We continue our famous “An error in every sentence” series, where various ISKCON leaders are shown speaking so much contradictory gibberish on the issue of Guru in ISKCON, thereby making practically an “error in every sentence”. This time it’s the turn of another GBC voted-in Guru hoaxer, His Holiness Indradyumna Swami (IDS). Comments from him are taken from a lecture entitled “Attack on ISKCON” which he gave in Moscow on 28/11/98, and shall be enclosed in speech marks “ ” thus, with our comments following underneath.

“But basically, the rtvik people, there's very strong movement now going around the world. The rtvik people say that, "Srila Prabhupada is meant to be the only initiating guru in ISKCON for the next 10,000 years." … And the way that they substantiate this is, number one, by showing the falldown of a number of ISKCON gurus. This means that philosophy is cracked because so many leading gurus have fallen down, they were not qualified. And the others will fall very soon.”

Yes there is a very strong rtvik movement going around the world, which is even stronger today, headed up by the IRM.

But IDS’s claim about how we substantiate our position is a Straw man argument (meaning a false argument ascribed to an opponent to discredit him usually because what he actually says cannot be refuted).

Srila Prabhupada’s position as ISKCON’s diksa guru does not depend on his unauthorised successors falling down. Even if they did not fall Srila Prabhupada would still be ISKCON’s diksa guru by virtue of establishing himself in this position, and not authorising any successors.

“So exactly how ISKCON was  set up, and how it was to function, etc., it was all realized by Srila Prabhupada and set into motion by Srila Prabhupada. And as Srila Prabhupada is perfect, so his ideals of ISKCON, his principles of ISKCON in the way in which he asked us to execute ISKCON, are also perfect. And in the ten or twelve years that Srila Prabhupada was personally with us on this planet, with us Westerners, establishing ISKCON around the world, we could see how under his personal care and guidance it was functioning perfectly.”

And in the time that Srila Prabhupada was present, what he established for ISKCON was a system whereby most persons got initiated simply on the recommendation of the temple president, never actually meeting Srila Prabhupada either before, during or even after the initiation.

This was the standard.

And shortly before his departure, Srila Prabhupada formalised this system so it could operate permanently in ISKCON without the need for his physical presence, by appointing ritviks.

Yet when the ritvik system Srila Prabhupada established is mentioned, instead of just accepting that “his principles of ISKCON in the way in which he asked us to execute ISKCON, are also perfect” as IDS claims, he will later contradictorily claim that it can not possibly be perfect since it has not been done before by someone else!

“As someone wrote to me recently, the idea of GBC is not in the scriptures (chuckles), so, "Why we should follow GBC"? But the point is anything that a pure devotee does is as good as sastra. There's the Bhagavata, which means the philosophy of the sastra, and there's a person Bhagavata, the person who exemplifies that philosophy and preaches that philosophy. So Prabhupada is the person Bhagavata. What he says is as good as sastra because he's self-realized.”

Yet when it comes to the ritvik issue, IDS and his GBC colleagues hypocritically take the opposite position – that Srila Prabhupada could not possibly have set up the ritvik system for ISKCON because “it is not in sastra”.

“Just like we take that the poems and the songs of Bhaktivinoda Thakura are as good as sastra because they're given by a realized person. So the argument that GBC is not valued because it's not in the scriptures, is a bogus argument. It undermines Srila Prabhupada's position. He's a fully self-realized soul, pure devotee of the Lord.”

So the GBC argument that Ritvik is not valued because it's not in the scriptures, is a bogus argument. It undermines Srila Prabhupada's position. He's a fully self-realized soul, pure devotee of the Lord.”

“And as Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati did, when he left his body, he said, "No one person should become the acarya, or the spiritual master of ISKCON." Rather his organization, rather that the GBC, the collective group of men, would be the ultimate authority in ISKCON, because Prabhupada knew that all the problems that would come up in the future, what have to be taken care of, they wouldn't all manifest during his lifetime.”

Yes Srila Prabhupada did not say any person should become his successor spiritual master for ISKCON. Rather he only said the GBC would be the “ultimate managing authority”.

