Krsnacandra Dasa – Vrndavan: The concept of diksa in ISKCON is an interesting one indeed. It is very hard to believe that Srila Prabhupada did not make absolutely sure that the system of initiation for his own ISKCON Society was precisely delineated before he entered into Samadhi. The fact that there is no substantial documentation of Srila Prabhupada’s instruction of this speaks to me of corruption by people who stood to gain materially from his passing.
What we do know is that His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada made sure that he was the absolute authority, Acharya, for his ISKCON, both when he was manifest and after he entered into Samadhi. This puts to rest the “Next Acharya Myth”.
“He shall be the supreme power with respect to all matters of the Society, and that status shall not be occupied by or shared with any other individual, either during his lifetime, OR AFTER HIS DEATH.”
(Certificate of Incorporation: Jan 12 1976)
What we know for a fact is that the “Zonal Guru System” and its sequel “The Franchised Rubber Stamped Guru System” are absolutely unauthorized.
It is also our collective experience and history as a Society, that the above mentioned peer appointed Gurus are not pure devotees. The fall down and recidivist rate of these individuals is stark testimony of their ‘real’ level of realization.
What to speak of the fact that to assume such an exalted position when they were and still are not qualified speaks very accurately of their understanding of the philosophy as exposed by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada and ultimately their loyalty/chastity to him.
The so called Gurus themselves know that they are not self realized.
We also know as an absolute that Srila Prabhupada was very clear that he wanted all of his disciples to become pure devotees and once they did, he was more than happy that they initiate disciples all over the world. As would any self actualized or realized Guru / Teacher / Father or Mentor.
What this means is very simple. First become a pure Vaisnava. Which is not such an easy thing…
But Srila Prabhupada established himself as the Acharya of ISKCON and he wants us to take shelter of his instructions and live in the house he built for us. He did not establish a system that allowed for multiple diksa gurus with ISKCON and it should be abundantly obvious that he established himself as the sole Acarya / Diksa – Siksa guru of ISKCON.
So then one may ask what is the solution to initiation if all the above are problematic?
Devotees ask if I am a Ritvik…
I really don’t know what that means. Am I a Ritvik? What I am is a follower of Srila Prabhupada, I am not this or I am not that.
They say that the Ritvik System is the only solution. Is it? Why so?
When I am asked these questions I wonder about the Systems Theory that states ‘The part does not operate separately from the whole’.
To me the term or position of a Ritvik is a Brahmin who represents the Acarya. [ṛtvijaḥ—the priests recommended by the spiritual master – SB: 8.16.53]
It is a part of a System and subsequently not a ‘whole’.
So NO – I am not a Ritvik but I do try my best to accurately represent Srila Prabhupada.
Similar to if someone asks if I am a vegetarian. I say no I only eat what Lord Krishna has authorized. If He wanted me to eat meat I would. But he didn’t.
The initiation process has been so muddled and corrupted by the ISKCON leadership that it has become a foul concept. Even the term ‘Ritvik’ evokes an emotive reaction that far outweighs it intended meaning.
Of course we know the answer to that. The GBC fear any system / mentality or attitude that shows them up to be the cheaters that they are. This is a well established fact. They know this and so do we.
It is only natural for them to embark on a smear campaign to vilify and deny that there is any validity to any opposition that they face. They do this no matter how stupid and unintelligent their response is, they know that simply because they are in positions of power the general follower of ISKCON will believe them without question because they said it. Similar to the billions of people who believe anything they see on the one eyed guru called the Television.
No matter how unauthorized the Ritvik – Representative of the Acarya System for diksa initiation is to anyone who walks this earth or who has walked this earth or whoever will walk this earth – Srila Prabhupada did establish this system in ISKCON when he was manifest. Hence to me it is an absolutely bonafide system.
Now the question remains is the Ritvik – Representative of the Acarya System the initiation system for ISKCON today…
Before I discuss this I would like to go back a step to the Franchised Rubber Stamped Guru System. This system has had a very insidious influence on our spiritual society. It has introduced and acculturated the Guru Fan Club mentality into ISKCON.
Due to this embarrassing process both the concept of a guru and disciple has been degraded, commercialized and cheapened to the point that it has become an embarrassment to any sincere and intelligent seeker of the absolute truth. This is the pure sentimental idolatry of the Rock Band Groupie or Oscar winning Actor, nothing more and nothing less. It is an absolute embarrassment to our ISKCON Society.
Back to the Ritvik question and the part does not operate separately to the whole. Now in ISKCON the whole has been changed. This is no longer the ISKCON of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. It was changed when the GBC and gurus changed the incorporation papers of both ISKCON and the BBT.
We must understand that the system that Srila Prabhupada left us is found in what we call ‘The July 9th Letter’ which is a misnomer for it is certainly not a letter it is a mandate or the actual system that Srila Prabhupada instructed we use to initiate future disciples – disciples that would be his disciples!
It is my opinion that we must first reject as individuals and as a society the illegally imposed system of peer appointed/rubber stamped diksa guru system of the GBC and re-instate the Representative System that Srila Prabhupada established. This will of course take time but no one is going to die if they are not initiated and no one will die if they realize that their Rubber Stamped Guru is cheating them.
This is a scientific process in the absolute sense. We need to find out the causes of our problems and systematically deal with them first. Everyone has a duty to find out what is the right thing to do and then be part of doing the right thing.
If that means that disciples of the unauthorized Rubber Stamped Gurus need to leave them then so be it. They will not die if they take shelter of Srila Prabhupada will they? The truth be known only Srila Prabhupada can give shelter and these Rubber Stamped Gurus know this very well.
Krsna will not kick a sincere soul out if they wake up and take shelter of Srila Prabhupada.
When the general devotee is freed from the misconception of the Rubber Stamped Guru we can finally begin to develop this movement the way in which His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada wanted us to develop it.
For me, diksa initiation is secondary and not the cause of the disease of our ISKCON Society.
The cause is a lack of spiritual and emotional maturity of the ISKCON leadership and their followers and ultimately their betrayal of Srila Prabhupada.
Their intentions to not only degrade our Society but to thwart any intelligent criticism of their ploys must be understood to indicate that they are not being truthful. The fact that they have acted in such a manner for decades means that they need to be replaced and until they are, we will never have peace and we will never be able to mature and grow as both individuals and as a devotional society.
If anyone has hard evidence of the Rubber Stamped Diksa Guru initiation process such as tapes / letters or personal testimonies then please send them to us ([email protected]).
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada