The real Initiation

1972 Nectar of Devotion lecture at Rupa Goswami Samadi


The real Initiation
Reported by Vaikunthanatha Dasa

In 1972, when Prabhupada gave a series of lectures on The Nectar of Devotion for one month in Vrindavan, a thought was plaguing me. When I first joined, I’d been taught that the parampara system is like a chain, and if you’re not initiated, if you’re not linked up to this chain, then you can’t go back to Godhead. I thought, “We’re distributing so many books, but if the people who read them are not initiated, then they can’t go back to Godhead.” So, one day I followed Prabhupada from Rupa Goswami’s samadhi, where he lectured, and just before Prabhupada stepped onto his courtyard, I said, “We’re distributing so many books but if people aren’t initiated, then they can’t go back to Godhead.” Prabhupada turned, looked at me right in the eyes and said, “Just by reading my books they are initiated.” I thought, “That is an incredible example of compassion. 

Pasted from; http://www.iskcontimes.com/the-real-initiation

The Function of the GBC

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

“This is the function of the GBC, to see that one may not be taken away by maya. The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am the initiator guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing. This is not a title, but you must actually come to this platform. This is what I want.” (Letter to Madhudvisa Swami, August, 4, 1975)

for entire letter…

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Srila Prabhupada’s Initiation Ceremony at Iskcon Bangalore


Srila Prabhupada’s Initiation Ceremony at Iskcon Bangalore
By: Iskcontimes Team

On Sunday, at Iskcon Bangalore one more initiation ceremony was conducted, Reestablishing and Reinforcing the Position of Srila Prabhupada as the only Diksha Guru of Iskcon. 50 devotees took Harinam Diksha and 3 took Brahmana Diksha. Harinam Diksha devotees were given a Vedic name, and Japa Malas chanted upon by the Ritviks. Brahmana Diksha candidates were given a sacred thread. A Vaishnava Homa (fire sacrifice) was performed as the conclusion of the ceremony. The initiation ceremony took place in accordance with the July 9th Letter of Srila Prabhupada.

Pasted from iskcontimes.com

Pledge of Support for ISKCON Bangalore


At this critical juncture of the tussle between ISKCON Mumbai and ISKCON Bangalore, I together with the devotees here in Malaysia, pledge support for His Grace Madhu Pandit Prabhu and the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore. Knowing only too well the many similar tribulations experienced in Malaysia over the last decade, it is obvious that the same demeaning tactics magnified manifold are at work to disrepute the good work accomplished by the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore.

Pledge of Support for ISKCON Bangalore
By: Radhapran Dasa, Malaysia

It gives me much grief to see what appears to be a concerted effort by the ISKCON GBC to smear the good name of His Grace Madhu Pandit Prabhu whom I have had the fortune to know personally since 1999. His association has been a stark contrast to that of the thuggish bogus gurus whom I have had the misfortune of encountering in my early association with ISKCON.

Having understood and accepted the authentic position of Srila Prabhupada as the sole diksha guru for ISKCON through contact with other like-minded devotees and evidence related to Srila Prabhupada’s books on Guru tattva and the principal documents pertaining to the process of initiation such as the May 28th conversation, July 9th letter and the Official Will, my team of devotees initially faced an uphill task of disengaging ourselves from the deviation-ridden GBC-led setup in Malaysia. We have faced both direct harassment and indirect plots to undermine our existence since 1999.

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Nearly Everyone Is Ritvik


Nearly Everyone Is Ritvik
Bhaktisiddhanta Dasa – Vrndavan:

Has everyone forgotten what happened in the past? In the early ‘70’s Srila Prabhupada started his own ritvik system, surprise! At some point it became too much to chant on everyone’s beads and give the new spiritual names so what to do? He appointed some of his senior men to cover these details so he could go on with his writing and management of a world organization.