“So, Prabhupada once said about ISKCON that it is not different than him, that it is his body. And in this like we have to consider ISKCON as sacred as is the divine form of Srila Prabhupada. Of course, that's not to say that there will not be problems in ISKCON. And there are many problems in ISKCON, but not because the idea is imperfect, but simply because we are imperfect. But nevertheless, we should never abandon ISKCON.”

ISKCON is the society founded by Srila Prabhupada in 1966, in which he established himself as the sole Diksa Guru for the society.

This society no longer exists – rather we have an organisation of the same name which instead of Srila Prabhupada as the spiritual master has 80 successor unauthorised gurus, one of whom is IDS himself.

If ISKCON today is deviating from the organisation which Srila Prabhupada founded, then it is not the ISKCON which Srila Prabhupada founded.

Therefore it is this deviant organisation which has itself abandoned Srila Prabhupada.

“And this seems to be a very common thing these days, that some other organization comes along, some other... some charismatic individual comes along, and because devotees are dissatisfied within ISKCON because of its problems or their personal problems, they give up ISKCON so easily and join these other organizations. This makes my blood boil. It makes me very angry that devotees would so easily leave Prabhupada's transcendental ship which is meant to cross us all over the ocean of Kali-yuga.”
“So now we have established what is ISKCON. ISKCON is Prabhupada, it is Prabhupada's creation, it is Prabhupada's desire, and it is the Movement which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu envisioned to save the entire world. So what about the mistakes ISKCON is making? That means the individuals within ISKCON. Well, the British sometimes say, "England, with all thy faults, I love thee." This is a mentality of the loyal Britishmen. ISKCON has mistakes, we're not denying that.”

Clearly if that mistake is having usurped the position of the Guru, Srila Prabhupada, then what you have left is not the ISKCON which Srila Prabhupada established, but some other deviant organisation simply having the same name.

“So you have to expect that there's going to be problems. But that doesn't mean we should leave, because Prabhupada said one time also, "Better to rectify than remove." He was talking about one temple president who wasn't acting properly. So the GBC wanted to throw him out. But Prabhupada said, "Better than throw him away is to correct him. So in the same way, better than leave ISKCON is to stay in ISKCON and help ISKCON correct its mistakes.”

Yet the devotees who attempt to help ISKCON correct its mistakes – the ISKCON Revival Movement (IRM) – are themselves asked to leave by ISKCON’s management, since no one is allowed to speak the truth about the guru hoax – even though it can be documented via the words of Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON’s own leaders

– please see BTP Special Issues 1 and 2.

“I've nothing against the Gaudiya Math. And I don't want to make any offenses to many of the exalted members of the Gaudiya Math. But we're not Gaudiya Math, we're ISKCON. It's like two different families. We've been born in this family, and they've been born in that family. But both families are meant for going back to Godhead.”

But if a disciple’s ISKCON Guru falls down, then by ISKCON’s own policies the disciple is no longer considered “born” of that fallen guru. And if as IDS claims the Gaudiya Matha is meant for “going back to Godhead” and have “many exalted members”, then such disciples would be justified in going to the Gaudiya Matha.

“But even logically from a material point of view, if you're born from a particular father, you can't change your father for another father, because he's your father!” So, we are members of ISKCON, we've been created by Srila Prabhupada's mercy. We are born of Srila Prabhupada's mercy, and we should remain loyal to his family.”

1) We cannot go to the Gaudiya Matha because we must stay with the person from whom we are born, and this is Srila Prabhupada, from whose mercy we are born.

So IDS’s instructions can be freely adjusted depending on whether he is speaking about himself or a rival competitor guru. And later on we will see that IDS wonders why no one is buying his contradictory hypocritical double-talk.

“It is only because of Prabhupada and his ISKCON that these people, you know, have any access to the Western countries at all now.”

It is only because of Prabhupada that these people like IDS and the other unauthorised ISKCON gurus have any access to anyone as well. Yet this has never stopped them from taking lots of disciples for themselves.

So following their example, others have also followed suit.

“And we see that most of the people, their members they are making, are devotees who are disillusioned and disaffected with ISKCON. They don't have the power to go out, and write books, translate books into English, or Russian, or German, or Spanish, distribute it, amount of books, and do festivals, and make devotees like that.”

