|Drutakarma Caught in Knowledge Filter
Recently His Grace Drutakarma prabhu entered the
guru debate with a series of items posted on CHAKRA which seek to
expose the very notion of ritvik as heretical. In adding his
assume he is, like many others, less than happy with the quality and
effectiveness of the various GBC approved papers on the matter which
have been put out so far. After all, if the GBC had already clearly
defeated 'The Final Order' with 'Disciple of My Disciple',
'Prabhupada's Order' etc., then what would be the point of muddying the
water with yet more verbiage on the issue. Surely it would be better to
just direct devotees towards these clear monuments of philosophical
elucidation rather than construct distracting new ones. It is
noteworthy that Drutakarma has not even referred once to any of these
GBC efforts, and indeed even makes points which contradict some of
As someone who has distinguished himself within
scholastic circles, perhaps he sees himself as a one man cavalry
charge, sweeping down from the rarefied plains of academia to
effortlessly wipe out the rebellious hordes. It would be quite
hypocritical of him however to expect us to be satisfied with the GBC's
arguments thus far if he himself feels it necessary to enter the fray
so forcefully. Needless to say Drutakarma adds absolutely nothing new
to the debate - barring a ridiculously self-contradictory argument
which he seems to think will stop a ritvik dead in his tracks.
Although Drutakarma prabhu claims to have carefully
studied the ritvik position, he continually misrepresents and
our arguments and supporting evidence. He fails to even mention modifications A
and B, for example, which form the central thrust of 'The Final
Order' (from which he never once quotes directly). His treatment of
evidence, and the issue in general, thus bares remarkable similarity to
the way in which his Darwinian opponents treat the fossil record and
creationism. He even tries to skirt around the July 9th letter by
treating it rather like some sort of intrusive burial (a
term used by Darwinists to discard evidence that does not agree with
their world-view) which had nothing 'directly' to do with Srila
Prabhupada, and is hence not to be taken terribly seriously. By drawing
the readers attention to these deficiencies in Drutakarma's approach we
hope to clearly demonstrate that an obstructive knowledge filter is
currently preventing him from properly confronting this issue.
Henceforward Drutakarma prabhu shall be referred to as
the author. We shall reproduce his items in full in the order in which
they appeared with our comments following.
Some Thoughts on
the Rtvik Heresy (No. 1)
is true that many of Srila Prabhupada's statements about becoming guru
refer to becoming siksa guru, in the sense of preacher or
it is understood that if devotees are going out and preaching, people
will approach them for initiation.
It is a very poor form of preaching
that leads to the false assumption that there is legitimate
authorisation for any diksa gurus in ISKCON other than Srila
Prabhupada. One of the first things that should be pointed out to any
congregation, is that Srila Prabhupada is the only initiating spiritual
master in ISKCON. The current link in the chain of disciplic
succession. This is
in line with his final order on the matter issued on July 9th 1977.
According to Srila Prabhupada's official institutional directives we
are ONLY authorised to act in an instructing or teaching capacity
within ISKCON. The author admits that 'many of Srila Prabhupada's
statements about becoming guru refer to becoming siksa guru',
say all of them apart from a tiny handful which we
have carefully examined in 'The
Final Order' and other related papers. The author does not produce
a single quote which we have not dealt with, nor does he even attempt
to refute our points on such evidence.
| This was happening even during Prabhupada's
presence, but he discouraged it because it violated the etiquette
established by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta himself did
not follow this 'etiquette' since he initiated when his own spiritual
master was still present. Srila Prabhupada nearly always invoked this 'law'
when dealing with ambitious deviant disciples such as Tusta Krishna
(whose private letter from Srila Prabhupada the author later tries to
use as a generally applicable instruction to the entire movement). This
law or etiquette was thus used to discourage diksa aspirations,
| It is nevertheless clear that Prabhupada
expected some of his preacher "guru" disciples to eventually take
disciples of their own. But he wanted them to wait until after his
departure, and he also wanted them to be qualified and stay qualified.
Where is the official GBC resolution
or policy directive, approved by Srila Prabhupada, which makes it
'clear' that there could be diksa gurus other than himself
within ISKCON at any time in the future? We have never seen such
evidence. If such evidence exists then the whole controversy could be
| Unfortunately, although all of Prabhupada's
followers waited until after his departure, some of them were not
qualified, and prematurely started making a big show of being guru and
initiating too many disciples. Many of these have fallen down. This is
certainly a disappointment of the gravest kind, but the reaction of the
rtvik heresy is also a grave disappointment.
The author is in danger of
directly offending Srila Prabhupada by claiming that his final order on
initiation policy for ISKCON is heretical. What is his evidence for
this assumption? What is heretical about surrendering and taking diksa
from an acarya who is not physically present, when the acarya
specifically put in place a representational system for this very
purpose? Why does the author not back up his accusations with quotes
from Srila Prabhupada's books?
On the issue of initiator
fall-downs, Srila Prabhupada taught that only persons who are not
properly authorised to initiate fall down (NOD p.116); never bona fide
authorised members of the disciplic succession (please see 'The
Final Order' page 46). This point alone proves that the so-called
gurus the author mentions as disappointing should
never have acted in a diksa capacity at any stage. They were
authorised to initiate on their own behalf. That is proven by the fact
that they fell down. Thus all ISKCON gurus are equally unauthorised,
having all been generated by the same system of 'authorisation'.
Unfortunately any one of them can fall down at any moment, as they
frequently do. This is an atrocious and highly embarrassing situation
which the author merely seeks to defend and perpetuate, albeit in some
speculatively diluted form.
| In his discussion of the history of the
Gaudiya Matha, Srila Prabhupada points out there were two parties who
disobeyed Bhaktisiddhanta, who wanted the Gaudiya Matha to be run by a
GBC. One party appointed an acarya for the entire organisation,
another party left and set up their own individual organizations, each
with its own acarya. Srila Prabhupada said both parties were
Similarly, we find in the history of ISKCON two condemned parties-The
first condemned party is composed of false gurus who were either
unqualified to start or who tried to maintain their positions even when
they knew they had become unqualifed. The second condemned party is
composed of those who have reacted to this by concocting the rtvik
heresy, or deserting ISKCON to take shelter of the various Gaudiya
Matha splinter groups already condemned by Prabhupada. The true
follower of Srila Prabhupada must condemn both those who have falsely
taken (or maintained) the position of guru and those who have concocted
heresy and deviated in other ways from Prabhupada's instructions.
The author still needs to
demonstrate that the ritvik system is heretical in order for
make the above assertion. As shall be seen, he never actually does this
in any of his articles . Thus we are left feeling deeply concerned
for his spiritual well-being, along with any one else who may be
influenced by him.
| It is an insult and an offense to Srila
Prabhupada to attribute to him a posthumous initiation practice
concocted after his departure.
The final order was issued by
Srila Prabhupada PRIOR to his departure. Srila Prabhupada is not dead,
and therefore applying the term 'posthumous' to him is at best
'reasoning ill' and at worst blatant atheism. It is an insult to Srila
Prabhupada that his preferred system of initiation was terminated by
the GBC the minute he left the planet. Where was their authority to do
| It is also an insult and an
offense to Srila Prabhupada to whimsically dismiss his clear statements
on the process of disciplic succession.
Which statements have we
dismissed exactly? Why is the author not more specific? An ounce of
example is worth a ton of generalisation.
| The most important statements that we must
consider are those statements in which Srila Prabhupada directly and in
his own words states what he intended to happen after his departure
from this world. The July 9 letter, which does not contain Prabhupada's
direct words, makes no direct statements about what will happen after
Prabhupada's departure. So the July 9 letter cannot be taken as
evidence of any kind as to what was supposed to happen after
Prabhupada's departure from this world. For any sane person, there is
no way around this-the July 9 letter makes no direct reference at all
to what is supposed to happen after Srila Prabhupada's departure.
Since the July 9th letter does
not mention departure, why did the GBC decide that it was at this
specific point the system was to be discontinued? How did the notion
ever arise that the system was specifically meant to terminate at
departure if the letter does not mention departure at all? The author
has inadvertently supported our claim that there is no evidence for modification A
(ie that the system was meant to terminate on departure). Also the
letter was directly approved by Srila Prabhupada, and is thus an order
coming directly from him via the society's secretary. Why does the
author try to infer that this order was not coming directly from Srila
| If we want to find out what was supposed to
happen after Srila Prabhupada's departure, we can only rely on his
direct statements in which he explicitly says what he expected to
happen after his departure.
The final order 'explicitly'
out the system which was to be continued from that time onwards or
'henceforward'. The letter was directly approved by Srila Prabhupada.
Where does the author derive the notion that departure had some special
significance to this instruction, especially since, as he has just
admitted, it makes absolutely no mention of departure whatsoever? Does
the author possess some hitherto unseen follow-up letter from Srila
Prabhupada stating that the system that he had only just set up to
operate globally was meant to stop on his departure? If he does it
would be timely for him to produce it.
We cannot rely on concoctions
and fantasies - if we do, we get absurdities such as the rtvik
which is not only absurd but offensive. It is time to stop letting
people put their own concocted ideas into Prabhupada's mouth. We should
let Prabhupada speak directly on this issue and listen to him, and him
To insinuate that the July 9th
order is not a direct statement from Srila Prabhupada on his desires is
to imply that he did not know what he was signing. Obviously the author
is on very dangerous and offensive ground if he were to push this
point, which unfortunately he does.
For that purpose, let us
consider what Prabhupada himself directly said about this issue,
publicly. One place to start is a Caitanya-caritamrta class given by
Srila Prabhupada in Mayapur, on April 6, 1975.
Advaita Acarya is the typical example how to become acarya.
All are our
All of them are acaryas because they are following the acarya,
acarya, Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore they
Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo
So we have to follow the acarya. Then, when we are completely,
cent follower of acarya, then you can also act as acarya.
This is the
process. Don't become premature acarya. First of all follow the
of acarya, and you become mature. Then it is better to become acarya.
Because we are interested in preparing acarya, but the
etiquette is, at
least for the period the guru is present, one should not become acarya.
Even if he is complete he should not, because the etiquette is, if
somebody comes for becoming initiated, it is the duty of such person to
bring that prospective candidate to his acarya. Not that "Now
are coming to me, so I can become acarya." That is avamanya.
Navamanyeta karhicit. Dont transgress this etiquette. Navamanyeta.
That will be fall down. Just like during the
lifetime of our Guru Maharaja, all our Godbrothers now who are acting
as acarya, they did not do so. That is not etiquette. Acaryam
vijaniyat na avaman... That is insult. So if you insult your
acarya, then you are finished.
Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado yasya aprasadat na
gatih kuto pi-
finished. If you displease your acarya, then you are finished.
Therefore it is said, Caitanya Mahaprabhu says to all the acaryas...
Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Prabhu and Srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda,
they are all carriers of orders of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So try to
follow the path of acarya process. Then life will be successful.
