Initiations in ISKCON

SP_initiation
There is an ongoing debate on how initiations were to go on after Srila Prabhupada’s physical disappearance.  Many devotees don’t like to talk about it or think about it, so conditioned are we to accept the status quo.   But I think it is important not to turn a blind eye on the issue of initiation, and how it was meant to go on, as initiation (accepting a spiritual master), is a very important step in progressing in spiritual life. Success in spiritual life is in following the instructions of the spiritual master.  So for the sake of keeping the very important issue alive we present the following post that we saw recently on the Prabhupada News website.

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 instructions as well as explanations, philosophical insights, and historical background.

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

Acharya

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


There is a popular ideology that claims that Srila Prabhupad should still be considered the diksa guru in ISKCON. It is commendable that devotees who espouse this ideology want to see Krishna’s pure devotee unlimitedly and perpetually glorified. That goal can be accomplished by following the system of “officiating acharyas” that he factually authorized. An “officiating acharya” simply teaches by example how to follow in the footsteps of the great preceptor and founder acharya of ISKCON and then engages everyone in the service of expanding the sankirtan movement.

The War is Over
Editorial (VNN)
By Sriman Locanananda Prabhu

When Srila Prabhupad was asked how initiations would be performed after he was no longer physically present, his response was clear and powerful. He had been contemplating this question for ten years, and his main concern was to guarantee the continuity and future growth of his movement. His reply was “I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating acharya.” This was the term he wanted to introduce to describe the role of his disciples who would initiate new devotees as members of ISKCON after he had concluded his manifest pastimes.

The title “acharya” indicates that one is a guru, or spiritual master, and the qualifying term “officiating” means that the initiation is to be performed on behalf of the founder acharya and his institution. By naming eleven of his foremost disciples who had demonstrated great leadership ability and dedication to his movement as “officiating acharyas”, Srila Prabhupad was laying the groundwork to perpetuate Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtana movement throughout the world. His plan would be successful as long as his followers kept his teachings intact and protected his movement from any influence that might tend to push Srila Prabhupad into the background. The Krishna Consciousness Movement would ultimately establish His Divine Grace as the greatest vaisnava acharya coming in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the most merciful incarnation of Krishna.

More

The Real Final Order


The Real Final Order
10/25/1998 – 2410
Editorial (VNN) – by Sriman Locanananda Prabhu 
Submitted on the disappearance day of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

During what Srila Prabhupada thought might be his final days, he summoned his GBC representatives from all over the world to come to his bedside in May of 1977. He was about to pronounce his final instruction concerning how the movement should be expanded after he was no longer physically present to oversee things. When he was specifically asked how initiations would be performed in the future, he replied that he would recommend some of his GBC men to act as officiating acharyas in his absence. This was a momentous pronouncement. He was going to create the post of officiating acharya by naming some of his disciples to initiate on his behalf. They would actually be gurus, but would act as representatives of the acharya in initiating members into Srila Prabhupada’s movement after His Divine Grace had left this world. Although everyone present said that this instruction was understood, in the twenty-one years since this revelation, not a single ISKCON guru has called himself an “officiating acharya”. This has produced a contrary result.

To resolve the conflict and ongoing debate between the proponents of “ritvik” initiation and ISKCON’s official interpretation of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, we must find a common denominator upon which both parties can agree. That one camp is ready to excommunicate or overthrow the other is causing a massive headache in the minds of peaceful devotees everywhere. With the greatest urgency, the fracture in our movement must be healed before it becomes a permanent schism. To avoid causing further embarrassment to our spiritual master, and to protect innocent devotees and well-wishers of the Krishna consciousness movement from the devastating effect of our fratricidal follies, all followers of Srila Prabhupada should stop their sabre rattling and calmly consider how to resolve their differences.

More

On My Behalf

“So I cannot speak. I am feeling weak. I was to go to other places like Chandigarh, but I canceled the program because the condition of my health is very deteriorating. So I preferred to come to Vrindavan. If death takes place, let it take here. So there is nothing new to be said. Whatever I have to speak, I have spoken in my books. Now you try to understand it and continue your endeavor. Whether I am present or not present, it doesn’t matter. As Krsna is living eternally, similarly, the living being also lives eternally.

On My Behalf
Srila Prabhupada’s Initiation System
by Sriman Gauridasa Pandita Prabhu

Srila Prabhupada arrived in Sri Vrindavan Dhama on May 17th 1977 to prepare to ‘leave his body.’ He made all of the arrangements for the future of his movement. He formed his Will, the Temple Property Trusts, he gave instructions for the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and the GBC and he established his initiation system for the future of ISKCON.

Due to some unseen good fortune I got the opportunity to serve Srila Prabhupada, at that time. Actually, I began to personally serve him in Bombay as one of his guards and then went with him to Hrsikesh to ‘regain his failing health’ on the advice of one of the life members, Mahadevia Kartikeya.

Things were like heaven in Hrsikesh serving Srila Prabhupada.
We were staying in a two story house right on the bank of the Holy Ganges River. We had the best Jalebi maker (Vedic sweets) in the world, according to Srila Prabhupada, right across the street. We used to have fruit, yogurt and hot Jalebis for breakfast. Srila Prabhupada said that hot Jalebis could cure the common cold.

I used to enjoy taking Japa Walks in the Himalayan Mountains. The forests are lush, filled with singing birds, and wandering devotees. Some Shivite’s live in the cave’s and only leave to bath in the Ganga. They eat only what is offered to them.

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

  • 1,954,036 hits

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

Join 3,746 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