Mayesvara's AIM Is Maya

 By Krishnakant

Apr 7 1999 - My poor friend Mayesvara prabhu! Even if his latest paper (Who's Changing What) had managed to puncture the conclusions of 'The Final Order' (TFO) and show ritvik to be bogus, which it definitely does not, he in any case shoots himself in the foot by admitting that he does:

"support the idea of INSERTING something like that (ritvik )* into ISKCON..."

But if it is bogus why INSERT it into Srila Prabhupada's movement? Wouldn't that be Maya? Mayesvara's position is to argue that the ritvik system is a 'monumental change to the dharma of the parampara' the 'most monumental change in the history of the entire Gaudiya vaisnava siddhanta' etc. etc., in other words completely bogus. But then at the same time he argues that it should 'run side by side with the Guru system'! This he says is 'practical' or 'phalena pariciyate'. But where does Srila Prabhupada say that when you judge a thing by its result and find it lacking, you can somehow solve the problem by introducing something else which is 'monumentally' bogus? Mayesvara's 'Alternative Initiation Method' or AIM doctrine is thus, by its own admission, Maya.

If what the author says about our position is correct, then the ritvik idea must be thrown away immediately since it will not connect people to the parampara. And if it DOES connect people to the parampara, HOW can it be changing the whole 'dharma of the parampara'? In trying to discredit the legitimacy of still connecting to Srila Prabhupada even today Mayesvara (henceforward the 'author') is only dis-crediting himself, because simultaneously the author proposes ritvik as a viable added option. Please bear this in mind whenever you read anything by the author wherein he tries to show how bogus the 'ritvik ' idea is. When you read such counter arguments just say to yourself - and yet you think we should adopt it (or something similar) within ISKCON?! Why not just adopt the 'traditional-guru' system Mayesvara trumpets as being sastrically correct, and which we allegedly have in ISKCON already? Why not just reform that, just as the GBC are suggesting? After all this is the 'correct' parampara system according to Mayesvara. But then if Mayesvara was just agreeing with the GBC (or Srila Prabhupada's final order) he would not be able to stand out as the great Muni he clearly thinks he is.

It is interesting to note also that in this new article the author has avoided answering the points that we made in response to his last article.

This is very strange since at the end of his latest article the author claims the following:

"Many are just confused and not convinced about the conclusions of the Final Order but they can't quite figure out why that is so. The intent of this work is to help point out some of the reasons why they have ever reason to feel skeptical about this controversial document despite all the propaganda, enthusiasm and motives others have for supporting it."

Does the author feel that by completely ignoring our demolition of his first article, the reader is likely to feel more sceptical about TFO? The author dismisses our rebuttal of his first article with the following:

"Even though this type of obscene hairsplitting runs all through the FO-Sastra, I expect the authors will respond to this example of their own forced technique from their stock of routine, distracting, and evasive clauses like: "We didn't say that,.. the term "Spiritual Master" used here means "Siksa Guru",.. Read the Final Order (Again),. Mayesvara hasn't addressed modification a or b,.. This is a straw man argument,..blah, blah, blah, etc. The anticipated response is as predictable as a barking dog."

Those who read our last response to Mayesvara will know that there WERE many occasions where Mayesvara DID use 'straw man' arguments, where he attributed arguments to us which we DIDN'T say, where the quote about the 'instructing spiritual master' DOES mean the siksa guru, that he DIDN'T answer Modifications 'A & B' etc. These are just facts. We gave many examples in our reply to prove these facts. Yet the author feels that pointing out facts which completely contradict the whole basis of his paper is 'distracting and evasive'. Please reflect on just how nonsensical this statement is. He is saying that if we point out that he is defeating arguments we did not make, or if we show that one of his assertions is incorrect, or if we demonstrate that he is attributing false statements to us etc., this is 'distracting and evasive'. Thus we should let his lies and false assertions pass without challenge! Yes it is 'distracting' for the author if he cannot answer legitimate challenges which render his whole paper useless. For if he claims to be answering TFO, but actually answers something else, then his whole paper has no meaning.

