PRAGHOSA ON INITIATION
- By Praghosa dasa
Srila Prabhupada's Perfect and Natural Arrangement for the
of Initiation into the Krsna Consciousness Movement.
"The Guru is not a mortal, erring creature like
ourselves. He is eternal Servant of Sri Krishna Whom He sends into this
world for the deliverance of fallen souls. He comes into this world on
this "Mission of Causeless Divine Mercy" in order to help us to rise,
out of the depths of sin to our natural state of absolute purity, by
methods which are perfectly consistent with the principles of our really
unbiased reason. So long as we refuse to listen to him we are doomed to
misunderstand everything." (SBSST)
Vaikunthanatha (ACBSP): In 1972, when Srila Prabhupada
gave a series of lectures on The Nectar of Devotion for one month in
Vrindavana, 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 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 Srila Prabhupada
from Rupa Goswami's samadhi, where he lectured, and just before Srila
Prabhupada stepped onto his courtyard, I said, "Srila Prabhupada, we're
distributing so many books but if people aren't initiated, then they
can't go back to Godhead". Srila Prabhupada turned, looked me right in
the eyes and said, "Just by reading my books they are initiated". I thought, "That is an incredible example of compassion".
"Diksa is the process by which one can awaken his
transcendental knowledge and vanquish all reactions caused by sinful
activity. A person expert in the study of the revealed scriptures knows
this process as diksa." CC: Madhya Lila 15:108
The above statements are not hyperbole by our Acharyas. These two
statements are acknowledged as objective reality. The assignation of
such value to the spiritual master - rendering the Guru as "worshipable" is established by none other than the Supreme Lord - Lord Sri Krsna - Himself.
His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada asserts this in total - in
the following offering delivered in 1936 as his Vyasa Puja offering of
glorification of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur on his
appearance day. It is found here - http://www.gosai.com/chaitanya/srila_sridhara_mj/sri_guru/sri_guru_pref.html
In the following essay SBSST explains in detail - all the
essential details concerning initiation in Krsna Consciousness under the
guidance of the Bonafide Spiritual Master. It can be found here:
The presentation of the facts - as they pertain to The Spiritual
Master and how we are able to access his guidance and Mercy are
perfectly facilitated in the arrangements of the Founder Acharya for
ISKCON - Srila Prabhupada. Carefully read them below and you will see
the simplicity and ease with which Srila Prabhuapda set about arranging
for the whole world to come under the shelter of our Spotless Parampara
descending from Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu!
Srila Prabhupada's instructions on initiation are in perfect
harmony with both his own essay and the essay on initiation by Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Srila Prabhupada. They are as follows:
Original Letter Of July 9, 1977
Letter to: All G.B.C., All Temple Presidents
9 July, 1977
To All G.B.C., and Temple Presidents
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 Vrndavana, Srila
Prabhupada indicated that soon He would appoint some of His senior
disciples to act as ritvik - representative of the acarya, for the
purpose of performing initiations, both first initiation and second
initiation. His Divine Grace has so far given a list of eleven disciples
who will act in that capacity:
His Holiness Kirtanananda Swami
His Holiness Satsvarupa dasa Gosvami
His Holiness Jayapataka Swami
His Holiness Tamala Krsna Gosvami
His Holiness Hrdayananda Gosvami
His Holiness Bhavananda Gosvami
His Holiness Hamsaduta Swami
His Holiness Ramesvara Swami
His Holiness Harikesa Swami
His Grace Bhagavan dasa Adhikari
His Grace Jayatirtha dasa 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 Prabhupad, 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.
Tamala Krsna Gosvami
Secretary to Srila Prabhupada
Approved:(signed) A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
(Prabhupada signature appears on the original)
This is the conclusory communiqué to all temples presidents and GBC's
on the subject of future initiations/gurus in ISKCON after Prabhupada
leaves his body. These instructions were sent after several GBC meetings
during the previous month specifically on this subject.
The specific word "henceforward" has only one meaning, viz. "from now on" or "from this time forward". This
is both according to Srila Prabhupada's own previous usage of the word
and the meaning ascribed to it by the English Language. Unlike other
words, the word henceforward is unambiguous since it only possesses one dictionary definition.
The word "henceforward" does not mean "from now onwards until I depart". It simply means "from now onwards". There
is no mention in the letter that the system should stop on Srila
Prabhupada's departure, neither does it state that the system was to
only be operational during his presence.
This is the simple safe and secure system set up by Srila Prabhupada four months before his departure, with no subsequent instruction to terminate it. Without such a counter instruction, this letter remains intact as Srila Prabhupada's instruction on initiation.
This legal ISKCON document states
ISKCON initiation policy from that time (July 9, 1977) onward. The
recording of names cannot refer to the chronological validity of this
document because there is no all-important time limitation stated nor is
there mention of any time limitation in any of Prabhupada's other
written or recorded statements on ritvik initiations. Therefore the word
"henceforward" can only mean "from this time onwards" or until this document is specifically countermanded by him. This never took place.
Therefore, the appointed successor diksa-guru system in ISKCON today - which is obliged as the only choice offered a new devotee, is
not the authorized system left us by Srila Prabhupada. One can only
conclude that Srila Prabhupada's original system was rejected by the
leadership of ISKCON. It is safe to conclude, upon careful examination
of all the evidence, that this "rejection" was
the result of personal motivation due to immaturity and/or
insubordination and your basic immaturity, in concert with the
acceptance of the guidance of "Higher Authority"**(see below) in the form of HH Sridhara Swami Maharaja in 1978. It has endured to this day.
** In 1978 the GBC "consulted" HH Sridhara Swami
as to "How" they were to put into effect Srila Prabhupada's
instructions in this matter of initiations. He counseled that the new
men should be given an opportunity to "study the candidates" for some
time - in order to determine in whom they were to repose their sraddha
or faith". This was quite literally - a complete and total reversal of
Srila Prabhupada's direct order in this matter. Srila Prabhupada's
system of initiation never obliged the new men in Krsna Consciousness -
whose faith in the science of Krsna Consciousness rested 100% upon his
books and the standards maintained universally by ALL his initiated
disciples - to upon his physical absence - search from amongst his
authorized men -for a qualified "candidate" who was to
be viewed as "worthy" of this new man's faith. Temple to Temple - leader
to leader - the process was sublime and "standardized". There was no
question of these men being "candidates". Srila Prabhupada's original
appointees were "AUTHORIZED" to re-present Srila Prabhupada and HIS
standards. That is all. There was no instruction to now "search from
amongst them" thus scuttling the very simple and standardized procedures
long established by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada for the easy
adoption of Krsna Consciousness by anyone - anywhere - in the world.