My wife and I were initiated in 1975 in Los Angeles, Srila Prabhupada had left the day before to go to San Francisco, by this time he deputed his personal secretary and Sanskrit scholar to look up the names; and then he would approve or disapprove.

During the fire sacrifice it was Hridayananda Maharaja that was standing next to the Vyasasana and handed out the beads and asked for the four regulative principles. Each time a new name was given there was a loud HARIBOL and everyone applauded.

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Press Note

We are willing to settle and handover the control of ISKCON Bangalore society registered in 1978 if the above ISKCON Law (ISKCON Law 6.4.7.2) is rescinded and it is openly declared that Srila Prabhupada is the only Acharya of ISKCON and that no one else should accept disciples within ISKCON. Any further discussions on the peace proposal can be worked out provided these facts are first accepted by ISKCON Mumbai. Only based on this first step can any peace or settling of issues can make meaningful progress.

Press Note

ISKCON Mumbai is not serious about peace
By Madhu Pandit Dasa
Bangalore 1st September, 2011.

We got to know through media sources that ISKCON Mumbai’s Bureau members conducted a press conference today and claimed that they are willing to settle the dispute between ISKCON Bangalore and Mumbai as per the Supreme Courts’ desire. We are sending this clarificatory press release so as to present the actual facts of the matter.

We wish to place on record that ISKCON Bangalore was the first to offer a peace proposal, we had offered peace proposal as early as 4th of February 2009. This peace proposal was given just before City Civil Court pronounced its verdict that ISKCON Bangalore registered in 1978 is an independent society and that ISKCON Mumbai registered in 1971 should not interfere with Bangalore’s affairs. This proposal was categorically rejected by ISKCON Mumbai. The proposal was sent in writing you can view the same by going to the following link: http://www.iskconbangalore.org/sites/default/files/Krishna-Voice-July-2011.pdf (page 48).

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Iskcon Guru Tattva Siddhanta

Iskcon Guru Tattva Siddhanta
By Madhavananda Das
December 27, 1998 (VNN) 2746

(The following is a series of quotes from Srila Prabhupada relevant to the ISKCON guru issue. The quotes are presented in a logical order which addresses the entire issue point by point. Let us hear the perfected words of our beloved spiritual master.)

There are two kinds of instructing spiritual masters. One is the liberated person fully absorbed in meditation in devotional service, and the other is he who invokes the disciple’s spiritual consciousness by means of relevant instructions. (Adi 1.47)

“…in order to receive the real message of Srimad Bhagavatam one should approach the current link, or spiritual master in the chain of disciplic succession.” (S.B. 2.9.7)

“…disciplic succession does not always mean that one has to be initiated officially. Disciplic succession means to accept the disciplic conclusion. (Letter Dinesh 10/31/69)

In other words, the spiritual master awakens the sleeping living entity to his original consciousness so that he can worship Lord Visnu. This is the purpose of diksa, or initiation. Initiation means receiving the pure knowledge of spiritual consciousness. (Madhya 9.61)

Diksa actually means initiating a disciple with transcendental knowledge by which he becomes freed from all material contamination. (Madhya 4.110)

Initiation or no initiation, first thing is knowledge. (break) …knowledge. Initiation is formality. Just like you go to a school for knowledge, and admission is formality. That is not very important thing. (Conv. 10/16/76)

In my books the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is explained fully, so if there is anything which you do not understand, then you simply have to read again and again. By reading daily the knowledge will be revealed to you and by this process your spiritual life will develop.(Letter Baharupa 11/22/74)

Everyone of you must regularly read our books at least twice, in the morning and evening, and automatically all questions will be answered. (Letter Ranadhir 1/24/70)

“I shall remain your personal guidance, physically present or not physically, as I am getting personal guidance from my Guru Maharaja.” (Conv. 7/14/77)

Generally a spiritual master who constantly instructs a disciple in spiritual science becomes his initiating spiritual master later on.” (Adi 1.35)

