Drutakarma Caught in Knowledge Filter

by Krishnakant

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 voice we 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 them.

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 ignores 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)

by Drutakarma Dasa

t is true that many of Srila Prabhupada's statements about becoming guru refer to becoming siksa guru, in the sense of preacher or teacher. But 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', we would 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, not authorise them.

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 acting within ISKCON at any time in the future? We have never seen such evidence. If such evidence exists then the whole controversy could be resolved over-night.

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 never 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, and another party left and set up their own individual organizations, each with its own acarya. Srila Prabhupada said both parties were condemned. 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 him to 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 this?

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 Prabhupada?

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' sets 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 heresy, 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 only.

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. 

Prabhupada: So Advaita Acarya is the typical example how to become acarya. All are our acaryas, sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda, sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda. 
All of them are acaryas because they are following the acarya, supreme acarya, Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore they are acarya
Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh. So we have to follow the acarya. Then, when we are completely, cent per 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 orders 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 people 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 mam 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 become very faithful servant of your acarya, follow strictly what he says. Try 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, sasti-tat-purusa-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.
Devotees: Jaya!
Prabhupada: So there will be no scarcity of acarya, and people will understand Krishna consciousness very easily. So make that organization. Dont be falsely puffed up. Follow the acaryas instruction and try to make yourself perfect, mature.

What can we extract from this important record:

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, and this 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: 

"Don't 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 diksa, we cannot immediately assume we are all authorised to be diksa gurus. 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-
"Follow the acaryas instruction...". 
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 everyone's time.

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.

2. One should become qualifed before becoming acarya. One becomes qualified by following the previous acaryas. Then one is qualified to initiate.

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.

In the beginning, Srila Prabhupada says that in order to become an acarya (in 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, Srila 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 the purports following the 'amara' verse and all will be revealed. Remember it's 'best not to accept any disciples'.

3. One should not accept disciples, however, until one's own spiritual master departs.
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 which 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 'following strictly'?

What relevance to this issue is a law preventing diksa guruship while the acarya is present, when what we are looking to the author for is evidence preventing ritviks from initiating on his behalf once he leaves?

The author's knowledge filter unfortunately prevents him from understanding such basic points.

Before that, even if one is qualified as acarya, one should take disciples to 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 was 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 diksa.

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 have any such evidence outlining the current or any future Guru system proposed by the GBC?

There are 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 rtvik heresy.

The author has still to prove his contention that ritvik past departure is a heresy.

Two wrongs don't make a right. ISKCON members now have several responsibilities. The first is to absolutely reject the rtvik heresy. The second is that 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 heresy in Prabhupada's direct words.

Srila 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.

If the 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.

Any 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 insure that there is no scope for the promotion of the rtvik heresy on any ISKCON property or among ISKCON's membership. I also propose that for the next year, the rejection of the rtvik heresy should be the major 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 should be 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.

Absolutely rejecting the rtvik heresy and imposing sanctions on those who try to 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 and for all.

Drutakarma Dasa

The above 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 all and re-establish the ritvik system as soon as possible.

According to 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
Rtvik Heresy (No. 2)

ISKCON needs to institute a thorough program of rtvik cleansing. This heresy has no place in ISKCON, and I find it especially offensive to Srila Prabhupada that the rtvik supporters want to make him the author of their private fantasy.

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: (1) he 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 accusations.

(2) He 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 Prabhupada.

The author 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?

The best 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. It goes no further than that.

The one simple answer to anything that a rtvik fantasizer says is this:

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 Prabhupada's departure.

The rtvik heretic will undoubtedly say something in response. But 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 departure.

On meeting someone with the author's deviant mind-set one need simply state :

You can speculate that the order was meant to cease on departure, but where does Srila Prabhupada state that in the order, or anywhere else for that matter?

Of course, you can expect from an advocate of the rtvik fantasy another barrage of 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 :

You may 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 yourself admit, it says nothing at all about departure?

One does not have to go beyond this.

Quite so.

And one 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 the July 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 point.

Anyone who sticks to the point that we can arbitrarily terminate orders issued directly by our founder acarya, without a scrap of supporting evidence, should best be avoided.

If one 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 planet?

I suppose 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'.

Srila 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.

Don't be 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.

Krishna Kant 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.

Anyways, 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

Note: 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: Now this 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.
Prabhupada: Yes, it is, this movement is started from Krishna.
Mohsin Hassan: Yes.
Prabhupada: Then, from Krishna, Narada. From Narada, Vyasadeva. From Vyasadeva to Madhvacarya, from Madhvacarya to 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.
Mohsin Hassan: Yeah, the tenth. After you, is it any decision has been made who will take over?
Prabhupada: 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.
Mohsin Hassan: How many swamis do you initiated, American? Im speaking just on...
Prabhupada: About ten.
Mohsin Hassan: You have ten swamis. And outside of swamis, what's the lower...
Prabhupada: Now, they're competent. They can, not only the swamis, even the grhasthas, they are called dasa adhikari, and brahmacaris, everyone can, whoever is initiated, he is competent to make disciples. But as a matter of etiquette they do not do so in the presence of their spiritual master. This is the etiquette. Otherwise, they are competent. They can make disciples and spread. 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.