It should be noted that the word "candidate" used by Sridhara
Swami is in actuality to be applied to the aspiring disciple;not THE
SPIRITUAL MASTER. A "Candidate" seeks the "approval" or vote of
confidence from others. Srila Prabhupada was never a "candidate" or
"suitor" seeking our approval or allegiance. He came to us - unrequested
and unannounced and he introduced the absolute truth - within the
atmosphere of open rebellion - that is this degraded Western culture. We
could then accept or reject his authority - but he was not seeking our
vote of confidence. We were humbly requesting his confidence in our
sincerity to follow his standardized presentation of the science of
Krsna Consciousness. The mere fact that Sridhara Swami even used this
word to describe the appointed representatives of the Acharya Srila
Prabhupada - denotes his own misunderstanding of his own position in
relationship to Srila Prabhupada. He viewed himself - in the presence of
the self-effulgent Acharya Srila Prabhupada - as a "candidate" for the
allegiance or commitment of aspiring disciples, when he should have
openly admitted to Srila Prabhupada's obvious exclusive authority as
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur's successor and shown full
insistence that ALL should take full and unreserved shelter of His
Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada
This counsel was rejected in its essence however and the GBC
adopted the Zonal Acharya system instead. In this they got it 50% right:
no need to search for one's "personal favorite" - but
they misrepresented them selves as Acharyas. This inevitably led to a
major rift between local leadership and the "gurus" who assumed the
instruction to surrender to one's spiritual master - with "body, mind
and intelligence" (CC Madhya Lila 15:108) was to be directed to them
personally - as opposed to Srila Prabhupada and his mission. Gurus were
"commandeering men and money" for their projects oft times without
considering the input of inspiration of the Local Leadership. When they
balked at the "intervention" they knew to be incorrect or misguided -
the battle began. Exactly the effect Srila Prabhupada said would spoil
his mission: "Quarrel. Quarrel is not Good. Quarrel is material". A
series of falldowns and major losses of important assets - all acquired
through the hard work of trusting devotees - served to undermine the
very empire Srila Prabhupada had created.
Later - the "counsel" of HH Sridhara Swami was proffered by the
next generation of reformers in 1986-as they argued in favor of opening
up the position of Acharya to more men - AND - now encouraging the
newcomers to search amongst the "candidates" - to see
which one could actually inspire their conviction or "sraddha" as
Sridhara Swami called it. We now see this phenomenon of "suitorship"
being proffered within Srila Prabhupada's mission to one extent or
another as the "exclusively" proper transmission
of Srila Prabhupada's instructions. It is acceptable only if and when
Srila Prabhupada's orginal system of "appointed" or "authorized
re-presentatives are first clearly explained to be Srila Prabhupada's
actual original arrangement.
Srila Prabhupada's Supporting Instructions:
There were other statements made by Srila Prabhupada, and his
secretary, in the days following the July 9th letter, which clearly
indicated that the system of officiating acharyas, working under the
scrutiny and sanction of the mission itself and whose authorized duties
were carefully enumerated, was intended to continue without cessation:
"...the process for initiation to be followed in the future." (July 11th)
"...continue to become ritvik and act on my charge." (July 19th)
"...continue to become ritvik and act on my behalf." (July 31th)
In these documents we find words such as "continue" and "future"
which along with the word "henceforward" all point to the permanancy of
this effective system. There is no statement from Srila Prabhupada that
even hints that this system was to terminate on his departure.
Letter to Hansadutta Das July 10th, 1977
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
July 10th 1977
My dear Hamsadutta Maharaja,
Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. Srila Prabhupad has
received your letters dated July 4th and July 5th, 1977 respectively,
and has instructed me to reply to them.
Srila Prabhupad was very pleased to hear how you have organized
everything in Ceylon, and that so many people are now taking interest
seriously is proof of the effectiveness of your preaching. His
Divine Grace said, "You are a suitable person and you can give
initiation to those who are ready for it. I have selected you among
eleven men as "rittvik" or 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 who you deem fit and initiate in this way, you should send their
names to be included in Srila Prabhupada's "Initiated Disciples" book.
In this way the Temple Presidents will send their recommendations for
initiation direct to the nearest representative who will give a
spiritual name or chant on the Gayatri thread just as Srila Prabhupada
has been doing.)
Srila Prabhupad smiled very broadly when he heard of the successful
program organized by the local people in which 2000 persons attended.
When he heard that you have introduced a full feasting program on
Sundays, he said, "You are a good cook, so teach others now how to cook
just as I taught you."
Regarding the printing going slowly, His Divine Grace stated, "Never
mind. Go surely. It doesn't matter slowly." I inquired from Pradyumna
Prabhu about the Sinhalese translation which you mentioned. He said that
"On Chanting Hare Krishna Mantra" was translated into Sinhalese, and
that translation is in his trunk in Bombay. We will try to get it to you
as soon as possible. I do not know if Gopal Krishna has any Tamil
manuscript, but if he does, when I see him in about ten days, I will
tell him to send it to you. You may also write him directly. Pradyumna
says it will be faster just to get a new translation - it is only 1
Srila Prabhupada was very glad to know that you would try to bring
some Ceylonese devotees to Mayapur and said, "Oh, that is very good!" He
did not know whether the story about Bhaktisiddhanta's disciples seeing
a man eating a rat was true or not. Regarding the exact position of Sri
Lanka, this is the opinion of some people. Srila Prabhupad advised that
we not discuss this matter publicly at this time. Prabhupad also
recommended that from Hari Sauri you take ghee. He said that you could
have one fifth of whatever Hari Sauri sends to India. Regarding whether
you should use the name Swami or Goswami, Srila Prabhupad said, "Stick
to one. Swami is better."
(signature appears on the original document)
Tamal Krsna Gosvami
Secretary to Srila Prabhupad
His Holiness Hamsadutta Swami
c/o ISKCON Colombo
Letter to Kirtanandanda Swami from Srila Prabhupada July 11th, 1977
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
Founder-Acharya His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
July 11th 1977
My dear Kirtanananda Maharaja,
Please accept my most humble obeisances at your feet. His Divine
Grace Srila Prabhupada has just received the latest issue of Brijabasi
Spirit, Vol.IV,No.4, which brought Him great joy. As He looked at the
cover showing Kaladri performing a fire ceremony, He said, "Just see his
face how devotee he is, so expert in everything". When Srila Prabhupada
opened the first page, His eyes fixed on the picture of Radha-
Vrindavana Chandra, and He said, "Vrindavana Bihari - so beautiful.
