Particularly At That Time When You’re No Longer With Us

Particularly at that time when you’re no longer with us…
Struggle For Truth

It is a matter of undisputed evidence that several of the GBC members approached Srila Prabhupada on May 28th 1977 with a set of questions to be asked to him. One such question was, how first and second initiation would go on particularly when he was no longer with us. Srila Prabhupada’s immediate reply was, “I will appoint some of you to act as Officiating Acharya.” And to this HH Tamal Krishna Maharaj said, “Rtvik Acharya?” and Srila Prabhupada said, “Rtvik, yes”. This is Guru Mukha Padma Vakya.

A great misunderstanding has been perpetrated in ISKCON that the parampara will be lost if we had a rtvik system and in order to maintain parampara we must have living initiating gurus. But Srila Prabhupada says differently on when parampara is lost or stopped:

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, if the knowledge was handed down by the saintly kings, evam parampara-praptam, how is it that the knowledge was lost?

Prabhupada: “When it was not handed down. Simply understood by speculation. Or if it is not handed down as it is. They might have made some changes. Or they did not hand it down. Suppose I handed it down to you, but if you do not do that, then it is lost. Now the Krishna consciousness movement is going on in my presence. Now after my departure, if you do not do this, then it is lost. If you go on as you are doing now, then it will go on.” (Room conversations, May 9th , 1975, Perth)

Now, here also it is stated, sa kalaneha mahata yogo nasto parantapa: “My dear Arjuna, oh, you are the great hero. Now, that Bhagavad-gita, the instruction which I imparted to the sun-god, was coming by disciplic succession. Now it is lost.” Now, we have to note down this point. Why it is lost? Why it is lost? Do you think that there was no learned man during that time? During Krishna’s time? Oh, there were many learned sages. Not only one, two, there were dozens of learned sages. But still, the Lord said, Krishna said, that “They… That knowledge which I exactly imparted to sun-god is now lost.” How it is lost? There were many scholars, and still, how it is lost? The lost means that the purport of Bhagavad-gita is lost. (Gita lecture New York, July 13th , 1966)

We have dozens of quotes on this subject that shows how and when parampara is lost, which requires a careful study. This is not the parampara of physical arts and crafts like music or massage therapy or wrestling – which requires a physical link of teacher and disciple to keep it going. We are talking of spiritual knowledge whose transmission, as repeatedly taught by Srila Prabhupada, does not depend on physical presence. Srila Prabhupada has set up an institution of preachers who, if they continue to speak what ever Srila Prabhupada has taught as it is, will continue the parampara.

Another standard objection about rtvik system is that it is historically unprecedented. We have prepared a list of over a dozen things that Srila Prabhupada did that are historically unprecedented and would be considered unacceptable even by other Indian Vaishnava traditions. And Srila Prabhupada has said this about an Acharya:

“Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to invent a way to capture the Mayavadis and others who did not take interest in the Krishna consciousness movement. This is the symptom of an Acharya. An Acharya who comes for the service of the Lord cannot be expected to conform to a stereotype, for he must find the ways and means by which Krishna consciousness may be spread.” (CC Adi 7.33)

“So therefore it depends on the Acharya how to adjust things. So, my Guru Maharaja, ‘Alright go on preaching on a motorcar, it doesn’t matter.’… This is adjustment. The Acharya knows how to adjust things.” (SB class, Auckland, Feb. 20th , 1973)

And the most definitive direction on this subject is found in the purport of the Srimad Bhagavatam:

“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 diksha-vidhana.” (SB 4.8.54)

And now it is a historically established fact that Srila Prabhupada did not authorize any one to become an initiating spiritual master. Based on these and several instructions of Srila Prabhupada on this matter all the Bangalore temple devotees were convinced that the Officiating Acharya system was and is how Srila Prabhupada wanted initiations to carry on for the future of his movement through Rtviks, or Officiators of the Acharya, or persons “acting as Officiating Acharya”. There have been many debates over this July 9th directive which we will not get into here except for stating our stand. We also do not think that the Officiating Acharyas are just brahminical priests as the eleven persons whom Srila Prabhupada named were indeed accomplished leaders who contributed to expand the movement. As far we are concerned over the last eleven years we have taken this directive to our heart and soul and have accepted Srila Prabhupada as our spiritual master.

So we have got everything in writing, in books, in instructions. Our duty is to take them rightly and utilize it properly, advance in Krishna consciousness. (SB class, New Vrindaban, June 25, 1976)

Srila Prabhupada writes in a letter:

“They misunderstand me. Unless it is there from me in writing” (Letter to Omkara-devi dasi, dated September 2nd 1975,)

So we know that what is written (and signed) by Srila Prabhupada is final.

