Nonsense Corner


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 66, Vol 2, 2020, Interactive

This is a column in which we answer articles or statements which have been forwarded to us by our readers for rebutting. Below is one such article called "The Lunacies of a Rtvik System" which was circulated on social media, and our response to its statements is interspersed below.

"The Lunacies of a Rtvik System
Here is a short list of the many unresolvable lunacies we would encounter if rtvikism were implemented within ISKCON:"

The article begins with the wrong starting point. The starting point cannot be what problems may arise if we tried to implement a system of using rtvik representatives to initiate on behalf of Srila Prabhupada in ISKCON. Rather, we must start with determining if Srila Prabhupada actually ordered such a system for ISKCON. Because, as he is ISKCON's Acarya, if Srila Prabhupada did want such a system, then that is all that matters – not problems implementing his system.

And if we examine Srila Prabhupada's orders on this matter, we find that he did order such a rtvik system of initiation for ISKCON.

"1. An insurmountable obstacle is that the eleven rtvik priests Srila Prabhupada authorised in the 9 July letter are either unavailable, unqualified, or unwilling."

If they are unwilling then it would mean they are deviating. So the actual obstacle is simply that one is refusing to follow Srila Prabhupada.

"2. Adding more rtvik priests would be hypocritical of the Rtviks since that would contradict their 'no change' logic, the very basis for their 'indisputable evidence' in 9 July letter."

a) The "very basis" for the "indisputable evidence" in the 9th July, 1977 directive is the fact that Srila Prabhupada signed it, and he is the Acarya and supreme authority of ISKCON!

b) "No change" logic means that there should be "no change" to what Srila Prabhupada established for ISKCON. One of these things is the fact that he established himself as the Acarya and diksa guru for ISKCON. Hence, "no change" means to continue to keep Srila Prabhupada's as ISKCON diksa guru, rather than stopping him remaining as ISKCON's diksa guru.

"3. Another reason it would be contradictory of the Rtviks to appoint more rtvik priests is that the Rtviks proclaim there are no qualified acaryas like Srila Prabhupada to appoint more priests."

a) We have never proclaimed only acaryas could appoint priests. As in the previous point, a false "straw man" argument about our position is made, since our actual position cannot be refuted.

b) The GBC was authorised by Srila Prabhupada to add more GBC members:

Srila Prabhupada: "So there is no question of changing GBC."
Satsvarupa: "No."
Srila Prabhupada: "Rather, one who is competent, he can be selected to act by the board of the GBC."
(GBC meets with Srila Prabhupada, 28/5/77)

c) GBC members were considered to be part of the "ultimate managing authority of the entire International Society for Krishna Consciousness", as stated in paragraph 1 of Srila Prabhupada's Last Will and Testament. Thus, as the "ultimate managers" for the whole of ISKCON, by definition, the GBC members would definitely be above priests in terms of authority. Thus, if the GBC body had the power to appoint the 'ultimate managers' of ISKCON, i.e. GBC members, it would definitely have the power to appoint personnel such as priests, who have less authority than GBC members and are beneath them in the authority structure of ISKCON.

d) Indeed, this power of the GBC to appoint such personnel is spelled out explicitly in the definition of the GBC which was given in the first ever GBC resolution:

"It is understood that the GBC, as a collective body of 14-members has been authorized by His Divine Grace to make necessary arrangements for carrying out these responsibilities of management. These arrangements may include delegating authority, managing resources, setting objectives, making plans, calling for reports, evaluating results, training others, maintaining spiritual standards and defining sphere of influence of the various GBC members as well as other devotees."
(GBC Resolution 1, 1975)

"4. How can the eleven rtvik priests nominated in the 9 July letter be the rtvik priests for the next 10,000 years? Since nobody is authorised to appoint more rtvik priests, upon the demise of the authorised eleven the whole system would grind to a halt. Then what?"

We have just demonstrated that in terms of the powers that Srila Prabhupada granted the GBC, they definitely had the power to appoint priests!

"5. The same 'posthumous diksa guru' logic that the Rtviks apply to Srila Prabhupada could also be used to take diksa from whichever acarya you like. Why not? For example, a 30-year initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada would have to hit the dust in front of a one-year upstart posthumous diksa disciple of say 'Rupa Goswami'! This is extreme, but then so is rtvikism."

a) Yet another "straw man" argument. When a person is too lazy, too illiterate, or just unable to refute our position, they either do not bother to read what we say, or pretend we say something else because they are unable to refute it. We state that you must take initiation only from the "current link", which is Srila Prabhupada. One cannot "jump over" the current link and take initiation from someone else. This is stated in detail in our position paper The Final Order.

b) Fabricating what we state, instead of answering what we actually state, simply confirms that one is afraid to address our actual position, because one is unable to.

"6. Rtvikism cannot be implemented in ISKCON since it has been unanimously rejected by the GBC which is the body Srila Prabhupada said should be followed in 'all circumstances' and that this principle cannot be changed."

Even if one claims that the present GBC is bona fide and must be followed, then one can simply read our document: "ISKCON Leaders Special Issue". Here we present *16* proofs from ISKCON's leaders that Srila Prabhupada is ISKCON's diksa guru. So the GBC simply needs to follow these words and implement them as GBC resolutions in ISKCON!

"7. ISKCON without a parampara system would become superficial like Christianity. There would be no 'current' guru/disciple relationships without which devotional standards and the whole organisation would eventually collapse."

We have a parampara with a current link. His name is Srila Prabhupada and he has thousands of "'current' guru/disciple relationships". For example, most of the GBC body, which is glorified in point 6 above, would fall under such relationships. Thus, to claim that having a relationship with Srila Prabhupada as the diksa guru would mean there is no parampara, or that such relationships cannot continue into the future, is another fabrication.

"The more we look into implementing rtvikism the more contradictory, ludicrous, and speculative the whole idea becomes. Ultimately it is a self defeating concoction."

As clearly demonstrated above, the more we look into objections to Srila Prabhupada's position as ISKCON's diksa guru, the more contradictory, ludicrous and speculative the whole idea becomes. Ultimately it is a self defeating concoction.

Return to "Srila Prabhupada's System" Index

Return to IRM Homepage


Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!