Sometimes a diksa-guru is not present always. Therefore one can take learning, instruction, from an advanced devotee. That is called the siksa-guru. (Lec 7/4/77 Honolulu)

You simply say, “Krsna said four things: man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. ‘Just always think of Me.’ Krsna said. ‘And just become My devotee. Just worship Me and offer obeisances.’ Kindly do these things.” So if you can induce one person to do these four things, you become guru. Is there any difficulty? (Conv. 2/8/76 Paris)

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Srila Prabhupada is the Diksa Guru for ISKCON

Vani Seva
By Ananda devi dasi
May 12 2009, UK

“In the absence of physical presentation of the Spiritual Master, the vaniseva is more important. My Spiritual Master Saraswati Goswami, may appear to be physically not present but still I try to serve His Instruction, I never feel separated from Him” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, August 22, 1970)

After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada His instructions remained the same, they didn’t change. Therefore Srila Prabhupada is the Diksa Guru and His ISKCON-specific instructions and the process of Diksa remains the same. A disciple who has had no chance of serving the Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada, when He was in His Vapuh, can still follow His Vani, instructions, and fully benefit from this association and advance in devotional service.

The Officiating Acarya process is not a replacement system for the Disciplic Succession, nor is it an initiating system, either. Srila Prabhupada is the Initiator Guru whether there is an Officiating Acarya system in place or not, whether or not the July 9th Letter is implemented or not. Devotees that join ISKCON can only be initiated by Srila Prabhupada because He is the Diksa Guru for ISKCON, period.

In Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.47 we read:

“The disciple and spiritual master are never separated because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple as long as the disciple follows strictly the instructions of the spiritual master. This is called the association of Vani. Physical presence is called Vapuh. As long as the spiritual master is physically present, the disciple should serve the physical body of the spiritual master, and when the spiritual master is no longer physically existing, the disciple should serve the instructions of the spiritual master.”

Srila Prabhupada makes it crystal clear that after the disappearance of the Spiritual Master, the disciple follows the instructions of the Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master left His instructions in the form of Books, verbal instructions, letters, tapes, videos, all these are instructions from the Spiritual Master,Vani.

After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada His instructions remained the same, they didn’t change. Therefore Srila Prabhupada is the Diksa Guru and His ISKCON-specific instructions and the process of Diksa remains the same. A disciple who has had no chance of serving the Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada, when He was in His Vapuh, can still follow His Vani, instructions, and fully benefit from this association and advance in devotional service.

In Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 1.35 we read:

“It is imperative that one accepts a spiritual master if he at all desires to gain the favor of the Lord. The service of the Spiritual Master is essential. If there is no chance to serve the spiritual master directly, a devotee should serve Him by remembering His instructions. There is no difference between the spiritual masters instructions and the spiritual master Himself. In His absence,therefore,His words of direction should be the pride of the disciple.”

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How to be linked up with Srila Prabhupada


How to be linked up with Srila Prabhupada
Posted by Hansadutta das on October 22, 2010

A devotee in Texas wrote in, asking what to do, how to be properly connected with Srila Prabhupada. He is certainly not the only one. There are many devotees like him all over the world, so I hope this helps others who likewise want to understand their situation in relationship to Prabhupada.

Dear Bhakta Ronnie, obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your nice letter (letter follows). You have asked, “What exactly is a devotee like me supposed to do? How do I get linked up with Srila Prabhupada?” This is the question that plagues you, right?

Vaikuntanath das, a good friend of mine from NY City in early 1968, was alone with Srila Prabhupada at the Radha Damodar temple in Vrindaban, India. He wanted to ask a question of Prabhupada that had haunted him for a long time. Finally he felt, “This is my chance.” He asked, “Srila Prabhupada, we are distributing millions of books, but in the future when you are not here, how will these people who read your books be INITIATED?” Srila Prabhupada looked at him approvingly and answered, “One who reads my books, he is initiated automatically.”

