Creating the Post of Officiating Acarya
In the ensuing struggle between the Devotees of ISKCON Bangalore and ISKCON Mumbi, it is this authors hope that both sides will try to work towards a brotherly reconciliation. Wherein both sides can find the common ground, which is faith in, and obedience to the teachings of Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada’s intentions with regard to how initiations should be conducted in his physical absence was clearly stated in the May 28th, 1977 discussion with the GBC:
Satsvarūpa: …Then 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.
Prabhupāda: Yes. I shall recommend some of you. After this is settled up, I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating ācāryas.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Is that called ṛtvik-ācārya?
Prabhupāda: Ṛtvik, yes.
Satsvarūpa: Then what is the relationship of that person who gives the initiation and the…
Prabhupāda: He’s guru. He’s guru.
Satsvarūpa: But he does it on your behalf.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is formality. Because in my presence one should not become guru, so on my behalf, on my order… Āmāra ājñāya guru hañā [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. Be actually guru, but by my order.
Satsvarūpa: So they may also be considered your disciples.
Prabhupāda: Yes, they are disciples. Why consider? Who?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, he’s asking that these ṛtvik-ācāryas, they’re officiating, giving dīkṣā. Their… The people who they give dīkṣā to, whose disciple are they?
Prabhupāda: They’re his disciple.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They’re his disciple.
Prabhupāda: Who is initiating. He is grand-disciple.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That’s clear.
So it is plain to see that those giving diksa would be acting as officiating acaryas, and those receiving diksa from them would be their disciples. It is the duty of the GBC to create the post of Officiating Acarya so that we may all be properly connected to the disciplic succession.
“Who is Initiating” refers to the Officiating Acarya who is giving diksa, and those who receive diksa are his initiated disciples and Srila Prabhupada’s grand-disciples.
That’s clear. (However that instruction was never followed).
The GBC must create the post of “Officiating Acarya”, and all the ISKCON gurus would be considered as such, as it should have been since the time of the famous July 9th Letter. This I think, would be the beginning of the much needed reconcililation, and cure many of the ills of our society.
The following is the Synopsis of the System of Initiation as applicable to the ISKCON Bangalore group of temples and could be incorporated into mainstream ISKCON very easily.
The Post of Officiating Acarya More