IDS also simply takes advantage by poaching persons who are made devotees via Srila Prabhupada’s books. In both cases, a person is made a devotee by Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and is attracted to Srila Prabhupada. Then someone else comes along and takes advantage of this and takes the person as his own disciple – whether it is an ISKCON guru or a Gaudiya Matha guru.

IDS is effectively saying that only he and his ISKCON guru colleagues have the right to steal from Srila Prabhupada, and the other would-be thieves should not disturb their stealing program.

“They have to prey on disaffected, disillusioned ISKCON devotees. And from the very beginning Srila Prabhupada knew this tendency. Because he grew up in the Gaudiya Math himself, he knew their members better than you and me. So although he respected his Godbrothers, he was always afraid they would take advantage of his success.”

Actually Srila Prabhupada stated that he was worried his own disciples would do the same thing as the Gaudiya Matha:

Bhavananda: There will be men, I know.  There will be men who want to try and pose themselves as Guru.
Tamala Krishna: That was going on many years ago. Your Godbrothers were thinking like that. Madhava Maharaja...
Bhavananda: Oh, yes.  Oh, ready to jump.
Srila Prabhupada: Very strong management required and vigilant observation. 

(Room Conversation, May 27th, 1977)

Here Srila Prabhupada agrees that his own disciples may try and become Guru just like the Gaudiya Matha by proposing that “very strong management and vigilant observation” are required to check this.

And yet IDS will propose later on, that the very next day after Srila Prabhupada stated the anti-guru measure above, Srila Prabhupada went ahead and appointed 11 men to be successor gurus!

“Prabhupada was afraid that his Godbrothers would take advantage of his success. … Sridhara Maharaja is one of the most important sannyasis in Gaudiya Math. He now passed away, but he's a very important member of Gaudiya Math. And I have no doubt he went back to Godhead. But there was a little jealousy there.”

More contradictory double-talk from IDS.

It is not possible for a Vaisnava to have any jealousy:

Envy and jealousy are manifested by mundane people, not by Vaisnavas.
(C. C., Madhya 1:218)

Yet IDS claims that Sridhara Maharaja was both jealous and he went back to Godhead!

So to try and justify his concocted, convoluted and contradictory - “Srila Prabhuapada is the Guru (when talking about the Gaudiya Matha)/Srila Prabhupada is not the Guru (when talking about myself)/Gaudiya Matha are great-but we must stay away from them”

– IDS ends up just speaking nonsense upon nonsense.

“So you know what Prabhupada did? He started crying. He said, "How do you think anyone can replace me?" He said, "Besides, if they come and they say one thing different, it will create chaos." We have to understand that.”

But the same argument also applies to the ISKCON gurus who are also replacing Srila Prabhupada as the Diksa Guru of ISKCON. They wish to hypocritically argue that they can replace Srila Prabhupada but other Gurus cannot.

And as our papers, magazines and books document in copious detail, the ISKCON gurus are also saying more than just one thing different from Srila Prabhupada!

“You're upset with ISKCON, and he is a very charismatic person, so should we just leave ISKCON and join Narayana Maharaja, or any other member of Gaudiya Math? Puri Maharaja. There's two Puri Maharajas. No, we should stay in ISKCON, our allegiance should be with Srila Prabhupada.”

So when it comes to the Gaudiya Matha, all of a sudden Srila Prabhupada is wheeled out as the personality to whom we should owe allegiance.

Yet in ISKCON itself, allegiance to Srila Prabhupada without allegiance to an unauthorised successor guru like IDS will lead to one being branded a heretical ritvik.

“For example, His Holiness Narayana Maharaja, who has become very popular figure throughout the world. … And no doubt, he's a very advanced soul.… Even if these personalities don't say something different from ISKCON and don't criticize ISKCON, still we shouldn't leave ISKCON because ISKCON is Prabhupada's movement. But I am simply dumbfounded by how many letters I'm getting even from disciples, that they want to accept this Gaudiya Math person as siksa-guru.”

Any sane person would be dumb-founded that IDS is dumb-founded, when it is IDS who is telling everyone that:

  1. The Gaudiya Matha takes you back to Godhead, and one of their main leaders has definitely gone back to Godhead.
  2. The Gaudiya Matha is full of many exalted great souls, with Narayana Maharaja himself a “very advanced soul”.
  3. And its possible they may actually say the same thing as ISKCON and not criticise ISKCON.
  4. Meanwhile tons of ISKCON’s gurus have fallen.

Given all this, IDS is still surprised that devotees would want to take instruction from the Gaudiya Matha!

“But because I may be on a lower level of realization as an ISKCON spiritual master, that does not mean that my disciples cannot go back to Godhead.”

Here is a perfect example of IDS being guilty of the very deviation he gives as a reason for not going to the Gaudiya Matha: saying something different to Srila Prabhupada. IDS claims that a lower level realised Guru is sufficient for taking a person back to Godhead. Srila Prabhupada states the opposite:

“One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari. A neophyte Vaisnava or a Vaisnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master.”
(Nectar of Instruction, text 5)

And as IDS correctly stated earlier, saying even one thing different from Srila Prabhupada creates chaos, as we have seen in ISKCON, with many of these unqualified gurus having decided to abandon their disciples leaving them stranded.

“I'm like a postman who takes a letter from Prabhupada and gives it to my disciple. The message is perfect. If you read that letter and you follow to the letter which is describing the pure process of devotional service, you will be connected to guru-parampara, and you can go back to Godhead.”

But when IDS joined the movement as a neophyte, he also delivered exactly the same perfect letter in the form of Srila Prabhupada’s books and teachings. So IDS is not doing anything different from what he did previously as a neophyte devotee.

IDS has effectively admitted that he is a janitor still doing janitor work, who has decided to occupy the boss’s seat just because the boss has left the building.

“Although it is said in Upadesamrta that a spiritual master cannot elevate his disciples beyond where he is at, every disciple in this movement has two spiritual masters: his immediate initiating guru and the siksa-guru for all of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada. So maybe I can only elevate my disciples this much, but I am connecting them to Srila Prabhupada, and he is capable of delivering one all the way back to Godhead.”

Now IDS admits what we quoted earlier, that he actually is not able to elevate the disciple back to Godhead.

IDS admits that actually Srila Prabhupada is taking everyone back to Godhead, and all he does is bring the person to Srila Prabhupada, which means he is acting no differently to any other preacher in the movement. Because during Srila Prabhupada’s physical presence, IDS would preach and bring the person to Srila Prabhupada to be taken back to Godhead. And now he admits he is doing exactly the same thing.

Yet magically, now he has to be worshipped as Good as God, and regarded as Srila Prabhupada’s successor Guru, without whom one is not able to access Srila Prabhupada’s mercy directly.


We follow Srila Prabhupada and he delivers us back to Godhead exactly as was being done before, with ISKCON devotees simply connecting us to Srila Prabhupada by giving us his books and performing initiation ceremonies.

And IDS is even admitting all this!

Yet he still wants to be worshipped as Srila Prabhupada’s good as God successor.

This is cheating of the highest order!

“There's very exalted souls in Gaudiya Math. And Prabhupada told us, "Don't associate. Keep your distance." … So my instruction to my disciples is, don't go to Gaudiya Math. That includes Narayana Maharaja's group. I personally know a number of the senior gurus in Gaudiya Math, and they are very exalted souls. By millions of lives more advanced than me.”

Again, IDS is claiming that the Gaudiya Matha gurus are “millions of lives more advanced” than himself. And yet this is supposed to be IDS giving arguments as to why his disciples should NOT go to take their association!

“Just like in our own ISKCON we can't be naive about the motivations of some of the members of ISKCON.”
“Even with ISKCON members, Prabhupada has informed us, that we should make friendship with devotees on our own level, we should take instructions from those on higher level, we should be merciful to those who are on a lower level.”

IDS states here that we should “take instructions from those on higher level”, and he has already said that the Gaudiya Matha Gurus are on a very high level, so according to him ISKCON members should take instructions from them!

Yet IDS is supposedly offering all these arguments to justify why one should NOT take instruction from them!

“So that's one attack on ISKCON. When you attack someone, you hurt them. So I speak like that, Gaudiya Matha's attack on ISKCON, in the sense it's taking valuable ISKCON members, it's confusing ISKCON members.”

