Tripurari Speculates About Ritvik


The following is taken from"Sanga", Tuesday, February 11, 2003, Q & A with Swami B. V. Tripurari.  

Satsvarupa: 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 Krishna: Is that called rtvik-acarya?
Prabhupada: Rtvik, yes.  (May 28th, 1977 Room Conversation)

Tripurari Swami: "In spite of what the excerpt [above] from Srila Prabhupada's conversation seems to say, he did not desire or authorize a rtvik system of initiations with himself being the guru of those initiated after his departure from the world. Careful study of all the conversations he had with his leading disciples in the months preceding his departure in conjunction with all that he wrote as well as the entirety of the Gaudiya philosophy makes it clear that he expected his disciples to succeed him by qualifying themselves to serve in the capacity of guru."

Here Tripurari Swami states that IN SPITE of what Srila Prabhupada “SEEMS to say, Srila Prabhupada did not authorise a ritvik system of initiations. Thus it “seems” that Tripurari Swami is saying that what Srila Prabhupada authorised can be known not from what Srila Prabhupada is actually saying, but from what Tripurari thinks Srila Prabhupada really means! 

He further adds that we can understand that Srila Prabhupada did not want a permanent ritvik system based on a “careful study of all the conversations he had with his leading disciples in the months preceding his departure in conjunction with all that he wrote”. Well, let's see what was written in the months preceding Srila Prabhupada’s departure:

July 9th, 1977 - "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. The newly initiated devotees are disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, the above eleven senior devotees acting as His representative."

(Srila Prabhupada’s final signed Directive describing the initiation system to be followed in ISKCON, sent to all GBC's and Temple Presidents)  

July 11th, 1977 - "A letter has been sent to all the Temple Presidents and GBC which you should be receiving soon describing the process for initiation to be followed in the future. Srila Prabhupada has appointed thus far eleven representatives who will initiate new devotees on His behalf."
(Letter from Tamala Krishna Goswami to Kirtananda describing the above system)

July 19th, 1977 - "Make your own field and continue to be ritvik and act on my charge."
(Room Conversation, above dictated by Srila Prabhupada to his secretary Tamala Krishna Goswami)

July 31st, 1977 - "Make your own field and continue to become ritvik and act on my behalf." (Above dictation sent out to Hamsaduta Swami by Tamala Krishna Goswami in a letter)

Nov 1977 - "The system of management will continue as it is now and there is no need of any change."
(Srila Prabhupada's Last Will and Testament, which now comes into force for the lifetime of ISKCON)

Nov 1977 - "In the event of death or failure to act for any reason of any of the said directors, a successor director or directors may be appointed by the remaining directors, provided the new director is my initiated disciple ..."
(Srila Prabhupada's Last Will and Testament, which now comes into force for the lifetime of ISKCON. The above system of selecting directors can only work if Srila Prabhupada's initiated disciples exist throughout ISKCON's lifetime.)

We suppose that Tripurari Swami will now say that “IN SPITE” of what Srila Prabhupada “SEEMS” to say above, he didn't really mean it! Only, what Srila Prabhupada says above, was supposed to be Tripurari Swami's excuse for why Srila Prabhupada didn't really mean what he said on May 28th, 1977 when he said he was appointing ritviks for after his departure!

With all due respect, we suggest Tripurari Swami stick to offering his insights on the writings of Sridhara Maharaja, and whoever else he follows. It is clear he does not have the faintest idea about what Srila Prabhupada's teachings are.

Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!