We point all this out for two reasons. One is that whenever we have defeated the GBC, they never reply to us, but simply write another paper (which invariably contradicts what they just wrote). We will be interested to see if for instance, the author gives a point for point reply to this current reply? It seems the author has learned this GBC tactic of hitting and running. Of course it is of no value, since anyone who had read our last reply will simply see that TFO still stands. Secondly, we will show again in this reply, that the author has simply again not answered what we actually state, but just figments of his own imagination. Of course our reply is 'predictable'. It is as 'predictable' as the sloppy scholarship and false argumentation we have to counter over and over again.

As usual quotes from the author shall be encased boxed with our comments following beneath.

"What they contend is that Srila Prabhupada did not want to see anything related to the system of initiation changed after he left. [...] Yet at the same time the FO-Sastra alleges that Srila Prabhupada himself makes several modifications during the short period of time he had to establish ISKCON. At this point any one paying attention would ask for an explanation to what appears to be a direct contradiction."

It is the author who needs to pay attention. We proposed 'No Change' from the ISKCON Srila Prabhupada established and left us in 1977. So how is the way in which Srila Prabhupada established ISKCON a 'direct contradiction' to the fact that we should not change what he left us?

"Now let us change our attention back to what the FO-Sastra is asking us to consider. If we are objective we find that the type of change it claims Srila Prabhupada instructed us to do would radically mutate the core dharma of the parampara! Krishna clearly states that the very key to the proper transmission of transcendental knowledge is dependent on the disciplic succession and Srila Prabhupada stressed the same point over and over again."

Here the author contradicts himself. He states that we must receive the transmission of transcendental knowledge from the disciplic succession.

TFO also states that we should receive the transmission of transcendental knowledge from Srila Prabhupada who is in the disciplic succession. Yet this is the VERY reason that the author gives as to why we must be 'mutating the dharma of the parampara'!

We have yet to get very far and we see that the whole thrust of this article is already wrong.

"What is immediately obvious after studying this table is that Srila Prabhupada expended a lot more energy teaching us about the subject of parampara, and diksa, than the concept of RtVik."

The author has tried to set up a false dichotomy between 'parampara and diksa' on one hand, and 'the concept of ritvik' on the other. Yet a 'ritvik ' is simply a priest who assists in allowing someone to take diksa from the parampara. So what relevance is there in stating that 'parampara and diksa' is preached about more than 'ritvik'. These terms are not in opposition to each other, but in harmony. Thus the author has simply made an irrelevant point that again reveals his basic lack of understanding of vedic words.

"We are being told by the FO Research team that the word diksa is found only 41 times in Srila Prabhupadas books and the word RtVik is found 32 times, "...only slightly less than the word diksa. [...] The observant reader will also note that the authors make the distinction that these references are only from the Srimad Bhagavatam. Why has that distinction been made? [...] "The FO-Sastra does not present the facts accurately!" This is becoming a reoccurring theme."

Firstly the author here thinks that he has found evidence that the TFO does not present the 'facts accurately'. Yet the author also admits that we clearly state that the example given only relates to the Bhagavatam.

Thus the fact we have stated is, to the best of our knowledge ACCURATE (though the authors were using the first version of the folio which itself may not be totally accurate). The fact that TFO LIMITED the research does not mean that the result of the research is WRONG, only that it is limited, which is clearly stated anyway.

The reason it was limited is also clear if the author had actually read the passage in question. The above statement was made in response to a very specific objection - "that Srila Prabhupada has not made reference to the word ritvik in his BOOKS". We answer a specific objection relating to Srila Prabhupada's books, by answering from the books, and in particular the book in which the word ritvik appears, by way of comparison, to show how absurd the above objection is. We do not use the comparison to show that ritvik is more important than diksa, or any other such nonsense as the author implies. Thus there is nothing misleading in this. The only thing misleading is the author 'forgetting' to inform his readers of the context in which the statement appears. THIS is a 'reoccurring theme'.

Conversely the author has yet to produce a single example where TFO has not presented the 'facts accurately'.

"But to do what they are suggesting means either we must change all the tradition that Srila Prabhupada spent 12 years preaching to us about the Prarampara, or change what amounts to no more than a politically charged interpretation of his instructions on July 9th."

Where did Srila Prabhupada teach for 12 years that he would cease to be the current link in the parampara the second he departed? Unless the author can produce quotes this effect, taught for 12 years, the TFO cannot be changing something that was never taught. On the contrary Srila Prabhupada stated that whoever we learn the Bhagavatam from will be the current link: 

" order to receive the real message of Srimad-Bhagavatam one should approach the current link, or spiritual master, in the chain of disciplic succession." (S.B. 2.9.7, purport)

This was quoted in TFO. From whom does the author think we learn the message of the Bhagavatam from, whether or not Srila Prabhupada is physically present? The devotee who gave the class in the morning, or Srila Prabhupada?