The only thing confusing is IDS’s hypocritical double-talk: Gaudiya Matha Gurus are the most exalted souls possible, millions of lives more advanced than himself, they will take you back to Godhead, they may not be speaking anything different to ISKCON, and we must take instructions from those who are more advanced than us

– and yet IDS argues all this still means that we should NOT take instruction from them!

“Those of us who are initiating, at least I can say for myself, we are not pure devotees of the Lord. I am not. I don't see Krsna in Vrndavana. I don't cry tears of ecstasy when I chant Hare Krsna. I'm not and will never be on the level of Srila Prabhupada.”

Srila Prabhupada as the Acarya set the example of what a Diksa Guru is. He is the only example of a Diksa Guru we had in ISKCON. Clearly he never set the example that a Diksa Guru is an impure person who will never even progress to reaching his level of purity.

He has never taught that such impure persons are eligible to be Diksa Gurus.

“But I can repeat what my spiritual master has said, I can set a good example for my disciples, and by following my example and hearing what Prabhupada has said from me, you can become Krsna conscious.”

IDS himself is reading and listening to what Srila Prabhupada is saying, so we know it is possible. IDS has concocted a system whereby Srila Prabhupada’s instructions must be re-heard via IDS, so that IDS is able to concoct a role for himself as a successor guru to Srila Prabhupada.

“One has to be of a certain stature in Krsna consciousness to be an initiating guru, that I agree. But rtvik people say that unless one is, you know, completely self-realized devotee of the Lord who can see Krsna in Vrndavana, that he shouldn't initiate. But that is not our philosophy. Prabhupada said, even one who is kanistha-adhikari, he can accept disciples.”

No, Srila Prabhupada stated that though non-realised devotees accept disciples, it should not be done:

“One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari. A neophyte Vaisnava or a Vaisnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master.”
(Nectar of Instruction, text 5)

So our philosophy is the opposite of that stated by IDS.

Its amazing IDS is claiming we should not go to the Gaudiya Matha, because even if they say one word different from Srila Prabhupada then there will be chaos, when he has given a whole philosophy different from Srila Prabhupada!

“And the fact that there're gurus who have fallen down does not mean that the process is wrong, because even during Lord Caitanya's time some gurus were falling down. The sannyasis are the natural spiritual masters of the society, and Chota Haridas, Junior Haridas, fell down. A personal associate of Lord Caitanya, Krsnadasa Brahmacari, he was the Lord's assistant when He went to South India, he fell down!”

We are specifically talking about Diksa Gurus in the parampara (disciplic succession), of which Srila Prabhupada states:

“A bona fide spiritual master is in the disciplic succession from time eternal, and he does not deviate at all from the instructions of the Supreme Lord as they were imparted millions of years ago to the sun-god, from whom the instructions of Bhagavad-Gita have come down to the earthly kingdom.”
(BG, 4:42, Purport)

Knowing that this is the case, IDS instead tries to cheat by speaking about something else - sannyasis.

“And Narahari Sarkara wrote a book, Krsna Bhajanamrta, which explains what to do if your guru falls down. Which means that you pray like anything that he comes back and becomes properly situated, and can continue to guide you in Krsna consciousness. You wait for him to come back. If he doesn't come back, that's another lecture. But the point is that there were gurus who were falling down.”
  1. We have to understand Srila Prabhupada’s teachings from Srila Prabhupada himself, not from a book he never even mentioned!
  2. However, even using the book offered by IDS, he can be defeated using his own argument, since in the same book it states:

"a disciple who listens to the words of other Vaisnavas, even if their instructions are proper and true, but does not re-confirm those teachings with his own spiritual master and instead directly personally accepts these instructions, is considered a bad disciple and a sinner."
(verse 49)

Therefore since IDS has not first had these instructions from Narahari Sarkara confirmed by Srila Prabhupada, he is a “bad disciple and a sinner”, by the authority of the very same book which he is promoting here.

“So they are saying like that, that we can only accept Prabhupada as the guru. But that's never been in our Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition, or any sampradaya.”

We saw earlier that IDS accepts that the concept of GBC is also not traditional since it is not mentioned in the scriptures. But he does not reject the GBC due to lack of tradition, but rather states that if Srila Prabhupada set it up then it must be accepted. So another hypocritical double-standard.