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Srila Prabhupada is the Only Spiritual Master for ISKCON

Srila Prabhupada is the Only Spiritual Master for ISKCON

Srila Prabhupada created ISKCON for his disciples and it is really only going to work for his disciples. There is no history of a group of gurus living together and having all their disciples together. Even the Goswamis in Vrindavan, they were coming together for kirtans but they all had their own separate temples and disciples.

A short while back I read an interesting article written by Madhuvisa Prabhu, and posted by Rochan Prabhu on his site Sampradaya Sun. The article was entitled Evidence and Clarification. We are posting some of it here.

“…But as far as the facts are concerned it is certainly a fact that Prabhupada established a ritvik initiation system in ISKCON in the early 70’s where he would appoint representatives to perform the fire yajnas for his disciples on his behalf. And it is a fact that he gave these “ritviks” more power as the years went on, and in the July 9th letter, he gave them complete power to accept disciples on his behalf and chant on their beads and give them a name, without having any physical involvement in the matter at all.

It is also a provable fact that Srila Prabhuapda did not consider that any of his disciples were qualified for the position of acharya. And therefore it is very reasonable to say that Srila Prabhupada did not appoint any successor acharyas. I was just listening to one of the 1977 conversation tapes a couple of days ago and Srila Prabhupada told Tamal that the problem is among his disciples there is no strong man. He said they are all like children and among all Ramesvara may be the best. The same thing is there in other places where Prabhupada is clearly stating that his disciples are immature and not qualified for the post of acharya.

So it is a fact that the system Srila Prabhupada used in ISKCON to accept disciples in him physical presence was ritvik, 100% ritvik in the later years. And we can say it is a fact that he did not appoint any successor acharyas. Even Tamal confirms this in his Topanga Canyon talks. He says clearly that Prabhupada only appointed ritviks.

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Ritvik Supported In Other Letters

Ritvik Supported In Other Letters
By: Kurma Das

July 11 2011, Australia — For those of us following Rocana Dasa’s most recent dressing down of the July 9th letter, here are three other letters which clearly support the objectives of the July 9th letter and which describe the word RITTVIK two times

Kirtanananda Swami July 11th 1977
“A letter has been sent to all temple presidents and GBC which you should be receiving soon, describing the process of Initiation to be followed in the future. Srila Prabhupada has appointed thus far eleven representatives who will initiate new devotees on his behalf. You can wait for the letter to arrive ( The original has been sent to Rameswara Maharaja for duplicating ) and then all of the persons whom you recommended in your previous letters can be initiated .”

Hansadutta Swami July 10th 1977
“You are a suitable person and you can give initiation to those that are ready for it. I have selected you among eleven men as ‘Rittvik representative of the Acharya, to give initiations, both first and second initiation, on my behalf.’ A newsletter is being sent to all temple presidents and GBC in this regard, listing the eleven representatives selected by His Divine Grace. Those who are initiated are the disciples of Srila Prabhupada, and anyone whom you deem fit and initiate in this way, you should send their names to be included in Srila Prabhupada’s ‘Initiated disciples’ book.”

Hansadutta Swami July 31st 1977
“You have written to Srila Prabhupada saying you do not know why he has chosen you to be a recipient of his Mercy. His Divine Grace immediately replied, ‘It is because you are my sincere servant. You have given up attachment to a beautiful and qualified wife and that is a great benediction. You are a real preacher. Therefore I like you. (Then laughing) Sometimes you become obstinate, but that is true of any intelligent man. Now you have got a very good field. Now organize it and it will be a great credit. No one will disturb you there. MAKE YOUR OWN FIELD AND CONTINUE TO BE RITTVIK AND ACT ON MY BEHALF.’”