And to become acarya is not very difficult. First of all, to
very faithful servant of your acarya, follow strictly what he
to please him and spread Krishna consciousness. Thats all. It is not at
all difficult. Try to follow the instruction of your Guru Maharaja and
spread Krishna consciousness. That is the order of Lord Caitanya.
amara ajnaya guru hana tara ei desa
yare dekha tare kaha krsna-upadesa
"By following My order, you become guru." And if we strictly follow the
acarya system and try our best to spread the
instruction of Krishna... Yare
dekha tare kaha krsna-upadesa. There are two kinds of krsna-upadesa.
Upadesa means instruction. Instruction given by Krishna, that is
also krsna-upadesa, and instruction received about
Krishna, that is also krsna-upadesa.
Krishnasya upadesa iti krsna upadesa. Samasa,
And Krishna visaya upadesa, that is also Krishna upadesa. Bahu-vrihi-samasa.
This is the way of analyzing Sanskrit grammar. So Krishnas upadesa is
Bhagavad-gita. Hes directly giving instruction. So one who is spreading
Krishna-upadesa, simply repeat what is said by Krishna, then you become
acarya. Not difficult at all. Everything is
stated there. We have to
simply repeat like parrot. Not exactly parrot. Parrot does not
understand the meaning; he simply vibrates. But you should understand
the meaning also; otherwise how you can explain? So, so we want to
spread Krishna consciousness. Simply prepare yourself how to repeat
Krishnas instructions very nicely, without any malinterpretation. Then,
in future... Suppose you have got now ten thousand. We shall expand to
hundred thousand. That is required. Then hundred thousand to million,
and million to ten million.
there will be no scarcity of acarya, and people will understand
consciousness very easily. So make that organization. Dont be falsely
puffed up. Follow the acaryas instruction and try to make
What can we extract from this
1. It was Srila Prabhupada's intention to prepare gurus who would
initiate their own disciples: "we are interested in preparing acarya."
From what immediately follows, it clear that Srila Prabhupada is
talking not only about siksa acaryas but diksa acaryas,
combined sense carries throughout the entire passage.
The above passage makes it very clear that Srila
Prabhupada was not going to allow anyone to initiate in his presence.
By this time various ambitious disciples had been jostling to initiate,
and clearly he was having none of it:
become premature acarya."
"Don't be falsely puffed up"
"If you displease your
acarya, then you are finished".
Since the term acarya can mean siksa or
we cannot immediately assume we are all authorised to be diksa
What Srila Prabhupada stresses is that we must strictly follow our
acarya, and in that way we can become acarya. This
merely brings us
back to Srila Prabhupada's final instructions on initiation-
By disobeying them, according to the above class, we are not even
qualified as instructing gurus what to speak of initiating ones. Also
it is noteworthy that Srila Prabhupada once more uses the 'amara' verse
which, as we have demonstrated several times, can ONLY refer to siksa
(please see 'Best
not to Accept Any Disciples' and appendix to 'GBC
Fail To Answer The Final Order' on our IRM web site). We
have already addressed the above quote in 'The
Final Order' (page 15) thus the author is simply wasting
Why does the
author not counter the points we have already made regarding such
evidence, rather than merely re-present the same evidence? In that way
the debate could move forward.
should become qualifed before becoming acarya. One becomes
following the previous acaryas. Then one is qualified to
This is a
concoction. Nowhere in the above passage does Srila Prabhupada even
mention the word 'initiate' what to speak of authorise his disciples to
do it. The author is putting words into Srila Prabhupada's mouth, the
very thing he accuses us of doing.
beginning, Srila Prabhupada says that in order to become an acarya
sense of both siksa and diksa) one first has to
follower the order of
the previous acarya and become mature. Then at the very end,
Prabhupada repeats the same qualifications. "Follow the acarya's
instruction and try to make yourself perfect, mature." If so, then
"there will be no scarcity of acarya."
And what type
of acarya are we authorised to become. The author should read
purports following the 'amara' verse and all will be revealed. Remember
it's 'best not to accept any disciples'.
One can only
initiate one's own disciples if specifically ordered to do so by one's
predecessor acarya. Departure itself only marks the time for
authorisation may theoretically be given by Srila Prabhupada. Nowhere
above does Srila Prabhupada outline any system whereby his disciples
can initiate their own disciples the minute he leaves the planet. He
only says that they must not do it while he is present, and that at all
times they must strictly follow his instructions. How is whimsically
terminating important directives such as the July 9th policy document
should not accept disciples, however, until one's own spiritual master
relevance to this issue is a law preventing diksa guruship
acarya is present, when what we are looking to the author
evidence preventing ritviks from initiating on his behalf once
knowledge filter unfortunately prevents him from understanding such
that, even if one is qualified as acarya, one should take
one's own spiritual master. But eventually one can make disciples. As
Srila Prabhupada says, suppose now we have ten thousand. He clearly
means disciples. When he says increase to hundreds of thousands,
millions, he means disciples. He says that is required.
The very fact
that Srila Prabhupada alludes to the current situation ie.- 'suppose now'
merely supports the idea that nothing was to change as far as diksa
concerned. At that time everyone was his disciple, or aspiring
disciple. The expansion of numbers does not in any way necessitate or
infer a change of initiator. Why does the author assume that all these
millions of followers in the future were not also intended to be Srila
Prabhupada's disciples, just as was standard practice at the time he
gave this lecture? How can Srila Prabhupada be talking about his
disciples taking their own disciples, when he simply tells them to
expand what they were already doing at that time, which was to make
disciples for him? Srila Prabhupada clearly states "suppose NOW YOU
have ten thousand ...". Even though Srila Prabhupada was only giving an
example, the 'ten thousand' clearly can NOT refer to his disciples also
having disciples, since in his presence that was forbidden, as
explained in the very opening of this same lecture. Thus the context
for how Srila Prabhupada wants his disciples to act is clearly NOT
In order to
change that which is standard practise we will need some evidence
comparable in applicability and force to the July 9th letter which was
sent to all the leaders of ISKCON, and which was signed by the
society's secretary and the founder acarya. Does the author
such evidence outlining the current or any future Guru system proposed
by the GBC?
two ways that ISKCON devotees have violated Srila Prabhupada's direct
instructions about how the disciplic succession continues when a
spiritual master departs. 1. Unqualified persons became premature
acaryas. 2. Disappointed persons have concocted
heresies, such as the
The author has
still to prove his contention that ritvik past departure is a
don't make a right. ISKCON members now have several responsibilities.
The first is to absolutely reject the rtvik heresy. The second
individual devotees who are contemplating becoming gurus should engage
in some very deep introspection to determine whether they think they
are really qualified to take disciples. Third, anyone who has
mistakenly taken the position of guru should confess their
disqualification. Fourth, ISKCON members thinking of becoming disciples
should study their prospective guru very carefully. Ultimately, the
disciple has the responsibility to make a proper choice. Finally,
ISKCON authority, such as the GBC, should create an environment that
discourages unqualifed persons from becoming gurus and encourages
prospective disciples to very carefully consider their choice of guru.
But one thing is clear. There is no support for the rtvik
Prabhupada's direct words.
Prabhupada personally and directly approved the order which instituted
the ritvik system as the system to be followed in ISKCON from July 9th,
1977, onwards. It was never terminated before he left and therefore
should remain the system in force within ISKCON.
rtvik heretics try to reject what Prabhupada said
here in Mayapur, the
birthplace of Lord Chaitanya, at the time of the Gaura Purnima
festival, to all of his assembled disciples from around the world,
including the GBC, sannyasis, and temple presidents, then they will be
condemning themselves in their own words.
As we have
shown the author has put words into Srila Prabhupada's mouth, and now
he condemns anyone who does not accept his own mental concoctions.
attempts to reject, ignore, or twist this statement must be rejected by
any sincere follower of Srila Prabhupada. The time has come to draw the
line in the sand. Any ISKCON authority (GBC, president, sannyasi) who
is not prepared to publicly endorse and teach and practice what Srila
Prabhupada says here should be removed from his or her position. The
time has come for ISKCON to make full use of every means of
communication at its disposal to reject the rtvik heresy and to
that there is no scope for the promotion of the rtvik heresy on
ISKCON property or among ISKCON's membership. I also propose that for
the next year, the rejection of the rtvik heresy should be the
propaganda effort of the International Society for Krishna
Consciousess. Every sannyasi should be required to make this a major
part of his preaching effort for the next year. Everyone who gives
classes should publicly criticize the rtvik philosophy and its
supporters when any statement about guru and disciplic succession comes
up in verses and purports. There should be articles rejecting the rtvik
heresy in every ISKCON related publication, from Back to Godhead
magazine to temple newsletters. ITV should be commissioned to do a
special video, in which senior disciples of Srila Prabhupada, such as
Hari Sauri Prabhu, and others, give their testimony of Srila
Prabhupada's intentions for the disciplic succession. All ISKCON web
pages should also have material about this. In these presentations, the
rtvik philosophy should be presented as not only
wrong but offensive to
Srila Prabhupada. In every way possible, this offensive and concocted
infection should be removed from ISKCON's body. It is a disease and it
needs to be treated with strong medicine. There is no need for endless
debate with rtvik supporters. Anyone who advocates that idea
invited to remain apart from ISKCON.
There has not
been 'endless debate'. The GBC have still not properly answered 'The
Final Order' which they promised to do way back in October '96. There
has only been one debate, the ITV video of which was banned by the GBC.
The author obviously has no idea what he is talking about.
rejecting the rtvik heresy and imposing sanctions on those who
promote it within ISKCON is the most merciful thing that ISKCON can do
for these misguided people. It gives them a clear choice that many of
them will hopefully make correctly. Without taking these steps, we will
be allowing them to persist in their offenses to Srila Prabhupada, for
which they will have to suffer reactions. We also create confusion in
our own ranks. So let's get the rtvik heresy out of ISKCON once
frenzied and medieval rant is based on the authors unsubstantiated
assumption that the continued application of a management system Srila
Prabhupada personally set in place is heretical. Thus the author is
inviting everyone to commit the same guru aparadha as himself. Better
we remove unauthorised diksa guruship from ISKCON once and for
re-establish the ritvik system as soon as possible.
one posting by the author it appears he is happy to downsize the
movement to just a few similarly bewildered souls whose knowledge has
been equally filtered. Rather than downsizing ISKCON, let us
open it up to all the potential millions of sincere people who might
wish to surrender and take initiation from the self-realised
mahabhagavat, Srila Prabhupada.
Thus ends our
analysis of the author's first very poor article.
| CHAKRA 16-Sep-98
Thoughts on the
needs to institute a thorough program of rtvik cleansing. This
has no place in ISKCON, and I find it especially offensive to Srila
Prabhupada that the rtvik supporters want to make him the
their private fantasy.
