Jan 7 -1998 - This is in response to His Grace Drutakarma prabhu's
(henceforward the 'author') latest item which appeared recently on
CHAKRA entitled 'Officiating acarya=ritvik acarya=diksa Guru'. The
title alone indicates the desperation of the author as he slips further
into absurdity. In arguing that the terms 'ritvik acarya' and
'officiating acarya' mean 'diksa guru', the author is directly
Thus in claiming these terms really mean 'diksa guru' the author is directly contradicting the very body he is seeking to defend. 'Gurus and Initiation in ISKCON' (GII) is still current GBC siddhanta with copies sent to every Temple in ISKCON. It is the very paper we were principally challenging when we wrote 'The Final Order' in the first place. For good measure the author also contradicts the following senior Vaisnavas:
The author is very happy to use H.H.Tamal Krishna's understanding of the July 9th letter, so why not his definition of the term 'officiating acarya'. Once more the author's hypocrisy and twisted mind-set is exposed.
Also we had hoped to focus the discussion by asking the author three simple questions, since he has previously avoided answering any of our points. We thought that in answering them the author might better clarify his thoughts and see more clearly the inferior nature of the paradigm he currently inhabits. Disappointingly he chose not to answer them. Readers will have to draw their own conclusions as to why. We shall repeat the questions again at the end of this rebuttal.
We shall reproduce the bulk of the article with our comments following with quotes from our previous papers.
If the author studies Srila Prabhupada's teachings on guru tattva he will soon learn that physical presence and departure are irrelevant to the process of diksa.
presence is irrelevant to the process of diksa why should Srila
Prabhupada mention it in a letter specifically dealing with how diksa
initiation would be given within ISKCON? As we have repeatedly pointed
out, since the final policy directive on initiation, approved by Srila
Prabhupada on July 9th 1977, does not mention anything
about departure, why oh why did the GBC stop it at that very point? It
seems a very long wait is in store for anyone wanting a sensible answer
to this question. Certainly, the author has offered nothing but a
mountain of inconsistent speculation.
Those same gurus and disciples may also recall another point made by the author in the same letter:
"I also support efforts to establish better financial accountability for gurus. Sannyasis, even guru-sannyasis, should live more simply, and make do with fewer servants (Prabhupada got along with two or three). "(Drutakarma)
Thus we see the
author's hypocrisy since it was he himself who first accused ISKCON
gurus of unnecessary extravagance, even whilst simultaneously arguing
they were somehow or other authorised to accept good as God worship. As
we pointed out before:
know that the author has never once produced even a tiny morsel of
evidence from Srila Prabhupada's books proving that diksa is dependent
on the physical proximity of the guru. Until he does so we can only
conclude that it is his accusations of heresy which are based on
reproduces the appointment tape and then states:
We take the
whole conversation into account not just the beginning. (This is in
spite of the fact that the GBC's own investigative expert concluded it
exhibited strong signs suggestive of falsification.) We drew the
author's attention to the first part since that is where Srila
Prabhupada directly answers the question as to how initiations will
proceed 'particularly' when he is no longer present. As we all know
Srila Prabhupada's immediate answer to this initial clear and
self-contained question fully supports our position. In order to get
around the fact that Srila Prabhupada said he would appoint ritvik's for
after his departure the author launches into the same mind-bogglingly
convoluted speculation as was offered in the GBC's defeated paper
'Disciple of My Disciple' which was answered in the paper 'The Final Order Still Stands'.
The author claims above that it is a concoction to state that the ritvik's Srila Prabhupada mentions (and then goes on to appoint in July) do '...not initiate disciples of his (or her) own.' But instead simply '...stand-in for Prabhupada.' And yet the final July 9th order, which the author has belatedly conceded is linked to this conversation, states the following:
Above it is clear the word ritvik is defined as 'representative of the acarya' not as diksa guru or latent diksa guru or acarya in his (or her) own right. Srila Prabhupada directly and personally approved this letter so we know the definition must be correct. Further down the letter this interpretation is confirmed with the following:
Further on the
policy directive states:
Then just in
case there is any doubt about the position of these new ritvik's the
In what way
then have we concocted our own definition of the word 'ritvik '? The
function of a ritvik is clearly defined above as one who acts on Srila
Prabhupada's behalf for the purpose of first and second initiation.
