By Krishnakant

1999 - Tucked away in this year's GBC resolutions are all the ingredients needed for their inevitable future endorsement of the ritvik system. Obviously the spiritually surcharged atmosphere of Sri Mayapur Dham had its effect, even against the collective conscious will of ISKCON's highest ecclesiastical body. These are the resolutions they passed:

"A siksa guru who gives the student formal initiation is called a diksa guru. [...] This pure transcendental knowledge, delivered without alteration, uplifts the conditioned souls to the platform of devotional service and cleanses sinful desires from their hearts. Such uplifting knowledge is called divya jnana, and its transmission is called siksa. This divya jnana is the principle active ingredient of diksa."
404 [ Vision and Goal] Definitions of Guru and Divya Jnana (1999 GBC Resolutions)
" ISKCON's founder-acarya, Srila Prabhupada, is the preeminent and compulsory siksa-guru for all vaisnavas (gurus and disciples) in the Society, who may directly receive empowerment from him through allegiance to his teachings. [...] and those vaisnavas who elevate one to transcendence by their teachings are also siksa guru.
[...] Because the transcendental knowledge which originates from Sri Krsna comes to a devotee through his siksa gurus, he deeply reveres them as confidential servants of Krsna (and worships them according to their station)."
409. [Vision and Goal] Principles concerning various kinds of gurus (1999, GBC Resolutions)

Prior to the above the GBC had already agreed that:

"b. Srila Prabhupada's instructions are the essential teachings for every ISKCON devotee." 
(Resolution 35, Founder-Acarya Statement, 1994)

From the above statements we see the GBC fully accept, and have openly admitted the following:

  1. That Srila Prabhupada is everyone's pre-eminent compulsory siksa guru.
  2. That the siksa he gives is the essential siksa for every ISKCON devotee.
  3. That everyone in ISKCON gets empowered by receiving such siksa from Srila
    Prabhupada directly
  4. That a siksa guru may give transcendental knowledge that elevates one to
  5. That transcendental knowledge which uplifts the conditioned souls is called Divya-Jnana
  6. That this divya-jnana is transmitted via siksa.
  7. That this Divya-Jnana is the principle active ingredient of diksa.
  8. That if the siksa guru gives 'formal' initiation, then he is the diksa guru.

This raises the following questions:

(1) Is Srila Prabhupada giving divya jnana to everyone in ISKCON?
(2) Is someone who transmits 'divya-jnana' transmitting diksa?
(3) Is the person who transmits 'divya-jnana' the diksa guru?
(4) Can Srila Prabhupada give us 'formal initiation'?

At this point any neutral person reading this can note the following:

If we can answer 'YES' to these question, then Srila Prabhupada is still factually ISKCON's diksa Guru.

Further, if we can answer these questions using statements from the GBC, then the case for Srila Prabhupada being our Diksa Guru, must be accepted by the GBC.

Let's see how we do.


'Is Srila Prabhupada giving divya-jnana to everyone in ISKCON?'

By GBC statements (a), (d) and (f), we know that the above is at least possible- since divya jnana is transmitted via siksa (statement f), and Srila Prabhupada is everyone's compulsory siksa guru (statement a), and the siksa guru may give elevatory transcendental knowledge (statement d), which is the definition of divya-jnana (statement e).

Having seen that the above is at least possible in theory, we now need to examine the siksa given by Srila Prabhupada. If it is of an 'elevatory transcendental' quality, we know there is a match with the siksa required to transmit divya-jnana. By statement (b) it would seem that this is indeed the siksa given by Srila Prabhupada, since the siksa he gives is 'essential', and is also the same 'essential' siksa being received by all members of ISKCON, including all those who are his diksa disciples. The only way this would not be so is if the 'essential siksa' given by Srila Prabhupada does not constitute 'transcendental knowledge that uplifts conditioned souls'.

(As well as being absurd, such an objection would play into the hands of the certain Gaudiya Vaisnavas outside ISKCON, who preach that even the Srila Prabhupada disciples must go outside ISKCON to make real transcendental progress and receive 'higher knowledge'.)

The only other objection would be that the 'essential siksa' from Srila Prabhupada, though given by Srila Prabhupada to every ISKCON devotee, has an inbuilt mechanism, that allows it to lose its potency to be 'uplifting transcendental knowledge', unless the recipients underwent a formal initiation ceremony before November 14th, 1977. In effect Srila Prabhupada's books, tapes etc., would all be embedded with a magic switch, that would mystically detect the initiation status and the time when the initiation ceremony took place, of those receiving this siksa, and automatically 'switch off' its transcendental potency to those not formally initiated before November 14th, 1977. For ease we can refer to this as the 'Diksa Access Discrimination System' (D.A.D.S.). However since the GBC have NOT to date stated (as far as we are aware) that such a D.A.D.S. mechanism is in place when the siksa just happens to be from Srila Prabhupada, or indeed for any siksa received, this objection can be rejected.