"What the FO-Sastra is trying to persuade us of is that Srila Prabhupada intended to make the most monumental changes to the dharma of the parampara ever to be known and all they have is a few things to base that hypothesis on using very twisting up interpretations."

As we have already pointed out, the author has yet to even state WHAT 'monumental change to the dharma of the parampara' we are proposing. We propose that everyone gets linked to the current link in the parampara - Srila Prabhupada. How does that change the 'dharma of the parampara'.

Unless he is trying to argue that one loses the ability to transmit the teachings of the parampara as soon as one loses his physical body. But WHERE did Srila Prabhupada ever teach this?

"The question an intelligent person wants answered before they accept this idea is: "Why would His Divine Grace speak so much about the traditional parampara structure, and so little about RtVik, if he wanted us to adopt the type of convoluted, and completely unprecedented RtVik system suggested in the Fo-Sastra, for the next 9500 years?"

The question an intelligent person wants answered is why should the ritvik idea be adopted at all if it was not what was desired by Srila Prabhupada, and is so convoluted and against the parampara? Why should this idea be adopted for 1 second, what to speak of 9500 years? Remember the author himself states later on that we should also accept the ritvik idea as a viable addition. What a confused person the author is.

Also, as pointed out repeatedly, the author is simply 'begging the question', or simply stating that which needs to be proven - a common GBC tactic to try and avoid answering TFO. The author has yet to show us all these statements from Srila Prabhupada that are opposed to accepting Srila Prabhupada as a member of the parampara simply because he is no longer encased in a physical body (or at least one we can presently perceive).

" In the paragraph that follows the FO-Sastra analysis of the word RtVik, we are offered some more completely misleading statements. We are told: "Srila Prabhupada NEVER defined diksain terms of any ritualistic ceremony..." [...] Are we to assume the authors of the FO-Sastra do not feel any need to consider what Sanatan Goswami has to say about their conclusions? "Sanatana Gosvami says that as bell metal can turn to gold when mixed with mercury in a chemical process, so, by the bona fide diksa, or initiation method, anyone can become a Vaishnava. One should take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, who is authorized by his predecessor spiritual master. This is called diksa-vidhana. Lord Krishna states in Bhagavad-gita, vyapasritya: one should accept a spiritual master" REF. SB 4.8.54 "

1.    No, TFO does not disregard the above statement by Santana Goswami - we quote it on page 10 of TFO!  

2.    The quote in question does NOT define diksa as a 'ritualistic ceremony' any more than Srila Prabhupada does. So how does the quote demonstrate that we are 'misleading anyone', or that we do not consider what it has to say? It is the author who is 'misleading' all his readers by trying to pass off such an outright lie as a valid argument.

"But messing around with the essential methodology that Krsna himself says is the whole basis for understanding transcendental knowledge is a very big deal indeed! (Bg.4.2)"

How is accepting initiation from Srila Prabhupada against Krishna's methodology? Maybe the author can enlighten us by quoting from Krishna where he gives this methodology that prevents us from accepting transcendental knowledge from Srila Prabhupada?

"The only evidence the author's give us to support their capricious suggestion that "Big Gaps" in the parampara aren't a problem is a single citation from a personal letter sent to Dayananda in 1968. (9) Let us stop here for a moment and recall how the authors conveniently reject the contents of personal letters when they don't happen to support the position they wish to convince us of. "If such letters really held the key to how he (Srila Prabhupada) planned initiations to be run for up to ten thousand Years, surely Srila Prabhupada would have made their publication, and mass distribution, a matter of utmost urgency. "

The author does not quote the whole relevant portion since then his readers would see the following:

'To form a case regarding what should have been done in 1977, one can only use evidence that was readily available in an authorised form at that time. If such letters really held the key to how he planned initiations to be run for up to ten thousand years, surely Srila Prabhupada would have made their publication, and mass distribution, a matter of utmost urgency.'

1.    It is clear that we are speaking of 'forming a case for what should have been done in 1977'. It is in answer to THIS proposition that we make the argument that the contents of the letters would need to be accessible.