Kurma (not the chef)

http://www.prabhupadanugas.eu/?p=21298#more-21298

Tamal Krishna Goswami on Rittvik Initiation

Tamal Krishna Goswami on Rittvik Initiation
In 1979-1980, Tamal Krishna Goswami (GBC guru-acharya ) confessed that Srila Prabhupada never appointed any successor guru-acharyas:

Tamal Krishna Goswami: …Actually, Prabhupada never appointed any gurus. He did not appoint eleven gurus. He appointed eleven rittviks [officiating priests]. He never appointed them as gurus . Myself and the other GBCs have done the greatest disservice to this movement for the last three years, because we interpreted the appointment of rittviks as the appointment of gurus….

[What Srila Prabhupada said was], “All right, I will appoint so many,” and he named them. He made it very clear that they [new members] were still to be his disciples. At that point it was very clear in my mind that they were his disciples….

Now I understand that what he did was very clear. He was physically incapable of performing the function of initiating physically; therefore he appointed officiating priests to initiate on his behalf. He appointed eleven and he said very clearly, “Whoever is nearest, he can initiate.”

This is a very important point, because when it comes to initiating, it is not “whoever is nearest.” It is wherever your heart goes–to whom you can repose your faith in.

But when it is officiating, it’s “whoever is nearest,” and he was very clear… “Whoever is nearest will check you out. Then, on my behalf, they will initiate….”

If it had been more than that [officiating priests], you can bet your bottom dollar that Prabhupada would have spoken for days and hours and weeks on end about how to set up this thing with the gurus…. But he did not, because he already said it a million times. He said, “My Guru Maharaja did not appoint anyone. It is by qualification.” We made a great mistake….

You cannot show me anything on tape or in writing where Prabhupada says, “I appoint these eleven as gurus .” It does not exist, because he never appointed any gurus. This is a myth.–

1979-1980, Topanga Canyon, California, (Spoken in Topanga Canyon and subsequently published in ISKCON Journal, Vol. I, No. 1)

Association with the Spiritual Master; Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada is our Spiritual Master, the Bona Fide Uttama-Adhikari, the current link to the Disciplic succession, the all merciful, all compassionate Diksa Guru, impartially distributing Sri Caitanya’s mercy. And Initiating the general population into the cult of Devotional Service to Lord Krsna.

Our relationship with Srila Prabhupada is a spiritual relationship, it is not based on whether or not we were physically present simultaneously. Spiritual inspiration comes from within the heart, wherein the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His Paramatma feature, is always sitting with all His devotees and associates. The Spiritual Master is the external manifestation of the Supersoul and is simultaneously manifest within the heart of the sincere disciple seated with the Supersoul and accompanying the disciple everywhere.

The disciple and spiritual master are never separated because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple as long as the disciple follows strictly the instructions of the spiritual master.

“In the absence of physical presentation of the Spiritual Master, the vaniseva is more important. My Spiritual Master Saraswati Goswami, may appear to be physically not present but still I try to serve His Instruction, I never feel separated from Him” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, August 22, 1970)

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Dispute Between ISKCON Bangalore and ISKCON Mumbai/Letter by Sriman Madhu Pandit Prabhu

Letter from President, ISKCON Bangalore Society

Dear Patrons,

This communication is aimed at bringing into focus the core issue behind the current dispute between ISKCON Bangalore and ISKCON Mumbai. As a patron of ISKCON Bangalore Society, we believe you should be informed about the factual position of both disputing parties and be reassured about the safe guard of your interest in your relationship with ISKCON Bangalore.

From the time His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, reverentially addressed as Srila Prabhupada, founded ISKCON in New York in 1966, ISKCON grew into a large, transnational organization spanning many countries, having 108 centers and more than 10,000 members, in a matter of 10 years. This was due to the immense spiritual stature and vision of our Founder Acharya, Srila Prabhupada.

While the growth of the organization was impressive, in 1977, just prior to Srila Prabhupada’s leaving this world, it was still a young organization and most of the members and devotees, mainly westerners, had not developed the required spiritual stature, knowledge, realization, immense purity
and gravity that is required to occupy the post of his spiritual successor, as an “Acharya”.

