by Krishnakant


This is in response to a letter entitled ‘Let It Shine’ that recently appeared on the CHAKRA web site. The letter’s provocative title alludes to a challenge to all ritvik followers to prove themselves by the results of their preaching. However, given CHAKRA’s headline story for the preceding week perhaps a touch less bravado might have been more appropriate. This letter was also just another example of CHAKRA not adhering to its own editorial policy of refusing to publish items which are “inaccurate”. It must be that ‘Let it Shine’ somehow slipped through the net again. Had CHAKRA’s editor been doing his job properly the letter would surely have been rejected, since it contains nothing but misrepresentation, error and perfidy. This misrepresentation and inaccuracy is typical of the responses that have been formulated on the so-called ‘ritvik’ question, examples of which have been posted on CHAKRA in recent weeks, and which we have had to expose on VNN. In pursuance of this letter writer’s advice we shall show that his objections to the ritvik system are all false, and that Srila Prabhupada should be allowed to ‘shine’ as ISKCON’s initiating acarya.

We shall number the anonymous writer’s main points, our comments shall follow.

1) “Krishnakant claims that the May 28th tape is inadmissible on the basis of some forensic analysis”.
  1. This is a straightforward misrepresentation. I will re-produce below what was ACTUALLY said:

    “If the preliminary analysis discovers any area that is significantly suggestive of falsification, then the ENTIRE recording is in question and a Forensic Analysis should be done”.
    (N.Perle, 13/10/97 & 14/10/97. In response to query as to whether ANY portion of the May 28th tape can be taken as authentic and ‘intact’, after a preliminary analysis had discovered irregularities).
    [“CHAKRA’s Army Fires Blanks”, VNN story #1509,16/1/98]

  2. Please note I merely quoted this expert. I made no separate claims other than those made by the professional who was asked by the GBC to examine the tape. HE is the one who states that the ‘entire recording is in question’.

  3. I clearly quoted the expert stating that a forensic analysis still had to be done. Thus I could not possibly have claimed anything was as a result of a forensic analysis which does not even yet exist.
2) “However the reality is the following: 1. The forensic expert who examined this tape, did not examine the original tape, but a cassette copy of the archives DAT master of this tape, and his final word is that to come to a conclusion, he would have to examine the original tape.”

The writer now presents the “reality” that is supposed to counter the "misinformation" that he claimed I had spread. However this reality is simply a re-statement of the very “misinformation” that it is supposed to counter, since the above is exactly what we stated in the original article:

“If the copy contains SIGNS SUGGESTIVE OF FALSIFICATION, that copy could not be relied upon as a faithful and accurate rendition of the original.”
(N.Perle, 13/10/97 & 14/10/97. In response to query as to whether ANY portion of the May 28th tape can be taken as authentic and ‘intact’, after a preliminary analysis had discovered irregularities). […]
“The only way this conversation could even be considered as any type of evidence at all is if a full forensic analysis is done on the ORIGINAL tape.”
[“CHAKRA’s Army Fires Blanks”, VNN story #1509,16/1/98]

Thus this was precisely our point. Until the original tape - (DAT was not even invented in 1977) - is examined the entire tape is inadmissible as evidence. I therefore suggest the GBC have the original tape examined as soon as possible. We hope they will not try to fabricate some excuse as to why the original should not be examined, as this will look very bad indeed. I would also suggest that the writer takes a “reality” check himself, since he now equates “misinformation” with “reality”.

3) “What this expert calls editing is simply the devotee operator switching the tape recorder on and off...”
  1. In the space of a few lines the writer has just completely contradicted himself with the above conclusion, since he just agreed that in order to actually “come to a conclusion” the original tape should first be examined.

  2. Thus the writer must not only be a forensic specialist, but he can also reach his conclusions even without needing to do the forensic analysis that the world renowned specialist engaged by the GBC insists must first be carried out!

    We had no idea that he had such psychic forensic ability as well as being a great champion in Krishna’s army?

    We would definitely be interested in seeing his credentials.