2.    We are NOT using the letter to form a case for 'what should have been done in 1977'. We are not speaking of some teaching that had to be known in 1977 in order for the July 9th letter to be implemented. The July 9th letter itself was enough for this.

3.    Rather we are using the letter to refute the allegation that Srila Prabhupada imposed some time limit on how long the guru could remain as the 'current link'. Thus using the letter here does not contradict our earlier statement, and there is no double standard. One can use any of Srila Prabhupada's teachings to SUPPORT that what should have occurred in 1977 would not have violated any of Srila Prabhupada's teachings. We have never stated that one could never use the contents of Srila Prabhupada's letters per se. We simply made the logistical point that their contents would have to have been known, if someone was to ACT on them in 1977. We also state that sometimes letters are written according to time, place and circumstance.

"But even if we disregard this embarrassing fact an astute reader will also notice the pieces of the quote have been intentionally omitted.
Further research indicates that when these parts of the text are restored it raise serious questions about weather or not the authors have interpreted this comment by Srila Prabhupada properly. The FO-Sastra presents this verse to try and convince us that Big Gaps in the parampara are no big deal but the parts that have been left out could change their interpretation entirely."

An astute reader will have read what we claimed the quote supported:

'Previous acaryas have remained current for long periods of time, thousands (Srila Vyasadeva) or even millions of years (see quote below). We see no reason why the duration of Srila Prabhupada's reign as 'current link', even if it extends right till the end of the Sankirtan Movement, should pose any particular problem.'

There is no other part of the quote that changes this understanding. The fact that Vyasadeva had a long life is not disputed by us, nor does this change the fact that he did stay a current link for a long time, which is ALL we stated. One will only quote that which is relevant to the point being made. If there is anything else in the quote that would CHANGE this point then not quoting it IS misleading. But as we have shown, this is not the case here. The fact that one can remain a 'current link' for a long time is a fact, and is not altered by any section of the quote.

"We are led to believe that there were gaps in the paramparabetween Vivasvan, Manu, and Iksvaku, but we are not told that any of these personalities intentionally declared themselves to reign for the duration of each gap. There is no explanation for how or why these apparent gaps may have occurred. But the FO-Sastra presents this statement to support the hypothesis that Srila Prabhupada intentionally posted himself as the sole representative of the paramparafor the next 9,500 years!"

Again the author presents another false assertion. As already quoted above we do NOT use the quote as any sort of evidence that Srila Prabhupada is the current link for the duration of ISKCON. As well as having problems with vedic words, we see that the author is also having problems with English ones. In TFO the 'Evidence' appears in a section called, surprise surprise, 'The Evidence'. The 'Supporting Evidence' comes in a section called 'Supporting Evidence'. Direct challenges to this evidence are given in a section to do with 'Objections [...] of the Order'. Later on we have a section called 'Related Objections'. Naturally anything that appears in this section is not intended to be direct evidence, not supporting evidence, nor even responding to direct objections. Rather it is simply refutations of 'Related Objections'. Thus we do not present the statement in question as evidence of Srila Prabhupada's 'intention' at all. Rather we present it as evidence to support the view that:

'We see no reason why the duration of Srila Prabhupada's reign as 'current link', even if it extends right till the end of the Sankirtan Movement, should pose any particular problem.'

Thus we are simply stating that the quote assists us in 'seeing no reason' why the duration of Srila Prabhupada's reign should be a problem, in and of itself.

This continual misrepresentation by the author will achieve nothing more than irritating his readers when they cotton on to what he is doing.

"To accept this opinion we must envision that Srila Prabhupada saw himself as the ONLY one qualified to deliver the conditioned souls for the duration of the next 9,500 years!"

Why? We say the opposite. That there may be many pure devotees or maha-bhagavatas in ISKCON even now (point 8 p.34). If the author wants to speculate about what must have been in the mind of Srila Prabhupada in order for him give certain instructions, then that is up to him. But we are not aware of any bona fide system of understanding the instructions of the Guru that relies on applying our speculative abilities in figuring out what such orders must have meant in terms of how Srila Prabhupada saw himself!

"When we consider how many extraordinary devotees appeared in just the last 2,000 years we can begin to understand how incomprehensible it is for anyone to believe that Srila Prabhupada would place himself in such a lofty position!"