Keeping this in mind, Srila Prabhupada appointed 11 disciples to act as Representatives of Acharya (and not as Acharyas) or ritviks. He issued an institutional directive that these ritviks would also officiate during the initiation ceremony of devotees who would join the movement. It was amply
clear that these individuals would be his representatives only, and would not replace him as the Spiritual Master or Acharya of ISKCON. In other words, Srila Prabhupada was to remain, for all time, the Founder and only Acharya or Diksha guru of ISKCON.

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Dispute Between ISKCON Bangalore and ISKCON Mumbai

Communication to all stakeholders, regarding the current dispute between ISKCON Bangalore and ISKCON Mumbai

This communication is aimed at bringing into focus the core issue behind the current dispute between Iskcon Bangalore and Iskcon Mumbai, As a customer, donor, supplier, banker, faculty, consultant, employee or any other stakeholder in ISKCON Bangalore society, we believe you should be informed about the factual position of both disputing parties and be reassured about the safe guard of your interest in your relationship with ISKCON Bangalore.

From the time, His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, reverentially addressed as Srila Prabhupada, founded ISKCON in New York in 1966, ISKCON grew into a large, transnational organization spanning many countries, having 108 centers and more than 10,000 members, in a matter of 10 years. This was due to the immense spiritual stature and vision of our Founder Acharya, Srila Prabhupada.

While the growth of the organization was impressive, in 1977, just prior to Srila Prabhupada’s leaving this world, it was a young organization and most of the members and devotees, mainly westerners, had not developed the required spiritual stature, knowledge, realization, immense purity and gravity that is required to occupy the post of his spiritual successor, as an “Acharya”.

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Does the Disciplic Succession stop with Srila Prabhupada?

Does the Disciplic Succession stop with Srila Prabhupada?
By Ananda Devi
Posted on 4. April 2009 by Prabhupadanuga News

Whether Srila Prabhupada is “physically present” or not is of no consequence He is the current link in ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada IS the “current link” in ISKCON. There is no difference between Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON, and the sound vibration coming from Him, even though He is not personally present. The potency is never minimized because the vibrator is apparently absent.

Srila Prabhupada incorporated the organisation named ISKCON as a legal entity. He had already foreseen the future temples, farms, devotees and His position in Sri Chaitanya’s Sankirtana Movement. Not only is Srila Prabhupada the Founder/Acarya, but also the Diksa Guru of ISKCON. In 1966, this position was not questioned.

Srila Prabhupada gathered together the Brahma-Samita, the essence of Vedic literature, the Srimad Bhagavatam authored by Srila Vyasadeva, the Nectar of Devotion and Instruction by Rupa Goswami, the Caitanya-caritamrita by Krsnadasa Kaviraja, and His very own Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, as well as many other Vedic literatures. These are the cream of Vedic literature, not the bread and butter; those He discarded.

As a uniquely empowered potent preacher, Srila Prabhupada created His very own organisation for Him to be the centre, ISKCON. The exclusive worship is the same today as it was back in those days. Srila Prabhupada is directly worshipped as the Diksa Guru as if He was physically present today There has been no change to the daily worship.

From Mangala Arati through to Bhagavatam class is all based around Srila Prabhupada’s process of Diksa that He introduced for His ISKCON. In ISKCON this is exactly the definition and meaning of “current link” to the Disciplic Succession.