  3. It is hard to believe that an expert cannot determine the difference between turning an on/off button and deliberate editing, even on a preliminary analysis. Still, all will be revealed once the GBC present the ORIGINAL tape for a full forensic analysis. We look forward with great interest to the results.
4) “Even this expert affirms that there is no editing of the tape during the “appointment conversation”.
  1. This is nonsense. The expert clearly says the whole tape is inadmissible until a full forensic analysis is done. Please see the quotes above from Mr Perle, which were in response to this very point. We wonder if the writer has even READ the article he is supposed to be responding to. Also as just shown above, the writer had earlier agreed with the point that the expert would need to do a full forensic analysis on the ORIGINAL tape before he could ‘come to a conclusion’. Thus again he contradicts himself.
  2. The preliminary analysis which was done is not even intended to discover all the possible irregularities and editing that can occur. It is only carried out to determine whether or not there is sufficient doubt cast on the reliability of the tape to warrant a full forensic analysis to be carried out.
5) “There is no evidence, forensic or other, that anything was inserted into this conversation...”

As we have already proven the above statement cannot even make sense since a full forensic analysis has not been carried out. So naturally there will not be any ‘forensic’ evidence. Until a full forensic is done we do not have an admissible conversation to discuss. (see quotes above from Mr Perle). Only when a full forensic analysis is completed will we know for certain whether or not anything was inserted, or indeed removed. It would appear that the writer is again trying to demonstrate his mystic forensic prowess.

With all due respect to the writer’s abilities however, we would rather wait for the GBC to follow the recommendation of their own expert and carry out a full forensic analysis. We would urge the GBC to do this as a matter of urgency if they wish to continue to present the ‘appt tape’ as evidence.

6) “ The devotees present at that meeting remember it and agree with the taped version.”

According to their original recollection Srila Prabhupada only wanted eleven zonal acharyas to initiate within ISKCON.

At least four differing versions of this same conversation have been presented in official GBC presentations - (five if you include the lilamrta). There have also been four contradictory interpretations of this very same conversation in various official GBC publications. This is just historical fact.

  1. Does the anonymous writer deny this?
  2. Is the writer seriously claiming that everyone of the devotees present at the meeting can remember verbatim 20 years later what was said in the room?
  3. If so which version of the tape do they claim to remember?
  4. If so do they also remember verbatim every other conversation they had with Srila Prabhupada?
  5. Also if they have such amazing memory recall 20 years on, why is it that straight after the meeting they wrote in the GBC minutes book that Srila Prabhupada had just ‘appointed’ diksa gurus, a version of events which they now claim did not occur in the conversation? 
7) “Now why are Krishnakant and the ritviks so keen to discredit this tape?”

a) The investigation which rendered the May 28th conversation inadmissible was instigated by the GBC, not I or my many ritvik friends.

b) It is not even in our interest to discredit the tape since the opening lines firmly support our position; namely that the ritvik system is meant ‘particularly’ for that time when Srila Prabhupada was ‘no longer with us’. The remainder of the tape fails to support modifications A & B from ‘The Final Order’, and is thus not germane to the issue at hand.

8) “Because Srila Prabhupada includes such concepts as

“his disciple”
“regular guru”
“disciple of my disciple”
“grand disciple”
  1. The above ‘concepts’ all appear in a tape which is presently inadmissible as evidence. Until the tape is cleared it is not possible to use any of the tape to support any position. This is a shame since the opening lines unequivocally support our position, namely ritviks ‘particularly’ for after departure.
  2. In any case all the above ‘concepts’ were already addressed in ‘The Final Order’ (pages 21-26) To save time we suggest the author reads this along with ‘The Final Order Still Stands’. He should then refute these papers point for point if he wishes to contribute meaningfully to the discussion. 
  3. If we must discuss inadmissible evidence we could equally ask why our mystery writer avoids the following ‘concepts’ which relate specifically to those above:

“When I order”

“On my order”

“But by my order”

Srila Prabhupada makes it clear that if diksa gurus were ever to emerge it would only be on his specific ‘order’. As we all know he only ever ‘ordered’ ritviks, and instructing spiritual masters (amara ajnaya guru hana) to operate within ISKCON. If Srila Prabhupada was there-and-then giving the order to be diksa gurus, why say ‘when I order’? Surely he would say ‘I am now ordering you’. This is explained in detail in the “Final Order Still Stands” (P9, 10).

9) “Krishnakant further attacks the tape where Prabhupada says that GBC men will initiate “at least first initiation”...