Rtvik Heresy (No. 2)
I have studied the writings of Krishna Kant Desai, the main proponent
of the rtvik heresy, and I find that he does two things only:
spends hundreds of pages offensively flouting the authority of Srila
Prabhupada by whimsically dismissing, with one inventive excuse after
another, every single thing Srila Prabhupada actually said in his own
words that directly and explicitly touches on what he expected to
happen regarding initiations after his departure.
If the reader
is expecting the author to provide examples which demonstrate this
'offensive flouting' of generally applicable instructions, he will be
sorely disappointed. The author is bluffing and hoping no-one will
notice that he provides not one single example to support his spiteful
spends hundreds of pages fantasizing that the July 9, 1977 letter,
which was not written by Prabhupada and which makes no mention at all
about what was to happen after his departure, is somehow a direct order
from Prabhupada that he would continue to accept disciples after his
departure. And then he attributes this private fantasy of his to Srila
irrelevantly states that the July 9th letter was not written by Srila
Prabhupada. Rarely did Srila Prabhupada do his own typing, are we then
to distance ourselves from his books? This red herring argument is used
to cunningly and dishonestly undermine a policy directive which Srila
Prabhupada personally signed in approval. Since the letter does not
mention departure, why does the author assume that it was at this
specific point in time that the order ceased to have relevance?
way to expose this deviant concoction is to not enter even one step
into the rtvik fantasy land. The entire rtvik idea is
based solely on
the fantasy that the July 9 letter says something about what was
supposed to happen regarding initiations after Prabhupada's departure.
The above is a
subtle distortion of the position set out in 'The Final Order'. The
July 9th letter sets out a system which was to operate within ISKCON
from that time onwards. Departure is not an issue. Only the author
wishes to make departure an issue by insisting that the system should
have ceased at this point, even though he himself admits that departure
is not mentioned within the order. 'From now onwards' or 'henceforward'
incorporates all time periods both pre and post departure.
But as I
said, the letter was not written by Prabhupada and anyone who reads it
will see that it makes no direct reference at all to what was to happen
after Prabhupada's departure.
Once more the
author insidiously tries to undermine the order by irrelevantly stating
that Srila Prabhupada did not personally write it. No, he had his
secretary write it, and then he personally approved it. Since the
letter says nothing about departure, why did the GBC decide it should
stop at that that point, and why is the author supporting that decision
without offering any evidence for modification A?
So, if one
sticks to this simple point- namely, that the July 9 letter makes
absolutely no direct statement about what was to happen after
Prabhupada's departure- one can stop the rtvik argument cold.
no further than that.
The one simple answer to anything that a rtvik fantasizer says
You can speculate like that, but the simple fact is that the July 9
letter does not say anything about what was to happen after
The rtvik heretic will undoubtedly say something in response.
whatever it is, you can just repeat the same thing:
You can speculate like that, but the simple fact is that the July 9
letter says nothing at all about what was to happen after Prabhupada's
someone with the author's deviant mind-set one need simply state :
speculate that the order was meant to cease on departure, but where
does Srila Prabhupada state that in the order, or anywhere else for
you can expect from an advocate of the rtvik fantasy another
fantasies. But once more the answer is:
You can speculate as much as you like about Prabhupada's intentions,
but the simple fact is that the July 9 letter says nothing at all about
what was to happen after Prabhupada's departure.
One need simply
say to such a person :
speculate as much as you like, but where do you derive the notion that
the ritvik system was meant to cease on departure when as you
admit, it says nothing at all about
One does not have to go
should not go one step beyond this, because to do so means to accept,
to one degree or another, the concocted fantasy that Prabhupada
intended to continue to accept disciples after his departure. Just keep
this one simple fact in mind. The whole rtvik case is based on
9 letter. The July 9 letter makes no direct statement at all about what
was to happen after Prabhupada's departure. Just stick to that one
sticks to the point that we can arbitrarily terminate orders issued
directly by our founder acarya, without a scrap of supporting
should best be avoided.
does want to understand what Srila Prabhupada intended to happen after
his departure, one can rely only (only!) on Srila Prabhupada's
statements in his own words that directly and explicitly refer to this.
Once more the
author sneakily implies that Srila Prabhupada did not really know what
he was signing when he personally approved the July 9th letter. This
order came directly from Srila Prabhupada via his secretary. It is
interesting that in order to defeat us the author feels he has to cast
such aspersions on Srila Prabhupada's final directive on initiations.
The July 9
letter does not. I have given in my first article the April 6, 1975
statement by Prabhupada to all the devotees assembled in Mayapur (GBCs,
presidents, sannyasis, etc.) that he intended to prepare gurus
(acaryas) who should wait until his departure before initiating
disciples of their own.
Once more the
author puts words into Srila Prabhupada's mouth which are nothing but
his own wishful fantasy. The above sentence never appears in the
lecture, it is pure invention. Why does the author not quote verbatim
the exact sentence in which Srila Prabhupada supposedly explicitly
states that his disciples can all give diksa once he leaves the
Krishna Kant Desai will huff and puff and imagine he has blown the
house down (to the satisfaction of those who have joined him in his
hallucination). But for any real follower of Srila Prabhupada, Srila
Prabhupada's direct words should take precedence over the attempts of
Krishna Kant Desai to dismiss them with his concoctions and fantasies.
The above is
humbug. The July 9th order came directly from Srila Prabhupada via his
secretary, and was personally approved by him. The only evidence
offered so far by the author to counteract this direct evidence
comprises of his own invented version of one lecture which does not
mention the words 'diksa', 'initiate' or the sentence 'the ritvik
system will stop on my departure'.
Prabhupada's own infallible words stand as an eternal monument to his
intentions, unmoved by Krishna Kant Desai's offensive attempts to
undermine their authority and to replace them with his own flimsy
verbal contraptions. I am amazed that any real follower of Prabhupada
could be taken in by such a thing. Every time Krishna Kant Desai tries
to dismiss the direct statements of Srila Prabhupada, they should be
thrown right back in his face, again and again.
Does the author
believe that he has suddenly become Srila Prabhupada? As shown above,
the evidence offered came directly from the author himself, the word
'initiate' is never once mentioned in the lecture. Must we now view the
author's own speculative outpourings as coming directly from Srila
Prabhupada? Can the author please show just one generally applicable
instruction that we have dismissed? We do not even 'dismiss'
instructions to ambitious deviant individuals, we merely state that
they are not generally applicable, which is a fact.
bamboozled by his proud statements that "I have already dealt with this
statement by Prabhupada." It is Srila Prabhupada's direct words about
the continuation of the disciplic succession after his departure that
really matter to followers of Srila Prabhupada- not Krishna Kant
Desai's arrogant and offensive attempts to dismiss them and put in
their place his own fantasies.
Desai did not issue the July 9th order, just as Srila Prabhupada never
spoke the words the author uses as 'direct' evidence from the lecture.
here follows another case in which Srila Prabhupada directly and in his
own words says to a scholar the same thing he later said in Mayapur to
all the assembled leaders of the Krishna consciousness movement.
Room Conversation with Mohsin Hassan ...........Detroit,
July 18, 1971
Hassan is a graduate student writing his thesis. Prabhupada thus knows
that he is providing information to a scholar, who is going to be
writing a paper based on his answers. Srila Prabhupada is certainly
giving authoritative answers.
| Mohsin Hassan:
movement must have structure. Will you please tell us about the
structure of the (indistinct) from the hierarchy on the top, and all
the way down.
|| Yes, it is, this movement is
started from Krishna.
|| Then, from Krishna, Narada. From
Narada, Vyasadeva. From Vyasadeva to Madhvacarya, from Madhvacarya
Isvara Puri, Madhavendra Puri, then Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then His
disciples, the six Goswamis, then Krishna dasa Kaviraja, then Baladeva
Vidyabhusana. So we are taking account very rigidly from Caitanya
Mahaprabhu, and I am the tenth generation from Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
|| Yeah, the tenth. After you, is
it any decision has been made who will take over?
|| Yes. All of them will take over.
These students, who are initiated from me, all of them will act as I am
doing. Just like I have got many Godbrothers, they are all acting.
Similarly, all these disciples which I am making, initiating, they are
being trained to become future spiritual masters.
|| How many swamis do you
initiated, American? Im speaking just on...
|| About ten.
|| You have ten swamis. And outside
of swamis, what's the lower...
|| 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. They
can recruit more members in this. They do, but they are being trained
up. Just like here in this meeting, one of my disciples, he is acting
as priest. It is not myself; he is acting. So some of my students, they
are acting as priests, some of them are swamis, so they are competent
to make disciples.
Srila Prabhupada says the same thing that he said in Mayapur in April,
1975 - to the entire leadership of his movement and a good percentage
of its membership.
factually inaccurate, the above conversation is nothing like the
lecture, thus how can he say it 'says the same thing'. In fact the
above conversation is much closer to the type of evidence the author
requires than the lecture. As we have mentioned in 'Institutional
Cataclysm' this is objectively speaking the very strongest
piece of evidence the GBC have ever produced since it fulfils several
of the pre-requisite criteria. Below we shall once more explain why
this conversation, which was not discovered until last year (1997),
cannot be used to countermand the July 9th letter which was issued to
the entire movement 20 years earlier in 1977.
matter of fact, any time Srila Prabhupada ever directly spoke on the
question of what was to happen after his departure, he said exactly the
This is rubbish
(please see 'The
Final Order' pages 34-35). Here are just two examples which prove
the author's knowledge filter is operating robustly:
|| Are you training a successor?
|| Yes, my Guru Maharaja is there.
(SP Press conference, 16/7/75)
|| what will happen to the movement in the
United States when you die?
|| I will never die.
|| Jaya! Haribol! (laughter)
|| I will live from my books and you will
(SP Press Conference, 16/7/75, San Francisco)
The above two
quotes prove the author is either very poor at research, or is directly
trying to mislead his readers.
Kant Desai can huff and puff as much as he likes, but this cannot have
any effect whatsoever on the validity and authority of the direct words
of Srila Prabhupada, in which he explicitly says exactly what his
intentions were for the continuation of the disciplic succession after
The author has
carefully selected evidence which appears to support his contrived
M.A.S.S. (multiple acarya successor system), whilst casting
direct statements on the identical issue, along with Srila Prabhupada's
final decision on the matter issued to the entire movement on July 9th
1977, which completely contradict his contention. This is a clear fact
as evidenced above, no need for any huffing and puffing.
If the author
really wants to assert that the above conversation with Mr. Hassan sets
out Srila Prabhupada's final plans for how things should continue after
his departure then he is also arguing for ISKCON to disintegrate into a
multitude of competing uncooperative maths:
I have got many Godbrothers, they are all acting. Similarly, all
these disciples which I am making, initiating, they are being trained
to become future spiritual masters"
himself criticises the so-called Gaudiya Matha, and yet in using this
quote as principal evidence he would have us all go down the same path.