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The Expansions of Advaita Ācārya

The order of the spiritual master is the active principle in spiritual life. Anyone who disobeys the order of the spiritual master immediately becomes useless. (Adi 12.10)

…the followers of Advaita Ācārya divided into two parties. Such disagreement among the disciples of one ācārya is also found among the members of the Gauḍīya Maṭha. In the beginning, during the presence of Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Paramahaṁsa Parivrājakācārya Aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda, all the disciples worked in agreement; but just after his disappearance, they disagreed. One party strictly followed the instructions of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, but another group created their own concoction about executing his desires. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, at the time of his departure, requested all his disciples to form a governing body and conduct missionary activities cooperatively. He did not instruct a particular man to become the next ācārya. But just after his passing away, his leading secretaries made plans, without authority, to occupy the post of ācārya, and they split into two factions over who the next ācārya would be. Consequently, both factions were asāra, or useless, because they had no authority, having disobeyed the order of the spiritual master. Despite the spiritual master’s order to form a governing body and execute the missionary activities of the Gauḍīya Maṭha, the two unauthorized factions began litigation that is still going on after forty years with no decision. (Adi 12.8 purport)

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Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You

The endless controversy over whether Prabhupada appointed gurus, acharyas or rittvik deputies can be satisfactorily concluded by pointing out that Prabhupada left written instructions. Srila Prabhupada left a last will and testament. He left a BBT document regarding the continued publication of his books. He left a GBC document outlining how the movement is to be managed. And he wrote a letter on July 9, l977, appointing ll senior devotees as rittvik gurus, officiating deputies, to continue the process of initiating new members on behalf of ” the Founder- acarya ” Srila Prabhupada . All the men named in that letter already had been doing these rittvik initiations on Prabhupada’s bellalf for a number of years. Therefore, there was no need for Prabhupada to write an official letter in this regard, save and except to make it clear that these senior disciples should perpetuate the rittvik responsibilities they were already performing in the future, as in the absence of Srila Prabhupada, which at that time was apparently very near at hand.

Letter to all GBC and Temple Presidents
from Srila Prabhupada, dated July 9th, 1977 (see photocopy above):

To All G.B.C. and Temple Presidents
July 9th, 1977

Dear Maharajas and Prabhus:

Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. Recently, when all of the GBC members were with His Divine Grace in Vrindavana, Srila Prabhupada indicated that soon He would appoint some of His senior disciples to act as “rittvik”-representative of the acharya, for the purpose of performing initiations, both first initiation and second initiation. HisDivine Grace has so far given a list of eleven disciples who will act in that capacity:

His Holiness Kirtanananda Swami
His Holiness Satsvarupa das Goswami
His Holiness Jayapataka Swami
His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami
His Holiness Hrdayananda Goswami
His Holiness Bhavananda Goswami
His Holiness Hamsadutta Swami
His Holiness Ramesvara Swami
His Holiness Harikesa Swami
His Grace Bhagavan das Adhikari
His Grace Jayatirtha das Adhikari

In the past Temple Presidents have written to Srila Prabhupada recommending a particular devotee’s initiation. 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 Prabhupada, the above eleven senior devotees acting as His representative. After the Temple President receives a letter from these representatives giving the spiritual name or the thread, he can perform the fire yajna in the temple as was being done before. The name of a newly initiated disciple should be sent by the representative who has accepted him or her to Srila Prabhupada, to be included in His Divine Grace’s “Initiated Disciples” book.

Hoping this finds you all well.

Your servant,

Tamal Krishna Goswami
Secretary to Srila Prabhupada

Approved: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

[ Srila Prabhupada’s signature appears on the original.]

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Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON Bangalore to go on appeal

Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON Bangalore to go on appeal
Bangalore, 23 May 2011.

For ISKCON Bangalore, this is not a fight for properties but a sincere effort to re-establish Srila Prabhupada as the sole acharya or diksha guru of ISKCON. We are confident that truth will prevail and by the mercy of Sri Radha Krishna-chandra, our services to Their Lordships will continue unhindered.

Battles may be lost but war for Srila Prabhupada will be won

The divisional bench of the High Court of Karnataka gave its verdict on the appeal filed by ISKCON Mumbai. Honorable Justice H M Nagamohan Das and Honorable Justice Arali Nagaraj today gave their verdict on appeal filed by ISKCON Mumbai and set aside the Civil court’s judgement.