We did deal with this tape (not ‘attack’ exactly) showing conclusively that it could not be referring to diksa. Why is the writer ‘strangely silent’ about our points.

10) “...but he is strangely silent about the other tape...”

May we refer the writer to the article ‘CHAKRA’s Army Still Off-Target’ which appeared on VNN on January 27th, #1541, shortly after the article the author is now attempting to respond to, dealing specifically with the tape in question. The writer really should check his facts more carefully, especially since he then spends 25% of his letter simply reproducing a quote we have already dealt with.

11) “Now Krishnakant and the ritvik camp may have a strong case that certain ISKCON gurus were (and are?) not qualified...
  1. In ‘The Final Order’ we never make the above assertion, and so the above is irrelevant. Though, as the writer tacitly concedes, the type of ‘shining’ we have seen from a number of those given the GBC’s ‘no objection’ stamp certainly leaves a lot to be desired.

  2. Qualification is irrelevant in one sense, since even if ISKCON were brimming with mahabhagavatas, they would all still have to follow the ritvik system if they wished to remain in Srila Prabhupada’s movement. If anyone wants to initiate their own disciples, and transmit their own form of divya jnana, that is fine by us, but they should do it outside of ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada alone should be allowed to ‘shine’ as ISKCON’s diksa guru.
12) “... but that does not give them the right to change Srila Prabhupada's order that his disciples become qualified and become "regular guru."

Once more our writer appears to be alluding to a tape which is currently inadmissible. Not only that, but he is also creatively merging two separate conversations in the process. When speaking of ‘regular guru’ Srila Prabhupada says nothing about qualification. Inventing non-existent conversations, using inadmissible material into the bargain, is hardly going to convince any sane person of anything!

The writer needs to show us where Srila Prabhupada ever says anything like the following:

A) 'Immediately after my departure I want you to stop the ritvik system, which I have only just set up’

B) ‘You must then become regular diksa gurus, initiating disciples on your own behalf’.

Srila Prabhupada emphatically states three times, in the inadmissible May 28th talk, that diksa gurus can only emerge when he ORDERS - he says nothing about when he DEPARTS. We thus see no evidence for modifications A & B as expressed above.

13) “The problem for ISKCON is not whether the gurus are ritvik or regular but whether they have raised themselves to the standard.”

ritviks are not diksa gurus acting as priests, they are just priests. The writer seems confused here.

As explained above, and in ‘The Final Order’ (pages 34, 35, 46, 47), whatever standard anyone may reach they must still follow the ritvik system if they wish to operate within ISKCON. Therefore qualification is a side issue. The main issue is authorisation.

We sense the writer’s confusion may have been caused by a paper called ‘regular or ritvik’ by Ajamila das. As we point out in ‘The Final Order’ (page 11) this paper tries to prove the existence of non-existent entities he terms ‘minimally qualified diksa gurus’. Srila Prabhupada never mentions such entities, and on this basis we recommended his paper be rejected. The diksa guru must be a mahabhagavat, that is Bhagavat philosophy.

14) “The zonal acharyas fell because the men fell from the standard, not because they initiated people”.

a) How does the writer know this? Is he omniscient?

b) Why does Srila Prabhupada state the following?-

“...sometimes a spiritual master is not properly authorised and only on his own initiative becomes a spiritual master, he may be carried away by an accumulation of wealth and a large number of disciples.”
(NOD p.116)


Above Srila Prabhupada stresses the importance of authorisation, without even mentioning any ‘standard’ at all. It is our contention that the GBC are authorising people on their ‘own initiative’. If not, we need to see where their authority to approve diksa gurus came from.

15) “Further, Krishnakant talks about the GBC "rummaging around the archives" as if the research of Srila Prabhupada's words is some kind of reprehensible activity that is being perpetrated simply to cast aspersions on the noble ritvik cause”.

In the article in question I actually stated the opposite by commending the painstaking work of the archives:

“Of course no-one is complaining that all this wonderful new material is coming to light. We are very grateful to the archives for all their painstaking work.”
[“CHAKRA’s Army Fires Blanks”, VNN story #1509,16/1/98]

I simply meant to convey the very real desperation on the part of the GBC. The quotes found clearly only support that Srila Prabhupada’s disciples should act as ritviks and instructing gurus. Despite this obvious and demonstrable fact the GBC posted them on CHAKRA excitedly claiming they supported their invented M.A.S.S.. This desperation may be due to the fact that their principal evidence is currently inadmissible. Unfortunately this harsh reality does not yet appear to have fully registered with our mystery writer.

