BY ADRIDHARAN DAS
Feb 3, 2000 — In his latest article, ‘Twitting The Rits Or RittingThe Twits’, Kundali prabhu has decided to bow out of the ritvik debate:
"You can have the last word."
He also challenges the idea he has been defeated. Yet out of the three points we left him to answer, he has only tried to defend one. He petulantly conceded the point that we are not proposing entities called ritvik-gurus:
"So if (the) term ritvik-guru has been struck from the record so what?"
Aside from the fact that, as far as we were concerned, ‘ritvik-guru’ was never on the ‘record’ in the first place, it should be noted that Kundali Muni has wasted a great deal of energy attacking this mythical being.
"So what", he says.
If it is such a small point then why waste so many trees by publishing these unscholarly irrelevancies. This man has the cheek to say ‘The Final Order’ is not worth reading, yet is happy to so readily dismiss one of his own previous main
objections to continuing the ritvik system within ISKCON. An objection that he went to all the trouble of publishing in a hard bound book.
So we are left with just one of our three points in contention (admittedly a major one), and this after Kundali has only read one of our replies (now that he is back on line). Just imagine what may have transpired if he had actually read our entire position thoroughly, but alas we shall never know:
And because of this lack of understanding Kundali wastes everyone’s time, what to speak of the worlds depleting forestry, attacking mythical beings and armies of straw men. Kundali writes:
We never said Kundali was pathetic merely for being off line, it happens to the best of us. What is pathetic is to use this as an excuse for not properly reading our position before attacking it. As it turns out the ‘gist’ he attacked was far easier to defeat
than our real position. We know this since he has backed away from two of the three main points of contention. So to put off conceding defeat he hid behind a pathetic excuse. We are sure most devotees would understand why this excuse was pathetic, but clearly we shall need to spell it out for our
If Kundali had a friend who could read the article on VNN in order to give him a ‘gist’, how much extra trouble would it have been for him to print Kundali off a copy, or put it on a disk and send it to him? In order for Kundali to send in his article to VNN he must have been able to
get on line at some stage. So would it not have been more sensible for him to have first read what he was attacking? When he logged on he could have thought to himself, ‘just before I send this attack which is based on a second hand ‘gist’, let me first read exactly what my opponents have
written’. Would that not be more scholarly, more in the mode of goodness? And to use this as an excuse for not addressing our position directly is certainly pathetic. Now that he is reading what we have written we can see what progress can be made. He has now retreated from two of the three
points of contention, points that he had previously considered serious enough to publish in books.
So let us now look to see how Kundali attacks our one last main point of disagreement. To refresh ourselves we shall first repeat our point, and then look at Kundali’s responses:
Let us now examine each of the points Kundali makes in relation to question 2 above. For convenience we have changed the order in which he made them:
Leaving aside the subjective and wholly irrelevant accusations, all the above states is that the continued application of the ritvik system ‘flies in the face of philosophy’, whereas the other items on our list of things not mentioned by Srila Rupa Goswami do not. What this ‘philosophy’ that is being disregarded is, and where it is stated, Kundali does not elaborate:
So if anyone wants this question answered they will have to become Kundali’s most sincere friend. That would seem to leave many people in the world none the wiser. So we shall just have to take Kundali’s word for it that he has some bona fide criteria for determining what things taught by Srila Prabhupada and not mentioned by Srila Rupa Goswami we can follow, and what we cannot. This is scholarship is it? All based on becoming Kundali’s sincere friend. He continues:
It is for Kundali to demonstrate how when and by whom Srila Prabhupada has been succeeded. This point he has not even begun to properly address. He talks mockingly about being a direct disciple of Srila Rupa Goswami, yet this is an irrelevant attack since Rupa
Goswami did not set up a ritvik system, and is not the current link - Srila Prabhupada is. The ‘standard role’ Kundali refers to above must be explained by him with references, and in detail, otherwise why should anyone (aside from his most sincere friend) accept what he is saying. We see no
mention of any ‘standard role’ that would eliminate ritvik in Srila Prabhupada's books.
There is not one single mention in Srila Prabhupada’s books regarding his disciples going on to initiate their own disciples after his departure. Nor is this system explained even in principle. We notice that Kundali gives no supporting evidence for this. (The
evidence he does give appears to be merely anecdotal, nothing in writing). Furthermore it is for Kundali to prove his assertion that the ritvik system was only for the ‘practical considerations’ for ‘while (Srila Prabhupada) was still present’. This is the very issue of contention, and
just like the GBC, Kundali assumes things without supporting evidence.
So in summary:
In light of this, we can understand why it was wise for Kundali to have beaten a hasty retreat and withdrawn from the debate. We hope that in future that he will stick to commenting on subjects that he actually knows something about.