Editorial: “GBC Suppressed The Truth” Officiating Acaryas

The following is an older article but one of great importance, with perhaps the only remaining document of the GBC summary report of the meeting that took place between May 27-29, 1977.

Officiating Acaryas

Editorial: “GBC Suppressed The Truth”
by Locanananda dasa

EDITORIAL, Dec 13 [1999] (VNN)

New evidence has just been discovered that suggests a GBC conspiracy to suppress instructions given by Śrīla Prabhupāda concerning how he wanted initiations to be performed after his departure.

In May of 1977, the members of the GBC were summoned to Vrndavana, India to meet with Śrīla Prabhupāda when His Divine Grace thought his departure from this world was imminent. His Divine Grace revealed to a committee of GBC members that he was going to recommend some of his disciples to act as officiating ācāryas to perform first and second initiations when he would no longer be with us. As evidenced by the following document, the GBC decided at the time that devotees throughout the world should not be informed of this most important revelation made by their beloved spiritual master.

The repercussions of the decision to suppress the truth and the subsequent deviation from Śrīla Prabhupāda’s instructions have left devoted followers of His Divine Grace deadlocked over the issue of guru succession and initiations in ISKCON for more than two decades.

The document in question is a summary report of the GBC meetings held during the three days from May 27-29, 1977. The report was sent out to all ISKCON temple presidents and begins with a list of names of the GBC members in attendance. The first point mentioned in the report is that a list of trustees of all ISKCON properties was submitted to Śrīla Prabhupāda. The second point states that committees were formed to improve the original charter and expand the Bureau of Management in India. Point number three deals with the questions posed by the GBC committee concerning how Śrīla Prabhupāda’s mission was to be continued under the direction of the GBC after his departure. It is this third item that is of great significance.

A review of the document shows quite clearly that the GBC deliberately omitted from the report Śrīla Prabhupāda’s answer to the question concerning initiations. This intentional omission was apparently made to conceal Śrīla Prabhupāda’s wishes from his disciples worldwide concerning the initiation procedures he wanted followed after his departure. Had this been an honest presentation of the facts, the report would have stated:

“When asked how first and second initiations would be performed after he was no longer with us, Śrīla Prabhupāda said that he was going to recommend some of his disciples to act as officiating ācāryas.”

The text of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s conversation with the GBC committee was not disclosed for many years, which has created a credibility gap between the leaders of ISKCON and ISKCON’s general membership.

Six weeks later, a letter issued on July 9th, 1977 bearing Śrīla Prabhupāda’s signature was sent to all temple presidents to explain changes that were being made in initiation procedures. It was the outcome of a discussion that had taken place two days earlier between Śrīla Prabhupāda and his secretary. In that conversation, to resolve the problem of an initiation backlog, Śrīla Prabhupāda first recommended that senior sannyāsīs could again perform initiation ceremonies as had been done before his illness. However, when the secretary reminded Śrīla Prabhupāda of the May 28th meeting with the GBC, this historic conversation evolved into the naming of the officiating ācāryas, referred to in the letter as “ritvik representatives.”

Śrīla Prabhupāda had said he was going to recommend some of his disciples to perform initiations on his behalf after his disappearance, and the July 9th letter was the fulfillment of that promise. According to the May 28th announcement to the GBC, those initiated during his physical presence by representatives of the ācārya would be considered his direct disciples, while those initiated after his disappearance by officiating ācāryas would be considered his second generation of disciples, or granddisciples. The difference was considered to be one of formalities, since all members of ISKCON throughout the course of its history would perpetually serve, worship and follow the teachings of their great preceptor ācārya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. That is the principle that unifies the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.

The document presented below was transcribed exactly from the original which accounts for any spelling or grammatical errors. Because the only remaining copy may be the one in my possession, I recommend that devotees save copies in their files for future reference.

More

Bringing People to Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada on Vyasasana

Recently I was staying at a friends house, and in the room where I was spending the night there was one book by Giriraj Swami entitled “Watering the Seed”. I happened to open it and began reading from the Preface:

…from that first meeting with Srila Prabhupada, my whole life’s purpose became to bring people to meet Srila Prabhupada. And I was able to do that for many years. But when he passed away, I wondered ‘what will be my service now?’. My whole service had been to bring people to Srila Prabhupada.

Now I understand that Srila Prabhupada is always present, and that by speaking of him, hearing about him, remembering him, and, most significantly, by studying his books and following his instructions, we can experience his presence. So I can continue doing what I was doing when he was personally present-introducing soul’s to Srila Prabhupada-and that is what I feel most natural doing. Because I know that somehow or other, if someone comes in touch with Srila Prabhupada, his life will become successful. (Watering the Seed, Preface)

Now, I am always encouraged when I hear my Godbrothers speaking in this way, because this is how I have always felt, and continue to feel. That my main purpose, as a disciple, is to bring people to Srila Prabhupada, and there-by bringing them to Krishna.

Approaching a Bona Fide Guru

Srila Prabhupada with books

The following is chapter four in our series on the Teaching of Lord Kapila entitled “Approaching a Bona Fide Guru”. This is a nice chapter for anyone who is serious about receiving spiritual knowledge, and interested to know the process. We are fortunate in this age to have the books of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to guide us. Human knowledge was originally preserved through oral tradition, but today we have this knowledge preserved in the books of His Divine Grace.

Any person who seriously desires to achieve real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master… (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.3.21)

…A bona fide guru does not impart some self-styled, concocted knowledge; his knowledge is standard and received from the paramparā system. He is also firmly fixed in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (brahma-niṣṭham). These are his two qualifications: he must have heard the Vedic knowledge through the disciplic succession, and he must be established in service to the Supreme Lord.

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahūti
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Four

Approaching a Bona Fide Guru

More

Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link

prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link
by Dhira Govinda dasa

Recently I had the good fortune to meet one of my God brothers, Dhira Govinda Prabhu. It was on the appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. I had heard of him and had posted the following article some time back and had read some of his book “Srila Prabhupada; The Prominent Link”, but had not meet him yet. But I found him to be a very nice devotee of good character. Just to give his voice a broader rang we decided to post his book Srila Prabhupada The Prominent Link as well as the Prominent Link Supplementary Articles Click on either of the above links to read or save the pdf files.

Many members of Srila Prabhupada’s movement who did not receive formal initiation from him experience Srila Prabhupada as the primary giver of direct transcendental knowledge. This empirical reality forms the basis of recognizing Srila Prabhupada as the prominent link to the parampara. Such a conception is supported by sastric descriptions of the essence of the initiation process, and by the delineation of the parampara described by Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.

Introduction

This paper presents a framework for understanding Srila Prabhupada’s position that is derived from a comprehension of Srila Prabhupada’s direct and personal relationship with the members of his movement. The central idea is that Srila Prabhupada is the prominent link to the parampara by virtue of being the prime deliverer of transcendental knowledge. We present these ideas in a mood of open-minded discussion and ask that the reader approach the material with a fresh perspective and a willingness to reexamine the issues.

More

Lord Nityananda’s Appearance Day Lecture

Lord Nityananda

click on image to enlarge

…Balarāma means guru-tattva. Balarāma represents guru. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ. If we want to understand Caitanya Mahāprabhu, if we want to understand Kṛṣṇa, then we must take shelter of Balarāma. Nāyam ātmā bala-hinena labhyaḥ. This bala-hinena labhyaḥ, this Vedic injunction, means “Without the mercy of Balarāma you cannot understand, you cannot realize your spiritual identification. So that Balarāma comes as Nityānanda Prabhu.”

…So if we want actually peace of mind, if we actually want to be free from this material fatiguement, then we must take the shelter of Nityānanda Prabhu. Nityānanda Prabhu is the strength, spiritual strength. And without spiritual strength you cannot approach Kṛṣṇa.

More

Srila Prabhupada Guru Tattva

Blessings from Srila Prabhupada

This is an older article, and rather long, but is full with information, quotes, and insightful analysis, on the most important issues, facing our society, concerning guru tattva, and following the instructions of Srila Prabhupada. Many good quotes and a highly recomended read!

Srila Prabhupada Guru Tattva
By Sriman Harinam Prabhu
June 12, 2006

It is widely known that Srila Prabhupada instituted a ritvik or representative (proxy) initiation system throughout ISKCON as early as 1971 in order to meet the growing need to initiate his disciples worldwide. However what is not widely known is that he instructed his disciples to continue initiating new disciples on his behalf even after his physical disappearance.

He called those disciples who performed the initiation ceremonies ritvik representatives of the acharya (officiating acharyas). Below are quotes directly from Srila Prabhupada for the evidence of these intructions as well as explanations, philosophical insights, and historical background.

More

Balarāma means guru-tattva

Balarāma means guru-tattva. Balarāma represents guru. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ. If we want to understand Caitanya Mahāprabhu, if we want to understand Kṛṣṇa, then we must take shelter of Balarāma. Nāyam ātmā bala-hinena labhyaḥ. This bala-hinena labhyaḥ, this Vedic injunction, means “Without the mercy of Balarāma you cannot understand, you cannot realize your spiritual identification. So that Balarāma comes as Nityānanda Prabhu. Balarāma hailā nitāi. Therefore we must take shelter of Balarāma.

Lecture given by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Lord Nityānanda Prabhu’s Āvirbhāva Appearance Day
Bhuvaneśvara, February 2, 1977

Prabhupāda: So today, the appearance day of Nityānanda Prabhu… Nityānanda Prabhu is Baladeva, Baladeva-tattva.

vrajendra-nandana yei, śacī-suta haila sei,
balarāma haila nitāi

“Who was formerly the son of Nanda Mahārāja, He has appeared as the son of Śacīdevi.” Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mother’s name was Śacīdevi. So Kṛṣṇa… Kṛṣṇa is Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and Balarāma is Nityānanda Prabhu. Now…

vrajendra-nandana yei, śacī-suta haila sei,
balarāma haila nitāi

So Balarāma… In the Vedic literature it is said, nāyam ātmā bala-hinena labhyaḥ; na bahunā śrutena. So bala means strength. Sometimes some rascal philosophers, they take it that bala means bodily strength. They propagate this philosophy that “Unless you are bodily stout and strong, you cannot achieve spiritual salvation. You must be very strong and stout and eat meat and fight, and then you’ll get next spiritual birth” No. This bala, this strength, is different. This is spiritual strength.

More

108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

Click on image to go to Post

Click on image to go to Post

The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

click on image

click on image to visit site

Srimad Bhagavatam Online

click on image

Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

click on image

click on image

Blog Stats

  • 2,204,668 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,752 other followers

Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

click on image

click on image

Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

click on image

click on image

Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

click on image

Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

click on image

A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

click on image

click on image

July 9th Letter

click on image

click on image

The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

click on image

click on image