More speculation from the author. It is not our place to 'reason why, but to do or die'. Why doesn't the author give us evidence instead of his speculations as to what Srila Prabhupada would or would not do? Why do we even bother taking direct instruction from Srila Prabhupada at all? Why not just ask the author what Srila Prabhupada would or would not have done, based on what the author thinks it meant in terms of how Srila Prabhupada 'saw himself'!?

"Those who really got to know his personality knew he was the pinnacle of humility. It's just not possible for devotees who appreciated this quality of Srila Prabhupada to accept that he intentionally parked himself as the fulcrum of the parampara for the next 9,500 years!"

More speculation. In any case delivering the world does not mean Srila Prabhupada is not humble. By the above speculative logic, one would also conclude that Srila Prabhupada would never have made the statements given below:

"Just like all my godbrothers. They are dead men."
(Morning Walk, 13/7/74)

"Amongst my Godbrothers no one is qualified to become acharya" (Letter to Rupanuga, 28/4/74)

Srila Prabhupada: That's a fact. What is the fact, that should be written. Give the list of the books and so on, so on.
Tamala Krsna: List of the temples.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, temples. And "He is the acarya of the present Gaudiya-sampradaya."
(Room Conversation, 18/1/76)

But he did make them. This shows why we should not try and figure out what Srila Prabhupada would or would not have said or done based on trying to project our speculative understandings onto him. Please note the last quote. Srila Prabhupada states that he is THE acarya, not AN acarya, and not of ISKCON, but the 'present Gaudiya sampradaya'.

"We are being asked to accept that at the last moment Srila Prabhupada had a radical mood change and superceded all his previous instructions about parampara and placed himself in the position of being the only savoir of the world for much longer than all of recorded history!"

The issue is not what the author thinks about the arrangements that Srila Prabhupada made, but the actual arrangements he did make. If he had any actual EVIDENCE as to why the July 9th letter should have been stopped on departure, he should present THAT. Since he does not have any, he is forced to resort to his subjective speculative understanding of Srila Prabhupada's personality to make his confused and self-contradictory case.

"The RtViks accuse the GBC of changing Srila Prabhupada's instructions yet we find in his books numerous examples that substantiate his intent to keep the traditional Spiritual Master-Disciple approach to the parampara system un-adulterated. Srila Prabhupada even goes out of his way to describe how all the acaryas and saints of the world accepted living spiritual masters even including Lord Krishna and Lord Caitanya."

By the logic of drawing definitive conclusions from these historical examples, one also has to accept that as well as being 'living', the spiritual masters in question were also Indian men and above a certain age. Yet these examples do not prove that therefore the Guru must always be an Indian male above a certain age, anymore than it proves that the Guru must always be encased in a physical body at the moment of the initiation ceremony. The issue is sastric principle, not how that sastric principle may or may not have been applied historically. And there is no sastric principle that deems that physicality is a bar to the Guru-disciple relationship.

"Even Lord Caitanya, although He is Krishna Himself accepted a spiritual master; even Lord Krishna accepted a spiritual master, Sandepani Muni, in order to be enlightened; and all the acaryas and saints of the world had spiritual masters. In Bhagavad-gita Arjuna accepted Lord Krishna as his spiritual master, although there was no necessity of such a formal declaration. So, in all cases, there is no question about the necessity of accepting a spiritual master. The only stipulation is that the spiritual master should be bona fide; i.e., the spiritual master must be in the proper chain of disciplic succession, called the parampara system."- SB 3.7.39 This quote clears a lot of things up."

Yes it clears up the following: * We must accept a spiritual master.

* That such a spiritual master must be bona fide.

* That such a spiritual master must be in the proper chain of disciplic succession.

We would be very interested to find out from the author which one of the above 3 statements he thinks does NOT apply to Srila Prabhupada.

"The most important thing to notice is that Srila Prabhupada uses the term "Spiritual Master" six times in this paragraph. It happens to be the exact same term he used when he instructed his disciples: "You become spiritual master."

It also happens to be the exact same term used when Srila Prabhupada stated the following:

"There are two kinds of instructing spiritual masters.

So what's the author's point? That the term 'spiritual master' must always mean diksa Guru. We think not (please see our previous Mayesvara rebuttal)

"What we are being asked to endorse here is not just another way of encouraging a few Kali yuga, neophyte, sudra born, bhakta's to chant the Maha-Mantra. We are talking about something that goes way beyond the liberties given within the jurisdiction of Pancaratriki-Vidhi."