There is no danger wherever Vrindavana Chandra is." After enjoying the
whole magazine thoroughly Srila Prabhupada said, "It is printed on their
own press. It is very good progress." His Divine Grace very much
appreciated the article "How I Was Deprogrammed" by the young devotee
boy. Prabhupada was feeling great sympathy when he heard his story and
said, "If one man is turned like this boy then this movement is
successful. There is good prospect, good hope. You all combine together
and push this movement on and on. Now I am assured that it will go on."
While going through the magazine, Srila Prabhupada also saw your good
photo on the page "Istagosthi" and Srila Prabhupada bestowed a long
loving look upon your good self expressing his deep appreciation for how
you have understood this Krishna Consciousness.
A letter has been sent to all the Temple Presidents and
GBC which you should be receiving soon describing the process for
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 this letter to arrive (the original has been
sent to Ramesvara Maharaja for duplicating) and then all of the persons
whom you recommended in your previous letters can be initiated.
His Divine Grace has been maintaining His health on an even course
and most amazingly has doubled His translation work keeping pace with
the doubling of book distribution. Hoping this meets you well.
Tamala Krsna Goswami
Secretary to Srila Prabhupada
(signature appears on original)
His Holiness Kirtanananda Swami
c/o ISKCON New Vrndavana
Letter from Ramesvara Das - to all Godbrothers throughout ISKCON July 21,1977
THE BHAKTIVEDANTA BOOK TRUST
Founder - Acarya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
July 21st, 1977
ALL GLORIES TO SRI GURU AND GOURANGA!
Dear GBC Godbrother Prabhus,
Please accept my most humble obeisances in the dust of your feet. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! I have just received some letters from Tamal Krishna Maharaja, and am
enclosing herein two documents: 1) Srila Prabhupada's final version of
his last will, and 2) Srila Prabhupada's initial list of disciples
appointed to perform initiations for His Divine Grace. This initial list is also being sent to all centers.
From Tamal's letter it seems that Srila Prabhupada is enthusiastic
despite poor health, and is translating full force. He especially
becomes enthused when reports arrive from different GBC men and temples
with preaching results, general good news, etc. and Tamal Krishna
Maharaja has stressed that we should all be sending such reports, as His
Divine Grace often asks, "What is the news?" An outstanding example of
Srila Prabhupada's mood was shown after receiving an encouraging
preaching report from Hansadutta Swami in Ceylon. Srila Prabhupada said,
"I want to go to Ceylon. I can go. I can go anywhere by chair. It is
difficult only in the imagination. The swelling is touching the skin,
not my soul.
More than anything else, Tamal has stressed the genuine need for a
visiting GBC member to come every month for personal service. Since
Srila Prabhupada has recently said that now this regular visiting is
very important, all GBC members should be anxious to do this, as it not
only involves important work which will help relieve Prabhupada from
management, but also involves attending Srila Prabhupada personally,
giving him massages and many other nectarian services, and in general
affords an unusual amount of personal association, even more than in the
past. Out of over 23 GBC members there should never be one month not
One final news report is that Srila Prabupada has appointed a new GBC
member for North India (including Delhi but not Vrndavana) - His
Holiness Bhakti Caitanya Swami. Tamal Krsna Maharaja said that His
divine Grace appointed him to encourage him for the outstanding
preaching work he is doing in Punjab.
Jai, I hope this finds you all well, and fully absorbed in preaching and thus satisfying Srila Prabhupada fully.
Your most unworthy servant,
(signature appears on the original document)
Ramesvara dasa Swami
Letter from Tamal Krsna Goswami (on behalf of Srila Prabhupada) to Hansadutta Prabhu
July 31st 1977
My Dear Hansadutta Maharaja,
Please accept my most humble obeisances at your feet. I have been
instructed by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada to thank you for your
letter dated July 25th 1977.
You have written to Srila Prabhupada saying you do not know why Srila
Prabhupada 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 for 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 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 become ritvik and act on my
Srila Prabhupada listened with great enthusiasm as I read to him the
newspaper article. His Divine Grace was very pleased: 'This article will
increase your prestige. It is very nice article. Therefore the
newspaper has spared so much space to print it. It is very nice. It must
be published in Back to Godhead. Now there is a column in Back to
Godhead called 'Prabhupada Speaks Out'. Your article may be entitled
'Prabhupada's Disciple Speaks Out'. Yes, we shall publish this article
certainly. Let this rascal be fool before the public. I have enjoyed
this article very much. I want my disciples to speak out...backed by
complete reasoning. 'Brahma sutra sunisthita', this is preaching. Be
blessed. All my disciples go forward. You have given the challenge. They
cannot answer. This Dr. Kovoor should be invited...For Dr. Svarupa
Damodara's convention on 'Life comes from Life'. He can learn something
at this scientific convention."
Yes, you should certainly get some ISKCON Food Relief money. For your
program American money collected and sent for food distribution. That
is my proposal. Three hundred people coming is no joke. You mentioned so
many nice preparations. I would like to eat but I cannot. At simply
hearing these names (of preparations) it is satisfying. Just thinking
this morning of you, and now you have written me.
(last paragraph illegible)
Tamala Krsna Goswami
Secretary to Srila Prabhupada
(signature appears on the original)
Srila Prabhupada's Declaration of Will
Tridandi Goswami A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami
Founder-Acharya:International Society for Krishna Conciousness
CENTER: Krsna-Balarama Mandir
Bhaktivedanta Swami Marg
Ramanareti, Vrndavana, U.F.
DATE; 5th June 1977.
I, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder-acarya of the
International Society for Krishna consciousness, Settlor of the
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, and disciple of Om Visnupada 108 Sri Srimad
Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvama Maharaja Prabhupada, presently residing
at Sri Krsna-Balarama Mandir in Vrndavana, make this my last will:
The Governing Body Commission (GBC) will be the ultimate managing
authority of the entire International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Each temple will be an ISKCON property and will be managed by three executive directors. The system of management will continue as it is now and there is no need of any change.
Properties in India will be managed by the following executive directors:
Properties at Sri Mayapur Dhama, Panihati, Haridaspur and Calcutta:
Gurukrpa Swami, Jayapataka Swami, Bhavananda Gosvami and Gopal Krsna das
Properties at Vrndavana: Gurukrpa Swami, Akahoyananda Swami, and Gopal Krsna das Adhikari.