“Prabhupada many times said that the spiritual master can accept disciples while he is living, but after he passes away, he can't accept any more disciples. “How is it possible? How can he train them, enthuse them, inspire them in Krsna consciousness? We need the living representative.”
  1. Srila Prabhupada did not even say this once, never mind “many times”.
    This is just a bare-faced lie.

We challenge IDS to produce Srila Prabhupada ever saying that “after a spiritual master passes away he can’t accept any more disciples”.

  1. And how was it possible that IDS is himself trained, enthused and inspired in Krishna consciousness, when he has had no “living representative himself” for 32 years?

He is hypocritically  proposing that we need him as a “living guru” even though he himself does not need one.

“Prabhupada said, "He, who is disciple now, if he is qualified, he will be spiritual master in the future."

No he never said this.

Let us help IDS out. The quote he is trying to ineptly give, is different, and states:

“One who is now the disciple is the next spiritual master. And one cannot be a bona fide and authorized spiritual master unless one has been strictly obedient to his spiritual master. Brahmaji, as a disciple of the Supreme Lord, received the real knowledge and imparted it to his dear disciple Narada, and similarly Narada, as spiritual master, handed over this knowledge to Vyasa and so on.”
(SB, 2:9:43)

Srila Prabhupada here describes how the parampara came down from Lord Brahma. Srila Prabhupada is not stating that his disciple, “if he is qualified, he will be spiritual master in the future”.

“And Prabhupada said on many occasions that he was training his disciples that in the future they would also be spiritual masters.”

As IDS himself explained earlier there are two types of spiritual master, and Srila Prabhupada said:

“The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am in the initiator guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing. This is not a title, but you must actually come to this platform.
This I want.”

(Letter to Madhudvisa, 4/8/75)

So Srila Prabhupada wanted his leading disciples to be trained to come to the platform of becoming instructing spiritual masters.

“You think that all of the disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati who began initiating, were fully self-realized souls?”

How can this be a valid example since all the disciples (apart from Srila Prabhupada)  who started initiating in the Gaudiya Matha were not authorised to do this:

“His idea was acarya was not to be nominated amongst the governing body. He said openly you make a GBC and conduct the mission. So his idea was amongst the members of GBC who would come out successful and self effulgent acarya would be automatically selected. So Sridhara Maharaja and his two associate gentlemen unauthorizedly selected one acarya and later it proved a failure. The result is now everyone is claiming to be acarya even though they may be kanistha adhikari with no ability to preach. In some of the camps the acarya is being changed three times a year. Therefore we may not commit the same mistake in our ISKCON camp. Actually amongst my Godbrothers no one is qualified to become acarya. So it is better not to mix with my Godbrothers very intimately because instead of inspiring our students and disciples they may sometimes pollute them.”
(Letter to Rupanuga, 28/4/74)

IDS had earlier alluded to the last sentence of the above letter to stop his disciples from going to the Gaudiya Matha. But he completely rejects the rest of the letter to justify his concoction that its possible for conditioned souls to initiate and for Diksa gurus to fall down.

“Every guru, you know, who accepts disciples since the times of Krsna, was a fully realized soul? Sometimes yes, other times they were simply passing on the perfect message.”

Srila Prabhupada states the opposite:

“Unless one is self-realized and knows what his relationship with the Supersoul is, he cannot be a bona fide spiritual master.”
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.28.2, purport)

“A bona fide spiritual master is in the disciplic succession from time eternal, and he does not deviate at all from the instructions of the Supreme Lord as they were imparted millions of years ago to the sun-god, from whom the instructions of Bhagavad-Gita have come down to the earthly kingdom.”
(BG, 4:42, Purport)

And as IDS himself stated, preaching even one word different to Srila Prabhupada leads to chaos, and IDS’s deviant philosophy that unqualified persons can become Diksa Gurus has definitely caused mass chaos in ISKCON, with tons of gurus having fallen and left.

“Prabhupada did make those eleven men rtviks, which means they would perform initiating ceremony, they would chant on the beads, they would give the names, etc., because Prabhupada was too sick to travel to do that.”