Yet later on in the same document, to justify why we should INSERT the ritvik idea into ISKCON and thus offer an AIM ('Alternative Initiation Method'), he states the complete opposite:

This glaring contradiction flows naturally from the fact that the author's whole approach is a contradiction, as pointed out in the start of this article. He is very keen to show that TFO is wrong, but at the same time he is just as keen to insert this 'wrong' Mayic idea into ISKCON.

"In light of all these anomalies it's hard not to conclude that the FO-Sastra relies way too much on bad research, questionable evidence, and maybe even deceitful methods to lead the reader to the conclusion the authors are hell bent on making."

As we demonstrated in out last reply, and in the current reply thus far, the author could not have come up with a better way to describe his own writing.

"We will now turn our attention to the idea that the Spiritual Master need not be physically present to effectively guide the disciple."

This is not an 'idea'. It is what Srila Prabhupada practised for the majority of his disciples when he was on the planet, and for all his disciples since he departed 22 years ago. The author incidentally being one of the potential beneficiaries.

"The straight forward way to understand the act of "inquiring" and "rendering service" is clear, just as well as the reciprocal response of the spiritual master "observing" the student is clear."

The straight forward understanding for the disciple comes from the Guru.

Srila Prabhupada did not act in the way the author suggests is 'straightforward', with the majority of his disciples. Is the author suggesting that Srila Prabhupada therefore was not following the Bhagavada Gita in a 'straightforward' manner?

"Later the suggestion is made that the representative of the guru can do the observing for the Guru as well. The hidden assumption here is that the observing representative will have the same level of interest, concern, and veracity to watch over the student as much as a formal Spiritual Master. But there is absolutely no reason for anyone to believe such a preposterous thing."

1.    No such assumption is made or indeed required. We simply note that the use of the representatives to train up, instruct and 'watch over' disciples was the system used by Srila Prabhupada most of the time for most of his disciples. How much has the author himself been personally/physically 'watched over' by Srila Prabhupada since the day he joined?

2.    Thus it is the author who is preposterous for daring to criticise a system that his own Guru used as a standard. These criticisms the author makes are just as applicable to how Srila Prabhupada behaved whilst he was on the planet, and indeed are made by various smarta 'vaisnavas' from other sects.

This is what Srila Prabhupada did because he had so many disciples all over the world but once again there is nothing here to help convince us that he wanted to establish a RtVik based ISKCON. [...] The answer is obvious yet the FO-Sastra is trying to intimidate the reader into believing that this is some type of supporting evidence that Srila Prabhupada wanted a RtVik system!

The author here is either missing something very obvious due to dullness, or he is deliberately trying to mislead. As we have already explained - Evidence for a proposition is found in the section headed 'Evidence'.

Refutations of various arguments are found in the section marked 'Related objections'. The above arguments (found in the 'related objections' section) the author refers to are NOT used to show that Srila Prabhupada wanted a ritvik system, but only to refute specific related objections TO the ritvik system. And they achieve this conclusively.

"Srila Prahupada took full advantage of the Pancaratriki-Vidhi to do many things simply to be more effective in spreading Krishna Consciousness.

Just like a doctor who relies on the observations of a nurse to watch over a patient, Srila Prabupada relied on assistants to help him build this great movement. It may also be worth pointing out that while a nurse is entrusted to care for a patient she doesn't have the same degree of training or authority to prescribe drugs for the patient nor is she ultimately responsible for the patients recovery process."

Yet later on he uses the same 'pancaratrika vidhi' as evidence that inserting the ritvik system into ISKCON is alright:

So continuing the same system that Srila Prabhupada had in place in ISKCON when he departed., even now, would also be taking advantage of the pancaratrika-vidhi. So what exactly is the author's objection?

Also TFO has never suggested that the 'nurse' is the same as the doctor.

Only that however the doctor used his nurses when he was on the planet, he wanted continued when he departed, and that there is no sastric reason that would make this continuation wrong.

"1.This verse clearly states: "...approach a spiritual master." 2.This verse does not state: "...approach a representative of the spiritual master" [...] 6. This verse does not state "...render service unto a siksa Guru".