Properties at Bombay: Tamala Krsna Gosvami, Giriraj das Brahmahary, and Gopal Krsna das Adhikari.
Properties at Bhubaneswar: Gour Govinda Swami, Jayapataka Swami, and Bhagawat das Brahmachary.
Properties at Hyderbad: Mahamsa Swami, Sridhar Swami, Gopal Krsna das Adhikari and Bali Mardan das Adhikari.
The executive directors who have herein been designated are appointed
for life. In the event of death or failure to act for any reason of any
of the said directors, a successor director or directors may be
appointed by the remaining directors, provided the new director is my
initiated disciple following strictly all the rules and regulations of
the International Society for Krishna Consciousness as detailed in my
books, and provided that there are never less than three (3) or more
than five (5) executive directors acting at one time.
I have created, developed and organized the International Society for
Krishna Consciousness, and as such I hereby will that none of the
immovable properties standing in the name of ISKCON in India shall ever
be mortgaged, borrowed against, sold, transferred, or in any way
encumbered, disposed of, or alienated. This direction is irrevocable.
Properties outside of India in principle should never be mortgaged,
borrowed against, sold, transferred or in any way enumbered, disposed
of, or alienated, but if the need arises, they may be mortgaged,
borrowed against, sold, etc., with the consent of the GBC committee
members associated with the particular property.
The properties outside of India and their associated GBC committee members are as follows:
Properties in Chicago, Detroit and Ann Arbor: Jayatirtha das Adhikari, Harikesh Swami, and Balavanta das Adhikari
Properties in Hawii, Tokyo, Hong Kong: Guru Krpa Swami, Ramesvara Swami and Tamal Krishna Gosvami.
Properties in Melbourne, Sydney, Australia Farm, (unreadable): Guru Krpa Swami, Hari Sauri, and Atreya Rsi.
Properties in England (London Radlett), France, Germany, Netherlands,
Switzerland and Sweeden: Jayatirtha das Adhikari, Bhagavan das
Adhikari, Harikesa Swami.
Properties in Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa: Jayatirtha das Adhikari, Brahmananda Swami and Atreya Rsi)
Properties in Mexico, Venezuala, Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecquador,
Colombia, Chile: Hrdayananda Gosvami, Panca Dravida Swami, Brahmanananda
Properties in Georgetown, Guyana, Santo Domingo, St. Augustine: Adi Kesava Swami, Hrdayananda Gosvami, Panca Dravida Swami.
Properties in Vanouver, Seattle, Berkeley, Dallas: Satsvarupa Gosvami, Jagidisa das Adikari, Jayatirtha das Adikari.
Properties in Los Angeles, Denver, San Diego, Laguna Beach: Rameswara Swami, Satsvarupa Swami, Adi Kesava Swami.
Properties in New York, Boston, Puerto Rio, Port Royal, St. Louis, St
Louis Farm: Tamal Krishna Gosvami, Adi Kesava Swami, Rameswara Swami.
Properties in Iran: Atreya Rsi, Bhagavan das Adhikari, Brahmanananda Swami.
Properties in Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Montreal and
(unreadable): Rupanuga das Adhikari, Gopal Krishna das Adhikari,
Jagadisa das Adhikari.
Properties in Pittsburg, New Vrndavana, Toronto, Cleveland, Buffalo: Kirtanananda Swami, Atreya Rsi, Balavanta das Adhikari.
Properties in Atlanta, Tennessee Farm, Gainsville, Miami, New
Orleans, Mississippi Farm, Houston: Balavanta das Adhikari, Adi Kesava
Swami, Rupanuga das Adhikari.
Properties in Fiji: Hari Sauri, Atreya Rsi, Vasudev.
I declare, say and confirm that all the properties, both movable and
immovable which stand in my name, including current accounts, savings
accounts and fixed deposits in various banks, are the properties and
assets of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and the
heirs and successors of my previous life, or anyone claiming through
them, have no right, claim or interest in these properties whatsoever,
save and except as provided hereafter.
Although the money which is in my personal name in different banks is
being spent for ISKCON and belongs to ISKCON, I have kept a few
deposits specifically marked for allocating a monthly allowance of Rs.
1,000/- (unreadable addition) to the members of my former family, these
specific deposits (corpus, interest, and savings) will become the
property of ISKCON for the corpus of the trust, and the descendants of
my former family or anybody claiming through them shall not be allowed
any further allowance.
I hereby appoint Guru Krpa Swami, Hrdayananda Gosvami, Tamal Krishna
Gosvami, Rameswara Swami, Gopal Krsna das Adhikari, Jayatirtha das
Adhikari and Giriraj das Brahmachary to act as executors of this will. I
have made this will this 4th day of June, 1977, in possession of full
senses and sound mind, without any persuasion, force or compulsion from
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
The above will was signed by Srila Prabhupada and sealed and witnesses by the following,
Tamal Krsna Goswami
Bhagavan das Adhikari
and several other witnesses. (signatures on original document)
Codicil 5th November 1977
I, A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a sannyasi and Founder-
Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Settlor
of Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and disciple of Om Visnupada 108 Sri Srimad
Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada, presently
residing at Sri Krsna-Balarama Mandir in Vrindavana do hereby make this last will and codicil to give vent to my intention, and to clarify certain things which are to a certain extent a little vague in my previous Will dated 4th June, 1977, as follows:
I had made a Will on 4th June, 1977, and had made certain provisions
therein. One of them being a provision of maintenance allowance to Sri
M.M. De, Brindaban Chandra de, Miss Bhakti Lata De and Smt. Sulurmana
Dey, who were born of me during my grhastha ashram, and Smt. Radharani
De, who was my wife in the grhastha ashrama for their lives as per
para.8 of the said Will. Since on careful consideration I feel that the
said paragraph does not truly depict my intentions, I hereby direct that
as regards Smt. Radharani De, she will get Rs. 1,000/- per month for
her life out of interest to be earned from a fixed deposit of Rs. One
Lakh Twenty Thousand to be made by ISKCON in any bank that the
authorities of the said society think proper for a period of seven years
in the name of ISKCON, which amount shall not be available to any of
her heirs and after her death the said amount be appropriated by ISKCON
in any way the authorities of ISKCON think proper looking to the objects
of this society.