Obviously Srila Prabhupada was simply giving a very general overview to
a one-time visitor who knew nothing about guru tattva; not a precise
blue-print for how things would run once he left the planet. On other
occasions Srila Prabhupada condemned his Godbrother's unauthorised
acarya activities, so obviously the above conversation
needs to be seen
The July 9
letter takes no precedence over these statements, because it does not
contain the direct words of Srila Prabhupada and, more importantly, it
makes no reference at all as to what was to happen after his departure.
conversation was only discovered last year, and thus can have no direct
bearing on the issue of what was meant to happen in 1977. You cannot
modify a general instruction deliberately issued to the whole movement
in 1977 with the transcript of a conversation which only came to light
22 years later. To do so is called cheating. Such evidence could be
used to support a general instruction to the whole movement, but as we
have seen, Srila Prabhupada, in the end, decided on a representational
system to be continued within ISKCON.
makes great play of the fact that the student was going to write a
thesis based on the conversation and thus Srila Prabhupada must have
revealed completely accurately his precise plans on how initiations
would carry on past his departure. (This is in spite of the fact that
when asked the same question on other occasions by news reporters etc,
he gave quite different answers). In using this evidence to countermand
the final order the author is proposing the following absurdities:
Prabhupada made important institutional arrangements within ISKCON via
conversations with one-off visitors to the temple.
- Srila Prabhupada never ordered the tapes of
monumentally important discussions to be transcribed and distributed to
his leaders. Instead he arranged that such important directives should
remain in the tape archives indefinitely.
- Srila Prabhupada expected all his temple
presidents to read the thesis of all the students, philosophers and
scholars he had ever spoken to in order to understand how his society
should be run, since it was at these times that he would give his most
authoritative and final briefings on institutional policy.
- Once unearthed the instructions issued through such
transient and indirect means, must be used to modify standard
institutional directives issued internally through official channels
such as the society's secretary. Thus the running of temples, the BBT,
the final will, are all open to termination and change on the basis of
information gleaned by rummaging through the tape archives, and the
thesis of karmi scholars.
Anyone can see
that what the author is proposing is utterly absurd. Also we are back
to the author's unpleasant insinuations about the letters origin. Is
the author really suggesting Srila Prabhupada would sign a document in
approval if he had not first read and agreed with it? Does he really
believe that H.H. Tamal Krishna just somehow dreamed up the whole idea
of a ritvik system and then tricked Srila Prabhupada into
What is this nonsense?
enter into the rtvik fantasy land. Stick to Prabhupada's direct
in which he directly states his intentions for the continuation of the
disciplic succession. And let's get on with the task of rtvik
in ISKCON. The first step should be the removal of any ISKCON authority
who promotes or otherwise encourages the rtvik heresy. If
to be a party to the ongoing process of reform in ISKCON, they should
first give up the rtvik fantasy. If they do so, they should be
welcomed. If not, they should be shown the door.
will be showing the author the door if he carries on lambasting his
spiritual master's order. We are not going anywhere buddy.
every ISKCON brahmana and sannyasi should take advantage of every
possible opportunity to confront and expose the rtvik heresy
it truly is- an offense to Srila Prabhupada.
And yet the
author himself has failed to provide one shred of evidence
demonstrating that the continued operation of the ritvik
Srila Prabhupada's physical departure, would constitute a philosophical
Prabhupada's grand disciples should enter into this effort. It will be
good training for them, because they are the future leaders of the
Krishna consciousness movement and they should be learning how to
preserve Srila Prabhupada's teachings from these kinds of attacks. In
each temple, there should be a meeting of the temple leaders and main
preachers to identify supporters of the rtvik heresy in their
how to deal with them and protect congregations against their
influence. All possible means of communication should be used in a
sustained effort, including temple classes, congregational newsletters,
individual discussions, etc., which should be supported by ISKCON's
communication and education ministries.
If any of these
devotees wish to discuss this issue to show us the error of our ways
then we will be more than happy to meet with them. Please contact us
via our IRM web site. The only time the GBC discussed this issue in
public was in 1990 in San Diego, after which they banned the video of
the debate via unpublished minutes (which we have in our possession).
If the author
is actually serious about dispelling the 'ritvik illusion' he
start by issuing a point for point rebuttal of 'The Final Order' which:
- actually quotes and
deals with all the points made in 'The Final Order', rather than
invented straw-man arguments,
- remains in harmony with all GBC papers which
current siddhanta, since we are not interested in dealing with lone
To achieve the
above will not be easy, but we wish the author luck. It is certainly
not our wish to promote a heresy, and thus we warmly welcome any
serious points which meet the above two requirements.
This ends our
examination of the author's second paper.
the Rtvik Heresy (3)
giving more of Srila Prabhupada's direct instructions on how he
expected initiations to go on after his departure, I wish to repeat
that I find abhorrent the behavior of those gurus who have violated the
trust of their disciples and the society of devotees. I support the
ongoing process of guru reform in ISKCON. That some have failed to live
up to Prabhupada's expectations is no reason to dispense with those
expectations. Two wrongs don't make a right.
Prabhupada expected his disciples to follow his instructions,
especially important management directives. He was always very cross
when devotees changed things whimsically, without his proper
authorisation. The author should bare this in mind before jumping to
the assumption that there should ever have been any other diksa
within ISKCON other than Srila Prabhupada himself. Certainly if we had
stuck with Srila Prabhupada's preferred system there would have been
none of the terrible disappointment which constantly decimates ISKCON,
stripping it of thousands upon thousands of disillusioned 'grand
Prabhupada's empowering vision embraced all of his qualified disciples
becoming gurus after his departure, not just eleven. The zonal acarya
system was wrong. Elevated worship of ISKCON gurus after Prabhupada was
wrong. Srila Prabhupada himself did not institute daily gurupuja until
many years after the movement started (1973, I am told), and this did
not prevent his disciples from appreciating his position or serving him
with devotion. So I would see no harm if gurus were to ask that their
daily gurupuja be stopped, at least for the next few years. Concerning
pictures used for worship, I recommend that only pictures of the
present gurus worshiping the lifesize murti of Prabhupada should be
placed on the altar. This will remind the disciple, the guru, and
others that this guru is a servant of Srila Prabhupada only.
Who does the
author think he is to develop guru tattva on the hoof in this manner?
What arrogance to think he can just dream up some new form of worship
out of thin air and that it will be immediately acceptable to Sri
Krishna and Srila Prabhupada. Perhaps the author should get back to
writing about bones and stones, rather than posing himself as some sort
of latter day Rupa Goswami.
understanding of guru in ISKCON should be that they are madhyama
devotees whose qualification is that they are following a pure devotee.
This constitutes their purity.
completely bogus. Srila Prabhupada taught that the initiating guru MUST
be a Mahabhagavat
(C.c.Mad 24:330 purport). Someone who is strictly following a pure
devotee may well be a good disciple, but not necessarily an authorised
member of the disciplic succession, capable of transmitting full divya
jnana up to and including the disciples original svarupa whilst
simultaneously annihilating all his sinful reactions. The author seems
to believe that he is authorised to downgrade the diksa guru,
the process corrupt and pollute Bhagavat philosophy.
Prabhupada has also said that a disciple can surpass his or her guru.
So if the guru is following strictly Srila Prabhupada's teachings and
example, then the disciple can even surpass the guru. In institutional terms, gurus should see themselves as working in harmony with the
various siksa gurus who are giving shelter and instruction and
encouragement to their disciples-temple presidents, for example.
I also support efforts to establish better financial accountability for
diksa guru is Krishna's pure representative who sees
everything as the
Lord's energy. Why should such elevated souls not be trusted with
laxmi? And if the gurus in ISKCON are not on that platform, and cannot
be trusted with money, why in heaven's name should we entrust them with
peoples spiritual lives?
even guru-sannyasis, should live more simply, and make do with fewer
servants (Prabhupada got along with two or three). I also question the
current practice of having gurus sit on a bigger vyasasana than their
disciples in ISKCON temples. The vyasasana belongs to Vyasa, not the
guru, and anyone fit to give class should sit on the same vyasasana, be
he (or she) a disciple or granddisciple of Srila Prabhupada. My hope is
that these reforms can be carried out with a minimum of legislation,
and a maximum of shared understanding and voluntary cooperation.
There are many other reforms that can be considered, and I am willing
to consider all of them-with the exception of the rtvik heresy,
has absolutely no foundation in Prabhupada's direct words.
Thus the author
is happy inventing all kinds of bogus unauthorised never before seen or
heard of philosophies and practices, but he utterly refuses to even
consider following Srila Prabhupada's direct order. He is quite happy
to downsize ISKCON to a mere hundred devotees who are willing to accept
his bogus unauthorised philosophies and practices, but will not for one
second countenance following his own spiritual master's directive on
heresy is not an option in ISKCON. So I sincerely encourage followers
of Srila Prabhupada to drop it and join in this present opportunity for
genuine reform. The rtvik heresy is just a distraction. I
urge followers of Srila Prabhupada not to join organizations or attend
meetings that have a rtvik focus or agenda. I also urge the GBC
announce well in advance of the 1999 Mayapur meetings that the rtvik
heresy is absolutely not going to be part of the reform agenda. It
should not be held against anyone that in the past they have advocated
and supported the rtvik heresy. Anyone who renounces it should
gladly welcomed and encouraged to participate fully in the reform
In other words
only devotees who agree not to follow Srila Prabhupada's final order
should be allowed to concoct the next bogus deviation.
proposed the following method er his departure-we should
consider only Prabhupada's direct words in which he directly mentions
his departure and what he expected to happen afterwards.
The July 9th
order was directly approved by Srila Prabhupada, thus it is as good as
his direct words. Also, why does the author ignore other conversations,
such as the two examples given earlier, where Srila Prabhupada gives
quite different answers? Clearly the author's knowledge filter will not
allow him to do that.
excludes the July 9 letter, which does not contain Prabhupada's direct
words and also makes no direct mention of his departure and what was to
In my first article, I gave a transcript of Prabhupada's Caitanya-caritamrta
lecture given on April 16, 1975, in Mayapur. Present were the GBC,
temple presidents, sannyasis, and a good fraction of ISKCON's total
membership. In that address, Srila Prabhupada clearly said that he was
preparing his disciples to become gurus, but that they should wait
until after his departure to accept disciples and they should be
qualified. He further said it was easy to become qualified-just follow
his instructions and preach.
must all become gurus or acarya, no-one disputes that. However
author has failed to show where the authorisation was ever given for
anyone to become diksa guru. Srila Prabhupada only ever
selected eleven ritviks. Why did they transmogrify into diksa
immediately on his departure? Who said they could do that? And then who
told them they could authorise more people to do the same thing in the
mid-eighties? Who is now authorising the author to change the system
yet again and stop daily gurupujas etc? As we have shown Srila
Prabhupada clearly indicates in that lecture the type of acaryas
expecting in his use of the 'amara' verse ('best not to accept any
disciples'). If we had just continued to follow that which was standard
practice within ISKCON there would be no need for all this change and
second article, I gave a transcript of Srila Prabhupada's talk with a
scholar in Detroit in 1971. In this talk, Srila Prabhupada also said
that he expected his disciples to become gurus, initiating their own
disciples, but that they should be qualified and wait until after his
departure. Srila Prabhupada was aware that the scholar was going to
include his statements in his thesis, which he was in the process of
writing. So Srila Prabhupada's statements were certainly authoritative.
author should track down Mohsin Hassan's thesis in order to ensure that
his next guru system properly follows Srila Prabhupada's authoritative
present article, I am going to show that Srila Prabhupada repeated this
instruction to his individual disciples. I have given the Mayapur
lecture and Detroit conversation first, to show that Srila Prabhupada's
statements about his disciples initiating their own disciples after his
departure were not just attempts to pacify some overambitious
individual followers, as creatively, though mistakenly, alleged by the
ever-inventive Krishna Kant Desai.