With this faith in the words of our Spiritual Master Srila Prabhupada we have been engaging successfully in expanding his preaching mission by opening several centers all over India, and distributing the Holy Name, Books and prasadam from these centers to millions of conditioned souls. From when the time the dispute began and we were 60 full time devotees, now we are a community of over 275 full time devotees in 14 locations.

With the assistance of the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore, our congregation, outside supporters, visitors – all of us together, with the grace of Srila Prabhupada and Sri Sri Radha Krishna Chandra, have made the temple and all of its preaching efforts a continual success, even in the face of the most vicious adversity. The GBC is very well aware of the recent history of adversity and maligning campaign that we have been facing, were we are called thieves and frauds, perpetrated by our opponents (ISKCON Mumbai) under the authorization of the GBC because of the court case against them. All of this I do not wish to list here to keep the mood positive. We can proudly say that we have tolerated it for a decade without retaliation and can safely say that we have never attacked ISKCON anywhere except a few months back when we brought out a booklet “Struggle for Truth.” (We took this step as agents of ISKCON Mumbai stole the database of 40,000 donors of ISKCON Bangalore from the temple and mailed a booklet entitled Fraud of Madhu Pandit Dasa. We were always careful, in spite of all the provocations, not to burn the bridges with the GBC, with a hope to work some day under a strong united GBC. In spite of our struggle against these obstacles, we have carried out our devotional services to Srila Prabhupada to expand Krishna consciousness movement in India.

We can only imagine what the results of our efforts and resources would have been if we were permitted to expend them all on preaching, and not on defending the maligned attacks on us in the last decade.

Here is additional explanation of our proposal (attached along with):

1. We want to work under one single world wide GBC.

2. But we should be respectably allowed to practice the Officiating Acharya system within our group.

3. Once we are under the GBC and as long as the law on ban of rtvik doctrine exists, we cannot practice the same under their authority except as hiding fugitives. We did not put up all these struggles to get that compromised status. What we are looking for is GBC permitting to practice the same only within our group, and obviously this cannot happen as long as the GBC is holding that it is a d’ eviant’ doctrine. We do not want to be under a body that does not accept us to have Srila Prabhupada as our spiritual master, both diksha and siksha, as we are practicing now.
That cannot happen without them repealing the law on rtvik. This is the crux of the issue. Not the property, at least for us. If they accept clearly, unambiguously and honestly that rtvik system can be practiced in our group of temples, we are prepared to flex in many different manners to bring all the properties under the control of the GBC on par with other ISKCON temples in the world.

There are three letters of Oct and Nov 1974, to show that Srila Prabhupada directed certain devotees to register a separate society in Calcutta by the name “International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Calcutta” under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, although that instruction was not carried out. HH Jayapataka Swami was named as one of the Trustees too in that document. When the movement had just begun in 1972, Srila Prabhupada naturally considered Bombay as the headquarters and wanted all the funds in India to be sent to Bombay for centralizing and in return all bills to be paid from Bombay. He wrote so in a letter in early 1972. But there is absolutely no evidence of it having functioned in this manner. Srila Prabhupada was so much against centralization as we see in April 1972 when he disbanded the entire GBC when an attempt was made by some of the GBC members to centralize ISKCON management all over the world. (ref series of letters/telegrams that Srila Prabhupada wrote in April 1972).

If all the properties in India were to be controlled by the single trustee group of Mumbai society, i.e., Bureau, then why did Srila Prabhupada in his Will in 1977 not say so? On the contrary, Srila Prabhupada in his Will has appointed separate groups of three or more property trustees for each of the major properties in India. On the other hand, for India Srila Prabhupada could have just said, “…the Bureau is there”.

In addition, in Srila Prabhupada’s Will he even says that if one of them resign or die in any of those three of more trustee groups then the others will co-opt a new person as long as he is an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada. Will is not a letter but a legal document. Only if the rtvik system is practiced can there be initiated disciples of Srila Prabhupada, say fifty years from now. Otherwise according to the Will all the properties would have to go to the government control as there will be no more initiated disciples of Srila Prabhupada to act as trustees. How does GBC answer these facts on Srila Prabhupada’s Will satisfactorily? Are they not obligated to honor the Will of Srila Prabhupada? Or at least give an explanation?

Pasted from http://struggle-for-truth.org

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