Here is what Srila Prabhupada named these eleven men to do:

“Now that Srila Prabhupada has named these representatives, Temple Presidents may henceforward send recommendation for first and second initiation to whichever of these eleven representatives are nearest their temple. After considering the recommendation, these representatives may accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada by giving a spiritual name, or in the case of second initiation, by chanting on the Gayatri thread, just as Srila Prabhupada has done.”
(July 9th, 1977, directive)

So they were supposed to read a letter, maybe chant on a thread, and then send back a name. None of these functions required travel. So again IDS has just fabricated his argument out of thin air. The initiating ceremony meanwhile, which IDS refers to, was in any case performed by the Temple President, as the directive in question itself states:

“After the Temple President receives a letter from these representatives giving the spiritual name or the thread, he can perform the fire yajna in the temple as was being done before.”
(July 9th, 1977 directive)

“But it didn't mean that after Prabhupada's departure they would continue to accept disciples on behalf of Srila Prabhupada.”

We have just established that the ritviks were not appointed to cover for Srila Prabhupada because he was sick and could not travel. Rather as the directive itself states they were appointed only “for the purpose of performing initiations, both first initiation and second initiation”. And they were appointed to do this immediately and continuously from July 9th, 1977 onwards, the day the directive was sent out.

“The GBC asked Prabhupada that question, "What about when you leave?" And Prabhupada said, "They will be disciples of my disciples." Okay? Just remember that one line.Prabhupada said, "They will be disciples of my disciples." "My disciples will be regular gurus," he said.” Now, in order to substantiate their speculation, they twist everything, and turn everything, and take references from other places.”

Another bare-faced lie from IDS. Here is the question and answer:

Satsvarupa: Then our next question concerns initiations in the future, particularly at that time when you’re no longer with us. We want to know how first and second initiation would be conducted.
Prabhupada: Yes. I shall recommend some of you. After this is settled up, I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating acaryas.
Tamala Krsna: Is that called rtvik-acarya?
Prabhupada: Rtvik, yes.

(Room conversation, May 28th, 1977)

Notice the answer for what will happen “when you leave” is not “they will be disciples of my disciples” but “they will be ritvik”.

IDS does exactly what he claims we do: he twists everything and takes references from other places - because at the END of the above conversation, Srila Prabhupada states:

“When I order you become guru, he becomes regular guru, that’s all. He becomes disciple of my disciple.”

But this order for “regular” or Diksa gurus was never given, and clearly the impending order for ritviks just quoted, is not the order for Diksa Gurus.

“You know, everyone's got their quote. But Prabhupada said, "They will be disciples of my disciples, my granddisciples." So this throws the whole rtvik philosophy out the window.”

The IRM’s position is that one can only be a successor Diksa Guru to Srila Prabhupada if specifically ordered by Srila Prabhupada to do this, and not on one’s own initiative just because Srila Prabhupada has departed. Srila Prabhupada confirms the IRMs position by:

  1. Stating, when asked at the start of the conversation “what about when you leave” - “they will be ritvik”.
  2. Stating at the end of the conversation that only “when I order you to become Guru will you become Diksa (regular) Guru”. 

Either way it’s not good!

“But they are very organized, these rtvik people. There's lots of papers, they put everything on e-mail, and they're probably planning to come to Russia.”

Yes we are very organised because we speak the truth and quote what Srila Prabhupada actually taught, rather speaking contradictory gibberish and speaking the opposite of what Srila Prabhupada taught, as we have thoroughly documented IDS doing thus far.

And yes we came to Russia!

“So, if you get something on e-mail, you say, "My guru has not fallen. He helps me advance in Krsna consciousness. He is connecting me to Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada is my siksa-guru. I've other siksa-gurus also in ISKCON who are always helping me." Right? And, besides that, Prabhupada said, "Disciple of my disciples." So you just take this letter and throw it in a window.”

So IDS’s answer to getting some literature from us is to advise the disciple to say exactly the same as what the followers of Narayana Maharaja (NM) say (“my guru has not fallen, he is connecting me to Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada is my siksa-guru). And to also add that Srila Prabhupada stated that there would only be successor Diksa Gurus to him if he ordered them, but he did not, he only ordered ritviks (the “disciple of my disciple” conversation).

And remember this whole lecture from IDS is meant to keep persons away from NM and the ritviks!