So here 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.

This is 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.

As a 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 same thing.

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:  

Reporter: Are you training a successor?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, my Guru Maharaja is there.
(SP Press conference, 16/7/75)
Reporter: what will happen to the movement in the United States when you die?  
Srila Prabhupada:  I will never die.  
Devotees: Jaya! Haribol! (laughter)  
Srila Prabhupada: I will live from my books and you will utilise.
(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.

Krishna 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 his departure.

The author has carefully selected evidence which appears to support his contrived M.A.S.S. (multiple acarya successor system), whilst casting aside other 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:

"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"

Drutakarma 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 in context.

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.

The above 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.

The author 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:

  1. Srila Prabhupada made important institutional arrangements within ISKCON via conversations with one-off visitors to the temple.
  2. Srila Prabhupada never ordered the tapes of such 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 signing it? What is this nonsense?

So, don't enter into the rtvik fantasy land. Stick to Prabhupada's direct words, in which he directly states his intentions for the continuation of the disciplic succession. And let's get on with the task of rtvik cleansing in ISKCON. The first step should be the removal of any ISKCON authority who promotes or otherwise encourages the rtvik heresy. If anyone wishes 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.

Lord Krishna will be showing the author the door if he carries on lambasting his spiritual master's order. We are not going anywhere buddy.

Meanwhile, every ISKCON brahmana and sannyasi should take advantage of every possible opportunity to confront and expose the rtvik heresy for what 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 system, beyond Srila Prabhupada's physical departure, would constitute a philosophical heresy.

Srila 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 areas and 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 could start by issuing a point for point rebuttal of 'The Final Order' which:

  1. actually quotes and deals with all the points made in 'The Final Order', rather than invented straw-man arguments,
  2. remains in harmony with all GBC papers which are current siddhanta, since we are not interested in dealing with lone mavericks.

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.

 Thoughts on
the Rtvik Heresy (3)

from Drutakarma Dasa

Before 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.

Srila 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 gurus 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 disciples'.

Srila 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.

The basic 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.

This is 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, and in the process corrupt and pollute Bhagavat philosophy.

Srila 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 gurus.

The initiating 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?
Sannyasis, 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, which 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 the matter.

The rtvik 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 therefore urge followers of Srila Prabhupada not to join organizations or attend meetings that have a rtvik focus or agenda. I also urge the GBC to 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 be gladly welcomed and encouraged to participate fully in the reform deliberations.

In other words only devotees who agree not to follow Srila Prabhupada's final order should be allowed to concoct the next bogus deviation.

I have 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.

This 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 happen afterwards.
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.

Certainly we must all become gurus or acarya, no-one disputes that. However the 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 gurus 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 he was 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 speculation.

In my 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.

Perhaps the author should track down Mohsin Hassan's thesis in order to ensure that his next guru system properly follows Srila Prabhupada's authoritative directives.

In this 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 imaginable.

So let's look at one of those letters:

New 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 much.

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

So in this letter to Tusta Krishna Swami, Srila Prabhupada says exactly what he said to the scholar in Detroit in 1971.

Again this is a factual inaccuracy, for instance there is no mention above of doing things like his Godbrothers.

He says 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 initiate 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 Prabhupada did not even select him to act as a ritvik.

The letter 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 his disciples.

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 it clear 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 time.

So what 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 would only faithfully follow his instructions. This is why the rtvik heresy 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 neophytes 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:

"And to become acarya is not very difficult... 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..."

But, no, Prabhupada said, "Acarya means one who knows the scriptural injunctions and follows them practically in life, and teaches them to his disciples." That is the kind of acarya he was talking about, a guru who 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 without 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 Prabhupada 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.

Srila Prabhupada did not set some unattainable standard for his disciples to follow in order to qualify themselves in his eyes as acaryas worthy to 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 of attorney.

And then Prabhupada goes on to say:

"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."

And the 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.

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?

But let's 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

Vijay 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 him.

Where does 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.

The letter 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!

... and 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 out of 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 this letter.

A truth which directly contradicts the GBC and the letter itself. Note the July 9th letter begins:

"Recently when all of the GBC members were with His Divine Grace in Vrndavan..."

Is the author now saying that all the GBC were actually present on July 7th in the garden?

Perhaps they 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.

What precisely 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?

Any time 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

from Drutakarma Dasa

(The 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.
3. Yes, 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.

4. In 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 Prabhupada?

Was he in the room hiding in the closet?

The words 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?

and the 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 own.

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?

The reason 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 Prabhupada.

6. But keep in mind, I am not trying to deny the authenticity of the letter.
Then what on earth is the author driving at?
It 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?

