviks claim that he couldn't make any pure devotees who would continue parampara, and therefore he decided to put himself as the only guru even after he dies."

This is yet another fabricated straw man argument, as we never state this. The article on page 5 of this issue has already debunked this particular straw man argument in detail.

Thus, 2 of the 4 "ways" that we are supposedly trying to "kill" Srila Prabhupada are straightforward straw man arguments.

In regards to the third way, the video claims:

"Third argument by ritviks is that Prabhupada is not a guru. How to explain that? Well, we have to look at the arguments that ritviks make."

However, as noted earlier, the video does not look at the actual arguments that the IRM makes, as it never quotes any of our arguments even once, and instead just offers its own speculations regarding what it thinks we must be saying. Hence, the video first claims:

"Crown jewel argument by ritviks is that Prabhupada never named his successor gurus. "

And then later on the video claims:

"ritviks claim that Prabhupada gave "the final order" in which he named ritviks and that system should continue after he dies. This is really their crown jewel argument which is based on ignorance."

Thus, it first claims one thing is supposedly our "crown jewel" argument, and then later contradicts itself by claiming that actually it is another thing which is supposedly our "crown jewel" argument. It then continues:

"This order was given because Prabhupada was sick and couldn't travel, and the list of disciples who were waiting for initiation kept growing more and more. In order to solve that issue Prabhupada established such a system that his senior disciples can give beads to his disciples, his newly-initiated disciples, which is a very practical solution."

This is another fabrication – as shown by the fact that no evidence is produced proving that the July 9th, 1977 directive ("the final order") was issued because Srila Prabhupada was sick and could not travel. Or that the "final order" established a system to "give beads" to his disciples. On the contrary, Srila Prabhupada was already mailing beads for initiations as early as 1967, and senior disciples were chanting on beads from 1973, and thus Srila Prabhupada was not even required to travel for initiations anyway. (See letters to Balai Dasi, 17/12/67 and Revatinandana, 4/1/73, for example).

The video then discusses the issue of how successor diksa gurus are authorised. But our actual position, as explained in this issue's Editorial, is that the question of authorising successor diksa gurus does not even arise, because:

a) Srila Prabhupada already established himself as the sole Acarya for ISKCON;
b) This includes acting as diksa guru.

This is proven with quotes from Srila Prabhupada in our book Srila Prabhupada, The Founder-Acarya of ISKCON: Presenting the Conclusions of the GBC Foundational Document. Thus, since it is proven that Srila Prabhupada did not actually himself stop acting as ISKCON's diksa guru, discussing how successor diksa gurus were authorised to fill Srila Prabhupada's position as ISKCON's diksa guru is completely irrelevant.

So that's 3 of the 4 "ways" debunked.

Finally, we are left with the "first way", which is the only time the video even offers a quote from Srila Prabhupada regarding the issue in question. The video claims:

"So ritviks claim that Prabhupada is crazy because he made all these statements about parampara and then a few months before he left this world, he changed all that and all of a sudden there are hundreds of statements of Prabhupada where he explains how parampara looks. [...] In other words, ritviks claim that we should disregard all the quotes by Prabhupada, where Prabhupada directly says here, "They can make disciples and spread. They are competent.""

However, the facts are:

1) Despite the video speaking about "hundreds of statements" and "all the quotes by Prabhupada", Srila Prabhupada only ever made one statement where he said "They can make disciples and spread. They are competent."

2) We never say this one quote should be disregarded, so this is yet another false straw man argument about our position.

3) This one quote in question, which is provided by the video, states:

"Mohsin Hassan: You have ten swamis. And outside of swamis, what's the lower...
Srila Prabhupada: Now, they're competent. They can, not only the swamis, even the grhasthas, they are called dasa adhikari, and brahmacaris, everyone can, whoever is initiated, he is competent to make disciples. But as a matter of etiquette they do not do so in the presence of their spiritual master. This is the etiquette. Otherwise, they are competent. They can make disciples and spread.
(Room conversation, 18/7/71)"

a) Srila Prabhupada clarifies that every one of his disciples, not just "swamis", can make disciples. The IRM does not dispute that the right to make disciples is not restricted to swamis.

b) Srila Prabhupada also explains that at the time of the interview, the issue of his disciples making disciples would not even arise, because, as he explains, that is the "etiquette".

c) Whether, later, when Srila Prabhupada physically departed, his disciples would be required by Srila Prabhupada to make disciples, or whether Srila Prabhupada remained making disciples himself, is another question which this quote does not directly address.

But, as we just noted in the answer to the video's last point, we do know Srila Prabhupada did not himself stop making disciples in ISKCON, and therefore the issue of his disciples needing to make disciples did not even arise.

d) Thus, this quote, and any others about the "parampara", are neither dismissed by us, nor do they prove that Srila Prabhupada is "crazy" if he did not renounce his position as ISKCON's Acarya and diksa guru.

And thus, the final of the "four ways", like the other three, also makes a false claim that the IRM is somehow trying to "kill" Srila Prabhupada.

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