The author well
knows that Tusta Krishna was an extremely troublesome and ambitious
disciple whom Srila Prabhupada even offered to pay in order to stop his
deviant behaviour. To claim such private correspondence is applicable
to the entire society is the grossest most flagrant act of cheating
look at one of those letters:
So in this
letter to Tusta Krishna Swami, Srila Prabhupada says exactly what he
said to the scholar in Detroit in 1971.
Delhi .... 2 December, 1975 .... 75-12-02
My Dear Tusta Krishna Swami,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter
dated 21 November, 1975. Every student is expected to become Acarya.
Acarya means one who knows the scriptural
injunctions and follows them
practically in life, and teaches them to his disciples. I have given
you sannyasa with the great hope that in my absence you will preach the
cult thruout the world and thus become recognized by Krishna as the
most sincere servant of the Lord. So I'm very pleased that you have not
deviated from the principles I have taught, and thus with power of
attorney go on preaching Krishna consciousness, that will make me very
happy as it is confirmed in the Guru vastakam yasya prasadat bhagavata
prasadah just by satisfying your Spiritual Master who is accepted as
the bonafide representative of the Lord you satisfy Krishna immediately
without any doubt.
I am very glad to inform you that Sudama Vipra Maharaja is also now
following my principles.
So I am very very happy to receive all this news. Thank you very very
Keep trained up very rigidly and then you are bonafide Guru, and you
can accept disciples on the same principle. But as a matter of
etiquette it is the custom that during the lifetime of your Spiritual
master you bring the prospective disciples to him, and in his absence
or disappearance you can accept disciples without any limitation. This
is the law of disciplic succession. I want to see my disciples become
bonafide Spiritual Master and spread Krishna consciousness very widely,
that will make me and Krishna very happy.
I hope this letter finds you well,
Your ever well wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Again this is a
factual inaccuracy, for instance there is no mention above of doing
things like his Godbrothers.
exactly what he said to all the assembled devotees (GBCs, sannyasis,
presidents) in Mayapur on April 16, 1975.
This is very
sloppy scholarship. Where above does Srila Prabhupada quote the 'amara' verse for instance? How can he say it is exactly the same? In
any case what has this got to do with terminating a system of
institutional management? Srila Prabhupada would have needed to
specifically mention that ritvik representatives can never
after the departure of the guru, or some such thing, for this letter to
have any relevance to the debate. Or else Srila Prabhupada would have
had to have instructed the GBC to distribute the letter with a covering
explanation outlining in detail the M.A.S.S. The best the author could
possibly argue is that Tusta Krishna himself should have succeeded
Srila Prabhupada as an initiating acarya, and yet Srila
not even select him to act as a ritvik.
to Tusta Krishna Swami is not just a snow job by Srila Prabhupada on
one of his disciples. Where do we see Srila Prabhupada saying the
business of a pure devotee is to flatter his disciple by leading him on
with false stories and promises? Srila Prabhupada spoke truthfully to
Why then is it
that the author can only find these types of promises in letters to
ambitious deviant disciples? How is it that this law was not followed
by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, nor mentioned in any of Srila Prabhupada's
books? These are all accusations the author would use against ritvik,
and yet when it seems to suit his purposes he is happy to employ a
double standard. His main problem is that these letters were only
published by default in 1986, and thus cannot be used to modify a
management system that was put in place for the entire movement in
1977. Surely the author can understand this simple point. Where is his
generally applicable order, supporting modifications
A & B, which
clearly terminate the ritvik system after departure, and make
that all Srila Prabhupada's disciples were to be allowed to initiate
the minute he left the planet? Unless he can produce such clear
explicit applicable evidence he is simply wasting everyone's valuable
can we extract from Srila Prabhupada's letter:
Srila Prabhupada says, "Every student is expected to become acarya."
This is part of Prabhupada's empowering vision. This is why the idea of
"just eleven" gurus was so mistaken and so disturbing to the society of
devotees. It violated Prabhupada's vision of empowering all of his
disciples (male and female) to become acaryas or gurus, if they
only faithfully follow his instructions. This is why the rtvik
is also dead wrong. It violates Prabhupada's empowering vision. The
eleven said "just us." The rtvik heretics say "nobody." Srila
Prabhupada said, "all of you!"
What kind of acaryas did Prabhupada have in mind-just some
who would repeat his words, and that's it? That's what Krishna Kant
Desai would like us to believe.
Here the author
appears not to have closely studied the lecture he himself quoted:
become acarya is not very difficult... So one who is
Krishna-upadesa, simply repeat what is said by Krishna, then
become acarya. Not difficult at all. Everything is
there. We have to simply repeat like parrot. Not exactly parrot. Parrot
does not understand the meaning; he simply vibrates. But you should
understand the meaning also..."
Prabhupada said, "Acarya means one who knows the scriptural
and follows them practically in life, and teaches them to his
disciples." That is the kind of acarya he was talking about, a
accepts disciples. And Prabhupada said, "Every student is expected to
become [such] acarya."
The author is
trying to merge two types of acarya. The one who simply repeats
any special qualification is an instructing spiritual master. The one
who accepts (initiates) disciples is the diksa guru. We are all
authorised to act in the first capacity since it is 'not very
difficult'. There is no authorisation for anyone, aside from Srila
Prabhupada, to act in the latter capacity since one must first attain
the topmost platform of devotional service (mahabhagavat), and be
authorised by one's predecessor acarya. Occasionally Srila
even talks about accepting disciples in an instructing sense (rather as
a sanyasi may train up a few brahmacharis eg. - 'monitor guru') - this
is also fine, as long as he is strictly following and directing people
to Srila Prabhupada once they are ready for initiation.
Prabhupada did not set some unattainable standard for his disciples to
follow in order to qualify themselves in his eyes as acaryas
accept disciples. He simply said to "preach" and don't deviate "from
the principles I have taught." That would please him, and if he was
pleased, Krishna would be pleased. Such a disciple would have his power
And then Prabhupada goes on to say:
opposite is true. If someone tries to interfere with Prabhupada's
desire that his disciples become bona fide spiritual masters, that will
make him and Krishna unhappy. This interference can come in two ways:
from those who accept disciples but don't keep themselves "trained up
very rigidly" and from those who deny that Prabhupada wanted his
disciples to become gurus.
trained up very rigidly and then you are bonafide Guru, and you can
accept disciples on the same principle. But as a matter of etiquette it
is the custom that during the lifetime of your Spiritual master you
bring the prospective disciples to him, and in his absence or
disappearance you can accept disciples without any limitation. This is
the law of disciplic succession. I want to see my disciples become
bonafide Spiritual Master and spread Krishna consciousness very widely,
that will make me and Krishna very happy."
In his letter to Tusta Krishna Swami, Prabhupada said the exact same
thing he said before, and the exact same thing he would say again.
Every single time Prabhupada himself directly spoke or wrote in his own
words about what he expected to happen after his departure, he said
exactly the same thing.
Krishna Kant Desai will try to bluff his way out of this I am sure. He
will say, "I have already dealt with this letter by Srila Prabhupada."
This is no bluff, we refer the
author to our web site where he will find all his evidence carefully
examined and answered. Where are the author's counter arguments we
wonder? Who is really bluffing here?
not let Krishna Kant Desai "deal" so arrogantly and cavalierly with the
words of Srila Prabhupada. The direct words of Srila Prabhupada mean
more than anything Krishna Kant Desai says to get us to ignore them.
Why should anyone accept the fantasies of Krishna Kant Desai, when
Srila Prabhupada directly says something else? Srila Prabhupada's words
are going to stand, long after Krishna Kant Desai's have been forgotten
(soon, I hope). Just because Krishna Kant Desai does not like the
instruction Srila Prabhupada gave in his letter to Tusta Krishna Swami
does not mean the letter or the instruction have ceased to exist. The
instruction and the letter continue to exist, no matter how many times
Krishna Kant Desai says he has explained them away.
It is not that
we do not like Srila Prabhupada's letters to ambitious upstarts, our
point is that they cannot be used as generally applicable instructions
to the entire movement since they are private correspondence which was
only published by default in the mid-eighties. The author must know
that he is cheating his readers in arguing that institutional policy
directives should have been terminated in 1977 on the basis of private
correspondence to difficult disciples discovered in 1986.
This ends our
analysis of the author's third article.
| CHAKRA 5-Oct-98
A Reply to Vijay Sharma
Sharma objects to my statement that the July 9 letter is not Srila
Prabhupada's words. Anyone who reads it will see that it was drafted by
Tamal Krishna Goswami. Srila Prabhupada is referred to in the third
person. Tamal Krishna Goswami in fact signed the letter. The letter was
approved by Prabhupada, with his signature. But the fact is that this
letter is not the same as a letter drafted by Prabhupada and signed by
Srila Prabhupada state that we can disregard, or treat less seriously,
letters which he has not personally typed but only signed in approval?
This is speculation on behalf of the author.
does not mention Prabhupada's departure, nor does it directly mention
anything about initiations after Prabhupada's departure.
If the order
does not mention departure, then why does the author speculate that the
order was meant to terminate at this point? He is once more admitting
that there is no evidence for modification A, a point we made in 'The Final
Order' in October of 1996.
On July 9,
Tamal Krishna Maharaja had asked Prabhupada what to do about the
backlog of devotees asking for initiation from him. At this time, Srila
Prabhupada was too weak to answer the letters that were coming in, so
he asked some of his disciples to do that. During the July 7
conversation, there was no mention of Prabhupada's departure, nor
anything about initiations after his departure. Tamal Krishna
Maharaja's letter was simply his record of the July 7 conversation
about what to do with the intiation backlog,
Here the author
is contradicting the GBC's recent paper 'Disciple of my
Disciple'(DOMD). In DOMD the GBC say:
"There is a
link between the July 9th letter and the May conversation. The July 9th
letter, issued through the GBC, is a follow-up to the May 28th
conversation,..." (DOMD, p3)
How can the
author argue that the July 9th letter is 'simply' a record of the July
7th garden conversation, which he alleges deals only with pre-departure
initiations, when the GBC themselves argue that it is really a follow
up to the May 28th conversation which they say deals only with post-departure
initiations? The author is directly contradicting the very body he is
trying to defend, how absurd can you get!