However, ISKCON Bangalore will pursue its case within the legal framework and will appeal against this decision in the Supreme Court. We have full faith in the judiciary of our country and are confident that we will be able to present the case in our favor.

It may be recalled that the City Trial court of Bangalore had given a judgment on April 17, 2009 stating that ISKCON Bangalore is the absolute owner of Sri Radha Krishna temple on Hare Krishna Hill. The Honorable Civil Court judge had also declared that ISKCON Bangalore is an independent legal entity and further restrained ISKCON Mumbai, their agents or representatives from interfering in the affairs of ISKCON, Bangalore by granting a permanent injunction. 

Unfortunately, the Honorable High Court today set aside this 350 page judgement and gave its verdict overruling the earlier order.

The genesis of this dispute between ISKCON Mumbai and ISKCON Bangalore is related to the spiritual succession of the movement founded by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada had taught from the Vedic literatures that an Acharya plays a prime role in the development of Krishna bhakti in the heart of a disciple. In order to play that role of an Acharya, one must have extraordinary spiritual qualifications and purity.

Just months before his physical departure from this world Srila Prabhupada instituted a rtvik system of initiation thro’ a written directive sent to all its GBC’s and Presidents on July 9th 1977.

He made it clear in this written directive that he remained the diksa guru or the acharya of ISKCON and that his disciples acting as his representatives or rtviks would initiate new disciples as disciples of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. ISKCON Mumbai which is predominantly controlled by foreigners who are themselves voted in unauthorized gurus has disregarded this particular instruction and has manufactured its own system of succession. ISKCON Bangalore on the other hand tries to follow this and many other directives of the founder and acharya of ISKCON Srila Prabhupada strictly.

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Battle Over ISKCON Bangalore

Sometime back there was a News article posted on ISKCON News entiltled “Bangalore Splinter Group Wins Court Case”. And a rebutal letter written by Sriman Nara Narayana Visvakarma Prabhu, which we think is still relavant today, as the battle continues…”

Although Bangalore represents a minority of ISKCON it is actually uniquely faithful to the direct written order of the Founder Acharya of ISKCON that the GBC be elected representatives of the temples, not unaccountable dictators with despotic powers.

Comments on ISKCON News Article
By: Nara Narayana Visvakarma

Apr 21, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (SUN) — On April 20, 2009, ‘ISKCON News Weekly’ published an article entitled, “Bangalore Splinter Group Wins Court Case. “Bangalore, INDIA – In the latest development in the longstanding feud between the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)”

Both parties are ISKCON, the Bombay faction deviated from the teachings of the Founder Acharya by creating a group of self-appointing managers who even claim ecclesiastical power and who wield illegal dictatorial powers over the innocent membership of ISKCON.

The actual GBC is meant to be an elected body representing the heads of the independent temples who the GBC are meant to represent. The Bombay ISKCON GBC as well as the Bangalore GBC were created by the Founder Acharya of ISKCON in 1970. Since that time, few temples besides Bangalore and their 28 affiliate temples have recognized the elected status of the GBC, and have actually held GBC elections. The GBC suing Bangalore, has not legal status to exist, and has clearly deviated from the charter under which they were created in 1970.

Bangalore is being sued for obeying the order of the Founder Acharya of ISKCON. Nothing more and nothing less.

“…and a breakaway group of devotees who took over the prominent ISKCON temple here, a City Civil Court issued a ruling in favor of the splinter group on Friday, April 17. The decision seems to be a blow to ISKCON and its leadership in India, although sources close to ISKCON leadership in India indicate that the organization plans to appeal the decision.”

Although Bangalore represents a minority of ISKCON it is actually uniquely faithful to the direct written order of the Founder Acharya of ISKCON that the GBC be elected representatives of the temples, not unaccountable dictators with despotic powers.

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