We would like to read what IDS would say if he was actually trying to get his disciples to follow the Gaudiya Matha and the ritviks!

“Do we think that Prabhupada did want to change the system which has been in place since time immemorial? That his disciple, who is qualified, eventually becomes the guru? Was Prabhupada going to change something? Did he say something privately with somebody, or write one letter to somebody? No. Prabhupada was following the system. He was acarya. He was setting the example of the system which had been in place for millions of years.”

1) The system IDS follows is a hybrid of the 2 systems below:

You become Diksa Guru by being appointed not as a Guru but as a Ritvik. And this Ritvik appointment magically means one is automatically a Diksa Guru by dint of being appointed a Ritvik. And only if you get appointed a Ritvik can you be considered a Diksa Guru. This was the system followed in ISKCON from 1977-1986, and its basis is still considered bona fide since those 11 ritviks who became Diksa Gurus via this method are still accepted as having been authorised as Diksa Gurus via this Ritvik method. Indeed IDS just argued this, saying the phrase “disciples of my disciples” means those appointed as Ritviks get to magically turn into Diksa gurus via dint of this Ritvik appointment. Let us call this the Ritvik-Diksa system.
Then the guru franchise was opened up to others, such as IDS, who became authorised as Diksa gurus by getting the necessary number of majority votes from the GBC, and has been in operation in ISKCON since 1986. Let’s call this the Diksa-vote system.

So the hybrid system IDS and ISKCON follows is a mixture of the two above, called the Ritvik-Diksa/Diksa-Vote (RiDiksoe) system. So since when has the Ridiksoe system been in place since time immemorial?

2) The actual system has always been that the bona fide Diksa Guru initiates and he is succeeded if and only when he authorises a successor, which is that followed by the IRM.

“But if there's any particular questions about Gaudiya Math, about Narayana Maharaja, about rtvik, then you can write to me and I'll answer these questions.”

Well a few years after the above lecture one person did just this and write to IDS with a question. And IDS’s answer was:

“May I ask a question: are you into to Ritvik philosophy? Or are you simply trying to better understand the matter of diksa guru (qualifications-service ) in ISKCON? Do have a disagreement with the particular way ISKCON chooses it's guru's? I'm just wondering what is your interest.  I don't mind replying to strengthen your faith in an existing process, but I would be hestitent to gradually enter into a debate if you have any leanings towards Ritvik.”
(IDS E-mail to inquiry about ritvik, 28/6/2005)

In other words if you are influenced by the ritvik idea I will not answer any of your questions about ritvik.

Only if you are already convinced that ritvik is bogus will I respond!

“We are only gurus if we repeat the message of the founder-acarya, Srila Prabhupada, and we follow his example. If we deviate from that, we cannot call ourselves gurus, we do not have the right to ask people to follow us. Prabhupada is perfect.”

By IDS’s own definition he cannot be a Guru, since we have demonstrated in detail that he does not repeat the message of Srila Prabhupada, but rather deviates from it.

“He's (Harikesa) recommending "natural" contraception, ayurvedic, or whatever. Did Prabhupada ever talk like this? I never read anywhere Prabhupada talked about this. He knows something more than Prabhupada? This minimizes Srila Prabhupada's position.”

IDS is arguing here that if Srila Prabhupada did not talk about something then it is not bona fide.

We agree.

Srila Prabhupada never talked about the ‘Ridiksoe’ guru system (see earlier) currently in place in ISKCON, for example.

So if something is not bona fide due to Srila Prabhupada not having spoken about it, then so is the basis of ISKCON’s whole guru system not bona fide.

“ISKCON is losing so many members. To Gaudiya Math, to Narayana Maharaja, to the rtviks, to gurus who are leaving ISKCON. So you have to understand a little bit of the history of all of this to understand why we shouldn't do it, as well as some of the philosophy.”

We have demonstrated that his hypocritical double-talk merely increases the appeal of the very things he is supposed to be warning his disciples against.


Again we apologise for the length of this treatise, but we wanted to demonstrate that the “error in every sentence” title is not an exaggeration (though we have omitted other statements made by IDS which are either already covered by the rebuttals above or do not deal directly with the Guru issue).

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