Mahasringa Dāsa – Jaipur: Being raised in the good old U.S. of A., I’ve gotten to know that American mentality well.  The translation of to cooperate means to do what you’re told and don’t think.  Compromise means stepping aside in preparation for two steps forward.

Srila Prabhuapda’s last request and instruction was, “Your love for me will be shown by how well you cooperate together”.  We have not done well on this one.

Most will agree that there is something wrong with the system of initiations inside ISKCON.  Those that haven’t seen this must have their head someplace where the sun doesn’t shine.

Although there are a few fractional camps, the basic two are those in favor of the “Ritvik” system of initiations and those that believe in the GBC’s conclusion of, a 2/3 no objection vote for a conditioned soul qualifies one to be a guru in disciplic succession, capable of bringing one to the spiritual world.  The “living” guru fabrication is somewhere in between I suppose.

All camps have thrown their gamuts down, cementing them with countless papers, arguments; counter arguments, quotes, antidotes, scholarly presentations, sastric evidence, debates, discussions and hypotheses.  Unfortunately, since Srila Prabhupada’s vapu left in 77, the four defects in his disciples have been become quite conspicuous and transparent.  The infamous 11 started us down a path we’ve never recovered from, gaining speed in 86 after 6 of the ‘originals’ fell.

Fast forward to 2012 adding another 36+falling dupers and you have red flags popping up at every corner of the globe with intelligent concerned devotees expressing serious anxiety.

Examples of fallen ‘gurus’ (sorry for the paradox), have disciples which have refused the absurdity of ‘reinitiating’ and taken complete shelter of Srila Prabhupada. These devotees are doing fine and the GBC’s have given their complete sanction and blessings.

The “ritviks” are riding the present wave with glee saying we told you so and getting ready for another revolution of reform.  However, it’s best to proceed with caution this time, since most of us still have those four imperfections disturbing in our psychic.

Bangalore is the shining example the “ritviks” use as beacon of how things should be run.  They’ve even set up a GBC to guide their satellite Temple’s management.   But remember now, in 1975 Srila Prabhupada threw out the GBC resolutions because they were trying to usurp authority from the Temple Presidents.  Does Madhu Pandit prabhu have the authority to do the same to his GBC?

There are also examples of devotees initiated by the “ritvik” system who have become Prabhupada “disciples” and changed into something of a renegade doing their own thing, accountable to no one.  They refuse to associate except for a prasadam feast and shun senior devotees’ good intended advice. Let’s try running up the ‘truce’ flag, take a few steps back, inhale some oxygen and seriously try to focus on pleasing His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, soothing our ruffled feathers.

The 100 plus ‘gurus’ left don’t want to prematurely shatter their ‘disciples’ faith so let them be.  However in our present ISKCON society there should be no more guru puja celebrations, especially in our Temples, period.  No more guru dakshine, with all contributions for the ‘guru’ being given into ISKCON accounts run being controlled by Temple Presidents.  No more wasting paper on annual guru puja books which will be burnt in a few years anyway and written glorifications should only be for Srila Prabhuapda’s annual homage.

The gurus will be looked after nicely by their disciples and as senior devotees by the temples they visit. There is no need for them to have a separate bank account since most are {“renounced”} anyway.   God brothers and sisters will respect and honor them for their example, transparency and honesty.

Kanistha gurus can still accept disciples but prospective candidates should read Prabhupada’s books and understand the different types of gurus with Srila Prabhupada being the maha bhagavat-Uttama Adhikari  and realize they cannot advance past their respective guru.

I know scholars from both sides will beat the definition and explanations of ‘diksa’ and ‘siksa’ to death but with a cool head try to grasp what we’re trying to accomplish; some sort of COMPROMISE and COOPERATION with an immediate discussion, keeping in mind the heartbreak of the latest 1500 + devotees.

The truth always prevails so let’s help its sunrise by coming together in the mood of camaraderie.  Certainly whatever compromises made will never be enough from the different camps point of view but for Srila Prabhupada’s sake as well as well as our own, let’s start talking.