As regards Sri M.M. De, Sri Brindaban Chandra De, Smt. Sulurmana Dey
and Miss Bhakti Lata De, the ISKCON will deposit Rs. One Lakh Twenty
Thousand under 4 separate Fixed Deposit receipts, each for Rs.
1,20,000/- for seven years in a bank to earn interest at least Rs.
1,000/- a month under each receipt. Out of the said sum of Rs. 1,000/-,
only Rs. 250/- will be paid to each of them from the interest of their
Fixed Deposit receipts. The remaining interest of Rs. 750/- will be
deposited again under new fixed Deposit receipts in their respective
names for seven years. On the maturity of these Fixed Deposit receipts
created from Rs. 750/- monthly interest for the first seven years, the
said sums shall be invested by the above named persons in some Govt.
Bonds, Fixed Deposit receipts or under any Govt. Deposit scheme or shall
be used to purchase some immovable property so that the amount may
remain safe and may not be dissipated. In case, however, the above named
persons or any of them violate these conditions and use the said sum in
purpose or purposes other than those described above, the ISKCON
authorities will be free to stop the payment of the monthly maintenance
of such person or persons from the original Fixed Deposits of Rs.
1,20,000/- and they shall instead give the amount of interest of Rs.
1,000/- per month to Bhaktivedanta Swami Charity Trust. It is made clear
that the heirs of the said persons will have no right to anything out
of the said sums and that these sums are only for the personal use of
the said persons of my previous life during their respective lifetimes
I have appointed some executors of my said Will. I now hereby add the
name of Sri. Jayapataka Swami, my disciple, residing at Sri Mayapur
Chandrodoya Mandir, Dist. Nadia, West Bengal, as an executor of my said
Will along with the previous already named in the said Will dated 4th
June, 1977. I hereby further direct that my executors will be entitled
to act together or individually to fulfill their obligations under my
I therefore hereby extend, modify and alter my said Will dated 4th
June, 1977, in the manner mentioned above. In all other respects the
said Will continues to hold good and shall always hold good.
I hereby make this Will codicil this 5th day of November, 1977, in my
full conscience and with sound mind without any persuasion, force or
compulsion from anybody.
Witnesses: (signatures on original document)
Finally - and most importantly HH Tamal Krsna Goswami sent
the following letter to Vasudeva prabhu in Fiji only 27 days before HDG
Srila Prabhupada left this world - providing the DIRECT TEMPLATE along
with Srila Prabhupada's own sense of importance and URGENCY to "increase
the number of devotees" from amongst the "local natives"- be they in
Fiji, Nigeria or Grosse Pointe Michigan!
October 18, 1977
From: Tamal Krishna
My dear Vasudeva Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. I have been instructed
by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada to reply your letter dated
September 29th, 1977.
Although His Divine Grace is very ill, still he is so much interested
in Fiji and the Krishna-Kaliya Temple that I thought it proper to read
your Letter to him. Srila Prabhupada heard everything with great
attention. Srila Prabhupada was very pleased to know that book
distribution is being increased with the ample assistance of
householders living outside the temple. Prabhupada said that "any
of these sincere householders should be initiated. Increase the number
of devotees there. You initiate them with a fire ceremony. I have
already named eleven of my disciples so you can write to any of them the
recommended persons and after receiving the spiritual name, you can
hold a fire ceremony. Your idea for dressing the Deity is
very good. Krishna's lotus feet should always be visible. But Krishna
should not have too short a dress, that will not look nice. Yes, the
Nagapatnis tails may also show. Please send a photograph showing how
nicely the Deities look now. I will be very happy to see it. Yes, you
may initiate the wife of Bhuhan Mohan Das she may help with the Deity
In general, Srila Prabhupada's main desire is that you should increase the number of devotees. In this regard, His Divine Grace said, "Initiate the local natives. Ask
them to give up their bad habits and become Vaisnavas. Four times while
Srila Prabhupada heard your letter, He stressed this point of
increasing the number of followers there. So just as when Srila
Prabhupada went to America, He was very merciful and lenient in giving
out first initiations, so you may also be. If someone has agreed to follow the regulative principles and has been attending the temple for some time and chanting rounds,** you can encourage them by giving initiation. You may send the names of such worthy persons to any one of the eleven devotees whom Srila Prabhupada has designated to initiate on His behalf,
and after receiving the sanctified beads and new names, you can then
perform the initiation ceremony. In this way spread very vigorously his
glorious movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and try to make Fiji the
first Krishna conscious country in the world.
Hoping this meets you in the best of health and Krishna consciousness.
Tamal Krishna Gosvami
Secretary to Srila Prabhupada
Sriman Vasudeva Das Adhikari
**This conforms to Srila Prabhupada clear instructions in the
purport to CC Madhya Lila 15: 104-108 as to how the new men approaching
our International Society for Krsna Consciousness for initiation are
"In the morning, afternoon and evening, one should worship the
Deity, chant the Hare Krsna mantra, offer oblations, perform a fire
sacrifice, and feed the brahmanas. These five activities constitute
purascarya. To attain full success when taking initiation from the
spiritual master, one should first perform these purascarya processes."
The word purah means "before" and carya means "activities." Due to the necessity of these activities,
we do not immediately initiate disciples in the International Society
for Krishna Consciousness. For six months, a candidate for initiation
must first attend arati and classes in the sastras, practice the
regulative principles and associate with other devotees. When one is
actually advanced in the purascarya-vidhi, he is recommended
by the local temple president for initiation. It is not that anyone can
be suddenly initiated without meeting the requirements. When
one is further advanced by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra sixteen
rounds daily, following the regulative principles and attending classes,
he receives the sacred thread (brahminical recognition) after the
second six months.
In concert with Book Distribution(see my opening comments by Vaikunthanatha prabhu) and
his GBC/Temple President managerial system - Srila Prabhupada's perfect
system does not ask of those who come to Krsna Consciousness, giving up
any and all forms of "pretentious" religion, to now "pretend" that ANYONE is infallible and incapable of disappointing our Acharyas.
Their "initiation" into Krsna Consciousness is not contingent upon their
finding an "infallible" representative of Srila Prabhupada and the
Parampara - but rather upon their willingness to serve the instructions
of Srila Prabhupada as they naturally descend to them through his
Bhaktivedanta Purports and the honest and loyal devotees who are
carefully following those same instructions and "authorized" to
teach the next generation how to do likewise. The life force of our
progress in Krsna Consciousness is not dependent upon the person of the
guru. His satisfaction with the disciple is the by product of our
accepting his simple instructions. In the above cited verse and purport
to CC Madhya Lila 15:108 it is stated:
"Without performing the purascarya activities, one cannot become
perfect even by chanting this mantra for hundreds of years. However, one
who has undergone the purascarya-vidhi process can attain success very
easily. If one wishes to perfect his initiation, he must first undergo
the purascarya activities. The purascarya process is the
life-force by which one is successful in chanting the mantra. Without
the life-force, one cannot do anything; similarly, without the life
force of purascarya-vidhi, no mantra can be perfected."