This analysis by the author is completely self-defeating because he is therefore:

a.    Implying that Srila Prabhupada did not understand or disobeyed the Bhagavada Gita, since Srila Prabhupada did not follow the verse in terms of what is allegedly 'clearly' stated.

b.    The purport to the verse also states that these activities apply to the disciple - not the pre-initiated bhakta. So by definition, unless the guru-disciple relationship finishes when the guru leaves his body, all this enquiring and serving cannot be in relation to the BODY of the Guru, otherwise it would mean that the guru-disciple relationship would have to finish on the departure of the Guru, since none of these activities would be possible for the disciple after this time. Yet we know such a notion is not correct, nor do we suspect it is accepted by the author.

"Later Jiva Gosvami clearly tells us that the initiation is done by the Spiritual Master: "Srila Jiva Gosvami comments that the spiritual master is to be considered the atma, or the very life, of the disciple, since real life begins when one is initiated by a bona fide spiritual master." - SB 11.3.22 Notice that it does not say the initiation is done by a representative of the Spiritual Master. He also says that: "...the Spiritual Master is to be considered the atma, the very life of the disciple..." Therefore it is clear that the Spiritual Master being referred to here is not a siksa guru, or stand in representative of the Guru, but the diksa Guru (Spiritual Master).. .the same one who performs the initiation."

The fact that he who is the initiator is the diksa guru is obvious and not disputed by anyone. No one is doubting that it is the diksa Guru who gives initiation. But neither is the author doubting that the initiation ceremony may be performed by someone other than the diksa Guru. So how the author thinks the above quote proves Srila Prabhupada cannot still give initiation today is quite baffling.

"Relationship and exchange is the very foundation for personal growth and it is particularly essential in the process of growing spiritually in Krishna Consciousness. The highest degree of interpersonal exchange culminates in the relationship between the Spiritual Master and the disciple but in the FO-Sastra this inspiring and wonderful concept gets watered down to the equivalent of a lukewarm alter-call at a local Christian church."

Yet the same 'impersonalism' the author is very enthusiastic to inject into ISKCON with his parallel ritvik system. Also since we are proposing exactly the same system that Srila Prabhupada left us, the author is actually implying that Srila Prabhupada has 'watered down' what the author finds 'inspiring and wonderful'.

"As much as the FO-Sastra tries to minimize the difference, there is no way of avoiding the fact that a serious relationship with a serious teacher can not be replaced with a stand in representative personality."

This is a blatant 'straw man' argument. We have NEVER tried to minimise the difference nor propose substitutes for Srila Prabhupada. On the contrary it is the current ISKCON system that has given us dozens of substitutes for Srila Prabhupada. The author has got it back to front. TFO clearly wants Srila Prabhupada just as available to all devotees as he was when he was on the planet. Which for the majority, was NOT through direct service to or contact with the physical body of Srila Prabhupada.

It is the author who must explain his absurd proposition that though the majority of Srila Prabhupada's disciples never met him, nor have ANY of them had any physical contact with him for the last 22 years, THEY are all able to have 'loving exchanges' with Srila Prabhupada, but no on else on the planet will be able to in the same way, for the rest of eternity. It seems the author is trying to construct some exclusive club for himself and a few thousand others.

"But many marriages end in divorce too yet we do not discard the institution of marriage in order to correct the problem. Similarly automobiles, computers, and airplanes have the propensity to crash despite our efforts to prevent it yet we do not discard these things because of this potential problem. In all these cases the proper way to proceed is cautiously, slowly and towards correction."

This is exactly what the GBC propose with their 'Guru Reform'. So why doesn't the author just support that? What need for also inserting the 'impersonal' and 'against the dharma of the parampara' etc. ritvik system? Why doesn't the author just have the courage of his philosophical stand which is really identical to the GBC? Is it because then he would not be able to distinguish himself as a great Muni?

"The resistance that the RtVIk moment faces is founded in the fact that there are still many that are quite satisfied with their spiritual master.

To be anxiously waiting for that relationship to crumble, as many Pro-RtVik individuals are apparently doing, is a wicked frame of mind that no in the line of Lord Caitanya would ever have."

We are not waiting for any relationship to crumble. We are simply educating people how Srila Prabhupada set up ISKCON to be run, and how he is the diksa guru for ISKCON.

"My suggestions are strictly practical. (Phalena Paricityate) and based on the liberties authorized in the Pancaratriki-vidhi."

