Though His Holiness Jaydavaita Swami (henceforward ‘JS’), a GBC voted-in ISKCON guru, has never been a GBC member, he is however one of their most enthusiastic supporters when it comes to defending the GBC’s guru system (only to be expected, since he himself is a product of this system). Though JS will frequently criticise the GBC on other issues, this cannot mask the unbridled support he lends in trying to defend their guru system. Throughout the years he has been a constant player in acting as an apologist for the GBC’s guru system:
We now analyse these efforts of JS over the
years to defend the GBC’s guru system.
In 1987, JS launched a scathing attack on the GBC as follows:
For good measure, JS also adds that what he has stated pertains specifically to “all or many present GBC men”. However, these are the same GBC men from whom Jayadvaita Swami had happily lined-up to take endorsement, to be voted-in as one of their gurus, just one year earlier:
So having on the one hand claimed the GBC is
effectively rotten to the core, JS simultaneously had absolutely no
compunction in elevating the same GBC to supreme ecclesiastical status
when it came to receiving his own guru certification to be worshipped as
“good as God,” only a year earlier.
In his 1996 paper, Where the Ritvik People Are Wrong, JS refers to the following “law”, which is extracted from a private letter sent by Srila Prabhupada to a deviant disciple:
JS then claims that due to this law the ritvik system would mean that:
Again quoting this law he further goes on to say:
However a few years later, JS became one of the
first people to break this law, when he allowed his own disciple,
Kadabma Kanana Swami, to accept disciples in his presence, and further
JS himself stopped initiating! So according to his own words, it is not
the ritvik system, but JS, who is reversing what Srila Prabhupada
taught for the previous ten years. He also has gone against what he
claims is the normal system, and what he claims Srila Prabhupada taught
the entire time he was with us. Thus he has done a massive 180* turn in
what he said previously, and by his own words is now rejecting
everything Srila Prabhupada taught.
Referring to Srila Prabhupada’s Last Will and Testament, where it states that all executive directors for the ISKCON properties in India must in perpetuity always be initiated disciples of Srila Prabhupada, JS agrees with the IRM that:
This of course can only happen if the ritvik system is in place for all times in ISKCON, and therefore every future devotee becomes “Srila Prabhupada’s initiated disciple.” Challenging this direct evidence for the ritvik system in ISKCON, JS states the following:
JS states that one becomes Srila Prabhupada’s
initiated disciple through the guru-parampara system.
JS claims that one becoming Srila Prabhupada’s
initiated disciple (which is the effect of the ritvik system),
brings an end to the parampara system. But we have also just seen
JS claim that one also becomes Srila Prabhupada’s initiated disciple
through the “guru-parampara system”, and this is identical in
effect to the ritvik system, and therefore according to JS’s
words should also have the same result as the ritvik system,
namely to bring an end to the parampara system. Therefore JS’s
words lead to the conclusion that the parampara system ends the
Turning to the GBC’s key piece of evidence, the May 28th, 1977 conversation (see BTP 3), JS again presents a very contradictory position. The conversation begins with Srila Prabhupada stating he will appoint ritviks when asked how initiations will continue “particularly at that time” when he is “no longer with us”. Then asked if those initiated by such a system are his disciples, Srila Prabhupada answers unequivocally, “Yes, they are disciples.” These statements clearly contradict the GBC’s position, and therefore to try and explain them away, JS offers the following gobbledygook:
So as soon as Srila Prabhupada does not say what
the GBC want, JS claims Srila Prabhupada’s speaking is “mergy”,
“sliding into one”, “blending”, “not always clear”, “cloudy” and
“mystifying”. And to add insult to injury, for good measure JS
helpfully adds that this is “fairly characteristic of conversations
with Srila Prabhupada”!
So from this we learn the following rule from the JS school of understanding Srila Prabhupada’s instructions. If Srila Prabhupada states something which contradicts your position, label it as being “unclear”, “cloudy”, “mergy”, “mystifying” etc., and that this is “fairly characteristic” of Srila Prabhupada’s conversations. If, however, 5 seconds later, in the same conversation, you spot something that you think may help your position, do a 1800 turn, and suddenly declare that now it is “very clear”. (Of course, it does not actually help his position, for as we have pointed out, Srila Prabhupada states that “he becomes regular guru”, only “when I order” – an order Srila Prabhupada never gave).
In his 1996 paper, Where the Ritvik People are Right, though JS states that the ritvik position is wrong philosophically, he does concede that we are right to raise certain points. He then very eloquently enumerates many of these points (so well enumerated that as BTP readers will know, we often quote him!), and ends by stating:
A very commendable suggestion. However, we have already noted JS’s own contribution to dealing with these same questions “honestly” and “openly”. He organises for devotees to snatch back copies of BTP from devotees who have voluntarily accepted them. How is preventing devotees from reading the arguments for themselves, and making up their own minds, dealing with the questions raised against the GBC guru system “openly and honestly”?
We do not want this analysis to detract from
Jayadvaita Maharaja’s outspokenness on the GBC’s other positions, where
we are in agreement with Maharaja, in particular his excellent attack on
ISKCON’s lurch towards philanthropy, that he gives in his “Food for
Death” seminar. But he needs to drop his fruitless and self-defeating
attempted defence of the GBC’s guru system, and we invite Maharaja to
work together with the IRM on the positions we have in common.