Continuity Requires Existence


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 58, Vol 2, 2018

If a system relies on false arguments to remain standing, then this is a clear sign that it is a false system. A genuine system would not require such cheating techniques to sustain it. The former position is that of ISKCON's guru hoax, as we shall demonstrate. All emphases added.

The initiation system

GBC-elected guru HH Bhakti Charu Swami ("BCS") discussed the issue of the initiation system to be applied in ISKCON:

"So now, the question of course arises, "Then what about the initiation system?"
Yes, initiation will go on. Initiation will go on. Just as we have different other spiritual arrangements. Like we need pujaris to worship the deities. But for that there is no need to make a specific arrangement or specific resolutions. Like, yes we know that the pujaris are needed to continue the deity worship. Similarly initiating gurus will be needed to give initiation. That will go on."

(BCS, New Talavan, 20-21/11/16)

BCS makes two points:

1) Pujaris will always be needed to worship the deities. Hence, they will always need to continue to exist in ISKCON without the need for any specific arrangements or resolutions.

2) Similarly, initiating (diksa) gurus will be needed to give initiation, and "that will go on", or continue, in the same way.

Cheating tactic

BCS uses a sleight of hand, which he hopes no one will notice. He equates deity worship by pujaris with initiation from successor gurus to Srila Prabhupada. Thus he equates continuing a system:

a) Which Srila Prabhupada established for ISKCON, and thus already existed – i.e. deity worship by pujaris;

b) with a system Srila Prabhupada did not establish, and therefore did not exist – i.e. initiation from new successor gurus to Srila Prabhupada.

This is cheating because you can only continue something if it already exists! Since Srila Prabhupada clearly established that deity worship should be conducted in ISKCON by pujaris, there is no issue over continuing it – Srila Prabhupada has already ordered that it take place in ISKCON. But, it is an historical fact that at the time of Srila Prabhupada's physical departure, though deity worship by pujaris was mandated to occur in ISKCON temples, no such system existed for initiation by successor diksa gurus. Hence, the issue of continuing this non-existent initiation system does not even arise. Thus, one cannot draw a parallel between the two and extrapolate from needing pujaris to needing successor diksa gurus!

Only rtviks existed

Rather, the only initiation system that existed in every ISKCON temple at the time of Srila Prabhupada's physical departure was the system of everyone who joined getting initiated by Srila Prabhupada via representatives ("rtviks"). This system had been established in every ISKCON temple via Srila Prabhupada's July 9th, 1977 directive sent out to every ISKCON GBC and Temple President. And Srila Prabhupada had not given any orders that this system be replaced with the rtviks automatically transmogrifying into successor diksa gurus as soon as Srila Prabhupada physically departed.

Thus, through this arrangement, Srila Prabhupada made it clear that he was to remain the sole diksa guru for ISKCON.

Therefore, although continuing deity worship with pujaris should "go on", continuing successor diksa gurus would at least first require that they exist before they can continue! And it is a fact that they did not.

Sannyasi parallel

It is interesting to note how, as documented in BTP 55 (please see "GBC Explains Its Guru System Is Unauthorised"), a similar sleight of hand cheating tactic was used by the GBC to justify its self-created guru voting system. There they equated the fact that Srila Prabhupada had authorized the GBC to make sannyasis, with the fact that Srila Prabhupada had not similarly authorised the GBC to make successor diksa gurus. Thus, they again drew a parallel and extrapolated, where no such parallel or legitimate extrapolation existed.

Actual parallel

BCS does, however, unwittingly justify why the rtvik initiation system should continue in ISKCON. His logic states that deity worship by pujaris can and should continue without the need for any "specific arrangement or specific resolutions", because these spiritual activities need to go on. Similarly, he states initiation also needs to continue without any special arrangements. And his parallel works if we are speaking of the rtvik system created by Srila Prabhupada. Because in both cases, Srila Prabhupada already gave the system, and personnel are needed to continue the system. Thus, deity worship must continue with pujaris, and initiation must continue with rtviks. This is a direct parallel, because Srila Prabhupada did establish both systems for ISKCON.

Actual GBC authority

In addition to BCS's "pujari" argument above, which can be used to establish the continuity of the rtvik system, we can also note that Srila Prabhupada specifically gave the authority for the GBC to continue to maintain any systems that he had actually already given:

"So you GBC men are my selected few for insuring that what I am doing will be carried on very nicely for the pleasure of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 16/6/72)

Acting as the Acarya and diksa guru of ISKCON from 1966 onwards was what Srila Prabhupada was "doing". Establishing a system in July 1977 using rtviks to ensure he could continue to initiate in ISKCON was what Srila Prabhupada was "doing". And it was these activities that Srila Prabhupada was "doing", that the GBC was supposed to make sure were "carried on".

However, authorising successor diksa gurus, on the other hand, was something Srila Prabhupada never did, and thus there is nothing here for the GBC to have "carried on".


There is no question of claiming that ISKCON's GBC guru system can simply "go on" like deity worship, since this presupposes that the system already existed – which it did not. Hence, the use of such fake arguments simply establishes that we are dealing with a fake system, i.e., the guru hoax, or the system of unauthorised "diksa guru" successors to Srila Prabhupada.

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