Prabhupada simply gave his approval to what had been decided about
this-namely, that a certain number of his disciples would handle the
initiation letters. Because the rtvik camp has tried to screw
this letter some imaginary final order by Prabhupada about how
initiations were to be conducted after his departure, by picking apart
and analyzing and assigning speculative interpretations to some of the
words in the letter, I have found it necessary to state the truth about
A truth which
directly contradicts the GBC and the letter itself. Note the July 9th
when all of the GBC members were with His Divine Grace in
Is the author
now saying that all the GBC were actually present on July 7th in the
were all hiding in the bushes.
It is a
letter written and signed by Tamal Krishna Goswami, giving his record
of what he had discussed with Prabhupada about how the backlog of
initiations was going to be handled. The words are his, not
Prabhupada's. There is a difference between such a letter and a letter
directly drafted by Prabhupada in his own words.
is the difference? For example Srila Prabhupada would often sign
approval to GBC resolutions which he had not personally drafted,
(though if there was something he did not like he would have the GBC
change it). Are we now to take such resolutions less seriously? When
such resolutions were sent to the Temple Presidents did they all refuse
to follow them because Srila Prabhupada had only approved them,
not sat down and typed them himself? What is the author trying
to say here?
But in any
case, however you want to look at it, the letter does not say anything
about Prabhupada's departure or about how initiations were to go on
after Prabhupada's departure.
This was his
final directive on the matter and since, as the author concedes, there
is no mention of terminating the system on departure, why did the GBC
stop it the minute he left the planet?
that Prabhupada did write a letter or speak about this topic in his own
words, he always said the exact same thing. He expected his disciples
to initiate disciples of their own, but they should wait until his
departure and they should be qualified and stay qualified.
We have already
proved the above to be a lie, for more examples please see 'The Final
Order' pages 34-35, also see pages
9-16 on Srila Prabhupada's instructions about becoming guru.
| CHAKRA 5-Oct-98
A Reply to
a Concerned Godsister
following is taken from my reply to a private message to me, but I
thought it would also be of interest to a wider audience.)
Regarding letters signed by Prabhupada, I've made an issue of his
authorship of the July 9 letter not to cast doubt on the authenticity
of the letter per se but on the wisdom of trying to parse every word to
construct some kind of "final order" by Prabhupada. The facts as I can
see them are these:
1. The letter was written by Tamal Krishna Goswami. It refers to
Prabhupada in the third person-"Prabhupada said . . . "
2. The letter is signed by Tamal Krishna Goswami. This indicates it is
his letter, not Prabhupada's,
Here the author
goes too far. Obviously Srila Prabhupada wanted such a letter sent, it
is not that H.H.Tamal Krishna just dreamed the whole thing up himself.
In that sense the letter most certainly originated from Srila
Prabhupada, not his secretary.
Prabhupada did signal his approval by signing his name under the words
"approved by." The question is: what was he approving?
Perhaps he was
approving the July 9th letter.
answering that question, we should keep in mind that the letter was not
dictated by Prabhupada.
How does the
author know for certain that none of the letter was dictated by Srila
Was he in the
room hiding in the closet?
are not his words in any direct sense. This letter is different from
your initiation letters. Those letters were directly signed by
Prabhupada (not just approved),
What is the
difference? Where did Srila Prabhupada say we could disregard
instructions which he only signed in approval? This is complete
speculation. Why is the author so scared of the July 9th letter that he
should wish to raise such irrelevant issues?
language of the letters is in the first person ("I accept so and so as
my initiated disciple.") Prabhupada's secretary may have typed them,
taking dictation from Prabhupada or writing them on the general
instruction from Prabhupada. But the secretary did not sign the letter.
Prabhupada did, thus taking full responsibility for every word as his
So now the
author is suggesting that Srila Prabhupada might irresponsibly sign
something without fully agreeing with what was written. The author
should try to develop more faith in his Guru Maharaja. Srila Prabhupada
is perfect, he never makes mistakes.
5. It is
not clear that Prabhupada either read the entire July 9 letter himself,
nor is it clear that it was read to him verbatim. It would be nice to
ask Tamal Krishna Maharaja about this. It could have been like this,
for example: "Srila Prabhupada, remember when we were talking yesterday
about the backlog of initiations, and you named some of us to handle
it? Well, I've drafted a letter to that effect. Would you like to sign
it?" And Prabhupada might have signed it like that.
The author is
nothing but a rascal if he would have us disregard an order directly
approved by Srila Prabhupada on the basis of his own mental
speculations. Who does he think he is?
I am making an issue of it is that to make their case the rtvik
proponents try to dissect the meaning of particular words in this
letter, as if they were directly given by Prabhupada, and they were not.
Which words do
we 'dissect' exactly. What does it mean anyway, to dissect a word? We
do not believe Srila Prabhupada would approve a letter which was to be
sent out to the entire movement unless he agreed with its contents. It
seems the issue is now beginning to boil down to who has faith in Srila
Then what on
earth is the author driving at?
keep in mind, I am not trying to deny the authenticity of the letter.
definitely is a letter written and signed by Tamal Krishna Goswami. It
definitely does have Prabhupada's signature of approval.
It's good to
get that cleared up. Now could the author please tell us why the GBC
stopped the system?
is it that Prabhupada is approving? Is it, as the rtviks say,
final order by Prabhupada that he will continue to initiate disciples
after his departure? Let's look at the words on the page. Whether we
take the words as Tamal Krishna Goswami's or Prabhupada's,
The author has
just said the letter has Srila Prabhupada's signature of approval, so
however the words got there we know he approved them. If the author
wishes to challenge whether the July 9th letter is Srila Prabhupada's final
directive on initiation then he will need to produce another approved
document issued subsequently to July 9th 1977. Unless he can do this,
then the July 9th
order is by definition Srila Prabhupada's final directive on
the matter of initiation within ISKCON.
fact is this: the letter does not say anything about Prabhupada's
departure, and it especially does not say anything about initiations
after Prabhpuada's departure.
Then why does
the author assume the system outlined in the letter must stop on
departure. The very fact that departure is not mentioned proves it is
irrelevant to the system.
get that by interpreting some of the words in a particular way, and
those words are Tamal Krishna Maharaja words and not directly
We only accept
the order on face meaning or mukhya vritti. This is the correct way to
understand vedic statements, or those pursuant of the vedic version, as
the order of the spiritual master undoubtedly is. The 'particular way'
in which we interpret the letter is to accept standard dictionary
definitions of words. Is there something wrong with that? It is the
author who is placing an indirect interpretation by asserting the order
must stop on departure. Srila Prabhupada said nothing about the system
ever stopping either in the letter, or anywhere else.
say, well, the letter does not say to stop, after Prabhupada's
departure, the system that was set up to handle the backlog of
initiations, therefore it was meant to continue.
Prabhupada never said that the ritvik system was only set up to
of a backlog. This is never stated by Srila Prabhupada, and thus is yet
another speculation by the author.
could also, well, the letter does not say to continue the system after
his departure, therefore it was meant to stop. In other words, the
letter is ambiguous on that point, and therefore it cannot really be
used as evidence for what was or was not going to happen (regarding
rtvik initiations) after Prabhupada's departure.
We deal with
this nonsensical argument in 'The Final
order' page 7. The letter also does not say it should
continue past July 10 so perhaps it should have stopped then? There is
no ambiguity, the order was to be implemented immediately and continue
from that time forward. Why was it arbitrarily terminated at departure?
What relevance does the physical proximity of the guru have to the
transcendental functioning of the process of diksa?
you have is an ambiguous letter (ambiguous in that it does not mention
Prabhupada's departure and what was to happen after it).
There is no
ambiguity. Physical departure is irrelevant to diksa
initiation. Many many initiations were performed without Srila
Prabhupada's physical presence, even when he was still on the planet.
case, this ambiguous letter becomes even more ambiguous when we
consider that it does not contain Prabhupada's direct words.
The letter is
completely non-ambiguous. Why does the author imply that Srila
Prabhupada would issue an ambiguous instruction? Once more the author
makes the same irrelevant point regarding who wrote it. He has just
admitted that the letter was approved by Srila Prabhupada so why is he
now dishonestly making an issue of the letters authorship yet again.
I find it
extraordinary that, given all this, the rtvik proponents try to
characterize this letter as a direct instruction (final order) by
Prabhupada that he was going to continue to initiate disciples after
his departure. Nothing like that is said at all in the letter!
not an issue, except in the mind of the author. Where did Srila
Prabhupada ever teach that the physical presence of the guru was a
vital pre-requisite to the process of diksa? Indeed he taught
opposite over and over again (Please see appendices to 'The
Final Order'). Why would Srila Prabhupada need to refer to a
matter irrelevant to the process of diksa, in a letter
outlining how such initiations were to be conducted from that time
onwards within ISKCON. What is 'extraordinary' is that the author
continues to support one deviant guru system after another, but will
not countenance the re-institution of a system personally put in place
by his own spiritual master, with no instruction for it ever to be
context of the letter is that on July 7, Tamal Krishna Maharaja had
asked what to do about the letters requesting initiation that were
piling up. He did not ask Prabhupada anything about how initiations
were to be conducted after his departure. That question had already
been asked on May 28, and Srila Prabhupada had already indicated that
there would be gurus who would be regular gurus and their disciples
would be Prabhupada's granddisciples. He also said they would be the
"disciple of my disciple." On July 7, neither Tamal Krishna Goswami nor
Prabhupada said anything about his departure and initiations after his
departure-because that question had already been answered.
conveniently ignores Srila Prabhupada's answer to H.H.Satsvarupa
Maharaja's question -
These are Srila
Prabhupada's direct words in answer to a simple direct question.
(please see 'The
Final Order' 21-26 where the May 28th tape is carefully
analysed). The author is also once more contradicting the GBC paper
DOMD which is still current siddhanta. According to this paper the July
9th letter is a follow up to the May 28th conversation, not the July
7th conversation, unless the author would have us believe the GBC were
all crouching silently in the flower beds.
'Satsvarupa D. G.:
|| Then our next question concerns initiations in
the future, particularly when you are no longer with us. we
want to know how first and second initiations would be conducted?
|| Yes. I shall recommend some of you. After this
is settled up I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating
Tamal Krishna G.:
|| Is that called ritvik acarya?
|| Ritvik. Yes.'
8. Keep in
mind that every single time Prabhupada was ever asked about what was to
happen regarding initiations, he said he expected his disciples to
become guru, but that they should wait until after his departure and
they should be qualified.
As we have
shown this is a lie.
appreciate that many disciples of Prabhupada have been deeply hurt by
various kinds of abuses and are deeply shocked and troubled by the
arrogant escapades of persons who have falsely advertised themselves as
The GBC falsely
advertise these people as guru by giving them an official rubber
stamping in Mayapur every year. It is they who should take all the
blame for what has transpired since Srila Prabhupada's departure. The
author would merely perpetuate a watered down version of this same
appreciate there is a need for reform. But I can also appreciate that
even now there are many disciples of Prabhupada who are fulfilling his
desire by humbly taking the position of guru in a qualified way.