Disciples were never meant to belong to the ritvik's, only to Srila
Prabhupada. These are the ritvik's Srila Prabhupada alluded to in May.
There were no other ritvik's appointed by Srila Prabhupada, only those
mentioned in the July 9th letter. As we can see they were
never authorised to accept their own disciples. They were only meant to
accept disciples on Srila Prabhupada's behalf. Nor were they permitted
to change function just because Srila Prabhupada left the planet. If
they were let's see the evidence.
author is averse to answering direct questions from us, perhaps
someone close to him might pose the following:
Another question for
Drutakarma (number 4)
Why would the ownership of
disciples have been hammered home three times in a letter which the
author alledges was only applicable pre-departure?
If the above
were not evidence enough that a ritvik is not a diksa guru, but a
priest who officiates in some way or other on another's behalf, we also
have all the other references in Srila Prabhupada's books where the
term (and its derivatives) is only ever translated as meaning 'priest':
In none of
the above references is the word ritvik ever defined as meaning 'diksa
guru' or latent diksa guru. Not once .
the addition of the word 'acarya' after the word 'ritvik ' alter the
meaning of the word ritvik . 'ritvik ' still means 'ritvik ' whatever
words may be surrounding it. Any practising Vaisnava Brahmin is an
acarya of some sort. As we all know there are two types of acarya, the
instructing and the initiating. Prefixing the word 'acarya' with the
word 'ritvik ' tells us precisely which type is being referred to.
Surely such an intelligent devotee as the author can grasp this most
If those devotees who were yet to be appointed were simply to act as initiating diksa gurus, then why did Srila Prabhupada confuse everyone by calling them 'officiating acaryas' and then by agreeing with H.H.Tamal Krishna Goswami that this term meant the same as ritvik - "ritvik yes".
In that case the entities who were soon to be appointed were meant to act only as priests. Above the author has inadvertently supported our position. 'ritvik simply means priest', it does not mean diksa guru even with the honorific title of 'acarya' following it.
With no evidence to support him the author speculates that
the 'key word in the whole exchange is acarya'. Even a superficial
counting of the number of times each word is used in the exchange shows
no validity to the author's claim since both the word 'ritvik ' and
'acarya' each appear three times. Srila Prabhupada agrees that the term
'ritvik ' is synonymous with the term 'ritvik acarya' anyway:
The reader may also note that later on the honorific title 'acarya' was dropped altogether from the word 'ritvik ' when the appointment was formalized:
very fact that the terms 'officiating acarya' and 'ritvik acarya' had
never been mentioned before by Srila Prabhupada should tell the author
that they were most certainly NOT regular diksa gurus. The word acarya
is mentioned many times in Srila Prabhupada's books, but never
'officiating acaryas,' so it must be beyond argument that what was
being proposed here was something different from the regular.
Which is the same as 'ritvik '. And as we all agree a ritvik is not a diksa guru, but a priest.
upon speculation. In the end Srila Prabhupada approved the term ritvik
when the appointment finally took place. And we are all in agreement
that this word definitely does not mean diksa guru. Srila Prabhupada
had most definitely already defined the term 'ritvik ' many times in his
books (see above references.)
The author is
speculating desperately above. We know precisely what Srila Prabhupada
meant by the term 'officiating acarya'. Their specific authority was
outlined in the final order. It is obvious that if they were to perform
ALL the functions of an initiating acarya they would simply be called
'initiating acaryas' or 'diksa gurus'. Why would Srila Prabhupada have
agreed with His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami that they were
'ritvik's', and then have gone on to
call them ritvik's when he appointed them, if they were
really initiating acaryas? The
author is spouting gobbledygook and hoping people will buy it.