Further the lack of D.A.D.S. mechanism in the GBC's siddhanta should only be expected, since by statement (c) they have already in any case admitted that the transcendental siksa from Srila Prabhupada is received and empowers every devotee in ISKCON directly.

Thus by the GBC statements alone we can answer yes, to the above question
- Srila Prabhupada is giving divya-jnana to everyone in ISKCON.


'Is transmission of Divya-Jnana transmitting Diksa?'

By GBC statement (g), divya-Jnana is the 'principle active ingredient' of diksa. By simple definition it is hard to see how one could be receiving the 'principle active ingredient' of diksa but not be receiving diksa. To get around this the GBC would in effect have to insert another clause like the D.A.D.S. clause mentioned above, which re-defined Diksa so that the 'principle active ingredient of diksa' would NOT be enough to constitute diksa, unless say something else, like 'formal initiation', had also been received from Srila Prabhupada. This would be a -'Divya-jnana isn't Diksa System' clause (D.I.D.S.). This D.I.D.S. clause would be different to the D.A.D.S. clause in that the D.A.D.S. clause actually stops those who have not received a formal initiation pre-77 from receiving divya-jnana. Here what is being said is that without the 'formal initiation', the divya-jnana is still received, but is not enough to constitute diksa - i.e. we have 'diksa-less divya-jnana'. We have already noted how such a proposition just by definition would be absurd, since the 'principle active ingredient' of diksa would be what constituted Diksa. However we will now go a step further and show that even from Srila Prabhupada's teachings, there is no support for the idea of 'diksa-less divya-jnana' - but rather Srila Prabhupada teaches that Diksa IS defined primarily in terms of the transcendental knowledge received.


"In other words, the spiritual master awakens the sleeping living entity to his original consciousness so that he can worship Lord Visnu. This is the purpose of diksa, or initiation. Initiation means receiving the pure knowledge of spiritual consciousness." 
(C.c. Madhya, 9.61, purport)

"Diksa actually means initiating a disciple with transcendental knowledge by which he becomes freed from all material contamination."
(C.c. Madhya, 4.111, purport)

"Diksa is the process by which one can awaken his transcendental knowledge and vanquish all reactions caused by sinful activity. A person expert in the study of the revealed scriptures knows this process as diksa."
(C.c. Madhya, 15.108, purport)

Thus again by the GBC statements alone we can answer yes, to the above question - the transmission of divya-jnana would constitute the transmission of diksa.


Is the person responsible for the transmission of Divya-Jnana the Diksa-Guru?

Due to the lack of either a D.A.D.S. or D.I.D.S. clause, we are left with the fact that the person who is responsible for transmitting the 'principle active ingredient of diksa' is transmitting diksa. And the person who is responsible for giving us diksa, must be the diksa guru. And that person is Srila Prabhupada. Indeed it would be hard to conjure up a situation whereby someone is responsible for delivering diksa to us, and is not the diksa guru.

It may be argued that Srila Prabhupada is not the only one who gives us transcendental knowledge. That many others also participate in this process. But since it is admitted by the GBC that the 'essential, pre-eminent' siksa comes from Srila Prabhupada (statement b), and that only one Diksa Guru is permitted (C. C. Adi 1:35), then obviously out of all these personalities, that person who is most responsible for transmitting the 'principle active ingredient' of diksa', must be the Diksa Guru. It would not make sense to exclude the person who is most (pre-eminent) responsible, in favour of one who only plays a more minor part.

Thus again by GBC statements, we can answer yes to the above question, and he who transmits the divya-jnana for everyone in ISKCON for as long as ISKCON exists, is the diksa guru, and that that person can only be Srila Prabhupada.


Can Srila Prabhupada Give us 'Formal Initiation'?

The GBC thought that they would have covered themselves from the above possibilities arising by stating clearly that the diksa guru is he who 'gives formal initiation'. However as we have seen, that does not help them unless they also insert a D.A.D.S. or D.I.D.S. clause so that they can make sure that those who are were not formally initiated pre-77, are NOT receiving the 'principle active ingredient of diksa', and hence diksa.