But how can it be practical to implement something which according to the author was NOT authorised by Srila Prabhupada, and is also against the 'dharma of the parampara'? Out of all the practical suggestions available to the author why does he have to pick one that he has already written two papers trying to show is deviant nonsense? Why not simply 'practically' Correct the current ISKCON system which the author believes is authorised, but has been abused by ambitious individuals?

"Reform based on a faulty foundation will only be equally problematic in the end. What will our orthodox RtVik friends say when the local siksa Guru starts selfishly manipulating his authority, position and influence over new devotees for personal gain?"

Yet this is exactly what the author has just suggested! His suggestion for reform is to allow people to accept the 'faulty' ritvik system. Yet he is now saying that reform involving such a faulty foundation will lead to problems ultimately. So why is he suggesting as part of his solution to the current problems, a system which he feels will only cause more problems? The author seems happy to write any nonsense in his desperate attempt to appear intelligent and Muni-like.

"The core of reform must be based on cleaning up the relationship we all have with paramatma, which is also how Srila Prabhupada has continued to guide us since 1977."

Yet this is not quite what Srila Prabhupada taught:

'I shall remain your personal guidance, physically present or not physically present, as I am getting guidance from my Guru Maharaja.'
(Room Conversation, Vrindavan, 14/7/77)

Srila Prabhupada states that he will continue to guide us personally. He may guide us through the medium of Paramatma (such matters are beyond my comprehension) but then the guidance is still coming from personally from Srila Prabhupada, and thus it is he we will need to clean up our relationship with.

"Later, when things settle down, if an AIM devotee wishes to move into the more intimate form of participation and enter into a Guru/Disciple relationship they should be welcome to do so."

1.    Here the author is advocating that having once taken initiation from Srila Prabhupada, he can then take initiation again from a 'living' guru.

This of course is a totally bogus practice and condemned by the shastra:

"A devotee must have only one initiating spiritual master because in the scriptures acceptance of more than one is always forbidden." (Adi, 1:35)

2.    He is also implying that taking initiation from Srila Prabhupada is not even a 'guru/disciple' relationship, for a 'guru/disciple' relationship is what one can move onto from the 'AIM' or ritvik method of initiation.  


As we have seen, this effort from the author has suffered from the same problems as his last attempt. We pointed these problems out to him at the end of our last reply, and we will quote them again to refresh his memory.

Readers are advised to consider the following when reading anything by this or any other author:  

1) Read the TFO and check that he is addressing ONLY what we do say.

Quoting us as proof of this will assist in this simple task. This will eliminate 'straw man' arguments. (Though the author does provide quotes, they do not actually state what he claims we say, and thus he still gave many 'straw man' arguments).  
2) Check that any points he makes have not already been answered in either 'The Final Order' or one of the other IRG replies to the GBC.  
3) Check Srila Prabhupada's teachings with care to see if the author is making statements, which are just plain wrong (philosophically).

Of course if the author had followed 1, 2 and 3 here, he would not have been able say virtually anything. Let us see next time how many VALID points he can make. Furthermore as well as making valid points, the author must also make relevant points:  

4) Deal with the actual challenge of TFO - Modifications A & B.  

We await with interest to see if the author will indeed be able to write anything on TFO that follows these 4 simple guidelines

Unfortunately not only did the author NOT follow these valid guidelines, he also committed further errors. Thus we must issue him 2 more guidelines:  

5) Check to see if the arguments you are proposing are just as applicable to what Srila Prabhupada himself set up and practised when he was on the planet. If they are then you need to explain why your objections are only relevant to after Srila Prabhupada departed, and not before.  
6) If any arguments given are meant to demonstrate that the ritvik idea is against Srila Prabhupada's teachings, then explain how can you propose such a deviant idea at all? (To not follow the '4 regs' is also 'practical', considering all the problems that the devotees have with them, but one could not propose this because it would go against what Srila Prabhupada taught).  

Number 6 of course totally destroys the author's entire thesis and shows him to be extremely confused. We have been asked why we bother replying to such articles if they are so poor? Because each time we do, it simply helps confirm again and again for the readers that no one, not the GBC nor anyone else, can defeat Srila Prabhupada's final order on initiation by supporting Modifications A & B from 'The Final Order'. Certainly Mayesvara prabhu needs to AIM much higher if he is not to repeat the same nonsense he has here.

(*parenthesis added)