There are more
humble services than being worshipped as good as the Supreme Being
without any authority to do so. Most temples are more in need of a good
pot washer than they are of yet another laxmi siphoning guru.
pure devotees on the level of Prabhupada? No. But Srila Prabhupada has
said that one may not be entirely liberated but if one is following in
the footsteps of a liberated soul, then one is as good as liberated.
But where does
Srila Prabhupada ever contradict his teaching that only a mahabhagavat
may occupy the post of initiating guru, C.c.Mad
24:330. Unless one is fully self-realised how can he be
worshipped as such, this is cheating. It is the blind leading the blind.
the fate of disciples of such gurus? Srila Prabhupada has said that a
disciple can surpass and deliver his/her siksa or diksha guru.
takes diksha from a disciple of Prabhupada, one also becomes a diksha
disciple of Prabhupada-a granddisciple.
complete speculative nonsense, and ignores some very serious warnings:
he is a pure devotee he can deliver others, he can become spiritual
master. But unless he is on that platform he should not attempt it.
Then both of them will go to hell, like blind men leading the blind.'
(Letter to Tusta Krishna, 14/12/71)
illegal to become a spiritual master if one is unable to deliver his
by diksha, one becomes connected to all the spiritual masters in our
line. Prabhupada has said that sometimes the grandfather is kinder to
the child than the father. So there is no worry that by taking
initiation from a disciple of Prabhuapda that one is not getting also
the shelter of Prabhupada. That granddisciple of Prabhupada can take
maximum advantage of Prabhupada's mercy, and in so doing can even
surpass his/her guru in the perfection of Krishna consciousness. Srila
Prabhupada says that such a disciple can even deliver his/her guru. But
the principle of disciplic succession must be followed.
How will this
principle of disciplic succession be adhered to if we take initiation
from unqualified and unauthorised people?
I can also
appreciate that these issues sometimes appear so complex (in terms of
the arguments that are presented) that even a sincere devotee can
become confused about what is right and might therefore make a choice
based on sentiment (i.e. - rtvikism).
author has found the debate difficult to follow, we advise him to
carefully study the rebuttal papers on the IRM web site.
therefore I find it necessary to put the proper understanding in its
strongest form, just so that devotees may understand what the truth
really is. Because I love Prabhupada's disciples, I become unhappy,
even angry sometimes, when I see them misleading themselves or being
misled by others.
Then why does
the author not write a full rebuttal which actually deals with the
arguments within 'The Final Order'? This is the paper the GBC
commissioned and promised to answer in October 1996 (we have the
E-mails to prove it). Why does the author not provide evidence for his
claim that the ritvik system was meant to stop on departure?
I tend to
look at philosophical deviation the way some devotees look at wife
beating. You could say, well, the man has been a devotee for so many
years, and he has done so much service, so we should not be too hard on
him. After all, it is true that his wife is a very difficult person,
and she has done so many things to provoke this kind of reaction. And
after all, there are some statements by Prabhupada where he appears to
say that such behavior is okay. So why are you being so hard on him?
Why are you insisting on your interpretation of Prabhupada? How can you
be so self-righteous? Don't you love your Godbrother? Well, I have to
say on that point, that yes, he may be otherwise a nice devotee and
have served many years. And I do love him as a Godbrother. And yes, his
wife may have done so many things to provoke him. And perhaps he and
his wife do have many problems that they have to work out. All that may
be true. But this one thing, I say, he has to give up-the beating. That
is not the solution. There is no excuse for it. It is not negotiable
(is it?). And it is really wrong to try to say that Prabhupada would
have sanctioned this. If he does not stop beating his wife, then he
should be asked to separate from her, and go live somewhere else. Now,
if he stops this one thing-the beating, then perhaps everything else
can be worked out.
So I feel the same way about the rtvik idea. Prabhupada said we
not add or subtract anything from his teachings. He was very heavy
about this. And the rtvik people have subtracted everything
ever said about the disciplic succession and added a new idea that was
never directly stated by Prabhupada.
The reader will
know that the author has failed to demonstrate his claim that the
ritvik system contradicts Srila Prabhupada's teachings. We
strongly disapprove of philosophical deviation, that is why we have
pointed them out in the author's writings.
dangerously wrong. And yes, the people who promote this idea may be
otherwise very nice devotees, and they may have served for many years.
And yes, I do love them. And yes, there are many problems that have
provoked them to take their stand. And yes, you can perhaps twist some
ambiguous few words in one letter not even written by Prabhupada to
support their idea. But it is dangerously wrong, and I have to say it.
And the solution is, as long as they keep up with this wrong idea, then
they should go elsewhere.
Or perhaps the
author could try substantiating the GBC's position without:
a) contradicting the GBC,
inventing straw man versions of our position,
implying that Srila Prabhupada did not really know what
he was signing,
inventing his own deviant philosophy regarding the
qualifications of the initiating diksa guru,
e) failing to offer one scrap of applicable
explicit evidence in support of modifications A & B.
as we have shown, the author has committed all the above. Why should we
take him or the GBC seriously as long as they are so incapable of
supporting their position in a sane, self-consistent manner. Srila
Prabhupada always taught that we should not be blind followers.
they give up that one thing-their concocted rtvik idea-then of
it is possible for us all to live together in one house, and discuss
all the problems we are facing, and let the loving exchanges that
should be there take place. But as long as the one thing is
there-rtvik-that is not possible. Before we talk about anything
else-that has to stop. It is not negotiable.
wants the kingdom without the king.
really all did love each other, we would be trying all together in a
loving way to figure out why it is that we have not done a better job
in living up to Prabhupada's expectations for the continuation of the
disciplic succession. You should be asking your self, what can I do to
live up to Srila Prabhupada's expectation that all of his disciples
should become guru? If you feel you are not qualified, you should try
to become qualified. If you see someone who is advertising themself as
qualified, but is not, you should humbly approach them and tell them
so. But if you see someone who is qualified, as best you can tell, then
you should encourage him/her and be happy that someone is pleasing
Prabhupada in this very special way. They need your blessings and
mercy. It is probably somewhat of a shift for gurus to see themselves
as lowly servants who need the blessings and mercy of all their
godbrothers and godsisters to succeed in their service, and it is
probably a big shift for their godbrothers and godsisters to see them
in that way-as poor souls who need their love and mercy and blessings.
But that is the real truth.
But why should
bona fide diksa gurus need to be told that they are only lowly
| CHAKRA 14-Oct-98
Thoughts on the
Rtvik Heresy (4)
The Real Final Order:
Same As All His Other Orders
Thoughts (1-3) I've shown the following:
(1) In 1971, Srila Prabhupada told a scholar who was writing his thesis
on the Hare Krishna movement that his disciples would become spiritual
masters and initiate their own disciples. But he expected them to be
qualified and to wait until after his departure. His answers were given
in direct response to questions by the scholar. Srila Prabhupada was
aware that the scholar intended to publish his answers in his thesis.
The answers that Prabhupada gave are thus authoritative on the question
of how initiations were to be conducted after his depature.
We refer the
reader to the points we made earlier regarding this belated evidence.
Had Srila Prabhupada not written the final order, and had he instead
ordered Mohsin Hassan's thesis to be sent out to the entire movement
then we would indeed have great difficulty in maintaining our
opposition to the GBC. We would also have to accept the disintegration
of ISKCON into the same condition Srila Prabhupada's Godbrothers have
rendered the Gaudiya Matha.
April, 1975, speaking from the vyasasana in Mayapura, during the annual
Gaura Purnim Festival, Srila Prabhupada told all the assembled
devotees, including the GBC, sannyasis, temple presidents, and a good
fraction of ISKCON's entire membership that he expected his disciples
to become gurus and initiate their own disciples. He said he expected
them to be qualified, by following his instructions, and he also
expected them to wait until after his departure to begin. This, he
said, was the etiquette.
earlier the word 'initiate' is never uttered in the lecture, and the
'amara' verse is quoted to qualify the type of guru being authorised.
in 1975, Srila Prabhupada wrote a letter to Tusta Krishna Maharaja,
saying the exact same thing. He expected his disciples to become gurus
who would intitiate their own disciples. But they should be qualified
and they should wait until after his departure. That, he said, was the
etiquette. This was not just an attempt to pacify an overambitious
disciple. It was the exact same thing that Prabhupada told the scholar
in 1971, and the same thing he said to the entire leadership of the
movement in April 1975 in Mayapur.
addressed this quote on numerous occasions. It is gross dishonesty to
use private correspondence, which was not published until 1986, to
modify a general instruction which was issued to the entire movement in
1977. The next letter quoted by the author makes it clear, right at the
outset (underlined) , that Srila Prabhupada was simply trying to
curtail yet another young Turks ambitions.
Prabhupada had also written the same thing to Acyutananda Dasa and
Jayagovinda Dasa in a letter dated August 21, 1968:
Prabhupada repeated the same thing he always said about his intentions
concerning the continuation of the disciplic succession. He expected
his disciples to become gurus who would initiate their own disciples,
but he wanted them to become qualified and to wait until after his
departure. That, he said, is the etiquette.
first thing, I warn Acyutananda, do not try to initiate. You
are not in a proper position now to initiate anyone. Besides that,
the etiquette is that so long the Spiritual Master is present, all
prospective disciples should be brought to him. . . . I am training you
all to become future Spiritual Masters, but do not be in a hurry. . . .
You don't be attracted by such cheap disciples immediately. One has to
rise gradually by service . . . . . Don't be allured by cheap
disciples. Go on steadfastly to render service first. If you
immediately become Guru, then the service activities will be stopped;
and as there are many cheap gurus and cheap disciples, without any
substantial knowledge, and manufacturing new sampradayas, and
service activities stopped, and all spiritual progress choked up."
This same view was also expressed by Srila Prabhupada in a letter to
John Milner, dated March 24, 1971. "So far as your taking initiation
from Brahmananda Maharaja, I have no objection, but it is the etiquette
that in the presence of one's Spiritual Master, one does not accept
disciples. In this connection, Swami Brahmananda may write me and I
will instruct him." Again, the indication is that Srila Prabhupada
expected his disciples to become gurus who would initiate their own
disciples, but he also expected them to observe the etiquette of
waiting until after his departure.
Prabhupada never instructed Brahmananda to become diksa guru on
departure, he did not even approve him to be a ritvik. It
belief that the author should try to use letters concerning
UNAUTHORISED diksa behaviour as generally applicable and
the entire institution in the matter of AUTHORISED diksa
deal with this type of evidence in detail in 'Best not to Accept Any
Disciples', and 'GBC
Fail to Answer The Final Order'.
