Further Clarification for Niscala dd

by Krishnakant

In her recent article EDITORIAL, Feb 2 (VNN) Niscala claims the following: 

“ - Adri has recently claimed, publicly, that Kundali was lying about being off-line…”

 This is completely untrue. If Niscala prabhu carefully re-reads the item she will not find such a statement; neither did Kundali himself think we were saying this (he had his own entirely different spin which we also had to correct). Please read ‘Kundali Gives Up’ for further clarification. Niscala also seems to have completely misunderstood another point where she says:

“I was thinking about this thing that Rupa Goswami never used magnetic tape, initiated women, etc....

  1. magnetic tape- did Rupa Goswami in the 1500's even have access to magnetic tapes? Why bring it up then? (He did mention yukta-vairagya though).

Let us explain again in more detail the point we are making. Kundali rejects the continued application of the ritvik system within ISKCON because he says such a system is not directly mentioned by Srila Rupa Goswami. Following that line of argument we point to numerous other things not mentioned by Srila Rupa Goswami but which were nevertheless utilised or practised by Srila Prabhupada, including using magnetic tape to give the gayatri mantra (traditionally it would be chanted directly by the guru into the ear of the disciple). If something is bogus just because it is not mentioned  by Srila Rupa Goswami, then obviously Kundali would have to reject many of the things Srila Prabhupada did. Many Vrindavan babajis reject Srila Prabhupada completely because of things like this. Yet Kundali does not reject Srila Prabhupada, or these practises not mentioned by Srila Rupa Goswami. This appears to be operating an unauthorised double standard. That is why we asked him to kindly explain what criteria he uses to determine which instructions not mentioned by Srila Rupa Goswami and practised by Srila Prabhupada we can follow, and which we cannot. If you read his reply he says that he would only reveal the answer to this question to his ‘most sincere friend’. Maybe you fall into that category, and have been satifsied by his revelations. Unfortunately we are not amongst his chosen few. 
The counter argument that these changes we bring up are only details, not fundamental principals, is easily answered. It was answered long ago in ‘The Final Order’ pages 27-29. We even did a chart to illustrate this very point. Niscala prabhu answers the point herself:  

“The guru changes details according to the circumstance he is in, in order to support the principles.”  

We completely agree with Niscala in her statement above. We may not yet be her ‘most sincere friend’, but would she nevertheless be kind enough to tell us which ‘principal’ of sastra the ritvik system violates? She writes:  

“How is not allowing any more diksa gurus after himself only a detail???”  

The above is a straw man argument. We never assert this. Srila Prabhupada shall only remain the current link for the duration of ISKCON, since that is the only environment in which the July 9th directive has relevance. Niscala writes:  

“1. Srila Prabhupada never said that, he said that up until his departure, it is not the etiquette for the disciple to initiate. Other places, many times, he said that whoever is following properly and who knows the science of Krsna, can be spiritual master and initiate. This is supported by sastra.”  

Part of that ‘science’ is that before one initiates one must be authorised by the predecessor acarya. The ‘etiquette’ above seems to have only been used by Srila Prabhupada to deal with ambitious disciples, it is not mentioned in his books. It cannot be a principal since Srila Bhaktisiddhanta broke it. Niscala writes: 

“2. As for that conversation in May '77, and the "final order" letter: - in the conversation, it is not clear what Srila Prabhupada is intending for after his departure: - first he says- initiation by ritvik - then he says- "disciple of my disciple", which indicates, initiations, other than by him.”  

The phrase ‘disciple of my disciple’ is prefaced by the condition ‘when I order’, not ‘when I depart’. So all we are left with is a definite plan to appoint ritviks, and a general statement that gurus will only arise when he orders. If he did order them then could we now see that order? We have only seen the order for ritviks. Niscala writes:

“So, in a word, it is ambiguous, as conversations often are, many years later, in contrast to books, which are carefully prepared.”  

If you want to argue that the conversation is ambiguous that is fine by us. That just leaves us with the final order about which Niscala writes:  

“And the "final order" letter can also be taken either way: - for all time, ritvik initiations, or - just until his departure. The time frame is simply not specific.”  

Since the time frame is not specific, then on what basis was it stopped on November 14th 1977? Niscala writes:

“Now, with this, as with the conversation, consider which supports Srila Prabhupada's general instructions to us, regarding the process of accepting a spiritual master (which is undoubtedly a PRINCIPLE of Krsna Consciousness, and therefore not able to be subjected to change), i.e. submissively inquiring, having doubts removed, developing faith in the person, and when faith is firm, accepting from him, diksa?”  

 All the above are present within the ritvik system, so what is the problem. Could Niscala please tell us which element of the above is not still possible with Srila Prabhupada as the guru? She writes:  

“It is possible to have one's doubts removed from a book, but often, when reading Srila Prabhupada's books, doubts or questions or misunderstandings arise, and it is the guru's duty to clear them. That is why there is necessity of living guru, because doubts are unique to the individual, to his set of circumstances and to his mind.”  

Srila Prabhupada is a ‘living guru’. Does Niscala think he is dead? If she means physically present, then she should read the appendices to ‘The Final Order’ where there are dozens of quotes from Srila Prabhupada saying the opposite. The facility to ask someone questions is also there, we must all become guru in an instructing sense so we can help point people in the right direction when the have a query. But the advice we give is always based solely on the teachings of our diksa guru, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. So would Niscala prabhu please provide the following information.  

  1.       What is the criteria for determining which instructions issued by Srila Prabhupada and not mentioned by Srila Rupa Goswami we can follow, and which we cannot?

  2.       If she wants to argue that ritvik violates a ‘principal’, could she please tell us what precisely that principal is, and where it is mentioned?