He also says it
means the same thing as 'ritvik ', which everyone agrees means priest,
not diksa guru.
APPOINTMENT WAS FORMALISED IN THE JULY 9TH LETTER ONLY THE
WORD 'ritvik ' IS USED.
Srila Prabhupada agreed the term 'officiating acarya' and the term 'ritvik ' were the same. Thus the entities being proposed are not diksa gurus; a point which is hammered home three times in the final appointment letter of July 9th. The conversation makes it clear that gurus cannot act in Srila Prabhupada's presence, and that diksa gurus can only operate when he orders them: ' "when I order" "but by my order" "on my order".
point here is why did Satsvarupa Maharaja ask this question in the
first place if Srila Prabhupada had always taught that his disciples
would initiate their own disciples on his departure? This proves that
the author's whole thesis is totally bogus. If it was so clear what
Srila Prabhupada was going to do about initiation, why did his most
senior men approach him at the end to ask such basic questions? Later
on Srila Prabhupada made his decision and appointed eleven ritvik's to
act on his behalf.
Why was this
system stopped and why did the ritvik's change into diksa gurus? These
are the questions the author never answers.
On the basis of
the author's warped understanding of the entities being proposed by
Srila Prabhupada he completely misinterprets the 'appointment tape'. We
have already gone through the tape in 'The Final Order' and 'The Final
Order Still Stands' and various other
papers. Our points have never been addressed comprehensively, what
to speak of refuted. Below we shall reproduce a few relevant sections,
which the author has once again failed to acknowledge.
Only in the
mind of the author.
Now the author
is able to read Srila Prabhupada's mind. Maybe Srila Prabhupada meant
they would be initiating on his behalf, as was set out in the final
certainly did in the final order, please see above.
Above the author foolishly argues that when Srila
Prabhupada says 'on my behalf' he is not speaking of proxies or
ritvik's, he is speaking of diksa gurus who will initiate on their own
behalf on Srila Prabhupada's behalf! Thus he is indirectly denying that
Srila Prabhupada wanted those he would appoint to act on his behalf
even whilst he was present! Clearly the strain of trying to defeat his
Spiritual Master's wishes is beginning to show.
Nowhere in his
books nor institutional directives does Srila Prabhupada ever state the
above. If he had repeated it so many times why were the GBC completely
in the dark about it even as late as May 1977. Why also did the GBC
feel the urge to visit H.H. Sridhar
Swami in Mayapur in order to work out what to do the minute Srila
Prabhupada left the planet? Why are they still in complete disarray
after over twenty years if they had been left such clear repetitious
instructions on how the M.A.S.S. (multiple acarya successor system)
Prabhupada does not say the verse means diksa, in the May conversation.
He merely uses it to enforce the idea that all guru activity must be
authorised, 'when I order' 'on my order' etc. One only needs to read
the purports following the 'amara' verse to realise that the order to
become guru, as conveyed to us by Srila Prabhupada, only refers to
siksa - 'It is best not to accept any disciples'
(C.c.Madhya, 7.130, purport). It is a shame the author does not read
Srila Prabhupada's books more carefully.
author does not reproduce this part of the conversation above. Let's
see if we can guess why:
Above Srila Prabhupada is asked directly whether future initiates would be his and he answers 'yes'. No wonder the author did not reproduce it. The author really should be more straightforward or people will think he is nothing but a big cheating rascal. Perhaps he has had too much association with scientists. As we stated in The Final Order p.24:
Which in turn
means ritvik .
similar nonsense as the above in our reply to the GBC paper 'Disciple
of My Disciple' (DOMD) 'The Final Order Still Stands':
The reader will note that H.H.Tamal Krishna Maharaja's question is in the plural: 'these ritvik acaryas, they are officiating...' Whereas Srila Prabhupada answers in the singular: 'They are his disciples'. This supports our interpretation that he is speaking of himself in the third person.