Prabhupada said the same thing on May 28, 1977. At this time, most of
the GBC had assembled in Vrindavan to be with Srila Prabhupada during
his final days. At this time, he invited the GBC members to ask him any
questions they might have about how the movement was to go on after his
members met among themselves, and drew up a list of questions they
would put to Srila Prabhupada. This list of questions can be found in
the official GBC minutes book. Among the questions was how initiations
would go on after Srila Prabhupada's departure. Srila Prabhupada said
the same thing he had always said in regard to this subject. He
expected that his disciples would become gurus and that they would
initiate their own disciples. He said they would be "regular gurus." He
said that their disciples would be "my grand disciple." He also said
that they would be "disciple of my disciple."
knowledge filtration system has obviously made him forget the actual
answer Srila Prabhupada gave to Satsvarupa Maharaja's first clear
question. 'Grandisciples' and 'disciple of my disciple' are phrases
which occur later in the conversation segment and were juxtaposed to
the phrases 'on my order' 'when I order' and 'but by my order'. Thus guruship, of whatever kind, requires authorisation. The only entities
Srila Prabhupada actually elected to authorise were ritviks,
also repeated his statements that they should be qualified and that the
etiquette was that they should not initiate while he was still present.
The conversation was tape recorded. Although there are some breaks in
the tape, the section about initiations is without any breaks, as
admitted by the experts who examined the tape.
This is a
misrepresentation of the truth. Mr. Pearle, the GBC's tape expert, has
not cleared any part of this tape. His recommendation was that a full
forensic analysis should be performed since his preliminary
investigation threw up problems. Why can the author not stick to the
facts as they are?
that Prabhupada gave to the question of how initiations would go on
after his departure is also recorded in the official GBC minutes book.
Here is what is said in the document:
the GBC records:
"Resolved: The following questions will be taken to Srila Prabhupada
for his answers. They will be presented by a committee of Tamal Krishna
Goswami, Satsvarupa Goswami, Jagadisha, Rupanuga, Bhagavan,
Kirtanananda Swami, Bali Mardan.
1) How long should GBC members remain in office?
2) How can GBC members who leave be replace?
3) In the absence of Srila Prabhupada
what is the procedure for first, second and sannyasa initiations?
4) What is the relationship of the
person who gives this initiation to the person he gives it to?
As we have
pointed out in previous papers, the very existence of these last two
questions strongly indicates that the GBC were expecting something
other than just straight forward diksa gurus. This shows the
contention, that Srila Prabhupada had always consistently taught for
many years that he had authorised diksa gurus, cannot be true.
Otherwise why ask the above questions?
there any provision for publication of other translations of Vaisnava
scriptures by the BBT, after the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada?
For the purpose of recording information, Srila Prabhupada's answers to
the above questions are given as follows:
1) GBC members shall remain permanently. If a member leaves, the GBC
can appoint new members.
2) Srila Prabhupada said he will appoint several devotees who shall
perform initiation in the future, even after his disappearance. The
disciples they accept shall be their disciples and Srila Prabhupada
will be their grand spiritual master.
minute has since been rejected as inaccurate by the entire GBC since it
presents the old zonal acarya idea of appointed gurus, an idea
the author himself has rejected, (it also bares no resemblance to the
taped conversation since there is no mention that diksa gurus
need to be specifically ordered before they could act as such- 'on my
How strange the
author should quote minutes which directly inspired a system everyone,
including himself, have rejected many years ago. We have already
pointed this out to Hari Sauri prabhu in the papers 'Hari
Sauri's Minutes Turn Back the Clock' and 'Time
Out for Hari Sauri's Minutes'. The author really should keep
up to date with the debate before just launching in or he will be in
danger of making a fool of himself.
translations of Vedic works can be published in the future, even after
Srila Prabhupada's departure, but they can only be done by someone who
is very expert. At present, Srila Prabhupada acknowledged, there are
very few such men."
The May 28 conversation was the last time that Srila Prabhupada,
directly and in his own words, gave any instruction about how
initiations were to go on after his departure.
Then we must
follow the ritvik system since that was his answer for what was
done 'particularly' when he was no longer with us. Of course the author
is also forgetting the final order which was directly approved by Srila
is there, where he talks about "regular guru," "disciple of my
disciple," "my grand disciple," etc.
'On my order'
'when I order' 'but by my order'. Where and when was this order ever
summary of the answer given by Prabhupada to the direct question that
was put to him in recorded in the official GBC minute book. There were
22 members of the GBC present in Vrindavan for this important meeting
with Srila Prabhupada, and all their names are on the original document.
which led directly to ten years of deviation (at least). If he accepts
the minutes as one hundred percent accurate he will have to accept that
Srila Prabhupada really did select the famous eleven to be diksa
But then he will have a few more questions to answer:
_ The only
function assigned to these eleven was to act as ritviks only.
place they are named is the July 9th letter which says nothing about
their function ever changing. What then is the author's evidence
supporting modifications A & B?
_ How is the
selection of officiating priests the confirmation of everything Srila
Prabhupada had ever taught about disciplic succession?
_ How does the
author reconcile his insistence that everyone is authorised to initiate
directly after departure, with these minutes which clearly say: 'Srila
Prabhupada said he will appoint several devotees who shall
perform initiation in the future, even after his disappearance...' ?
_ Why only
eleven, and why do they have to be specially selected prior to
departure if everyone is automatically authorised one minute after?
_ Where did
Srila Prabhupada consistently teach that only eleven zonal gurus would
_ Where did he
teach that the standard system of disciplic succession is for the guru
to personally select eleven men who would initially act only as ritviks?
_ Why was this
eleven man guru system disbanded if it was Srila Prabhupada's direct
If we want to talk about a
final order, this was it.
The author should invest in a
fully authorised BBT calendar. If he studies it very carefully he will
find July comes after May, not before.
At no point after this did
Srila Prabhupada directly say anything, either in a recorded
conversation or in a letter, in his own words, about how initiations
were to go on after his departure.
Here we go again, back to
casting groundless aspersions on a document he himself admits was
approved by Srila Prabhupada. Also, on what basis does the author gain
the impression that the departure of his spiritual master inhibits his
ability to initiate.
The July 9 letter is not
Prabhupada's direct words.
The author's dishonesty here is
staggering, since he has already accepted that this is not relevant to
the validity of the instruction if it is directly approved by Srila
And furthermore this
letter says nothing directly about Prabhupada's departure and how
initiations were to go on after his departure. The rtvik
tried to interpret it that way, but there is no direct language in the
letter that speaks to the question of how initiations were to go on
after Prabhupada's departure.
We place no interpretation at
all on the letter. If it does not tell us to stop the ritvik
departure, then we refuse to allow it to be stopped.
So, it can be clearly be
seen, that from the time he began the Krishna consciousness movement
until the time of his departure, Srila Prabhupada consistently said the
same thing every time the topic of his disciples becoming gurus came up.
As we have shown, this is
nothing but a lie.
He said he expected them
to become gurus who would initiate their own disciples, but they should
wait until after his departure (because this was the etiquette) and
they should be qualified (simply by following his instructions - it was
easy, simple, he often said) and stay qualified. Srila Prabhupada said
this to a scholar, knowing his answer would be taken as authoritative.
He said it to all his assembled leaders in Mayapur in April 1975. He
said it to individual disciples. He said it to the entire GBC during
his last days. Every single time Srila Prabhupada ever talked about
this issue, he always said the exact same thing.
Then why is it the GBC felt
compelled to ask questions
3 and 4
above? As we have shown the above assertion is a lie.
So let us stick to the
direct words of Srila Prabhupada, where he directly talks about his
departure and what he expected to happen after his departure regarding
initiations. Don't be fooled by Krishna Kant Desai's fancy word
jugglery, in which he takes a letter that doesn't contain Prabhupada's
direct words, a letter that does not even mention Prabhupada's
departure and what was to happen thereafter regarding initiations, and
tries by some verbal hocus pocus to convert it into some imaginary
final order saying the exact opposite of what Srila Prabhupada himself
always said on this topic.
The letter was directly
approved by Srila Prabhupada, as was earlier admitted by the author.
_ The reason departure is not
mentioned is in itself proof that there is no evidence for
'Modification A' in the letter. So why was the ritvik system
And if there is no evidence to stop it then it must be continued.
_ The letter also does not state it is to
continue past July 10th yet the author has not objected to its operation
on that date. Why not?
_ Our claim that the July 9th
letter is Srila Prabhupada's final order on how he wanted initiations
to run within ISKCON is based on the fact that there were no other such
directives issued subsequent to that date. This is historical fact and
requires no word jugglery or hocus pocus.
I call upon the GBC to:
1. Make it clear that rtvik is absolutely not going to be part
reform agenda in ISKCON.
2. Immediately discipline or remove any ISKCON officer or sannyasi who
advocates or supports rtvik in violation of the 1990 GBC
3. Begin an intense campaign to educate and inform ISKCON's members and
congregation that the rtvik idea and its supporters are not
ISKCON. They are a splinter group that has violated the direct
instructions of Srila Prabhupada regarding the continuation of the
4. Refuse to participate in any discussions or negotiations with rtvik
advocates about the possibility of rtvikism being instituted in
Discussions should only concern how ISKCON and the rtvik
are going to relate to each other.
We strongly urge the GBC to
reprimand the author for the following reasons:
- He has directly
an official GBC paper, namely DOMD, by stating that the July 9th letter
arose 'simply' from the July 7th garden
conversation, whereas the GBC's previously held position is that the
letter is directly linked to the May 28th
conversation and indeed is a follow up to that meeting.
is proposing forms of worship and guru tattva which run totally
counter, not only to Vaisnava philosophy, but also the GBC published
handbook 'Gurus and Initiation in ISKCON' wherein disciples are
expected to offer daily guru puja and worship their guru as though he
were as good as God.
is preaching that the GBC minutes of the May 28th meeting gives an
entirely accurate picture of what was said; whereas the GBC have
rejected the idea that Srila Prabhupada ever appointed eleven gurus who
would initiate after his departure. (Someone needs to speak to Hari
Sauri too about this).
has displayed gross disregard for his fellow Vaisnavas by saying that
he would be quite happy if the movement is reduced to only one hundred
people who share his deviant views.
has impudently implied that Srila Prabhupada signed important documents
without first reading them.
has stated that ISKCON gurus:
- cannot be trusted with money,
- are not aware that they are
only lowly servants,
- are only to be viewed as
madhyama, even though the nectar of instruction clearly says that such
persons can only offer 'insufficient guidance', and that
disciples of such gurus 'cannot advance very well towards the
ultimate goal of life.' (The Nectar of Instruction, text 5,
- are sitting on vyasasans
which are larger than their disciples, even though Srila Prabhupada
himself did the same thing.
In light of the above we
strongly recommend that the author be encouraged to re-acquaint himself
with Srila Prabhupada's teachings and to carefully study 'The Final
Order' so he may understand more clearly Srila Prabhupada's
instructions for initiation within ISKCON.
This concludes our examination
of Drutakama prabhu's papers. Since he did not mince his words in his
onslaught on Srila Prabhupada's instructions, we chose not to either.
Please forgive any undue offence.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.