16) “... their campaign can take credit for this greater interest in his (Srila Prabhupada’s) vani”.

So our efforts are not entirely wasted then. Let Srila Prabhupada shine, we say.

17) “The ritviks place enormous emphasis on the “ritvik appointment letter" where Prabhupada designated the "magnificent eleven."

Srila Prabhupada also placed enormous emphasis on this letter since it was the only one he ever issued to the society on how initiations were to continue in the future. He ordered over one hundred identical copies of it to be sent to every single Temple President and GBC in the entire world. 

If that is not ‘enormous emphasis’ we don’t know what is.

Srila Prabhupada designated the ‘magnificent eleven’ as ritviks.

Perhaps the writer could fill us in on these minor details.

18) “ Because of this, they (ritviks) feel they have the authority to disregard every other instruction and teaching of Srila Prabhupada that does not fit in with their argument.”

The writer has produced no evidence which could possibly counteract or countermand the final July 9th order.

If the writer has some instruction for an alternative system which was sent to the entire movement or explained in Srila Prabhupada’s books, we suggest he sends it immediately to the GBC. All they have at present is a tape rendered inadmissible by their own investigation. I am sure they would be grateful for his assistance.
(This subject has been dealt with extensively in both ‘The Final Order’ and ‘Best not to accept any disciples’).

We have never argued that any of Srila Prabhupada’s generally applicable teachings or instructions should be ignored.

19) “In the appointment letter or the conversations that preceded it, nowhere does Srila Prabhupada indicate that any of his previous instructions on guru or initiation are invalid or somehow to be ignored and superseded.”

This is called cheating.

20) “One of the amazing things indeed about Srila Prabhupada is that he is so consistent in his understanding and application of the philosophy, teachings, and practices of Krsna consciousness. Nowhere in the entire folio does Srila Prabhupada ever say something like: "You remember what I said the other day. Well, I wasn't exactly right about that..." and then go on to correct himself.”

One would ask then why the author assumes Srila Prabhupada did not intend the ritvik system to continue ‘henceforward’, since that is what he states in the letter, and supports in his final will

(‘the system of management will continue as it is now and there is no need of any change.’)

The writer is operating a clear double standard, only there is actually nothing to support his opposition. There ARE no contradictory generally applicable instructions on how initiations should run in ISKCON, the July 9th order was the last and only one. 

21) “Krishnakant reduces serious matters to a kind of debating contest, where "winning" or "scoring points" is far more important than arriving at the truth.”

It is your camp who label yourselves ‘champions of Krishna’s army’. Armies exist to win wars by scoring points off the opposition.

22) “Everything "the enemy" says has to be attacked, taken apart, the meaning screwed around to give a favourable slant to "our siddhanta."

If we have acted unreasonably I apologise, but you must be specific if you are to be taken seriously. So far you have brought nothing to the table.

It is no good whinging that we are being too rough with you, when you are consistently incapable of supporting your position with relevant evidence.

23) “ Really, if one examines Srila Prabhupada's instructions in their entirety, it always points to the position that if one is following (i.e. chanting his rounds, observing the 4 regulative principles, dedicating his life to preaching, etc.), and understands and presents the philosophy as it is, he is qualified.”

The writer apparently has not read the section in Srila Prabhupada’s books which deals specifically with initiation, and where it states categorically that the diksa guru must be a mahabhagavat:

“When one has attained the topmost position of maha-bhagavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshipped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of guru.”
(C.c Madhya, 24.330, purport).

This purport is part of the ‘entirety’ of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, and as the writer has already admitted, Srila Prabhupada does not contradict himself in his books and general instructions. Therefore he must accept the above injunction. Minimally qualified diksa gurus are therefore an illegal bogus concoction. The writer confuses the initiation vows a disciple makes with actually being equal to the task of diksa guruhood. He eccentrically merges the two so they become one and the same thing! The following of vows thus becomes equal, in the writer’s mind, to the qualification of a diksa guru.