But what is it that Prabhupada is approving? Is it, as the rtviks say, some 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.

the simple 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.

(You only get that by interpreting some of the words in a particular way, and those words are Tamal Krishna Maharaja words and not directly Prabhupada's).

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.

You could 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.

Srila Prabhupada never said that the ritvik system was only set up to get rid of a backlog. This is never stated by Srila Prabhupada, and thus is yet another speculation by the author.

But you 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?

So what 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.

In any 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!

Departure is 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 the very 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 specifically 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 terminated.

7. The 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.

The author conveniently ignores Srila Prabhupada's answer to H.H.Satsvarupa Maharaja's question -

'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?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. I shall recommend some of you. After this is settled up I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating acaryas.
Tamal Krishna G.: Is that called ritvik acarya?
Srila Prabhupada: Ritvik. Yes.'
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.
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.

I can 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 guru.

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 nonsense.

I 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.

Are they 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.

What is the fate of disciples of such gurus? Srila Prabhupada has said that a disciple can surpass and deliver his/her siksa or diksha guru. If one takes diksha from a disciple of Prabhupada, one also becomes a diksha disciple of Prabhupada-a granddisciple.

This is complete speculative nonsense, and ignores some very serious warnings:

'Anyone, if 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)

"It is illegal to become a spiritual master if one is unable to deliver his disciple.'
(S.B. 2:8:3)

In fact, 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).

Clearly the author has found the debate difficult to follow, we advise him to carefully study the rebuttal papers on the IRM web site.

So 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 should not add or subtract anything from his teachings. He was very heavy about this. And the rtvik people have subtracted everything Prabhupada 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 also strongly disapprove of philosophical deviation, that is why we have pointed them out in the author's writings.

This is 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,
b) inventing straw man versions of our position,

c) implying that Srila Prabhupada did not really know what he was signing,

d) 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.

Unfortunately, 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.

Now if they give up that one thing-their concocted rtvik idea-then of course, 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.

The author wants the kingdom without the king.

If we 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.

Your servant,

Drutakarma Dasa

But why should bona fide diksa gurus need to be told that they are only lowly servants? 

CHAKRA 14-Oct-98

Thoughts on the
Rtvik Heresy (4)
The Real Final Order:
Same As All His Other Orders

by Drutakarma Dasa

In 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.

(2) In 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.

As mentioned earlier the word 'initiate' is never uttered in the lecture, and the 'amara' verse is quoted to qualify the type of guru being authorised.

(3) Later 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.

We have 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.

Srila Prabhupada had also written the same thing to Acyutananda Dasa and Jayagovinda Dasa in a letter dated August 21, 1968:

"The 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 with service activities stopped, and all spiritual progress choked up."

Here Srila 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.

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.

Srila Prabhupada never instructed Brahmananda to become diksa guru on his departure, he did not even approve him to be a ritvik. It beggars belief that the author should try to use letters concerning UNAUTHORISED diksa behaviour as generally applicable and relevant to the entire institution in the matter of AUTHORISED diksa behaviour. We deal with this type of evidence in detail in 'Best not to Accept Any Disciples', and 'GBC Fail to Answer The Final Order'.

Srila 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 departure. The GBC 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."

The author's 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, and of course preachers.

And he 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?

The answer 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: Here are 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 author's 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?

5) Is 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.

The above minute has since been rejected as inaccurate by the entire GBC since it presents the old zonal acarya idea of appointed gurus, an idea which the author himself has rejected, (it also bares no resemblance to the taped conversation since there is no mention that diksa gurus would need to be specifically ordered before they could act as such- 'on my order' etc).

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.

3) New 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 to be 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 Prabhupada.

The tape 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 issued?

And the 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.

A 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 gurus. But then he will have a few more questions to answer:

_ The only function assigned to these eleven was to act as ritviks only. The 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 succeed him?

_ 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 order?

etc etc.

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 Prabhupada.

And furthermore this letter says nothing directly about Prabhupada's departure and how initiations were to go on after his departure. The rtvik heretics have 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 system on 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 stopped? 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 of the 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 resolutions.

3. Begin an intense campaign to educate and inform ISKCON's members and congregation that the rtvik idea and its supporters are not part of ISKCON. They are a splinter group that has violated the direct instructions of Srila Prabhupada regarding the continuation of the disciplic succession.

4. Refuse to participate in any discussions or negotiations with rtvik advocates about the possibility of rtvikism being instituted in ISKCON. Discussions should only concern how ISKCON and the rtvik splinter group are going to relate to each other.

CHAKRA 19-Oct-98

We strongly urge the GBC to reprimand the author for the following reasons:

  1. He has directly contradicted 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.
  2. He 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.
  3. He 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).
  4. He 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.
  5. He has impudently implied that Srila Prabhupada signed important documents without first reading them.
  6. He 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, purport)
  • 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.