Excellent Response to Someone Rejecting the “Ritvik” Order !

October 19, 2016 in Articles by Laksman dasa

Paramatma Das: How can you receive Diksa mantras from s departed Guru. When did the Guru chant on your beads and give you the Diksa Mantras in your ear to hear? Why not take Harinama and Diksa from Mahaprabhu as well. We are not Christians but the main society looks more and more like the Catholic Church with all its problems then the traditional Gaudiya Vaishnava society,
October 16 at 5:58pm

Jai Simman: My dear Prabhu, Srila Prabhupada has already explained what essential diksha is and has deputized his leaders to carry out the formalities of the process while he remains the essential link. Who are we to say that he cannot continue to empower the process? What is our right to limit him? Has he limited himself? There is not a single pramana in any scripture to say that this cannot be done. And the physical living process is also still there. It’s only a matter of what the role of officiator is. He does not usurp the initiator’s role which does not require physical presence. Srila Prabhupada has instructed his leaders to supervise the procedure and do the needful even without his physical presence. This was going on even prior to 1977. And cemented the same for thereafter. In fact, even acharyas in other vaishnava lines have endorsed this process. One follows what the current empowered acharya tells us to do. That’s the culture of parampara. And currency is not mere bodily baton passing. It’s the transmission of divya jnana by adherence to the acharya’s directives. It’s based on empowerment and authorization by one’s own guru to take that position. And that can cut across time and time gaps. Each acharya devises a system as per time, place and circumstances to continue the parampara and the method of one acharya may differ from another. Srila Prabhupada has said this clearly. And in so many places, he has said that whether he is physically present or otherwise, the essential empowerment is there if the disciple agrees to follow the process as he has given to his followers through the delegation he has given to his leaders. And that is the essential initiation or diksha. I can give quotes but these have been given ad nauseum and yet people are so rooted in some regimented idea and formality rather than the essence of the matter. What can be done?

We don’t go cherry pick what the poorvacharyas did. It is not the poorvacharyas who have given the directive to follow the officiating acharya system to formalize the initiation. It is not they who adjusted the current conditions to make Krishna Consciousness a global reality. It’s Srila Prabhupada whom they have empowered to do so. And as an unique acharya in the parampara who gave a worldwide shape, it is his prerogative and approach to the parampara that we who have accepted him primarily follow. It’s his books that have given and continue to give us the divya jnanam kshapayati, i.e. deliverance by injecting transcendental knowledge based on which we have to come to Krishna Consciousness and are doing everything else. And by this, I am referring to those who have come to Krishna Consciousness through his mercy and who have accepted him as their ultimate guide. If others come through other channels, let them follow what they wish to be. We have no issues. But please leave Srila Prabhupada’s specific mission to his own instructions and approach. If we wish to highlight what the poorvacharyas did by way of sadhana and initiation and If we go by that standard, then shouldn’t we be doing all the other things they did instead of following what Srila Prabhupada has taught? How can we cut and paste only that which suits us? And also, although they have done xyz, is there an explicit directive on their part to say that this is the only way that it’s to be done and this is the axiomatic principle at the crux of the matter? Furthermore, many of those poorvacharyas themselves were criticized during their own time on the same basis that they were not adhering to the then tradition and were bringing in changes. This has nothing to do with Christianity, Catholicism or churchianity. One should follow the acharya’s directives and not start whimsically comparing across religions to get a cop out. Let’s not even bring that in since Srila Prabhupada did not tell us to make comparisons. This comparison with Churchianity is some other wiring coming from some other source, not Srila Prabhupada. And even for this, Srila Prabhupada has actually explained that the priest in the church is representing Christ and can do the needful while Christ remains the guru. So where is there the question of no guidance or physical non-functionality in diksha formalization? We’re not telling anyone to just go bow down to a picture and call himself some name. No! There is a process and procedure that Srila Prabhupada has set into operation in his mission and which he directed to continue for posterity. Tradition is not the basis of following spiritual life. Siddhanta is. And siddhanta tells us to take shelter of a bonafide spiritual master, take instructions and training from him and serve him as he decrees. And Srila Prabhupada has stated how this is to be done for his followers, many of whom did not get a chance to personally serve his vapuh or be with him or even meet him. So, we can’t take some quote from shastra given by acharya and then impose on him how it is to be done only in the way want it to be. He has already told us how to do it. And tradition is merely the adoption of a modus operandi to realize the siddhanta, not siddhanta itself. And all acharyas have formulated their own traditions. Also, what is diksha ultimately? A fire sacrifice? Giving of beads or a name? Nope! These are formalities related to diksha which sadly nd lazily gets passed on as diksha or essential initiation. Initiation means to accept a person as your spiritual master by way of the transcendental knowledge he gives and to follow his directives and that is already there from the very first day one accepts Srila Prabhupada and follows his bidding. Many of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples even prior to 1977, did not even meet him once but got the initiation via letter, his appointed officiators, etc. Some of their names even were given by the temple president or the zonal representative. Does it mean that Srila Prabhupada rejected them? And since when did he give instructions to disband this system? In fact, he reconfirmed this modus operandi for his worldwide movement beyond his physical disappearance. If there is already no spiritual master, what then is a devotee doing in ISKCON? And to then say, one has to still look again for a diksha guru as if that divya jnAnam kshapayati is not already there – that’s absurd! What then are you getting when you read Srila Prabhupada’s books, follow his process and sing prayers to him in the temple during guru pooja, etc.? All that is needed is for other devotees to reinforce that commitment and carry out the formalities as per Srila Prabhupada’s directives and provide guidance, not usurp that role cherry picking from this incident and that incident in the past when those incidents do not even reinforce what ISKCON should be doing but merely remain as incidents that may be interpreted differently by different people? H.H. Puri Maharaja admits to what Srila Prabhupada has said and then he says that’s not possible. How’s that even adherence? That’s imprisoning an acharya within a very limited understanding of how the past tradition is to be read into. If we go by past traditions, let us not forget that every past had an earlier past from which it diverted. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta was also faulted like this. The Goswamis had a different methodology to what the previous Madhva sadhus followed although in same line. And the Madhvas diverted their modus operandi from the previous times prior to Madhvacharya and even the Brahmas per each kalpa had different ways of accepting initiation from the Lord as well. It’s not past and present that matters. It’s how the person we have accepted as our principal acharya instructs us and what we need to do to follow his set up to continue the line. That’s the key. I have said what I need to say. Over and out.