Even if such persons WERE qualified, they would still need to be AUTHORISED to initiate by the previous acarya. Our acarya is Srila Prabhupada and we do not see where he authorised anyone else to initiate on their own behalf in ISKCON.

24) “ That qualification also includes giving initiation, as the letters to Tusta Krsna and John Milner would indicate.”

So this is the writer’s brilliant clear evidence. A handful of PRIVATE letters to ambitious deviants like Tusta Krishna, which were published only by default in the mid-eighties.

The writer also states that in the case of Tusta Krishna, we are dealing with a letter that was written to someone who was outside ISKCON.

And it is such evidence as this, which we are to believe, must displace a policy document sent to the entire movement which EVERYONE was meant to follow. Let us once again look at the absurdity and blatant cheating of this proposition:

Srila Prabhupada supposedly issued an official order to the entire movement which was meant to be terminated in 1977 on the basis of a handful of private letters. Letters which nobody had authorised access to until around 1986. To even propose such a thing is nothing but rascally cheating.

25) “In the totality of Srila Prabhupada's instructions on this …”

By his use of the word ‘totality’ above the writer cunningly hopes we will not notice that he is cheating on a grand scale. Six letters sent to four ambitious deviants which no-one saw until the mid-eighties cannot be used to overturn a system issued to the entire movement in 1977.

This is dealt with in ‘The Final Order’ (pages 12 & 13.)

26) “it, would seem that if the real conditions (of following etc.) are met both by the disciple and guru, that the initiation itself is more of a formality as in this conversation in Chandigarh” (10/16/76):

What is the procedure of the movement? Do you initiate yourself all the disciples or do your other disciples also do that?

Well, initiation or no initiation, first thing is knowledge. (break) ...knowledge. Initiation is formality. Just like you go to a school for knowledge, and admission is formality. That is not very important thing.

Also as explained in the ‘Final Order’, where the above was quoted, the ‘following’ and the ‘knowledge’ can only refer to Srila Prabhupada, since we follow HIS books, and HIS initiation standards, and thus by the writer’s OWN logic, the above quote merely backs up the ritvik argument.

27) “So the brother pujaris in Mayapur worshipping the Deities, the devotees distributing the books, the devotees maintaining the temples— all their service would be null and void.

Nothing like this is stated in ‘The Final Order’. The writer having spent his letter thus far not addressing a SINGLE point which was actually present in the article he claims to be responding to, now moves onto claims propounded by an unnamed ritvik ‘travelling salesman’. We advise such a mythical ritvik to read ‘the Final Order’. Srila Prabhupada did however teach that a disciple becomes asara (useless) if he disobeys the order of the spiritual master; so let that be a warning to us all.

28) “The real thing is the mission.”
29) “Other than giving ISKCON a hard time, it would be nice if they could actually do something a little more positive. After all, if you have the way, the truth, and the light, let it shine baby, let it shine”.

ISKCON already has the way the truth and the light. He is, of course, Srila Prabhupada. The ‘hard times’ will be behind us if we carry out his orders properly. We pray the GBC men will let Srila Prabhupada truly shine, by allowing devotees to take initiation from him as he requested.


We have shown that in the article ‘Let it Shine’ the author:

  1. constantly misrepresents what we say;
  2. falsely accuses us of remaining ‘strangely silent’ over one of the GBC’s new-found tapes;
  3. invents his own version of the May 28th conversation;
  4. dishonestly infers that private unpublished letters can legitimately be used to over-ride clear emphatic generally applicable statements of institutional policy;
  5. fails to grasp the fact that his only direct evidence relating to the future function of ritviks (May 28th) is now technically inadmissible;
  6. fails to grasp the fact that even were this evidence admissible it would still not support his position;
  7. failed to support modifications A & B with any type of evidence at all;
  8. failed to grasp any of the principal points presented in ‘The Final Order’, and thus remains mired in irrelevant straw man argumentation.

We noticed at the end of the letter- “Name withheld” Given that ‘Let It Shine’ is so full of poorly argued nonsense, it is probably just as well that he remain anonymous. Should the author attempt a refutation we hope he will have the decency to deal with our points systematically, and accurately, as we have tried to do with his.