In any case even if a D.A.D.S. or D.I.D.S. clause was invented by the GBC it would not matter, since the 'formal initiation' is not even essential for Diksa:

"So anyway, from 1922 to 1933 practically I was not initiated, but I got the impression of preaching Caitanya Mahaprabhu's cult. That I was thinking. And that was the initiation by my Guru Maharaja."
(SP Lecture, 10/12/76, Hyderabad)

"Initiation is a formality. If you are serious, that is real initiation. My touch is simply a formality. It is your determination, that is initiation."
(BTG, Search for the Divine)

"...disciplic succession does not always mean that one has to be initiated officially. Disciplic succession means to accept the disciplic conclusion."
(SP Letter to Dinesh, 31/10/69)

"The chanting of Hare Krsna is our main business, that is real initiation. And as you are all following my instruction, in that matter, the initiator is already there."
(SP Letter to Tamal Krsna, 19/8/68)

"Well, initiation or no initiation, first thing is knowledge... knowledge. Initiation is formality. Just like you go to a school for knowledge, and admission is formality. That is not very important thing."
(SP Interview, 16/10/76, Chandigarh)

The physical components of a formal initiation ceremony, do not require Srila Prabhupada's physical involvement - as demonstrated by the July 9th directive. Thus at least in theory there is no physical bar to Srila Prabhupada giving 'formal initiation', and thus there is no reason why he still can not do so even now, especially since he had already empowered others to perform aspects of 'formal initiation' - including the acceptance of disciples. Thus the GBC are trapped, in that having admitted that the principle active ingredient of diksa is transmitted by Srila Prabhupada, they have eliminated one of the main arguments usually given for needing a 'physical guru' - the need for knowledge via 'personal' enquiry etc. That only leaves them with the least 'physically intensive' aspects - ceremonial rituals and acceptance - neither of which require the physical presence of the Guru, and indeed Srila Prabhupada ceased his involvement with these when he set up a system requiring from him absolutely no physical ceremonial input.

  1. Thus to use 'formal initiation' as the obstacle to Srila Prabhupada giving diksa would be the worst possible reason the GBC could choose, since: The 'principle active ingredient' of diksa is already taken care of.
  2. The 'formal initiation' is not in any case necessary for diksa.
  3. The 'formal initiation' does not require Srila Prabhupada's physical presence, and indeed was the one thing for which he set up a formal process to allow it to continue without his involvement.


It should be noted that even if the GBC were able to wangle out of their own resolutions above so as to still deny Srila Prabhupada's diksa guru status for ISKCON, still the content of the resolutions alone, are definitely not a million miles away from the IRM position - compare for instance the GBC resolutions above with the GBC Guru Tattva of 1978, when they established the 11 zonal acharyas. This then presents us with the following dilemma:

A clear example of this paradoxical madness of coming close to or accepting our position but at the same time increasing the rhetoric against the IRM, is exhibited by His Grace Ajamila Dasa Adhikari, one of the GBC's most fervent supporters and also the most vocal angry and aggressive 'anti-ritvik'. He stated the following recently:

"True, Srila Prabhupada's books will impart divya jnana for the next 10,000 years and in that way Srila Prabhupada will be the predominent siksha guru for all ISKCON Vaisnavas."
(Ajamila Das, Com text 2293998, 6th May)

"From the absolute perspective physical contact is not required, we need only to "follow the process" to get back to Godhead. Diksa initiation formalises our connection with the parampara. But that formality alone will not get us back to Godhead. Only by following the process of chanting Hare Krishna offenselessly will one get back to Godhead."
(His Grace Ajamila Dasa Adhikari, 22/5/99, Text COM:2336806)

Please note here how he states that 'physicality' is not necessary for going back to godhead, and the Diksa initiation ceremony is only a 'formality'. Please compare these statements with the quotes given above about diksa and initiation, quoted from 'The Final Order', and again you will see how His Grace Ajamila prabhu is not a million miles from the IRM position. Very close infact. And yet Ajamila prabhu is the person who has been selected to represent the GBC on the upcoming CHAKRA debate 'against' the 'ritviks' (and is also a co-author of 'Prabhupada's Order', touted as the 'definitive anti-ritvik' GBC paper), and also has said that "the personality of kali has personally occupied the body of Adridharan Dasa, and is speaking through him!"

Such confusion and madness, of almost agreeing with someone and at the same time demonising them as much as possible, is only to be expected from having continually disobeyed the order of Srila Prabhupada, even if by their own words it would seem that they should have been following Srila Prabhupada's order.

Thus in summary:

GBC ki jai! Srila Prabhupada ki jai!

[Please note that the above is the conclusion of accepting the GBC's own resolutions, and what follows from accepting their resolution. The paper above is not an exposition of the IRM position - but simply pointing out that the conclusion of what the GBC are saying here would lead to the same conclusion as the IRM - that Srila Prabhupada is the diksa guru for everyone in ISKCON, for the duration of ISKCON.]