So it is the emphasis upon training the new devotess in their
adoption of this puruscharya process - for a minimum of 6 months - that
is the actual "life force" that will bring them success in their
chanting. It is this success - the increase in their attraction to Lord
Krsna - and the diminishment of their attraction to the material world
and whatever it pretends to offer - the serves to generate their faith
in this process given by Srila Prabhupada. It is faith in Krsna and the
means to please and attain him - that the Spiritual Master seeks to
produce within us; not faith in him but faith in Krsna and the power of
His Name. THAT is where a new man's faith will yield the desired effect.
Srila Prabhupada never so much as hinted that the men he selected to
execute this important yet simple aspect of devotional service - were merely by means of this appointment - to be understood to be self realized or perfected souls - situated in "unbounded transcendental happiness" and
incapable of disappointing him or the new initiates. He made it clear
in his follow up letter to Hansadutta prabhu exactly why he had chosen
him: "'It is because you are my sincere servant. You have given up
attachment for a beautiful and qualified wife and that is a great
benediction. You are a real preacher. Therefore I like you." No doubt his reasoning behind the other men was similar. All
of us who knew these men and that period of ISKCON'S history know that
these men were seen by Srila Prabhupada as his trusted and responsible
and most capable leaders. Their loyalty was not in question then.
Simple - Sublime - Secure.
The absence of a countermanding order in this matter, is extremely signifcant.
If we study the above cited "Codicil" to his will that Srila
Prabhupada legalized on November 5th 1977, we find that he concluded
that such a "codicil" was needed because he wished to "clarify certain things which are to a certain extent a little vague in my previous Will dated 4th June, 1977".
What followed were specific "countermanding" instructions
to his will. These new instructions rendered certain details in the
will - dealing with the changes in the codicil - to be his clear and no
longer "vague" wishes in those matters.
Had Srila Prabhupada considered his instructions on initiation to have been likewise "vague" - he
certainly would have left countermanding instructions. He did not. Over
the years there have been countless attempts on both side of the issue
of initiation to explain WHY he did not. All that matters in the end is - that he did not. We are thus left with the instruction only.
In the material world there are numerous official organizations -
literally thousands in every country - whose management is highly
dependent upon very clear chains of command. Systems such as the United
States Navy, or The Federal Reserve Banking System, The Red Cross, or
The United States Coast Guard, to name only a few - are extremely
dependent upon rigid adherence to all internal memorandums that deal
directly with the execution of the affairs of each of those systems. In
many cases - such adherence is routinely acknowledged as connected to
factual "life and death" for countless individuals. No officer of such
institutions is able to arbitrarily alter - or ignore - any internal
memo - that directly mandates their actions. Doing so can and in most
cases will result in highly negative consequences for everyone involved
and in due course the violater(s) of such internal instructions -
are terminated. Where their refusal to follow orders can result in
death, destruction or enormous financial loss - their insubordination
can even result in the offender's being placed in prison or their death!
These organizations are important - yet their influence is at the utmost, dealing with "Life and Death" only.
ISKCON however deals directly with "Life and Death --- and then Life
and Death - and then again Life and Death" for all living entities!!
Consequently - each of Srila Prabhupada's direct memos - sent to his
GBC and Temple Presidents - dealing with precisely what he wanted
accomplished and how He had determined was the
best way to achieve that - need to be recognized as infinitely more
significant than any "internal memorandum or instruction" serving to
guide the actions of any other organization in the world. They should be
followed with resolute determination. Any thing less is
The management of Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON is millions and millions
of times more important than all of the mundane institutions in this
world that carefully ensure that their instructions are strictly
followed. End of Story.
In the above essay on "Initiation" SBBST states:
"It is, however, very rarely that a person with modern culture
feels inclined to submit to the guidance of another specially in
spiritual matters. But the very person submits readily enough to the
direction of a physician for being cured of his bodily ailments. Because
these latter cannot be ignored without consequences that are patent to
We all work in a world that carefully guards the sound principles
that serve to ensure with careful and secure management, our wealth
and/or our person. For example, we tend to choose airlines that we are
reasonably certain follow the internal guidelines established by their company's management, that
see to the all-important maintenance of the aircraft itself. Were we to
know that in general the maintenance crew regularly ignores the
internal guidelines of a particular airline as they directly pertain to
the proper upkeep of the aircraft - there is NOT ONE GBC OR GURU in
ISKCON who would knowingly test fate by flying such a whimsically
managed airline where the men responsible for the safety of the aircraft
regularly disregard the internal memos concerning the proper upkeep of
the aircraft that are provided almost daily by their authorities: thus increasing the routine risks associated with air travel.
Likewise - no one would invest in a business or company of any kind -
if it was discovered that the "chain of command" that is naturally
vital to the health and profitability of any company - was regularly
ignored or contradicted - without authority by the managers and
As SBSST states above exactly why such caution is naturally exercised: "Because these latter cannot be ignored without consequences that are patent to everybody."
If this be true in such material situations, how much more cautious
need we be in adhering to the instructions of our Acharya as they
pertain to the management of his ISKCON mission.
SBSST states - that all that is needed to make our life successful is
our consulting and following the instructions of a really competent "spiritual physician".
"The evil that results from our neglect of the ailments of the
soul is of a nature that paralyses and deludes our understanding and
prevents the recognitions of itself. Its gravity is not recognized as it
does not apparently stand in the way of our worldly activities with the
same directness as the other. The average cultured man is, therefore,
at liberty to ask questions without realizing any pressing necessity of
submitting to the treatment of spiritual maladies at the hands of a
really competent physician".
Srila Prabhupada's simple and effective arrangement for bringing THE
spiritual master easily within reach of every single soul - in any town
or village of the world is obvious to all but the most stubborn. Clearly
he established himself as the "really competent physician" and perfectly arranged for all souls to come under his expert guidance and care with the help of his books and his devotees.