speculation must be incorrect since ritvik's do not initiate their own
not to the author since he has concluded that officiating priests are
identical to fully fledged diksa gurus, which of course is utterly
author omits to inform his readers that Srila Prabhupada prefixes the
above with the following clear and emphatic restriction:
So where is the
order for diksa gurus? This could not be it, otherwise Srila Prabhupada
would have said something like -'I am now ordering you to become diksa
gurus on my departure'. No such statement is found anywhere in this
conversation, nor in any policy directive sent to the entire movement,
nor is it once stated in any of his books, nor lectures nor morning
walks. Notice in the May 28th conversation Srila Prabhupada
never says 'when I depart you become diksa guru', only 'when I order'.
There can be if
the author will show us the order which countermands or modifies the
July 9th letter. We sense the author is a little frustrated
here, perhaps because he is also anxious to be worshipped by disciples,
and he feels we may put people off.
Yes, when he
orders. Where is the order?
Prabhupada only called them 'officiating acaryas' and 'ritvik ', never
diksa gurus, that is the author's speculation.
It was members
of the media, who would be unlikely to use the word diksa or initiate,
who nearly always asked the question of who would succeed him. The fact
that in replying Srila Prabhupada did not say his disciples would be
initiating or succeeding him supports us not the author. Where is this
multitude of explicit generally applicable evidence supporting the
author's position? So far he has produced a conversation with a one
time visitor to the temple which was not discovered until last year; a
letter to an ambitious deviant devotee, and a lecture which does not
support his contention in any way (see below).
If the May tape
is authentic (and we hope it is) it shows that when
directly asked about initiations 'particularly' after his departure,
Srila Prabhupada said he would appoint 'officiating acaryas' which he
agreed were the same as 'ritvik's'. He then went on to do precisely that
by issuing the July 9th letter. Our case is thus water tight.
That is why we are committed to exposing the author's fallacious and
misleading arguments. There is a danger many innocent people could be
Bhakta Krishnakant does not have any disciples; he is not even a ritvik . Certainly no one with any intelligence will accept the arguments put forward by the author unless they themselves have a vested interest in propagating a lie, or are unfortunate enough to be an aspiring disciple of the author. The author ends his article with another fascist rant and an invitation for all non-ritvik's to participate in the next bogus guru system which the GBC are currently in the process of concocting.
we once again call on the author to answer the three questions posed
previously, plus a new one, if he is able:
has he selected the very time which is NOT mentioned in
the letter as being the point at which he knows for sure Srila
Prabhupada wanted the system set up in the letter to be terminated?
However, since the letter was approved and signed by Srila Prabhupada and sent out by him via his secretary, why does it have any less authority, especially when H.H. Jayadvaita Maharaja (an anti-ritvik) has stated that the authority of the letter is 'beyond question'?
Drutakarma has stated that in the April 6, 1975 lecture Srila Prabhupada is clearly instructing his disciples to initiate their own disciples after his departure. Yet when Srila Prabhupada actually directly speaks of how his disciples should act in the FUTURE, which is the conclusion to the passage, (not how they should act in Srila Prabhupada's presence) Srila Prabhupada actually states the following:
Here Srila Prabhupada states two things that prove that the context CANNOT be diksa:
The irony is that Drutakarma prabhu spends a large chunk of one of his articles proving that the 'ten thousand' refers specifically only to SRILA PRABHUPADA'S INITIATED disciples, and that THIS is what the expansion is required for:
Above Drutakarma admits that Srila Prabhupada only wants disciples who will increase the number of SRILA PRABHUPADA'S initiated disciples, for the 'current number ten thousand' refers to this only. These are the acaryas Srila Prabhupada wants instructing and officiating acaryas (ritvik's) only.
of the above how can the context for the extract*(taken
from the April 6, 1975 lecture) which forms the conclusion to the
passage, be for Srila Prabhupada's disciples to have their OWN initiated
the ownership of disciples have been hammered home three times in a
letter which the author alleges was only applicable pre-departure?
All glories to