The arrangement of Srila Prabhupada - solid men - devotees in fine standing - authorized to initiate on his behalf -
clearly representing themselves as "officiating acharyas" - confirming
the devotees initiation as Srila Prabhupada's grand disciple and an
initiated member of ISKCON - is in fact the arrangement that is spelled
out by HDG Srila Prabhupada as his instructions in the matter, in all
the Directives sent out to his loyal men throughout the world. For
anyone to protest otherwise - is merely "inventing" in the face of all
the clear and simple evidence to the contrary.
This does not prevent someone from rising to the level of
purity where it is naturally recognized by some and they may choose to
accept this person as guru. But that must happen naturally, not with the assistance of coercive arrangements that
bar him from first considering the arrangement of Srila Prabhupada for
his easy initiation as it is described in his letter to Vasudeva prabhu.
Anyone who prevents Srila Prabhupada's initial arrangement from being
the primary arrangement offered by His Divine Grace to any new man - is
guilty of a very grave infraction. Whether done in ignorance or malice
-such withholding of Srila Prabhupada's instructions constitutes
cheating of the highest order.
Krsna Consciousness is a very natural process. For some - their
approaching Krsna - through the spiritual master - will conform to the
process as given by Srila Prabhupada when he was both here with us and
his simple system he left us. Their progress in both "vairagya and
vidya" will be almost entirely dependent upon their immediate devotee
association; the Temple residents, Temple President etc. They may have
little to no contact with, nor dependence upon, those men authorized to
confirm their initiation. Others though, may attribute great value to
the association and leadership of some of these men and will naturally
feel their Krsna Consciousness intimately linked with the compassion and
guidance of one or some of these devotees.
Whether the relationship between the devotees and the men authorized
to initiate is seen by them to be one of guru or "officiating guru" -
the position of Srila Prabhupada's men is the same; to properly
exemplify their commitment to the simple science of Krsna Consciousness
as given us by Srila Prabhupada, with enthusiasm to share this science
with any and all who can take it and to cooperate with the simple yet
highly effective GBC/Temple President managerial system so carefully
constructed by our Spiritual Master Srila Prabhupada. The new devotee
may relate with them more intimately as guru but the relationship must
always be endorsed FIRST as "official" by those leaders in ISKCON who
have fully embraced their OATH OF ALLEGIANCE to Srila Prabhupada as the
Supreme Authority for the Krsna Consciousness movement - while under the
banner of ISKCON. There are countless devotees out their - whose joyful
identification with ISKCON is only with the eternal principles of Krsna
Consciousness - the spiritual idea that gave birth the ISKCON. I don't
need to name them but they reject Srila Prabhupada as the Supreme
Authority for this eternal mission. They reject his position as
"exclusive" authority" - under the banner of ISKCON as he asserted. So
they are not willing to work "on behalf of Srila Prabhupada's local
preachers" in the proscribed manner given us by Srila Prabhupada. That
is their loss but what can be done. "You can lead a devotee to the kirtan - but you can't make him dance!"
Again - Simple - Sublime - Secure.
SBSST states in the above essay "The crux of the matter lies not
in the external nature of the ceremony of initiation as it appears to us
because that is bound to be unintelligible to us being an affair of the
other world, but in the conviction of the necessity of and the successful choice of a really good preceptor. "
The Liberty to Choose - based upon our sound reasoning and the wisdom of the scriptures - the "really good preceptor" now
some 30 years after Srila Prabhupada left us, will find some men more
willing to place their confidence in a direct relationship with one of
Srila Prabhupada's duly initiated men who have proven themselves
sufficiently to be capable of guiding them by precept and example as
their "good preceptor". This will always be a
matter of individual choice. Some will naturally prefer to avoid any
risk of disappointment in this choice - by accepting Srila Prabhupada's
simple system. They must never be discouraged to do so but
likewise no one should object to a man's independently "assigning"
absolute value to one of Srila Prabhupada's disciples as his guru
either, provided this "guru" remains committed to Srila Prabhupada's
system of management that emphasizes the instructions of Srila
Prabhupada and his wishes to uplift "the local natives" with the
assistance of his duly appointed GBC and Temple Presidents. This is
extremely important. **
** See the above cited letter from HDG to Vasudeva Prabhu in Fiji
In either case - The order to seek and take shelter of the Bonafide Spiritual Master is simple and clear.
How it can most easily be accomplished within the framework of Srila
Prabhupada's teachings and ISKCON mission is likewise simple. With Srila
Prabhupada's arrangement, there is no risk of disappointment. If one
elects to take a risk -- choosing to take shelter of Srila Prabhupada by
accepting one of his disciples as his Guru, it is personal and can thus never jeopardize the authority of The International Society for Krsna Consciousness in any way whatsoever.
He must be free to subjectively "assign" absolute value to his Spiritual Master and he must be allowed to subjectively consider his Spiritual Master in light of the "objective value" placed upon the Spiritual Master by Lord Sri Krsna Himself. (See my opening statement: "The Guru is not a mortal, erring creature like ourselves. ")
This is his natural right and we can no more disturb that -
than we should hide from him Srila Prabhupada's original system
established on the 9th of July 1977.
Likewise the officiating acharya's position is to be considered every
bit as objectively valuable or worshipable by Srila Prabhupada and
Lord Krsna. As in the Military - the rank is saluted - not the man;
though the officer may in time also inspire great respect and love from
his men. So too the new men should be taught to comprehend the
officiating acharya as a direct manifestation of the mercy of Srila
Prabhuapada. He is "appointed" or handpicked by Srila Prabhupada
directly or through his leaders and serves as his directly appointed
"agent". So the service he does - is every bit a part of Srila
Prabhupada's "worship" of the Parampara and is part and parcel of the
entire Parampara's delivering Krsna Consciousness to the world. All
representatives of the Parampara - do what they do ON BEHALF of their
previous Acharya. So in this sense - all gurus - are "officiating gurus"
or "ritvik representatives" of their spiritual master. The blessing
Srila Prabhupada gave us is merely to spell it out for us. That's all.
When he first appointed the original 11 - Tamal Krsna Goswami -
revealing his neophyte condition asked "Whose disciples are they Srila
Prabhupada - yours or ours" and Srila Prabhupada immediately shot back
"WHY consider whose?" The officiating acharyas are guru - they represent
the Supreme Authority for the Krsna Consciousness movement on this
planet - but their authority is specifically enumerated by Srila
Prabhupada - and this serves the mission of Srila Prabhupada very
nicely. If one is not willing to accept this - then there are countless
"camps" out there - wherein one can do as they see fit - but "UNDER THE
BANNER OF ISKCON" Srila Prabhupada's exclusive authority and directions
We need not complicate this aspect of devotional service. Devotees
should not waste time fighting amongst themselves over this issue.
Groups who advocate coercively barring the new men from
accepting Srila Prabhupada's duly initiated men as their guru - on the
grounds that Srila Prabhupada's system for initiation - forbids them
from doing so - overlook the simple essence of the teachings of our
Acharyas; "the conviction of the necessity of and the successful choice of a really good preceptor." This is and will always remain a matter of personal conviction.
Srila Prabhupada's Bhaktivedanta purports are clear as to who can and
who cannot act as guru. They clearly spell out the superlative method
of fulfilling the requirements in this matter. That is indisputable.
However, his leaving us with a risk-free system of "authorized" men who
meet the minimum requirements in terms of qualifications - and the
maximum qualifications where it matters most - loyalty to the purpose of
Srila Prabhupada and his International Society for Krsna Consciousness -
His ISKCON - to initiate on his behalf - is clear and likewise
indisputable by all but the stubbornly insubordinate.
In the end - it is entirely up to the aspiring devotee. We need only
explain to him his two options - and allow him the liberty to determine
for himself - how he will meet the required mandate to seek out and take
shelter of the "really good preceptor".
In either case - his duties will remain the same; to work
cooperatively with this Temple President, GBC representative and fellow
godbrothers and godsisters. His mission will remain the same. If he
strictly follows the teachings of our Srila Prabhupada - in the end, he
can be confident that the results will also - be the same. He will
achieve the actual goal of life -fully pleasing the Supreme Personality
Grown men are at liberty to determine
whether they wish to simply accept the shelter of Srila Prabhupada and
his instructions as he provided in his internal memo of July 9th 1977,
or they can exercise their own liberty to choose from amongst any of the
duly initiated disciples of His Divine Grace in good standing and take
shelter of them as their chosen spiritual master - fully aware though
that their choice - is in fact their personal choice - and they will
have to live with the consequences of that decision - auspicious or not
so. Both methods constitute the same act; taking shelter of Srila
Prabhupada and the Parampara.
An impartial analysis of reality will lead to one's recognizing that
for the most part - ISKCON has in substance accepted this arrangement -
which is most natural. Their only defect lies in their not admitting it
to themselves. So much effort and money are being squandered in opposing
those who simply publically acknowledge this reality. This is senseless
and has lead to gross mismanagement on many levels. If common sense can
trump pride and this reality is accepted - all conflict in this matter
will end and we can all get to the business at hand; Saving all souls
entrapped in this material world with the wonderful Mercy of Lord
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His sweet samkirtan mission - the chanting of
the Holy Names of Lord Krsna:
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
With Respect to all aspiring servants of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada
October 2, 2006
Over the years since 1977 there have been countless arguments
made for and against the acceptance of the above evidence and their
obvious mandates. It is important to note that all arguments beg for
summary adjudication; the means to settle them. In this particular case -
we all may be well intended but "good intentions" are not the means to
measure the value of any particular argument in a disagreement. Only
when there is a mutually accepted "final authority" whose authority is
accepted as Absolute and Final - can dispute cease. For all those
"initiated" by Srila Prabhupada by means of his authoritative
presentation of Krsna Consciousness - he is that undisputed Absolute and
Final authority. Other than Srila Prabhupada - we have no means to
decipher the relative from the absolute; The Truth from Fiction.
Consequently I offer the following as a final note to the above paper;
the above paper being the summary adjudication of the "contended facts"
and relevant evidence- the simple verbatim presentation of Srila
Prabhupada's recorded instructions on this matter.
Up till now - I have found no one who disputes the existence
of this evidence. However the disputes have always manifest after the
above cited "evidence" has been accompanied by the myriad of
interpretations and/or alterations introduced by others. Unless the
above cited evidence is allowed to stand on its own merit - as Srila
Prabhupada's own intended directives - we are left then with a movement
that is fractured into as many opinions as there are members!
Srila Prabhupada in his own exchange with the famous Professor Staal stated:
"Regarding our correspondence, actually this quotation
and counter-quotation cannot solve the problem. In a court both the
learned lawyers quote from law books, but that is not the solution to
the case. The determination of the case is the judgment of the presiding judge. So argument cannot bring us to a conclusion."
So I offer this final note from His Divine Grace to support my conclusion - which is this:
1.His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupa is our accepted Final and Absolute Authority - he is the "Judge" on this matter.
2. The evidence cited in this paper is merely a verbatim presentation of his factual instructions - nothing more - nothing less.
3. Without accepting those instructions - verbatim - in the ultimate issue - we are left with as many interpretations as there are human beings on the planet
Final Note by Srila Prabhupada in his wonderful exchange with
Professor J. F. Staal: Professor of Philosophy and of South Asian
Languages University of California Berkeley, California in January 1970:
In a court of justice two lawyers put forward their respective
relevant arguments taken from the authorized law books to decide a
point, but it is up to the judge to decide the case in favor of one of the litigants.
When the opposing lawyers put forward their arguments, both of them are
legal and bona fide, but the judgment is given as to which argument is
applicable to the particular case.
Lord Caitanya gives His judgment on the authority of sastras that
the chanting of the holy names of the Lord is the only means to elevate
one to the transcendental platform, and actually we can see it is
effective. Each and every one of our students who has seriously taken to
this process may be examined individually, and any impartial judge will
find it easy to see that they have advanced in their transcendental
realization further than any philosophers, religionists, yogis, karmis,
We have to accept everything favorable to the circumstances. Rejection
of other methods in a particular circumstance does not mean that the
rejected ones are not bona fide. But for the time being, taking into
consideration the age, time, and object, methods are sometimes rejected
even though bona fide. We have to test everything by its practical
result. By such a test, in this age the constant chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra undoubtedly proves very effective.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Arguments that do not favor the simple acceptance of Srila
Prabhupada's clear instructions in this matter - for any reason
whatsoever - spring not from the Absolute but from the Relative
consideration of our minds. The moment we replace the exact words of our
Acharya - or we augment them with OUR interpretation - which spring
from our "biased reason" - we are in fact hearing ourselves not Srila
Prabhupada and as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur has said in the
opening comments "So long as we refuse to listen to him - we are doomed to misunderstand everything".
I offer this paper with a desire serve the long term
interests of all aspiring servants of Srila Prabhupada in their efforts
to please the Lord and safely return Back to Home - Back to Godhead.
All Glories to His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.